This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
When one of the 10 university presidents who has a vote on Big 12 expansion talks, people tend to pay attention.
So when Iowa State president Steven Leath spoke to staff members from the school newspaper, the Iowa State Daily, on Wednesday, ears were probably burning in Provo.
If not, they should have been.
In a meeting streamed on Facebook Live, Leath told the student reporters that he expects the league to expand, saying, "I think you will see a different Big 12 in the somewhat near future.
The president also said that expansion may not happen until December, extending what has already been an agonizing couple of months for the 20 or so schools who desire admission into the Power Five conference.
As BYU fans are well aware, the Big 12 presidents told commissioner Bob Bowlsby to begin researching and vetting schools as possible candidates to join the league on July 19.
The presidents have been mostly quiet on the issue with the exception of Texas president Gregory Fenves' tweet about supporting Houston's bid so Leath's statements earlier this week were extremely notable.
What did he say about BYU?
"I'm getting more input from individuals on BYU than any other school," Leath said.
That's understandable, considering the school's expansive digital footprint and large worldwide following.
But not all the input about BYU has been positive, Leath noted.
"I am getting considerable input on both sides of the issue," he said. [BYU] is a school of integrity, they play by the rules, quality program, and people that have been there had great experiences and say we should consider BYU."
But, the president continued, referring to concerns expressed recently by LGBTQ advocacy groups about BYU's Honor Code, "I am getting an equal number that send me their Honor Code, their [angst] with a number of their social issues.
"And then there is a smaller group that says from a logistical standpoint, the fact that they don't compete on Sundays, the complexity especially of schools as far away as West Virginia make it unworkable."
Credit to Leath for saying he will look into the Honor Code, and specifically to whom it applies, to gauge the accuracy of the accusations.
"I just want a fair interpretation of [BYU's Honor Code]," he said. "We want to give everyone a fair shake at this."
Leath said the BYU topic will be discussed by league presidents before any formal invitation is extended.