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Boise State self-imposes sanctions

5/4/2011

Boise State has self-imposed sanctions on the football program in response to the secondary NCAA violations it committed from 2005-09. The Broncos will have at least three fewer preseason practices before their game against Georgia on Sept. 3, according to documents obtained by The Idaho Statesman.

The school also will have three fewer scholarships to give over the next two years, and three fewer practices before the season opener against Michigan State in 2012 as well.

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

The Broncos plan to fight the "lack of institutional control" charge, saying the secondary violations were a result of a misunderstanding of NCAA rules. When they found out about the major violation in the women's tennis program, the school immediately fired the head coach and assistant coach.

"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 newspaper.

The lost practices could end up having a bigger impact on Boise State than the scholarship losses. Those fall practices are critical not only in terms of game-plan installation, but also in getting the team completely prepared for the season. Not only that, the practices that are going to be lost are ones that the players would have been in pads, practices that allow the players to prepare for taking hits after months off. Even with a full complement of practices, teams are rusty and mistake-prone in season openers. Last season, the opener against Virginia Tech was not exactly a work of art.

Every year, Boise State must be perfect in order to have a shot at a BCS game, never mind a potential national championship game. This year is no exception, especially since the Broncos are playing an SEC team, the ultimate chance to prove they can play with a team in the best conference in the country. The last time Boise State played Georgia, it got whipped pretty good. And while this year's team is far better than the 2005 version, that doesn't stop its critics from bringing up that loss.

Three fewer practices may not seem like a lot, but every practice is important. There is no way to make up for that lost practice time. We'll have to wait and see what type of impact that has on Boise State come game time.