BOISE -- On Wednesday we learned the surprising news that Boise State's athletic director for 29 years, Gene Bleymaier, was let go.

We continued to look into why the decision was made.

BSU President Bob Kustra cited a desire to seek a higher level of enforcement of NCAA standards.

But, did the recent NCAA violations by BSU warrant a firing of Bleymaier?

The NCAA violations, self-reported by Boise State, constituted the first major violations of Bleymaier's tenure at the school, which lasted nearly three decades.

Some elements of those violations are quite serious -- namely, women's tennis players being paid, or playing while ineligible. The head coach, Mark Tichenor, was fired last year because of all that.

The violations in the other sports involve recruits sleeping on current players' couches, and some minor recruiting violations.

Boise State took steps to, in their words, ensure that it never happened again. They also self-sanctioned by limiting football practices and recruiting for all sports. Any NCAA sanctions are still pending.

But, was all that the sole reason for Bleymaier being fired?

Was it that, combined with the gender-discrimination lawsuit settled out of court, and the potential lawsuit from another women's tennis coach, after she said, Bleymaier sullied her name?

The answer could come from NCAA violations at other schools, and how it affected their athletic directors.

At USC, 17-year athletic director Mike Garrett was fired last year after the NCAA found that players were paid. Garrett's firing came after severe NCAA sanctions, as well.

Tennessee's 8-year AD, Mike Hamilton, had to resign just months ago. This was after the men's basketball coach lied to the NCAA, and quit -- and the football coach, after a number of recruiting violations, had already accepted another job at USC.

But, before you think that it's normal for an AD to get the axe after NCAA violations considered what's happened at Ohio State.

The NCAA claims an OSUfootball player was paid, and other players received improper benefits, and their head football coach resigned because of it all. But their athletic director for 6 years, Gene Smith, is still employed.

However, OSU does have to go before the NCAA on Friday, and more penalties could come from that.

Numerous times, KTVB has reached out to Kustra to get a more definitive answer on why Bleymaier was let go. But so far, he is letting Wednesday's statement stand on its own.

Boise State is beginning a national search for a new athletic director.

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