One-upped by MWC, BYU now may be leaning toward staying

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In the 48 hours since the Mountain West Conference executed a perfect end-run around the rumors that BYU was heading for football independence, there’s been precious little hard news coming out regarding what BYU’s conference intentions will be going forward.

While that’s still the case, there’s a hint of BYU’s future intentions wafting in the summer breeze.

Following a conversation with Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad tweeted that “the MWC is feeling better today about the possibility BYU stays after very good recent dialogue” with the school.

Part of that dialogue has apparently involved television issues, which is reportedly one of the reasons why BYU was/is looking to strike out on their own.  It’s been reported that MWC members received in the neighborhood of $1.5 million annually from TV deals involving football, a paltry number in an era where conferences receive hundreds of millions of dollars in any given calendar year.

To add insult to financial injury, in-state rival Utah made a break from the MWC for the Pac-10 this offseason, a move that will allow the Utes to realize a financial windfall of $15 million or more annually.  Simply put, BYU cannot afford to lag behind financially at the risk of losing ground on the recruiting front.

BYU has built their own state-of-the-art TV studio — available in hi-def! — and part of the conference showing “a willingness to work through some TV issues” with BYU could revolve around that facility, perhaps giving BYU some flexibility to utilize the money poured into that entity — and the profit that could potentially come out of it — in concert with current MWC TV partners Comcast and the CBS College Sports Network, in addition to the conference’s own network.

Regardless of what’s actually being discussed right now, the fact that there are even discussions taking place, let alone being labeled as “good” by the head of the league, points to it now slowly inching toward likely that BYU will remain in the conference they helped create following the mass WAC exodus earlier this decade.

Even three days ago, such a thought would’ve been beyond absurd.  That’s how fast things can change in this day and age, which is exactly why we should hold off on writing BYU’s name in pen on anything MWC-related beyond the 2010 season.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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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
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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.