Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
PROVO — BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe made a special guest appearance on KSL's weekly coach's show Monday night. It was the first time he's spoken publicly about BYU's negotiations with the Big East conference and why those negotiations have been stalled. He also touched on topics such as future scheduling and what BYU's plans are moving forward.
Holmoe indicated that negotiations with the Big East started during mid-October, around the time when he decided to set the record straight regarding what negotiations BYU had had with the Big-12. Holmoe reaffirmed that BYU never had a Big-12 invitation.
Holmoe talked about why BYU guards information regarding its negotiations with anyone. "BYU tries its best not to play out the discussions in the media," he said. "So when people find sources or make up sources (then) sometimes there is information out there that is not accurate, so when the time is right, it's best to set the record straight and then get away from it."
Asked what rumors about BYU's negotiations with the Big East bother him the most, he replied, "that we blew up the talks because we went out there and asked for our home rights to our home games, and that's not necessarily true. We had very good discussions with the Big East — they were very respectful. ... We were able to go through a number of issues very quickly. There were some uncertainties when it got to the end about some TV issues, and some other issues, but we felt that we were kind of at an impasse and that we weren't going to move any further."
Holmoe indicated that the Big East was anxious to include BYU and to move the negotiations forward. "We weren't at that time ready to do it," said Holmoe. "We gave them a proposal that has come out now — we didn't release it. In that proposal we told them that we could sign on right now if we had TV rights for our home games, but that would be certain we would have known exactly what we were getting into at that time. Outside of that, we wouldn't have known."
Holmoe feels it's a good idea for the Big East to look west for expansion opportunities. He believes that the teams they're looking at in the West are teams that could help them in the future.
On how far they got in discussions with the Big-12 compared with the Big East, he said, "We didn't get that far down the road (with the Big-12). We were told that we were a team that they were interested in, but we didn't even have discussions about television."
On the perception that BYU has been very difficult to negotiate with and has been a "piece of work" in that regard, he said, "I think that's unfair too. The Big East has been so respectful and honorable in their conversations that I think it's unfair for anyone in the media to characterize those discussions like that when they weren't there."
Holmoe said that the Big East is confident that it can retain its automatic BCS-qualifying status and that it has a good vision on how to retain that.
On BYU's pursuit of future conference affiliation, "We're not out there hanging posters on conference doors. We're going to keep our eyes open and monitor this ever-changing landscape of college athletics."
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