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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BYU ushers in new ESPN, independent era

Provo • Touting their eight-year agreement with television sports giant ESPN and their broadcasting capabilities through their own network, BYUtv, BYU athletics officials opened their football media day Tuesday by proclaiming the move to independence was not only the right thing to do, but the most prudent.

"I am completely happy here," he said.
Mendenhall also said he will continue to coach the defense, having installed himself as defensive coordinator midway through the 2010 season after the dismissal of Jaime Hill.
In the opening session, televised nationally by BYUtv, ESPN’s Dave Brown, vice president of programming, called ESPN’s relationship with BYU "a great moment for us" and said that at least eight BYU football games this season will be televised by an ESPN platform.
"We are excited ... to get Cougar football in front of as many fans as we can," he said.
Mendenhall called scheduling, especially finding "late-season balance," the Cougars’ biggest challenge now that they don’t belong to a conference. He said he’s been involved in scheduling more in the last three months that he was in his first six years.
Big name schools "are taking our calls," Holmoe said. "They are listening right now, but we have to be persuasive."
Mendenhall said there had to be a reason that ESPN wanted to partner with BYU, and that reason is the school is a national brand with a national following.
"Our job is to make sure we uphold our end of the bargain," he said.

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