Dick Harmon: Going independent not the solution to BYU's problems

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 28 2007 12:08 a.m. MDT

Games could go on BYU-TV and get broad distribution, and KSL-TV could step in and pick up a ton of broadcasts. But the financial rewards would be minimal — you can do only so much with those PBS fund-raising telethons and local car dealership commercials.

If you operate a $20-plus million athletic budget, you need cash. That's among reasons BYU folks aren't letting fans bring in their own popcorn, sack lunch or water to the stadium.

Notre Dame has NBC because Notre Dame is who it is — the Microsoft of the sport of football.

"They've been able to schedule anybody since Knute Rockne was a little child," said Tuckett.

If BYU administrators consider looking into becoming an independent, it might be to just placate irate boosters who do not like the current TV deal. ... I do know, BYU will not stand by with the status quo of its TV deal.

But jumping leagues or going independent? Formation of a new league would be more plausible, maybe even doable.

Getting into a BCS conference is not going to happen for BYU or Utah anytime soon, if ever.

And the popular fan pipe dream that the Pac-10 will someday come calling is akin to mistaking my shower singing for Josh Groban.

Memo: The Pac-10 likes its private party and the money they rat hole from the BCS and Rose Bowl. They have no plans for sharing it.

There are truths about the Cougar drawing power, however.

BYU carries tons of clout in the MWC. If Comcast does not respect BYU over this TV issue, I guarantee there will be consequences. Face it, TV folks want the Cougars over anybody else in the little wannabe league. Anybody who denies that is missing bulbs upstairs.

BYU's best move is to do all it can to build up the reputation of the MWC, solidify its place on the college scene, get Comcast negotiators off their butts for a deal, and garner more respect by defeating non-league opponents, especially those from BCS conferences, like Arizona come Saturday.

For the Cougars, going independent would be like giving Lindsay Lohan the key to a school bus.

It's mighty presumptuous to think you'll actually get somewhere.

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com

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