Many Boise State fans hover just above that precarious line of becoming conspiracy theorists based on the mistreatment that they feel they have received from the BCS over the past few years.
The team has been twice snubbed from participating in lucrative BCS bowl games after undefeated regular seasons.
In 2009, when both Boise State and TCU were well-positioned to play BCS automatic qualifiers, in what looked like an obvious attempt to save face, the BCS decided to pair the two teams against each other in what appeared to many as simply a maneuver to save the BCS the potential embarrassment of two of their AQ teams losing to non AQ’s in the same BCS bowl season.
Now, on the veritable eve of one of the biggest games in school history, when the little guys-that-could of college football could make a statement for participation in the big game, the NCAA decides it’s a good time to review the eligibility of three Bronco players, causing them to be unable to travel to Atlanta for the opener against one of the teams of the establishment, the Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference.
Starting wide receiver, Geraldo Boldewijn, starting safety Cedric Febis and back up defensive end, Ricky Tjiong-A-Tjoe were all born in the Netherlands before leaving prep school in their home country and coming to Boise to attend high school, and later Boise State University. All three players were previously ruled as eligible and played for the Broncos all of last season.
Why would the NCAA decide to investigate the players’ eligibility now, just a couple of days before the season opener? After they have been on the field for multiple years? It just doesn't add up.
Boise State athletic department spokesman Max Corbett said the NCAA review is not related to academics or team rules. Could it be that the powers that be would stop at nothing in an attempt to keep the Boise State team from making a statement and taking the first step toward clearing the path for them to finally get a shot at the BCS championship game? Well, that would be a conspiracy theory now, wouldn't it?
Is there a better explanation? Did the NCAA just call into question every Division I football player who was born overseas? I haven’t seen any other stories of players who will miss the season opener for other teams based on their country of origin. Maybe it's just those players from the Netherlands, or more specifically from Amsterdam? What could the NCAA possibly have against windmills, wooden shoes, red lights, and very relaxed coffee shops?
Interestingly, Boise State also has three Canadian players on the active roster list, none of whom was held from traveling to Atlanta for the game.
Junior defensive tackle Michael Atkinson, senior defensive end Tyrone Crawford and freshman safety Tyler Loffler all hail from across the northern border and attended high school in Canada—yet do not seem to be in question for their eligibility.
Is that a shot to the conspiracy theory or just an example of those who may be conspiring against the Broncos being sneaky and attempting to cover their tracks by making their plan seem a little less obvious?
In an offseason full of NCAA investigations and penalties being handed down to multiple programs across the country and a season opener full of intrigue pitting Boise State against Georgia at a supposedly neutral site, can this be just another story line that keeps fans guessing about what will happen next, or is it a larger more calculated conspiracy to keep the little guy down? I would finish with the obvious line; “You be the judge”, however I don’t think we get that privilege when dealing with the NCAA. They seem to be very comfortable playing investigatory, lawyer, judge and jury all by themselves.
Logic would dictate that the real story will come out in the not too distant future, but for now, with the limited information provided by the school and the NCAA, we are left to our own devices—or theories.