PROVO — BYU’s series against Notre Dame isn’t dead.
Cougar fans have heard that one before, mostly from the mouth of athletic director Tom Holmoe when he’s been asked about the indefinitely postponed set of games with the Fighting Irish nearly every chance he’s available.
But Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick wants to finish at least part of a 2-for-1 series, as well.
In a detailed conversation with The Athletic's Pete Sampson, Swarbrick said there are several scheduling initiatives he wants to take up — and while finding a way to send Notre Dame to play a game in China isn’t one of them, fulfilling its contract with BYU certainly is.
"We absolutely will be playing BYU again and look forward to having more detail about that in the near future," Swarbrick told The Athletic in an interview published Wednesday.
The Cougars and Irish announced a six-game scheduling agreement when BYU first decided on football independence in 2010. But the series went on an indefinite hiatus after two games in South Bend, Indiana, and talks of resuming the series have been just that: talk.
Sampson followed up his question with talk of playing in Las Vegas when the Oakland Raiders relocate to Sin City after 2020. He noted the proximity of the two locales, situated just 378 miles apart — a comment that brought Swarbrick to laughter.
"We look forward to having more detail about that in the near future," the AD repeated.
Holmoe for his part, has been consistent in his response to the Notre Dame series. While it’s been a priority to finish out at least part of the contract in some capacity, it also hasn’t taken first priority as the Cougars have filled out a schedule that is now mostly complete through the 2022 season.
"I feel that we are close to being able to come to some agreement on settling that contract," Holmoe said during a recent media roundtable. "I think it will be with games, and not in a cash sense. We’ll figure out where, but I think it will be worked out on the field and not just with a settlement."
BYU is currently scheduled to play Arizona in 2021 in Las Vegas, likely at the new Las Vegas Raiders’ stadium. It’s the only game scheduled (so far) in the new NFL stadium — but BYU officials have expressed interest in playing there before.