The video features the three star students in BYU jerseys walking through cheering fans to the court, racing through complex math problems and celebrating a victory. The rap lyrics include this line: “Don't try to keep up once the math race gets going. When you're half-way done, they’ll be already Tebowing.”
A university news release about the six-hour-long math competition and the two-and-a-half-minute-long rap video reads like a sports announcement: “Sam Dittmer, Hiram Golze and Robert Yang have once again put BYU in the Big Dance of mathematics this year. After crushing the University of Utah 159 – 70 in the fall, the three undergraduates notched wins against Duke, Yale and Vanderbilt in a national competition where they placed 3rd in a field of 99 teams.”
The BYU men’s basketball has made it to the NCAA championship tournament several times in the past few years, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011. Having a powerhouse sports team has been a way for the university, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to show the world that it has a lively student culture on campus — even if it is a counter-cultural one mostly lacking caffeine, booze, pot and one-night-stands.
The end of the rap video shows one of the students, Dittmer, at a mock news conference where he throws baseball caps from MIT and Stanford on the floor and then flips a table. In real life, Dittmer was a major academic recruit for the university, as he was named the 2006 national high school math champion and was recruited by a number of prestigious schools, including MIT and Stanford.
Dittmer competed in math competitions during his freshman year, then went on a church mission to Albania for two years. Even with what the university calls “mission rust,” Dittmer helped take the team to a third place finish.