By Brian Murphy
I just spoke with Boise State President Bob Kustra about a number of topics related to the NCAA's report on the school's rules violations.
Here are some highlights:
— On whether the school will appeal the NCAA's findings: "We don’t know whether we’re going to appeal on some grounds, but at this stage, we want to take a little bit of time. We have 15 days to look at that. But we certainly do understand the process and we’re focusing on the future and we’ve made some key decisions here to make sure this doesn’t happen again and we don’t find ourselves in this position."
— On whether his decision to fire Gene Bleymaier was part of the "key decisions" the school has made: "It's focusing more intently on compliance and compliance education, it's hiring a new compliance officer, it’s searching for a new athletic director, and a new level of leadership that will bring us into compliance in all we do. It’s a package and that package certainly includes the decision to find a new athletic director."
— On the school's commitment to compliance: "Since he’s been here, it’s very clear to the coaches I’ve talked with, it’s very clear to the interim AD, that John Cunningham is the guy to take this compliance program forward. I have made personal commitment to the coaches and the athletic department staff the other day that we will invest the requisite resources that the compliance director tells me is necessary to assure compliance will all NCAA rules and regulations."
— On the ongoing case involving three Dutch football players and their status: "I think it’s close to a partial resolution, I don’t know whether or not the whole case is going to be cleared up. There’s three different individuals involved here. We always take those one by one."
— On if this was a case of the compliance department missing a problem: "I don’t think it’s always the case of a compliance officer not catching something. What we have to make sure we do very well here is educate our boosters and make sure that they understand what boosters can and cannot do. That will be an important component moving forward, that we not just spend time working with coaches and not just spend time working with student athletes, but that we work with boosters as well to help them understand that it’s hands off when it comes to certain kinds of behavior that they may have been accustomed to in earlier years when this was a small program and the NCAA rules were different. That’s no longer the case in this world that we live in."
— On football coach Chris Petersen: "I am completely confident that Coach Petersen thought he and his staff were doing the right thing according to the NCAA rules and regulations. Coach Petersen has been frustrated throughout this entire process about rules education about getting more information, having access to compliance officers, having compliance officers at his doorstep, spending a lot of time with compliance officers over the course of the last few months."
— Kustra said he hopes to announce a search committee for a new athletic director and hire a search consultant within the next few days. On what he is looking for in a new AD: "I'm looking for somebody that can really do an overall analysis of the department in terms of its capability in raising the funding it takes to keep up a major program like this in all sports, especially sports like football and basketball. We’ll obviously be looking for someone who knows how to take advantage of incredible national fan base that we have and use the latest in social media and other marketing and public relations techniques that will ramp up the program and eventually lead to better fund-raising for the program. When you look at the size of our budget, it just simply cannot sustain a program headed in the direction of ours. When you look at who we compete with, we’re beating teams and programs that have budges double the size of our athletic budget. The next athletic director is going to have to be somebody who really not only knows how to work with coaches, hire the best coaches, but work on the outside in building up a national fan base and a regional fan base that raises the money for the program."
— On conference realignment: "The Mountain West presidents were on a conference call last week to discuss that because we too want to make sure we’re positioned appropriately. Nothing to report at this time. It was a discussion. We’re keeping our ear to the ground, doing everything we know how to do to be ready."
— Kustra said no conference, such as the Big 12, has contacted Boise State about possibly entering the league.
You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.
You can find links to stories, photos and video by being a fan of Brian Murphy on Facebook.