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Utah AD Mark Harlan Hopes To Play BYU On Time, Has Talked To Tom Holmoe ‘Quite A Bit’

(Photos courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan is still optimistic about playing against BYU in the season opener on Thursday, September 3 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

For Harlan and Utah, he faces challenges with the NCAA, Pac-12 and the state of Utah when it comes to the future of the 2020 college football season.

Harlan joined KSL’s Unrivaled on KSL Newsradio to discuss the conversations that he has had with the NCAA, the Pac-12 and the state of Utah as well as the future of the 2020 season.

“Obviously, the first game for Utah is a big game like it is for BYU,” Harlan said. “My hope is that it is played on time. That’s really what we are planning for. The medical professionals and data will guide what makes sense.”

Fans In Stands?

With the latest news around the country and as more sports are beginning to resume play without fans, the future of the 2020 season in college football isn’t a matter of will it be played but will it start on time, will the full schedule be played and most importantly, will fans be allowed to attend.

“We don’t know,” Harlan stated. “Certainly, if there are limitations on fans or if their are no fans, there is no question that it’s a revenue hit. We are going to go with what the local officials decide is best. We are right around the 86 percent renewal rate on season tickets. We are very hopeful that our fans can be there but we are also realistic that we have to plan for that not to happen. I really believe that if the data continues to hold and we continue to see good numbers and people make great decisions between now and then that we will play that football game.”

Frequent Talks With BYU AD

During the pandemic, Harlan said that he and BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe have spoken frequently. Both are hopeful to see the Utes and Cougars clash in the rivalry game on September 3.

“Tom Holmoe and I talk quite a bit,” Harlan said. “We have been sharing best practices with each other and certainly our hope is that we play that football game.”

In the opener of the 2019 season, Utah traveled down to Provo and beat BYU 30-12 at LaVell Edwards Stadium for their ninth straight win over their rival.

You can listen to the full interview with Harlan on KSL’s Unrivaled, below.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports. You can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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