By Brian Murphy
Boise State Interim Athletic Director Curt Apsey sent a letter to Bronco boosters reminding them that Boise State is responsible for their actions.
The letter comes as Boise State prepares to play its first 2011 home football game and as the NCAA and school officials work on eligibility issues surrounding two football players. Defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn have been held out of the first two football games. Safety Cedric Febis was suspended by the school for the season opener against Georgia but reinstated for the second game.
All three players are from the Netherlands and played high school football in Boise.
"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 of 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," Boise State president Bob Kustra said earlier this month when asked about the case.
"That’s no longer the case in this world that we live in."
Apsey's letter is certainly part of that education. It explains what a booster is and explains what they cannot do in terms of providing extra benefits to student athletes.
"Boise State University is proud and grateful to have your loyal support and continued interest in our athletic programs, but you should be aware that even the most inadvertent and well-intentioned activity on your part has the potential to violate NCAA rules and jeopardize the eligibility of enrolled and prospective Bronco student-athletes," Apsey wrote in the letter.
Here is the full text of the letter:
The start of the 2011 fall sports season brings with it a great deal of excitement and anticipation. This time of year also serves as an appropriate time to remind supporters for Boise State athletics of the collective effort required to ensure that we are compliant with NCAA and Mountain West Conference rules and regulations. As a supporter of Boise State, you are a “representative of the university’s athletic interests,” or more commonly known as a “booster,” and are thereby bound by the same NCAA rules and regulations as the athletic program. It is essential, therefore, that you recognize the role that you play in maintaining the integrity of our program.
Who is a Booster?
A "booster" is a representative of Boise State’s athletic interests. You become a booster if: (1) You have ever been a member of any organization promoting Boise State Athletics; (2) Made any type of donation to the Bronco Athletic Association, Boise State Athletics or any other Boise State booster organization; (3) Assisted in evaluating or recruiting prospective student-athletes; (4) Assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or (5) Promoted Boise State Athletics in any other manner. NCAA Bylaw 13.02.12.1 mandates that when you become a booster, you retain that identity for life and are bound by NCAA rules. Boise State is responsible for your actions.
What is an Extra Benefit?
The NCAA prohibits representatives of the interests of Boise State Athletics from providing extra benefits to prospects and student-athletes. An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee (or) a representative of the institution's athletics interests to provide a student-athlete or the student-athlete's relatives or friends a benefit not expressly authorized by NCAA legislation. Examples of extra benefits include loans or cosigning a loan, transportation, housing, free or reduced-cost services, gifts, use of a car, and complimentary tickets and other forms of entertainment. Receipt of an extra benefit can cause a prospect or student-athlete to be declared ineligible.
Boise State University is proud and grateful to have your loyal support and continued interest in our athletic programs, but you should be aware that even the most inadvertent and well-intentioned activity on your part has the potential to violate NCAA rules and jeopardize the eligibility of enrolled and prospective Bronco student-athletes. As we strive for excellence, we must always seek the highest standard of NCAA rules compliance. If you are not sure, please do not hesitate to ask us. With your assistance and cooperation, we can accomplish our goals.
Thank you for your continued support!
Interim Athletic Director
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