Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
There’s been a steady progression of Boise State Broncos who have gone the Canadian Football League route over the years. Whereas there’s never been a BSU quarterback who’s taken a snap in a regular season NFL game, four have done so in the CFL. But unless Kellen Moore ends up going north someday, there’s going to be a gap. CFL training camps opened this week, and neither Ryan Dinwiddie nor Jared Zabransky is playing anymore. Dinwiddie was released by Saskatchewan in January. Zabransky was cut over a year ago by Edmonton. The duo was preceded in the CFL by Bart Hendricks, who played in the early part of the century, and Jim McMillan, who quarterbacked one year in 1975.
So the pickins are slim among former Boise State stars north of the border. Jeremy Avery was signed by Calgary January 31 but is no longer on the Stampeders roster. That leaves two Canadian offensive linemen, Andrew Woodruff and Jon Gott. Woodruff was selected by Montreal in the second round of the 2008 CFL Draft, 12th overall, before his All-WAC senior season at Boise State. He’s an anchor of the Alouettes O-line now. Gott was picked in the fifth round of that draft and is playing for Calgary. Two former Idaho Vandals are still active in the CFL—cornerback Stanley Franks and fullback Rolly Lumbala are both with the B.C. Lions.
Tyrone Crawford would have a job waiting for him in the CFL if he wanted it. The former Boise State defensive end out of Windsor, Ontario, was rated the No. 1 overall prospect in this year’s CFL Draft but was passed over—for good reason. Crawford, of course, was a third round NFL pick of the Dallas Cowboys in April. His former high school teammate in Windsor, Michael Atkinson, could head north after his senior year concludes this season. The 6-foot, 312-pound defensive tackle was taken last month in the CFL’s third round, 20th overall, by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Boise State may have yet to submit its paperwork to withdraw from the Mountain West, but it has all the marks of fulfilling its commitment to move to the Big East in football. BSU did not attend the Mountain West spring meetings that wrapped up yesterday at Torrey Pines near San Diego. The Mountain West appears ready to settle in with 10 football members once the Broncos depart and San Jose State and Utah State come in. So half of the league will be made up of former WAC compadres. “It's not as though, 'Oh wait, here's somebody new,’” commissioner Craig Thompson told CBS Sports.com. “They're more like a cousin or in-law. We've known them and have been going to the same Thanksgiving dinner for years. It's not as though we have a whole new mind-set."
Theoretically, before the Portland Trailblazers can decide who’s going to coach their D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, they need a general manager. The Blazers have one now, as they’ve hired L.A. Clippers G.M. Neil Olshey. And he’ll get to the Stampede after he hires someone to coach Portland, which has been without a head man since Nate McMillan was fired in March. Randy Livingston just finished his second season with the Stampede and will be invited to interview for the Idaho job, but the Blazers will likely want to plug in their own guy now that they have control of the Stamps’ basketball operation.
There will be a new men’s champion in the 5th annual Ironman 70.3 Boise Saturday. Last year’s winner, Ben Hoffman of Grand Junction, CO, is not on the pro list for the 2012 event. But defending women’s champion Magali Tesseyre of Canada is in the field that is expected to include 1,700 athletes overall. The Ironman 70.3 begins with that chilly 1.2-mile swim at Lucky Peak at noon Saturday. Then comes the 56-mile bicycle ride around east and south Boise, followed by the half-marathon that ends in BoDo in the evening.
Boise State’s Kurt Felix looks to do the ol’ “blaze of glory” thing as his collegiate career wraps up at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, opening today in Des Moines, IA. Felix is ranked fourth nationally in the decathlon, which begins the competition at nationals. A strong performance would give Felix momentum for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he’ll represent Grenada. Felix holds his country’s record in the decathlon at 7,972 points, set this season while competing for the Broncos.
Day No.2 of the Major League Draft is where you see more of the names you may hear this summer at Memorial Stadium. But despite Cubs general manager Theo Epstein’s reported penchant for drafting college players, Chicago went for high school pitchers in the second and third rounds. So we may not see them in Boise Hawks uniforms (if they even sign). The Cubs selected 17-year-old right-hander Duane Underwood out of Marietta, GA, in the second round and 18-year-old rightie Ryan McNeil from Nipomo, CA, in the third round. Elsewhere, Northwest Nazarene pitcher Zeb Sneed was selected in the 11th round by the Kansas City Royals. Sneed has a decision to make, as he is only a junior.
This Day In Sports…June 6, 1892, 120 years ago today:
One year after planting a now-famous oak tree on the grounds of the new Idaho Statehouse rescued by Boiseans a century later, Benjamin Harrison becomes the first incumbent President to attend a major league baseball game, as he watches Cincinnati beat Washington, 7-4. Like the old water oak at the Statehouse, baseball has been recovering from a very sickly stretch known as the Steroid Era. Hopefully it doesn’t lose its leaves again. The oak? It was finally taken out in 2007 when renovation of the capitol building began.
(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.)