Petersen addresses eligibility concerns for three Boise State players

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

ATLANTA — Boise State will be without starting safety Cedric Febis, defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn for its season opener against Georgia on Saturday.

The players are all from Amsterdam, but attended high school in Boise.

“The three are being held out of the game due to a review of their NCAA eligibility. The review is not academic or violation of team rules,” Boise State said in a statement released Friday morning.

At a pre-game press conference, Boise State coach Chris Petersen talked about the eligibility problems.

"We're concerned about it. We're looking into it. That's why they're not here. Hopefully we can get it resolved hopefully sooner than later," Petersen said. "We've just got to stay focused on this game. The next guy has to step up and we got to go."

"A few days ago, there was a concern raised and our people started looking into it and we need to go slow on these type of things. Jeremy Ioane will start (at safety) and some other guys, young guys that have been working hard will have to be ready to go and carry the flag."

Asked if it was Boise State's staff or the NCAA that initiated the review, Petersen said: "We're not going to get into all the details right now."

Boise State hired a new compliance director, Josh Cunningham from TCU, earlier this month.

Petersen said the three players were informed yesterday.

"We'll talk about that when we get back. We're just trying to enjoy and focus on this game," Petersen said.

In an email to the Statesman, an NCAA spokeswoman wrote: "You would be best served to contact the school directly as they have all the facts of the situation."

Febis, a senior, attended Bishop Kelly. Tjong-A-Tjoe, a sophomore, went to Boise High. Boldewijn, a sophomore, went to Capital High.

Febis came to the United State for a Boise State summer football camp and decided to stay in the country.

“I decided to stay because I loved the competition, playing against bigger players, faster guys,” Febis said.

He attended Bishop Kelly in 2005-06, helping the Knights to the 4A state championship. Cody Hawkins, the son of then-BSU coach Dan Hawkins, quarterbacked that team. He lived with a host family in Boise and remains close with them.

“They’re like family now. I see them as my mom and dad. When I want to get away from it, I just go over there and hang out. They treat me as one of their own,” Febis said.

Other notes from Petersen:

— He declined to name a starting kicker.

— He said the team has brought up to five true freshmen on the trip, including safety Lee Hightower.

Past stories

Here is an Idaho Statesman story written by Jesse Zentz in 2008 about the Dutch connection at local high schools:

(Boldewijn changed his name from Hiwat this year, so this story includes his former last name.)

9/26/2008

By Jesse Zentz

The Netherlands is a country widely known for its windmills, wooden clogs and world-renowned soccer players. But five Dutch athletes fueled by a love of football are attending Boise high schools this season, hoping to earn a college scholarship. Fellow countryman Cedric Febis did just that in 2005, when he played for Bishop Kelly High and became the 18th player in Boise State head coach Chris Petersen's first recruiting class.

"It's a dream for them to come over here and get the chance to earn a scholarship, " said Dutchman Floris Mendonca, who brought 10 players to the Boise State football camp this summer after he joined Febis at the camp in 2005. "If they stayed in Amsterdam, (college coaches) wouldn't see them. The most important thing for them is to have the chance to go out and fight for a scholarship. You never know what's going to happen."

Four of the players are seniors at Boise High - defensive linemen Donald Alves Fortes and Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, running back/defensive lineman Humphrey Koopmans and wide receiver/linebacker Jeffrey Bediako. Geraldo Hiwat is a wide receiver at Capital.

On Friday, Boise visits Rocky Mountain and Capital plays at Caldwell. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.

While Febis remained in Boise in 2005, Mendonca returned to the Netherlands and began coaching football.

"I went home after Cedric and I came here and met these kids, " said
Mendonca, now an assistant coach at Boise. "They wanted a chance to play overseas, over here, so I said, 'Yeah, OK, I will help you.' "

Capital coach Todd Simis and Boise coach Bob Clark said they met Mendonca at the BSU camp and heard rumors that some of the campers wanted to play high school football in Boise.

"The rest is history, " Simis said. "We met them and they were interested in making it happen. Floris was really instrumental in bringing these kids over and helping them through everything."

The players, who are not exchange students, were required to obtain academic (F-1) visas, pay Boise School District tuition, meet eligibility requirements for the Idaho High School Activities Association and find host families before they arrived in mid-August.

"About a month before they even thought they were going to be able to come here, I told them, 'It's probably not going to happen for you guys, ' " Clark said. "I didn't want to get their hopes up because things were moving kind of slow.

"But they all said they still wanted to come to America and go to high school here. From that point on, I was like, these are my kids. That endeared me to them. I'm thinking, 'These guys are awesome.' "

Since arriving, the Boise High contingent's contribution has been nothing short of awesome for a team that hasn't won three or more games since 1997. The Braves have won two of their first three games.

"It's fun to be winning, but I don't think it's all because of us, " Alves Fortes said. "This team is good without us and they have good coaches here."

Alves Fortes (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) leads the Braves with thee sacks and has eight tackles.

Tjong-A-Tjoe (6-3, 260) has 15 tackles, including a team-high seven for loss.

Koopmans (5-10, 265) has 21 carries for 98 yards and three TDs.

Bediako (6-3, 210) has five receptions for 115 yards and one TD, and 14 tackles and a blocked kick.

"They're good football players. They're raw, but they've all got the ability to play college football, " Clark said. "... What they've done is, they've added a spark to the rest of the kids. They're all responding to the competition."

Over at Capital, Hiwat (6-3, 190) has added an explosive element to the Eagles' offense. He has 18 receptions for 201 yards and two TDs through three games.

Simis said he's a bona fide Division I prospect.

"I don't have any doubt he's going to be a guy that's earmarked as a college football player, " Simis said. "Boise State has shown interest, but once we begin contacting schools, that will change."

Hiwat played club football in the Netherlands with Tjong-A-Tjoe, Koopmans and Bediako. Alves Fortes played on another club team.

"I want to play college football and get an education. Football is just my passion, " Hiwat said. "We all did this together, because we are good friends."

In the Netherlands, football is relatively unpopular compared to soccer, which dominates the country's sporting landscape.

Tjong-A-Tjoe played soccer, but his size became a liability.

"I was always the biggest guy on the (soccer) team and the refs always called against me, " Tjong-A-Toe said. "In football, you get beat around at first, but once you get to know the game, it's fun."

Alves Fortes said he comes from a family that is soccer crazy. He's the only one who chose to play football.

"They are pretty excited I did something different, " he said. "They love soccer, but they support me."

All the players said the majority of those who participate in football in the Netherlands don't take it as seriously as their American counterparts.

"It's a lot different over here, " Koopmans said. "It's much harder, much more intensity. All of the guys here play American football like a lifestyle and in Amsterdam it was for fun. We took it seriously and that's why we're here."

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What percentage of SEC leaders and the BCS are

democrats?

Hey Ugly

What percentage of your chromosomes are humanoid?

How much of your head is in a dark orifice?

From a conservative.

PS Need a flashlight?

Democrats?

I doubt many are but it was a funny line.

Not even close to funny. No basis in real life.

Think about it. Who would be the most likely to pitch a fit about an immigrant taking a position away from an American?

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

How many people beside the coach will actually play?

This is starting to sound like the railroading Gibson the guitar maker is getting.

Can't enough people in government and administration kust kiss Old Scratch?

----------

Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

HAHA

They are all big money fat cats which means they're Repuglicans.

Like Soros

Feinstein and Corzine?

No

Those guys don't like football.

Bugger Off

I'm just as political as the next gal (in fact probably more so). But it would be nice if we could have some part of this website that didn't devolve into a political *issing match. Do us all a favor and take it elsewhere. There are plenty of other articles to which you can post your poltical musings.

Why so serious?

I mean it's no secret that if you're rich your republican.
I'm thinking of switching parties cause I could use a new car...and guest house. :-)

You are stupid.

Some of the richest people in this country are Democrats:

Bill Gates
Warren Buffett
The entire Kennedy family
John Kerry and his "Heinz" wife
Al Gore
Chris Dodd
Nancy Pelosi
Harry Reid

It's funny how these same folks cry about how unfair the Republicans are to the "poor", when the Dems do nothing to help the "poor" even though they themselves have a lot of money.

BTW, what exactly constitutes "poor"? In this country, the poor still eat 3 meals per day, have cable tv, cell phones, at least one major videogame system, and average one-and-a-half cars per household. Compare this to the poor of other countries, who live in shacks of sheetmetal, don't have any electricity or clean water, and are lucky to get a full meal per day.

I have no sympathy for the "poor" in the United States. They would be considered wealthy in any other country.

The Difference

between these "rich" Democrats and rich Republicans is evident to most but apparently lost on you. Here's a hint....look at how they vote.

dang how they get themselves in everybody's boogers, politicos

makes ya just want to tell whom to what and how but they did it first. hang the living?

----------

Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

nike shoes , fashion clothes ; brand handbags , wallet ...

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h ave so me che ap thi ngs ...(Jew erly...)

ni k e sh o es , fa s h i on cl o th es ; br a nd ha n d b a gs , wa l l et ...

I f y o u th ink o ur web site is go od , y ou c an p ut th is web site t o bookmarks or ot her pl aces, ea sy t o fi nd ...

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Fishy

"Boise State hired a new compliance director, Josh Cunningham from TCU, earlier this month." Was that the wise thing to do ?, How many more players will we lose by the time TCU comes into town.

Kustra's Office

Let's see....Kustra moved compliance to his office, fired Bleymaier, now this.

I think I know why...

In amsterdam you can play "pro" at a pretty early age. This "pro" level over there is not that high of competition. I think I remember them talking about how being able to play in america is a big deal. This is all from memory, but I would not be surprised if this is the reason.

well Jeremy..........

Well Jeremy Ioane , after seeing your play tapes from High School, been waiting for two years now to see what you can do. Hit them and hit them HARD just like your play tapes has show you to do.

Those highlights are just

Those highlights are just awesome. If he can play that way at this level, watch out GA.

Thats what I'm sayin

Ioane is a beast!! We will be fine. Watch Matt Miller get offenseive player of the game. I'm more worried about the SEC officials than anything. Can't be trusted. Absolute garbage to be using SEC officiating for a game like this, especially since it is a one time deal.

JEREMY IOANE...

Hit them early, and make your presence know.
Here is your time to shine.. on a national stage!

Ioane will start

I like this kid a lot. But at the scrimmage he got beat twice, missed tackles with his head down and took poor angles most of the night. He has great upside but this makes me nervous.

Anyone else remember the last Freshman Safety (not named Iloka) to start for the Broncos? Hint: It was in Seattle against another team named for mans best friend. One in particular got beat often.

Jeron Johnson?

I remember watching him start as a freshmen in 2007.

Yes and Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson got beat on the halfback toss...bad. Its just what happens to young guys in early big games.

Amsterdam Pro level

It seems like this would have come up before now with at least one of the three. My guess is that a question was raised , and because BSU is on a compliance tight-rope right now, they couldnt take any chances.

Amsterdam Pro level

It seems like this would have come up before now with at least one of the three. My guess is that a question was raised , and because BSU is on a compliance tight-rope right now, they couldnt take any chances.

but it has come up

that is how I heard about it. I think it was posted by the statesman. But who knows.

So,

This was Prater's doings?

ATTENTION!!!

Everyone remain in your seats until the ride has come to a complete stop!

oh shut up this is no ride

----------

Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

I would imagine.....

that it has to do with them staying with non-family as in "are these people boosters?". Same situation as "Blindside". Because they were told it was an infraction to have someone sleep on another's couch they may have been gun-shy about letting them play before the NCAA chimes in. With all of the major infractions coming to light elsewhere, I can't believe that the NCAA would rule them ineligible, but then again, it IS the NCAA!

Febis has played for BSU for 4 years!

The other two have played for the last two years. They had been cleared to play by the NCAA last year. Why is it all of a sudden a problem?

If it turns out these guys are ineligible

Would BSU have to forfeit all the games any of them played in? Would the stats from those games then be stricken from the books? If that were the case, that would pretty much wipe Kellen out of the record books.

Maybe, except.....

None of these guys played any significant games for Boise State. Febis, although a Senior, hasn't played a single game for Boise State. Neither has Sophomore Tjong-A-Tjoe. Boldewijn (Hiwat) played in 6 games during the 2010 season, making 11 receptions for 160 yds and 0 touchdowns. Since he wasn't directly responsible for any points, your entire argument is invalid.

Nice try, tho.

Actually...

if you play any ineligible player, even for 1 play, you are subject to vacating the wins [not a forfeit] It is appealable but vacating a win from a year ago isn't much of a punishment.

RMS

Your info is a little off

How so?

I got the information from Yahoo Sports.

Yahoo is wrong

.

Doubt it

Considering ESPN has the same stats for Boldewijn/Hiwat, I would say the Yahoo stats are true.

***Update***
ESPN DOES have stats on Febis:

SEASON TOT SOLO AST SACK FF INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
2010 27 12 15 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 23 14 9 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 4 3 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ESPN also has stats on "Ricky":

SEASON TOT SOLO AST SACK FF INT YDS AVG LNG TD PD
2010 24 11 13 2.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

So, I stand corrected that they didn't play.

But, this brings up another question: If they were eligible last year, and are not in any disciplinary or academic trouble this year, WHY are they ineligible? And, does that fact all 3 are from The Netherlands have something to do with it?

You could get VD from Yahoo Sports as easily...hacks.

----------

Economists were invented to make astrologers look professional.

Here are their games played

according to the NCAA

Febis - 32

Boldewijn - 14

Ricky - 12

Name the site

According to the Game Logs from Yahoo Sports NCAAF:

Boldewijn played in 6 games (Wyoming, San Jose St, LaTech, Hawaii, Idaho, and Utah St) during his Freshman season. Seeing how there were only 13 games the entire year, I don't see how the NCAA could say he played 14 games.

Febis did not play in any games during 2008, 2009, or 2010. Last I checked, 0 was a LOT less than 32.

Tjong-A-Tjoe also did not play in any games 2010, Again, 0 is less than 12.

Febis: Career Totals Games

Febis:

Career Totals
Games 32
Asst. 25
Solo 29
asst loss 2
solo loss 1
Yds lost 7
pass def 3

Again, give the source

Duh

The NCAA

official records site.

Link it

.

This will get you to the football stats

http://www.ncaa.org/wps/portal/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjX29XJydDRwP_wGBDA08Df3Nzd1dXQwMDA_1wkA6zeGd3Rw8Tcx8DA3-jMAMDIz_T4ECD0GBjA09jiLwBDuBooO_nkZ-bqh-pH2WO0x53Y_3InNT0xORK_YLs7DTndEVFAHpu34Y!/dl3/d3/L0lJSklna21BL0lKakFBTXlBQkVSQ0pBISEvNEZHZ3NvMFZ2emE5SUFnIS83XzJNS0VCQjFBME9RUzEwSTBPNzdHRUUxMEczL3dyNzk0ODYyMjAwMDc!/?WCM_PORTLET=PC_7_2MKEBB1A0OQS10I0O77GEE10G3_WCM&WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/stats/football/index.html

Wow

You may as well have given me a copy of the Obama Healthcare Bill. It's hard to navigate that site.

follow this

click: "Individual and Team National Statistics Rankings"

Then: "Team Reports"

Then "Boise State"

Then "Roster"

then "the players name"

Hope that helps