Posted by Chip Patterson
On Tuesday Boise State finally received their final report from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, which included penalties against the football program.
The committee found that secondary violations occurred over a lengthy period of time, mostly dealing with impermissible housing and transportation arrangements for prospective student-athletes or student-athletes arriving on campus early. In the case of the latter, the committee found that arriving on campus early with the assistance of discounted or cost-free housing provided a competitive advantage for the Broncos. While football was not hit nearly as hard as women's tennis or the track team, the Broncos will face some punishments and limitations in the upcoming years.
1) Three years of probation from September 13, 2011 through September 12, 2014
2) Scholarship reduction from 85 to 82 for the 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-2014 academic years. (The football program already self-imposed the reduction for 2011-2012 school year)
3) The football team must reduce the preseason practice opportunities by 3 for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Additionally, they will be limited to three less spring contact practices in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Boise State President Bob Kustra said Boise State's rapid growth over the last decade, from an upstart Division II program into a perennial Top 25 team, likely outstripped the school's capacity to keep tabs on compliance with NCAA rules. Kustra, who fired former athletic director Gene Bleymaier in August amidst the allegations of NCAA violations, said he'd hoped the self-imposed sanctions would have been enough to avoid probation.
"Having new leadership in the office of athletic director that understands the critical role compliance can play in the life of the program will help prevent future violations," Kustra told The Associated Press in an interview. "You're always going to be disappointed in penalties. It is what it is. Now, our job is to move forward."
As mentioned above, these limitations and penalties are minuscule in comparison to the other programs the COI found guilty of major violations.
In 2008-09, Boise State allowed a women's tennis player to practice, play and receive travel expenses after her fourth season of competition. Under the penalties, former Boise State tennis coach Mark Tichenor faces sanctions that will make it tough for other NCAA schools to hire him for the next four years.
In testimony to NCAA investigators, Tichenor said he knew it was against the rules to pay more than $2,000 for an international recruit's intensive English classes, but did so anyway because he felt "pressure to recruit, pressure to get players here," according to the committee's report.
The NCAA report found problems within Boise State's compliance department, including failure to monitor international athletes' housing. Among the sanctions, Boise State will be prohibited for two years from recruiting prospective international student-athletes for cross country and track and field, as well as for women's tennis. The women's tennis team was hit with a one-year ban on post-season play.
Assistant track and field coach Tom Shanahan faces similar two-year sanctions.
If you are interested in more details of these violations and penalties, you can find the full NCAA COI report HERE. Otherwise, onward and upward Broncos.
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