The Big 12 may have a serious issue on their hands now as non-profit group Athlete Ally is fighting the possible placement of BYU into the Conference. Big 12 sees this as a chance to add another powerhouse, sports-wise into the fold, while Athlete Ally is focused on the ramifications on a social scale, who is right, who is wrong is the big question?
BYU, who is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints has an Honor Code they live by which shows an issues with same-sex relationships as they have throughout their existence. But now with the expansion looming, and possibilities of a bigger financial payout they may have opened the door for a war they are not ready to fight.
The world has finally opened their arms to same-sex marriage but the point AA is making is that a school that forbids it should not be allowed to capitalize off the Gay community. While there are other schools in the running the fan base that BYU will provide could offer a major lift for the Big 12. In sports eyes this is about money but for AA this is a fight for their equality.
BYU officials have gone on record as saying they will not hide from any questions concerning their schools religious beliefs, but one has to wonder if AD Tom Holme himself thought about the possible ramifications this will cause. BYU has played as an Independent but like others over the years they have petitioned to join a more profitable conference, but none poses the same issue as BYU. What could be interesting to see is if BYU will succumb to the pressure and change their stance for a bigger payout. That is not likely to happen, but what will the Big 12 do if a decision has to be made to either distance themselves from a school with certain beliefs or cave in to an advocate group.
It’s clear the NCAA has no issue with BYU’s religious beliefs, which makes this more of a Bible-based fight. The Bible clearly states one, while the world states another. There is no right or wrong here which makes this a tough decision for the Big 12 officials. Either way the conference committee will have to turn their backs on someone’s stance which will have a huge impact on the loser. If Athlete Ally and the other 23 organizations that signed the petition gets their way that may be the end of BYU ever getting accepted into a larger conference. If BYU is accepted the backlash it will receive from the LGBT will be felt from years to come.
The question that needs to be answered here is, what’s more important, money or an Honor Code?