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Contract details released for BYU football's games with Virginia, and man did BYU get a good deal

Looks like somebody working in BYU athletics administration did their homework

Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago, UVA announced that their previously scheduled home and home with BYU football would be rescheduled. This announcement raised a few eyebrows, since previously, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall had indicated that he didn't want to play BYU. Not only will he need to fulfill that home and home, should he remain at Virginia for several years, but he'll have to make a second trip to Provo, as a extra game was tacked on to the agreement, to be played in Provo in 2025.

BYU doesn't often get two-for-one agreements with anybody, let alone ACC programs all the way across the country. That seems like a pretty good deal! But thanks to our friends at FBSchedules, who secured the entire contract details, that arrangement looks even better for BYU. Here's what the two sides agreed upon:

  • BYU and Virginia will meet in Provo on Oct. 30, 2021. No guarantee will be paid to the Cavaliers, and there is a $1 million penalty for canceling the game.
  • BYU and Virginia will meet in Charlottesville on Sept. 9, 2023. The Cougars will receive a $450,000 guarantee, and there is a $1 million penalty for canceling the game.
  • BYU and Virginia will meet in Provo on Nov. 1, 2025. No guarantee will be paid to the Cavaliers, and there is a $1 million penalty for canceling the game.
  • Virginia will pay BYU a payment of $250,000 for changes to the original contract and original amendment by July 15, 2016.

In summary, BYU will get two home games and will not have to pay Virginia a guarantee for either game. They will play one game at Virginia and will receive a total of $700,000 from the Cavaliers

That's an amazing deal for BYU. They get an additional home game against a Power Five opponent, AND they get an extra $700,000. BYU would be hard pressed to get similar terms with even a much smaller program, like UMass.

So how was BYU able to pull this off? It seems probable that the extra home game, or some of the lack of guarantees, was tied in some way to Bronco Mendenhall's buyout. The specific terms of the agreement have not been made public (and since BYU is private, and thus exempt from FOIA, it will stay that way unless somebody decides to leak them), but tying some sort of future scheduling agreement is not out of the ordinary. Colorado State had a similar arrangement with Florida.

If Mendenhall's buyout really did have nothing to do with the arrangement, then this was some especially shrewd negotiating by BYU.

Now, the big question, of course, is how many of these games will actually be played, and who will be coaching? BYU's contract with ESPN expires in either 2018 or 2019, and it is theoretically possible that BYU will be in a conference before 2021 (or 2025). It's also possible that Mendenhall won't be at Virginia for all of the games in this series. After all, a lot can change in the next five years.

But for now, fans can enjoy a little more security in future schedules, and in knowing that Virginia will be sending some big checks to Provo. The first payment comes in a few months, and I imagine the athletic department can find a good use for $250,000.