Jan 282014

Damien Mama

Set to announce 2/5 at 8:30 a.m. on ESPNU.

(UPDATE on 1/28 there were reports that Mama would drop his BYU visit and schedule UCLA instead. On 1/29 Mama said he was dropping UCLA altogether. There may have been some mis-communications with the UCLA coaches. We will update as we get more info.)

For us this is the most fascinating recruiting battle on the board. A lot of sites are saying it is a done deal that he signs with USC. However, we don’t see it that way. He very well may, but this recruitment is a lot more complicated when you dig a little deeper. Consider these tidbits:

    • How does he feel about USC now that they are backing off their offers to fellow St John Bosco teammates Malik Dorton and Shay Fields?
    • How does he feel about USC backing off its offer to fellow Polynesian Austin Maloata? And considering that the Polynesian community is tight and values loyalty and family, how will they judge it? Will his family still pressure him to sign with USC as they have been?
    • Will fellow Polynesian and new UCLA coach Kennedy Polamalu have an effect?
    • How does Mama feel about UCLA now that they have commitments from two of his teammates and from two other Polynesians?
    • Mama is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) and is considering taking his mission right after high school. UCLA has a great track record of working with those that want to take missions, not sure about Sark or USC on that front. We understand that Su’a-Filo has been advising Mama as well.
    • As far as the mission itself, it makes his recruitment all the more interesting because after he gets back in two years he is no longer obligated to attend the school he committed to (which means UCLA gets a second shot if he signs elsewhere). Perhaps more importantly, the school will no longer be obligated to offering him a scholarship either. If you were Mama, who would you trust, Sark who is pulling scholarship offers from already committed players, or UCLA which actually honored their scholarship commitment to Sua-Filo?
    • There are some other Polynesian/Mormon issues that are affecting this as well, but we don’t want to put them out there on a public forum like this. But we can say they are not in USC’s interest.
    • We have heard theories that Mama likes Sark because they are both Mormons – after all Sark attended BYU right? Well, yes Sark attended BYU, but no, Sark is not Mormon.  He actually considers himself Catholic.
    • The wildcard is BYU which Mama has agreed to visit at the end of the month.

Mama may still very well go to USC, and he may even do it in the next five minutes.  Who knows, but his decision is a little tougher than many realize. He announced he is visiting USC 1/24.

Related stories:
John Plattenburg’s Decommitment And The Mysterious Polynesian Connection

  5 Responses to “Damien Mama Hot Board”

  1. Oregon is the place to be not USC.
    Also, it’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Next time please don’t use the ” Church of Latter Day Saints” because it really doesn’t make sence. Bad form. Bad reporting and shows lack of education.

  2. Actually you should call them Mormons (because they worship a god called “Mormon” who wrote their bible, “The Book of Mormon”).

    That is how journalists refer to them and what they want to be called.


    Number one: We don’t worship “Mormon.” Mormon is a prophet, not a God.

    Number two: We don’t “prefer” you call us Mormons. That is what non-Mormons decided to call us. When journalists call us that it is lazy journalism.

    Number three: We call ourselves “Latter Day Saints,” or just “Saints” and we expect you to do the same.

    As for the original post, what you called the Church was acceptable. The official name is “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” but that is a mouthful and practically no one including the journalists say that. They generally abbreviate it like you did. When you refer to the members, you need to ALWAYS use the word “Saint” or Saints.”

  4. No one should be calling themselves a “Saint” if they are not a practicing member of the Church. It is not like calling yourself a Catholic even though you have not been to Mass in years.

    I hate it when I hear people say they are Mormon or LDS or whatever when I KNOW they are not in good standing.

    If you are going to use LDS terms on this site you need to make sure you are applying the right terms to the right people. People don’t get to just call themselves whatever they want without deserving it.

  5. Tell you what. You guys all get together in a room and hammer out all the correct terms that a “real” journalist should use, and then get back to us.

    Then if we ever decide to grow up and be real journalists, we’ll consider them. Deal?