It is never too early for some bracketology, right? ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi came out with his 2013 projections on Monday, and BYU is (barely) in the field.
BYU is among the Last Four In as a No. 13 seed and will again play a first-round game in Dayton, Ohio, according to Lunardi.
The West Coast Conference has three teams in the bracket, while the MWC and Pac-12 have four apiece.
My request for responses from BYU students on the plan to move the student section in the Marriott Center from midcourt to behind the west basket drew only a couple of complaints. I am sure there are a lot more out there, but I didn't hear as many as I thought I would.
Here's one, however, from business strategy major Peter Bourgeois, a junior:
"This is one of the few moves made by [BYU athletic director Tom] Holmoe that I disagree with. The students make the Marriott Center what it is. If we take them out of the middle section, the Marriott Center loses its magic. The students have camped out for days. They have packed almost every game. We make it so loud that refs can's even hear themselves. Have we not shown our loyalty to the program?
If they need to make more money, they should have thought about the BIG 12 conference when they came knocking. If they wanna raise revenues, change the prices of the All-Sports pass, change the pricing of the general public seats, get more sponsorship deals, or have students with an AS pass pay a 2 dollar premium at each game, but don't do this. You will lose student loyalty, only to have those seats filled by a more aged group who will show up 30 minutes late, sit the entire game, and only clap occasionally. Sad day for BYU Basketball fans."
When announcing the changes to reporters at the roundtable discussion, Holmoe said:
"One of the questions that will come up is, 'oh, it is going to be a revenue source.' Quite frankly, it will, hopefully, increase our revenue. ... But as you will see, 75 percent of the seats in the Marriott Center will either stay the same or go down in price. The ones that are going up are the premium seats [that will replace the student section's bench seats]. ... I met with the student leadership this morning and talked to them about it. And got their feedback about what we are planning to do going forward. ... We didn't do a poll with the students on this. We fully realize that their seats go from the sideline to the baseline. It is something that we felt was the best thing to do, considering all of the issues at hand. That's a nice stadium, and we will continue to make it better. These days, if you were to start over on a stadium, an arena like, that, maybe 250-300 million dollars. We are not doing that. ... There will be disappointed students. But if you look at the microsite you will see a number of different schools that have great student sections that sit baseline. There are a few, fun kind of things. For the first time, they get to go down to the real first row, and they will be behind the visitor's basket in the second half, and our basket the first half, warming up and such.
So that will be nice.
The average number of students we had at games this year, the average number, will fit below concourse. In the big games where we have 5,000, they will fit all the way in those orange seats. I think that our students will still give us a tremendous advantage, even though they are not on the sidelines.
I went to Dave Rose, probably first, and said, Dave, this is the proposal from central planning. How does it effect you? He said, 'oh, students are not going to like that.' But he said, 'you know what? It is going to be great for us with them being [behind] the visitors' basket.'"
Holmoe didn't say much when asked what the student leaders' response was Friday morning:
"They understood. They looked at the constituencies that we have to hit. It is not just the students, it is not just the donors. It is the faculty, and we actually have a number of people that buy individual game tickets. We tried to address all of those needs by changing the various price levels and opportunities."
Holmoe said he eventually wants to put the entire student section in the same area for football games as well over at LaVell Edwards Stadium, but many factors are keeping that from happening. He said this move for basketball and that potential move for football are not related, however, and that the football changes -- if they ever do come about -- will not take place soon.
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