Boise State may have found their way into a deep hole.
Boise State has arguably been one of the best football programs in the new century. The Broncos have overcome a massive hurdle, not being a member of an auto-qualifier conference yet, having impressive victories in BCS Bowls, the 2010 Fiesta Bowl victory over TCU and the 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory the University of Oklahoma Sooners. Their football team’s total and utter domination of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) bored them to the point that they decided to move on to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) another non-AQ conference.
In 2009 Boise State self-reported several major infractions by their non-revenue sports, and a few minor infractions by their football team. The NCAA Infractions committee proceeded to investigate these reports. On September 13th, 2011 the NCAA released their final report and the disciplinary action they were going to take. Read after the jump to see what I believe it will have on the future of Boise State football.
“We could talk for days, I’ve got so many thoughts and opinions on this deal. But I’ve kind of learned that it’s probably best that I say that we were surprised by it, but we’ll do what we have to do. The one thing I appreciate about this program and our kids is whatever we have thrown our way, we’ll adjust and adapt and we’ll keep rolling.”-Boise State Head Coach Chris Peterson
From the above quote it appears Coach Peterson was thinking that the Bronco’s compliance, and self-imposed penalties, would prevent the NCAA from hitting them with penalties of their own. Clearly he was wrong, and doesn’t understand how that the NCAA works. All Coach Peterson needs to know is that the NCAA will sanction (and put on probation) anyone who is not a cash cow (see Auburn and Cam Newton).
The penalties imposed by the NCAA are harsh, considering the fact that Boise had not only self-reported the violations, but had also begun to implement their own disciplinary actions against those sports (and/or people) involved. Boise’s football program loses nine scholarships over the next three years, their woman’s tennis team faces a one year post-season ban and the rest of Boise State’s Athletic Department (AD) faces severe restrictions on scholarships and recruiting for the next three years. Obviously these sanctions are nothing like the shit storm that hit USC in 2009. However, unlike USC, this could have a much more damaging effect on the future Bronco’s football.
This past summer Boise State completed the move from the WAC to the MWC, and in doing so a major upgrade in their strength of schedule rating. The increase in the strength of schedule means that the chances of the Broncos ACTUALLY losing games went up. One of the questions floating around the program was, if the loses started to pile up would the Bronco’s still be able to draw in the recruits necessary to sustain their success? Especially since they now are stuck to the MWC current TV deal and won’t get ESPN’s exposure? The answer was probably a, yes.
However, with these sanctions I am not so sure. Sure the Broncos are getting their stadium and athletic facilities majorly upgraded. Sure they still have a winning tradition and a stable coaching core. Sure those all stayed the same. Now though not only does Boise State have less television exposure they also will be losing scholarships (Three scholarships a year for three years) and our now on the NCAA’s Infractions Committee’s radar. The Blue and orange may have a reason to be concerned. After all Boise is no Los Angles, and will never be able to top-tier talent like USC can. So the question I ask you is; is BSU going to be able to overcome these sanction imposed by the NCAA and their lack of national TV coverage?
In all honesty I believe they can. I really don’t think it will be such a big deal. But it sure is fun to speculate about the fate of programs, isn’t it?
 Auto Qualifier athletic conferences are conferences that are guaranteed a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Bowl Game appearance