BOISE, Idaho — The International Olympic Committee finally postponed the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo this morning until 2021. Allie Ostrander can only look on the bright side. The former Boise State great, the three-time defending national champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, turned pro last July with an eye on the Olympics. But Ostrander’s still young by distance-running standards, as she doesn’t turn 24 years old until Christmas Eve. Studies show that women’s distance specialists don’t peak until they’re 30, so there’s nothing wrong with another year of training for Allie O. She already has one crown jewel in her pro career: a victory in the 3,000-meters at the Millrose Games in New York City in February.
YOU CAN FIGURE THIS ONE OUT
Boise State football’s Spring Game has not been officially cancelled yet. But talk about inevitability. All campus and student-athlete activities have stopped. Athletes who aren’t already home have been told to get home, if at all possible. It won’t seriously hamper the Broncos, as their system is in place (even with the offseason changes on coach Bryan Harsin’s staff). It does hurt the programs with new coaches, and in the Mountain West, there are six of them this year: Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV. Former Boise State and current UC Davis coach Dan Hawkins was on Idaho SportsTalk Monday. He said he’s one of the lucky ones—the Aggies wrapped up their spring football session before the great sports shutdown.
FRESNO STATE AFFECTED
To our knowledge, no one associated with Boise State athletics, past or present, has tested positive yet for coronavirus. Such is not the case at Fresno State, and the person diagnosed is familiar to longtime Broncos fans. It’s Travis Brown, the former Bulldogs linebacker and son of the late Dan Brown, the one-time Boise State ‘backer and coach and longtime Fresno State defensive coordinator. Brown’s widow, Mindy, has pointed words for those who aren’t taking this seriously: “We all need to do better at this. You could be carrying this virus and not even know it.” According to the Fresno Bee, Travis Brown was hospitalized March 14 but is now recovering. “This virus has brought my big, strong, young and healthy son to his knees,” wrote his mom. Brown is currently the linebackers coach for the B.C. Lions of the CFL.
ANOTHER VERSION OF ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST
Boise State’s Derrick Alston didn’t get much run from the official All-Mountain West teams earlier this month, as he was given Honorable Mention. But in the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 17 awards, which encompass the Mountain West, Alston was named to the second-team on Monday. Pair that with Justinian Jessup’s second-team honor, and it marks the first time that two different Broncos have earned All-District recognition in the same season.
ROSTER FLEXIBILITY FOR RICE
B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press was the first to note that Boise State forward Riley Abercrombie is in the transfer portal. Abercrombie, the redshirt freshman from Woolongong, Australia, by way of Clear Lake High in Houston, logged double-digit minutes in just one Mountain West game this season, playing 17 minutes in the Broncos’ 70-61 loss at Utah State in February when both RJ Williams and Robin Jorch fouled out. He had a tough row to hoe against USU 7-footer Neemias Queta. Abercrombie averaged just 1.4 points per game this season in 17 games. Rains’ math says Boise State coach Leon Rice has three scholarships available—even with the rather impressive influx of transfer talent that redshirted this winter.
YOTES READY TO PICK UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF
For the second straight season, College of Idaho football is poised to play a 10-game schedule in 2020, made up entirely of Frontier Conference contests. It worked out pretty well last year, as the Coyotes won all 10 of ‘em while taking the league title and building a 16-game regular-season winning streak. The opener will be on the road on Labor Day weekend, as the Yotes visit Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. C of I ended at No. 5 last season in the final NAIA Coaches Poll.
THIS DAY IN SPORTS…March 24, 2015, five years ago today:
The Utah Jazz and Miller Sports Properties announce the acquisition of the Idaho Stampede, ending 18 years of local ownership led by managing investor and founder Bill Ilett. The Jazz were completing their first season of a single-affiliation arrangement with the Stampede and agreed at the time to play downtown at CenturyLink Arena at least one more season. The news provided a boost to a franchise enduring its worst season ever—the Stampede finished 9-41. But indeed, the Stamps would last only one more year in Boise before the Jazz moved them to Salt Lake City.
(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.)