By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman
LAS VEGAS — Boise State football coach Chris Petersen plans to honor the NCAA’s scholarship penalty for 2012 unless the Committee on Infractions completes the appeals process before the season.
Boise State was docked three scholarships per year from 2011 to 2013 for rules violations, but the appeals committee ruled in Boise State’s favor — calling that penalty “excessive.” The case was sent back to the COI, but the NCAA has not provided a timeline for dealing with the issue.
Boise State has the right to use the full allotment of 85 scholarships until the case is finalized, but Petersen says he won’t. The Broncos used 82 last year and plan to do so again — even if it means taking more of a penalty than what the COI eventually delivers.
“I want to get done with it,” Petersen said Tuesday at Mountain West media days.
Petersen says he’s still hopeful the COI will make its decision before the season. He said he has plans for the additional three scholarships but did not elaborate.
Here is the audio of Boise State’s podium session, which included Petersen, cornerback Jamar Taylor and offensive lineman Joe Kellogg. It does not include the later one-on-one interviews, which is the source of many of the quotes in this post.
Several Mountain West coaches with open quarterback jobs said they planned to make decisions quickly in fall camp. Petersen is taking a more cautious approach, as he has in the past.
“You want to get it right, and as right as you can,” he said. “And the guy who deserves the opportunity to go with it. I don’t think about it in terms of time. I think about it in terms of when we know and when it’s right, and that’s just kind of been our approach.”
Petersen said the four quarterbacks will continue to compete for the starting job in fall camp, which will give the younger players the time they need to develop.
“I think (junior Joe Southwick) did a great job in spring ball, but I think the other kids did, too,” Petersen said. “The other guys are just young in terms of knowing the system. Joe knows it very well. … You have to give it ample time to play out in as many situations as possible. We’ve been lucky and the kids (in the past) have produced when we put them in there. That doesn’t mean we always will be that fortunate. That’s why you don’t want to rush the decision.”
Petersen never pays attention to preseason polls. Here’s why:
“The mindset that we have in our program is that respect is earned, not given, and that’s what I think about preseason polls — that somebody is just giving you something that you haven’t truly earned," Petersen said. "That’s why we haven’t paid attention. We’re all about earning whatever we can.”
Petersen even joked that senior Mitch Burroughs, the preseason Special Teams Player of the Year, isn’t the starting punt returner — which isn’t far from the truth. Burroughs will continue to battle Chris Potter for the job.
“We’ve got two really good punt returners,” Petersen said. “Chris Potter has done some great things. That’s the Boise way. That’s the Bronco way. I’m happy that they acknowledged Mitch and I think he’s going to do some really good things — I think he’s going to do some really good things as a receiver and returner — but I can say the very same thing about Chris Potter. That’s what our team is all about. We are a team. It’s not about acknowledging one guy. It’s us going out and earning the true respect that these kids want and developing and getting better.”
Petersen didn’t seem interested in trying to recruit players away from Penn State’s roster but wouldn’t rule it out, particularly if a player reached out to the Broncos.
“The whole thing is just such a bizarre situation,” he said.
Fullback Dan Paul is still dealing with the groin injury that forced him to redshirt last season, Petersen said. He was week to week last September and isn’t fully healed.