Wed May 04 07:57am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• You are absolved, my children. Boise State has voluntarily docked itself three scholarships over the next two seasons and three preseason practices this summer in atonement for the tedious recruiting violations that earned the Broncos an official notice of allegations from the NCAA. Earlier this year, Boise reported dozens of cases of prospects receiving "improper benefits" — specifically, accepting rides and food from Bronco players and crashing on their couches and floors on unofficial recruiting trips — valued at $4,352 altogether from 2005-09. The NCAA, lumping the "benefits" in with numerous secondary violations in other sports and a serious breach by the former women's tennis coach, formally accused BSU of a "lack of institutional control," a dreaded charge it doesn't extend lightly.
Boise goes in front of the Committee on Infractions in June, after which the NCAA can still impose additional penalties on top of the university's ritual self-flagellation. In the meantime, losing three days of practice — at least — is nothing to sneeze at ahead of a season opener against Georgia in the Georgia Dome. [Idaho Statesman]
• We just have a few questions. The NCAA is also on the case at Central Florida, which confirmed Tuesday that it has been contacted by the relevant authorities about potential recruiting violations in football and basketball. As usual, the authorities will be retracing the media's steps: The New York Times reported last week that three high-profile athletes who have signed with UCF this year — two hoops recruits and the crown jewel of the incoming recruiting class in football, four-star quarterback DaMarcus Smith of Louisville, Ky. — all wound up in Orlando via the same middle man: Kenneth Caldwell, a 42-year-old Chicago resident with "a substantial criminal record" and "apparent ties to a prominent sports agency."
Caldwell, who has a son currently enrolled at UCF, reportedly talked up the school and arranged meetings between the players and UCF coaches; Smith's high school coach told the Times he's been "halfway waiting" for NCAA investigators to visit him since Smith was "harassed" into signing with the Knights by his mother. (For his part, Caldwell has denied recruiting for the Knights or anyone else.)
Note as the case moves forward that Central Florida is already on NCAA probation for allegedly exchanging at least 300 impermissible phone calls and text messages with recruits between June 2007 and January 2009. [Associated Press, Orlando Sentinel]
• "Aloha" means "We're coming for your illegal cartel." A spokesman for Hawaii attorney general David Louie confirmed Tuesday that the state may be willing to join a forthcoming antitrust suit against the BCS, if it ever materializes. "We've heard from [Louie's] staff and we're working on an agreement to be able to share information with them confidentially," said Utah A.G. and perennial BCS hater Mark Shurtleff, who renewed his promise to move on the suit last week. "I'm hopeful many states will join us and I'd love to have Hawaii join us." Louie's office was slightly less enthusiastic, saying only "We're still looking into it." [USA Today, Honolulu Star Advertiser]
• Your money's no good here. Elsewhere in gridiron-related politics, a representative in the Texas legislature has introduced a bill that would allow former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's to renew his legal fight for money he says he's owed by the university. Tech successfully claimed immunity from Leach's suit last year on the grounds that it's a state entity; in a news release Tuesday, Rep. Craig Eiland questioned how a school could claim immunity as a public institution when Leach's contract was funded entirely by private sources. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been asked to rule on the question. [Dallas Morning News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal]
• In your face. The best detail in this video of Chip Kelly's post-game speech to players and visiting military personnel after Saturday's spring game, besides Oregon's cavernous 22nd Century locker room? When they sing the fight song, they always make sure to open the doors:
Quickly… Oft-injured offensive lineman Joel Figueroa has been granted a sixth year of eligibility at Miami, prolonging a career that now spans three head coaches. … Vanderbilt will have no shortage of options at quarterback, though still no good options. … A pair of Georgia assistants get "significant" raises while the rest of the staff stands pat. … Brandon Weeden's dog can't wait for the season to get here. … And all of Will Muschamp's speeches will henceforth be accompanied by a Tyrannosaur.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.