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Mountain West, which banned Boise State’s blue jerseys the last two seasons, now fighting NCAA’s proposed ban

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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How appreciative is the Mountain West that Boise State didn't jump ship to the Big East? Enough that it has done a complete 180 on the Broncos' blue jerseys and is now fighting the NCAA for Boise State to be able to continue using the uniforms on its home blue field.

The last two seasons, the league would not allow Boise State to wear the all-blue uniforms on its home field. This caused a controversy. Boise State made it part of the negotiations to remain in the Mountain West for 2013 and beyond that the all-blue look would be allowed again. The Mountain West agreed to that, and wouldn't you know it, the conference is now fully on board with the idea of the all-blue look.

The NCAA is trying to require teams wear uniforms that contrast with the playing field. While this also would affect teams that want to wear all green, it's pretty transparent that this rule proposal is directed right at Boise.

So the Broncos got the indebted Mountain West to fight the NCAA on its behalf.

The Idaho Statesman reported that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson sent a letter to oppose the rule. The Statesman had a copy of the letter, and here it is:

Mr. Ty Halpin
Associate Director of Playing Rules Administration
National Collegiate Athletic Association
P.O. Box 6222
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6222

Ty:

Following the recommendation of the NCAA Football Rules Committee and in advance of the meeting of the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) next month, the Mountain West Conference would like to provide feedback related to the proposed change to Football Playing Rule 1-4-4 in advance of the March 1 deadline for comments (which was also provided via the online submission process).

The MW, on behalf of member institution Boise State University, is strongly opposed to the suggested change which states “either the uniform pants or the jersey must clearly contrast with the color of the surface of the field of play”. As you know, Boise State Football is known for its signature blue turf. For a majority of their history, they have worn blue pants and blue jerseys when playing at home.

The proposed rule is not related to any student-athlete safety concerns. Furthermore, this regulation could have a significant negative marketing impact for the Broncos. It will also likely result in undesirable publicity for the NCAA, and would most certainly be damaging to the Boise State University brand. Whatever upside might result from this change is not worth the harmful impact it will have on this institution.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Craig Thompson

We really don't see why this is such a big deal to the NCAA or coaches who fight it. It's part of Boise State's identity at this point, and it is a huge deal to Broncos fans. If there's an edge gained, it has to be very minor. We do agree with Thompson in that there's not much to be gained by fighting it, other than agitating Boise State.

And there's sure to be plenty of agitation to go around in Idaho if the rule comes to pass.

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