Boise State Track Has An Image Problem

A former Women’s Track and Field athlete at BSU has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of being in violation of Title IX because they took no action after two complaints of harassment and rape had been made against a male athlete by two different women.

Here comes the nauseating part:

“Coach Hardy said that he could not help her because she had consumed a minor amount of alcohol before the rape,” Allred wrote in the lawsuit. “He failed to inform her of her right to file a criminal complaint against the BSU perpetrator, and even failed to provide her with information regarding available mental health services.”

This is the second woman that former coach J.W. Hardy gave this line to in response to them telling him that another member of their team wouldn’t listen to the word no and raped them.  The lawsuit also claims that the male athlete would often slap them on the butt, make lewd faces, and generally make practice a hellacious environment for his victims.

Some might believe that it couldn’t be that bad to be raped and then have to face the guy every day; that victims must “want it” somehow. She was drinking at the time of the assault. Not too much of a stretch to think they both were. Maybe she was wearing a short skirt or a low cut top. Maybe both! And lipstick! She was probably talking to her teammates, having a good time. Maybe she liked her attacker. Maybe they were flirting. None of those things are of any consequence whatsoever in this case. This case is about a woman going to her coach who she most likely trusts, opening up and saying out loud that someone took advantage of her and is now being an antagonistic jerk about it, and being told that because she was drinking, the university couldn’t help. He couldn’t help.

Hardy’s contract was not renewed in 2013. That means that he knew for over a year and did nothing. My question, and the one that Boise State is going to have to answer, is who knew? Who else looked around the track program and saw nothing wrong? How many assistant coaches? How many graduate assistants?  How many assumed that this behavior was okay? Because the lady is about to get her and her high powered lawyer very paid if that number is more than 4 – the perpetrator, the victims, and Coach Hardy.

Boise State Track and Field has an image problem. This isn’t the first lawsuit BSU is going to have to settle on their behalf. In 2008, Amy Christoffersen, an assistant (in fact the only female) coach sued because she was being paid roughly $15,000 a year less than male assistants with less experience. The difference between twenty thousand dollars a year and thirty five thousand dollars a year is the poverty line. She got tasked with anything deemed secretarial, like booking travel, keeping track of meal money, and keeping financial records. She was also demoted after 9 years from assistant coach to insurance coordinator. Of course, this was under Head Coach Mike Maynard, but this was the lawsuit that launched the NCAA investigation that would take both the coach’s job, as well as the AD who built the joint, Gene Bleymeyer, now the AD at SJSU. It would also find violations in Tennis, Track, and Football. (Admittedly, football’s violations were the ridiculous Cheeseburger and Couchgate.)

Boise State is going to have to answer some questions before the image issue corrects. Is this just leftover misogynistic residue from the previous AD? Has everyone associated with the Boise State Track Program who let this go on been disciplined and up-trained or just fired? Can we hear from someone who isn’t a man who works inside the Athletic Department truthfully discuss the current state of that office? Because if this ass patting testosterone fest is still the daily, there is a big issue that has to be resolved before Boise State can call itself “a metropolitan university of distinction.”

The Spring Game Has Sprung

For over 8 months, Bronco Nation weathered the harshness of an unprecedented frosty year that we hadn’t seen in almost a decade.  With matching opening losses to Washington and dual “Aloha means goodbye” bowl game losses in Hawaii, it seemed like we’d gone back to 2007.  That’s where the similarities end though.  We’d just finished our first, and until 2013, our worst year in the Coach Pete era.  This April brings a renewal.  The Bryan Harsin-Era brings a rebirth.  And, on April 12, 2014, me and 13,821 Bronco fanatics got our first look at it.

There is a buzz around the Boise State football program that is noticeably different that it’s been in recent years.  Coach Harsin has done that by being the opposite of what Coach Pete was (this isn’t an indictment on Coach Pete.  To each his own.).  He’s accessible and he makes sure that his staff is. He lets us in on the program in ways that we haven’t been used to.  Coach Harsin is an Idaho boy and most of us can identify with his mannerisms and the way he speaks his mind.  I only bring this up because the electricity around Bronco Stadium was palpable.  The last time I felt that personally was when College Game Day was on campus.  And it wasn’t just a grown up event. It was a family event. Bring Dad Bronco, Mom Bronco, Brother, Sister, & Baby Bronco down and get some sunshine and football in your Saturday. It was a perfect day weather-wise.

Inside Bronco Stadium, the crowd was amazing. The goal was to get 20,000 fans out.  It was a lofty goal and I was pretty sure by the way people were filing in that we’d get close.  Obviously, I was a little incorrect as to my estimation but I think that it the Nation showed good form.  In comparison, the University of Michigan only had just over 15,000 fans at their Spring Game in a stadium that holds 109,901. I say we shoot for a sellout streak that starts with our first home game and goes on in perpetuity.

As far as the Spring Game is concerned, I’ll give you the laymen’s analysis. I am in no way an expert in college football and I can only give you my opinion on what I saw. A good friend once said “I’m not a reporter, I’m a writer.” and I fully identify with that statement.  Also, I do realize that Coach Harsin and his staff have not fully installed their playbooks, we have plenty of people learning new schemes, and there are some players that didn’t participate for various reasons.  This is in no way representative of what this Bronco team is fully capable of.

What is better than starting a “game” off than a kickoff return for a touchdown?  Not really anything, I’m quite sure.  Ask Devin Hester.  Sure – it was the scout team that covering the kick and it didn’t seem full speed but the crowd seemed to enjoy Bryan Douglas taking it back for 100 yards. I know I did.  After that, special teams was pretty much an afterthought. No field goals were attempted.  The PATs were all made.  The punting was made interesting by the wind but the return game wasn’t really a focus.

The two teams were “Boise State” and “Broncos”.  Boise State was made up of the first team offense and defense and Broncos were the 2nd team.  Everyone else filled in.  In the beginning, it seemed like a huge mismatch.  The Boise State offense had the ball moving really well on the first drive with the big play coming on a 52 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes.  Jay Ajayi punched it in from one yard out two plays later.  That, and the kickoff return, was the only scoring of the first half.  The defense for Boise State dominated Broncos and Broncos settled in and held Boise State after the first drive (the names make it confusing, right?).  The second half was basically more of the same.  Defense dominated.   Boise State’s first drive ended with Dionza Blue picking off Grant Hedrick and Broncos were moving the ball with Tommy Stuart at the helm but a fumble stopped that drive.  The Broncos team did get their only score on a wheel route from Ryan Finley to Devan Demas for 82 yards while the Boise State team topped off their scoring on a 13 yard run by Shane Williams-Rhodes. We were treated to a bit of excitement with a final score of Boise State 21, Broncos 7.

So here are some observations/predictions:

-The offense still needs some work.

-Grant Hedrick is well ahead of Ryan Finley and Tommy Stuart.

-I think Finley will be #2 although Stuart looked more “on-point” to me yesterday.

-Jay Ajayi will get 75%-80% of the carries this year. Maybe more.

-Derrick Thomas will get more carries than Jack Fields and Devan Demas.

-Matt Miller will never have a regular game that resembles this Spring Game.

-Shane Williams-Rhodes will be utilized like no other Bronco ever.

-The future is bright on both offense and defense.

-Sometimes I state the most obvious things.

-Our defense will be better than expected.

-Statue Left will always-ALWAYS-be the greatest play ever called in history.

We, as fans of this great program, are lucky enough to be here for the rebirth.  We are in for something special I believe.  Does that translate into a perfect season in 2014? Most likely not.  Does it translate into great expectations?  Yes and that’s not a bad thing.  Judging on the way things went yesterday and the excitement of every fan that I know, the annual Blue and Orange Spring Game was everything that we hoped it would be.  Welcome back, football.  Welcome back, Bronco Nation.  Only 137 days until Ole Miss.

Next Gen Bronco Fans

Brett Rypien Commits to Boise State

Back in December, not too long after Bryan Harsin began to #AttackTheFuture at Boise State, the Broncos landed a superstar recruit in Dylan Sumner-Gardner. Recruits of Dylan’s caliber are not in abundance in the college game, and in the past rarely did Boise State ever have a shot with such a recruit, let alone actually secure a commitment and get them to sign. There was no doubt, Marcel Yates hit a home run right away after returning to Boise with Sumner-Gardner. But this was no flash-in-the-pan…Eliah Drinkwitz upped the ante by landing 4-Star TE Chase Blakley. Then on signing day, 4-Star DE Jabril Frazier jumped on the bandwagon too.

These were not flukes. Harsin and his staff proved to be legit recruiters….and it didn’t take them long to make a major splash in the 2015 recruiting cycle.

Brett Rypien, a unanimous Top-10 ranked 4-Star recruit across all recruiting services, only Boise State’s second such recruit (Sumner-Gardner is the other), committed to Boise State on Saturday in Coach Harsin’s office right after the scrimmage that was made public to students, faculty, and staff. Rypien has accounted for around 8200 passing yards and is close to 100 TD passes in his high school career….that isn’t over with.

4-Star QB from the eastern side of Washington. Put up ridiculous record-breaking numbers. He wears #11. The similarities to you know who have us all grinning.

Sure, we can spit out the typical drivel…..”It’s a long time until signing day”, “Recruiting rankings don’t mean anything”, “He has to prove it” blah blah blah…..we get it, all that is true. But convincing an athlete of this caliber to come to Boise State shows just how special this new staff is, and how far our university and facilities have come. We have a history of being the little engine that could….its clear Harsin envision’s a bigger train.

Its a long ways until signing day, and hopefully we don’t have to wait until then to see Brett on campus. Either way, Boise State fans could not possibly be more elated to have Brett Rypien and his family joining #BroncoNation. Welcome to #BroncoNation, Rypien clan!!! (You too, Mark)

Let the fun begin….

#ATF #BleedBlue #RideTheLigthening

Getting Behind BTN Hall-of-Famer Scott Jorgensen

Scott-Jorgensen-WEC-53-450x

Scott Jorgensen is a lot of things, a 3x Pac-10 wrestling champion, former #1 contender, BTN Hall-of-Fame inductee, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting fighters in MMA history. However, tomorrow night this former Boise State star could very well be fighting for his future in the premier MMA organization in the world, the UFC. Jorgensen is coming off back-to-back loses and loses in 4 of his last 5 bouts. And though many including myself would point to the fact that 3 of those 4 loses have come against guys who are either champion, former champion, or #1 contender’s, the UFC tends to have little sympathy or care about such things. The UFC is a cut-throat business where a losing streak often means walking papers.

There is no doubt Scott Jorgensen is aware of this fact. Overall, I am pretty sure he is probably tired of addressing these questions all together. My purpose in writing this article in fact is not even to rehash these issues over and over again. My point in writing this was to make Bronco Nation aware that one of our own is going into battle tomorrow and they should tune in. The fight itself will be on Fox Sports 1 between 3 and 5pm. But even if you can’t catch the fight don’t hesitate to send Jorgensen some well wishes on Twitter (@ScottJorgensen). Jorgensen is one of our own, he wrestled at Boise State, and still trains here today. He has opened a gym in Boise, and has spent a lot of time giving back to the community. It is time for Boise to support one of our own.

Good luck Scott, the Blue Turf Nation has your back!