Boise State: NCAA penalties against football program 'are excessive' and 'constitute abuse of discretion'

By Brian Murphy

Boise State has asked the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee to throw out the penalties levied by the Committee on Infractions that are above the school's self-imposed sanctions, according to Boise State's Nov. 3 appeal obtained by the Idaho Statesman.

The Committee on Infractions stripped Boise State of three football scholarships for this season and the next two and reduced the number of contact practices in the springs of 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The penalties were in addition to Boise State's self-imposed reduction of three pre-season practices in 2011 and 2012. Boise State had proposed a reduction of three total scholarships, which the Broncos took this season.

"Boise State contends that these penalties are excessive such that they constitute abuses of discretion in the situation presented by the case," Boise State writes in its 17-page appeal.

Boise State writes that reductions in scholarships have historically been linked to "financial aid overawards; academic fraud or other serious academic eligibility concerns; broader recruiting concerns that actually impact the individuals' choice of institutions; substaintial benefits from boosters; or exceeding coaching limits."

"None of these issues were present in the University's case," Boise State writes in its appeal.

In the appeal's summary section, Boise State argues that "the Committee improperly increased the self-imposed football grant-in-aid restrictions ... even though the penalty is not warranted and is inconsistent with precedent and the circumstances of this case."

And Boise State says the "decision to add additional sanctions concerning practice opportunities ... is also inappropriate in light of the circumstances of this case and not consistent with logic and the imposition of practice-related penalties in prior cases."

Boise State "acknowledges that major violations of NCAA legislation occurred in this case" and that "the findings, none of which are appealed, are significant and are the result of incidents that are inconsistent with the University's expectations for the operation of its intercollegiate athletics program."

However, "the University believes it would be unfair for the appealed excessive penalties to remain a part of the final outcome of this case."


Here's the appeals timeline, according to Boise State officials:

— Boise State had until Sept. 28 to notify the NCAA of its intent to appeal. The NCAA then will acknowledge receipt of Boise State's decision.

— Boise State will have 30 days from the acknowledgement to file its brief. It filed on Nov. 3.

— The COI will have 30 days to answer the brief.

— Boise State will have 14 days to file its rebuttal.

— It's unclear whether Boise State will have an in-person hearing or how long after the process has been completed that a decision will be announced.


Notes on the appeals process, from the NCAA:

— There are five members on the committee. At least one of the members is from the general public and isn’t associated with a college, professional sports organization or athletes in any way. The other members must be a staff member of an NCAA school or conference.

— An appeal is NOT a new hearing that provides a second chance to argue the case. The Infractions Appeals Committee will reverse or modify a ruling of the Committee on Infractions only if the individual or school can prove one of the following:

• The ruling by the Committee on Infractions was clearly contrary to the evidence;
• The individual or school did not actually break NCAA rules;
• There was a procedural error that caused the Committee on Infractions to find a violation of NCAA rules;
• The penalty was excessive and is an abuse of discretion.

— The appeal can be handled in written form or through an in-person hearing.

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1321311949 Boise State: NCAA penalties against football program 'are excessive' and 'constitute abuse of discretion' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

But they went ahead and fired folks "just in case" *wink-nudge*


Everybody wants to hue the knurled

Gene was fired

Gene was fired because this occurred on his watch, he also ignored reports and fired the Asst. Tennis Coach with no cause, opening the University up to a potential lawsuit for wrongful termination and defamation of character.

That's not just in case. Your *wink-nudge* is more like a slap to the face, and was deserved.

Well, I heard that the hall monitor IS under witness protection.


Everybody wants to hue the knurled

My opinion

Rules were broken. Period. And often times punishment is severe, no matter the intent of the rule breaker. Take the punishment, learn from what happened and vow to be better. That is all.


you are saying that no matter the rules that were broken or crimes that were committed, a person or institution should just accept the penalty given no matter if it is excessive or an abuse of discretion? I think it is clear that Boise State is owning up to the rules that they broke, however, they are arguing that based on prior NCAA COI precedent the "sever punishment" doesn't fit the crime. You do realize that appeals processes exist for a reason, and by going through the process in no way means they are not willing to take punishment and vow to be better. People make mistakes, including judges and NCAA committees. Why not appeal if you feel the punishment is excessive.

Not to mention, the kids that are really being penalized by loss of scholarships are the walk-ons that would normally earn a scholi after a year or two. It's not penalizing the coaches that organized the "couch sleeping and buy-one-get-one-free big mac" rings or the scholarship freshman that received the advantageous benefits.

Whoa settle down

Too much soda for you today...

Im saying that the Broncos broke rules that were silly but the rules were still broken. Bronco sports, not just the football program, have grown substantially the last decade. Gene, balancing a budget, and a sports department he grew from infancy, didnt use discretion in overseeing all sports. The football program is just a part of the overall sports department. The NCAA cant take just football into consideration when a few other mens and womens sports also created infractions, some severe. So your statement "It's not penalizing the coaches that organized the "couch sleeping and buy-one-get-one-free big mac" rings or the scholarship freshman that received the advantageous benefits" (while it sounds poetic) doesnt apply in the least.

I agree the punishment is severe and doesnt fit the "crime'. But taken as a whole sports department, which the NCAA has to do, its probably about right. Didnt I say it was an "opinion"?

I did just finish a Mtn Dew. :)

This report leads me to believe they are appealing the additional Football penalties, which means that in considering if the punishment for that program fits their crimes, it makes no difference the penalties of the other sporting programs. Since when should the football program be penalized for inefficiencies in the women's tennis program? Were other Boise State programs punished that were not included in the primary or secondary violations the NCAA COI was ruling on? I don't recall the gymnastics or wrestling programs punishments for the violations of the Tennis, Track, and Football programs. So no, I do not believe the NCAA punishes specific programs for the violations of the entire sports department. Which I believe is BSU's point in claiming the excessive punishment for the violations that the football program committed, regardless of intent.

Now check your blood sugar : )


Everybody wants to hue the knurled

Yeah I'd have to disagree as well.

Just accepting any punishment because you know you're guilty of an act is foolish. If you’re ok with paying $500 for a parking ticket when others pay $15 that's your prerogative, but I wouldn't suggest trying to convince others of this logic, might end up sounding silly.

that makes zero sense quicks

Show me a case like the Broncos that only had to pay 15 bucks when we had to pay 500. Yeah, didn't think so.




Sober up, THEN post Weisy.

Also, punctuation, and the caps-lock release are your friends. Use them.

Everything is Negotiable with the NCAA

The punishment from the NCAA is ridiculous. With other teams having freshmen report in the Spring, I doubt that Boise State really gained ANY advantage for a week extra time. Then there is the extent of the "crime." Yeah, technically, a rule was broken, but unlike the Big 10 or SEC, we're talking peanuts here. NCAA precedent (in dealing with the BIG 10, Big 12, SEC, ACC) is that ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is negotiable.

Don't give me any crap about rules being rules. I'd bet the big boys wouldn't even flinch at putting up someone who wanted to attend summer camp. They just how a set-up already in place whereby the rules are terribly bent, but not (to them at least and their lawyers) actually broken. The hookers are extra.

Gene got screwed by the darn rogue tennis coach--and possibly Kustra.

My opinion is that the "new" 50,000 seat stadium should be called the Gene Bleymier Stadium. After all, HE is the one who built the program.


How do you know they will get 50,000 seats?

Phase I is not funded yet, and that is just facilities and track removal....

It's BRONCO STADIUM and Lyle Smith Field, not changing.


Everybody wants to hue the knurled