Report: BYU football independence is a done deal


It appears that the landscape of college football is indeed set to change yet again, with further upheaval a likely result of this latest shift.

Confirming reports that have been running rampant since Tuesday evening, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that BYU is leaving the Mountain West Conference to go independent in football and heading back to the WAC in all other sports.

A source in the WAC office told the Tribune the school is still awaiting final approval for the moves from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is expected to come later today or Thursday.

A press conference had been tentatively scheduled for early next week; however, because the rumors have seen the light of day and sprouted out of control, that time frame for an official announcement “may be expedited a bit.”

What this does to the MWC remains to be seen.  They’ve already lost Utah to the Pac-10 in either 2011 or 2012, but balanced that loss with the addition of Boise State in ’11.  Losing both Utah and BYU, however, would likely snuff out any hope the conference held in gaining an automatic BcS bid.

The twice-jilted conference could look to add a school or schools from either the WAC or Conference USA to fill the vacancies; however, after Boise State left earlier this offseason, the WAC instituted a $5 million penalty for any conference school that left for another league.  Such a stiff penalty likely rules out any WAC school jumping to another conference.

(Writer’s note: obviously, a few hours later, the $5 million penalty has proven to be no impediment at all.)

Another question that would need to be answered is whether Boise State will even follow through with their move to the MWC.  An (the?) overriding impetus for the Broncos’ move was the near-guarantee that their new conference would get an automatic BcS slot; with that seemingly off the table, would the Broncos simply revert back to the WAC, which they can do with no penalty?

While BYU’s semi-official move to independence answers one question, it opens up several more that won’t be nearly as easy to solve.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.