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Analysis: BYU football faces tough questions after the military’s game has been delayed



PROVO optics goes a long way in this day and age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, and in the event that BYU has to postpone (or possibly cancel) its soccer game against the military on September 19, the optics not in place is good for it football program of Cougar.

Whether the delay will have a lasting impact on the viability of the Cougars season remains to be seen. News reports from both programs pointed to BYU and a small number of COVID-19 test results and the resulting exposures within the BYU football program as the reason the game was shelved.

However you look at it, it cannot be considered a positive development in Provo, which suddenly has a ranked team for the first time since 2018. social media posts from Utah County social gatherings and parties over the past two weekends, they probably weren’t amused.

Bad optics even when no BYU footballers were present. The dance parties, presumably filled by BYU students who did not wear face covers, certainly alarmed the BYU administration.

On the football side, the question must be asked: was the program responsible for dealing with the coronavirus? And what effect will that have on the attitude of future opponents scheduled to visit LaVell Edwards Stadium from September 26, when Troy faces the Cougars home opener?

Some answers may come Monday when Coach Kalani Sitake and a few selected players are made available to the media via a Zoom video conference, but if Sitake sticks to its standard procedure regarding questions about off-the-field matters, he will ask those questions Delay. to athletic director Tom Holmoe, who rarely talks to the local media and whose job of finding additional opponents may have become a lot more difficult.

However, the athletic director of the army, Mike Buddie, is talking.

The sophomore AD posted a message on Twitter on Sunday morning, ostensibly asking an opponent to fill BYU’s shoes this Saturday, which some interpreted as a subtle shot at BYU, perhaps even a little passive-aggressive. Other BYU fans laughed it off as an attempt at humor, a fake dating profile.

You can rate it:

Undefeated, COVID negative college football team from NY (military) looking for a like-minded, disciplined team for a date next Saturday must be COVID negative too! Twitter, do your thing!

Was Buddie, formerly at Furman and Wake Forest, insinuating that BYU players (assuming they are players who tested positive, BYUs never used that word) were not being disciplined?

Again much is left open for interpretation.

Know this: In almost every interview a BYU player or coach gave in the days leading up to the Navy’s 55-3 trap, they mentioned what a great job the BYU administration and sports medicine staff did to the players. and keep coaches safe. .

The Cougars began testing everyone associated with the program three times a week when fall camp began on August 4. Protocols would be strict and go beyond what the NCAA requested on Aug. 5. Players like quarterback Zach Wilson and receiver Dax Milne stressed the importance of following all bubble-making guidelines, if you will Cougars can have a season.

The bigger question for BYU is this: can the program restore the lost game or replace it with other opponents who might be a little more wary of the private, independent school that publishing the COVID-19 test results on its website but doesn’t give specific numbers of student athletes who tested positive? Really, that’s the question most sports fans want to answer.

How many players make up exactly that small number?

Buddies’ tweet shows that the military is moving on. If the Black Knights find an opponent for Saturday’s game, it becomes highly doubtful they want to see BYU on November 28, which is the only available and reasonable date for a makeup game as of now.

Cougar Nation is waiting for Buddie’s next tweet.

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