Utah coach: Players in video meant no disrespect
Sep. 19, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Wednesday that he saw no need for disciplinary action over a video showing some of his football players conducting what appears to be a mock baptism.
"We have addressed this issue with our players, and although it was poor judgment on their part, there was absolutely no malice or disrespect intended towards any particular religion or rite," Whittingham said in a statement released by the school.
The video is several weeks old but links to it surfaced on Twitter this week.
The video shows senior linebacker Brian Blechen being immersed in a cool-down tub by an unidentified teammate wearing a towel over his face. The teammate places his hand behind Blechen's neck and pushes him backward under the water in a manner similar to a baptism.
When the link hit Twitter this week, some BYU fans reacted with criticism toward the players, seeing it as a mockery of BYU and a sacred ordinance within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christian churches.
Utah plays BYU on Saturday.