[HT: Salt Lake Tribune/The Desert News]
Rumors are flying all over Utah that BYU might be leaving the Mountain West Conference. According to various reports BYU would join the Western Athletic Conference is all sports but football and compete as an independent in that sport.
BYU just may be very serious about going independent. TV rules the roast in college football and the university has made a very significant investment in the medium. BYU has there own broadcast center complete with their own network, BYU TV, that broadcasts on satellite services. (Note: I have AT&T U-verse and BYU TV is one of my channels.) The university has the infrastructure in place to broadcast their own games on their own network, all in HD. Will a broadcast network want to invest dollars to air BYU's games like NBC with Notre Dame?
That appears to be what is moving the university toward independence in football. It remains to be seen though if BYU could get a BCS exception like Notre Dame has.
BYU must inform the Mountain West Conference by September 1st if they plan to make any move following the 2010-11 academic year. The clock is ticking.
A month ago BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe seemed to have been exploring the possibility of going independent in football. After all the conference shuffling had calmed down Holmoe had this to say to local reporters on whether going independent is a consideration,
"Independence is an option that obviously has been out there. We will look at everything. We have looked at everything. There are pros and cons to the Pac-10, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Mountain West Conference and independence. With all these things there are pros and cons.
So what you have to do is you have to weigh those and measure them against what? What is right for BYU. And not for what is right for BYU in the year 2010, but what is right for BYU into the future. That is quite a bit more complex than most people understand. You have got a constituency to deal with. You have got a school to deal with. "
You can read more from Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune by clicking below:
UPDATE: BYU associate athletic director Duff Tittle was quoted in various Utah newspapers Wednesday that there is "not much we can say right now." regarding the rumors of BYU going independent in football.
ESPN.com has reported that a news conference has been scheduled for Thursday. Tittle was not aware of said news conference but did add he would alert the media if some announcement would be made.
Click on the Desert News link below for more.