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athletic directors urge civility
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BYU and Utah athletic directors ask for rivalry respect

September 9, 2017 game between Utah and BYU (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The BYU-Utah rivalry game takes place this Saturday night in what could be a cold, snowy game. But before the players take the field, the athletic directors from both BYU and Utah have crafted a letter, asking all of us to tone down the nastiness that often accompanies a heated rivalry game.

Mark Harlan and Tom Holmoe’s email to football fans asks those who love the Utes and the Cougars to please treat each other and the game with the respect it deserves. The athletic directors go on to write, both universities are great.

“Families and fans on both sides deserve a positive experience within and around Rice-Eccles stadium. There is incredible tradition, passion and excitement surrounding the Utah-BYU rivalry, so let’s make it fun for all as we cheer on our respective teams,” says the letter.

It does feel like there is more civility recently. The coaches have a long relationship, they have worked together, and some players are even related or have played with each other in the past.

And both schools and their fans have helped each other during recent tragedies with fundraising or other signs of support.