Former Pac-12 Commissioner Speaks About BYU’s Lack Of Invite
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Former Pac-12 commissioner Tom Hansen recently spoke about the league’s interest – or lack of interest – in adding Brigham Young University to the conference.
Hansen spoke to The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner in his podcast, The Hotline, about realignment efforts over the past 30 years.
As part of the discussion, Wilner spoke about any past consideration that the Pac-12 Conference may have had with adding BYU as a member.
For years prior to the conference adding Utah in 2011, it was thought the Utes and Cougars would join as a combined package, each program serving as the other’s travel partner in several sports.
Ultimately, the conference did expand to 12 teams, adding Colorado from the Big 12 rather the BYU.
At the time of their invite, Utah was 69-19 over the previous seven seasons, with two undefeated seasons and a 9-bowl winning streak, including big wins over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and over then No. 4 Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
Over that same timeframe, BYU was 58-29 with a 3-2 bowl record in five appearances – all the Las Vegas Bowl. Although not as stellar at the Utes, it’s also nothing to turn a nose at, especially considering Colorado’s 36-51 record over those years.
For some, it seemed BYU made the most sense for a conference invite. Others suspected the Cougars’ rule against Sunday play and other unique qualifiers eliminated them from the discussion.
Here’s what Hansen had to say about the level of interest In adding the Cougars (beginning at the 16:15 mark):
“Yes, there’s always been discussion about BYU and they have expressed interest over the years, certainly and it’s a wonderful athletic program. But, this goes back to the first criteria and I mentioned that, and that is that it has to be a major research university. And BYU, it’s my understanding and I’m certainly not an expert and this is what we learned through our research, is primarily an undergraduate institution. It does not have wealth of many graduate programs. So that has always been a barrier to BYU being considered and it never really has been considered for membership.”
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