let's talk men's soccer. I feel I'm qualified as someone that was a part of the team and maintains contact with them.
Men's soccer plays collegiate club soccer. This was the case in the 90s before PDL(now USL2) and became the case again in Fall 2017 after the team completed it's final PDL season. While a PDL franchise, the team could recruit, travel internationally, played RSL monarchs and RSL (typically second team/reserves) and even played in the US Open Cup. The team was successful and despite no scholarships, BYU + PDL attracted top players, particularly LDS. In 2017, admin decided to drop the PDL franchise and return to club soccer.
Since then, the team has lost just one in season game in six seasons. They've won over 100 games, lost 1, and drawn five if my math is right. This year they won every game at nationals and didn't give up a single goal. Everyone at BYU in the program wants BYU to go D1, and everyone in club soccer hates BYU and wants them to go D1. Players at local schools want BYU to go D1 so they can play at BYU. BYU would find instant success in the west. While the BIG XII doesn't have mens soccer, that shouldnt be considered a roadblock. They don't have mens volleyball either but we find a way. UCF is a top 10 program, and West Virginia and Cincinnati all have teams competing in other conferences. BYU could easily join the WCC, WAC, or other conference as men's only. And for those wondering, the team tries to play all the local JuCo schools, Westminster, UVU, and Utah Tech every year in the spring. UVU agreed in several years, but last spring the drew with Utah Tech. They've also played and beat UNLV in years past.
The program is under student advancement now, which means no more recruiting and also means that the team cannot have tryouts until the first day of school. Yes it's on tryouts. Very few players have a guaranteed spot, although typically most carry over each year. The team is made up of players that likely could have gone D1. In fact some current players committed originally to top programs before changing their minds while on a mission. There are also JuCO transfers and D2 transfers. The team's first game is a week after the final tryout date. The team receives ZERO support from BYU Athletics and the BYU ROC. The womens soccer team occasionally shares some things but is often deleted shortly after, likely because of the BYU athletic department. The ROC refuses to share anything the team posts from what I've been told. The team has to find it's own gear and isn't included in the athletics nike contract. The coaches are paid little if anything (idk for sure how much just know it's little) and the support around the team is volunteer. The team has to get a broadcast setup for the youtube streams and bleachers at the ends of the field are often just left up. Every year the boys are told "who cares about club" or "you wouldn't win in D1" but really, the team hasn't been given a chance or the support.
Everyone always talks about Title IX and money. Sure those are hurdles, but are we really saying BYU won't add soccer because they don't want to add a women's team? Why wouldn't they? The Big XII just announced it's adding beach volleyball and women's lacrosse, which could be added at BYU to make for more scholarships for men. They seemingly have enough boosters (both from some famous BYU soccer alumni, some big names and connections, and general BYU boosters) and they have the facilities for it. You have momentum with womens soccer being on a roll the last several seasons. Why not carry that momentum and reward the mens team and add another womens team for people to support? If money were an issue, why have zero revenue sports that offer free admission and pizza or donuts to everyone that shows up. And again, the BYU soccer alumni pool is not broke...
There is definitely a lack of progress stemming from concern over what the addition would do to womens soccer, but those concerns don't seem to be based on anything other than exclusivity. The men typically get 1000-1500 at their home games, even without athletics and ROC support. And why not set up double headers and have the women and men play on the same evening and sell the tickets together. Either way, womens soccer success is phenomenal and attracts fans and would likely to continue to have such support.
Support the boys in 2024! They have an instagram (@byusoccer) and they post about all the games. The games are all FREE!