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Thursday, July 31, 2014         

FURTHER REVIEW


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Boise State knitted itself into NCAA doghouse; is UH next?

By Dave Reardon

POSTED:



Welcome to the big time, Boise State.

There’s no way you could be this good for this long without cheating, and the NCAA knows it. But just consider this a hazing, a rite of passage. Everything will be OK, just fire some tennis coaches and self-report. The NCAA will either put things on a ridiculous fast track and absolve you (Auburn) or delay it so far into the future that everyone will be gone and we’ll have forgotten what it was all about (Ohio State).

Then you’ll be a full-fledged member of the club.

You’re almost up there now with the bad boys, like USC. Just a couple of slight differences.

The Trojans got in trouble for players getting stuff like cars from agents. You got hit for the heinous crime of players picking up the tab for recruits’ short stacks at the IHOP, then letting them sleep off the carb-over on the floor, or a spare sofa.

The USC football coach ran off to the NFL when the gettin’ was good. Your guy, he’s not going anywhere — he’s going to help the athletic director fix what’s broken. I know which Coach Pete I like.

What a racket, that Boise State tennis.

Who said the Broncos have nothing to offer but football? If it’s true that if you’re not cheating it means you’re not trying, you’ve got to like the effort of the tennis and track programs.

It’s not the $718 in improper benefits over five years that was the real problem ... it was the lying about it during the investigation that got the tennis coaches their walking papers.

Broncos football was associated with $4,934 in dirty money. That seems like a lot of pancakes — but it’s barely a down payment on a 2010 Cam Newton, and we’re talking 63 incoming student-athletes somehow being involved in this welcome-wagon scene at Boise.

We’d always heard about 100 percent summer workout participation at Boise State, but didn’t realize it included the incoming freshmen bunking down with the vets. Yeah, it’s a dumb rule, but it’s a rule and most schools are aware of it.

So, if Boise State is severely punished when it appears before the infractions committee June 10, it will have killed itself with a thousand unwittingly self-inflicted paper cuts.

But you know the NCAA loves the Broncos ... or why would it stop here?

Surely, some booster at some point improperly gifted star running back/knitting fool Ian Johnson a set of needles, maybe even a little yarn. And wouldn’t that deem every cap or scarf he made for teammates fruit from a forbidden tree?

Darn it! Yes, out of control.

When you toss in that Johnson admits to being a soccer fan, we’re talking potential death penalty. At the very least vacating of the monumental Fiesta Bowl win. Those trick plays never happened and the Broncos never beat Oklahoma. Same with Johnson’s postgame proposal to his girlfriend.

Don't for a moment think the University of Hawaii is being ignored. The NCAA has certainly taken notice of the Warriors making it to a bowl game in all but two seasons since 2002 (yes, the Hawaii Bowl counts), and now that Boise State has been dealt with, watch out! Something’s got to be wrong when any non-BCS school wins consistently.

Patrick Johnston, a UH instructor, admits he gave candy to student-athletes at the end of several semesters. I must also admit to passing a cup of water to a backup kicker while attending a 2003 practice.

More disturbing are reports from confidential, semi-reliable sources. They tell us NCAA enforcement personnel have recovered sauce-stained credit card receipts from trash bins on Oahu, indicating former pizza delivery man and current Heisman Trophy candidate Bryant Moniz on at least two occasions received gratuities above the NCAA permissible 7 1/2 percent.

The Warriors could possibly avoid the death penalty, as Moniz has agreed to donate the $2.17 in question to charity. But, when combined with the candy and water scandals, it is obvious things are nearly as wildly out of control on the Manoa campus as they are in Boise.

Maybe the NCAA will decide Hawaii’s appearance in the Sugar Bowl never happened.

Well ... we can hope.

———

Reach Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon at dreardon@staradvertiser.com, his “Quick Reads” blog at staradvertiser.com and twitter.com/davereardon.






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