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