Wyoming coach critical of Utah president
CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Comments by University of Utah President Bernie Machen about Wyoming's president and athletics showed a "lack of class," UW coach Joe Glenn said.
Last week, University of Wyoming President Philip Dubois expressed displeasure that the Mountain West Conference's executive committee had denied UW's request to keep its Oct. 18 homecoming game against Brigham Young at 1 p.m. The league moved the game to 4 p.m. so SportsWest out of Provo, Utah, could televise it.
MWC bylaws state that schools can reschedule home games not chosen for weekly regional ESPN broadcasts to accommodate opponents' local TV broadcasts. The policy was instituted to make up for revenue lost by schools like BYU and Utah, which have lucrative local television packages, when their games were chosen by ESPN.
The MWC's contract with ESPN prohibits local broadcasts of games between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. when they conflict with weekly ESPN broadcasts.
Dubois told MWC commissioner Craig Thompson that changing the time to 4 p.m. would disrupt UW's homecoming activities. Also, he said, typically about 4,000 fewer fans attend home games when they are set for unconventional times.
Machen, chairman of the executive committee, was quoted last week as saying that Dubois was "trying to find explanations for some of the other problems he's got in his athletic department and blaming it on the league's TV contract."
Machen said Dubois is "looking for scapegoats" to blame for a poor football team -- the Cowboys are 1-4 this year and have won only six games since 1999.
Glenn said Machen should have addressed Dubois directly instead of through the media.
"Evidently, the president at Utah thinks we have a poor football team," Glenn said. "He said it, but not to me.
"I thought he was out of line. I thought it showed a lack of class, and he could have handled it with Dr. Dubois."
Thompson declined comment Tuesday on the issue.
Chris Hill, Utah's Director of Athletics, also declined comment Wednesday. A messages left by The Associated Press at Machen's office was not immediately returned. Machen was in Gainesville, Fla., where he was a finalist to become the new president of the University of Florida.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index