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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 11, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 07Jun00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

New MWC Schedule Has BYU Playing Mondays
Salt Lake Tribune 7Jun00 S3
By Phil Miller: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY -- The league voted and now BYU will play basketball on Monday nights. Breaking a long-standing aversion, the university will participate in the Mountain West Conference's schedule, which will shift next season from a mainly Thursday-Saturday format to a Saturday-Monday format. The Conference announced the change Tuesday, saying that the change was meant to accommodate ESPN's nationally televised Big Monday late game and address problems with the schedule that many coaches called unfair.

BYU has always prohibited athletic competition or practice on Sundays and discouraged on-campus events Monday evenings to allow Church members to participate in Family Home Evening. BYU was willing to participate in the schedule because the Monday night games don't start until 10 p.m.

The Cougars played on a Monday for the first time last March, in a 9 p.m. National Invitation Tournament game against Southern Illinois. Attendance was 17,000 and the crowd was much more raucous than usual, "That game opened some eyes, with ESPN and within the community," said BYU Coach Steve Cleveland. "I'm excited to give our fans that opportunity. Students love games like that."

But the new schedule has a downside for the Cougars because they still can't practice on Sundays. "We can have team meetings and discuss some things, but that's about the extent of it," Cleveland said. Still, Cleveland says that the schedule will be better than last season, because the Cougars never faced an opponent that had played two days earlier. "It's not a perfect situation for us, but we'll figure out some way to work with it," Cleveland said. "The majority of coaches in our league liked Saturday-Monday, and we can live with it."


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