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BYU students' scene on Psych, misrepresented?

BYU students' scene on Psych, misrepresented?


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PROVO -- When Brigham Young University students won a contest to have their school mentioned on the popular TV show "Psych," they probably were not banking on the scene taking place in a bar.

The scene opened Wednesday night's season finale of "Psych." It featured two college-aged blondes in BYU T-shirts walking into a bar and was the result of a contest in November and December of 2010 sponsored by NBC.

"Psych" airs on the cable network USA, which is owned by NBC.

The contest, called Campus Wars, required participants to complete various activities on the show's website to earn points for their campus. BYU students won easily with more than 5.5 million points, compared to second-place University of Wisconsin-Madison, which earned about 2 million points by the Dec. 22 deadline.

The school won a mention in Psych "pending the University or College's approval," according to the terms and conditions of the contest. BYU was made aware the episode would air this season, but was not asked to approve the university's inclusion in the show.

"They did not seek our approval before airing the episode," said BYU spokesman Joe Hadfield. "They did not, however, need it for BYU to be mentioned on the TV show."

An NBC spokesperson could not be reached to comment on the terms and conditions of the contest.

BYU students' scene on Psych, misrepresented?

BYU students and fans have had mixed reactions to the episode. Some were simply appreciative for a BYU shout-out on a show that is immensely popular on campus.

"Psych brought in BYU and I loved it," said BYU fan Spencer Ferguson on Twitter.

Some BYU fans, though, have spoken out against the scene, saying it portrays BYU students in a way that runs counter to their belief system.

"BYU wins the contest for a mention on Psych and they're in a bar?" asked BYU student Brittany Tennant on Twitter. "Way to misrepresent."

"Having attractive people wear BYU shirts at a bar, drinking no less, is the worst shout-out ever," tweeted BYU alumna Alexandra Greaves.

BYU, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, requires students to sign an honor code that in part prohibits the consumption of alcohol. One offended fan took to the USA comment boards, calling the scene "insulting" and saying it "slaps the standards and values of the school in the face."

Most respondents did not understand the fervor behind the reaction. One BYU graduate said fans should not take offense where it was not intended, but should be thankful for the reference.

Hadfield declined to comment on the setting of the shout- out, saying only, "It seems to be a popular show with BYU fans."

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Stephanie Grimes

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