Notes from Tom Holmoe’s semiannual Q&A with media

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Elliott Miller
Tom Holmoe speaks to members of the media about BYU’s athletics at his Q&A press conference on Tuesday. (Elliott Miller)

(A general recap of Tom Holmoe’s Q&A with Utah’s sports media can be found here).

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe discussed the current state of BYU football, its status as an Independent, athlete discipline, his role on the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee and more at his semiannual Q&A with the press Tuesday. Following are quotes from Holmoe on each topic.

On discipline for athletes involved in brawl at Miami Beach Bowl and why BYU didn’t release a public statement:

“We’ve had a great opportunity to work with these young men. … We won’t come out with (any public statement).”

“We felt we were going to deal with this situation. There has been discipline that’s taken place that no one’s seen that’s been good for these kids to help them understand and grow from this experience.”

On Texas football signee Charles West, who was arrested on assault charges:

“It’s a legal issue. He’s not a student with us yet. We’ve been advised from a legal position to not say anything yet.”

“I keep up to date on it. I listen to proceedings as they go. It’s important.”

On scheduling football games with the University of Utah’s athletic director, Chris Hill:

“It’s not as easy as some people would think, that we could just come up with a date. It does come down to us not being in the same conference.”

“It’s harder for us to schedule an early game now than a later one, but for them it’s easier to schedule an earlier one. We’ll have to work it out.”

“It’s always been our desire to play this series.”

On a possible realignment of the football team’s independent conference standing:

“It’s our intention that we’d be playing in what they call a Power Five conference sometime in the near future.”

“In the meantime, you have to understand — and I want our fans to understand — that we have to focus on the fact that we’re an independent team playing an independent schedule, and that’s what we’ve got. That’s where we are, and we’re not looking back.”

“It’s hard to be a really good football team right now. … It’s tough to win games wherever you are, independent (or) Power Five.”

On the ACC changing its stance to count BYU as a non–league Power Five opponent:

“It didn’t mean anything to me. because we have games scheduled (with the ACC). … I don’t think it helped us a great deal. … We’re playing them, and we’re going to keep playing them.”

On his new position on the NCAA basketball selection committee:

“I am one of three rookies. … I’ve watched a lot of basketball and followed the lead of the other nine members. RPI is an important point of research and statistical analysis that people look at. They don’t tell us how much to weigh each piece of criteria.”

On BYU’s relationship with ESPN:

“We have a really solid relationship with ESPN. … We talk all the time. It’s a symbiotic relationship. We give them a lot, and they give us a lot.”

“It’s not a tenuous relationship. … Our relationship goes back to LaVell Edwards.”

On the status of alumni relations with former BYU football players:

“There’s a large number of former players that are enamored and in love with the programs. Always have, always will. There’s a small minority of alums that are not happy with what’s going on. There’s the bell curve where most of them are okay. … They’re busy, and you’re not going to hear from them that much.”

“Some of those former players have criticisms of the program. … There’s a lot of them that have come to me and told me the great things in the program. … I’m going to listen to all of them, but I’m not going to react to a lot of individuals, and they know that.”

“I’m not going to overreact.”

“There’s a lot of things that need to be done to help … but the feelings of our former players are not characterized by a few individuals.”

On concern about fiscal disparity between BYU and opposing football programs that receive multi-million-dollar donations every year:

“We’re not in that league. To try to compete in every aspect at that level without that support is hard. We can’t do it indefinitely. We’re trying to come up with new ways to stay fiscally competitive.”

On BYU’s relationship with the PAC-12:

“The Pac-12 has been great to us. All the games we have with individual schools do not occur without the blessing of the conference.”

“It’s a natural fit. That’s one fortunate situation of being in the inter-mountain west; we’re in a great spot to play with Pac-12 teams in all sports. We have a great relationship with them, and people think that we don’t. … Going forward I have no reason to believe that we won’t.”

On Bronco Mendenhall’s performance through last 10 years:

“To have one coach for 10 years is pretty amazing. The reason that’s happened is because we believe he’s done some really good things for our program. It’s been harder on him over these last few years of independence. I ask him and the team to do things that are not easy, and when we’ve struggled in our win-loss record, issues rise to the surface that may have been in the program when we were winning.”

“It’s a very difficult job that I feel that Bronco has stood up to very well. He has made mistakes along the road. He’s done things he probably wishes he could have had back. But this guy’s got a great outlook in moving forward. … He’s got great confidence in what he can do.”

“We both have to make changes to the way we’ve done things.”

On LDS in–state recruits signing with other schools:

“The state of Utah high school football has improved. … We can’ t get them all. I wish we could, but there are reasons why we can’t.”

“We can do better with our in-state kids. I’d love to see us get all the ones we want, and we didn’t.”

“We’re an LDS university, make no mistake about it. We’re going to go after in every sport, the best LDS kids. That’s the first target. And we have to complement that group with non-LDS kids. … And sometimes you have to go wider to get the best for your program and achieve the things you need for your program.”

On noticeably smaller crowds at the end of the 2014 football season:

“I understand our fans. It’s tough, and the bottom line is if we can put a great product on the field and be successful, they’ll come.”

On renovations to the Marriott Center and Dave Rose’s renewed contract:

“It’s very important to the future success of our basketball program. … It was a long and arduous thing, and it worked.”

“The announcements came together, because I see them as one and the same.”

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