BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe was at the West Coast Conference media day in Los Angeles, and sat down with Greg Wrubell to talk about the West Coast Conference. Greg posted the audio on Twitter, and here is a transcript of that discussion.
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Greg Wrubell: What does this event meant in your athletic calendar?
Tom Holmoe: This is a nice event for the West Coast Conference ... and a great announcement today that Time Warner L.A. is going to take a part of our games. It's something special, they do the Lakers down here, which is a huge thing, and the Galaxy in soccer. I think it's important that you see in the WCC now with Jamie Zaninovich expanding, and he has a good mind for what we need to do to get on TV and to expand the presence of the WCC in the basketball world and throughout the country. Now you are going to see teams like Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine who will be able to be on TV quite a bit more in the LA market on a really good station, as well as teams like BYU when we come down here.
They are also working on possible simulcasts where broadcast entities like BYUtv and Gonzaga's network up there can also simulcast games. So what it does is give BYU basketball more exposure than it already has. This is secondary to the ESPN contract, but now when BYU plays on the road and it's not an ESPN game and it's not a BYUtv game, you can possibly see it on Time Warner, which is fantastic.
GW: And the game of the week angle is a good idea, too, getting a league's game of the week. Granted, they already have nice windows with ESPN networks, but having a Saturday afternoon game where they can look forward to that being a showcase game as well.
TH: It's amazing, Greg, how college athletics has changed over the years. It's all TV now, everything revolves around TV -- the times of the games, how much money the games cost, days of the week, you name it. It's good for the exposure, and I think it's an exciting day for the WCC.
GW: BYU's role in this league I think is safe to say ... they got themselves a bit of a ... rude awakening is not the right phrase for it, but there was going to be no walking through this new league at all. You knew going in that would be the case, and they found it out that way.
TH: I think it's true in basketball and with a lot of our other WCC sports. When we came in last year, we were like the 800-pound gorilla, national team and recognition coming into this conference of private schools on the west coast. And we had a perfect target on every one of our backs, and men's basketball was no different. I think a lot of teams really focused on the importance of that game. Everywhere we went the fans poured out to be there and they took it serious.
Not that they're [BYU] not going to take in any more serious, but I think Dave Rose knows the players in the league now, he knows the coaches in the league a lot better, he knows the strategy, he knows the locations. Dave is a pretty quick learner, and I feel we'll come into this conference more prepared, more knowledgeable, and we'll know who to take a look at, who to double-team, and who to spend a little more time on.
But the one thing that's impressive about it is there are good people, really really good coaches, and you can see there are quite a few stars in this conference.
GW: As a home for your non-football sports, assess your comfort level with the WCC right now.
TH: I love it. I think at the top of each one of our sports you are going to see some incredible competition. I think at the bottom parts of each sport, it's a little weaker than we've had in past conferences. But if you look at women's soccer, women's volleyball -- we have 5 teams, maybe even 6 now, in the top 50 RPI in women's volleyball. You have probably 4 teams from our conference in women's soccer that will go to the NCAA Tournament. So we're in the thick of things with those two sports right now. We had an incredibly contested cross-country championship a couple days ago where the top of this conference is great. And that's where we want to be.
It's good competition, it's local, we have fans in every one of these markets. So wherever we go in the WCC, we have BYU fans that can come and see the games.
GW: Give us a sense of how BYU does travel in this league. You get through your people, you get a feel for how many tickets you are putting out there, right?
TH: Well it's nearly impossible, I have friends who call me who say they want tickets to a game at Loyola Marymount -- good luck! When we used to play at The Pit or at Thomas & Mack, we could get hundreds of tickets because those were venues that those schools wanted to sell tickets. But in these venues, their students and fans are going to get them first, and if there are a dozen tickets left over, BYU is going to get them.
I know that some of our fans have bought season tickets to some of these venues so they can go to the BYU game! And I love that, those are great fans that BYU has.