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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled In His Own Words: Thomas Stancil, Running Back (2002-03)

Thomas Stancil received oral sex at a party and was suspended.

I was suspended for three months [for my involvement in one of the group sex incidents], suspended from the school but could still practice with the team. People had different involvements in that. This is how little involvement I had: When it came out in the newspaper, it didn't even mention me.

We were at some type of a function at BYU first. I guess it was a dance or something. I'd really never talked to the girl. Afterward, she was saying she was going to have a little party. We came to the house. This was at our house. It was a little two-story home. There were about 20 people. Twenty turned into about 40. It was a decent party. It wasn't wild. It was just a normal party that anybody normal would have — people laughing, people conversating, music is playing, nothing extreme. Alcohol? Yes, alcohol was present. I don't remember anyone doing any drugs. Was she drinking? Yes, she was drinking.

I actually left. This was about 8 or 9 o'clock. I left about 30 or 45 minutes later. I came back around 11 o'clock, and I didn't see anybody. I was like, "Where'd everybody go?" A few people said [teammate Reynaldo Brathwaite's] room. It was about four or five people. When I opened up the door, there she was, getting down. I don't want to be rude about it. She was doing two guys at one time. I had gotten oral sex from the girl. It was like 10 seconds and then I was done because I had to go somewhere and there was too much going on. What went wrong is that people were in there taking pictures. The pictures is what killed it. I believe it was C.J. Ah You who was taking pictures. He had the audacity to go show the guys downstairs and one of the guys just happened to be her brother or her cousin. So he called and yelled at her and made her look bad and told her mom. And then the girl withdrew from the school and said she was raped. Everybody made a statement. And they gave great detail. This sounds bad, but nobody did anything they didn't want to do. She was in control of everything. This is what I told the police. After that, the honor code got word of it.


She did it the smart way. She withdrew. If we had all done that, we would have been safe. It's just like a job. If you quit before they fire you, you're OK. Then she wrote a letter to the Provo police saying that everything was consensual and then it was dropped just like that. But when it came down to the honor code, they didn't even let me plead my case. There had to be a damn letter. Next thing I know, it says I'm suspended. I had the option to come back but I wasn't going to put myself back in that predicament. The school is set up for Mormon students. I'm not a Mormon. I never said I wanted to be a Mormon. I did say I was going to follow your rules because I signed your paper. But I was a happy 18-year-old and I would have signed anything you wanted me to sign to play football. I don't agree with nothing they got going on.

I had an incident before that where I got in a slight argument with the coach. We had some recruit coming to school. I just told him what it was really like at BYU. I told him that if he was going to come here and think he was going to be having sex with all these women and partying, you got the wrong school. The next day the guy redid his plane ticket and left. The coach rushed me into the office, and there was Gary Crowton siting right there, and he said, "I'm not going to renew your scholarship." This is what happens. You go get these African-American athletes who are more than likely sexually active — some of them even have kids — and you get them there and say, "Sign on the dotted line." A lot of these athletes have girls that they've been with for years. I was with my girl for two years before I came to BYU. It's almost a joke. [They tell you that] when you come to BYU, you can't be having sex. To me, what I'm thinking is, you can't be having sex on campus. I'm here and I'm secretive about my sex life anyway, so I'm thinking of course I'm not going to get exposed. What you do inside your home is your privacy.


As for the honor code, they did mention it. Yes, they did. No, they didn't go into great detail. If they had, there's no way in hell I would have gone there. Truly, I forgot all about the honor code. It's not like it's being put in your face every day. After my first meeting with the coaches, the honor code was never mentioned. They want people to come play for them. I went on a couple recruiting trips. That's what you're looking forward to. You go out there. You're getting introduced to college women. That's what makes an athlete sign. The biggest part is that recruiting trip. How is the school? How are the coaches? How did the other athletes treat me? I was recruited in 2002. I went with my grandfather. It was live. It was lovely. It was partying, girls, completely the opposite of what was supposed to be going on. I was exposed to so many women on my recruiting trip to BYU, I couldn't wait to get back. I was going to go to Fresno State but not after that recruiting trip.

I was 100 percent deceived. One hundred percent. You don't put a person in a predicament to fail. And that's what they're doing. I remember when me and my grandpa had this exact conversation. I've never been in trouble in my life. Not only were we athletes, we were black. It was a setup. They didn't tell me the girls were going to be after me like that. I didn't know I was going to be getting the pick of my choice. It was crazy. I was blown away about how many women were trying to talk to me. Just because a person is having sex doesn't make them a bad character. True enough, there have been African-American athletes who made it, but not because they're not having sex. Just because they're not getting caught.


They recruited me as an athlete. They know what type of athlete they're looking for. But they also need to know what kind of athlete BYU is looking for. They should have their own criteria that they ask. Are you sexually active? Yeah. Then you don't qualify. You're not going to get somebody to change just because they sign a piece of paper. It gave me a bad outlook on BYU. They're recruiting these athletes, and they're still kicking them out knowing what's going on. I think going to BYU was the worst decision I ever made in my life. I'm not going to say I'd be in the NFL, but I think I'd still be playing. I was totally turned off.

I still finished school. When I got back home, I enrolled in Bakersfield College. I wasn't going to play football but I was in too good of shape and feeling too good not to touch a football. I went right in and started playing. I ended up getting hurt, but I stayed in school. I got a job in a sheet metal place. Now I'm a correctional officer in Wasco (Calif.) State Prison. I guess I would have rather had a degree from BYU. I'm not bitter about it, but if I could do it all over, I wouldn't touch BYU. Would I suggest that any athlete who's black and not Mormon go there? No. And if I can get a hold of black kids who are athletes and planning on going to BYU, I would slap them and say you best not.


Article edited to correct chronological error.

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