BYU to Leave the MWC (Updated)

The following is a press release that BYU issued on Tuesday to announce its future as an independent in football and member of the West Coast Conference in other sports.

Brigham Young University today announced it resigned from the Mountain West Conference, effective June 30, 2011.

Additionally, the University announced its football program will compete in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision as an independent beginning fall 2011. BYU has accepted an invitation to join the West Coast Conference as a full member for men's basketball and other sports, beginning the 2011-12 athletic season.

Further information will be provided at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1 at LaVell Edwards Stadium beginning at noon (MT). The press conference is available only to credentialed members of the media.

The University will have no further comment until the press conference Wednesday.

The press conference will be broadcast live on BYUtv. Viewing options for BYUtv include the basic tier on both Dish Network (channel 9403) and DirecTV (channel 374), and 500 cable systems nationwide. The press conference will also be streamed live on BYUtv at (first-time users will need to complete a free online registration form).

The following are some reactions that Total Blue Sports was able to get from the team on Tuesday.

There was a noticeable bounce to the players as they came off the practice field Tuesday after being informed that the team will go independent following this season. The news was greeted warmly by the players, with many erupting into cheers.

"It's really hard to know exactly what to think of it right now," said running back Bryan Kariya about the news. "We're just so focused on Washington that I don't think anyone really knows what to think. It's exciting though, that's for sure."

"I think it's a great opportunity," added Matt Reynolds. "It comes with some risks, but it also comes with rewards. It's a big decision and I think they made the right one."

While head coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn't able to add much in regards to specifics, it was apparent to all in attendance that a weight had perhaps been lifted off of his shoulders with the news.

"I support our administration's decision," said Mendenhall. "It's a chance for tremendous exposure for our program. I'm anxious to coach the team in a new situation. The number one thing for me for the broader perspective other than football was exposure and I love the idea of being more visible."

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