While on the surface the new locker room for BYU Football seems like an amazing upgrade, it means so much more.
BYU Football just unveiled the brand new locker room in the Student Athlete Building and it is pretty incredible. Below are two tweets the show the before and after.
Aside from the obvious answers of how cool this looks, how much the players will love it, and the positive effect it will have in recruiting, there is another aspect to this unveiling that should make fans excited, something that isn’t as clear on the surface.
Independence is paying off
Over the past few years, it has appeared that BYU Sports have really upped their game in the football and basketball programs. From about 1990-2010 there weren’t very many changes to Lavell Edwards Stadium, The Marriott Center or the Student Athlete Building (built in 2004). Much of that was because while the Cougars were part of the Mountain West Conference they got G5 money, which is enough to function, but not enough to build a basketball anex, replace an entire 19,000 seat arena with seats, redo the basketball court, put in new jumbotrons, or build a state of the art locker room.
Independence has allowed all of that.
Now before fans start to point fingers or make claims that BYU just asked fans for donations a few months ago or that many of the projects mentioned above were from donors hear me out. Independence has allowed BYU Football and other sports to take care of essentials such as small updates, equipment, travel, meals, ect… to happen. Because of that, when a donor comes to BYU and asks how they can help out BYU is then able to bring up bigger projects that just weren’t possible before.
Because BYU has been Independent in football for the last decade, they have been able to position themselves into a spot to have amenities that other P5 teams have. If you tour the BYU Basketball Anex, the Marriott Center or Lavell Edwards Stadium you feel like you are in a Power Five facility.
Should BYU Pursue the AAC?
Without getting to in-depth about this, the short answer is it depends on what BYU is able to keep. If the Cougars can keep their ESPN deal where they agree to play 10:00 ET home games (essentially what they currently have) then yes, joining the AAC would probably be beneficial because it would give the Cougars a lot of TV revenue, provide them a path the College Football Playoff, and give them security in a changing college football landscape.
Otherwise, the Cougars should just continue Independence or hope a P5 comes calling.