The University of Utah is among the latest wave of schools to lend its support to BYU's bid to overturn an NCAA ruling that would allow championship games to be played on Sundays.
In the past two weeks, 22 more institutions have joined in the fight against the legislation, bringing the total to 54. The other local schools with NCAA membership - Southern Utah, Utah State and Weber State - have also jumped on the bandwagon.BYU and Campbell University, a small Baptist university in Buies Creek, N.C., are the only two NCAA Division I institutions that refrain from competing or practicing on Sunday. The NCAA governing body, consisting of a 15-member board of directors, decided to abolish the longstanding "BYU Rule" in April.
Since that time, BYU and Campbell have led an initiative to reinstate the 35-year-old policy.
Enough requests have already been filed to force an override vote in January. "This sends a strong message to the NCAA board," said BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins.
Should 100 schools request an override by July 6, the legislation will be suspended until the vote is held.
But a decision regarding Sunday play could come sooner than that. There's an outside chance the NCAA Board of Directors will decide to reinstate the "BYU Rule" when it meets in August.
The NCAA received Utah's override request June 4, according to Jenkins. President J. Bernard Machen said Wednesday that the university was more than willing to help out BYU in this cause.
"Our sister school contacted us saying they had reason for our support and it was ours to give," Machen told the Deseret News.
The 54 schools that are supporting BYU and Campbell in their initiative to overturn the Sunday Play ruling:
Austin Peay, Baylor, BYU, Cal-State Northridge, Campbell, Canisius, Centenary College of L.A., Central Florida, Charleston Southern, Cincinnati, Coppin State, Dayton, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Evansville, Florida A&M, Florida International, Georgia State, Hawaii, Idaho State, Jacksonville, James Madison, Kansas State, LaSalle, Loyola Marymount, Marquette, Mercer, Mississippi Valley State, Morehead State, Northeastern, Northwestern, Radford, Rice, St. Peter's College, San Francisco, Samford, Southern California, Southern Utah, Stanford, Stetson, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas Pan American, Troy State, Tulsa, Air Force, Navy, Utah, Utah State, Virginia Military Institute, Weber State, Western Illinois, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wyoming.