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BYU Football Best Public Face For Church, Says ESPN Host

Sep 4, 2019, 10:15 AM
PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 9: General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium prior to the game between the Utah ...
PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 9: General view of LaVell Edwards Stadium prior to the game between the Utah Utes and the Brigham Young Cougars on September 9, 2017 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football is a unique program in so many ways. From the fact that they are an FBS Independent and chose that independent path. To also the fact they are owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

People around the country and the world for that matter usually have an opinion of BYU football because of the uniqueness of the program.

One ESPN Radio host views BYU football’s unique status in the college football landscape in high regard.

Bomani Jones, the host of the “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” on ESPN, got on the topic of BYU football during his show.

“BYU football is the most visible public representation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Jones said.

Jones later continued, “In terms of a public representation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that is non-controversial, it’s the football team … Yo! BYU shows up in your town, there’s a good chance you’re going to be sold out … my point being, wherever they show up man people are going to show up and watch them play football. But it’s a great way to carry the brand of your message.”

Whenever BYU football takes the field against an opponent, the Cougars represent the religion that sponsors the university. It’s part of the mission statement of the university.

Back in February of this year, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake spoke at halftime of a Cougar basketball game and made it clear his team represents the church and he’s proud to do so.

“We’re very honored as a football team to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Brigham Young University. Thankful for a wonderful prophet alive and well today (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints President Russell M. Nelson was in attendance on the front row),” said Sitake.

65 players on BYU’s 2019 football roster have served two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On those missions, student-athletes are removed from training for sports and serve others in their assigned area. On average, missionaries are walking six miles a day and riding a bike 12 miles a day.

BYU football returns to action on Saturday against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. The game can be heard on KSL Newsradio at 5 p.m. (MDT). Listen to Cougar Sports Saturday beginning at Noon (MDT) live from Knoxville to preview the matchup.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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