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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU's Athletic Director Tom Holmoe is happy with the move to independence in football, saying he would do it again. “It has given us new energy and additional opportunities. We were in a good spot before, but I believe we are better off now.”
Kragthorpe: BYU’s Tom Holmoe, Jazz’s Dennis Lindsey have big worries

Kurt Kragthorpe Tribune columnist

First Published May 26 2014 03:09 pm • Last Updated May 26 2014 11:25 pm

Deadlines? Dilemmas? Decisions?

Everyone returning from the holiday weekend will face workplace challenges, but some are more difficult than others. For anyone feeling overwhelmed, I’m here to provide consolation with the annual reminder that It Could Be Worse, You Could Be …

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Tom Holmoe

Approaching the school’s fourth season of football independence, BYU’s athletic director might have figured his job would be getting easier, not tougher. The power conferences’ move toward autonomy in the NCAA is threatening to distinguish those 65 football programs from everybody else, including BYU, and the school’s internal investigation into impermissible benefits also hovers over Holmoe’s department.

Even if nothing comes of the probe, in terms of NCAA sanctions, the fallout includes Duane Busby’s losing a job that clearly was a big part of his life. BYU’s longtime director of football operations suddenly retired in March.

And if any significant wrongdoing is discovered, the NCAA’s involvement will result in a long, agonizing process. After Utah self-reported minor violations in the basketball program in 2001, the NCAA’s punishment came nearly two years later.

Dennis Lindsey

The Jazz’s general manager has it made, compared with some of us. All he has to do is keep talking about his team’s future with draft picks and financial flexibility, and he’s in good shape.

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Yet at some point, Lindsey actually will have to make some decisions and spend that money on somebody. He also must hire a coach sometime soon, and then figure out how to use his two first-round picks in the June 26 draft.

Lindsey hoped to be picking higher than Nos. 5 and 23 in this draft. The rebuilding process is appearing very slow, and how long will Jazz fans remain patient and trusting in Lindsey?

Alex Guerrero

Baseball is known for producing strange injuries, but the episode involving the Albuquerque Isotopes infielder will have a distinction in Salt Lake City’s pro baseball lore of nearly 100 years. During a fight in the third-base dugout of Smith’s Ballpark, teammate Miguel Olivo bit off part of Guerrero’s ear, requiring plastic surgery and a lengthy recovery period.

The parent Los Angeles Dodgers released Olivo, a big-league veteran, and have announced no timetable for Guerrero’s return.

Brandon Lyon

When the Los Angeles Angels made him one of their last cuts in spring training, the Taylorsville product deliberated before accepting an assignment to the Salt Lake Bees. He arrived from his home in St. George for the team’s opening night, wanting to make sure baseball was "all out of me" before he retired, approaching his 35th birthday in August. "I didn’t want to regret anything," he said. "If there was any doubt … I wanted to make it 100 percent."

Having pitched in 572 big-league games for six teams over 12 seasons, Lyon is comfortably among the top 10 all-time pro baseball players from Utah. But between April 27 and May 17, Lyon was subjected to five walk-off defeats, each time giving up a winning run on the road.

Then came a 500-mile bus ride from Reno to Salt Lake City, after which Lyon made one more appearance for the Bees before opting out of his minor-league contract with the Angels. He’s now a free agent, so he may pitch again. If not, he deserved a better ending — or maybe he got it. Lyon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in a loss to Albuquerque, before walking away.

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