The Idaho State Board of Education formally approved the five-year, $6.5 million contract for new Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin. This was all just a formality, as are most contracts for football coaches, so this was no surprise. What may have been a bit of a surprise was Boise State announcing most practices this spring will be closed to the media. This is not necessarily a bad idea.
Boise State will leave just three of their 15 spring practices open to the media. Every school handles the media access to their football program in different ways, and it is up to the school to determine just how much access will be given to the media, and in some cases the fans. For example, the Miami Hurricanes will open 12 of their 15 spring practices up to the fans, although two scrimmages will be closed. For Boise State, after falling back to the pack the past couple of seasons since joining the Mountain West Conference, this could serve as a way for Harsin and his staff to reset the focus and set the new standards for a new direction without any extra distractions.
Not that there is an overabundance of media coverage of the Broncos to begin with given the location and media markets, but it does come as a slight surprise to those covering the team. As Brian Murphy of The Idaho Statesman says on Twitter, the program had been much more accessible in the short time Harsin has been the head coach of the program, so the decision to close off so many practices is intriguing. Murphy says 12 of the 15 spring practices were open last season.
Boise State will open spring practice on March 10. The Broncos are looking to get back to the top of the Mountain West Conference following the departure of Chris Petersen to Washington. The Broncos split the conference championship in a tie with Fresno State and San Diego State in 2012, but the Broncos fell behind the competition from Fresno State and Utah State in 2013.