Boise St. accused of infractions
Meals, housing, transportation at center of NCAA accusations
BOISE, Idaho -- The NCAA has accused Boise State of committing one major violation and a series of infractions over a five-year period in its football program and four other sports.
An inquiry by NCAA investigators also concluded the scope and nature of the 22 violations show Boise State lacked the institutional controls to fully comply with critical rules in collegiate athletics, according to a report made public by the school and NCAA on Monday.
The violations range from coaches organizing low-cost summer housing and transportation for potential Bronco football players to tennis and track and field athletes getting meals and housing in violation of NCAA rules.
After being notified by the NCAA of the potential violations, Boise State officials launched their own inquiry in 2009 and ultimately self-reported some previously unknown infractions. But before a resolution could be reached with the NCAA, Boise State officials discovered more serious problems in the women's tennis program last fall.
Investigators allege the coaches violated rules by providing money, lodging and other benefits to a recruit and allowed her to take part in practice and NCAA events before she was officially enrolled in school.
Former head coach Mark Tichenor and assistant Tiffany Coll are also accused of lying about the violations to university and NCAA officials and running afoul of ethics rules. Both coaches left the program in November.
Boise State President Bob Kustra said the violations are disappointing. He said the university has already made fixes, hired a new executive director of NCAA compliance and expanded compliance staff, according to the university's official response to the NCAA Monday.
"I am confident we have responded thoroughly to the NCAA," Kustra said. "Our internal review was comprehensive and our response very detailed.
"I am disappointed that we face these allegations. It is unacceptable and the athletic department staff understand and agree with my position," he said.
The NCAA Infractions Committee has scheduled a hearing June 10 to consider the case before issuing a final report and possible sanctions.
With the exception of the problems identified in the women's tennis program, the university characterized the majority of the violations as minor, cases when incoming student athletes were given a couch to sleep on or a free ride or food from an existing athlete.
The infractions for Bronco football were valued at $4,934 from 2005-09, when 63 prospective players got the illegal benefits to help them take part in valid summer workouts.
Bronco coach Chris Petersen, whose team has been one of the most successful in college football in recent years, said the university acted swiftly to correct the mistakes. All the money has since been reimbursed and donated to charity, Petersen said.
"We pride ourselves on doing things the right way at Boise State," Petersen said. "The university, our staff and the involved student-athletes worked together with the NCAA to resolve the situation."
Boise State has also agreed to a series of other remedies to avoid future conflicts with NCAA rules, including having the compliance director report to the president rather than the athletic director.