Comments about ‘Brad Rock: BYU should draw a line on arms race’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 7:00 p.m. MDT

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I'll put my dollars behind BYU if they continue to make a commitment to compete with the big boys....

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't know what Rock thinks is happening in major athletics. College football becoming indistinguishable from the NFL? How dense can you be? Adding some meals, slightly larger stipends, and more health insurance benefits now equates to 6 and 7-figure salaries and pension plans and year-round camps and negotiated contracts? Yeah, that's moving toward being nearly identical. This movement toward expanded benefits is much more about separating the haves from the have-nots than the P5 from everybody else. Yes, the two are largely the same, but not entirely. And BYU proves that there is some non-overlap between the two disparate distinctions.

The reality is BYU is financially viable in a way few athletic departments are. Twenty-two FBS athletic departments actually made money last year. That's less than half of all P5 schools. BYU was one of them. They're just fine and fully capable at this point in time of financing anything the rest of the P5 schools are. If that changes, maybe they should close up shop. But then again, maybe so should the other 40 P5 schools that can't operate in the black.

Nice perspective, Rock. I feel very enlightened

Salt Lake City, UT

Disappointing to see another article speak of "the arms race" as only affecting BYU football. BYU athletics are not independent. BYU's membership in the WCC conference affects football.

BYU would not be allowed to pay a stipend only to the football team. They'd have to provide benefits to all their athletes. Each conference decides what stipends will be paid. If the WCC decides they want stipend-free basketball, BYU will either have to leave the conference or agree not to pay stipends. No stipends for basketball? No stipend for football.

Salt Lake City, UT

As I've said before Brad, should BYU move forward and at the very least drop its football program, there could be some far reaching unintended consequences. These could range from UVU starting a program that in less than a decade could dwarf Utah State's (Boise State doing this to Idaho is a classic example). Still further NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made it known he wishes to increase the amount of non-Sunday media inventory in any future media deals with the networks, and given Salt Lake City's population and media market size now it is on the leagues expansion and relocation list in the group just after Los Angeles and Toronto (Portland, Salt Lake City, Sacramento & Orlando are now the biggest in North America without the NFL). But this could also hurt the BYU donor base hard, cheapen the student experience and even dilute the value of a BYU undergraduate degree without raising the value or enhancing the value for Utah State which is the motive if any of the powers that be for dropping the program.

Detroit, MI

I think there's a lot of room for creativity here. Perhaps BYU can customize their football & basketball player scholarship guarantees. I think these athletes are still forced to choose between playing & getting a truly worthwhile education. You just don't see athletes getting STEM degrees and I'm telling you, that's the reason why: mens football & basketball players who study too much are considered "uncommitted" to their program. Yes, you have the occasional freak like Jeff Hornacek or Kevin Lockett, but two out of thousands and thousands and thousands doesn't cut it.

Perhaps the school could reduce player coursework requirements to 9-12 hours per semester, cover the full cost of attendance through the years of eligibility, then cover tuition, books & fees for 2 or 3 years after their eligibility expires. That would allow them to both play and develop proficiency in a skill set they can build a career on. Maybe that's not the exact formula, but something like that, would be more appealing to many students (parents!) than getting their bling on for 4 years, then working as an assistant junior high school football coach for the rest of their lives.

Central, UT

Wether I agree or not, the future of college athletics is obvious. However, it appears that Mr. Rock and Mr. Harmon of the Desnews are oblivious. Are you really that supportive of BYU that you have become blind to the real implications of these changes? Do you really believe that the 'mid-majors' collectively contribute very much to the total revenue of the NCAA? Texas alone has a budget as large as the MWC schools. BYU can't compete, the church won't allow it. Accept it and move on. The train has left the station.

Provo, UT

College football has really changed the last 10 years and not for the better...it's all about $$$$$$. I miss the good ole' days when student athletes were just that....student athletes.

high school fan
Huntington, UT

Just because you can doesn't mean you should, sometimes you just have to say no. With college athletics potentially changing so much, it just might be worth it. I would hope all schools would remember exactly why they exist and to be good in sports should never be in the top five reasons.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

All these articles talk as if BYU acts in a vacuum and free of outside influences. What is the effect of Title IX on whatever course BYU decides. Also as SoonerUte says how does the WCC come into play? Sport writers seem to believe, or at least in their coverage, BYU really is independent of outside considerations.

Springville, UT

With the O'Bannon decision and a NCAA cap of $5000 per year above the scholarship for compensation and unionization I'm not sure where this is going. A huge headache for colleges I am sure.

I can see a very lop-sided field in the future. This will surely lead to antitrust litigation.

I think it could spell doom for many unprofitable athletic programs in the interim.

Greed is going to destroy amateur sports.

Clearfield, UT

It is hard situation because colleges exploit their athletes, in that they make boatloads of money and students don't really see much of that, on the other hand, you hate to see universities hiring athletes to represent them, kind of takes away the passion. I have found when I do something I love for money, I feel much less passionate about it. Conversely when I do it for the love of the activity itself not for payment, I am much more passionate about it. I would not feel comfortable with BYU paying its athletes, I want people to come to play for BYU for the right reasons, I didn't get paid to be a missionary getting paid would have made the work seem hollow.

Back Talk
Federal Way, WA

Football is becoming so "corporate" sponsored that it really is a semi pro leage. The Universitys are simply selling their names and loyal fan bases in order to benefit financially. I dont know what "long term" is anymore but I dont believe BYU will want to participate "long term" in an even more professional league. IT could be over much sooner than many people think.


Rock, I think you are right on the money. BYU may have to fold up shop in football. That would allow us to have a Rugby and soccer teams (NCAA). Sports are important but probably not worth the amount of emphasis that we place on them.

hi, UT

Sports idolatry--sign of the times. That's okay; it's fun.

I Bleed Blue
Las Vegas, NV

Pray tell. Why would the WCC care about how BYU treats it's football student athletes? They are independent in football.

West Jordan, Utah

This is getting old but it hasn't really begun yet. The 'Armageddon' of college football is yet to come. Only their will be no millennial rescue for collegiate sports (bad guys win). Burying my head in the sand won't make it go away but I don't know how many more articles like this I can read without going insane. It's obvious why we read one of these daily here locally but pretty soon markets everywhere will be constantly reading how irrelevant or even obsolete their programs/teams have become. Utah is also affected (not just BYU). As things play out, I don't see BYU dropping their program but I wouldn't be surprised either. Though the Utes are in the P5 circle, they could find themselves out of it, or unable to succeed inside of it. CF Landscape changes not only involves financial survival but economic viability and competitive possibility. The latter will effect many solid P5 programs across the country. Some schools (Alabama & Ohio State to name a few) have long been written in the football book of life and are going to succeed as the oppressors pets.


Ironically there have been so many comments from Utah and BYU fans over the last 2 days arguing over what team this impacts worse. This impacts both schools negatively. BYU will now either be forced to leave the WCC in all other sports in order to pay the football players more stipend money, or turn their football program into a second tier team by staying on level with the MWC, AAC in order to keep their sports in the WCC. On the other hand BYU fans are laughing at Utah for not having enough money to compete with the USC and Oregon's of the PAC (which they will not be able to, Oregon and USC have nearly an unlimited budget and there is no shame in not being able to compete with them financially). This is bad for college sports in Utah period. Do we dislike each other so much we just want to see the other program crumble a little quicker than our own? This isn't a Utah vs BYU argument, we both lose.

La Grange, TN

I'm sure BYU recognizes the importance of its sports Brand and will continue to do what ever is asked of it to keep it strong. This article refers to BYU facilities as if they need immediate improvements to keep up with the Jones. Who has a better Basketball facility? The athletic building is much better than 90% of those schools who even have one. The Baseball facility is great. Lets talk Soccer, La Cross, Rugby, Tennis and on and on. Plans are in the mix to build a training center for Basketball. Who has a better football Stadium in Utah? It has always been ranked in the top 25 college facilities in the country. I'm sorry, but I don't get this article. Sure things can always be better but that can be said about any school's facilities. Overall, I'd say BYU is among the best sports facilities in this country. No sad story here is necessary.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Money has ruined college sports.

B Barnard
Salt Lake City, UT

BYU is one of the few programs that are running in the black now, and when you add what BYU will make when it will join the Big 12 or another Power 5 conference, it will be fine. I think it can afford extra food, insurance and larger scholarships.

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