Boise State self-imposes sanctions

Updated: May 5, 2011, 11:07 AM ET
By Andrea Adelson | ESPN.com

Boise State has self-imposed sanctions on its football program as it faces NCAA allegations charging the school's athletic program with a lack of institutional control.

The NCAA brought the charges after finding 22 violations, including a major violation in women's tennis and minor violations in football and three other sports, according to a report made public by the school and the NCAA on Monday.

The Broncos will have at least three fewer preseason practices before their game against Georgia on Sept. 3. The school also will have three fewer scholarships to give in the next two years, and three fewer practices before the season opener against Michigan State in 2012 as well.

The Idaho Statesman first reported the football sanctions.

The NCAA can accept these punishments or dole out stiffer penalties following its Committee on Infractions meeting June 10.

The violations range from coaches organizing low-cost summer housing and transportation for potential Broncos football players, to tennis and track and field athletes getting meals and housing in violation of NCAA rules.

"We pride ourselves on doing things the right way at Boise State. As soon as we became aware that these inadvertent infractions were not in accordance with NCAA rules, we acted swiftly and without hesitation," football coach Chris Petersen said Tuesday in a statement released by the school.

"The university, our staff and the involved student-athletes worked together with the NCAA to resolve the situation, including reimbursement of the benefits received, and that money was donated to a local charity," Petersen said.

The university's 1,500-page response to the NCAA details a series of secondary violations by football staff during a five-year period. During that time, football staff arranged for prospective players to get cheap transportation, meals and housing -- in some cases a couch at a current player's apartment -- during valid summer workouts. The report states 63 prospective players received those benefits, valued at less than $5,000.

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.

Boise State also imposed additional sanctions in men's and women's tennis and track and field for a series of NCAA violations.

The university plans to fight the "lack of institutional control" charge, saying the secondary violations were a result of a misunderstanding of NCAA rules.

When the university learned about the alleged major violation in the women's tennis program, the school immediately fired the head coach and assistant coach. The tennis coach was accused of giving a recruit benefits before she was enrolled, then lying to investigators.

"I'm hopeful the infractions committee will understand. It's not as though we tolerated an individual who would commit a major violation," school president Bob Kustra told The Idaho Statesman.

Andrea Adelson is a college football blogger for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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