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Mayor, Boise State president on football season: too soon to tell

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During a news conference on a new task force on economic recovery, Boise’s mayor and Boise State’s president said the fate of Boise State football this fall isn’t yet known.

“We are looking forward to hearing from the NCAA soon,” Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp said. “They’ll be sharing some insights from their analysis.”

How collegiate athletics restarts in the US will be a complicated tasks. Different states, conferences and schools could institute different policies.

Mtn. West conference president Craig Thompson told Sports Illustrated that the policies could literally be “all over the map.”

“The sense I get, we would trend toward this: If states and universities are open and ready to play, we’ll play with whoever is available,” he said. “But that’s not a final answer. I can’t imagine a scenario, from a Mountain West perspective, where 12 different institutions in eight different states come to the same conclusions on when to reopen.”

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Tromp also said she thinks the NCAA will tell schools to follow each state’s guidance.

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Big impact

Events at Boise State carry a significant economic impact for the school, and the region. Tromp noted that the university already lost $10 million from cancelled events since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are waiting for guidance and are looking for ways to help our student athletes be safe when they practice — and keeping the community safe as well,” Tromp said.

She said the school continues to wait for guidance from the NCAA and it is too soon to make a determination on football, the fall academic season or other events.

[Boise says it intends to mostly follow state’s reopening plan]

Boise’s mayor also said it remains too early to tell.

“That’s far away and there are so many unknowns,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said.

Boise made a key distinction from the State of Idaho’s rebound plan. In the final stage, the state plan calls for any size group. In Boise, group sizes would see a limit of 250 — but for now, there’s no stage beyond that or guidance on when larger events could take place. Boise State football games saw more than 30,000 attendees before the pandemic.

“We thought it was prudent to not go from 50 people (at events) to unlimited,” McLean said. “As we progress through that next stage, we’ll be looking at what happened and what group sizes look like moving forward.”

The current schedule puts the opening of Boise State’s football season on September 5th in Boise against Georgia Southern.

Tromp one of a dozen members of a mayoral new task force formed to boost economic recovery. Other members include Andy Scoggin of Albertsons Companies, Skip Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Companies, Lisa Grow of Idaho Power and Bill Avey of HP.

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