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For week ended February 13, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

BYU Men's Basketball May Play on Monday Evenings
CNNSI 10Feb00 S3
By Phil Miller, Special to

PROVO, UTAH -- None of the teams in the new Mountain West Conference likes the conference's current schedule. But the proposal for next year's schedule may solve most problems -- and get the league more TV time as well. But under the schedule, BYU would have to break its tradition and play on Monday evenings -- and BYU Coach Steve Cleveland is open to the idea.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson drew up the proposal, which includes games only on Saturdays and on Monday evenings. "It works really well. It addresses all the gaps we have in this year's schedule, and makes things more symmetrical." The Monday games serve the conference's seven-year contract which requires that the conference have late-night Monday games.

BYU would have big adjustments to make because of the new schedule, however. Since its athletes don't practice on Sundays, the team would have less time to prepare for Monday games than its competitors, and then there's Family Home Evening, traditionally respected by the school.

But Coach Cleveland says the proposal has some very positive aspects. "We'd like to be involved in a few of those" Big Monday games, he said. "Not practicing on Sundays wouldn't be ideal, but maybe we could cope, if that's what the league decides." And it would also be better than this year's schedule.

Surprisingly, the coach most opposed to the proposal is Utah's Rick Majerus. He says that Monday games interrupt the one day off that student athletes get, Sundays. "That speaks to this conference not having a genuine regard for academics," Majerus said. "If you play on Monday, we would practice on Sunday. An athlete is never afforded a day when he can sit back and maybe go to a movie or get his laundry done or do schoolwork or just be a normal student." Of course, Majerus has a lot of LDS players who may object to practicing on Sundays anyway.

Adoption of the schedule is anything but certain. In fact, a similar proposal was voted down last summer.


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