They may play a “Little Sisters of the Poor” schedule on the field, but off the field Boise State’s seemingly doing everything in their power to prove they belong with the big boys of college football. Kind of.
The school issued its official response Monday night regarding NCAA violations committed by five of its sports, including secondary ones involving the football program. The most serious violation involved the women’s tennis program and prompted the NCAA to include the dreaded “lack of institutional control” into the allegations, although it appears likely that hammer will not fall on the football side of the ledger.
On the football side, all of the 63 instances noted by the NCAA involved potential recruits receiving impermissible benefits provided by players who were at the time members of the football program. The NCAA’s inquiry alleges those impermissible benefits occurred from 2005-2010.
The majority of allegations involve impermissible housing, transportation or meals, where an incoming student-athlete was provided a place to sleep (often on a couch or floor), a car ride or was provided free food by an existing student-athlete.
In football, the NCAA determined that total dollar value over five years was $4,934 for all of the housing, transportation and meals provided to 63 incoming student-athletes. All services ranged from $2.34 to a maximum of $417.55 and have been reimbursed by the student-athletes.
(Yes, you read that correctly; they got dinged in one instance for two dollars and some change.)
As a result of the inquiry, Boise State has, the school wrote in its release, already has implemented several changes to avoid future violations, including the hiring of additional compliance staff, updating policies in its athletics compliance manual, increasing rules education and improving compliance documentation, as well as transferring compliance responsibility and oversight from the athletic department to the President’s Office through the General Counsel.
Boise State filed their official response to the inquiry on April 25, and the Committee on Infractions will hear the school’s response on June 10.
“I am confident we have responded thoroughly to the NCAA. Our internal review was comprehensive and our response was very detailed. We will continue to provide our full cooperation,” BSU president Bob Kustra said in a statement.
“We are deeply committed to following all NCAA rules and to ensuring that our athletic department works diligently so that our procedures reflect the highest standard. I am disappointed that we face these allegations. It is unacceptable, and the athletic department staff understand and agree with my position.”
“Complying with NCAA rules is fundamental to who we are and how we do things at Boise State. We have addressed the issues and are working with the NCAA to bring this to a close,” athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.