SALT LAKE CITY — When news broke that Utah men's basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak was pulling out of a contracted rivalry game at BYU, citizens of the Internet immediately responded with hot takes and instant reactions.
Some of the top dignitaries in the state weighed in, as well as several former local basketball players and others in the athletic realm. Here are a few of our favorites.
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe weighed in on Twitter, then had his tweet deleted by an associate who monitors his account and thought it was a hacker. Holmoe re-posted the same comment a short time later.
Cancelling the BYU/Utah basketball series is RIDICULOUS. #letsplaythegame — Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) January 7, 2016
BYU women's basketball coach Jeff Judkins, who played at Utah, also disagreed with the news.
I've been on both sides of the rivalry. I love that game. It's an absolute shame that they won't be playing. Disappointed for both fan bases — Jeff Judkins (@CoachJudkins) January 7, 2016
The news also drew a response from Utah's political leaders, Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.
We must hold ourselves to the highest standards of sportsmanship and excellence. I expect that from both teams. Play the game. #BYUvsUtah — Gary R. Herbert (@GovHerbert) January 7, 2016
This is dumb. Seriously Utes, you're better than that. #1909 #BYUvsUtahpic.twitter.com/AQaQ0eGWQo — Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) January 7, 2016
Former BYU guard Jonathan Tavernari, who is currently playing in Italy, used the moment to highlight his long-running idea for an in-state basketball tournament that would pit BYU and Utah against Utah State, Weber State, Utah Valley, Southern Utah, and Dixie State. The event would be held at neutral-site Vivint Arena during a Utah Jazz road trip, and crown a true "state champion" every year, with BYU and Utah always on opposite sides of the bracket.
Regardless of why Larry K cancelled the #BYUxUtah series its a sad day for basketball in the state of Utah. However, good can come of this.. — Jonathan Tavernari (@For3JT) January 6, 2016
Former Utah State guard Tyler Newbold, a native of Payson, was disappointed to see the game go away — while also pointing out the Runnin' Utes' lack of other notable in-state rivalries.
I'm a USU guy but this is dumb. Why doesn't Utah want to play any in state schools. Makes no sense at all in bball https://t.co/sJalFv1ZgL — Tyler Newbold (@TylerNewbold) January 6, 2016
Similarly, Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee is glad he has contracts with several in-state opponents on lockdown.
Saw the basketball news out of SLC today. Happy that Weber State is on the schedule with BYU, Utah State, UVU and SUU. #toughdeal — Jerry Bovee (@JerryBovee) January 6, 2016
But not everyone felt Utah's move was a raw deal. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said the business of college athletics made the layoff "just one game" that will hardly be remembered in the grand scheme of college basketball.
@efchristensen Utah may have to pay BYU some money over the cancellation. Otherwise, no, I don't have a problem with it. Just one game. — Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) January 7, 2016
By the way, BYU hosts Santa Clara tonight at 9 p.m. MST at the Marriott Center, and Utah plays at Colorado on Friday at 7 p.m. MST.
What do you think? Is it time for a reprieve from the BYU-Utah rivalry on the hardwood? Let us know in the comment sections below.
Contributing: Jeremiah Jensen