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Boise State football: Spring hopes eternal?

Another day, another discussion of the college football season. The Ivy League is full of reasonably intelligent individuals. What will it bring us today?
Credit: Steve Conner/AP Photo
Boise State mascot Buster Bronco celebrates with fans during the Broncos’ 30-19 win over Air Force, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at Albertsons Stadium.

BOISE, Idaho — Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

On the evening of March 11, the NBA postponed the remainder of its season, and there was a roaring ripple event. Are we poised for another one today? The Ivy League is supposed to make an announcement about the status of its fall sports. Many are expecting the league to declare there will be no sports for the remainder of the year. Football would be played in the spring, with no non-conference games and a seven-game league schedule (there are eight teams in the conference). Other conferences may see that as their blueprint. If that concept catches fire nationwide with the expectations that fans can be in the stands, so be it.

Plug that into the Mountain West. The season could start around Valentine’s Day, with teams playing a full round-robin conference schedule (11 games). With one bye week, the regular season would end on May 1. There could be a Mountain West championship game on May 8. Hmmm—I don’t even want to think about how a bowl season would be arranged. This is enough for now.

MOORE AND PRESCOTT

The NFL is sticking with training camps opening later this month, and the Dallas Cowboys plan to gather at their headquarters in Frisco, TX, instead of the traditional Oxnard, CA, locale. Wherever it is, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will be in the spotlight. Moore seems to have survived the blithering of the naysayers at this point. The fact he had the early endorsement of quarterback Dak Prescott certainly doesn’t hurt. I harken back to Dave Southorn’s feature on Moore last September at The Athletic. “From the very beginning, that was my job, to compete against Kellen Moore for the backup position,” said Prescott. “It was demoralizing to watch him anticipate throws and read the defense and see the defense as he did. It was tough; I didn’t like it. But I also admired that part of him and wanted to be that someday.”

THOSE CAST ADRIFT ARE HARD AT IT

These athletes deserve major kudos, so let’s get an update on them. Sources tell KTVB’s Jay Tust that Boise State baseball players and swimmers and divers have raised more than $500,000 combined in the five days since their programs were eliminated in a swift and devastating coronavirus budget cut. There appears to be a higher-level effort in progress now to save the programs, with one donor Tuesday committing to $50,000 per year for three years. The consensus is that up to $2 million is needed to get the university’s attention, and even then there’s no guarantee. But how about this grassroots effort? Impressive.

DONALDSON’S TWINS DEBUT (HOPEFULLY) NEAR

The biggest baseball free agent signing of the off-season involving a former Boise Hawk was Josh Donaldson going from Atlanta to Minnesota. Now, good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, Donaldson is set to finally make his Twins debut when the scrunched 2020 season begins against the Chicago White Sox on July 24. It’s been 10 years now since Donaldson made his big league debut, but he was already 24 at the time. So at 34, the 2015 American League MVP will have skeptics wondering he what has left in the tank, although he was solid last year for the Braves, with 37 home runs and 94 runs batted in. He was a Northwest League All-Star for the Hawks in 2007, batting .346 with nine homers.

SHE WASN’T WEARING A MASK

B.J. Rains and Mike Prater asked listeners yesterday on Idaho SportsTalk what their last live sporting event was before the coronavirus shutdown. For me, it was the Idaho Steelheads game against the South Carolina Stingrays in CenturyLink Arena on March 6, a 4-1 Steelies win. It turned out to be the second-to-last game of the season. Everybody was aware of COVID-19 at that time, but there wasn’t a hint of what was to come five days later. One thing I vividly remember from that night: a 20-something woman was really, really enjoying herself—and she threw up all over the seat in front of her. Uh, can you imagine that happening now?

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…July 8, 2010, 10 years ago today:

The overblown courtship of one of the NBA’s top free agents of all-time, LeBron James, comes to an end on a manufactured one-hour ESPN special called “The Decision.” James announced that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven seasons to join fellow free agent Chris Bosh and incumbent superstar Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat. Cleveland was bitterly disappointed by James’ departure—he was a high school star in Akron and had long professed his love for Ohio. The idea, James said, was to win championships, something the two-time NBA MVP never did with the Cavs (but would in 2016 after his return to Cleveland).

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.) 

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