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Why Pro Day will be different for BYU and the Big 12 next year

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The Big 12 announced it will host a Pro Day for all 14 of its member schools in 2024, including BYU, which joins the conference this summer.

BYU center James Empey prepares to run the 40-yard dash during BYU’s pro day at the university’s indoor practice facility in Provo on Friday, March 25, 2022. The Big 12 announced it will host a Pro Day for all 14 of its member schools in 2024, including BYU, which joins the conference this summer.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

BYU’s first Pro Day after officially joining the Big 12 Conference this summer will break from the tradition of having NFL scouts come to the Cougars’ Provo campus.

The Big 12 announced Wednesday that it has partnered with the NFL to host a conference-wide Pro Day in 2024 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

All 14 teams — including Texas and Oklahoma, who will leave the Big 12 for the SEC after the 2024 season — will participate in the Big 12 Pro Day event.

Why is the Big 12 choosing to host a league-wide Pro Day, as opposed to the traditional approach where teams host Pro Days on their own campuses?

“The first-of-its-kind Big 12 Pro Day will provide our student-athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent and skill as they turn their NFL dreams into reality,” Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. 

“Through this partnership with the NFL, Big 12 student-athletes will receive national media exposure across NFL Network and NFL Media platforms. We are thrilled to partner with the NFL to host this Pro Day, and we look forward to creating a special experience for our student-athletes.”

In addition to the usual on-field drills and workouts, the Big 12 said the Pro Day will include a job fair and non-football career networking opportunities for the student-athletes, and that will include the opportunity to meet with individuals from the Big 12 Business Advisory Board.

NFL Network and NFL media platforms will provide coverage of the Big 12 Pro Day, and while the public won’t be permitted to see the on-field workouts in person, the league announced, though, it will host a Big 12 Fan Fest, which will include VIP appearances, fan engagement experiences and more, outside the event.

“The Big 12 unified approach will provide world-class maximum exposure, mentorship, and development opportunities for potential future prospects pulling on the vast resources of these Big 12 institutions,” Troy Vincent Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said in a press release. 

“From state of the art medical and talent evaluations to maximized media exposure and classroom professional development, these future leaders will experience a dignified, respectful and comprehensive assessment.”

BYU, which is in the middle of spring practices in preparation for its first Big 12 season in 2023, will hold its Pro Day this spring on March 24.