Boise State Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier, the man behind the iconic blue turf at the school's football stadium and credited with a large role in the team's rise to national prominence, has been let go as the school faces sanctions because of violations in the football program and other sports.
University President Bob Kustra announced Wednesday that Bleymaier's career of 30 years at the school will end Sept. 8.
"I did not come to this decision lightly," Kustra said in a statement. "After a careful management review and discussions about the future of the program, I determined that new leadership will be needed as we commit ourselves to the highest level of attention and enforcement of NCAA standards, and also continue to move Boise State athletics to the next level of success."
The football violations under review were committed between 2005 and 2008. The program already is dealing with several self-imposed penalties, including fewer scholarships for the next two years and reduced practice time.
The 57-year-old Bleymaier told The Associated Press he met with Kustra last Thursday for 30 minutes and lobbied to keep his job, but wasn't successful.
"I did let him know that I wanted to stay, and I think he knows that I'm very disappointed," said Bleymaier, noting he had anticipated finishing out his professional career at Boise State. "We're very proud of what we've been able to do here in my time."
Good for Boise State. They become the latest school to display what an institution can do undertake serious measures of accountability instead of stonewalling and obstructing investigations. This story has obvious implications for UCLA for at least couple of reasons.
First, many here have been longingly looking at Boise State for a while as a good example of how to build a program that is not dependent on blue chip recruits. Well, clearly something hasn't been right with the way that program has built in recent years. Moreover, I think it is noteworthy how every high profile Boise State football coach has failed in their BCS opportunities after leaving that program (See Dirk Koetter at ASU and Dan Hawkins at CU).
Second, Bleymaier was a candidate for the UCLA AD job when Peter Dalis retired. He was actually one of the finalists.
Something to keep in mind for sure.