SC AD Ponders Independence: ‘I think you have to’

Tuesday the BYU Cougars announced they were taking their football program independent and moving all other sports to the West Coast Conference.

Pat Haden says USC would consider going independent

Wednesday the Michael Lev of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER asked USC athletic director Pat Haden if he would consider the idea of USC becoming an independent in football like BYU.

Despite a new, lucrative television deal looming for the Pac-10 following the conference expanding to 12 teams with Utah and Colorado, Haden did not rule out the possibility at all. Far from it.

Haden: Read more…

SLC Outlets: BYU Leaving MWC, Boise To Follow?

Jay Drew and Tony Jones of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE report Wednesday:

Jim McMahon BYU

Brigham Young University will leave the Mountain West Conference, go independent in football and rejoin the Western Athletic Conference in all non-football sports beginning in the fall of 2011, The Salt Lake Tribune confirmed Wednesday morning.

According to a source in the WAC office, BYU will seek final approval for the moves from its owner, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, either today or Thursday. Pending approval, a press conference is planned for early next week. But because of media reports that broke late Tuesday night, that timetable may change.

“In light of the media leaks, it may be expedited a bit,” the source told The Tribune.

One of those “leaks” was a report filed here Tuesday detailing the possibility.

Jared Eborn of the SALT LAKE DESERET NEWS also reports today:

A USU (Utah State) source familiar with the situation told the Deseret News Wednesday afternoon that the move should be announced in the next day or two.

“It will be a done deal probably on Thursday after the Quorum of the Twelve (Apostles) meets on Thursday,” the source said. “That’s the only thing holding it back right now.”

As I noted last night, BYU losing Utah as a conference partner and netting only $1.5 million in television revenue from the MWC annually were the primary reasons behind the move. Utah reportedly will clear $15 million per year in TV revenue when it becomes a fulltime member of the Pac-10.

BYU’s capacity to set up a cable sports channel, thanks to its ministry television operation, makes the process turn-key for the Cougars and allows the school to cut its own television rights deals with various networks.

Meanwhile, the Mountain West announced today on its official Twitter feed that it, “has extended an offer of membership to California State University, Fresno and the University of Nevada, Reno.Read more…