HENDERSON, Nev. — Media guides, those slick books with photos, statistics, profiles and college football histories that schools churn out every year may be a luxury of the past.
The economic crunch is taking it's toll as athletic directors are looking at ways to cut costs and Mountain West schools are following suit. Utah and BYU have put their media guides online. The MWC put the guides of all nine schools on a USB thumb drive and handed it out to reporters. Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin have stopped printing the booklets and the Pac-10 has none to be found.
"We'll still print football and basketball media guides," said BYU associate athletic director," Duff Tittle. "We have fans who still want to buy them.
But no question, the trend is to cut costs and do away with them."
A media guide for a minor or Olympic sport at BYU could cost $6,000 to produce. For all sports, it could be as high as $100,000. Some schools have spent as much as $250,000 to $300,00 for media guides.
The flashy publications have been used by schools to pitch recruits and many prospects find themselves with a stacks of dozens of guides while being courted by schools.
"We did a survey and found that many recruits don't even look at them," said Tittle. "More and more of that generation are reading online, or seeing videos on YouTube."
TCU's BCS ANGLE: Gary Patterson found himself quoted by Nebraska's president at a recent Judiciary Committee Hearing in Washington. Asked to explain his stance, the Frog coach explained: "I think there's two different topics. There is the money aspects of it and then there's defining a national champion. And for me, I think it just makes common sense to know that if there's 50 teams out there that are non-qualifying there's at least one team that's good that could get into those five or six ball games. And that's my point about it. I think we've proven throughout the four years that we've been doing this. Utah and Boise State have won BCS games. Hawaii didn't get it done. But we're 3-1 when they've given us opportunities to be a part of that game. And I don't see how they have to give that much away for the betterment of the game.
"If the true reason we went to the BCS was to find a national champion, then I think that you should take everybody involved. And that's not talking badly about anybody, that's not saying that we're better than anybody, that's not saying anything. I'm just saying that you can't say that out of the other 50-some football teams."
ROSES ARE RED: Representatives from the MWC's five bowl partners (Maaco, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico and Humanitarian) attended the meetings. So, too, did a couple of reps from the grand daddy of them all — the Rose Bowl. When asked by a reporter what they were doing at the meetings, one of the men said they just getting out to meet people.
URBAN WARFARE: Recent remarks by former Utah coach Urban Meyer and others — questioning whether the Utes could endure the rigors of SEC play week in and week out — prompted an unsolicited rebuttal from MWC commissioner Craig Thompson. He pointed out that as many as 80 percent of the teams in BCS conferences couldn't handle such a schedule, nor could they weather an MWC slate.
"You can use that argument either way," Thompson said.