Dick Harmon: Upgrades to Marriott Center may impact students the most

Published: Friday, April 13 2012 9:54 p.m. MDT

"I am a student at BYU and I am deeply disappointed with the newly announced Marriott Center renovations," said David Stauffer. "Moving the student section farther from the court seems like a bad way to reward the BYU students who have been so faithful. I understand the desire to remove benches and put in more seats, but at what cost? So we can have wealthier non-student BYU fans sitting closer to the court? People who generally remain seated throughout the game?

"There's a reason why the Spectrum at Utah State is such a difficult place for opponents to play," Stauffer said. "They put the students front and center, which can be menacing for visiting teams. BYU made a move that could cause the Marriott Center to lose much of it's intensity. I'm really, really sad to see this."

Holmoe answered myriad questions about BYU's athletic programs, including the status of potential membership in an expanded conference like the Big 12.

Holmoe said he is keeping in communication with athletic directors and other key administrators of schools and conferences in case something happens, but it is his sense that things have slowed down for the time being.

"There is nothing happening right now," said Holmoe, who admitted he has been in discussions as a matter of practicality, with people in other leagues to keep his hand on the pulse of the college landscape.

"This talk will be ongoing. There are conferences that are jockeying, but for the most part, it is dying down. It used to be daily but now it might be weekly or monthly. I certainly need to keep in touch with key friends of mine in the business. That open communication continues."

Holmoe says you hear everything from a "doomsday" to a "best conference in the country" discussion but BYU has a contingency plan for every one of them and will continually adjust those plans as is necessary.

Talks of a new BYU basketball practice facility are ongoing, but only in the talk stage.

Holmoe said rumors of potential football jersey changes are premature but there have been discussions with Nike that are continuing. When asked if fans could see a black jersey or a combat jersey for this season, he said that is likely.

When asked if there are seating changes for LaVell Edwards Stadium, Holmoe said he is working on a complex set of challenges to get all students in one section of the stadium, but it will take time.

In the meantime, Marriott Center talk was play of the day.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

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