PROVO -- BYU athletic director Val Hale has a message for fans upset with impending logo and uniform changes at the school.
"It's good that they're interested and passionate about BYU athletics. It's wonderful," said Hale. "My advice to them is to wait and see it before you get excited."In a press conference scheduled for Aug. 16, the Cougars will unveil their new look. Until then, lips are sealed. BYU staffers have been asked not to discuss the changes and vendors have signed non-disclosure agreements. The only official news on the matter are media postcards titled "The changing face of Cougar sports" -- which are short on words, long on design -- announcing a change is in the works. Boosters and students are also getting hints.
"It's a thing to get people excited," said Hale. "And it seems to be working." Rumors are flying fast and furious as the announcement day approaches. Reports of gold football helmets and a departure from BYU's familiar blue and white color scheme, however, appear to be greatly exaggerated. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an athletic department source said blue and white will remain BYU's primary colors. The shade of blue, though, is expected to change from royal to more of a navy tint. A third accent color will be added to mix, but the source declined to say anything other than it would make it sense to BYU fans. Rumored additions of a bright, yellow gold or black accent, however, were dismissed as hearsay.
BYU football coach LaVell Edwards favors the old look, but acknowledges others -- especially the players -- will enjoy the new design.
Hale said school officials consulted several different people and employed the best designers in the business before making a decision. The entire process took three years, especially intensified over the past 18 months.
"It's something the university thought was time to do and it's gone to the highest level," said Hale. "It'll be a lot of fun to see people's responses. I think they will like it. Everybody who has seen it so far has liked it."
Logo and uniform changes have have benefited the Utah Jazz. Jay Francis, vice-president of marketing for the NBA franchise, said such alterations aren't done on a whim. The process for the Jazz took four to five years.
"It's not an easy thing to do," said Francis, who admits officials were considered about upsetting tradition and familiarity. "It worked for us. I'm sure BYU has done extensive research as well."
The Jazz, however, weren't able to keep their new look a secret for as long as they had hoped. A series of miscommunications led to merchandise ending up on store shelves nearly two weeks earlier than planned. And that forced a scheduled press conference to be moved up.
BYU, meanwhile, is maintaining its course with no plans for any confirmation until Aug. 16.
"You'll just have to wait and see," said Hale.