In a college football world where money talks and coaches walk, what Bronco Mendenhall is doing for Brigham Young in Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 p.m., ABC-TV) against rival Utah will make this stand out from the other bowls.
When most coaches leave for perceived better jobs, they leave immediately to get a head start in recruiting for the new job. Any contract with the old employer is easily broken and the players left behind are holding the bag with a makeshift coaching staff. Mendenhall was not going to let that happen and, for that, he should be applauded.
At first, that might be frustrating news for fans of his new school, Virginia, who are anxious for Mendenhall to get started with a rebuild of that program, but it should not be. What this means more than anything is that the Cavaliers are getting a high-character guy who will not leave his players without finishing the job he was hired to do.
For BYU fans, it means their team doesn’t need to worry about a messy leadership change while preparing quickly for an important bowl game against a rival. The Las Vegas Bowl would also present the chance for Mendenhall to earn his 100th win with BYU, an achievement that could be made even more special against Utah.
Fans without a stake in this game will find almost impossible to root against a coach who, for once, did the right thing after getting a new job. Hopefully, more coaches in the future will follow his example.