The balloons were filled and the overall feeling at Brigham Young University athletics was once again “This is the place.”
After four long seasons of competing as an Independent in football and the West Coast Conference for all other sports, BYU had found their athletic programs a home and a new travel partner in the University of Utah. The press releases were drafted,and the invitations were set. There were big Pac-12 conference stickers fresh from the printers adorning BYU’s Student Athlete Building.
But in true Lee Corso “Not so fast my friend” on ESPN’s College Game day program, it all came to a grinding halt at around 6:00 am this morning.
“BYU has been informed by the Pacific 12 Conference, that on an 11-1 vote, BYU’s application for membership has been denied.” read the short, and depressing email from BYU director of Athletics Tom Holmoe.
When contacted for comment, Pac-12 commissioner Larry “Peace and Blessings be Upon Him” Scott said “When we have a new team come in, all 12 members have to vote to accept that program, we appreciate BYU’s application, and willingness to share revenues and resources with their State of the Art HD truck and studio space, however the University of Utah, and the Utah Legislature thought that it would be best if there was only one member of the Conference of Champions in Utah, and we have to respect the wishes of our member institutions, and their leadership when making these decisions.”
Anonymous sources have confirmed that members of the official lobbying organization of the LDS Church, Home Teachers Consulting, Inc., were deeply involved with the negotiations for the historic move.
“This comes straight from the top,” sources have quoted the Home Teachers as saying to members of the legislature. “You know, The Brethren, They do not want this to happen.”
“They told me your church membership won’t suffer if you vote against us, however all of your tithing will be used to support BYU athletics if you do,” said Carl Wimmer, a former member of the Utah Legislature involved over the last three years of these discussions.
When asked why he voted against it, Sen. Lyle Hillyard (R-Logan) said “We just gave Utah State the ammunition and financial backing to compete with the Power Five conferences. Why would we bring in BYU and dilute the in-state recruiting?”
Hillyard reminded Utah Politico Hub that he had managed to inject a $1.5 million perpetual line item into the higher ed budget, allowing for Utah State to cover the full cost of attendance.
We reached out to Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill (Yes. Doctor) and he said:
Brigham Young University has a fantastic and built-in fan base, no matter where they go. They bring a lot of supporters, technological advancements, and would make a great member of the conference. But, after last year’s post game celebration at Cal, and not being able to beat Utah at any sport, we as the reigning Deseret Deuel trophy champions, and the Beehive boot, had to make sure our region was protected from BYU fans and voted against their membership.
Fans understandably are upset as they have been hearing rumors of the Big XII, The Big LOL conference and now the Pac-12 all go down in flames.
What a bunch of crud man. We have an automatic fan base, a national championship, and those dirty Yewts found a way, again to ensure that little brother is held down. This is just like the cold fusion announcement from a couple of years ago — Todd Weiler – BYU Fan.
With that single vote, and a $1.5 million payday to Utah State, and the promise of Utah being the only member of the “Conference of Champions” with a little help from the Utah Legislature, BYU’s dreams of joining a P-5 conference have come to an end and April 1 2015 will be the day that lives in infamy at Brigham Young University.