During football season, Brigham Young University quarterback Ty Detmer spends much of his time behind the center taking snaps.
This summer, one will find the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner behind a desk in Provo's Economic Development Department.Detmer is doing a summerlong, paid internship as part of the requirements to earn a degree in recreation administration. He's also doing it because he needs a summer job.
"I'm getting married so I've got to have a little backup," Detmer said. Detmer plans to wed Kim Herbert on July 2. When school isn't in session, his scholarship doesn't cover meals and rent and such.
Detmer spends part of his daily five-hour shift working with businesses contacted to sponsor the East Bay Invitational and the Ben Hogan Utah Classic. He's also helping with Freedom Festival preparations.
"We try not to exploit his notoriety too much," said Gary Golightly, economic development director.
Still, there are advantages to having college football's best player working for you.
"People recognize his voice. They recognize him. That helps the whole effort," said Marlo Jensen, Freedom Festival director.
Ever modest, Detmer doesn't believe that his fame and Texas drawl alone necessarily sway businesses to sponsor the golf tournaments.
"I really don't think I have much of an influence in that regard because business is business," he said.
Detmer's natural shyness makes an office job somewhat tougher than sidestepping would-be tacklers in a football game. He's not the type of person to initiate conversation with a stranger.
"I'm not as comfortable in that type of situation. That's part of the reason for doing it," he said of the internship. "I'm real comfortable on the field. I'd rather be doing that than anything."
Detmer's telephone calls have surprised a few people.
One business with whom Detmer left a message wondered if the call was some kind of a joke. The proprietor called the economic development office back, saying he thought people were playing tricks by using Detmer's name.