BYU coaches await impact of lowered missionary age

By

Published:

 

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Point guard Cooper Ainge just turned 19, yet if he knew a year ago what he knows now he'd be off on his church mission rather than in his first season as a Brigham Young basketball player.

That's the situation of many Mormon athletes after a new rule recently went into effect that lowers the age when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can go on a mission from 19 to 18. It's already affecting players deciding now whether to come to schools across Utah, and BYU in particular.

Coaches can't talk about specific recruits, but BYU basketball coach Dave Rose acknowledged the new rule won't affect this year's team but could have a big effect on his 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.