Boise State University's appeal on the penalty reducing football scholarships has been granted. The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee announced today that it has found that the Committee on Infractions' increased reduction in football grants-in-aid from three to nine imposed a penalty that was excessive. Therefore, the Appeals Committee has remanded the football scholarship penalties to the Infractions Committee for reconsideration. Boise State had self-imposed a reduction of three scholarships in one year and the Committee on Infractions increased the penalty to nine by imposing a reduction of three scholarships per year for three years. The Appeals Committee upheld the football spring practice penalty, which the university had also appealed.
"Boise State has acknowledged and accepted the findings in the NCAA report for all of the identified sports. We have approached this case seriously, acted in full cooperation with the NCAA and implemented corrective actions and sanctions," said President Bob Kustra. "However, we thought it important to appeal these football penalties due to the circumstances of this case and the ruling precedent, and we are pleased that the Appeals Committee agreed in the case of the scholarships. We will await a decision from the Infractions Committee on the final scholarship penalty."
In its appeal, Boise State argued that the history of football scholarship reduction penalties imposed by the Committee on Infractions were inconsistent with the scholarship reduction penalties imposed in this case. In response, the Infractions Appeals Committee noted that the scholarship reduction penalty precedent from prior cases should have been more fully weighed and considered.
"The entire process has deepened our commitment to compliance, resulted in tangible changes to our program and created a greater awareness of the NCAA rules," said Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. "Boise State moves forward in firm belief that proper adherence to NCAA rules is a top priority of the athletic program."
Specifically, Boise State has restructured its NCAA compliance effort and increased its compliance staff from 1.5 to four staff members. The new compliance staff has implemented a department-wide rules education program and has produced and put into effect a Coaches' Compliance Manual, an Athletic Compliance Policy and Procedures Manual and changes to the Student-Athlete Handbook. Further, educational materials provided to boosters, alumni and fans are being increased and new monitoring efforts include a compliance staff member, and the Faculty Athletics Representative, traveling with teams to away games and often accompanying team members when they appear at community outreach events. As an additional effort, the compliance staff produced heightened training and awareness programs for student-athletes who were likely professional draft prospects.