Dick Harmon: BYU's broadcast issues boiling over

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  • Dave from Taylorsville
    Aug. 26, 2010 6:10 p.m.

    This article is old, but I still have to respond. . .

    TO: MTF at 7:33 a.m. Aug. 24, 2010

    He said,"I know from experience. LDS kids in Florida grow up Florida or FSU fans. LDS kids in Texas grow up.......... you get the point. "

    First of all, if this were true, there wouldn't be any recruits from other states.

    Second - I am from Florida. Bred and raised LDS from 1957. There are tons of BYU fans among the kids there. Where do you think a lot of them go to school? BYU. Their parents are BYU fans, they grow up as BYU fans. Go to a pick up football game at a chapel in Jacksonville on Thanksgiving day morning (a tradition), see how many BYU jerseys there are. Same in Orlando and Tampa. Lived there too. BYU fans galore.

    And even go back to the Tangerine Bowl in 1976. I was a junior at BYU, came back home and my Dad and I drove down from jacksonville. There were at least 3 to 4 times as many BYU fans as Oklahoma State fans. And by far MOST of them were from Florida.

  • DanielAZ
    Aug. 25, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    Great article! I should read here more often than Sports Illustrated or ESPN for my in depth sports coverage.

  • Harvester of Eyes
    Aug. 25, 2010 2:08 p.m.

    Simple Solution (not really)
    1. Mountain West simultaneously dissolves while all the "good" teams join the WAC thereby effectively cancelling the MTN contract. All the "good" teams need to exit in unison. Remember the TV contract is with the LEAGUE, not individual teams.
    2. WAC gets rid of the "chaff" and keep the wheat.
    3. "New WAC" is formed
    4. "New WAC" now can (eventually) qualify for AQ status IF they cull the weak teams and keep 10-12 from both MWC and "Old WAC"". At present, it's mathematically impossible to get the ratings high enough no matter how good TCU, BSU and BYU are

  • Harvester of Eyes
    Aug. 25, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Simple Solution (not really)
    1. Mountain West simultaneously dissolves while all the "good" teams join the WAC thereby effectively cancelling the MTN contract. All the "good" teams need to exit in unison. Remember the TV contract is with the LEAGUE, not individual teams.
    2. WAC gets rid of the "chaff" and keep the wheat.
    3. "New WAC" is formed
    4. "New WAC" now can (eventually) qualify for AQ status IF they cull the weak teams and keep 10-12 from both MWC and "Old WAC"". At present, it's mathematically impossible to get the ratings high enough no matter how good TCU, BSU and BYU are

  • Utah'95
    Aug. 25, 2010 11:05 a.m.


    Notice that I didn't say BYU didn't "have the right to pursue other options." I just asked a simple question - How many of you believe the exposure has been more positive than negative to date on this issue?

  • Cougars --Best Little Brothers
    Aug. 25, 2010 8:13 a.m.

    ...BYU, TCU, Utah, Air Force and, now, Boise State, have done their part to help make the MWC an AQ conference...

    Correction...Utah, TCU and BSU (when added in 2011) have done an excellent job in helping MWC to get AQ status...

    Air Force has done nothing.
    BYU...well we all know...

  • BYU84
    Aug. 25, 2010 6:58 a.m.


    Anytime a team leaves a conference there are going to be hurt feelings and jealousy.

    Frankly, the MWC and Craig Thompson have only themselves to blame.

    1. BYU has been complaining about the MWC television package for years, especially the restrictions on broadcasting athletic events that aren't even broadcast on any of the MWC outlets.

    --NOTHING has been done by the MWC to address the issues.

    2. BYU, TCU, Utah, Air Force and, now, Boise State, have done their part to help make the MWC an AQ conference, but the other schools have done NOTHING to help, which is why the MWC has zero chance of being an AQ league.

    --If the MWC isn't an AQ conference, has a lousy television packege, with limited coverage, and meager payout, why shouldn't BYU have the right to pursue other options?

  • Utah'95
    Aug. 25, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    Just for argument's sake - what about the other five WAC members?

    Like most of you, I have an affinity for Utah State athletics, but are you all suggesting that BYU go to lengths to protect Utah State, and just leave the other five members out in the cold?

    As a lifelong Mormon, I think I "get" what BYU is trying to accomplish where "exposure" is concerned. But after reading the conference realignment stories and the responses they have generated from numerous publications over the last week, how many of you believe the exposure has been more positive than negative to date on this issue?

    I wish I knew the right answer - more importantly, I wish the people who can make things happen knew the right answer. But all the options I've seen so far just don't seem right.

  • Buster
    Aug. 25, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    Counter Intelligence | 9:50 p.m.

    Sorry, not a friend of Big_Ben, just know him from the boards, and did want to make the statement that the guy is a stand up Ute fan, and even though we often disagree, he does not belong in the group mentioned, in my opinion...

    Uteology, if you are going to quote the FresnoBee, read the article.

    Uteology, don't you have PAC business to attend to, seeing that the Ute fanbase is blowing off this year to follow BYU sports...?

  • Uteology
    Aug. 25, 2010 12:38 a.m.

    Since some of you still don't het it the last post was not my words. The were from the source:

    Buyout clause works wonders for 'Dogs
    By Matt James - The Fresno Bee

    The picture cleared a bit Thursday, thanks in part to Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes (a Fresno State grad), who said in a letter to Aggies supporters that the buyout clause and five-year agreement was something Brigham Young wanted. It wanted reassurance of stability if it was going to join the WAC for all sports besides football.

    If the buyout was the stipulation for BYU leaving the Mountain West, then the buyout is why Fresno State is in the MWC right now. It was a domino that started the chain reaction that got the result.

  • SportsFan
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    Utah knew fully well that if the MWC lost the Utes, that the MWC would attempt to go back to the WAC. Utah didn't care how much it hurt the MWC or the WAC, because Utah was only concerned about themselves.

  • Crimson Club
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    Hedgehog, cease and desist, brother. It's comments like yours that give us Ute fans a bad reputation. I cringe every time you post.

    If Utah was still stuck in the MWC, we'd be applauding BYU for taking a stand against a TV deal we've all hated from the very beginning. We might even have had their back and joined them in the fight, no? I remember calling my Dish provider and begging for the mtn. Some guy in India on the other end of the line had no idea what I was talking about and I was thinking "what have they done??". Worse deal ever.

    I sincerely hope BYU comes out with a favorable scenario. From my point of view, I think option 3 (stay in the MWC and get TV rights) is the best because then poor USU might get salvaged from limbo.

    I have confidence that all will end well for BYU.

    I've been a critic of Harmon in the past, but this was actually a well thought out piece. Gotta give props to D Harmon for the good insights.

  • BluCoug
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:02 p.m.


    You can add the PAC 10 to your hateful list, when the utes go from the PAC to the WAC after being voted out by the PAC 10 presidents.

  • Mountainman56
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    3). I stand by my original statement that BYU has worked hard and prepared well and they will be making changes that will significantly enhance their athletic program and perhaps the entire landscape of college athletics. It's great to be a fan of an institution with this kind of foresight, commitment and capabilities!

  • Uteology
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:06 p.m.

    VST | 9:43 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010

    You stated, "So they [BYU] tried to play the MWC while still a member by requiring that WAC teams first to sign $5 million exit fees."

    Just what is your credible source of information that BYU was the instigator of this agreement within all WAC schools?


    Is Utah State University creatable for you?

    Things became a lot clearer last Thursday in a story by Matt James in the Fresno Bee.

    In his story, James said that Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes, who is a Fresno State graduate, said in a letter to Aggie supporters that the buyout clause and five-year agreement was something BYU wanted … that it wanted reassurance of stability if it was going to join the WAC for all sports besides football.

    BYU knew fully well that if it lost the Cougars that the MWC would attempt to go back to the WAC. In essence, it was covering its own base at the expense of the MWC.

  • Darth Vader
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:02 p.m.

    "Things are going according to plan," said the Emperor. MVC and MVC TV better come to the table, and fast! BYU is the big draw and everyone knows it.

    Then again, Independence will be the better choice long term. "This a new era and BYU is ready," said the Utah man.

    Good luck in paying the new mortgage MWC. Sorry Aggies, the WAC will recover and/or the MVC will come calling. Besides, you and a few new teams can share the $10,000,000 from Fresno St and Nevada. The lawyers need some work any way.

    The Big 12 and Big 10 can just trade logos.

  • Buster
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    Uteology | 6:22 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010
    "@Counter Intelligence | 4:12 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010
    BYU did nothing wrong - get over yourself


    If BYU went indey without all the backdoor deals then everything would be good. But BYU knew that if it left then the MWC would raid the WAC for a replacement.
    So they tried to "play" the MWC while still a member by requiring that WAC teams first to sign $5 million exit fees. Thus, making it difficult for MWC to find replacements teams from the WAC.
    So instead of screwing the 7 MWC teams they end up screwing USU.
    Now is that really Christ like?"

    So, you are looking for Christ-like in your college football?

    Let a team commit a penalty, and not accept the yards on the yellow flag, because it is better to forgive?

    Let them score while you turn the other cheek?

    The extent you Ute Fans go to tell BYU how to behave if really off the hook.

    Utah is goin' pac, but the hate, and looking to be offended never goes away. Even on behalf of USU.

    Weak, even for you Uteology.

    Just take yur anti-zoob meds...

  • Buster
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    hedgehog | 12:06 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010
    You like the rest of the tds are missing the point. BYU has ever right to look at other opportunities. What are disconcerting to most rational sports fans are the slimy actions at which BYU tried to achieve its goals."


    I'd like to hear you out.

    What were the slimy actions you talk about?

  • Buster
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:25 p.m.

    Ute Fans:

    Really, why do you even care?

    When you state that BYU can ruin a conference, how much power are you giving BYU credit for having. Can you name me another team in the country that could ruin a conference.

    Could Texas?
    Could Notre Dame?
    Could USC?

    And for the record, while Big_Ben is a Utah Fan, he is level headed and does not buy into BYU bashing.(Big_Ben | 4:38 p.m)

    I do disagree with him about the negative impact of the BYU program on missionary work and Austin Collie. I think that the people who were offended were for the most part looking to be offended. That is why Tebow and other athletes get a pass. The rest of the argument is splitting hairs, from my point of view.

    But Ben has always stepped up to the plate when the bashers have gotten out of hand. He's someone I would love to watch the last BYU-Utah game with (Truth be told, I always watch the game with fans from both schools, and he reminds me of true class fans of the school).

    Too many idiots out there without having to shoot at Ben...

  • moodyblue77
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    The Utes may very well be the last non-BCS team to make it into a BCS conference.

    There are only a handful of schools that could make any claim to an invitation, but the BCS has always been about exclusion.

    The only chance BYU has is through ESPN. But ESPN made BYU's reputation before. So there is a slight glimmer of hope, but not much.

  • AZ Dave
    Aug. 24, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    Delusional and Arrogance, kind of sums it up for BYU and their fans

  • buzman
    Aug. 24, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    Thank you so much for clearly defining hedgehog! I have been trying to put my finger on it every time I read one of his totally entertaining submissions. Gomer it is!

  • Jimmy James
    Aug. 24, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    @Tarheel Ute:

    You're right. What's happened for Utah is not even close to being in the same league as what Jackie Robinson did. However, I do think the example used still gets my point across, we just happen to have different points of view.

  • Big_Ben
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    @ Counter Intelligence

    can you direct me to the post where I did something so wrong that I got lumped in with those winners? When have I ever been critical of anything in the BYU athletic program? ? I have the utmost respect for the BYU athletic program and try to offer a fair opinion.

    True, I tend to argue over silly things and tease the fans, but not the program.

  • Troll Hunter
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    It seems that there are alot of misinformed BYU haters (Trolls of course). The MWC or the WAC are not in the driver's seat here! It is BYU, PERIOD!


    1. A nationally recognized winning Football program. Weather you like it or not Trolls, They are .

    2.Since the MWC was formed, BYU athletics have won 60% of all conference championships in all sports (men or women).

    3. State of the Art athletic facilities.

    4. FAN BASE, Travel well and great TV ratings nationally and locally (fact).

    5. #1 Money Maker for a conference, either MWC or WAC.

    Bottom line, BYU is in the Driver's Seat, these conferences need BYU and want BYU. That's why these moves are happening, and there is nothing underhanded about what BYU is doing, it is perfectly legit for them to ponder about going independent. BYU has out-grown the MWC, it's time to move on and because of the religious bigotry against the LDS Faith there is no chance of them being invited to a larger Athletic Conference, they will have to go it alone.

  • Big_Ben
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    @ SoCal28

    I also don't want to get sidetracked. But I have to say this. Collie (and his supporters) playing the victim card is silly. Please find me someone whose comments indicated that God had favored them over their opponent because of some righteousness.

    I see what he was trying to say, but he chose his words poorly. When he was asked about it, he should have owned it, sincerely apologized and we would have moved on. Instead he played the victim and stood by it.

    Now, back to the topic at hand.......

  • donburi
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:10 p.m.

    Usually when business crashes and burns, somebody has to be the fall guy. The mtn. TV plan never worked out like it should have. Isn't Thompson ultimately responsible? He is the reason the MWC is in this position. His lack of vision and action over the years have left the MWC in a huge hole that will be difficult to crawl out of. Time for a new commish.

    It shouldn't be a surprise that BYU wants out. What should be a surprise is that they didn't try to get out earlier. At least they have been trying to improve it. It's also a surprise that the other MWC teams haven't been making more noise about the mtn.

  • SoCal28
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    Great article! Can't wait to see how this all turns out!

  • SoCal28
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    RE: Big Ben @ 213p

    A little off topic but just had to comment to Big Ben...

    FYI: Austin Collie's comments were clarified... when you are doing right things on and off the field, great things have the potential to happen.

    Listening to the NFL Hall of Fame speeches this year and the religious references was not a problem, but Austin Collie makes one comment with a religious reference and everyone in Utah goes CRAZY!

    Tim Tebow references God and all his help and not one person says anything.

    Loved seeing Collie go to the Super Bowl this past year and being considered for NFL Rookie of the Year. "Magic does happen"!

  • Duh
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    It is funny to see Ute fans posting about the arogance of BYU football who, according to Utah has done nothing in football. Well, lets see if Utah can actually back up their success in the MWC by going in and dominating the PAC-10. Not the same conference week in and week out. Anyone want to put a bet on how long it will take Utah to get back to a BCS game. Oh yeah, they might do it this year....maybe. Yep, Boise State has been very smart, use the WAC, beat up all the patsies and then, keep it going by beating those one or two teams every year required to make their program successful. Sure BYU just can't win that one game to get over the hump........I guess my thought is, how come more people acknowledge BYU than Utah? And don't give me the bull about a PAC-10 invite. BYU religion would never allow it and who was the last choice because better teams didn't want it? Go ahead, feel good about being second best, we do all the time, us arrogant fans.

  • Veracity
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:39 p.m.

    Hedgehog...you really make me laugh...you play a role equal to that of Gomer Pyle on TV...silly and naive...but cute with dimples...please don't stop, you make my day with your juvenile quimps!

  • Rational
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    "fballfan | 1:38 p.m. Aug. 24, 2010
    I think 51 million viewers is a big stretch and thinking that most Mormons will watch their games is crazy. The only way BYU gets the viewership they are expecting is if the fans rooting against BYU watch


    Apparently you don't get it. The other teams' fans is EXACTLY who BYU wants watching. The point is exposure to NEW people, POTENTIAL converts. They can reach members at church and general conference.

    As Dick said, it is also who ESPN wants watching.

  • Ravenal
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:18 p.m.

    So as a big Cougar fan, I was looking for a Ute article I could troll on but all I found was a training camp update with only 20 or so comments while there are 6-7 BYU articles in the most commented list.

  • Ravenal
    Aug. 24, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    "Ummmm we're talking about FOOTBALL here chump!!! If you want to talk about "unemployment" and "Obama" please post on a political page. There's no comparison to your silly statement!!! "

    Typical. Give a hater an argument that negates them and they scream "that's different."

    Last time I checked integrity is integrity. If you don't have it in all your dealings, then you have none at all. Wouldn't expect Live hard to understand that though.

  • La Tortuga
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    As a Ute fan fascinated with this MWC / WAC fiasco, let me say that this was the first Harmon article that I think I've completely agreed with. Harmon is absolutely correct in his ranking of BYUs options and in his statement, "That third step, the average ranking of league teams, is specifically designed by the BCS to keep AQ status from ever happening." Waiting for the powers that be to share their money with you is a lost cause.

  • Tommy2Shoes
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:29 p.m.

    Hope BYU goes independent and we faithful fans can see a brighter day for BYU Football. I was checking schedules for potential games and a independent schedule would go something like this:

    Sept games Utah (Pac12), Texas (Big 12), Florida St (ACC), Penn St (Big 10)

    Oct games Utah St (Wac), Vanderbilt (SEC), UConn (Big East), Tulsa (Conf Usa)

    Nov games Army, Navy, Notre Dame, bye week

    Dec game Hawaii (Wac)

    Substitute any other institution within the referenced conferences and you have the makings a truly BCS worthy schedule. You just have to win and they'll come knocking. The MWC starts to become irrelevant to Cougars and most other knowledgeable fans. I think I'll send me a contribution to the Cougar Club and book my season tickets for 2011 and beyond. I will definitely not miss Vegas.

  • skywalker
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:26 p.m.


    typical brainless comments from the BYU haters

    BYU was completely honorable in all of their dealings. BYU has voiced their concerns to the MWC about the horrible MWC television deal for years. When they'd finally had enough, the Cougars began looking for other options.

    BYU was completely free to leave the MWC whenever they wanted to, as long as they gave timely notice.

    The WAC offered an opportunity for BYU to fulfill its desire for greater exposure, while creating greater opportunities for exposure and financial rewards for the WAC schools as well.

    There's nothing wrong with negotiating a deal in secret. There's nothing wrong with asking for monetary assurance from a partner in a business deal. Sometimes it's called collateral. You always have the option of backing out of a deal, even after you've signed a contract, but, in doing so, you forfeit the collateral, in FSU/UNR's case, $5 million.

    Our juvenile friends up on the hill know this, but their hatred of BYU knows no bounds, which makes it impossible for them to see how hypocrital and naive all of their whiny, finger-pointing complaints really are.

  • Cougars --Best Little Brothers
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    @Solomon Levi
    ..."2. Ignore the problem, like they have for years, and wait for the inevitable departure of BYU..."

    We've been waiting...but BYU has not been able to leave.
    Who is BYU going to play with?
    UT-San Antonio? Cal Poly St Louis Obispo?
    Bo Diddley Tech?

  • Big_Ben
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    @ williary

    great take. I agree 100%.

    As far as this whole thing goes, I have to weigh in. BYU football is not spreading the good message of the church. If they did, they would have been more embarassed by the antics of Hall and Collie, as well as the aloof nature of Bronco. BYU football is a big business. Tons of fans. But not a "missionary tool" If thats their goal, they are failing miserably.

    I went to a Bronco fireside, it was a joke. He made it sound like anyone who turns down his program will fail in the church.

  • Captain L
    Aug. 24, 2010 2:09 p.m.

    RE fballfan: What is it that you are embarrassed by? BYU hasn't done anything dishonest, they haven't coerced anyone. To arrange things with the WAC was not wrong, dishonest or deceiving. Any smart organization would do the same thing BYU did. You don't consider going independent without checking all the possibilities.
    Don't say they are dishonest or deceitful etc without proof. None of you know what conversations and communications have taken place.

  • Utahute72
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:57 p.m.

    Great Journalism? Since when is supposition, fantasy and guesswork great journalism. I suppose that's what passes for a quality journalistic education at BYU, but not anywhere else in the world.

  • bigutefan
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:49 p.m.

    I just love Harmon when his biased opinion shines. He writes this with the point of view that ONLY the Yners were smart enough to read the fine print. Yes, ONLY the Yners are smart Dick. Again, the pompous attitude of the Yner nation shining it's light. I am all for improving your situation, I wish you were coming to the Pac-12, but you deserve the insults. You destroyed a conference with your inability to make a decision. You ripped the Aggies off with your illegal recruiting of Riley Nelson, and again, ripped them off from having a league to play in. But.....you are the SMARTEST for reading the fine print. Congrats....read this fine print.....BYU and BCS......NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

  • Blue Chelan56
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:48 p.m.

    HB Arnett,the Editor and writer of the Cougar Sportsline, a weekly publication to his members, wrote an exact article this last weekend. It is as insightful, if not more so, than that presented by Dick H., in his article today. You didn't happen to read HB's article prior to writing your's Dick,did you ? just asking.Could have been a "Coincidence" but both are right on target. Maybe you both have the same sourse for your points of information!

  • cougsrock
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:47 p.m.

    Hedgehog "Keep them kicked out" What does a Ute fan care? As I recall the Ute's have already punched their ticket out of town. My goodness, BYU haters are very hard to uderstand. Fueled by hate and nothing else.

  • Just Truth
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    @ Live Hard

    You must think that honesty means you should tell your employer whenever you are looking into changing jobs and report back how well your interviews with other companies are going.

  • fballfan
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    Stan Funky is right. It's not bad that BYU wants out, it's how they went about it. As a Mormon I am hugely embarassed by it. They should have just been upfront and then tried to work their deal. Instead they tried to set themselves up well and coerce schools into signing agreements they didn't want. In the end they got exposed and it looks bad to all the unmyopic BYU fans which is most of the world. I think 51 million viewers is a big stretch and thinking that most Mormons will watch their games is crazy. The only way BYU gets the viewership they are expecting is if the fans rooting against BYU watch in anticipation of a BYU loss. Myself, I try to watch BYU games when I can, but rooting for them now is going to be a lot harder than it use to be.

  • Captain L
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    Re LiveHard & Hedgehog: Both of you are ridiculous and a joke!!! Almost everything you guys say is a lie, look in the mirror.
    BYU hasn't done anything dishonest and for you to say they have just shows your character,(and it's not good).
    Bring forth the facts, not just your whining, hatred biases.
    You guys are like Obama, you can't believe a thing that comes out of your mouth.
    Neither of you read or listen to a thing many of the poster have pointed out. You just keep spewing the same hatred and jealousy.
    By your logic Utah should not have been able to leave the Mtn and go to the PAC 10/12, and by doing so they are dishonest, lying, hypocrites. They are not and BYU is not doing anything dishonest or wrong.
    Are you guys so full of hate for BYU & the LDS people that you can't see straight. It sure seems that way.

  • panamadesnews
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    Hedgehog: For you to be fair, you should be on the BIG 12 newspapers' sites, suggesting the Big 12 do the same with TX, all teams equal with TX not having separate TV rights. I haven't checked any of those sites, but bet you haven't done that. You are only interested that BYU not having TV rights because of you bigotedness and hate for all things BYU (LDS Church too, perhaps?). Your blocgs show you to be the bigot that you are. Someday you will regret messing with the Lord's church and university, mark my words!

  • sgrox
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    Wait, what? They play football in Utah?

  • Tarheel Ute
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    @ Jimmy James

    I agree that Utes were deserving of the opportunity to join the PAC10/12. However, I do not believe your comparison necessarily makes your point. It us a bit of a reach to equate Utah’s jump from the MWC with Robinsons jump from the Negro league. Utah’s decision is not historic, is not particularly courageous, and I would not bank on it opening the doors you suggest — certainly not in comparison to Robinson’s.

    Utah may do very well in the PAC12, but in the bigger picture, it will only exacerbate the unfairness of the BCS — which is my point. If Utah were to win the PAC12, it serves only the interest of Utah — which I were a ardent Ute homer rather than a reasonable Ute fan — I should be quite happy — but I reiterate I take no pleasure at being one of “haves” rather the one of the “have-nots”.

    Utah was well on the way to establishing itself as a CFB power, and recent MWC and WAC successes were clearly making a the case for AQ and/or the need for a CFB tournament — a win for Utah in either case.

  • John20000
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    The mission of BYU athletics follows the mission of the university, which follows the mission of the LDS church. Money, exposure, BCS, etc. all of it has to be positioned within the mission of the university and the LDS church. BYU will never be a Texas or Notre Dame or frankly any other. If you don't understand the culture at BYU, you won't understand the decisions they make, especially if you are judging from a perspective like the BCS.

    Those that call going independent arrogant are correct from the perspective of their school's culture. At BYU, independence may mean less important things to those not from BYU and more important to BYU like controlling decisions related to sponsors, for example.

    Let me give you a hypothetical. Do you think BYU wants beer sponsorship money? This is not 'holier than thou' talk for all those out there saying money is money no matter where it comes from. It is sponsorship conflict. The LDS church sponsors BYU athletics. The LDS church and the BYU honor code prohibit beer drinking. Why would BYU ever take money from both the LDS church and beer manufacturers? That's hypocritical.

  • williary
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    Nobody wants to play with BYU, do BYU fans not understand this. It's been made pretty clear, by multiple parties.

    1)Pac-10. No thanks, no consideration, not even the 20th option on the table.

    2)Big 12. No thanks. We'll stay with 10 teams for now and not force the non-Texas' to give even more money from the pot to two more schools.

    3)WAC. I guess here are at least a few "yes" votes. Fresno/Nevada, no thanks. We'll go to the MWC, where BYU is supposed to be exiting from.

    4)MWC. Sure, but we're not handing over the keys to the house like BYU wants. If that was an option, would have already taken place. Stay if you like, but until you can prove you're more influential than Utah/TCU/Boise, why cave to your demands? Or leave, and play in the WAC/now even worse conference full of JV programs. You're choice.

    That about covers it doesn't it?

  • duckhouse
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:07 p.m.

    Thanks Harmon for your insight. BYU should bolt or get the MWC to agree in writing to let them carry their own TV er - games on ESPN independent of the MWC. BYU and Utah have held this league together for long enough it is time that the two schools get more exposure from better deals than the NTN.......Thompson is a looser from day one. Go Cougs and Utes.

  • old guard
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:02 p.m.

    Why are so many people's memories so short? If the MWC has such done such a great job negotiating TV contracts why can't you tune in and watch your team play? I applaude BYU and Utah for leaving this Micky Mouse Conference. Craig Thompson has done an excellent job of re-distributing income. Obama would be proud of him. Look for him to have a cabinet position.
    Great Article Harmon! Well done!

  • entropy
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    Arrogance? Deceit? Backstabbing? Selfish? Dishonest? Cheaters? Delusional? Dreamers?
    Who are we talking about? Fresno, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Commish Thompson, MWC Presidents? Hey Ute fan how is that pac 10 pseudo membership going? Oh wait they didn't tell you? You aren't a full member for like 5-6 years. Oh they didn't tell you one of your requirements is double your sport donations. Hmm and a few other things before you slide up to the gravy train table. I'll bet they can drop you if you don't comply. Oh wait there is more MWC TV contract can be terminated if BYU and Utah aren't part of mwc....wait Utah isn't and they haven't pulled out. mwc sitting idle, but wait word is BYU is leaving, Thompson freaks, lies, cheats, adds Fresno and Nevada and tries to get USU. Utah is still our little sister and everyone knows it except you del"U"sionals. BYU drives the bus and all you haters can just hold on tight!

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:47 p.m.

    "Utah State deserves kudos for honoring their signed agreement to remain in the WAC for the next five years,"


    The “agreement” allows a member to stay or leave….. If they choose to leave they pay a monetary penalty.

    Exactly the same "stay or leave" scenario that BYU has with the MWC …. Except no monetary penalty.

    Can I assume by your logic that BYU is not honorable?

    Do you not understand this?

  • Uteology
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    @treecaps22|7:25 a.m. Aug. 24, 2010

    Again in this article I read all about BYU concerns nothing about the other MWC programs.

    The 20 articles you talk about were they before or after Utah got the invite. I can't recall a single article prior to June 2010 that talked about how bad It was for BYU to play in the MWC and that it should go indey by joining a weaker conference. I was actually joking when I said if BYU wants to make the BCS they should go back and dminate the WAC again ancestry BSU is gone.

    Hey I have always said BYU is a good fit in the Big 12, that's good for the rivalry plus BYU and TCU have proved they good programs for the next level.

    Even going indey is good but I don't think BYU should or will get the Notre Dame exception nor I don't see how thier SOS will improve by playing 6 WAC leftovers.

  • junkie
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Hey Mountains101- Have you heard something we all haven't? As far as I know BYU has said nothing. Since all of your facts are based off speculation, well the new speculation is that its the MWC thats trying to "Keep" BYU in the conference, not BYU trying to get concessions.

    Part of what the MWC has to do to keep BYU in the conference is offer concessions. But of course BYU's immaculate silence only allows us to listen to unnammed sources and rumors. But it sounds as if you and other fellow BYU Haters heard something we haven't, please enlighten us.

  • SportsFan
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    Live Hard

    "Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
    I will not endure."

    See mirror.


    It's so hilarious watching all of the Utah fans trying to shame BYU into doing something that is not in BYU's best interest.

    The truth is, Utah fans are scared to death that BYU might actually put together a situation that will trump Utah's move to the PAC 10, otherwise they wouldn't be spending so much time trying to talk BYU out of going independent.

    Methinks, thou dost protest too much, Utah fans!

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:23 p.m.


    Seems as if a hit a nerve…ouch. It seems to me if tds remains pompous and attempts to go independent the need for the Utah (conference of champions) game becomes paramount. Name on other example of a BCS program committing to play the kewgs year in and year out??

    Crickets crickets.

    I would love nothing more than to have the Utes play hardball with tds.

    I have my feet up on my desk smoking a cigar….. yes, life is good for the Utes!

  • Solomon the Wise
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    Great article Dick.

    Maybe it will help educate a few folks who are honestly confused with why BYU is doing what they're doing.


    Big R

    "Funny how if Texas or USC does something Dick Harmon is the first to call names and cry for equality, but if BYU does it then it is okay and I'm a BYU alum and fan."

    Can you give an example, or are you just throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks?

  • SoCalUtahFan
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    from DH...BYU's best-case scenario is for the Big 12 to expand and call the Cougars...

    It will not happen.

    from DH...ESPN has the ability to walk into the BCS boardroom, open a brief case and change the climate instantly. Same with bowl games and schedules...

    So unable to get into BCS bowl games on its own ability, BYU is working on a "relationship" with ESPN to get into BCS bowl game. Hmmmmm...interesting theory.

    from DH...The third-best situation, in my opinion, is for a "concession-giving" MWC...

    And this is because...BYU is so special? More than TCU, BSU, and the rest of the league?

    from DH...That sounds unfair, some call it arrogant...

    You're right, there!!!

    from DH...On their own the MWC, WAC and CUSA can never reach BCS AQ status...

    For a team who has never qualified for a BCS bowl game, BYU seems to think it has the "authority" to dictate the BCS AQ status? It surely sounds arrogant to me.

  • MenaceToSociety
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:16 p.m.

    This is a horrible TV deal, for sure. Utah losing the ability to broadcast games on KJZZ was ridiculous. I'm sure Cougie fans would say the same thing about losing the KSL games.

    With that said, wasn't BYU grad Dave Checketts in the middle of the creation of this TV deal, along with the Presidents of BYU and the University of Utah? I know it's easy to blame all this on Craig Thompson (especially after he outsmarted BYU and invited Reno and Fresneck), but Checketts and the school Presidents have got to own their own actions.

    Aug. 24, 2010 12:08 p.m.

    sansfunky; what you don't understand is that when utah pulled out that voided the contract. BYU was not happy with the strangle hold comcast had on them so the decided to check their options. ESPN want BYU in a big way (football and basketball)and will let BYU have control of anything ESPN doesn't broadcast.
    In recent research their were 20 mill. TV outside of North America tuning into BYU broadcast. (Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, ect)Not all of them are LDS but they want more. but Comcast would not even let BYU send out a softball game or track meet a day after or even a week after.

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:06 p.m.


    You like the rest of the tds are missing the point. BYU has ever right to look at other opportunities. What are disconcerting to most rational sports fans are the slimy actions at which BYU tried to achieve its goals. Honestly, a religious school like tds is acting more like a dirty SEC school.

    BYU cannot be trusted — and won’t be trusted by any WAC or MWC program. I’m glad tds wants independence…. because from this day forward, they are an island.

  • junkie
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    to MTF: Though not "LDS" kids are BYU fans that don't live in the Utah area, you are very far from right with your point. Born and raised in New Jersey/NYC, lived in Maryland, and now back to the great state of New Jersey. Everywhere I've lived and have known "LDS" people, they are all BYU fans or Bi-fans "Pittsburg/BYU" fans "Maryland/BYU" fans. And the majority of them follow BYU. Im not Mormon but am a BYU fan, but all of my friends who are BYU Mormon all went to BYU or wanted to, and so did the majority of those in their youth groups.

    We can all say that not all Mormons are BYU fans, and thats fair. But to discount the following outside of Utah is only blindness and nieve. I would sleep well stating that "ALL" Mormons I know "which is a lot" follow BYU sports regarless if they are diehard fans or not.

    The fact of the matter, and underlying point is this. BYU and its church isn't Notre Dame, but they have a huge following all over the country, and they want to reach out to all!

  • defibman
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:06 p.m.

    Hey Hedgehog, I am saving all your comments just so I can remind you what you said and let you choke on your crow. It will show you just how pathetic your comments are and how little you thought them out. You really will turn into a hedgehog then and we will probably never hear from you again (Something I will be looking forward to). Oh, that's right, you will still be the jealous Ute fan who will be following BYU articles your whole life and will never even know what your own team is doing.

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:03 p.m.

    What I like is the huge exposure this is giving us.
    All the news outlets are talking about byu and that's always good.
    We have like 14,000,000 fans everywhere and are TV is on 60,000,000 people's tvs.
    Everyone will want to play us so scheduling won't be a problem at all.
    I think Fresno and Nevada are being jerks about it though.

  • liv4cougs
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    A lot of people think its arrogant, and I can see that I guess. If Wyoming stood up, demanded more money or they're leaving, I'd think they're arrogant. Im sure some people know as much about BYU as we know about Wyo. But everyone can see what BYU's flexing, or bluffing, whatever you want to call it, is doing to two decent, traditional conferences (WAC has been the WAC for 30 yrs, MWC has had 3 BCS busters). These aren't conferences with nothing to lose. If BYU wasn't important, to at least this part of the country, then why would there be guerrilla warfare in the WAC/MWC streets?

  • North Salt Lake
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Well done Dick Harmon. At the time the TV deal was done several years ago I wondered what in the world Craig Thompson and the MWC universities were thinking. Thank you BYU for standing up and highlighting the nonsence of it all.

  • Big R
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:55 a.m.

    Funny how if Texas or USC does something Dick Harmon is the first to call names and cry for equality, but if BYU does it then it is okay and I'm a BYU alum and fan.

  • Whoa Nellie
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    Great article as always, Dick.

    Gosh, perhaps I should have used funkystan's logic and moralistic thought process when I refinanced my house the last time. However, I did it because interest rates dropped and it was to my financial advantage, not to mention it was allowed and even encouraged by my lender. I'm just guessing here that funkystan would never refinance a home mortgage "contract" because that just wouldn't be honorable. Just another guess is that he isn't a homeowner because his logic on this whole topic would indicate he is not smart enough to earn enough money that would qualify him for a mortgage.

  • Ibleedcrimson
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:49 a.m.


    USC and Oregon will Not be Sharing Equally with Utah, Washington State either.

    Care to share your sources? Last time I checked, the only deal any teams has at this point without all teams realized an equal share is the Big 12 and Texas.

  • blauch
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    BREAKING NEWS - The Mountain West Conference has a clause in their contract that if a Team wants to leave they have till Sept 1 to notify the Conference that they are leaving. There is no penalty to leave.

    BYU might be leaving. There is nothing dishonest with that. There is nothing hypocritical with that. Trying to secure a conference for their other sports is not dishonest.

    They can leave the MWC (who has the most inept commissioner on the planet.) and go independent if they want. Any fan, reporter (Wyoming, Denver, etc) whose says otherwise is ignorant.

  • dallascoug
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:38 a.m.

    byu and utah have been playing against eachother since 1896 , you think that either team will want to stop? utah fans are probably embaressed by the things you write

  • foxtrotter
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:14 a.m.

    @Live Hard

    Tell me which lie and which deceit.....then, define deceit.

  • scott
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    Live Hard

    How was BYU not being honest with the MWC?

    BYU has tried in vain for years to get the MWC to address fundamental flaws in the MWC's lame television contract. The MWC has only themselves to blame for BYU finally losing patience with the MWC's own inaction.

  • Captain L
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:09 a.m.

    Live Hard: You are a joke!! There is nothing dishonest with what BYU has been doing. Get the facts straight.
    You are such a BYU hater, it comes out in almost everything you say in your posts. What is your problem?

  • kevin4byu
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    Live Hard,
    Where is the lies and deceit? they have been upfront with the media and the MWC for years by telling them that they have been looking at other options, including independence. They are not breaking the contract by leaving as they would be giving them the specified time in the contract. There is no clause that says a team (any team) can't look at other options or talk with other conferences. It is comparible to someone working out job details with a possible employer before quiting your current job. It isn't dishonest, it is good sense. Stop using your hatred of BYU as an excuse to twist the situation so you can bash on the LDS church and those that support BYU.

  • Independent
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:03 a.m.

    I don't see how BYU was being dishonest or deceitful.

  • yarrlydarb
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    To Snuff:

    As if you knew anything! How old are you, 25? Dick's been writing longer than you've been living. If he were as you accuse, he'd have been out of the business years ago.

    Fact is, everybody's guessing, and nobody knows anything for sure. Best thing to do; watch and see what happens.

  • royalblue
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    Fact: The MWC has a September 1st deadline to notify the MWC of any plans to leave the conference.

    Proof: that the MWC antipated teams leaving the conference.

    It's laughable that pathetic BYU haters are accusing BYU of doing something shady or underhanded simply because BYU discussed a deal with the WAC to leave the MWC.

    Their arguments are just indicative of how juvenile they really are.

  • Old Gregg
    Aug. 24, 2010 11:00 a.m.

    @ Live Hard,

    When was the last time you were in primary?

  • Jimmy James
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    @Tarheel Ute: I disagree completely.

    By your logic, Jackie Robinson should have stayed in the Negro Leagues until everyone (regardless of race) was able to play Major League Baseball. Thankfully Jackie Robinson didn't do that and by taking the opportunity to play with the so called "big boys" of the time, he showed everyone that race shouldn't matter when it comes to baseball.

    Now the Utes have the opportunity to do the same for Mid-Major teams. Everybody thinks that "mid-majors" don't belong and can't compete playing tough teams week-in and week-out. But I don't believe that and I don't think that Utah does either.

    If Utah does well in the Pac-10, they will yet again open the doors for all the other mid-major teams because if our "mid-major" team can succeed at the highest level, why can't others?

    You don't prove the "big boys" wrong by staying home and pouting about how it's not fair. You prove them wrong by beating them at their own game.

    GO UTES!

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:39 a.m.

    If BYU does this trainwreck independence thing they will in essence become even more reliant of the Utes (big Brother). For some reason, the tds assumes the utes will play them every year — as seen in the fake 2011 schedule.

    The Utes now have unlimited leverage over the tds in dictating the terms of any future meeting.

    Hey tds, get on your knees and beg for it.


  • Solomon Levi
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:36 a.m.


    "BYU sticks to the contract they SIGNED and AGREED to, keeping their word and integrity, representing themselves as an honest, forthright organization of the LDS Church."

    The only thing BYU signed and agreed to was to abide by the contract "AS LONG" as BYU was a member of the MWC.

    BYU has two choices to change the current situation:

    1. Leave the MWC, which will automatically free BYU from the contract

    2. Seek to have the contract modified to reflect the changing landscape of college football television contracts

    The MWC has two options:

    1. Work with BYU to get the contract changed

    2. Ignore the problem, like they have for years, and wait for the inevitable departure of BYU

    If the MWC thinks they'll be able to negotiate a better television contract without BYU in the conference, they're only fooling themselves.

    Choose between a smaller portion of a bigger pie, or choose an equal portion of a smaller pie.

    BYU's main concern, EXPOSURE, has been ignored for far too long by the MWC.

  • Just Truth
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:31 a.m.

    Great article! Dead on! BYU has upside that no one else in the non-BCS leagues have. You either work with them to your advantage or get cut loose for the dead weight that you are to them. Arrogant? No! That's Reality!

  • sammyg
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:17 a.m.

    Good article and the time has come for BYU to do something about the horrible TV deal. Going independent or building something from the ashes of the WAC, MWC and other schools is the ticket.

  • AZguy
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:16 a.m.

    Tar heel Ute-
    Well said and well respected. I also would have like to see the U wagon hitched in the MWC. Had the U/BSU/TCU/Hawaii like success continued, it could have spelled the end of the BCS. But have no issues with the U going to the PAC. Well planned and deserved.

  • Snuff
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:11 a.m.

    As Dick state's at the beginning of the article, this is his opinion. This isn't journalism. Dick's trying to rewrite history to put a better spin on BYU's recent actions.

    From all other reports BYU was instrumental in drawing up the MWC TV contract. It's hard to believe major concessions were made that weren't put in writing and that all of the MWC admins were asleep the whole time.

    I'd like to see a real article that tells us what's in the TV contract and the actual history of it. Not just Dick's opinion.

  • Katoonka
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    Another great article Dick.

    You and Greg Wrubell are providing the best insights into what's going on with BYU sports.

  • patriot
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:06 a.m.

    It seems the era of BYU football and the national spot light may be coming to an end. I don't see any thing out there for the Y - no Pac 10, no Big 12 and probably no independence. The Y will probably just stay in the MWC and fade into the sunset. Goodbye to a great era.

  • Jealous U
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    All of U whiny, jealous BYU-obsesed haters can just get lost.

    You moved on. Remember?

    BYU and the MWC and the WAC and non-AQ discussions are not your concern and we certainly don't need your inane, hating comments soiling these blogs.

    Go find a nice blog about Utah football to discuss and stop proving that no matter how successful Utah is, some of U fans will ALWAYS be BYU's little brothers.

  • Ravenal
    Aug. 24, 2010 10:01 a.m.

    Excellent article Mr. Harmon. I appreciated the part explaining why the MWC is NEVER going to get an AQ bid. I see and hear so many comments about that happening in a couple of years from delusional people who just don't understand that it will not happen.

  • "Stalwart"
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:59 a.m.

    RE: Stanfunky

    So, in spirit of Christian fellowship maybe BYU should deliberately lie down and let all opponents win. Using your logic, the Utes showed horrible character in going to the PAC 12 and not staying in the MWC. I think they did the best thing for their school, which is what BYU is trying to do. The MWC has no penalty for any member school leaving the conference before Sept. 1st. I understand other MWC schools being upset, but there is no legal wrongdoing here. So does BYU do what's in its best interest, or what's best for the MWC? We're talking football (business) here and not religion.

  • Old Gregg
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    @ howard,

    If you had signed a contract to build a house and your builders changed the plans to your house so that it looked nothing like you had designed it to look, would you stay in your contract?

    Be honest. Let's hear your response.

  • AZguy
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    All the Y haters are a crack up. Regardless of what BYU does, the haters will line up. I have no qualms with the U leaving for the PAC. Anyone would have done it. Why do you have such a problem with BYU doing the same thing? There is no contract that does not allow BYU to leave the MWC. If there was, the U was the first to break it.

    the word partners assumes that costs and benefits are equal, which is not true for the MWC. BYU sets the athletic standard for the confernce. 9 conference championships last year alone. TCU had football and baseball. Other than that, no one had more than one conference championship.

    Hedgehog-I laugh at your posts regularly becuase you pound on every BYU article. BYU could be feeding orphans in Africa and you would find a way to trash it. Maybe it's time to move out of your Mom's basement and start livin'. Just a thought.

  • 3grandslams
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    Great article Dick. I'm surprised how many people have forgotten how Thompson threw the MWC under the bus with the television contract.

    Teams, especially from the MWC, should be applauding BYU for making waves and hopefully getting out of a tv contract that was made to suffocate the exposure of a conference.

  • USAlover
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    Money has ruined college sports.

  • fan29
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:33 a.m.

    Dick, well done I agree with everyone about this article. I have always enjoyed your writing even back to your high school days at PHS. This article is one of your best on what is going on at BYU. Thanks

  • Bugoff
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:29 a.m.

    @Stanfunky The Contract allows BYU, Utah and any other school to leave the conference (with its TV contract) with a years notice. That is what BYU is considering, implementing an option in the contract.

  • mountains101
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    "Dick - "that's what partners would do?"


    Do partners cut a deal with another conference and then when that deal falls through come back seeking concessions from the original conference?

    No that's not what partners do, but that is what BYU does."

    Beautifully said. BYU gets caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and then cry out loud to anyone who will listen. Shame on them.

  • Tarheel Ute
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    BYU, TCU, BSU (and Utah, had it stayed) would never been able to expand the MWC revenue and recruiting pie required to gain AQ into the BSC. But the MWC’s recent success spotlighted the need for a CFB tournament.

    The PAC10 preventative strike co-opting the Utes as it turns out was PAC10’s alternative Plan B, and may have been considered brilliant — had the BCS mafia orchestrated it — I don’t give them that much credit. Regardless, the BCS mafia no longer must contend with the MWC and WAC - as this last week’s self-inflicted wounds have exposed their respective conferences of their second tier status.

    As a Utah fan, I am not taking any pleasure at being one of “haves” rather the one of the “have-nots”. I would have been much happier if Utah had stayed the course with the MWC, developing the league and its fan base, and working to eliminate the BCS strangle-hold altogether - not by joining them as an AQ league, but by supporting a CFB tournament, eliminating AQ as a requirement altogether. No small task, but now made far more impossible.

  • blauch
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:11 a.m.

    The Mountain West better give concessions to BYU or BYU will be gone.

    Stanfunky - really. BYU can leave the conference. The contract is only intact if they stay. BYU has not broken the contract. They did not sign anything that said they would not leave the conference - unlike Nevada and Fresno State.

    Additionally, Renegotiating a contract before the contract is fulfilled is not a bad thing. Clearly they cannot force the MWC to do that, but using leverage (either we go or we renegotiate) is not evil, it is not hypocritical.


  • John S. Harvey
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:08 a.m.

    Regardless of all this turns out BYU will end up fine. They have a sufficient (huge actually) fan base and significant financial backing from many sources. What is annoying is they have managed to kill the WAC in general and serious harm USU's athletic program in particular. Harmon mentions that "BYU should" remedy that in USU's case, but I'm not seeing anything in print that shows BYU has any intentions of fixing the mess they created.

  • J in AZ
    Aug. 24, 2010 9:00 a.m.

    A couple of thoughts for stanfunky:

    First, contracts between organizations are not intended to be suicide pacts or be inequitable for one of the parties. They are supposed to benefit all parties and if the day comes that they do not, there are legitimate and honorable paths to canceling the contract. The current deal with the MWC counts as a both a suicide pact and an inequitable agreement.

    Second, Before Utah left there were only three MWC schools that could be said to have national alumni bases and therefore potential ratings sources. With Utah gone, if the MWC is so blind as to not realize that they are on the verge of losing their biggest remaining ratings draw other than Air Force, and Air Force alumni aren't near as many as BYU, Then all they deserve are the severance payment that are no doubt build into the contract.

  • LVIS
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:47 a.m.

    hedgehog | 6:59 a.m. Aug. 24, 2010

    Yo, hedge-your-bets: Another insightful post, I see. "Keep’m kicked out"? What, pray tell, have they been kicked out of? Last anyone checked (like about 2 minutes ago...) BYU was still in the MWC.

    You are just a hater. And it is so unbecoming...

  • Tuffy Parker
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    One additional thought to consider - Is it possible that this situation has not come to a head before now is BYU's loyalty to the University of Utah as a friend, rival and conference partner?

    Not sure how else one can explain BYU's willingness to leave millions on the table every year til now...

  • Jarobusa
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:45 a.m.

    stanfunky - you mean like Utah?

  • Jarobusa
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:44 a.m.

    Howard S - BYU has wanted concessions from the beginning. Where have you been? Do you remember the days when the Mtn was not even on DirecTV? BYU wanted those games on BYU-TV, but they were told no. This has been going on for years.

  • Jim Marshall
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:33 a.m.

    "and the MWC gatekeepers let it slide."

    So who at BYU is responsible for agreeing to such a horrible contract in the beginning? Sameulson? Holmoe? Who is responsible?

  • Tuffy Parker
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:29 a.m.

    One additional thought to consider - Is it possible that this situation has not come to a head before now is BYU's loyalty to the University of Utah as a friend, rival and conference partner?

    Not sure how else one can explain BYU's willingness to leave millions on the table every year til now...

  • Silent Lurker
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    Someone once said that there are two sides to every issue. Mr. Harmon seems to represent one side in this article quite well. Who will stand up and represent the other side? I would wager the other side doesn't see this the same way. Or is the he and the DN, just pandering to their BYU followers again? How does the LDS church want be seen in all of this? As the owner of BYU and it's new broadcast facility, is this the kind of exposure they are seeking? Is this why the Lords sacred funds were spent for a broadcast facility? For BYU football?

  • wer
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    Regardless of what BYU does, there will be a vocal few that will gripe, complain, finger point, etc. This is, unfortunately, indicative of the perspective placed by society on sports and ill will generated from it.

    Good work, Dick. Now, BYU move forward and if the rest of the MWC wants to move ahead, now is the time.

  • kevin4byu
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    Hedgehog, have you not paid attention at all? BYU is still part of the MWC, they have never been "Kicked out" and so at this point they can't rejoin as equal partners because they are already equal partners. That is the problem! BYU and Utah are the bread winners for the MWC, they should receive more compensation then Wyoming and New Mexico because nobody cares about them. They could not bring in the money to keep the conference alive like BYU, Utah and TCU. They are not equal so they shouldn't be treated as equal partners.

  • Casper
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    "Anyone who thinks otherwise, well, they are delusional."

    Dick, statements like this are very reflective of the tone and arrogance of BYU fans who post on these articles. It's interesting that you start your column off stating that it is your opinion and then insert a statement like this.

    Do you post comments on these boards yourself?

    Just an observation/question.

  • JustintimeY
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    Great article Dick, this was well thought out and insiteful, good piece of journalism.

  • Henry Drummond
    Aug. 24, 2010 8:01 a.m.

    This is the best analysis I've read so far on this issue. The Mountain has been a mess since the start. I remember when BYU would replay games and nobody had trouble with it as long as they waited until past prime time on game day or rebroadcast the following week. It would appear that an arrangement could easily be made to limit rebroadcast to areas not covered by The Mountain if they insist that they are the ones to do rebroadcast. I just don't see how that hurts them. Clearly something can be worked out here that helps BYU and hurts nobody. That is the whole problem here. The parties involved just don't seem to be looking for a win-win situation. That's why they ended up the current lose-lose situation with a lot of innocent bystanders being hurt as well.

  • Ute in Chicago
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    Well written article Harmon. I guess the saying "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" holds true.

  • stanfunky
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:52 a.m.

    Good article Mr. Harmon.

    However, you left out option #4: BYU sticks to the contract they SIGNED and AGREED to, keeping their word and integrity, representing themselves as an honest, forthright organization of the LDS Church. They play out the crummy contract that they didn't review or do their due dilligence on back when it was agreed to, and when it's over with, they negotiate a better one.

    If BYU doesn't do this, they violate everything that they stand for. They may get the greener pastures, the $$$ that lie out there. But people will remember this as an example that even they can be bought. It goes against everything Bronco is teaching the kids on the football team about committment and dedication. It's hypocrisy at its worst. This is why the other MWC teams are doubly upset with BYU right now.

  • Mountainman56
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:48 a.m.

    Re: Uteology

    The other 7 (actually 8 including Utah) programs certainly could have been jetting their lawyers around to review contracts as well. They didn't do so because they weren't the ones generating all of the TV revenue for the conference. They weren't the ones losing millions of of dollars of potential revenue every year and they weren't the ones who already owned their own TV network with the capability of broadcasting their own nationally televised programming.

    If you can't figure out why this is such a HUGE problem now, then apparently you haven't paid any attention to what's been happening recently. Anyone who has, knows that this is HUGE story now because BYU is finally on the verge of making changes that will dramatically change the future of their athletic program and perhaps the landscape of the entire college athletics world. It's pretty clear to those who have been following the story.

  • Howard S.
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:44 a.m.

    Dick - "that's what partners would do?"


    Do partners cut a deal with another conference and then when that deal falls through come back seeking concessions from the original conference?

    No that's not what partners do, but that is what BYU does.

  • jazzbball
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:33 a.m.

    I have to agree, that was one of the better articles you've done Dick. Well done, sir.

  • Observation-ist
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:33 a.m.

    Better late than never. This article (excellent by the way) was needed when the BYU going Independent story first broke. We've known for a long time that the MWC leadership takes BYU for granted and has ridden the coat-tails of BYU for years. In recent years, the U has had some coat-tails to ride as well but through the WAC years and early MWC years, BYU was the program with national clout. Now Utah has left the MWC, if BYU leaves, then TCU becomes the only school with national prominence. I'm glad BYU has decided to stand up and use it's clout.

    I do feel for BYU's other sports. Early on, this was a 'football only' story and all other considerations weren't really important. BYU's hesitation in going independent (or what other path they choose) should help the other programs realize that BYU Football isn't the only consideration.

    It's even beyond basketball. If basketball was the only other consideration, BYU could go independent and have BYU basketball play in the WCC. I'd pit Gonzaga, BYU, St. Mary's, etc up against the MWC schools anyday.

  • MTF
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:33 a.m.

    Potential audience of 51 million? I find that extremely hard to believe. Here is why; when you are setting up your new dvr or cable system what do you do, that's right you skip the channels you don't want. If I weren't LDS I would skip the BYU channel just as fast as I skip the Baptist Channel etc. now.

    Here is the other thing people don't realize. Kids that grow up outside of Utah may have a passing interest in BYU football, but that is about it. The kids in Ohio grow up Buckeye fans with little to no interest in BYU. I know from experience. LDS kids in Florida grow up Florida or FSU fans. LDS kids in Texas grow up.......... you get the point.

    There is no way that there is a potential audience of 51 million for BYUTV. Just because it is on the cable package doesn't mean people watch it.

  • treecaps22
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    To Uteology - are you serious? Dick Harmon has raised this issue in at least 20+ articles that I've read. I'm not a fan of the incessant smack talk on these boards, but really uteology, where have you been?

    Excellent article Dick!

  • Bluto
    Aug. 24, 2010 7:00 a.m.

    This is the new paradigm.

    Texas and Oklahoma are not doing a 1/10th split on all of their TV revenue, with Iowa State and other Big 12 (10) members, not anymore.

    USC and Oregon will Not be Sharing Equally with Utah, Washington State either.

    It's looks like Capitalism is making a comeback over the Socialistic Utopia, Conferences tend to promote.

    It's just untenable, that a BYU, with 65k fans for Home games, Road games boosted by 10-15k, a National Following and the Ability, "On It's Own", to increase it's revenue by 10-15 times, would stay put.

    (ya, ya ya, "They're not Notre Dame, OK, we get it),

    They're Not Wyoming or UNLV Either!

    The Great MBA program at BYU would "Fail" anyone, for being so Idiotic..

    More importantly, the Braodcast Facility, and the abiltiy to see games, in all sports, anywhere in the world, is esential.

    Again, the current contract prohibits this as well.

    Comcast does not even "offer" the Mountain on it's National Network, it's only available in MWC cities.

    Enough is Enough, anything short of Independence in Football, will not be acceptable to BYU's fans.

  • Wash DC Reader
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:59 a.m.

    Dick... there should be five follow up articles on this one. I wish this were written a long time ago, but I guess it is better late than never. I would much rather you spend your time hitting this baby hard than attending practice. Please don't let this go by the wayside.

    The Desnews/ksl needs to put this center stage for all to see.

  • hedgehog
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:59 a.m.

    To be fair and equitable to ALL the members — please MWC, do not succumb to the bulling tactics of the tds. Keep’m kicked out of have them rejoin as an equal partner.

    P.S. just like the tooth fairy, BYU going independent is make-believe.

  • defibman
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:47 a.m.

    A very good article Dick! It seems that you stepped out of the box to do this report. Thanks for your objective view point. It will not only be interesting to see how this unfolds, but how things will be in two to three years from now. I believe things will go BYU's way in the long run no matter what happens this week or next year. We will look back on this in a few years and marvel at what happened.

  • tyndale1
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:43 a.m.

    This is why change is so difficult. People jump to conclusions about this and that and won't open their eyes to the big picture that is being effected. Hold judgment people. All will benefit. You will see.

  • Jimmy James
    Aug. 24, 2010 6:12 a.m.

    Wow. I think I just entirely agreed with the whole article. (Except, while not desirable, the status quo might still be a possibility for BYU.)

    And thank you for acknowledging that the MWC probably wasn't getting an invite to the BCS even if Utah had stayed. That's something a lot of my BYU friends fail to grasp who are still unhappy about Utah leaving. It's not that the MWC isn't deserving, but, that's just the way it is.

  • Commontater
    Aug. 24, 2010 5:43 a.m.

    I don't see anything happening until 11:59PM, August 30, 2010, if at all this year. In talking about the BSC challenges and how to structure something that works is the fact the BCS rules will forever be changing because of the BSC mafia. In this case, the cheaters always win because the cheaters are in both the BSC, government and judicial system.

  • Max for President
    Aug. 24, 2010 5:27 a.m.

    This is EXCELLENT journalism Harmon. One of the best articles I've seen from the DN, ever.

  • cougsrock
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

    WAC nolonger an option. The WCC would be great for basketball, not much else. Tough decisions being made. Glad its not me.

  • Uteology
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

    All I read was "BYU concerns" about TV revenues. What about the other 7 programs? Why weren't they jetting lawyers to review contracts?

    And why is this such a HUGE problem now. Did Dick ever report this major issue before?

  • sls
    Aug. 24, 2010 4:26 a.m.

    The key phrase in this article is that the current situation does not maximize benefits for BYU or the MWC. BYU has recognized this, but the MWC thinks that by playing dirty with BYU they can somehow improve their situation. It won't happen unless Thompson and the other goonies in Colorado wake up to reality.

  • Ernesto de Bajo
    Aug. 24, 2010 1:04 a.m.

    I was hoping that some reporter would go back in history and give a balanced, complete and essentially accurate picture of how the MTN came into being and how it turned out as poorly as it did. Although Dick Harmon's reminiscences on the subject did give some perspective, I think that we are still waiting for the job really to be done.

    Until a professional finds the time and gumption to dig deeper, perhaps the contributors to the Reader Comments, especially those with good memories, will produce a discussion that gives a deeper understanding of this history and its making.

    One thing that I remember is that before the MTN, the MWC was affiliated with ESPN and there was disatisfaction among at least some MWC members with the dates and starting times that ESPN was dictating.

  • UteFan24
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:51 a.m.

    Well done Dick Harmon, well done.

  • Scott1
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:35 a.m.

    I am not sure why some give Dick Harmon such a hard time. This article must have took some serious thought to put together, and I found it to be excellent. I am sure being a writer is not easy as there must be plenty of deadlines to beat.

  • Max-was-right
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:29 a.m.

    The BEW's think that it is out of some silly envy and the pac ten. When in true reality it is all about the stupid stupid tv deal that Thompson came up with. ESPN is the meal ticket and BYU is smart enough to see it.

  • Mountainman56
    Aug. 24, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    Great information and insights. I completely agree that the status quo is not acceptable. BYU has worked and prepared to make major changes that will significantly enhance their position in the world of college athletics as well as their role as ambassadors for the LDS church. This is a great and exciting time that many of us have waited for for a very long time. I can't wait to see how everything unfolds.

  • kimdaddy35
    Aug. 23, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    This week will definitely be interesting. I agree with you that other than an invite from the Big 12 going independent is the way to go. The question then becomes: What happens to the Cougar Basketball Team? WCC, Revised WAC or will the MWC swallow their pride and realize that BYU basketball is better than no BYU. Who knows.
    With Utah gone there really isn't a whole lot left for the Cougars in the MWC.

  • the world
    Aug. 23, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    Harmon, this is real journalism, and it deserves some recognition. You answered questions that have desperately needed answering. Thank you.