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For week ended June 06, 1999 Posted 19 Jun 1999

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Viewpoint: Two sides to MWC move

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Viewpoint: Two sides to MWC move
(BYU) Daily Universe 2Jun99 L3
By Dave Hersam: NewsNet Sports Editor

While the acronym MWC doesn't roll off the tongue like WAC did, most BYU coaches, athletes, fans and administrators are thrilled to leave the oversized "super-WAC" and get into the eight-team Mountain West Conference that officially starts on July 1. The new MWC is really just the old WAC minus Hawaii, Fresno State and UTEP, plus the addition of UNLV.

But as with most changes, not every sports program is benefited by it. The low revenue sports are the one most negatively impacted. Those programs have some legitimate concerns for their futures.

The men's gymnastics and wrestling programs have already been told they will be cut after next season. Willard Hirschi, the BYU men's head track and field is also a bit worried about the move because of the diminished level of competition and its weakening effect on recruiting. The same is true of other programs.

However, among the bright spots of the change are the financial benefits that will come with the heightened competition in high-profile sports, which will, in turn, benefit all BYU athletics. The Athletic Department feels that struggling low revenue programs will adapt in time and it will be better for them in the long run.

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