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Boise State Responds to NCAA Allegations

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 5:26 pm / May 2, 2011

Click here for Boise State’s summary of the NCAA inquiry

Boise State University has officially responded to the NCAA regarding rule violations in the sports of men’s tennis, football, and men’s and women’s track and field, as well as a major violation concerning women’s tennis. The combination of several secondary violations and the major one has led the NCAA to allege a lack of institutional control within Boise State athletics.

An NCAA inquiry contained 22 allegations from 2005-2010 and asked for additional information from the university pertaining to each. The university formally responded on April 25, 2011. The NCAA Committee on Infractions will review the response on June 10. A final NCAA report is expected to take several more months.

“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,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra.

“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,” Kustra said. “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,” said Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier. “We have addressed the issues and are working with the NCAA to bring this to a close.”

Boise State began an internal investigation in March 2009 at the request of the NCAA. Through May 2010, Boise State responded to the inquiry and self-reported some undiscovered secondary infractions in preparation for a summary disposition in which the university, NCAA enforcement staff and involved individuals agreed on the violations.

However, a new, serious violation in women’s tennis occurred in October 2010. Boise State removed those coaches in November. As a result of the new violation, the NCAA decided that the case would now be sent to the Committee on Infractions rather than the agreed upon summary disposition for less severe cases.

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. In tennis and track and field, the NCAA determined that 16 student-athletes had received extra benefits over the five years equaling a $718 value. Other small dollar excess benefits are also alleged in the notice. All these funds were reimbursed as well and all were donated to charity.

Additional allegations of NCAA violations include:

  • From 2005-2008, track and field coaches conducted impermissible practice sessions for five international incoming student-athletes prior to enrollment.
  • In 2010, women’s tennis coaches provided an incoming student-athlete with impermissible educational expenses and entertainment, conducted impermissible practice sessions and permitted the athlete to compete prior to enrollment.

Boise State 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.