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Dick Harmon: Split Division I when it's out of the red, says BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall

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  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    July 1, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    23,000 is well shy of 45,000

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    July 1, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    dallas realist:

    I stand corrected.

  • dallas realist rockwall, texas
    July 1, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    @ Naval Vet
    Alamo stadium in San Antonio is 23,000

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    June 30, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    If Bronco wants to push this kind of analysis and requirement, BYU and all other private universities should be required to open their athletic funding books to public scrutiny. This is the only way to truly level the playing field. One area of contention will be student athletic fees. The article seems to indicate such fees are considered part of the subsidy. I know BYU charges student athletic fees just like nearly every other university in the country. So is BYU willing to disclose how much it collects from its students and then subtract that amount from total revenue to reveal the truth?

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    June 30, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    If the Y doesn't release their financials, how do we KNOW they are operating in the black? Just because they "say" that they are? Because that just doesn't cut it with me. If you run an above board program, you release the financials. If you've got something to hide, or if you're running some sort of smoke-&-mirrors fund raising, then you don't.

    eastcoastcoug:

    "Some high schools in Texas have more seats..."

    That's only cougar folklore. I graduate from high school in Texas: there are no high schools with 40K seat stadiums. The biggest high school stadiums in Texas are just south of 22K.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    June 29, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    Re: WACPaddingOurSchedule

    So just because you've been handed something means you deserve it? Your comment is a prime example of the entitlement problem. 'I have something therefore I deserve it.' You couldn't be more wrong.

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    June 29, 2014 7:02 a.m.

    Bronco recently voiced that he would LOVE to be a member of a Big 5 conference. And now he follows that up by telling the Big 5 members that they should have to do their business differently.

    Interesting strategy for someone who is trying to get invited to the club. Let's see how that works out.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    June 29, 2014 12:44 a.m.

    BigCougar

    You forget one thing. If they kick out all of the bottom feeders, then they will be beating up each other like crazy. It will be one, big, crazy, stab your opponent in the back kind of situation. I don't think that will happen. The bottom feeders will stay. They may try to give the bottom feeders less money, some way, based on their records. We'll see.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    June 28, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    I enjoyed reading the finer points of this article. I do believe there is a good chance once Utah is a full fledged member of the PAC-12 distribution they will be in the black so long as they don't get crazy keeping up with other teams. This of course depends on the fans still coming out (which so far isn't a problem).

    I would be very interested if BYU actually reported some past numbers on athletic expenditures/income. With how successful most of their sport teams are, I would wonder if they have any lesser sports that are self-sufficient like Men's V-ball. Probably not, but here is to hoping.

    I think requiring teams to be in the black would severely limit the number of P5 teams. There are only enough schools to field two leagues (including BYU).

  • wynn Columbus, OH
    June 28, 2014 7:38 p.m.

    Everyone bow down and worship the golden calf, or cow, or just the gold. College sports is fun to watch because the players don't get paid. Sad that this is changing.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    June 28, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    Cougar Claws
    Lindon, UT
    Asking greedy selfish people to behave responsibly seems to be too much to ask. That much seems clear based on some of the comments based on here. I realize it's only sports, but it's likely people apply the principles they run their college sports programs on to their personal lives as well, which is why our country and our society has so many entitlement problems today.

    ___________

    Thanks for pointing that out. To this day, I have never understood why BYU fans think they deserve what the don't have. You don't earn by complaining.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    June 28, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    Most of the commenters here have absolutely no concept of how college athletics works. Give it up already.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    June 28, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    re: Brave Sir Robin

    "Sure, let's take Bronco's advice and split D1 into two halves. I'll give you three guesses which half BYU will be in."

    The half that doesn't exist?

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    June 28, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    @Pearl 94
    "However, the fact remains that taking deliberate and overt steps away from the game’s amateur status will simply turn it into a poor man’s NFL. While I’m no economist, all you have to do is look at the D-League for the NBA or minor league baseball to see how much interest there is in lower-tier sports."

    ------------------

    Greed once unleashed has an insatiable appetite and p5 schools will eventually turn on each other. Good point about the minor league sports. We've also seen how well leagues like the AFL, USFL, WFL, and XFL have faired vs the NFL. Where are they now?

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    June 28, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    @ekute
    "Informative article but I doubt that the P5 is asking for input from anybody at byu.

    Uninvited criticisms and warnings are going to keep you uninvited."

    It's even more unlikely that they're going to pay attention to your opinion on this. Look at recent history, once upon a time Utah used to give constant uninvited criticisms and warnings about the unfairness of the BCS system but that didn't preclude them getting invited.

    At some point there will be further division between the haves and the have nots. Non-revenue producing schools like Utah that hang on the coat tails of the money makers will eventually feel the bite as the USCs, Oregons, Texas, Ohio States, etc all want more of the pie and no longer want to share with the little fish.

    We've seen things change constantly, and short-sighted people who think the way it is today is the way it will always be won't be prepared for the next round of changes. We'll see a 65 team Division get whittled down even further when the bigger programs don't want to share with the bottom feeders.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    June 28, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    The great thing about college football is the "ownership" by students, alums, and local fans.

    BUT

    Turning it into a semi-pro league will bankrupt most schools, including Utah.

    As I've said before the number of AP NC teams since 1970 is less than 30 (and BYU is one of them) and only 11 teams have won a BCS title. Here are the BCS teams and numbers:

    Tennessee 1
    FSU 2
    OK 1
    Miami 1
    OSU 1
    LSU 2
    USC 2
    Texas 1
    Florida 2
    Alabama 3
    Auburn 1

    Does anybody think this picture changes with a 4-team playoff? Can't. The deck is rigged. You'll see the above list in the playoffs year after year.

    Unless we have an open playoff, like NCAA hoops, the playoffs will be more of the same. Lets have at least a top 16 team playoff, picked by the polls. No conference (read SEC) influence. Play the season, win the games, then win the playoffs.

    Then we might see a Utah, K-State, BYU sneak in once in a while. Never happen with the stacked deck we have now.

  • Sambonethegreat Salt Lake City, UT
    June 28, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    At any rate, I just want college football to remain an amateur sport. That's part of what makes it special.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    June 28, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    @Lifelong Ute
    "I don't care how much money my program loses. I care about winning. Lets spend whatever we need to win. The rewards(including money) will follow the wins. And why is Bronco telling his superiors how to run their universities?"

    -----------

    If you fail to learn from history you'll be doomed to repeat it. Limited revenue producing producing programs like Utah will suffer trying to keep up spending with the powerhouse programs like USC, Stanford, Oregon, etc. Look at what Cal has been struggling with in their athletic dept . They make significantly more money than UTah but were so upside down with their finances they had to start cutting athletic programs. Deficit spending has an unpleasant and eventual end.

    The mission of the Univ of Utah will always be academics and when one sport continues to drain and take from the academic mission of the school and deny other student athletes the chance to compete when their sports get cut , especially when all the resources are getting sucked dry by a program that is the perennial doormat and can't deliver on the field.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    June 28, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    I love it when Bronco says BYU athletics is in the black . Tuition at Stanford is 40,000 a year so an athletic scholarship has to cover that cost. The LDS church subsidizes BYU costs so tuition is about 10% of Stanford's so scholarship costs to the university are much cheaper. While it is said the LDS church doesn't subsidize athletics directly, their financial support of the University does have a big impact on athletic costs making it much easier to be n the black.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    I disagree with continuing scholarships to athletes who opt for the pro sports' drafts before they graduate. It is important that they graduate, but they can do that on their own money. The college administrators' thinking is upside down, for sure. It all started when the NCAA started to allow athletes to opt for the draft before graduation. I think the courts had something to do with it. It is all about the money, which rules everything. College athletics should take its rightful place - but not at the top of importance - in the institutions of learning.

  • demantee Saratoga Springs, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    This will be my last year buying football season tickets. The game has been priced out of my entertainment value range. Following football on TV will be my sole venue going forward.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    The big benefit for Utah being in the PAC-12 is the fans get to see some good teams come to town every other year. But let's face it, it is mostly bad. The Utes will never really contend for a football or basketball title and many of their programs are just horrible in the PAC-12 (see baseball).

    BYU should expect much the same joining the Big 12. I mean, will it's baseball program truly compete with programs like TCU, Texas etc.? Football should expect a lot of seasons similar to Utah and TCU since joining these power conferences. Around .500 and maybe the type of bowl game they would have got from staying in the MWC.

    BYU does have a much better overall athletic program than Utah and could fair decently in some sports but as for Utah, they joined the "Conference of Champions" and let's be honest, they haven't fared well, gymnastics aside. That is Utah's future and likely BYU's future to a certain extent if it joins the Big 12. I guess, be careful what you wish for.

    But it would be great if one these schools brought back a wrestling program...

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    June 28, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Asking greedy selfish people to behave responsibly seems to be too much to ask. That much seems clear based on some of the comments based on here. I realize it's only sports, but it's likely people apply the principles they run their college sports programs on to their personal lives as well, which is why our country and our society has so many entitlement problems today.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    June 28, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Subtext: Hey? We're in the blaaaaack! If you split, can we come along too? Purdy please? With sugar and skittles on top?

  • theDailyObserver Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 28, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    The more Bronco stomps his feet about byu not being included as a P5 team, the less likely it is to happen.

    @eastcoastcoug:

    Chest thumping about stadium size is a 20th century concept. With HD technology (something byu fans also consistently brag about), more and more fans are choosing to have their game day experience in front of a TV, instead of in a stadium. Plus, I would rather see a 45 thousand seat stadium filled to capacity and have high energy, over a 65 thousand seat stadium with stretches of emptiness throughout. Having been to both Utah's and byu's stadium for big games, I would take Utah's every time, and it's not even close.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 28, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    I think it's funny when finances in CFB are discussed. Forget about operating in the black...my question is how long the USCs & Ohio State's and Texas' are going to be ok with equal revenue sharing with the little guys who bring little to the table like Utah. Trust me, socialist economics like equal revenue sharing never last long when the big dogs see how much better off they'd be without leeches siphoning off their budget. If/when it truly becomes about money, BYU brings a larger fanbase more eyeballs on TV sets and therefore more money than many programs who are P5 by name and association only.

    If you don't think ESPN did market research before offering their pile of money to the PAC12 and broke down who the real earners are versus the small time programs, you're naive. In the future I don't see big time programs willing to continue sharing with pretenders. In other words "Div 1" will be about 24-32 programs in the future, and Utah won't even be close to making THAT cutoff which will have little to do with research status and everything to do with money.

  • Pearl.94 Riverton, UT
    June 28, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    high school fan

    I am afraid you might be right. Dylan Cannon on KSL.com brought up some interesting points about how college football is becoming dangerously close to professional football.

    "However, the fact remains that taking deliberate and overt steps away from the game’s amateur status will simply turn it into a poor man’s NFL. While I’m no economist, all you have to do is look at the D-League for the NBA or minor league baseball to see how much interest there is in lower-tier sports."

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 28, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    It would seem that whether or not a school decides to subsidize its athletic programs is up to them. I don't see how it affects the decision to create a new division or not. I suspect that if BYU were included in the new proposed division they would not be questioning how other schools operate.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    June 28, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Just curious, how does anyone know that Bronco's school is operating in the black? I thought as a private institution they chose to not disclose financials to the public.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    Informative article but I doubt that the P5 is asking for input from anybody at byu.

    Uninvited criticisms and warnings are going to keep you uninvited.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    June 28, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    Why did we (taxpayers) complain when politicians who make hundreds of thousands get a 2% raise, but we have no problem shelling out millions for college coaches. This is our money that is going into their pockets.

    I won't comment on the splitting up of D1, but I completely agree with Bronco on fiscal responsibility. There is no reason why any D1 school shouldn't be able to operated in the black. Some restraint needs to be imposed to ensure athletic programs are self funding, just like budgets in business.

    If universities can't figure out a way to make athletic departments meet their expenses, we (taxpayers) should require that they be eliminated. I have no problem subsidizing education. I have a big gripe with subsidizing coaches who make 50-100X more than the average American.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 28, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    How to solve the problem. Starting with head coach salaries would be a good start.

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Chris B

    Using your logic, spending $2 million in order to make $1 million is a good long-term financial strategy. The only way that works in the real world is if you have the taxpayers to bail you out.

    Utah's football program will never be as valuable as USC, Stanford's, or Oregon's, no matter how much you win (assuming the Utes will ever win in the PAC).

    Bronco is right: College football, and higher education in general, are headed for a massive financial Day of Reckoning. As the costs of both continue to escalate well beyond inflation the bubble will eventually pop, leaving those schools who deficit spend to maintain their "Power 5" athletic programs in the same situation as those persons during the housing crisis who had negative equity in their homes.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    June 28, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    Chris B

    Utah should be at the top of the list of schools that need to get their athletics programs in the black, before worrying about splitting into a new division.

    Despite your false claim, the cash isn't "pouring in" to the U. In fact, the U has a $400 million backlog in deferred maintain. While the Utes are spending exorbitantly on leather couches for their new football practice facility, Utah's classroom buildings are crumbling.

  • OLB47HITMAN mckinney, TX
    June 28, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    We know one thing for sure. The powerhouse, Rose Bowl winning, NC contender, Bowl juggernaut Utah Uteys are the foundation of the PAC12 and College football.

    However, 2014 will bring a 4-8 record and KW will be fired. The Uteys are the Kansas of the Big 12, without a BB team. The Utes are nothing outside little little SLC.

  • Missouri loves BYU Lebanon, MO
    June 28, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    I like the idea of a performance criteria being established for seperating the schools. Graduation rates, Student academic perforance, fiscal responsibility, athletic achievement, facility management etc... could all be measured for a school to compete at the top tier. If you measure up, play with the top tier. If you don't measure up, be accountable and improve your school in order to play. It doesnt' make sense for states to have their hightest paid public employee be a football coach. when the state school is operating in the red.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    June 28, 2014 6:39 a.m.

    And when colleges become pro football teams then I will become even more of a Hugh school fan with junior college thrown into the mix. Without getting into the BYU Utah debate, this is not what college athletics is supposed to be.
    This could be the move that kills the golden goose.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    June 28, 2014 6:00 a.m.

    BYU football would make it a lot easier on itself if the team would just win games. We have no BCS bowl appearances or wins. We have failed to step up. We make our best case by winning. Period.

    As for Utah making tons of money...let's face it: with such a small stadium the only thing propping up Ute football is big donors and the state of Utah. You can't be in the black with only 40k some-odd seats in your stadium. Some high schools in Texas have more seats...

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 28, 2014 12:38 a.m.

    Overheard in the Big 12, I told you what it would be like working with BYU, said the TCU representative. Yes, but we couldn't, believe you - until now, said all the other representatives.

  • Lifelong Ute Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    I don't care how much money my program loses. I care about winning. Lets spend whatever we need to win. The rewards(including money) will follow the wins. And why is Bronco telling his superiors how to run their universities?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    It takes a lot of money to make a lot of money.

    The cash is pouring in and utah's revenues are going up by the millions. I fully support the investments Utah is making to build PAC 12 quality facilities.

    Bronco thinks his program is relevant because it doesn't spend the money necessary to have a big time program?

    Lol! Not how it works bronco

    Besides, we already have a plan for who is included in the new division I, the only division that will be relevant

    Power 5 = included
    Mid major = excluded

  • Dwimmerlaik Colorado Springs, CO
    June 27, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    @mjkkjk

    I'm guessing the Utes want to stick with the school color. It's all about the marketing after all. :)

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    June 27, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    The chances of college presidents adopting Bronco's advice on finances are about the same as the chances that college coaches will adopt his practice of referring to the "red zone" as the "blue zone".

  • mjkkjk Nowhere, 00
    June 27, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    Based on these first two comments, I think you can guess what color the Utes are operating in.

    Maybe you should scale back a bit on the PAC 12 signs. That should get you in the black pretty easily

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 27, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    I wonder if Bronco will take the next step and publicly identify which members of the Big-12 he deems as unworthy?

    It certainly is a novel marketing approach. Preach on, Brother Mendenhall!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 27, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    Sure, let's take Bronco's advice and split D1 into two halves. I'll give you three guesses which half BYU will be in.