By Brian Murphy
Boise State President Bob Kustra told the Idaho Statesman on Thursday that athletic director Gene Bleymaier chose to be fired rather than resign.
"I asked Gene to step down and suggested it would be best if he just said he was stepping down and no reasons were given and we'd be able to celebrate his years as athletic director and the naming of the football complex," Kustra said while on the road attending his wife's class reunion.
"He told me and his staff he wanted to be fired. He wanted that language to be used. He wanted to talk about the fact that it was for the compliance reason. People need to understand there were options here that weren't chosen and I have no control over that."
The Broncos are raising money for a football complex in the North End of Bronco Stadium.
Kustra said he could not talk about the reasons for the decision, in part because the NCAA directed him and Boise State officials not to discuss the NCAA rules-violation case before the final report is issued. Boise State met with the Committee on Infractions in June. The NCAA is expected to rule within a month on the sanctions for Boise State.
Kustra said the delay between his meeting with Bleymaier last week and this week's announcement was to allow Bleymaier time to decide what path he wanted to take.
"We could have done it whenever he wanted to do it. The timing was to give him the time to decide how he wanted to structure the announcement. He wanted to be fired and he wanted to use the compliance reason for the excuse," Kustra said.
Kustra said he hoped the announcement would not detract from Bleymaier's service to the university.
"From my statement today, I gave Gene considerable credit for all that he has done for this program, for the athletic department. No question about it. The announcement was planned in such a way so that there would be considerable fanfare. There still will be considerable fanfare with Gene's permission. The university owes it to Gene to celebrate his time as athletic director," Kustra said.
Kustra said he plans to name an interim athletic director "sometime next week or the week after." He said he has not decided if the interim director would come from within the athletic department.
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