Boise State president Bob Kustra bashes BCS for computer error, lack of transparency, rewarding 'mediocre' seasons

By Chadd Cripe

Boise State president Bob Kustra on Tuesday sent an e-mail to university and college athletics leaders. Kustra is upset with the error in the computer rankings used by the Bowl Championship Series that was discovered Monday. That error affected Boise State's final ranking, which was changed to No. 10. While it didn't affect who was selected for BCS games this year, it could have under different circumstances.

Here is the text of Kustra's e-mail:


I trust that you have heard about the news from CBS sports analyst Jerry Palm that the BCS rankings erroneously ranked the positions of four teams in the final BCS rankings of the season. 

The BCS has corrected for it and Bill Hancock has apologized, but it still leaves open the question of transparency. There are five other computer models used to determine the rankings each week that are hidden from public view, unlike the approach used by Wes Colley who allows the light of day to shine on his work.  Thankfully, in this case an astute third party caught the error and brought it to the attention of the BCS.  I’m sure that you can imagine numerous “what if” scenarios where this type of mistake could have had significant repercussions.

How many times have we heard calls for transparency on our campuses and how many times have we shared our governance and communicated with our faculties and other constituencies in a transparent fashion?  Yet, in intercollegiate athletics, with the NCAA standing silently on the sidelines, we allow the BCS to work its magic with no idea of how accurate its rankings are on a week to week basis.  

It's egregious enough to see teams with mediocre seasons climb into the BCS bowl games because they happen to be in privileged conferences, while others with better records are written off as second-class citizens.   When we cannot see how these decisions are made, it becomes an affront to the concepts of integrity and fair play that we claim to value. 

When C. Wright Mills wrote of the "power elite", I doubt he was speaking of universities and intercollegiate athletics.  If he were still around, there could be a great second edition, this time focused on where elitism really runs rampant and takes Division 1 football players from some conferences and restrains their ability to compete.  I hope you noticed my choice of the word, "restrain".  I trust we will all be hearing more about "restraint" unless presidents step up and do the right thing.
Bob Kustra, President
Boise State University

1291756458 Boise State president Bob Kustra bashes BCS for computer error, lack of transparency, rewarding 'mediocre' seasons Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bob might be overreacting

At first glance, it would seem like Bob is just talking out his @%$ again. But the fact that BCS God Bill Hanc-ock addressed it, apologized for it, and said its the top thing on next years agenda leaves me to believe this is a huge issue. Hanc-ock never admits the BCS is anything but the Universes GOSPEL. EVER. Something isnt quite right. Where theres continued smoke, theres some fire.

I wonder what our children and grandchildren will think when we try to explain to them about the (then defunct) BCS years from now? They will laugh and think we are lying that college football had become so tainted. There is no other sport today more selfishly ran. A MAFIA ran organization is fairer. He11, Italian soccer clubs think the BCS is corrupt.

Bob get FOCUSED!

Crybaby Bob, get focused on education! Your fixation with bsu football and the bcs is exhausting! Stop being a politician and start focusing on bsu academia. The taxpayers of Idaho are DEMANDING it! If you cannot then please go back to Illinois.

Sorry vandal...

The Broncos, by and large, love Bob. Its you and your vandies that need to quit crying.

So the guy took 20 minutes to say the BCS is corrupt. WHHHHOOOOOPTIE DOOOOOOO. He isnt going anywhere, and he isnt apologizing to you oversensitive insecure fans.

BSU Alumni

Kustra, get back on track. BSU = Boise State University, not Bronco State University. Let Blaymeyer take care of atheletics, how about you focusing on academics??? Yes, I did graduate from BSU (Boise State)

He is focussed...

...on the financial inequities that the BCS imposes. The payout for a BCS bowl game is $18M. The payout on the Las Vegas Bowl is incidental...we essentially make ZERO from our game this year. The few dollars we make will go tho the WAC as part of our exit. The WAC will at least pay our expenses. So, Bob Kustra is fighting for money that can fund things, including education. The school made a nice sum on the Fiesta Bowl and a lot of that money was spent on academics. You should stop posting about something you obviously know nothing about and go back to studying for your GED.

what's more...

Even if BSU HAD made it into a BCS bowl game...the payout to the WAC would be way, way less than what the AQ Conferences get...even for sending 8-4 Connecticut to the Fiesta Bowl...therein lies the inequity.

Well stated



Bob and BSU could have fixed all of this quite easily. All it would have taken was a tougher schedule and to finish undefeated. Instead of playing by the BCS rules, BSU continues to do their own thing (weak schedule) and complain as to why they don't get more respect and better bowls.

The fact is, if BSU would have played a more challenging schedule (SOS 80) and finished undefeated then BSU would be in a BCS bowl game and making considerably more money.


After all this time you still don't get it. BSU had a far better SOS than #2 Oregon. But you are to blind or stupid to figure that out. Go to another site, people here have figure out how dumb you really are.


Guess BSU forgot to tell Nevada in advance that BSU's SOS made them the greatest team of all time.

You're in "right field" Borah Kitten

Shut up and get back to work cleaning the restrooms at Borah. You make no sense and you comments are laughable. Keep up the good work Mr. Kustra!!!

I agree!!

The U of I spends twice as much per student as does Boise State. If this disparity is properly addressed, Boise State can continue making headway in regards to academics. I support Dr. Kustra's efforts in both academics and athletics.

Keep in mind

Keep in mind with those statistics that of the BSU 18,000 plus students only 10,000 are full time students; 8,000 plus or 4/9ths are part-time students and that has an effect on funding and budget.

I believe BSU has 19,993 enrolled students

you can justround up and post 20,000

And only 6% of degree-seeking students at BSU...

graduate in 4 years; 26% in six years.

Now, how many of the 20,000 students at BSU are actually full-time, degree-seeking?

If you're wondering why there's a funding disparity between UI and BSU, there you've go. In case you're wondering, the vast majority of UI's students are full-time, degree-seeking.

They have more convenience store jobs though.


TSA-the NEW speed dating

and many of UofI students

are being put through school by the part-time students at BSU who have to work for a living.

6% doesn't tell the whole story Some Guy

Graduation rates only measure first year, full-time freshman. They don’t take into account non-traditional students, students who finish their education in eight non-consecutive semesters or students who transfer. Also, if i'm not mistaking, those numbers were compiled off of data from about 1200 students that began studying at BSU in 2002.. Meaning that the students at BSU right now won't contribute to bumping up that graduation rate for a few more years. Has BSU gotten better since 2002, HECK YEAH!


As I recall Chadd or someone in sports reported in a discussion on the numbers alloted for student tickets that BSU has 18,000 plus students with 10,000 plus full time while the remaining 8,000 plus were part-time students. BSU is a community college, plain and simple; just look at campus. There is nothing indicative of drawing full time students into a true college atmosphere. 4/9ths of the students are part-time --

So I found the follow

[2010, Digest of Education Statistics 2009, Table 236. Selected statistics for degree-granting institutions enrolling more than 15,000 students in 2007: Selected years, 1990 through 2007-08]

National Average
Total: 18,248
Full: 11,269
Part: 6,978
% of Part: 38.2%

Total: 19,540
Full: 11,810
Part: 7,730
% of Part: 39.6%

It looks like your Full/Part argument doesn't hold water. Not that calling BSU a community college is not silly enough on it's own.


About 70% of Boise State students are full-time (roughly 14,000 of 20,000 enrolled students).
About 78% of Idaho students are full-time (roughly 9,000 of 11,500 students).

You're gloating about an 8% difference in full-time enrollment? Get real, dude.

Well said

Have you ever seen such an unprofessional educator? Thanks for representing Idaho to the rest of the nation with such distinction. Bob, he missed the fieldgoal - get over it. We all have.
BSU football was never where you thought it was. They are back at the kid's table playing a bowl game before Christmas. So Bob and BSU how about you shut up now and have a seat - the adults are talking.

Not Yet

The adults can't talk until you shut up.


If you are still so stupid you cannot see how corrupt the BCS is then there is no hope for you.
However this information might help people with a brain and common sense to see how easy it is for the BCS to "tweak" the computer information any way they want.

Some people are still very naive about how computers work; they think the computer can not lie. However computers can only process the information that humans put into it. It is very easy for the BCS money grabbers to make sure that the information put into the computers will help BCS teams only.

This should be another common sense issue showing how corrupt the BCS and college football is. It still amazes me how every other sport in the world can have a playoff system. But for some reason the BCS has convinced people that it is just too complicated for College Football.

Are some of you people really that stupid, or are you just enjoying the corruption of the BCS. Some of you might think “Well this is only football” but it is more than that.

This is about a million dollar business. If this type of corruption went on in a business you had money invested in you would use your head instead of being a complete idiot.

Restraint Doesn't Work

In competition, trust has to be paramount for an enterprise to succeed and be able to maintain its integrity. In the case of the BCS, trust has been shaken. Few trust it completely. It has been shown to be just a tool for maintaining the power structure only a few participate in. Now we see the "magic", as Dr. Kustra talks about, is shaky too. If the BCS is to continue they must prove to be trustworthy. Even then, it seems to me, the burden of proving the BCS is worthwhile is nearly impossible to sustain and the prospect of a play off system will continue to gather steam. There is just too much money at stake for it to remain the province of a powerful few at the cost of the less powerful many.

Spoken like a true clone of your politician pres...

Bob's doing the job of an AD when he should be focusing on being the leader of a university. He's playing politician instead of placing his focus on increasing the academic/research components of BSU.

Obviously, you and your ilk don't get that. It's astounding, really. Newsflash: there's more to a university than far-fetched BCS dreams. If you can ever understand that, you'll be embarrassed at the way your "president" is representing BSU.


Darn right.......hold their feet to the fire!


Kustra - the "gift" most people wish would stop "giving" BSU a bad name.

What's he going to cry about next? Doesn't he have a university to work on? What's Gene doing these days now that Bob is AD?

I think Kustra is spot on on this one

and I think he is the best thing to happen to BSU in a long time. He's dedicated to academics and research and has been a fantastic fund raiser there, a champion of workers rights he took on the state over health care cuts, so if he takes a few hours out of his busy schedule each week to support the sports department so what? That's part of his job too.

Bwhahaha... you're smoking crack

"He's dedicated to academics and research"

Yeah, it really shows! Bwhahaha. He's a bush league moron and a political hack. All talk, no show.

Kustra's comments are spot on

yours are the comments of a moron.

If you're Curtis your nephew is a moron too.

Guess. You might know who is addressing you.


TSA-the NEW speed dating

No clue what

you are talking about now, your original comment is still that of underachieving piker.

that's nice.


TSA-the NEW speed dating

you seem to be under the misunderstanding

that everyone is just like you - can only focus on one thing at a time. Use the word "most" at your own peril. Many of the fans of the "little guys" are glad that someone stands up to the inequity of revenue distribution that affects the budget of many universities across the nation. The money is in TV revenues. When ESPN gets tired of losing their shirts on the Orange Bowl and realize that people do tune in to watch the under-dog David vs. Goliath games, things will change. Don't look for the BCS to feel guilty about raping the TV networks. Eventually they'll figure it out and then things will change.

Very well put!

What a great asset to the University!

Yeah - What he said


Is there any other area in which data modeling that affects so many people and has such large financial impacts is so secret? Scientific results rely on transparent data modeling and without such are constantly called in to question. Even in Vegas, odds are transparent and available. And yet the BCS, NCAA and the good 'ol boys seem to believe that the current "system" should be kept secret and everyone should just accept what they're handing out. Bull.

I'm glad Bob's big enough to say what needs saying to those who need to hear it.

The BCS wears no clothes...

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo

Was the BCS a nice phat chick in the Woodstock lake?


TSA-the NEW speed dating

Focus on the ball, Bob.

Dear Dr. Kustra,

Please start paying attention to education. You are the president of a university, which has seen its fees raised, funding cut, and systems overwhelmed by an economy that encourages people to return to school, but fails to make it affordable.

It is time to stop being a cheerleader for a spectacular football team and start being the leader of a school that needs leadership.

Yes, we get it, the BCS is horribly flawed, but your job includes more than football.

As a BSU grad, you have blown my support until you refocus on education. We do not fear for the future of our football team. We fear for this state's ability to offer quality education.

You DO realize....

that if the BCS system was junked and a 16 team playoff were in place, revenue estimates (to schools) are estimated to be 6-7 times greater than the current system? And that equates to half a billion more, minimum...
Sure seems to me that those $$ distributions would help with those funding cuts and other financial issues facing our schools, which you correctly pointed out.
Just pointing out another perspective..maybe you should consider it..

thanks for proving my point.

Let's not actually support education funding, we'll get it from football. Exactly the point. Relying on a winning football team to support your university is not leadership. Football is not a reliable source of funding nor should it be relied upon to maintain education. The team can sustain itself. The school cannot.

We have a great coach. We need a President.


Sorry, but you just have this wrong. Boise State has decided to make the most of the success of their football team. Bob Kustra is simply using the authority of his position to call out the inequities of the flawed BCS system. He spent a few minutes writing a letter to lobby the school's position. If not the president of the university, who would you have do this? Bob Kustra does a lot of things for Boise State unrelated to football. He pays attention to sports because they have done a great deal to enhance the prominence of the school, bringing in more students and dollars than would otherwise. There are a ton of projects going on at the campus that Dr. Kustra has been instrumental in driving. It's a far cry from the stagnant situation in which his predecessor, Charles Ruch, left it.


I couldn't post the comment above because I wanted to use the word c-i-r-c-u-m-s-t-a-n-c-e-s and had to use situation. It's because of the 4th, 5th and 6th letters of that word. Can you even believe that?

Or, Gee...


TSA-the NEW speed dating

Okay then please tell that to...

The Fighting Irish!!!!!

And There is something wrong...

with supplemental income from football? You thinking has dual edges...Yes, it's(football) not primary, but..since we have it and it's not going away, why not maximize the financial benefit/possibilities/income and HELP supplement the General Education fund? To criticize those efforts is ludicrous.

He's a lawyer.... dumb as a post.


Your making your point in

the wrong place, all university Presidents, including Kustra, spend most of their time looking for money to support thier institutions, it just does not make the headlines. If you want to rail on someone about funding get after the Idaho State Legislature and the real political hacks who talk about the importance of education and its funding but do nothing about it.

I agree. Yes, we all know

I agree. Yes, we all know the BCS is garbage and we all know Boise State is repeatedly cheated by this ridiculous system. However, one of the major things BSU is consistently dinged on is academics. Meanwhile, whatever happened to Kustra's promise years ago to make Boise State into a "research university of distinction"? When is that ever going to happen?

Bob needs to let the athletic department deal with athletics and he needs to start working on fixing Boise State's academic issues. Maybe if he spent more time trying to make the university into the premier institution he said he was going to make it, we could get into a BCS conference and then we could be among the haves in a corrupt system instead of beating our heads against the BCS wall from the outside.

Because his press release on the graduate programs...

would make the headlines of anything?

Simply because the media splashes every Bronco-ish subject front and center does NOT mean Dr. Kustra is not minding the farm. Having been both a student and on staff at Boise State, I can assure you that one of the MAIN goals of Kustra and the University is not to advance it's athletic program, but to become a "University of Distinction" and that requires MUCH more than just a great football team.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle