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Holmoe Answers Big Questions In State Of Program Address

Jan 30, 2019, 9:44 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2019, 2:09 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe held his semi-annual Q&A with the media to discuss the state of the BYU athletic department.

The BYU football program released its 2019 schedule earlier that day, so among the first questions were Holmoe’s thoughts on the complete schedule.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Holmoe. “I’m happy to have a football coach and players that feel good about a schedule like that. If you were to take each of those teams at their very best, it would be wicked.”

BYU opens the season with Utah, then travels to Tennessee, before returning home to face USC and Washington. The Cougars are the only football program in the country to face four Power 5 teams in the first four weeks of the season.

ESPN Contract

BYU is currently in negotiations with ESPN for its television deal which began in 2011.

“We’re in an option year and we are in discussions right now,” said Holmoe.

The contract will also impact BYU’s bowl tie-ins. ESPN – which broadcasts 35 of the 40 bowl games while directly owning 13 of them – has been a partner for the BYU athletic program in finding games in the postseason.

“Our bowl tie-ins are approximate to our ESPN contract, that’s why 2019 is our last [announced] bowl game,” explained Holmoe. “As we work on a new contract with ESPN, that’s when the bowl slots will be determined.”

BYU has agreed to play in the Hawai’i Bowl for the 2019 season.

Hosting a Bowl Game?

Holmoe was later asked if BYU would be interested in having a long-term agreement with a bowl game, or even possibly playing host for a bowl game.

“It would be dependent on what that game might be,” said Holmoe. “We’ve had potential bowls contact us about creating a bowl where we would be the anchor team. Being with ESPN, that would be something they would determine.”

BYU has a history in being involved with organizing bowl games. As a member of the WAC, the program helped organize the Fiesta and Holiday Bowls, and as a founding member of the Mountain West Conference, also had a hand in organizing the Las Vegas Bowl.

“Could BYU as an Independent start a bowl? It’s feasible. It could happen,” said Holmoe.

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