Another week, another twist in the drama surrounding Big 12 expansion.
The latest move was made Wednesday night on the subject from an unlikely source: Iowa State’s student government, which passed a resolution opposing BYU joining the Big 12 Conference.
“Student Government’s goal is to create a safe and all-inclusive campus where students feel supported to learn, grow and succeed,” the group said in an official statement obtained by the Ames Tribune. “The Senate finds that Brigham Young University’s Honor Code does not communicate nor reflect the values that The Big XII Conference represents. Therefore, the Senate of Student Government does not support BYU’s membership bid to the Big XII at this time.”
The resolution will reportedly be sent to the presidents all every Big 12 school in addition to conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
BYU’s honor code has been one of the chief sticking points surrounding the school’s candidacy to join the Big 12 and a subject that has received quite a bit of attention ever since the league announced it was looking at expansion. The school, which is privately owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been criticized heavily over the years regarding sections of the code that prohibits homosexual behavior, among other things. National LGBT advocacy groups have already sent letters to the Big 12 conference office urging them to avoid inviting the Cougars because of the school’s stances but Wednesday’s resolution by ISU’s student government appears to be the first — and so far loudest — message made against BYU by one of the conference’s current members.
Big 12 leaders are reportedly meeting with school officials from a group of roughly 10 finalists this week in Dallas. While it has not been made public when BYU will present their case, it appears likely that the thorny issue surrounding the honor code will play a key role as to whether the Cougars are ultimately invited to join the conference or if they will remain an independent school in football.
It’s doubtful that a student government resolution would be enough to truly derail the otherwise strong case BYU has to join the Big 12 but, given all of the twists and turns that have already happened with conference expansion, stranger things have happened.