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  • O'Neill Chambers Offer His Version of BYU Football Suspension
    by Alexander Hairston, BYU Universe
    Published - 10/21/10 - 04:10 PM | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    BYU wide receiver O'Neill Chambers pulls in a one-handed catch during practice in August 2010 at Provo. (photo/Patrick Smith)
    BYU wide receiver O'Neill Chambers pulls in a one-handed catch during practice in August 2010 at Provo. (photo/Patrick Smith)
    (Provo, UT) - Suspended BYU receiver O’Neill Chambers said he was dismissed from the BYU football team earlier this week because of a misinterpreted prank on freshman quarterback Jake Heaps. Chambers also said Heaps’ struggles this year stem from a lack of coaching.

    Chambers was suspended Monday for the remainder of the season for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. In September, Chambers was suspended for two games, also for undisclosed reasons.

    This week’s incident, Chambers said, stemmed from a prank in he jokingly packed up items from Jake Heaps’ locker and delivered them to coaches and told the coaches that Heaps “wasn’t putting the team first because he [Jake] wasn’t thinking of the team first.”

    After that incident, coaches met and decided Chambers was a discouragement to the team and to Heaps, Chambers said. Following practice Tuesday, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall indicated Chambers’ suspension was the result of a pattern of behavior.

    “In this particular case it’s always hard to see a player make repeated mistakes,” Mendenhall said. “In relation to what I thought was right, it was not a difficult decision.”

    Chambers spoke of another incident that happened in Fort Worth during Saturday’s football game against TCU. Apparently an argument broke out when Chambers criticized Heaps’ play, but Chambers said the criticism was to encourage the young quarterback.

    “We can criticize one another and that helps build each other up and the coaches took it the wrong way,” Chambers said.

    Chambers said he and Heaps are friendly toward each other and the locker incident was merely a joke. “Me and him are cool,” Chambers said of Heaps. “We don’t have any issues. They [the coaches] made it seem like I was hurting him.”

    Chambers also said coaches blamed him for being the root of the problem even though Chambers believes the problem lies elsewhere.

    “It’s bigger than me,” he said. “I don’t wish anything bad towards the team. I wish they would figure out the real problem.” Chambers said he believes the real problem behind the team’s recent woes, and especially Heaps’ struggles, are coaching deficiencies.

    “The coaches were making it harder for him, and were hindering Jake’s progress,” he said.

    Chambers also said he did not “get the same opportunities as other players get here.”

    And despite high expectations from fans of the team, Chambers said he didn’t take fan criticism that seriously because they don’t understand how the team works. “The fans aren’t the ones making the calls or making plays,” he said.

    In relation to the suspension, Chambers said he would just like to win games. “Do what you want,” Chambers said. “You can suspend me, I don’t really care. I just want to win football games.”

    Mendenhall said Chambers will transfer to another school after this semester. “I got a list of schools that we released him to today, and there was six or seven of them,” Mendenhall said. “I can’t recall any of them, what they were. That rarely means where he’ll end up, but he had a list that he was interested in. Division I is all I remember. I don’t think there’s any I-AA’s in there.”

    Chambers, however, said he isn’t sure what his plans are yet.

    A BYU spokesman declined comment on Chambers’ version of events.

    Follow Cougar sports in the BYU Daily Universe.
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    November 11, 2010
    If Chamber's could catch a ball Heaps performance would not have been that big of a deal.
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