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BYU Free at Last: Cougars Football to Go Independent, Other Sports to Join WCC

PROVO, UT. - SEPTEMBER 19: Harvey Unga #45 of the Brigham Young Cougars runs the football against the Florida State Seminoles at La Vell Edwards Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images
Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2016

BYU took control of its own destiny on Tuesday, announcing its independence in football and joining the West Coast Conference in all other sports beginning July 1st, 2011.

The university will hold a press conference Wednesday at noon (MT) to make the official announcement and explain details.

In that press conference it is expected that BYU will also announce that it has entered into an agreement with ESPN to televise at least some of its home football games. ESPN already has a contract in place to broadcast West Coast men’s basketball games.

The WCC currently consists of eight faith-based institutions: Gonzaga, Pepperdine, St. Mary’s, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Portland, San Diego, and Loyola Marymount.

The move also gives BYU greater control over the distribution of all of its athletic events through BYU Television, which plans to move into a new HD broadcast center in November.

The press conference will be carried live on BYUtv and streamed on

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