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Dr. Kustra preaching to the Mountain West choir

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on May 26, 2010 at 7:28 AM

Updated Thursday, May 27 at 6:49 AM


Wednesday, May 26, 2010.
Boise State president Bob Kustra has weighed in on the “discrimination chart” presented Monday by Arent Fox, the Washington D.C. law firm that represents the Mountain West and BSU in BCS matters. And considering what might be on the table for Boise State in the next month, he can’t go wrong with these comments: “This chart tells only a slice of the full story of the BCS’s discrimination.  The revenue discrimination is even greater when deserving teams are excluded from major bowls.” That’s a reference to, among other things, the Broncos’ 2004 and 2008 teams that went undefeated in the regular season. Kustra questions the legality of the BCS, and its practice of “employing politically-connected and expensive consultants to cook up a menu of half-baked defenses.” Whew.
And Kustra can’t go wrong with invoking the name of a certain hoops phenomenon: “The inspiring story of Butler’s basketball team tells the story of intercollegiate athletics at its best and what a contrast that is to the BCS.  I have tremendous respect for what Butler accomplished, coming within an inch of winning the national championship.  Boise State, on the other hand, has not been able to come within light years of doing the same in college football.  Year after long year, Boise State football players are eliminated from the national championship not by any losses on the field, but by the BCS system. A BCS spokesperson said the current system may remain in place through 2040.  In my view, this current system shouldn’t remain in place 30 more days, let alone 30 more years.”
Only Kustra knows the motivation behind his dissertation. He’s made those points before (albeit without the “discrimination chart”). Wailing on the BCS is not beating a dead horse—it’s beating a sleeping one. But at the moment Kustra is mindful of gaining favor in, say, Salt Lake City, the Mountain West’s most influential market. And late yesterday, influential Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson picked up on Kustra’s comments and posted an entry headlined, “Utah, BYU, justice have ally in Boise State.” Monson quoted what he called Kustra’s “no-bull statement” extensively. Not once did Monson mention the undercurrent of a possible Mountain West invitation to BSU. But he ended the column with, “Go Broncos.” Mission accomplished?
Jason Robinson’s journey back to the good graces of the Boise State football program—and a senior season with the Broncos—may or may not have started yesterday. Robinson had his day in court before Fourth District Magistrate Cathleen Irby after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor battery after breaking another man’s jaw in a downtown altercation in February. Irby sentenced Robinson to 180 days in jail, with 160 suspended. The remaining 20 are being spent on the Ada County Sheriff’s labor detail. The fifth-year nickelbacker also has to pay $29,000 for the victim’s medical expenses. Robinson was suspended by coach Chris Petersen on the first day of spring football—his status with the team is unchanged.
What you might call a Scott Slant correspondent in Utah says Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice may have another scholarship available down the line. Greg Graham’s staff had reserved a scholarship for Mason Sawyer, a former West Jordan High standout who planned to go on an LDS mission. It appears the mission didn't work out and, and the new BSU coaching staff is not as interested in Sawyer as the previous one.  Thus, Sawyer is now looking to play at one of the Utah schools.
Davey Hamilton’s car No. 21 will look the same on the outside Sunday—but will be entirely different inside. Hamilton qualified for the Indianapolis 500 in the 14th spot on Pole Day last weekend, but he wasn’t satisfied with his top time of 224.8 miles per hour. “The car was well-balanced and easy to drive, but slow,” said Davey on his website blog. “I had a lot of trouble in traffic.  Cars were gaining on me, but I couldn't catch anyone. The crew will take the car apart and rebuild it.” And so it goes at the Brickyard. 
The tennis season is not over for three Boise State players who qualified for the NCAA Individual National Championships in Athens, GA. Men’s No. 1 player James Meredith, ranked 55th in the country, has an uphill battle. The sophomore from Christchurch, New Zealand, opens against No. 32 Bassam Beidas of Pepperdine. On the women’s side, Boise State’s Pichittra Thongdach debuts today versus Washington’s Denise Dy. Thongdach’s draw is tougher than Meredith’s, as the senior from Thailand is ranked 49th in the nation and Dy is No. 10. Thongdach starts doubles play with Bronco teammate Lauren Megale tomorrow.
When we last checked in on Boise State All-American Wesley Moodie, he and doubles partner Dick Norman of Belgium had just lost in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open last September. Moodie and Norman since made a first-round exit at the Australian Open and are back at it today, seeded fourth at the French Open, where they were runnersup in 2009. The duo takes on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Albert Montanes of Spain. Moodie and Norman had the best season of their careers last year—they were also semifinalists at Wimbledon.
You know the old adage, “Don’t play the state championship game ‘til the snow’s off Shafer Butte?” Well, they got it done anyway last night at Memorial Stadium, with Timberline beating Centennial 3-1 for the 5A title. Had they not played it, we may have been waiting until the 4th of July, the way things are going. You probably don’t need to hear this, but it’s supposed to be 80 in Fairbanks today.
This Day In Sports…May 26, 1993:
One of the great bloopers in sports history. Jose Canseco, playing rightfield for the Texas Rangers, misjudges a long fly ball by Cleveland’s Carlos Martinez—and it bounces off his head and over the fence for a home run. Three days later, Canseco would pitch in mop-up of a blowout loss in Boston and hurt his arm, having to undergo Tommy John surgery. Canseco would come back to play seven more seasons and would hit 462 steroid-aided homers in a 17-year big league career.
(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 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)