Fuller's Field

6.18.2010

BYU Athletics >>> Utah

I am re-posting some research I did last night after I tried to post it from my iPhone while driving an RV across Nebraska this afternoon. It's essentially a rundown comparing the Y and the U in athletics. As suspected, BYU dominates in everything except bowls (wins/winning percentage/BCS bowls) . . . but I didn't expect the Cimson Club to have more members than the Cougar Club; 4,400 vs. 4,000 per websites (see below). I joined the Cougar Club last night (it was far past time). Let's make a push to surpass them.

Update: FuriousMonkey pointed out that the Utes give their recently graduated students a free membership for the first year, thus artificially inflating their numbers . . . but we should still push membership to the Cougar Club . . . see benefits and join now here . . . )


University Enrollment (2009):

BYU: Over 35,000

Utah: Over 26.000

Total Alumni--living (active chapters):

BYU: 370,000 (105)

Utah: 210,000 (15)

Athletics Booster Organizations--Members (Satellite Chapters):

Cougar Club: "nearly 4,000" (15)

Crimson Club: 4,400 (ZERO)

TV markets/Fan base

This is difficult to quantify for various reasons. We all know SLC is a low-mid 30's media market and that BYU has more of a handle on this market than Utah does. But that is about the extent of the Utah fan base by in large. Being a state-run school it tends to draw in-state students that then tend to stay in state . . . all of this at a much higher rate than BYU students. BYU can claim significant fan bases (whether BYU grads, or LDS-cheerers) in the following top 50 media markets: LA #2, Bay-area #6, Phoenix #12, Seattle #14, Denver #18, Sacramento #20, Portland #23, San Diego #27, and Las Vegas #43. Then add high concentrations of BYU fans in niche markets (Idaho markets, Hawaii, smaller CA markets), and respectable clusters of fans/alumni in other top media markets (Dallas/FW #5 and D.C. #9) and you truly have a national following of which TV contracts negotiators will take note. Utah cannot quite match BYU even in it's home market, and it pales in comparison outside the Wasatch front. One recent opinion piece summed it up nicely while suggesting that BYU take Colorado's place in the BigXII:

"BYU replaces Colorado. When it comes to the premiere sport, and what realignment is all about, the Cougars have the Buffs beat hands down. They play better football and have been a perennial top-20 team that consistently gets into, and performs well in bowls. They play in a bigger stadium (64,000+ versus 50,000) to sold out crowds. And they have much better TV ratings. Their home market, Salt Lake City, is smaller than Denver by about 35 percent and they split it with Utah. Colorado, however, also shares the Denver market with Colorado State, Air Force, the Broncos of the NFL, and until the end of September, pro baseball. Salt Lake is also one of the fastest growing markets in the country. By taking BYU the Big 12 can draw a “line n the sand” and compete against the PAC, who is busy grabbing Utah in said Salt Lake market. Although the Utes have performed well as of late, BYU has a larger following in the Salt Lake City market and a longer legacy of football success. With their LDS affiliation, BYU also has a big national following, and per ESPN figures is one of the best draws in the nation from a television rating standpoint. Simply stated, The Cougs draw well…at home, away, and on the boob tube. Therefore, the Big 12 can actually grab the premier team in the Salt Lake market, one that has a national following, defend themselves against further PAC incursions, and actually increase their revenue. Finally, the Cougars also perform well in other sports, while Colorado does not."

Athletic Revenue (2007-8)

BYU: $36.7 million (64th nationally . . . 2nd in MWC behind TCU's 57th; but TCU, followed by BYU, were the top two non-AQ revenue teams in the nation; meaning that 62 out ot the top 63 revenue earning NCAA schools were from BCS conferences . . . that revenue-sharing for TV contracts and bowl payouts goes a long way, eh?)

Utah: $26.9 million (80th nationally . . . SEVENTH in the MWC, and 13th among non-AQ schools)

Additionally, this Database search of PUBLIC ONLY NCAA teams in 2004-5 had Utah at $25.5 million . . . which was behind UNM and SDSU (safely presumable that they were behind BYU, TCU, and AFA that year as well) . . . and barely ahead of UNLV.

A cash-cow Utah Althletics is not.

Athletics Budget (2009):

BYU: $30 million (spending much less than we made)

Utah: $27 million (spending a tad more than they made)

Football Attendance (2009):

BYU: 64,497 capacity . . . sold out 20 consecutive times (only 20-25 teams NATIONALLY average a sell out each year). 26-27th nationally for total average attendance per home game for the last 4 years (Source for this and below)

UTah: 45,017 capacity . . . often sell out (but usually only the bigger games or in the better years as evidenced by plenty of empty seats being plainly noticeable for games against "lesser" teams every year.) Utes came in at 49-57th nationally for total average attendance per home game for last 4 years.

Basketball Attendance (2009):

BYU: 17th nationally at 14,097 per home game (Marriott Center capacity 22,700; 62% full . . . we can definitely do better here!)

Utah: 56th nationally at 9,202 per home game (Huntsman Center capacity 15,000; 61% full)

BYU has averaged over 13K and Utah averaged UNDER 10K for the last four years running.

Now switching gears from demographics and financial matters to athletic accomplishments . . .

Sears Director's Cup Standings--total final ranking of all NCAA sports (current and incomplete 2009-2010):

BYU: 34th (should go up quite a bit with our strong softball and track finishes this year)

Utah: 67th

Average of last decade: BYU 29th-ish, Utah 60th (also, BYU averaged in the mid to high teens through most of the 1990s.)

Deseret Duel (started in 2007):

BYU 2 wins, Utah 1 win (BYU owned Utes in 2009-10 with final tally of 45-15)

NCAA Football National Titles:

BYU: 1984

Utah: None

BCS Games/wins:

BYU: None (though snubbed at least twice and not invited to play 1995 & 2001)

Utah: 2 games and 2 wins (same BCS performance as Boise State)

Bowl Games (record):

BYU 28 (10-17-1)

Utah 15 (12-3) . . . Utes are, admittedly, amazing in Bowl games.

Heisman Trophies:

BYU: Ty Detmer

Utah: None

(This and other BYU Hardware link here)

Doak Walker Awards:

BYU: Luke Staley

Utah: None

Davey O'Brien Award:

BYU: Four

Utah: None

Sammy Baugh Trophy:

BYU: Seven

Utah: None

Outland Trophy:

BYU: Two

Utah: None

(sensing a pattern here on the grid-iron?)

Wooden Award

BYU: Danny Ainge

Utah: Andrew Bogut

All-Americans (all sports):

BYU: 1060

Utah: Couldn't find it (maybe they're not proud of their figure?), but I'd wager quite a hefty sum that it's much less than a thousand.

Academic All-Americans 2009-10:

BYU 67

Utah 44

If you go through this data and think that Utah is/was the crown jewel of the MWC then you're just not willing to accept the facts. Two BCS bowl wins are impressive, for sure, but Colorado didn't need any BCS bowl accomplishments to gain admission to the PAC-10. Therefore, the reason Utah (or maybe even Colorado for that matter) is in a BCS conference over BYU is because of the homophilic and anti-religious tendencies of the Bay-area PAC 10 schools which black-balled BYU because of who we are, and what we stand for (the "Academic profile/Med School" issue is a load of crud . . . ASU, OSU, and WSU don't have med schools and stink academically on the national scale; plus, BYU has a WAY better academic ranking for the undergraduate school than Utah.). It's religious profiling, plain and simple. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

37 Comments:

At 4:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for you. Utah getting into the Pac 10 (12) isn't about BYU.

BYU's big problem is fans like you... Narcissists that feel they are better than others and look down on the good things that happen to others... because they should have gotten it instead.

Sad.

You represent what is wrong with BYU.... holier than thou attitude.

Types like yourself cast the rest of us fellow Mormons in with you in the eyes of others. They think we are religious snobs that look down our noses on them and won't let their children play with our own.

We have been counseled against this very thing by prophets.

Oh But.... it can't possibly apply to BYU or to football....

Really? Utah was asked to join the Pac 10...... not BYU and look what you did.

Obsess much?

 
At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow to the guy that posted at 4:20 A.M.

I think you need to look in the mirror and realize that you just came off exactly like the person you are accusing Jeff of being.

 
At 4:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Anonymous, those are fightin' words. The fact is that BYU has a better athletic tradition than the Ewe, and it's not even close. The Ewe got the nod because: a. they're a secular school that b. is "Johnny come lately." Great timing on becoming relevant nationally on the Ewe's part, because that is what got the Ewe to where it is now.

I don't see a problem with Jeff's post. It simply states what everyone with a few brain cells can clearly see...BYU has better overall athletics (and it isn't even close), but would never get a PAC 10 invite because of religious affiliation.

Why is that so offensive to you?

 
At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you "clearly" see depends largely on where you stand. Perspective is everything.

The argument here is that BYU is better than Utah and "clearly" should have been picked instead.

Well there are many folks that don't share your perspective... including (obviously) the important voices at the Pac 10.

BYU has obviously archived less in the last decade on the gridiron than Utah has. Beating Utah by itself isn't enough... who else did they beat and what distinction have they earned this decade?

Utah has a medical school and research facilities. Something it shares with other Pac 10 schools.

If BYU were to be asked to go to the Big 12.... I would be happy for them and would cheer for them... the same way I cheered for them against every other opponent in the Mountain West other than Utah.

Whose opinion is posting all this "research" attempting to sway?

Apparently every major conference in the NCAA should be beating down BYU's door....

As far as religious profiling goes.... Notre Dame seems to suffer far less than BYU from that.... maybe because they don't have the very perceptible reputation for looking down their noses at others and continually making judgments of others.

 
At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe it is because there are a lot more Catholics watching Notre Dame then Mormons watching BYU...ya think?

 
At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like some factual examples of BYU, as an institution, looking down and judging others. I hate to point out the tragic irony of your last paragraph.

Do you, or do you not disagree that even if we assume BYU is superior to Utah athletically that BYU's association with the LDS Church was a dealbreaker?

I agree that the type of institution is one "reason" given. I hate to point out the academic inferiority of ASU and WSU as a countargument to Utah's superior academics.

To be clear, I'm not bemoaning the fact that religion played a factor. That's life. I'm simply saying it is an insurmountable obstacle to the PAC-10, and I'm sticking to that.

I'm not sure what your Notre Dame point was. The PAC 10's problem is not a "Catholic" problem, but a Mormon problem. Beside the geographic issue, the PAC 10 would probably take the same stance with Notre Dame due to the strong anti-Prop 8 stance taken by Roman Catholics. Furthermore, Notre Dame brings enough cash to possibly alleviate some of those concerns.

 
At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BYU wasn't invited because, quite frankly, it's very weird from an outsider's perspective.

Here are a few problems: (1) Its faculty and students are nutso right-wing conservative. I mean, so far to the right that they make Ron Paul look tame; (2) There no research facilities or programs to speak of; (3) BYU doesn't give tenure! You persecuted Cougars don't think that's important?! (4) Its association with an organization that formally discriminated against a group of God's children that happened to have African descent. This was a tarnish on the Church, and on BYU. It won't soon be forgotten. You think the old school athletic directors and university presidents don't think/know about this?

BYU wasn't invited because it's just too weird. Eat it, Cougars. You're living in a fantasy world. And for heaven's sake, drop the persecution complex already.

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no persecution complex. It's just stating a fact. In essence, you're stating the same thing we are. There are non-athletic reasons (all connected to the school's religious sponsor) that bar BYU from serious consideration to join a BCS conference (more particularly, the PAC-10).

It does suck to see an inferior school athletically get invited to a better athletic conference.

 
At 8:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...

@7:34

1. BYU has a number of notable, federally-funded research centers. Query the Title VI database out of IEPS for a few.

2. There are more democrats at BYU that you seem to think. Harry Reid was an invited speaker at BYU's weekly campus-wide address (that ALL students are encouraged to attend).

3. Tenure isn't as big a deal as you seem to think (and I am a professor, just three timezones away). Look what happened to Ward Churchill at CU (a new PAC school).

4. The State of California had Jim-Crowe-like laws restricting the movement of Asian Americans. So, they fit your description of "formally discriminated against groups..." Yet the state schools in Cali are free from that stain while BYU is not?

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did CA's Jim Crowe laws continue until 1978? Were they a regular feature of the CA state schools' athletic programs up to that point? (Google "Black 14")

BYU's discrimination is more fresh in the minds of the public. Its discrimination was highlighted by the Church's losing battle against homosexual marriage.

 
At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're in. You're not. Deal with it.

 
At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

07:15

It's not the institution... it is the fans.

How can Cougar fan not realize this is not and never has been about BYU?

The only factor BYU plays at all is in the minds of it's jealous and envious fans.

Deny Utah's football success... Deny Utah's academic accomplishment...

Deny with whatever you need to to deal with reality...

Utah was invited and has inked the deal... they are PAC 10

BYU will go on.... and many of the fans will continue to represent themselves as pompous, self-centered, narcissistic, holier than thou, better than everybody else, stuffed shirts.

The institution is fine...it's some of the fans are the worst sort of Mormon elitists.... the kind to into themselves to truly understand what image the give off to others.... I'm LDS and I'm embarrassed by these types. They harm our faith more than any good deeds they perform will ever make up for.

Of course I'm a Utah fan... and must be unworthy.

Pac 10 snobs? Uh huh.

 
At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've lost it bro.

You really let BYU fans get under your skin that much? Thicken up. You're going to need it in the pirate ship, fruitcake.

 
At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah you must be right.... nobody out there believes BYU fan thinks they are superior to everybody else.

Gotta admit... I'm glad BYU and Utah are going separate directions.

Keep telling yourself that nobody out there thinks BYU fan alienates their non-LDS neighbor with their holier than thou routine.

You already know everything.

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Wow . . . lots of vitrol from "sore winners", eh?

These are facts and statistics Utes . . . and you don't seem to be dealing with them very well. Keep enjoying your invitation to the PAC-10, but turning this into "Cougs think they are better than everyone else" is just your default defense mechanism when, in reality, Utah fans are feeling a whole lot more of "we're better than the Cougs, and that's why the PAC-10 picked us." Funny how the tables have turned on that, eh?

Now, please reply with a substantive argument why Utah has a better athletic program than BYU and, therefore, why Utah was chosen over BYU for the PAC-10. I'd love to see it.

Talk about denial . . .

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your whole blog is about BYU being better than Utah on the field and in the classroom.

Where did BYU even enter the PAC 10 picture except in your mind? They were never mentioned by anyone else other than by BYU fan.

In 2004 BYU and Utah played each other. BYU lost and the Utes went undefeated and went on to win the BCS Fiesta Bowl and a top 5 national ranking.

In 2008 BYU and Utah played each other. BYU got crushed and the Utes went undefeated and went on to win the BCS Sugar Bowl and a #2 national ranking.

In the last 10 years that BYU defeated Utah... Were did they go and what did they earn?

The Las Vegas Bowl?

Yeah, the Pac 10 didn't consider football.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even assuming BYU's athletics and academics are "better" than Utah's, and even assuming that the PAC 10 didn't extend the invite because of the Church, the question is; are you really surprised? Does it really matter?

Is it any surprise to you that Bay Area schools don't like conservative religions that formally discriminated against blacks until 1978, and continue to fight a losing battle against homosexual marriage?

Is it any surprise to you that Bay Area schools don't appreciate academic restrictions?

Is it any surprise that Bay Area schools don't appreciate the overwhelmingly wing-nut student body and faculty at BYU?

Is it any surprise that BYU fans continue to relish in the subsidies to their athletic programs from the Church but call foul when the Church might be holding them back?

Get over it Cougs. The Church got you where you are. Don't complain if it can only take you too far.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Anon 12:05,

If it's all about recent football success, then why did Colorado get the invite over BYU? They suck it up in all the big sports.

What I'm arguing is that these additions to conferences are much more than just recent FB success (for which I've always given the Utes props) . . . it's a "whole package" kind of deal, and BYU's "whole package" is more impressive than the teams that just got invited to the PAC-10. So there's something else obviously going on. It's really not that hard to figure out guys . . . but keep lying to yourselves if that makes you feel better.

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff,

Honestly we feel great! Are you kidding... this is an Outstanding feeling!

What does suck (kinda) is watching BYU fans try to knock on Utah because it wasn't them.

I will honestly be happy for BYU if the Big 12 were to materialize for them.

As far as the whole package goes... IMO Utah is a good fit with the Pac 10.

My whole point has been that BYU was never considered by the Pac 10.... and that fact seems to offend you... so you respond by putting together a list of reasons why BYU is better than Utah.

The point is.... why do you have to put down Utah? Honestly, isn't it jealousy or envy?

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

I do think the Utes "fit" into the PAC-10 and the Cougs wouldn't. But you have to admit that it's pretty lame that athletic opportunity is dealt out based on non-athletic rationale.

The Utes hit the lottery with the PAC-10 invite. You'd all be jealous/envious if the U was left behind while the Y was headed to a BCS conference (especially if you truly did have the better and more storied athletic program). You'd have to admit that at least.

Sure there are sour grapes here, and I hope the Big XII picks us up, but for a die-hard fan like me, seeing the Utes hit the BCS-jackpot hurts. And those of you into Schadenfreud should be happy.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I appreciate that you can be honest about envy. I probably would feel the same way if the tables were turned.

I doubt I would respond by circular arguments about why Utah is better than the Y though.

That has been my point all along... look at the very first post.

I get that you feel BYU is better academically and athletically... but obviously not everyone agrees with that position.

I doesn't make it a fact that you think so.

Can you at least agree that in the last 5 years.... Utah has achieved much more success in football than has BYU?

If so... can't you see how that could attract a power conference?

AS far as Schadenfreud goes.... I am German.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Read my original blog post . . . I give the Utes props for their recent FB success. But I do think that Utes who think this is the the only qualifying reason to gain admission to a BCS conference are in their own little fantasyland.

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well.... there are probably many different fantasyland ideas going on.... our perspectives keep us from seeing everything the same way.

What we see depends largely on where we stand.

Peace and good luck... I hope BYU hits the big time too.

I always cheer for the Y against everybody but Utah.

We have more in common than not.

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting how you highlight BYU's snubs for BCS games, but don't mention how Utah was snubbed out of the national championship in 2008 after being the only undefeated team out there and dilute Utah's BCS accomplishments by mentioning that Boise State has also done it (isn't this a BYU vs. Utah post?).

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've still failed to offer a solitary example of BYU, as an institution, thumbing its nose at the world. Not one. It sounds like you're responding to our (admittedly) sour grapes by regurgitation some of your own. I'm sorry you didn't get in. Maybe your kids???

 
At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh...look at 9:21

Good work there genius.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Anon 2:19 . . . Boise State's two wins in BCS games ARE similar to Utah's (Alabama was maybe a bigger win, due to location and team quality, than anything BSU did, but the win over Pitt was against a lame opponent . . . so I think they average out to equal BCS game accomplishments.)

Sorry if I didn't/don't lose sleep over Utah missing out on a NC . . . I'm not a Utah fan and will never be one.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Anon 5:54 . . . I think there's more than one anonymous poster commenting here. Are you really giving Anon 4:09 a hard time for not trying to figure out what you, as an anoymous poster, has posted before? Or maybe you're right and he really is a genius . . . for you surely aren't one.

 
At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is, you try to show how BYU is superior through objective measures, but then throw your own subjectivity in there to make BYU look better/Utah worse. I don't expect you to lose sleep over Utah losing out on a chance at a national championship, but you lose credibility when you have to use Boise State to water down Utah's accomplishments and then mention how BYU got screwed and would likely have the same accomplishments (except they were held out for religious reasons, right?).

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Nope Anon 7:00 . . . BYU was held out of BCS games back then because of BCS pomposity . . . and the whining by everyone eventually resulted in the re-working of the BCS qualification measure that, ironically, Utah ended up benefited from. I've been at this a long time and was a well-known crybaby in 2001 when we were "released from consideration" for a BCS game with a 12-0 record.

And forgive me if I'm not 100% objective . . . I'm a fan. But it's what EVERYBODY does who's trying to make a case/win an argument. I'm like the lawyer presenting an argument . . . not the judge.

 
At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Ha. So this is how it goes:

Utah Fan: "We got invited to the Pac 10, obviously, because we're the superior program. Eat it, Kewgs."

Cougar Fan: "Really? That's why? Here's a mile of facts for you to chew on that quite effectively prove otherwise. "

Utah Fan: "This is the problem with you holier-than-thou BYU fans. You think you're better than us and look down your noses at us. Plus, you're weird. So there. Nyah Nyah!"

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuller you certainly are no genius either.....

The post that answered the request... specifically addressed the time of his request.

Which you should have been able to deduce easily based on what you responded to.

No wonder you argue in circles.

You are not very bright for a doctor.

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you for posting these FACTS. Ute fans - stop trashing on this guy bc he posted some FACTS that prove that BYU has a bigger following and more successful sports teams OVERALL. We all know that ultimately this came down to the fact that Cal (and maybe others) didn't want a "Mormon" school in their conference. The Pac 10 proved that they didn't care AT ALL about academics and research when they were trying to make the Big 12 raid. Texas tech? Oklahoma St? Oh yeah, they are real bastions of intellect.

All of this "holier than thou" talk from Ute fans is really starting to annoy me. We (byu fans) don't think that we are holier than Utah fans. I don't go to games or watch them thinking - Man, I'm so much more spiritual than those Utah chumps. We just think that our athletics program is better OVERALL than theirs.

Its unfortunate that the Pac-10 didn't invite us. I think that it would have been amazing to have been able to play schools like Oregon, UCLA, and USC on a regular basis. Am I jealous? Of course I am! But what makes me the most mad about all of this is that our rivalry is basically going to die bc of it. I have been to each of the last 4 BYU/Utah football games, and they have been some of the most memorable moments of my life. Its just sad that it will never be the same.

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Perfectly surmised Anon 8:30. Thanks. Usually the greater the vitriol, the weaker the argument . . . case in point proved by these Ute posters.

Anon 9:50 thanks for a substantive response . . . not many of those above qualify as such.

Anon 8:34 . . . go ahead and knock my intellect/smarts. I've got a pile of evidence to prove otherwise. Want me to post all of that as well? :)

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger bob said...

Chill you guys! Good grief! The U of U is a perfect fit in the Bigot 10 (12) Didn't they just take Colorado?
Do they not have the worst officials in sports? They're boobs, they need their officials to win games for them! Again I say, Utah is a perfect fit!

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lot of BYU sack swinging going here.

Fuller- Hey check it out, this other BYU idiot over here agrees with me, we must be right.

This blog is worthless.

Fuller- But look at all the reasons I put together from my biased point of view. Why won't any real conference consider these? BYU should be writing their own ticket, we are the most storied football program in the world!

What a complete waste of time. I deserve my 5 minutes back.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Steve-O said...

BYU fan here.

Fuller's right, especially on the point about academic excellence. The med school is NOT the reason Utah got the nod over BYU. It does indeed look like the Bay Area Pac-10 schools attempted to turn NCAA sports into a battlefield in the culture wars.

But let's be honest about the focus of that culture war. It's not just about Prop 8, which I supported. There are concerns about academic freedom. BYU has a valid religious mission. This creates tension with the secular model of American education.

Secularism is not atheist bigotry. If Cal were to formally demand that teachers adhere to a Soviet-style atheist worldview, they would also be at odds with the secular tradition. All kidding aside, Cal is not a staunchly atheist school. Their most prominent faculty member is John Yoo.

The decision was political & had very little to do with sports. I just wish there was a way forward.

 

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