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SALT LAKE CITY -- As basketball gears up and football winds down, off- field stories such as conference realignment and signing key players were key topics in the news this week.
In BYU football this week, off-the-field stories were key. Jeff Call wrote about the possibility of Jake Heaps redshirting or transferring.
Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall said that redshirting Heaps “would probably be a wise thing to do to create separation between him and Riley and if Riley continues to play well. So it is an option we have talked about. … He was actually excited about the possibility, but again, knowing that Riley still has to play well."
When Heaps was asked to comment on the situation he said, "We've got four weeks left in the season and I don't think that's something anyone should be talking about. I'm focused on being here at BYU and giving this team and this season the best that I have."
Dick Harmon wrote about BYU football and the possibility of joining the Big East in a possible new western division.
In the article Harmon stated that it is "refreshing" for Mendenhall to confirm that BYU is indeed in conversation with the Big East. Harmon also speculates that BYU is still in talks with the Big 12.
Mendenhall summed it all up this way: “I can't speak as to what we're going to do, other than just verify that we have been approached (by the Big East). I wasn't involved in anything else."
In BYU basketball, Brandon Davies spoke to the media for the first time since his return to BYU; Jeff Call covered the story.
“It's definitely been hard," Davies said. "It's been hard on a lot of people, not just myself. I'm just lucky to be surrounded with people that love me and a great team and great family members and friends.
“I'm just happy to be back," Davies said. "It doesn't matter what I had to go through to get here. I'm just glad to be here, back with my teammates and back here where I'm supported and loved by so many. ... I was definitely treated more than fair. Just to be able to make it back here and be able to be part of this team again is a blessing to me."
BYU basketball kicked off the regular season Friday night against Utah State, but fell in Logan 69-62.
University of Utah
Dirk Facer wrote about this week’s UCLA matchup and the opportunity of becoming bowl eligible. The Utes are currently 5-4 and will gain bowl eligibility with a win.
Facer wrote, "The Pac-12 has seven bowl arrangements and four teams out of contention. USC (7-2) is ineligible because of NCAA sanctions, while Oregon State (2-7), Arizona (2-7) and Colorado (1-9) already have too many losses. Washington State (3-6) is on the verge of joining them."
Conroy Black, a senior cornerback, said, "We always knew we were at least a bowl team, so getting that sixth win will be big for us this week."
Randy Hollis wrote about Ron McBride’s retirement. Ron McBride was coaching at Weber State before he retired; he also coached the University of Utah for 13 years.
"The only thing I know is the last 60 years has been football only," McBride said. "And that's really been my whole life. So I really don't know what the other life is."
In basketball, the Utes announced the signing of five players, Dirk Facer wrote.
"All five of these players are championship people,” Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak said in the story. "These are the kinds of kids we want here to rebuild this program. They are 'program kids' who will come here and represent Utah proudly. They are great students and great people from terrific families who will really boost our basketball team."