Western Athletic Conference commissioner Joe Kearney says he is not going to ignore BYU's complaints about anti-Mormon remarks allegedly made at a recent BYU-Wyoming basketball game in Laramie.
Kearney said Monday he plans to discuss BYU's complaints about the Wyoming game and other alleged incidents at other schools with WAC school representatives as early as Wednesday. Kearney at that time will hold his annual meeting with WAC athletic directors in Salt Lake City.Officials of the Provo school have complained to Kearney about abusive treatment of Cougars players by fans and players from other WAC teams.
Wyoming athletic director Paul Roach, who also is Wyoming's head football coach, called the complaints a "gross overreaction" and said some of the incidents actually were instigated by BYU players.
The only specific incident mentioned by BYU athletic director Glen Tuckett and school president Jeffrey Holland to Kearney occurred during the Wyoming-BYU game in Laramie on Feb. 23.
BYU guard Andy Toolson claimed that after he was knocked to the floor at one point of the game, Wyoming center Clauzell Williams leaned over him and said, "Get off the floor and quit crying, you . . . Mormon."
Tuckett also claims Wyoming fans shouted religious epithets at the BYU players throughout the game.
"I think what's happening is BYU is having some tough times with some of their teams, and they're a little oversensitive about any incident that might occur," said Roach. "I really think they're overblowing this."
"They've had some incidents with some teams, and there have been some things from their side which have caused the problems," said Roach. "Their linebacker, (Bob) Davis, was taunting our players two years ago in Provo even before the game started. Then he taunted me personally on the sideline.
"Then this year, there was the racial slur thing in San Diego. And there's been more of that than you've seen in the papers, too," Roach said. I saw (former UTEP coach) Bob Stull not too long ago, and he told me they (UTEP) had some problems like that when they played BYU," Roach said.