Five Times Utah Sports Teams Were ‘Set Free’

Mar 29, 2021, 5:40 PM
Ever Given Ship...
The "Ever Given" container ship operated by the Evergreen Marine Corporation, sails through the Suez Canal, after it was fully freed and floated. Egypt's Suez Canal Authority announced that the stranded massive container ship that has blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week, has been fully dislodged and successfully floating in the canal. Photo: Sayed Hassan/dpa (Photo by Sayed Hassan/picture alliance via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sayed Hassan/picture alliance via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Over the years, sports franchises and programs have been stuck in certain situations but it sure feels good when they are set free.

On Monday, cargo ship Ever Given was freed after six days of being lodged aground in the Suez Canal. The canal is one of the world’s most important waterways that is located 75 miles east of Cairo, Egypt. According to CNet, roughly 12 percent of the world’s shipping traffic and a good chunk of its oil supply goes through the canal.

In honor of Ever Given getting freed, here are some Utah sports franchises and programs that were once stuck and then were free from a situation.

Utah And BYU Free From Mountain Network

This is an obvious one. Anyone who followed BYU or Utah football in the early 2000s had to go through the “questionable” production that was The Mountain Network. HD television did not exist in that network and it was hard to even see the players clearly. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Pac-12 Network would still appreciate that product if it meant that they would never had to go through The Mountain Network again.

Ron McBride Freeing Utah Football From Losing To BYU Constantly

Ron McBride was the head coach of the Utah football team from 1990-02. From 1972-89, Utah was 2-16 against BYU, including a stretch of six straight losses from 1972-77 and nine straight losses from 1979-87.

The Utes lost to the Cougars three straight times to start the McBride era before winning three straight. During McBride’s tenure at Utah, they went 6-7. That success translated to Urban Meyer, who swept BYU in two seasons. Kyle Whittingham and the Utes were 3-3 to round out the Mountain West era. Since joining the Pac-12, Utah hasn’t lost to BYU.

Jazz Free From Tyrone Corbin Era

Tyrone Corbin had a long NBA career as a player, playing in the league for 16 years. His coaching career began in 2004 as an assistant for the Jazz under Jerry Sloan. In 2011 when Sloan retired, Corbin had the near impossible task of replacing the hall of famer.

It’s still the only head coaching job that Corbin has held. His contract was not renewed after the 2013-14 season. He was an interim coach for 28 games in Sacramento but was not the actual head coach.

As the head coach of the Jazz for three and a half seasons, he had a 112-146. Quin Snyder is in his seventh season at the helm for the Jazz and has won over 300 games.

Jazz Freed From Luther Wright Contract

In the 1993 NBA Draft, the Jazz selected Luther Wright with the 18th overall pick. Wright only played 15 games as a rookie, averaging 1.3 points per game. He later entered a mental institution and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and did not return to the team. The holdup was that Wright was still under his rookie contract with the Jazz. They agreed to a contract settlement where Wright would be paid $153,000 per year for 25 years. The 25 years ended on July 1, 2019.

Wright is currently working with his alma mater Seton Hall.

Pac-12 Will Soon Be Free From Commissioner Larry Scott

As of right now, fans in the Pac-12 are still going through the Larry Scott era as commissioner of the conference. But those days are limited as Scott will not be the commissioner much longer as he will be out on July 1, 2020.

From the way he negotiated the media rights deal to the way he handled the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be a breath of fresh air to see what the conference will be like without him running it.

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

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Five Times Utah Sports Teams Were ‘Set Free’