This article was originally published by Chadd Cripe in the Idaho Statesman.
Boise State Athletic Director Curt Apsey told the campus community Thursday that he expects the Broncos to play a football season.
“I am confident we are going to see some sort of season for sure,” Apsey said during a university town hall. “… We’re working very closely with all the presidents in our conference, our football coaches, all the athletic directors — we’ve even reached out to student-athletes in the conference to get their thoughts on the situation. So stay tuned, but I’m more confident and more positive than I’ve ever been.”
The Big Ten announced this week that it would begin the football season the weekend of Oct. 24 — becoming the first of the four FBS conferences that postponed the fall season to commit to a start date. The Big Ten cited improved COVID-19 testing capabilities, among other medical factors, for its decision to play.
The Mountain West, Pac-12 and Mid-American Conference have since expressed interest in pulling together a fall season, too, instead of trying to figure out a season during the spring semester. An Oct. 24 start date allows for eight regular-season games and a Dec. 19 championship game before the College Football Playoff pairings are set Dec. 20.
Boise State President Marlene Tromp also addressed football during the town hall. She told the campus community earlier this week in a letter that athletics likely will lose $10 to $15 million this academic year — and as much as $30 million if there isn’t a football season.
“Nobody wants to play football more than the Broncos,” she said Thursday. “We’re really excited about the prospect.”
A Mountain West spokesperson told the Idaho Statesman on Thursday morning that if the conference decides to play this fall a decision likely will come in the next two weeks. Various subgroups are meeting daily to work on return-to-play plans “at the earliest possible opportunity,” according to a statement from Commissioner Craig Thompson on Wednesday.
One challenge for the Mountain West, as in the Pac-12, is dealing with the health regulations in each university’s community. Fresno State, for instance, has kept most of its athletes away from campus during the fall semester because of the COVID-19 caseload in Fresno County.