Monday, May 7, 2012.
Tyrone Crawford will probably be more of a household name in Boise after his college football career than during it. Kellen Moore? The most famous football player ever in the City of Trees. Doug Martin? A fan favorite for four years. Crawford? The guy Boise State discovered in Canada when they were recruiting Michael Atkinson. He did have a brilliant two years as a Bronco, but he was still relatively anonymous to the casual fan. Now that he’s a third-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys, Crawford is setting the table for some post-BSU fame. The Cowboys held their rookie minicamp over the weekend, and Crawford got plenty of ink in Big D.
Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News left no stone unturned in tracking Crawford’s weekend in a Sunday feature story. George revealed that doctors at the NFL Combine discovered a “small heart murmur” in Crawford, who says the condition won’t hamper him as long as he gets it checked out every few years. He’s also gained 10 pounds since the Combine and tips the scales now at 285. And the Cowboys feel Crawford can keep going. "When we analyzed his body at the combine, we feel like he can grow even more, even put on 10 more pounds to get into the high 290s," said coach Jason Garrett.
Crawford also got an initiation. Former Dallas star defensive end Charles Haley was at the workouts and gave Tyrone an earful after a mistake on one play. "(Haley is) exactly what I need,” said Crawford. “He wants us to look him dead in the eye when we’re talking to him. He’s showing us different moves, teaching us little things." Haley apparently does that a lot—hanging around practice and giving pointers—even though he’s not a Cowboys coach.
In his teleconference Friday after the WAC was irreparably harmed by the defections of San Jose State, Utah State, Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear stressed that staying in the FBS is top priority for the Vandals. In an interview with the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Spear provided a little insight into Idaho’s motivation. Spear says of the 51 original land grant institutions across the country, 49 play at the Division I level, and 42 of those play in the FBS. "If you are a land grant institution, I think you want to remain as an FBS football member," Spear said.
The Vandals have conducted a study into expansion of the Kibbie Dome, a facility central to the resistance the university is facing for inclusion in conference realignment. Spear says the study shows the Dome’s capacity could be as large as 27,000, but acknowledges without increased attendance his hands will be tied. Idaho was third-from-last in FBS attendance last season at 11,980 per game, a figure that would have ranked 29th in the FCS.
Jim McElwain’s first season as coach at Colorado State has been made more difficult. But there’s really nothing else CSU could have done. The Rams have expelled three players, two of them stars, for their part in an off-campus brawl a month ago. End Nordly Capi and linebacker Michael Orakpo, anchors of the Colorado State defense last year, were booted along with D-end Colton Paulhus, who played mostly special teams. We’ll see how much the Rams have been able to pull it together by late in the season when they come to the blue turf to play Boise State November 17.
There weren’t many expectations placed on Idaho-raised horse Rousing Sermon in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, but he exceeded them anyway. The pride of Parma’s Tree Top Ranches stuck with the middle of the pack down the back stretch, then made a charge coming home. Rousing Sermon was squeezed out, but still finished eighth despite 40-1 odds. It was a non-BCS horse against the BCS horses, and he did just fine, doing owners Larry and Marianne Williams proud. Les Bois Park got into the spirit, drawing 7,683 on an unseasonably cool but sunny day—and drawing $127,309 in Derby wagers at the windows.
On the diamond, the College of Idaho baseball team was on pins and needles last night, but it did nab an at-large berth to the opening round of the NAIA National Championships. The Coyotes lost an automatic bid by falling in the NAIA West Grouping championship game 5-4 to Menlo College Saturday in Portland. The game ended when C of I’s tying run was thrown out at the plate. The Yotes will play Shorter University of Georgia Thursday in the Azusa bracket. The opening round winners advance to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston.
The Boise State women’s softball team is in wait-and-see mode, too. The Broncos needed a sweep at San Diego State to clinch the Mountain West championship—they took the first two games of the series but lost the finale yesterday, 7-1. The easy answer for Boise State would be two Aztec losses at UNLV this week, sending the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament.
Boise’s Kristin Armstrong turned in a dominating performance at the Tour of the Gila, boosting her hopes for the Summer Olympics in London. Armstrong was victorious in four of the five stages in the New Mexico race, including yesterday’s finale, the Gila Monster road race. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist won the 71.8-mile event by almost two minutes to clinch the overall title. Armstrong will be one of the favorites—and hometown favorite to boot—when the inaugural Exergy Tour comes to the Treasure Valley Memorial Day weekend.
This Day In Sports…May 7, 2009:
Each revelation in baseball is worse than the last, as Los Angeles Dodgers star Manny Ramirez is suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a female fertility drug. It was the latest black eye for a sport that had been rocked earlier in the year by the admission of steroid use by Alex Rodriguez, adding to a growing list of stars that included Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Ramirez would retire less than two years later rather than face a 100-game suspension for another positive drug test, but he’d be back in baseball with the Oakland A’s in 2012—after serving a modified 50-game suspension.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)