BYU coach Mark Pope says Ques Glover’s departure was ‘all NIL’: ‘I’ve got to do a better job’

Glover signed in May and left in August without playing a game at BYU.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) BYU coach Mark Pope reacts to a foul as BYU hosts Gonzaga, NCAA basketball in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

Provo • BYU transfer Ques Glover left Provo without ever playing a minute for head coach Mark Pope.

The Samford guard signed in May, expecting to add depth and experience to BYU’s first Big 12 men’s basketball team. But Glover re-entered the transfer portal last week. And Pope says the reason for his unexpected departure was “all about” name, image and likeness money.

“It was all NIL,” Pope said when asked by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Pope declined to say whether the issue was with BYU’s officially endorsed NIL collective, the Royal Blue Collective, or somewhere else. But he did take responsibility for Glover not having enough NIL opportunities to stay.

“That is where things get really complicated. It was a very simple NIL issue,” Pope said about Glover. “My job, what the rules allow, is to fundraise on behalf of an NIL entity. The rules allow me to connect current student-athletes with NIL entities. They actually allow me to provide space for them to meet. I can’t do any of that with prospective student-athletes. But I can do it with current student-athletes. And I’ve got to do a better job right now.”

Pope has publicly wrestled with NIL issues for the last few months. He said in March that BYU was losing recruits because of the NIL situation at the school.

This time around, Pope said he needs to allocate more time to potential donors to ensure BYU is more competitive in the NIL space.

“It is probably 35-40% of my day to try to win over the hearts and minds of anybody that will listen in terms of helping us with this collective,” Pope said. Athletic directors Tom Holmoe and Brian Santiago “have done an unbelievable job giving us guidance on that. I’m not getting the job done in terms of rallying the troops. It is my job and I am taking it really seriously. And I’ll probably elevate the amount of time I’m spending on it.

“Because it is a defining feature of college basketball right now. It is the new challenge we are facing and it is my job. So I’ve got to do a better job. If you want to point the finger at why Ques Glover is not here, it is on me. I didn’t get the job done. [It is] the job that I can [do] and it is what I need to do.”

Glover left two weeks before BYU’s international trip to Italy and Croatia.

“I was super sad about it. That is probably the best answer for me,” Pope said. “He is a beautiful young man. Perfect fit for BYU, enormously talented player with a ton of miles. So we are really sad to lose him for sure.”