Indep. rules

FRANCHUK: The joy of "indy" status for Bronco comes in the summer months, too

BYU football
2012-05-14T20:00:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:21Z FRANCHUK: The joy of "indy" status for Bronco comes in the summer months, tooJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
May 14, 2012 8:00 pm  • 

If somehow you're a BYU fan who thought June 27 was a little too early to begin thinking about football season — sure, not many of you. But stick with me here — there's a reason for it to be this way.

Yes, consider this relatively early beginning to the season a product — nay, a privilege — of Bronco Mendenhall's program having independence from a conference.

Last year, BYU held it's first "national media day" on July 12.

This year, Mendenhall just didn't like that commitment during this particular time of year. He told me last Thursday (during what was mostly an interview about the upcoming charity event he's part of) that a miscommunication between some staff around him led to this new date. The coach called it "managerial oversight."

Apparently the July date that was agreed upon by other parties wasn't going to work for the eighth-year coach. He said his wife, Holly, prepares vacations a year in advance and the football-related date was a direct conflict.

Guess who won. "Holly trumps all," Mendenhall said.

Now the media day is in late June.

Of course, BYU's free to do this at its will. No need to organize with any other schools, or be told by a league office when and where to arrive.

"Holly and I value the July time to re-energize. It's a time also to be with family," he said.

Most programs traditionally hold these things in July, right before practices begin.

Mendenhall, who is getting more comfortable with the media each year — he joked with me that it was nice to stop shaking, because "I'm getting my fix" after a few weeks away from reporters — said the BYU-centric event was his favorite one.

The "classiest" one he had been to, though he's also been to some nice hotels in Las Vegas and San Diego for these events when the Cougars were part of the Mountain West Conference. BYU will again hold its festivities at the still-sparkling new broadcasting center next to the Marriott Center.

Don't worry. BYU's revamped starting date will not mean "out of sight, out of mind" on the national scene.

Mendenhall said ESPN will have him go to its Connecticut studios in July to do a follow-up closer to the season.


Jason Franchuk can be reached at Or follow him on Twitter, @harkthefranchuk


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