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Dick Harmon: Self-interest at heart of Utah's decision on rivalry with BYU

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  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    Greed, cowardice, arrogance. Is that self interest?

  • Tanyrb Highland, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:10 p.m.

    I assume it is evident to Mr Harmon that everything BYU does in athletics, including going independent, is about self interest, greed etc. So if that is wrong there is plenty to go around. Not a Ute or Coug fan but it is amusing to listen to the accusations being thrown at the Utes that are identical with what is going on in Provo. In this case BYU is upset because it doesn't serve their self interest.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:10 p.m.

    @4601

    "Greed, cowardice, arrogance. Is that self interest?" No it's an ESPN contract. It's the cancellation of a traditional rivalry for a period of time (With Utah State) It's demanding two home games against one to renew the USU/ BYU rivalry. Well, maybe it is self interest after all.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    July 14, 2012 10:13 p.m.

    One of the better harmon articles.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    July 14, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    If you can't play the rivalry game in November, it just doesn't have the rivalry feel. I think a hiatus from the rivalry game might be good for the fans of both teams.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    July 14, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    I'm not sure Utah is entirely to blame for this. Conference realignment has focused on potential media revenue and left out the fans. A decade or two ago, most of the revenue came from fans attending games. It made sense to have conferences geographically based so more fans could travel to watch their team. Now the majority of the revenue comes from media packages.

    I think in a few years we will find that this realignment has killed the "goose that laid the golden eggs". Fans are the ones who lose in this new deal. Stadiums will have fewer sellouts - how many Utah fans will travel to Michigan and how interested are Michigan fans in watching the Utes? Fewer sellouts will lead to "blacked out" games, and the media revenue will begin to slip.

    All I ask is that someone doesn't forget the fans when making these critical decisions.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    These are strange times. A much bigger rivalry bit the dust when A&M jumped to the SEC and Texas dumped the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Everyone posturing for a chance to plsy for the national title is what is ruining college football today.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:33 p.m.

    Who am I sir?

    Sorry, but Utah State has only been a half-hearted rivalry for decades. The main problem with Utah State is their very small fanbase. Romney Stadium seats 25,000 and the Aggies have struggled to fill the stadium for years. LES seats 65,000 and has averaged over 60,000 for the last 30 years. It makes little economic sense for BYU to continue playing home-and-home games with a school that can't even fill a 25,000-seat stadium.

    Utah, on the other hand, has no such concerns with BYU; in fact, BYU's average attendance during the past 30 years has been over 20,000 more than the Utes have averaged and BYU could make a very good case for playing more games and LES than at RES.

    Unlike the BYU-Utah series, the BYU-Utah State series wasn't interrupted because the Cougars were afraid to lose to the Aggies.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:38 p.m.

    You know what Mr. Hill? This rivalry is nostalgic. It transcends AD's that come and go. This rivalry is for the fans and if you ask Red or Blue, they would say that this rivalry is fun and it is important and that you are a fun sucker. You are less important than the rivalry. Fans and players alike wait all year for this game and you ruined it for both. Someday you will not be an AD. I hope it's sooner rather than later so a self serving AD like you won't get in the way of valued tradition.

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2012 10:46 p.m.

    I honestly haven't spoken to anybody who really cared that the game wasn't going to be played. It isn't what it use to be. The only people who seem to really care about this rivalry are over 60. Everybody looks out for their best interest. In fact I predict BYU won't even have a football program in a few years. Football is not consistent with the mission of BYU...

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    July 14, 2012 11:01 p.m.

    Basically what Dr. Hill said (to put it politely/bluntly), "I don't care what people think or say about me. Whether people like it or not, I have a job to do as an athletic director in a BCS conference for the UofU; and the only people I report to is the school president, the chancellor, and the PAC-12 commissioner."

    While BYU fans and the local media constantly trashed Utah with scheduling and Utah's PAC-12 membership, BYU decided to go the independent route and sign a contract with ESPN for TV exposure. Obviously BYU faithful ignored what BYU did and bashed Utah for it. BYU didn't think about Utah when it signed that ESPN deal, did they? Nope, it is all about its self interest. Wow, how ignorant some Utah haters can be.

  • collegestudent25 Cedar City, UT
    July 14, 2012 11:04 p.m.

    Pragmatic. You need to get out more.

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    July 14, 2012 11:07 p.m.

    Wow, Mr. Harmon, I have to give you props for this article! Perhaps some Utah haters will think twice before beating Utah in their posts to a pulp. BYU looked at as the victim to Utah, made the decision to go indy and sign a long term TV deal with ESPN for exposure. BYU did what was best for BYU's interest. Utah did what Utah did for it best interest. End of story. Some of us need to move on!

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    July 14, 2012 11:12 p.m.

    @ Tanyrb

    Thank you! You hit the nail right on the head! It is very hypocritical of the DNews sports writers and BYU fans that accuse Utah of acting out of self-interest, when BYU themselves do the same thing to Utah State. BYU's decision to bail out of the MWC was all out of self-interest and jealousy to Utah's Pac-10 invitation.

    Let's face it! The rivalry has changed! The meaning behind it is changing. What made the Holy War so special is that Utah and BYU were both in the same conference, bowl games were on the line, conference titles were on the line, and playing their traditional game at the end of November. Now Utah and BYU are not in the same conference and the game is played in September. Their is nothing on the line anymore but instate bragging rights. That's it! Utah can now play for Pac-12 titles, Rose Bowl berths, and possible NC berths. BYU can only play for their contracted bowl game unless they are undefeated like any other mid-major to get a better bowl. Can we drop these silly tantrum articles?

  • Boston Spanish Fork, UT
    July 14, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    @collegestudent25
    No, you are the one that must get out a little more. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the LDS Church decides to drop BYU football by the year 2018. Pragmatic, I agree with you in that the dismissal of the program is a possibility.

  • Balan South Jordan, Utah
    July 14, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    So what is BYU supposed to do every year there is not a Michigan-type game on Utah's schedule and they decide they want to play BYU??? Is BYU simply to sit back and give in to Utah's every whim - be it playing the game or not?

    Utah should not be allowed to singularly dictate when (or if) the rivalry continues. I would hope that BYU has enough pride in who they are to NEVER let this happen.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    July 14, 2012 11:43 p.m.

    Dr. Hill owns the rivalry. He will decide when and if it is played.

    There is nothing BYU can do to influence the outcome... BYU must just wait for the decision of Dr. Hill.

    Here is the delicious irony...

    In its flight to "independence", BYU has become more "dependent" than ever before.

    BYU's participation in the rivalry "depends" on decision of Dr. Hill.

    Beyond that... There is not a conference team in the country the "depends" on playing BYU. They all have committed conference schedules... they don't need BYU.

    In planning an "independent" schedule BYU, on the other hand, "depends" on the willingness of teams that have no need to play the Cougars.

    Funny how the appearance of "independence" is not really independence at all... rather just the opposite... BYU depends on everyone... and no one depends on BYU.

  • catram North Las Vegas, NV
    July 14, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    Ute fans travel? Haha.

  • Bleed Crimson Sandy, Utah
    July 15, 2012 12:00 a.m.

    @ Howard S.

    Your comment was brilliant! You summed up BYU's situation perfectly. I couldn't of said it better myself.

    Utah has out grown this silly little rivalry. 55-34-4 is evidence of that! Get used to it little brothers. Utah has bigger fish to fry now.

  • n8rix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2012 12:02 a.m.

    Can one of the Utah fans please explain how you are okay with Dr. Hill saying "Playing BYU and Michigan is too difficult and unfair to our kids" and how does playing BYU have any bearing on you winning or losing the Pac 12 title? I would love to hear how many of you think this was the correct way to address the scheduling problem 9 conference games can present. I understand the problem but if I were a Utah fan I would expect a better thought out rationale from my AD than this. He set himself up for this firestorm he has caused.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    July 15, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    In your dreams, Howard S., in your dreams.

    BYU doesn't need U; never has, and never will.

    When Utah gets over its arrogance and selfishness and decides that tradition matters for something, we'll be happy to play U again; until then, you can take your ball and runaway like a spoiled child, and BYU will move on like a grownup who understands the value of tradition and honor.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 15, 2012 1:09 a.m.

    It's nice to see some of the arrogant BYU fans on these message boards get a dose of reality and humble pie.
    Utah's calling the shots now, deal with it.

  • BYU Joe MISSION VIEJO, CA
    July 15, 2012 2:48 a.m.

    Sadly those of you who insist this games doesn't matter are being disingenuous. If you don't care then why write here. Head over to the Colorado chat boards and write to them.

    Utah is not "afraid" to play BYU. This has been a very even series of games.

    It has given us all excitement and its fun to ride each other when we win and try to justify it when we lose.

    It is great for the Utes to be in the Pac 12 - and I am one Cougar that will admit I am jealous. It was a good break for them and I wish it was us.

    At the same time you Utes should admit that few, if any, other school could pull off independence. And true it is not as good as the Pac but it is not bad either.

    The best thing for all of us is to be the best we can be. But if you really wish this rivalry to die then I say: Stop writing about BYU in a negative way and get on with hating Colorado.

    I shall miss my old enemy on those fall afternoons.

    Goodbye.

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    July 15, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Byu fans hypocritical? Nah.... That would never happen - LOL

  • MOMS Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    Sadly, selfishness has become the rule of the day, certainly in “amateur” athletics played by those “student” athletes. To Chris Hill and his superiors, apparently only money matters. It is a lesson being taught to every student at the University.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 15, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    I'm sure there will be many times in the future when the schools will not play. BYU certainly does not need Utah and visa versa. It's best to put the game to bed because of the poor sportsmanship that has developed around it. There's no point in playing a game where bitterness and ill feelings abound.

  • fender Washington, UT
    July 15, 2012 8:45 a.m.

    @Truth Machine

    "Unlike the BYU-Utah series, the BYU-Utah State series wasn't interrupted because the Cougars were afraid to lose to the Aggies."

    Way to beat a dead horse. That take has been hashed 100 times already. Nobody bought it the first time. 54-10 ring any bells?

  • Magic Man Draper, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    I hear many saying Chris Hill needs to listen to his fan base and keep the rivalry intact. Well, in my case, he is listening. As a huge Ute fan and supporter, I prefer not playing BYU anymore. Utah and BYU still compete for a handful of recruits each year and this will continue. In my opinion, the two not playing can help the Utes recruiting efforts and demonstrate Utah has moved beyond the rivalry is a better option for great athletes. I would be willing to bet Utah has offered BYU a two games at Rice-Eccles for for one in Provo. So in reality, the ball is in BYU's court. Many call Utah's stance arrogant but why was it not arrogant for BYU to offer Utah St. two home games for one road game? The fact remains Utah is in a major conference and BYU is not. This is a competitive advantage and I would hope Chris Hill leverages this advantage moving forward.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:03 a.m.

    Both are great schools with great programs. In a way I am glad the games are over. I won't have to share space with Utah fans for awhile.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 15, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    @Rockwell

    "BYU will move on like a grownup who understands the value of tradition and honor."

    Let's ask Utah State how well BYU understands the value of tradition and honor.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    "Utah, BYU and TCU dumped the MWC and Mtn TV coverage like a ripe basket of bad apples."

    Utah and TCU dumped the MWC. BYU quit. See the difference?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    BYU got two more games from Utah than I expected. The Cougars should be happy. Why are we arguing over 2017 now? We just got the 2014 game. Cool it. Like Dick said, who knows where BYU will be in 2017?

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    catram
    North Las Vegas, NV

    "Ute fans travel? Haha."

    Since the Sugar Bowl I have been (with a thousand others) been to Ames, South Bend, The Coliseum L.A., Seattle, San Francisco, and El Paso/Albuqurque/Santa Fe. This year I am going to Boulder and The Rose Bowl.

    I had to sell my season tickets to afford it, but I can still afford BYU tickets when I'm in town.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    "It's nice to see some of the arrogant BYU fans on these message boards get a dose of reality and humble pie.
    Utah's calling the shots now, deal with it."

    Motorbike-
    The irony in that statement is a Utah fan calling BYU fans arrogant in one of the most arrogant comments on the board. Utah fans have become what they have always proclaimed to hate the most about BYU fans. Arrogant.

    To those who think BYU will drop football.....ever...dream on. Saying that only exposes the insecurities you have about your Utes. Go hang out at the athletic facilities at BYU for a couple of hours and you will clearly see that BYU is in it for a very long time. People in the athletic department just laugh when asked about the possibility of football being dropped. Nice try though.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    n8rix "Can one of the Utah fans please explain how you are okay with Dr. Hill saying "Playing BYU and Michigan is too difficult and unfair to our kids"

    It's a nice and complimentary way to say, "BYU is a tough team, Not an unworthy opponent."

    So, stop worrying. Dr. Hill still likes you.

    I am one that says, "Go away little brother, I've got a date."

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    July 15, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    This is a much more reasonable article than I ever would have expected from Dick Harmon. He doesn't like the situation, but he clearly understands it.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    July 15, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    Rockwell,

    There is nothing "grownup" in the tone of your comments.

  • ND95CA Lincoln Park, IL
    July 15, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    The Value of Traditions

    As a Notre Dame fan and proud Notre Dame Alum I value the traditions of the "Golden Domers." Win or lose, it's always exciting to play traditional rivals like Michigan, USC, Stanford and Navy.

    Traditions are an important part of a legacy. Traditions help remind us of who we are and what we stand for, indeed, traditions are woven into the very fabric and culture of a university. Reading through these blogs it become quite evident which school has a legacy, and which school, without a seismic change in attitude and culture, never will.

  • charlie24 Sandy, UT
    July 15, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    Thank you Dick Harmon for helping folks understand this has nothing to do with a decision Utah is making. Utah was picked up by an elite conference and took the upgrade just like BYU or any other MWC would – but only Utah and TCU were offered.

    Next, the relationship between Utah and all the mid-majors must change. Every year home and home series do not exist across the chasm between the two levels. There are a few exceptions between two state schools where state government gets involved (cannot apply here).

    BYU became independent; however they simply cannot declare that they are elite. If that could be done all mid-majors would do so. The only exception is ND (noted as the only school that has been offered multiple times by every single elite conference). BYU will only be able to claim the elite independent status when they are picked and decline multiple times. This could change but currently there is only 1 possible elite independent.

    The order of college football dictates to schools, one school cannot simply change all these rules to suit themselves.

  • Devin American Fork, UT
    July 15, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    Utah uses the excuse that they don't have enough slack or ease in their schedule to keep playing BYU having to schedule 9 conference games. Hill is pathetic! Your dang right BYU would crush the U in the coming years with the recruits they have lined up. If the roles were reversed, BYU would NOT have dropped the rivalry. Utah is a selfish school and michigan is going to crush them both years, glad you got what you wanted hill, this is going to make you look even worse than you look now in the coming years.

  • charlie24 Sandy, UT
    July 15, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    Now if you understand the order of college football you have a chance to put some pieces together. All elite programs will ask for and be given distinct scheduling advantages when they play mid-majors. In similar fashion, mid-majors will demand the same scheduling advantages when they play lesser programs.

    When doing so, no one is uncaring, shameful, stupid or trying to destroy rivalries. Much bigger rivalries have gone thru this change due to one program upgrading or conference realignments. No amount of hissy fits will change all of college football to satisfy a few.

    My suggestion is for BYU to quickly accept that Utah has upgraded more than they have. Next, allow the common scheduling advantages that elite programs enjoy. The result would be more games, likely most played in SLC and we could settle in and enjoy the next phase of this rivalry. It would look much like any other elite vs. mid-major series, like Utah series with other MWC schools, like BYU series with USU, like the BYU-Utah series was in the 1950s, like the natural order of things.

    Thank you Mr. Harmon, for helping us understand our reality.

  • CKS007 Clearfield, UT
    July 15, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    This rivalry has died off. BYU fans that I know have cooled off on the love of the football program. I don't hear any big arguments in my family when the two schools face each other. BYU was something under LaVell Edwards. Now it's just meh. They have good and bad seasons. But I think sports fans in Utah are more hungry for professional sports than college sports.

  • JD-Dad RIVERTON, UT
    July 15, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    The horse is dead. Let it lie. Isn't there anything else to write about in this state. Time to move on.

  • Bleed Crimson Sandy, Utah
    July 15, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    @ Rockwell

    "When Utah gets over its arrogance and selfishness and decides that tradition matters for something, we'll be happy to play U again;"

    Arrogance? BYU is the king of arrogance! Look no further than the BYU players who celebrate like they won the Super Bowl after every tackle, gain or loss! BYU is guilty of cheap shots and spearing and they act like "they could do no wrong". The fans and the students have this "holier than thou" attitude, meaning people who don't go to BYU are looked upon as apostate in their eyes.

    "until then, you can take your ball and runaway like a spoiled child, and BYU will move on like a grownup who understands the value of tradition and honor".

    As far as tradition and honor, practice what you preach, i.e. Bailing on the Mountain West Conference with your "I'm too good for you" attitudes. While touting Independence! Ending the rivalry with Utah State a decade ago and now demanding 2 for 1 deals with the Aggies to play again. So is that how grown ups act with a skewed concept of tradition and honor?

  • San Diego Orem, UT
    July 15, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    As a BYU fan I watch and follow most of the Utah games. Now I won't find much interest in following their games. I think they may lose a lot of viewers because of this decision as there are certainly a great number of BYU fans who won't care about Utah that much anymore.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 15, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    @Truth Machine

    It makes little economic sense for BYU to continue playing home-and-home games with a school that can't even fill a 25,000-seat stadium.

    -----------

    Yet I don't recall Utah demanding a 2 for 1 with Utah State due to "economic" issues. I guess BYU might be low on funds.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 15, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    @ND95CA

    As a Notre Dame fan and proud Notre Dame Alum I value the traditions... Traditions are an important part of a legacy...Reading through these blogs it become quite evident which school has a legacy.

    ----------

    Why don't you go read Texas-Texas A&M blogs. While you're at it also visit Nebraska-Colorado blogs. Then please come back and post your "evidence".

    Is the upcoming playoffs "keeping with tradition"?

    Here's what Dr. Hill and the Ute Nation thinks of the "legacy" program down south:

    "Utah athletic director Chris Hill had a contract in his desk for the BYU-Utah series since last fall. It remained unsigned."

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    I don't care what BYu chooses to do. I'm glad that Utah did what they did. The world hates BYu.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 15, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    It's ok! Both Utah and BYU have bettered themselves.

  • Kiboo South Jordan, Utah
    July 15, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    The arrogance displayed by most ute fans, coaches, and administration is sad. Is this acceptable amongst families, neighbors, and life-long friends? Absolutely not. Utah will rue the day that Dr. hill let money, power and ambition change the face of Utah athletics forever.

    Things seldom turn out the way you hope.

    As for BYU, I would hope that the administration at BYU does not cave in to Utah's every demand / whim. If they don't want to play us, fine. But we should never let them dictate if or when the series is to start up again. Just as a spoiled child, there needs to be consequences to their actions.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    BYu is old news. Sorry!

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    Good BYu, go elsewhere. I don't care about your future in any
    way at all
    .

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 15, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    @Cougars1

    "... a Utah fan calling BYU fans arrogant is one of the most arrogant comments on the board. Utah fans have become what they have always proclaimed to hate the most about BYU fans. Arrogant."

    I won't argue your point because my comment really was arrogant. But that arrogance has come in the last couple weeks with all the incessant whining from cougar fans about the rivalry game and the ridiculous spin they all want to put on it as well as anything else Utah / Pac 12 related.

    It's gotten so obnoxious that the recent whining and previous years of BYU arrogance has taken me from being one of the Utah fans who supported playing the rivalry game regardless, to one who thinks it may really be time to turn away from it. Perhaps a nice helping of humble pie will bring Coug fans back to earth, not holding my breath.

    So yeah, I'm fine with admitting I'm ready to return the arrogance with some arrogance. I had hoped not to go that route but I'm more than ready now.

    Utah needs to let whiny cougar fans take a timeout to gain some perspective/humility.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    BYu is in trouble. Utah is not.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    July 15, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    Uteology

    "Yet I don't recall Utah demanding a 2 for 1 with Utah State"

    No, Utah simply bought out their final scheduled trip to Romney Stadium and will never play the Aggies in Logan again after this season.

    The Utes have turned their backs on their instate rivals because they're cowards.

    Sorry if the truth hurts, but the Utes are nothing but elite team wannabees - big boy conference bottom-feeders living in the reflected light of programs that have actually accomplished something on the national stage.

  • Balan South Jordan, Utah
    July 15, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Motorbike - NEVER has BYU exhibited the arrogance that Utah is now. How many ute fans have said something to the effect that "we are better that BYU now; bigger fish to fry; we are big time now; BYU is mid-level major" etc. etc. etc. The fact that you think that in your second year you can actually compete in the PAC12 is laughable; the fact that your fans continue to talk about getting to the "final 4" in football is laughable; the fact that you think you can get to the Rose Bowl any more than once in 20 years (talk to Arizona, ASU, WSU, etc.) is laughable; the arrogance displayed by Whittingham and Hill is laughable; the utter arrogance exhibited by Utah fans is laughable.

    There is no question which school wins the title of "arrogant" in the state of Utah, and maybe the whole United States.

    Enjoy the title; you have earned it.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    July 15, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    Uteology

    Your response to ND95CA reveals much more than you realize about the U. Not once did he mention which school he considered having a legacy program that values traditions, or which school he considers lacking a legacy program and not valuing traditions, yet the evidence is so blatantly obvious, even to Utah fans, that you've validated everything he said with your response.

    ND95CA's comments were advice for the wise - those who show disdain for traditions, will eventually find themselves rudderless on the seas of change, with no sense of identity of who they are.

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    July 15, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    As a Utah fan, graduate, and donor; I have no problem with the decision to take a break from the annual game. I will always consider BYU the biggest rival and look forward to resuming the game in 2016. Until then, many of the fans need to get over themselves - Utah did what they felt was best for the program and said nothing negative about the Y.
    Comments about being greedy are simply unfounded. Both the U and the Y have taken actions recently that they believe will benefit their programs and I commend both schools for their decisions.

  • UtahBronco Lehi, UT
    July 15, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    @ Cougars1 9:55am

    While I'm not saying that BYU will drop football, I wouldn't dismiss the future possibility of it. (No, I am not a Ute fan). Those with higher authority over folks in the athletic department would likely be responsible for making that decision. I hope your faith isn't compromised if/when that decision is made.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    SportsFan proclaimed "Sorry if the truth hurts, but the Utes are nothing but elite team wannabees"

    What is hurtful about that? That's exactly what Utah wants. Isn't that what life is about? Set a lofty goal and go for it!

    What alternative do you suggest? Go back to the Mountain West, dominate the mid-majors, and be available to fill out BYU's November schedule? No thanks!

  • SoCalUtahFan Irvine, CA
    July 15, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    Where is the professionalism in this article?

    Utah and Hill are doing what is best for Utah. And because it's not best for BYU,
    BYU's fans (including Dick Harmon) are not quite happy about it.

    If positions are reversed...if BYU was invited to Pac-12 instead of Utah, perhaps BYU
    may do the same. If that was the case, I would care less if BYU dropped Utah game.

    Whining will not get you anywhere.
    Crying out of anger only shows your weakness.

    Be a man and accept the fact...Utah no longer needs BYU game.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    July 15, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    AntelopeValleyUte
    Palmdale, CA
    Basically what Dr. Hill said (to put it politely/bluntly), "I don't care what people think or say about me. Whether people like it or not, I have a job to do as an athletic director in a BCS conference for the UofU; and the only people I report to is the school president, the chancellor, and the PAC-12 commissioner."

    While BYU fans and the local media constantly trashed Utah with scheduling and Utah's PAC-12 membership, BYU decided to go the independent route and sign a contract with ESPN for TV exposure. Obviously BYU faithful ignored what BYU did and bashed Utah for it. BYU didn't think about Utah when it signed that ESPN deal, did they? Nope, it is all about its self interest. Wow, how ignorant some Utah haters can be.

    ___________

    LOL!

    How dare you make comments challenging BYU fans like that.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    July 15, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    Balan
    South Jordan, Utah
    Motorbike - NEVER has BYU exhibited the arrogance that Utah is now. How many ute fans have said something to the effect that "we are better that BYU now; bigger fish to fry; we are big time now; BYU is mid-level major" etc. etc. etc. The fact that you think that in your second year you can actually compete in the PAC12 is laughable; the fact that your fans continue to talk about getting to the "final 4" in football is laughable; the fact that you think you can get to the Rose Bowl any more than once in 20 years (talk to Arizona, ASU, WSU, etc.) is laughable; the arrogance displayed by Whittingham and Hill is laughable; the utter arrogance exhibited by Utah fans is laughable.

    There is no question which school wins the title of "arrogant" in the state of Utah, and maybe the whole United States.

    Enjoy the title; you have earned it.

    ____________________

    Title? You own it!

    Arrogant = BYU WAC legacy which nobody respects other than BYU fans.
    Arrogant = BYU fans thinking power conferences want them. Nope!

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    July 15, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    SoonerUte

    The point is, despite all of the chestbeating by Utah fans, the Utes aren't even close to being an elite team, in fact, the Utes weren't even competitive in the worst division of any major conference. The rest of the conference sits back and snickers at the ineptitude of the newbies on the block and wonder why they were invited to the conference in the first place since the Utes have done absolutely NOTHING to prove that they belong.

    8th in football
    11th in basketball
    dead last or next to last in every other men's sport

    What we suggest is curbing all of the pointless chestbeating until you've actually accomplished something.

    Finishing with a winning conference record in any men's sport might be a good place to start.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    July 15, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    I think Dick is a little more balanced than most of those at the Team Down South who are crying foul. After all the BYU-Utah State rivalry went back to 1922, but BYU put a stop to it in 2002 out of self-interest. Over the next four years they played the Aggies only once - a one and done in Provo. Today if Utah State wants a contract, they have to sign and two for one with the Cougars. What goes around, comes around.

  • Billy Budd Saint George, UT
    July 15, 2012 3:00 p.m.

    USC and Notre Dame manage to adjust their schedules to accomodate their annual game played sometime between October 15 and the end of November at least since 2003.
    Stanford and Notre Dame manage to adjust their schedules to accomodate their annual game played only once in September, the rest played in October and November at least since 2003.
    It would be nice to see BYU/UTAH make similar accomodations.

  • 2BCSWINS West of I15, UT
    July 15, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    Balan and Pheniox....

    You do realize this was Utah's first year in the PAC12 right? Do you really think they won't get better recruits in the future? Be jealous and say they will never go to a rose bowl all you want. They have already reached and won a Sugar bowl and Fiesta bowl in the last 8 years. I understand the jealousy you two have over that. IMO however going off of that. I would say they would at least have a shot at a rose bowl in the futre. Give them more then 1 year to settle into their new conference. Even in their first year they were competetive and beat the team you two brag up by 44 PTS on their home feild.

  • CALUTAZ Peoria, AZ
    July 15, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    Don't you all have other more important things to worry about than a football game? Get a life. There are many reasons I don't live in Utah anymore--the vastly overheated, overhyped and overrated BYU-Utah rivalry is just one of them.

    --A Proud Ex-Utahn (and even prouder BYU alum)

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 15, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    @Balan

    "The fact that you think that in your second year you can actually compete in the PAC12 is laughable"
    _____

    Though I said nothing of the sort in my comment I'll still respond to your remark.

    While I choose to simply watch great football games and see how it all plays out, Trevor Matich of ESPN (former BYU player/regular Ute critic) recently called Utah a dark horse for a national championship this coming season. He stated that it would not surprise him if Utah beat USC at RES and ended the season with a shot at the title.

    So go on thinking Ute fans have their heads in the clouds for hoping to compete for the Pac 12 South championship. We'll all just ignore that most national football critics believe Utah will be in the top three or four of the Pac 12 this season - which by the way is some very elite company with USC, Oregon and Stanford thought to be top 10 teams and Washington close behind.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    July 15, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    I would guess the people over 60 would care less if the game isn't played.
    Gary

  • WJCoug South Jordan, Utah
    July 15, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    What high and mighty Utah fans like 2BCSWINS fail to recognize is that had you been in the PAC12 in 2004 and 2008 you would NEVER have made it to either the Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl. So continue to fantasize all you want that simply because you are in the PAC12 now you are going to get better recruits and take the PAC12 by storm, but the bottom line is that you will never compete with teams like USC, Oregon, Washington, Stanford, Cal, UCLA, ASU (other than an occasional aberration - once every 25 years, if lucky). Enjoy your new reality Utes. You asked for it and got it.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    July 15, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    "Anything Utah is doing or will do to enhance and protect its brand is exactly what everybody else is doing."

    Protects it brand? Really?

    Please tell me how abandoning a century old rivalry factors into protecting a non-existent brand?

    If Dr. Hill is so concerned about enhancing his program tell me what's happening with basketball and the other sports?

    It's entertainment, that's it and somehow taking away something the majority of the fans want, on both sides of the debate, somehow just does not compute.

    I never criticized the Utes for moving to the PAC 10. They wanted stiffer competition, they got it, a definite enhancement.

    But protecting a brand???? A hilarious but false assumption.

    You have to have something first to protect it. That's what we call down south... a legacy.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 15, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    @howie

    chris hill does not own the rivalry, what a ridiculous statement although I'm never surprised by your ridiculousness. BYU wants to schedule it and utah is to scared to play it. It is like claiming that the shut in, to scared to come outside, "owns" those that want to play. Pretty silly of you.

    I could not care less if BYU ever plays utah again. No loss in my mind.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 15, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    @charlie24

    Well we'll have to let all of those "elite" programs like washington st, arizona, colorado, iowa st, duke, kentucky, vanderbilt, utah, etc. know that even though none of them has ever done much they are elite based on nothing more than association.

    LOL!

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Reading some of the pathetic drivel posted today is truly unreal. I left Utah over 15 years ago, glad I did. Few souls I've encountered since then ever questioned why. Mainly because those few people went to ski Utah, which is about the only reason to go there other than visiting the amazing national parks. I love the Utes, but half of the population that resides there is off their rockers..........just take one look at the politicians that represent that sad place. I say let BYu go, never look back. Gooooooo Utes!

  • catseye MAGNA, UT
    July 15, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    I disagree with those who claim BYU is arrogant in securing its independence and its contract with ESPN. BYU was nearly blindsided in the football firestorm that started a few years ago. At that time, it was sitting side-by-side with his northern rival in a joint campaign to dismantle the BCS. Then, instantly, its supposed "friend" to the north jumped ship to save itself in the new PAC-12. BYU didn't get any offers -- not because they aren't good, but because they abide certain religious principles. They were caught with no choice but to come up with something to survive if they wanted a chance to keep playing at a high level. Their solution was potentially brilliant, but by no means was it arrogant and self-serving. It was an act of sheer survival. Utah has done nothing but serve itself all the way. It will get whatever comes of its arrogant high-minded outlook going forward, but it was never a "friend" or "ally" to BYU. BYU should let the old rivalry go and be glad for it. Utah's fair-weather, high-minded, self-serving attitude isn't worth the trouble for BYU.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    If BYu was such a valuable commodity, why did they ONLY get a call back from the lowly Big East? No major BCS conference gave BYu the time of day, nor will they ever. The Y is the world's problem child and are treated as such.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 15, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    BYu should thank Utah for a PAC game. As it stands today, BYu doesn't one PAC school scheduled other than Utah after this year. And, there is NO WAY any of the California PAC schools will EVER schedule BYu again.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    July 15, 2012 8:19 p.m.

    @Duckhunter

    Who owns the rivalry?

    Tom Holmoe wants to play in '14 and '15... Dr.Hill said no.

    Bronco Mendenhall wants to play in '14 and '15... Dr. Hill said no.

    The hyperventilating BYU media want to play in '14 and '15... Dr. Hill said no.

    If the Cougar Nation truly didn't care about continuing the game there would be no uproar... but in fact Cougar Nation cares deeply about the game...

    Ute Nation responds with a big... meh... we've got bigger fish to fry.

    Dr. Hill does indeed own the rivalry... He dictates when and if it will be played.

    BYU can to nothing but wait helplessly as Dr. Hill decides if he wants the trial separation to continue beyond '16... he knows BYU will always be there as his backup plan if other opportunities fall through.

    But hey... maybe BYU's legacy will help them land another 4/2 with Notre Dame.

  • GoRed WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    July 15, 2012 8:23 p.m.

    duckhunter states "I could not care less if BYU ever plays utah again. No loss in my mind."

    Really? After posting on this article and the other article on the Utes something like 25 times, you'll have to pardon me if I doubt the truthfulness of your remark.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2012 8:32 p.m.

    UtahBronco-

    I appreciate your concern over my faith. Would your faith be shaken to know that President Monson attends every BYU home game and cheers vehemently for the Cougars, and that in his mind there is not a chance that BYU drops any of it's sports?

    My point is that anyone speculating that BYU will drop football is doing just that. Just once I would like to see someone back it up with more that just a "rumor" that they have started because they are insecure.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 15, 2012 8:35 p.m.

    duckhunter states "I could not care less if BYU ever plays utah again. No loss in my mind."

    Really? After posting on this article and the other article on the Utes something like 25 times, you'll have to pardon me if I doubt the truthfulness of your remark.

    GoRed-

    So...You and all the other Utah fans posting on here must care?

  • UtahBronco Lehi, UT
    July 15, 2012 9:17 p.m.

    @ Cougar1 8:32pm

    You and I share the same faith. However, I do not claim to know what is in President Monson's mind now or in the future.

  • rafinsure Elk Grove/U.S.A., 00
    July 15, 2012 9:47 p.m.

    During the last game at Lavell Edwards Stadium (when people were leaving the stadium), Mrs. Whittingham was physically and verbally mistreated by a BYU fan. She was with her kids, felt unsafe, and cried as she left the stadium. I think this hit too close to home for Coach Whittingham and possibly might have created some hurt feelings. I think at one time he had some gratitude for BYU, but the incident ended all of that. He's ready to leave his history with BYU behind him. My wife and I stopped attending BYU-Utah games at Rice-Eccles Stadium for the same reason many years ago. Therefore, considering what happened to his wife and seeing that fans continue to go overboard with the rivalry, having a demanding PAC-12 schedule served as a good excuse or out to end the rivalry. To be quite honest, I won't be surprised if the U and BYU never or rarely play each other in football after this season. Even though Chris Hill and Tom Holmoe say otherwise, I think it's over.

  • gbo Draper, UT
    July 15, 2012 10:21 p.m.

    No one is at fault here. No one is scared, arrogant or cowardly. It's the big business of college football. Money has taken over. Title IX has an impact because there is no women's equivalent to football, athletic departments are struggling to stay in the black. So everyone is chasing money. I'm a BYU fan and believe the Cougars would have done the same thing if in Utah's shoes. Harmon's point that BYU going independent would seem arrogant, cowardly, blah blah blah in Laramie, San Diego, or Albuquerque is spot on. It just depends on the point of view. It's a shame the rivalry is on hold for a couple of years, but it's not Utah's fault. It's just the state of grabbing as many dollars as you can in college football. It's elitism in college football that doesn't exist in other sports that's driving the change. If you really want to blame someone, blame the NCAA for allowing the BCS to create "haves and have nots" that have driven conference realignment. The payouts are so huge inside the BCS, programs try to find a way in.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 15, 2012 10:22 p.m.

    @WJCoug

    What high and mighty Utah fans like 2BCSWINS fail to recognize is that had you been in the PAC12 in 2004 and 2008 you would NEVER have made it to either the Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl.
    _________

    I'm glad to see a cougar fan admit that the Pac 12 is a much more difficult schedule to play. And THIS is why the rivalry game is a REAL issue for Chris Hill to tackle on a year by year basis ... particularly years when Utah already lines up a Michigan type game.

    So again, thank you for making our point for us.

  • WJCoug South Jordan, Utah
    July 15, 2012 11:12 p.m.

    The point is that for Utah fans to be expecting to win the PAC12, go to the Rose Bowl, or become a top-echelon team in the PAC12 is a real stretch. Enjoy your ride in the PAC12 but I think you are mistaken if you or anyone else realistically expects to go to a BCS or national championship playoff anytime soon. In fact my guess is that it never happens again. From the standpoint of playing in a major bowl game, you were better off in the old MWC. You need to prepare to become, at best, a mid-level program in the PAC12 (I know - you think it is better than what BYU has now. I really do get the way you guys think).

  • dallas realist rockwall, texas
    July 16, 2012 12:13 a.m.

    ya IM sure Utah cant fit byu in anymore, o waitt but they can fit northern colorado? if byu is so mid- major why not just use them as a tune up game? thats what I thought.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 16, 2012 12:55 a.m.

    @WJCoug

    You make another fine point there ... you're trying to inform Ute fans of the doom and gloom of how hard it will be to ever again reach another major bowl game due to playing in the PAC 12. Meanwhile we Ute fans are already well aware of this and embrace the new challenge and would like to see if we can ever pull it off the big boy way.

    But your comment speaks for many cougar fans that would rather beat up on cupcakes and hope enough other teams lose so you can finish in the top 25 - or even #1 like in '84.

    No thank you, I don't know one Ute fan that would trade the BYU way of doing it for trying to get things done the big boy way - risk of Pac 12 cellar dweller and all. It's too much fun playing exciting teams virtually every week to want to trade that for a fake 10-win season.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 16, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    Regardless of the continual whYning, ridiculous insults and negative speculations as to the Ute's future success by ardent Y fans, there are a couple facts that play "trump card" it it relates to Utah and we fans.........our conference games are exciting and mean something every week, We are in the 12 PAC and BYu is NOT! And there is an old proverb that defines the current status of the U's relationship with BYu..............."We truly don't care, and you definitely don't matter." Live with it "blue" cougies!

  • boldy independent! Albuquerque, NM
    July 16, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    Utah who?

    I mean really, let's move on. Utah competes in ONE sport, ONE. THAT's it. Where is the basketball, soccer, rugby, volleyball, cross country, track and field, swim, tennis team? EXACTLY. Pretty much non-existent. Let them protect their lonely football team and have their day in the sun. Their football team beat us pretty good last year, although we were the better team as coaches determined at the end of the year. Time to move on, we cougars have bigger fish to fry. The likes of the Broncos, Georgia Tech and Irish just to name a few. Go Cougars!

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 16, 2012 8:00 a.m.

    Utahbronco-

    Thanks for making my point.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    July 16, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    Come on Dick. Utah cannot continue to carry this rivalry. To carry football for the state of Utah. They cannot continue pretending that their fellow in-state programs who play the majority of their schedule against the WAC, are on equal footing with the Pac-12 Utes. It's unfair to both sides.

    BYU truly is finding out how insignificant they are, after having spent the last 30 years trying to convince everyone otherwise. For all that they supposedly bring to the table, lets examine the facts. 1)No BCS conference wants them. Pac-10 passed for decades, Big 12 took West Virginia!, Big East would love them, to pair with other Conference USA teams. 2)They can't put together a decent 12 game schedule, even though they can sellout any stadium across the country. 3)The moment your biggest rival deemed you of no further use, they dropped you like a crazy girlfriend. And 4)For your supposed national fan base, your games are stuck on ESPN 2 at 8:30PM on Saturday nights. Proving once again that outside of LDS wardhouses nationwide, nobody cares about BYU.

    Tough time being a Cougar fan.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 16, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Utah got promoted - along with TCU to BCS conferences. The reason for the promotions had largely to do with their own BCS wins. BYU got left behind and only went independent to run from the embarrassment of staying in the MWC. Being Independent has not worked out at all for the Y. No real bowl game to speak of (Armed Forces Bowl is a bottom tier bowl) and a home schedule of embarrassing teams to play for the Y - Idaho, New Mex St, San Jose St, Weber St, etc... The ESPN TV deal doesn't even come close to replacing being in a BCS conference and now recruits are dumping the Y for the U. BYU is very quickly becoming a has-been in college football and my guess is Bronco is not going to be part of that after next season. BYU missed the chance to really promote themselves a year ago when the Big 12 was fishing for 2 teams but it sounded like the Y was unwilling to give up their TV deal with ESPN - BIG MISTAKE. Too bad - BYU football is fading into the sunset. It was fun while it lasted.

  • DontMUSSwUtah SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    July 16, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    WJcoug-

    Read Motorbike's comment 5 times through. That's exactly how Utah fans feel.

    BYU fans are extremely proud of their "dynasty". They believe a few spread-out individual accomplishments over the years, combined with "top-25/10-win finishes", trump undefeated seasons, BCS busting, Conference invitations etc.. Not being invited to a conference doesnt bother cougar fans. In fact, they embrace independence because they get to see their team beat the snot out of weak teams on national television (ESPN and BYUtv). BYU wouldn't want to be caught dead in the Pac-12 anyways, because even though they are a "power conference", some of the lower-tier teams having losing records, so that must mean they are not very good. Also, even though we got shalacked by our rival 54-10, we are still better than them because we had the better record at the end of the year.

    I get the way you think too.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    July 16, 2012 8:29 p.m.

    Hey Dontmuss,
    Now you know how Cougar fans feel when BYU beats Utah. It doesn't matter how many times it happens, there is always an excuse. I get where you are coming from. I talk to BYU fans all the time that can't get their heads out of the clouds....but I also talk to a lot of Utah fans who are the same way. Utah fans and BYU fans are both guilty of hypocritical statements, arrogance, and just plain stupidity. It goes both ways and any fan that can't admit that belongs in one of those categories.

  • WJCoug South Jordan, Utah
    July 17, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    Motorbike - I get it that BYU fans are sometimes over the top and a bit arrogant. But as Cougars1 aptly expressed, it goes both ways.

    The final act of arrogance, however, was perpetrated by Whittingham and Hill a few days ago when they suspended the century-long rivalry with BYU. Neither program, until now, has ever shown that level of arrogance.

    Can you imagine how Utah fans would have reacted had the "death blow" come from BYU instead of Utah???

  • WON84 PLANO, TX
    July 18, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    As long as applicants continue to receive denial letters from the BYU admissions office, there will be a rivalry here.