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Weekend Update: 4 Deaths statewide and Community spread in Canyon County


UPDATED Saturday 3/28/20  7:30 am

The Southwest District Health has confirmed detection of community spread in Canyon County.

Community transmission (or community spread) is when health officials can’t find a specific origin for an infection, for an example: traveling from a known area to have the virus.

The SWDH asks people to follow these guidelines:

  • Keep six feet between yourself and everyone else at all times.
  • Engage in work, schooling, and social interaction from home via technology.
  • Avoid interacting with anyone outside your household unless you can keep at least six feet of space between you.
  • Use drive-thru, pickup or delivery options as much as possible when getting food.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel.
  • Reschedule all social activities to take place via phone, video chats, or social media.

COVID-19 in Idaho

Public Health District County Cases Deaths
Panhandle Health District Kootenai 11 0
Public Health – Idaho North Central District Idaho 1 0
Nez Perce 4 1
Southwest District Health Canyon 23 1
Payette 1 0
Central District Health Ada 75 0
Valley 1 0
South Central Public Health District Blaine 99 2
Cassia 1 0
Twin Falls 2 0
Southeastern Idaho Public Health Bannock 3 0
Bingham 1 0
Eastern Idaho Public Health Custer 1 0
Fremont 1 0
Jefferson 2 0
Madison 2 0
Teton 2 0
TOTAL 230 4

 

 

Idaho Governor Brad Little has issued a statewide 21-day stay at home order

  • Among the services deemed essential are grocery stores, health care facilities, gas stations, pharmacies, essential state and local government functions, laundromats/laundry services, financial institutions, residential and home-based care, veterinary services, hardware stores, limited child care for essential workers, infrastructure, and other businesses essential to the safety and well-being of residents. Restaurants are only open for drive-thru, carry-out or delivery.
  • The services that are deemed non-essential are indoor gyms, recreational facilities, nightclubs, bars, entertainment venues, convention centers, hair and nail salons, public events/gatherings and dine-in restaurants.
  • Idaho’s seven health districts across the Gem State are reporting 131 cases of confirmed coronavirus.  39 cases are in Ada County — five in Canyon County and one in Payette County. There are total 63 confirmed cases in Blaine County.  There have been no deaths reported in the Gem State due to coronavirus – so far.
  • Idaho state liquor stores will remain open despite Gov. Little’s state-wide Stay at Home Order.  The Idaho State Liquor Division liquor stores will stay open throughout Idaho with normal hours of operation.
  • Idaho state park campgrounds are set to close starting Friday and will be closed until May 15.  The Idaho State Parks will remain open for day-use but camping will close in keeping with Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Stay at Home Order.
  • The Idaho Secretary of State’s office is making it easier to vote early.  Idahoans can now request an absentee ballot for the May 19th primary election online.
  • Boise State University announced it will be postponing its traditional spring graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • St. Luke’s is beginning temporary drop-off and pickup service for pharmacy prescriptions due to coronvirus concerns.  The hospital system says it has begun creating these parking-lot stops at its hospitals in Boise, Meridian and Nampa.

Idaho Governor Brad Little has issued a statewide 21-day stay at home order.  He made the announcement Wednesday at the Idaho National Guard while the state’s seven health districts are currently reporting 98 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

All Idahoans (regardless if you’re ill) will need to self-isolate inside their homes, but can leave for essential services such as food, prescription medications and fuel. Going for walks and exercise will be permitted as long as social distancing is practiced with people that don’t live with you.  In addition to the order, all restaurants must immediately cease dinning in for customers and can only have drive through, curbside, delivery and to-go orders.

Non essential businesses, such as bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities, entertainment venues, convention centers, hair and nail salons will need to close.

He also signed an extreme emergency declaration, which allows the state to more effectively increase health care capacity, take steps to reduce and slow coronavirus spread, and take rapid and decisive steps to improve the condition of Idahoans whose job and incomes are being harmed by the pandemic.

The statewide stay-home order is being finalized with public health, local officials, and business today and will be available later today at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/.

View Governor Little’s extreme emergency declaration here.

 

 

  • Late Tuesday evening, the Central District Health Department reported that it has one confirmed case of COVID-19 that it can’t trace to another known victim. This means that the agency now believes that “community spread” is now present in Ada County. There are now 25 total cases in Ada Co.
  • Boise Mayor Lauren McLean issued a social distancing order for the City of Boise. Late Tuesday, the city issued an updated version of the order that gives more clarity on what is and is not exempt. It’s the latest effort by McLean to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the city. The order is now in effect. It requires any business that’s open to the public to make sure folks are kept six feet apart. Family members who live in the same household are exempt.
  • The City of Eagle has now issued a social distancing order. It closes dine-in at restaurants, fitness facilities and more.
  • The Corpus Christi Day Shelter will close Wednesday due to COVID-19 concerns. A coalition of agencies and the City of Boise are working on solutions.
  • The City of Boise will ease off monitoring parking meters in Downtown Boise.
  • The Boise Towne Square closed the shopping center Tuesday. The mall drastically cut hours last week, but will remain ‘temporarily closed’ until further notice. The Cheesecake Factory remains open for takeout and delivery orders.
If you have symptoms of a fever or cough, call your medical provider to find out if you should be tested for coronavirus.

See if our FAQ answers your questions. If not, call 2-1-1 or your local public health district with questions.

Visit Coronavirus.idaho.gov for more information.

Tuesday 3/24/20

Governor Little will also be hosting a statewide AARP telephone town hall to provide information and answer questions regarding coronavirus in Idaho.  The hour-long conversation begins today at 12 p.m.  Participants can join by dialing toll-free 866-767-0637 or register in advance by visiting https://vekeo.com/aarpidaho/. The conversation will also be streaming at www.facebook.com/aarpidaho.

The City of Meridian is now also closing City playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment — effective immediately. Other areas of parks and pathways will remain open.  Parks and Recreation Staff will work in coming days to post signage around those areas.

Mayor Lauren McLean ordered residents of Boise to take part in social distancing, effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, for 30 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Groups of 10 or more people will no longer be allowed at businesses or events, and groups must be at least 6 feet away from each other.   Grocery stores, day care operations, medical facilities and government agencies are exempt from the order.

The Idaho State Board of Education ordered all public schools in the state closed until at least April 20 amid the coronavirus outbreak.  The order applies to classes on school campuses. It does not apply to any district’s plans for online education.  The board’s order emphasized it is directing a soft closure, allowing schools to still provide food services and childcare.

The Payette County Board of County Commissioners have passed a resolution to close the Payette County Courthouse to the public until April 3.

Central District Health officials are asking people who spent time in Blaine County between March 8 and March 22 to self-isolate for two weeks. Blaine County has had the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to Idaho small businesses suffering as a result of the Coronavirus.  Applicants may apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov and the deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21.

 

MONDAY INFORMATION:

  • Boise Mayor Lauren McLean has closed all park playgrounds to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  Please stay off swings, slides and avoid using or touching any other park equipment until further notice.  Parks and Recreation maintenance team members will be taping off all playgrounds over the weekend, starting with our most popular parks, and posting signage at each site alerting residents to these closures.
  • Idaho public health officials are monitoring the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation very closely. Idaho is currently reporting 31 cases.  Officials are working with CDC and other states and are also in regular communication with Idaho public health districts and healthcare providers around the state.
  • St. Luke’s Announces Changes to Elective Surgeries, Clinic Visits, and Visitor Policy St. Luke’s Health System is suspending all non-urgent/non-emergent operative and invasive procedures effective Monday, March 23.
  • For those who meet screening criteria as established by the @CDCgov, visit our Respiratory Assessment Site at @SaintAlsHealth Meridian Health Plaza, 3025 W. Cherry Lane. Our nurses and doctors are on duty daily from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm. 
  • Governor Brad Little announced Wednesday that the state is seeking responses from small, non-farm businesses across Idaho whose operations and ability to conduct business have been hurt by COVID-19.  Businesses that have been impacted are now eligible for SBA Disaster Economic Injury Loan Assistance, following the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the president.
  • Several Treasure Valley gyms are set to temporarily close locations.
  • A Mandatory shelter-in-place was issued for Blaine County Thursday night after officials said 16 coronavirus cases were found in the area.  Shelter-in-place means all people must stay at home unless they need to perform essential activities or go to work to provide essential business and government services.
  • The governor has recommended Idahoans avoid social gatherings of 10 or more, avoid discretionary travel and work from home whenever possible.

 

 

The Panhandle Health District and Kootenai Health have confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a male over 60 in Kootenai County. The individual has been contacted and advised to self-isolate. He is experiencing only mild symptoms. This is the first case in the Panhandle and the twelfth in the state.  This is the first confirmed case in the five northern counties of the Panhandle.

There have been reports of long lines of people waiting to be tested, and officials say they are monitoring the situation and moving as quickly as possible to get as many people tested each day as possible… some delays are to be expected.

  • Mayor Lauren McLean is banning all Boise restaurants from allowing dinning in services due to the coronavirus.  The 30-day order goes into effect at midnight and includes all restaurants and bars within city limits.  McLean says this doesn’t affect restaurants that have delivery, drive-through options or that can do carry out orders. The mayor says parking meters in front of downtown Boise restaurants will be closed to general parking and will now be used as temporary to-go options for carry out or hand-delivered orders.
  • COVID-19 screening at the St. Luke’s Meridian tent location has been experiencing high volume and long wait times.  Traffic control is in effect, and visitors are asked to exercise caution and to avoid the area if there is not the clear and present need to be screened.  St. Luke’s opened a new tent location in Boise today for more testing. If you have symptoms of respiratory illness and are concerned you may have COVID-19, you can call the triage hotline at 208-381-9500.  They will be able to complete a risk assessment over the phone and arranging testing if necessary.  If you need to visit the emergency room to treat symptoms, St Luke’s ask you to call ahead and ask for a protective facemask when you arrive.
  • Owners and managers of more than 50 restaurants and bars have asked Gov. Little to shut down their industry immediately and grant restaurant workers emergency unemployment compensation.  Gov. Little said he had no plans to close restaurants. He was concerned about making “arbitrary decisions” about which businesses to close and when to reopen them.  Many bar and restaurant owners are against closing – saying they will remain open – for dine in or take out and delivery as long as they are allowed to.
  • Boise’s dog off-leash season was extended until the end of April at two city park Wednesday.  Boise Parks and Recreation said that because spring leagues have been postponed or canceled due to coronavirus concerns, it is reinstating its popular seasonal dog off-leash program, effective immediately, at Ann Morrison Park and Optimist Youth Sports Complex.  The program will run until April 30
  • The Idaho Democratic Party sent Governor Little and Secretary of State Denney a letter urging the May 19 primary election be held entirely by absentee mail to avoid the spread of COVID-19.  The party urges that all of Idaho’s counties send ballot request forms to all registered voters, and that the Secretary of State implement an accessible online absentee ballot request function.
  • Governor Brad Little announced the State of Idaho is seeking responses from small, non-farm businesses across Idaho whose operations and ability to conduct business have been disrupted by COVID-19.  The information received will determine whether impacted businesses will be eligible for disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration through Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
  • Reclaim Idaho, the organization responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on the 2018 ballot, announced today it would suspend signature gathering operations for its new Invest in Idaho initiative given the concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus and Covid-19.
  • The concern over coronavirus is impacting services to Idaho Veterans.  The Central Support office, located on Collins Road in Boise, is closed to walk-in service. Veterans in need of emergency help can call 208-780-1300.

 

 

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean has been granted emergency powers by city council during a public health emergency.  The ordinance gives McLean the authority to order “social distancing” to prevent community members from gathering in groups, restrict events and postpone or cancel public hearings within city limits and five miles outside the city.

St. Luke’s is putting together drive-thru COVID-19 testing and screening stations throughout Idaho.  St. Luke’s says, in an effort to decrease patient flow they will be standing up COVID-19 screening and testing tents. The tents will hold supplies, and patients will stay in their cars for screening, registration and testing.  Screening sites were opened on Tuesday in Ketchum and Meridian.  One will be opened today in Boise.

Albertsons announces they will hold at-risk shopping hours for members of the community who are most at-risk of becoming infected by the coronavirus.  Stores are asking its customers to stay away from locations on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 a.m. to help ensure that the most at-risk members of our community, who must leave home to get groceries, are taken care of.

Catholics are being excused from Church for the time being…All public Masses in the Diocese of Boise are suspended through Palm Sunday, April 5.  The Bishop of Boise is extending a dispensation to all the faithful of the diocese from the Sunday obligation to participate in the Mass.  Catholics are encouraged to follow along with a Sunday Mass live-streamed from a location that will be linked to the website at catholicidaho.org.

Beginning at 6:00 am Wednesday, March 17, in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Saint Alphonsus will implement changes to entrances at all Saint Alphonsus hospitals in order to institute a brief screening protocol for patients and visitors prior to entering the facility.  These changes will be effective at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, and Saint Alphonsus Medical Centers in Nampa, Ontario and Baker City.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean declared a state of emergency over fears of the novel coronavirus Monday.  Public access to city buildings is closed with the exception of the Boise Airport.  McLean said that basic public services, including fire and police services, will continue as normal.

Meridian has also issued a state of emergency declaration along with Ada and Canyon counties, and all of the cities located in the Treasure Valley.
The City of Meridian says all city-sponsored events scheduled to occur through April 15, 2020 are hereby postponed or cancelled. This includes All Meridian recreation programs.

Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling joined cities and counties across the Treasure Valley today in declaring a state of emergency.  
Nampa City Hall will be closed to the public.
Clerk’s Office / Passports: Will be closed to the public and suspend passport service, but continue to process online permits and licenses (https://cityofnampa.us/143/City-Clerk).

The Idaho Transportation Department announced a 90-day extension on some expiring credentials.  The 90-day extension applies to driver’s licenses and non-commercial registration.

If you have symptoms of a fever or cough, call your medical provider to find out if you should be tested for coronavirus.

See if our FAQ answers your questions. If not, call 2-1-1 or your local public health district with questions.


WEST ADA SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY, MARCH 16th.

Following the governors conference call with education leaders, the West Ada School District sent out a message to parents from the Superintendent of West Ada School District, Dr. Mary Ann Ranells.

Ranells says: Based on parental and staff concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the decision to keep schools open has been revised.  We are canceling school from now until the end of spring break.  The West Ada COVID-19 task force will meet to determine if schools will remain closed beyond spring break.

The Boise School District will be closed for two weeks due to the coronavirus.

As of now, the plan is for the district to remain closed through spring break (Friday, March 27), which is the last day of spring break.

On Saturday, the Blaine County and Coeur d’Alene school districts decided to close until the first week of April.

Governor Brad Little issued a state of emergency declaration Friday due to ongoing coronavirus concerns. Shortly after Idaho’s AG reminded businesses that the state’s price gouging law came into effect due to the emergency declaration.

The city of Caldwell is canceling until further notice:

* Mayor’s State of the City

* Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Annual Fundraising Dinner

* All city recreation events, including youth basketball and volleyball, and the Caldwell Recreation Annual Easter Egg Scramble at Memorial Park

* All Caldwell Event Center scheduled events

* Swing into Spring at the Library’ Gala (postponed)

* Family Fun Day at Whittenberger Park/Rotary Pond scheduled for June 13, 2020

The Caldwell City Clerk’s office will cancel the issuance of any special event permits for gatherings of 250 people or more on City property including for Indian Creek Plaza (Caldwell Train Depot events for less than 250 people will NOT be affected)

In-state and out-of-state travel for all Caldwell City employees and elected officials for 90 days (subject to change).

All Caldwell City employees are encouraged to use teleconference where possible.

  • Boise, Nampa, Caldwell and Kuna schools are suspending out-of-state travel for staff and students amid coronavirus fears.
  • Saint Alphonsus is putting certain restrictions on visitors.  Only visits from immediate family members, and clergy who are healthy will be permitted to visit with patients.
  • The Big Sky Conference basketball tournament, which started its second year in Boise’s CenturyLink Arena yesterday, has been canceled. Fans will get refunds for tickets.
  • Boise State University announced it will suspend all athletic events “until further notice.” The school said many events already saw cancellations due to decisions from the Mountain West Conference and other schools. Folks looking for refunds on tickets are encouraged to contact the school’s athletic ticket office at (208)426-4737.
  • All meetings and activities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are temporarily canceled, effective immediately.  LDS schools won’t hold live graduations because of coronavirus concerns. This includes BYU and BYU-Idaho.
  • Classes as Boise State will be held entirely online Friday in what is being described as a test.
  • The Sun Valley Film Festival announced it canceled its 9th-annual event. The annual celebration of film would have started next week.
  • Idaho Steelheads and the ECHL have “suspended” its season. No word on if it will resume.
  • Christian music festival Roadshow Tour 2020 canceled its event set for the Idaho Center this Friday.
  • City of Boise officials continue to meet and assess the situation. Boise Mayor Lauren McLean says cleaning efforts at the airport, senior centers, parks and rec facilities and libraries are being stepped up. The city is also looking at how to adjust the services it offers citizens and which are essential if staff needs to be sent home.
  • City Club of Boise has canceled all events for the rest of March and April, including forums planned for March 17 and April 1, as well as the Marilyn Shuler Forum on Human Rights on April 2. Anyone registered for an event can contact City Club for refunds.
  • The City of Eagle is emphasizing that many city services are available online.
  • Winco Foods is limiting the number of certain items customers may purchase according to signage in the stores. The products include disinfecting wipes, disinfecting spray, hand sanitizer, and soap, latex gloves, face basks, isopropyl alcohol, water, and propane. Customers are limited to four of each.
  • Treefort Music Festival announced it would delay until September.
  • The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts currently says it will “stay the course” with scheduled events. It says it stepping up cleaning efforts.
  • The Northwest Nazarene University announced (Thursday) it will be holding “Pilot Wednesday” March 18 in which all classes will be held remotely.
  • The big Idaho potato truck is suspending its travel and events.
  • The performances of Ballet Idaho’s Light/Dark scheduled for March 13 and 14 is cancelled.
  • Concordia University School of Law holding classes online March 16 to April 9. All meetings, events, and gatherings scheduled at the law school will be postponed, canceled, or moved online.
  • The Morrison Center is postponing Ronnie Milsap and Jason Bishop scheduled to perform March 18 and 19. No new date set for a new show.Dancing with the Stars Live! has canceled its March 20 show. The Meridian Library District is suspending all programs indefinitely. They are not accepting donated library materials. They have suspended reservations for meeting rooms at the Cherry Lane location. All events at Ford Idaho Center and Nampa Civic Center canceled through March 31st (gatherings of 250 or more) Race to Robie Creek (was scheduled for April 18), postponed. Ice Dance International is canceling its western tour to Boise. Ticket holders will be refunded through CenturyLink Arena.
  • The Ford Idaho Center and Nampa Civic Center will be canceling or postponing all gatherings of 250 people or more. Both venues are currently working to reschedule all performances from March 13 to March 31 and will provide updates as quickly as possible. Please note fans are encouraged to retain their tickets for a canceled or postponed event.
  • The Tool concert, set to be held in Nampa on Saturday, will be postponed.
  • Jojo Siwa’s D.R.E.A.M. Tour will be postponed until June 17. Tickets will be honored at the new date.
  • Comedian Iliza Shlesinger’s Sunday shows at the Morrison Center have been postponed. Tickets will be honored once a new date is set.
  • The Roadshow Tour 2020, a Christian music concert, has been canceled at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa.
  • All events at the Canyon County Fair Building have been postponed until further notice.
  • The Cabin will be postponing or canceling most upcoming events, starting March 16 through at least May 15. Free Drop-In Writing Workshops and the CAMBIA Celebration of Youth Writing, the literary center said in a release; a reading with author Madeline Miller has been postponed but no date has yet been set. Those enrolled in adult writing workshops will be updated on the status of their workshop. Summer writing camps, which are scheduled to start in June, are planned to continue as normal.
  • Nampa Parks and Recreation has postponed the Food Truck Rally Goes to the Dogs event scheduled for March 14. A new date was not listed.
  • The Boise Farmers Market announced it would postpone the opening of the market at the request of the city of Boise’s COVID-19 task force. A new date has not been announced.
  • The Boise Metro Chambered announced it would postpone its CEO speaker series feature Charlene Maher. A new date has not been set.
  • The Boise Flower & Garden Show, originally scheduled for March 27-29, will be postponed until March 19-21, 2021. Organizers said the event, which historically brought in 10,000 people, is doing its part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • All events at Expo Idaho are canceled through April 30, including the 48th Annual Roadster Show scheduled for March 13-15. Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said deposits will be returned to vendors for those events.
  • City Club of Boise has canceled all events planned for the rest of March and the first part of April, it announced in an email to members. That includes forums scheduled on March 17, April 1 and April 2. Organizers are working to issue refunds.
  • All March events scheduled to be held at the Canyon County Fair Building have been postponed until further notice.
  • Starbucks will temporarily stop filling reusable cups.
  • Bogus Basin’s general manager said upcoming mountain events will be canceled. Bogus will remain open but will be discontinuing public bus services and allowing guests to ride alone or with fewer people on the chairlifts.
  • Brundage Mountain’s general manager said he planned to keep the lifts operating through April 12. Guests will be allowed to ride alone or only with members of their own group, and full refunds will be provided to anyone who cancels lessons, tours, dinners or snowmobile adventures. The Hidden Valley Hoedown and the Brewlympic Games have both been canceled.
  • Mountain Home School District – Classes at all schools are canceled on Monday, March 16, so officials can train and plan for online learning in the event of a longer coronavirus-related school closure.
  • Both the Kimberly School District and the Buhl School District will close on Monday, March 16 in order to give staff and teachers time to plan for any extended closures that may happen due to coronavirus. Both school districts will have class on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Idaho Youth Soccer – All of IYSA’A league games are suspended through March 30. Team practices will be up to each individual club.
  •  Ada County Parks & Waterways will no longer take new bookings for the Barber Park Education and Event Center through May 31.
  • The City of Caldwell canceled the Mayor’s State of the City, all city recreation events, all events at the Caldwell Event Center, and will revoke permits for gatherings of 250 people or more. The city also announced that they are also suspending travel for all city employees for 90 days.
  • Eagle Public Library and Parks and Recreation classes, events and programs as of Saturday, March 14 are canceled until further notice.  Eagle City Hall and the Eagle Public Library will be open during regular business hours.
  • WinCo Foods announced it will be temporarily closing various stores from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. over the next week so they can clean and restock.
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SCOTT SLANT: Albertsons Stadium 50th anniversary, Part II

Presented by BBSI.
Friday, March 27, 2020.

It’s Friday, so I continue the head-start celebration of Albertsons Stadium’s 50th anniversary with an unforgettable game from Year 2. It was September 11, 1971, when Boise State and Idaho met for the first time on the gridiron. The Vandals were technically the home team, but the game was moved to Bronco Stadium because of construction of “New Idaho Stadium” in Moscow (it would eventually become the Kibbie Dome when the roof was added). Idaho delayed putting the upstart Broncos on their schedule until they couldn’t wait any longer, as Boise State had been a Big Sky member for more than a year.

There was bitterness on both sides—instant rivalry. But it was coach Tony Knap and the Broncos who had an ambush waiting, as his team beat the Vandals 42-14 behind quarterback Eric Guthrie and wide receiver Don Hutt before a standing room only crowd of 16,123 in 14,500-seat Bronco Stadium. The blue-and-orange euphoria and the silver-and-gold resentment had long-lasting effects. Ironically, a November upset loss at Idaho State that year kept Boise State from winning the Big Sky, and the Vandals took the title.

THE AMAZING AUSTIN BOLT

Austin Bolt, the quarterback/wide receiver/tight end/running back/safety/linebacker from Borah High, has made history as a guard/wing/forward. Bolt was named Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year in boys basketball Thursday. Bolt thus becomes the first athlete in Idaho history to win the Gatorade honor in both football and basketball in the same school year. The Boise State football commit averaged 19.4 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this past season, including that 35-point explosion in the state 5A championship game win over Post Falls. You remember Bolt’s football numbers: 1,391 yards and 26 touchdowns rushing, 1,380 yards and 10 TDs passing, and 62 tackles and four interceptions on defense.

RYPIEN’S ENGINE IS IDLING, TOO

On IST yesterday, Bob & Chris went through a pretty cool review of Boise State’s rally from 25 points down to beat Colorado State 59-52 in overtime in 2017. Former Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien broke it down with them. It’s a great way to bide the time. As for Rypien’s current status, he’s working out in California while Denver and the rest of the NFL are on hiatus. “There are times when I can get outside and throw, but all the parks are shut down,” said Rypien. I don’t know if we’ll be going back to OTAs and mini-camps anytime soon, but I’ll keep plugging away and try to earn a roster spot (with Denver).”

UPDATE ON THE AZTECS’ NEW PALACE

We don’t know how long San Diego State will play at the stadium formerly known as Qualcomm, but we do know the Aztecs have one more light at the end of the tunnel. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the university has secured the financing—in the form of $310 million in revenue bonds to be sold—to build its proposed 35,000-seat football stadium in Mission Valley. SDSU president Adela de la Torre said that keeps the facility on track for a 2022 opening. Boise State’s next trip to visit the Aztecs is in 2021, so—unless the Mountain West rotation changes—the Broncos won’t get to see the shiny new object until 2025.

SAUCERMAN HANGS ON IN BOISE

Sports Illustrated.com has a story on the predicament of minor league hockey players, most of whom do not have a financial cushion. Included in Alex Prewitt’s piece is Idaho Steelheads defenseman Colton Saucerman, who was “banking on earning upwards of $20,000 from running a girls’ hockey tournament in Prague with girlfriend Keira Goin, a former Division III netminder.” The concern now is earning enough to cover rent so he can stay in Boise to train over the summer. “With the season immediately ending, we have enough to be comfortable for a couple months. Then it’s like, what next?” said Saucerman. The Professional Hockey Players Association’s Economic Relief Fund should be up and running long before then. How money will be doled out remains to be determined, though.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by ZAMZOWS…Nobody Knows Like Zamzows!

March 27, 2013: The second-longest same-season winning streak in NBA history ends at 27 games as the Miami Heat fall to the Chicago Bulls, 101-97. The Heat came within six victories of the L.A. Lakers’ record 33-game streak in 1971-72. LeBron James scored 26.9 points per game and Dwayne Wade 23.5 during Miami’s run, which had started February 1 and featured an average margin of victory of 11.3 points. The Golden State Warriors had a 28-game streak in 2015 that bridged two seasons.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

Scott Slant sponsor sites:

Hoffman Auto Body


Zamzows


Veterans Plumbing


Maz-Tech Automotive


Bacon


Commercial Tire

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SCOTT SLANT: Leon Rice’s 10th anniversary

Presented by FRANZ WITTE NURSERY.
Thursday, March 26, 2020.

His hair was darker, and his son Max was in 4th grade. It was 10 years ago today that longtime Gonzaga assistant Leon Rice was introduced as Boise State’s seventh men’s basketball coach. Rice had been part of 11 straight NCAA Tournaments with the Zags staff, including four Sweet Sixteens. He was assigned with building consistency with the Broncos, both on the court (BSU had four winning seasons and four losing ones under Greg Graham), and in the stands (Boise State averaged just 3,061 fans a game in the season that had just ended, a record low in what is now ExtraMile Arena). While Rice has taken the Broncos to only two NCAA Tournaments, he has been consistent, averaging 20 wins per season.

FIVE POINTS DOWN WITH FOUR SECONDS LEFT

Today we zero in on four of the highlight moments under Rice. This one is just two months old: one of the most improbable and exciting comebacks in Boise State hoops history, as the Broncos rallied from 18 points down with just over four minutes to go to defeat Utah State 88-83 in overtime. True freshman RayJ Dennis started the game but didn’t score until 3:36 remained. Then, after a chunk of the crowd had left, Dennis put up 19 points the rest of the way in regulation. With Boise State trailing 75-70, he drained a three-pointer with four seconds left—then Justinian Jessup stole the Aggies’ inbound pass and laid it in to send it into OT. The Broncos took their first lead of the game early in the extra period and didn’t look back.

A 1971 RECORD FINALLY GOES DOWN

Rice has been known for developing players, and in January of 2018 he saw the fruits of his labor. Chandler Hutchison broke a 47-year-old Boise State record with 44 points in an 83-80 win over San Diego State at sold-out ExtraMile Arena. Hutchison scored the Broncos’ first 16 points of the game, had 25 at halftime, tied the record on the last of his seven three-pointers with four minutes left and broke it on a couple of crucial free throws with 15 seconds remaining. His point total was the fifth-highest in Mountain West history. Earlier in the day, Rice had waded across the Boise River to fulfill a pledge he made to fans for packing the arena.

WRECKING AN AZTECS RECORD

In February of 2016 came another one of the best late-game comebacks in Boise State history, as the Broncos rallied from a nine-point deficit with just over a minute left to defeat San Diego State 66-63 before a stunned sellout crowd in Viejas Arena. Six made free throws and two Nick Duncan three-pointers accounted for a 12-0 run to end it. The Aztecs had won 164 consecutive games when leading with five minutes to go, and they led at the five-minute mark in this one. It was one of the most amazing streaks in sports, and it had lasted more than six years.

CREIGHTON LAID TO WASTE

This is the best win, though. In November of 2012, early in Rice’s third season, Boise State recorded perhaps the biggest basketball victory in school history, upsetting No. 11 Creighton in Omaha 83-70. Sophomore Derrick Marks poured in 35 points, 28 of them after halftime, and scored 18 consecutive Broncos points during one stretch in the second half. The Broncos won a road game over a Top 25 team for only the second time ever. The Bluejays were also the highest-ranked team—home or away—Boise State had ever defeated.

THE DELAYED AUDITIONS

It was not your typical press conference—it was a Zoom meeting Wednesday with coach Bryan Harsin, speaking for the first time since spring football was scrapped. Harsin confirmed what had been a foregone conclusion: the Spring Game will not happen. He had been looking forward to some key up-and-comers taking full advantage of spring ball opportunities. “They could have really used those reps,” said Harsin, specifically mentioning sophomore offensive linemen Garrett Curran and Kekaniokoa Holomalia-Gonzalez and defensive tackle Scott Matlock. Harsin added something that goes for all Broncos: “They’re going to have to do a lot of things on their own right now to be ready.” Fall camp is going to be busy and intense.

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March 26, 1960: The birthday of one of those great USC running backs, Marcus Allen. He was also a great NFL running back, the first one ever to reach 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards in his career, which spanned 16 seasons with the L.A. Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. As a Trojan, Allen rushed for 2,342 yards during his senior year in 1981. He’s the only player ever to win a Heisman Trophy, an NCAA national championship, a Super Bowl, an NFL Most Valuable Player award and a Super Bowl MVP honor. Marcus Allen…60 years old today.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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SCOTT SLANT: Kiper follows the party line on Cleveland

Presented by BBSI.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

With the rest of the sports world quiet, a Mel Kiper Jr. NFL Draft update commands attention. The ESPN guru unveiled his 3.0 mock draft Tuesday, and Curtis Weaver is no longer there. But the upward trajectory continues for fellow former Boise State star Ezra Cleveland, who Kiper projects as the No. 29 overall pick, going to the Tennessee Titans. Writes Kiper: “After Cleveland’s excellent combine performance in which he ran a 4.93 40 (third-fastest among offensive linemen) and looked great in the agility drills, I went back to the tape to study him. And what I saw was a left tackle who I was underrating. A three-year starter for the Broncos, Cleveland isn’t just a workout wonder—he was a great tackle in the Mountain West.”

Kiper lists Weaver as an outside linebacker, his consensus position as he moves on to the NFL, and has Weaver as the eighth-best player at that spot in the draft. Some teams may be waiting to see him run the 40-yard dash, which he didn’t do at the NFL combine. He won’t be able to do the 40 in front of NFL scouts at Boise State’s Pro Day now. A number of teams were keen on Weaver after formal interviews with him at the combine, though (we know he interviews well). One is the Detroit Lions, who SI.com says may take the Mountain West career sacks leader in the second round.

COULD AN AGGIE BE THE G.O.A.T.’S HEIR-APPARENT?

With no Tom Brady in New England, the Patriots are looking for answers, and Kiper thinks he has one: Jordan Love. Kiper tabs the former Utah State standout as the No. 23 overall choice. “Are the Patriots really going to roll with Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler as their 2020 quarterbacks?” wonders Kiper. “I’m not buying it. I’ll stick with a QB here. At 6-foot-4, Love has all the traits that teams look for in a starter, but his 2019 stats—20 TD passes, 17 INTs—will scare off some. I don’t put much stock in it because of all of the talent (and an entire coaching staff) that he lost from the 2018 season, when he had 32 TD passes and six INTs. It’s tough to know whether Bill Belichick is going to treat the season as a rebuild, but taking Love makes sense either way.”

THE HAWKS ALSO NEED A ‘PLAN B’

The Boise Hawks season is set to begin June 17, with the home opener at Memorial Stadium on June 22. Those dates, of course, are in doubt—if only because teams will not be able to prepare for the season in time (they’d need about a month). Hawks general manager Bob Flannery was on Idaho SportsTalk Tuesday and said the team is still planning on June. But, Flannery said, his “head is not stuck in the stand.” At this point, a Hawks season consisting of, like, two-thirds of the normal 76 games would be a win. Let’s hope for that.

Let’s also hope players are taken care of until then. Major leaguers are financially insulated from the coronavirus crisis because of their bloated salaries. Minor leaguers who aren’t top draft picks with signing bonuses and such just scrape by. Major League Baseball has said it will give each player on a minor league contract a lump sum equal to the allowances that would have been paid through April 8. They’re going to have to extend that in a hurry.

ALL-AMERICAN BRONCOS GYMNAST

The season was abbreviated, but it was clear Boise State gymnast Emily Muhlenhaupt was finishing it the way she started, and on Tuesday she was named a first-team All-American on bars. Muhlenhaupt, who was the Mountain Rim Gymastics Conference Specialist of the Week seven times this year, is just the fifth first-team All-American in Broncos history. She tied for fourth nationally on bars this season with a National Qualifying Score of 9.945.

EMMA BATES HOPEFULLY ON THE MEND

Emma Bates has been through the wringer, and she’s become an outspoken critic of Idaho’s lack of readiness for the onslaught of the coronavirus. Bates, the soon-to-be Boise State Athletic Hall of Famer, has shown symptoms of COVID-19 but couldn’t be evaluated due to a shortage of tests. Bates has been self-isolating. Hopefully she’s on the upside. A tweet from Bates Tuesday: “Update: feeling significantly better. 8-9 days after experiencing first symptoms seems to be a turning point among those with mild to moderate symptoms. Thank you to all for your kind words of concern and love. We need to be there for each other now more than ever.”

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March 25, 2017: The best women’s basketball player ever to come out of Idaho, Destiny Slocum, wraps up her stellar freshman year at Maryland with nine points and three assists in a 77-63 loss to Oregon in the NCAA Sweet 16. Slocum, whose 70-foot shot to beat the halftime buzzer five days earlier had been one of the signature highlights of women’s hoops that season, averaged 11.5 points and six assists and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Ten days later, however, Slocum would stun Terrapins fans when she announced her decision to transfer. She ended up at Oregon State.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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SCOTT SLANT: What’s it all mean for Allie O?

Presented by FRANZ WITTE NURSERY.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

The International Olympic Committee finally postponed the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo this morning until 2021. Allie Ostrander can only look on the bright side. The former Boise State great, the three-time defending national champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, turned pro last July with an eye on the Olympics. But Ostrander’s still young by distance-running standards, as she doesn’t turn 24 years old until Christmas Eve. Studies show that women’s distance specialists don’t peak until they’re 30, so there’s nothing wrong with another year of training for Allie O. She already has one crown jewel in her pro career: a victory in the 3,000-meters at the Millrose Games in New York City in February.

YOU CAN FIGURE THIS ONE OUT

Boise State football’s Spring Game has not been officially cancelled yet. But talk about inevitability. All campus and student-athlete activities have stopped. Athletes who aren’t already home have been told to get home, if at all possible. It won’t seriously hamper the Broncos, as their system is in place (even with the offseason changes on coach Bryan Harsin’s staff). It does hurt the programs with new coaches, and in the Mountain West, there are six of them this year: Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV. Former Boise State and current UC Davis coach Dan Hawkins was on Idaho SportsTalk Monday. He said he’s one of the lucky ones—the Aggies wrapped up their spring football session before the great sports shutdown.

FRESNO STATE AFFECTED

To our knowledge, no one associated with Boise State athletics, past or present, has tested positive yet for coronavirus. Such is not the case at Fresno State, and the person diagnosed is familiar to longtime Broncos fans. It’s Travis Brown, the former Bulldogs linebacker and son of the late Dan Brown, the one-time Boise State ‘backer and coach and longtime Fresno State defensive coordinator. Brown’s widow, Mindy, has pointed words for those who aren’t taking this seriously: “We all need to do better at this. You could be carrying this virus and not even know it.” According to the Fresno Bee, Travis Brown was hospitalized March 14 but is now recovering. “This virus has brought my big, strong, young and healthy son to his knees,” wrote his mom. Brown is currently the linebackers coach for the B.C. Lions of the CFL.

ANOTHER VERSION OF ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST

Boise State’s Derrick Alston didn’t get much run from the official All-Mountain West teams earlier this month, as he was given Honorable Mention. But in the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 17 awards, which encompass the Mountain West, Alston was named to the second-team on Monday. Pair that with Justinian Jessup’s second-team honor, and it marks the first time that two different Broncos have earned All-District recognition in the same season.

ROSTER FLEXIBILITY FOR RICE

B.J. Rains of the Idaho Press was the first to note that Boise State forward Riley Abercrombie is in the transfer portal. Abercrombie, the redshirt freshman from Woolongong, Australia, by way of Clear Lake High in Houston, logged double-digit minutes in just one Mountain West game this season, playing 17 minutes in the Broncos’ 70-61 loss at Utah State in February when both RJ Williams and Robin Jorch fouled out. He had a tough row to hoe against USU 7-footer Neemias Queta. Abercrombie averaged just 1.4 points per game this season in 17 games. Rains’ math says Boise State coach Leon Rice has three scholarships available—even with the rather impressive influx of transfer talent that redshirted this winter.

YOTES READY TO PICK UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF

For the second straight season, College of Idaho football is poised to play a 10-game schedule in 2020, made up entirely of Frontier Conference contests. It worked out pretty well last year, as the Coyotes won all 10 of ‘em while taking the league title and building a 16-game regular-season winning streak. The opener will be on the road on Labor Day weekend, as the Yotes visit Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. C of I ended at No. 5 last season in the final NAIA Coaches Poll.

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March 24, 2015, five years ago today: The Utah Jazz and Miller Sports Properties announce the acquisition of the Idaho Stampede, ending 18 years of local ownership led by managing investor and founder Bill Ilett. The Jazz were completing their first season of a single-affiliation arrangement with the Stampede and agreed at the time to play downtown at CenturyLink Arena at least one more season. The news provided a boost to a franchise enduring its worst season ever—the Stampede finished 9-41. But indeed, the Stamps would last only one more year in Boise before the Jazz moved them to Salt Lake City.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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Drops Madness Part 2

KTIK Sports Radio 93.1 FM The Ticket is crowning a new “King of Drops”

The winner of our new Elite 8 competition goes up against defending KTIK Drops Champion:
“Can I ask you a question? Do you have a medical degree?” 

Vote on KTIK’s Twitter and Facebook pages – or by text at 208-424-9300.

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SCOTT SLANT: Tank gives back in Big D

Presented by BBSI.
Monday, March 23, 2020.

“DeMarcus & The Hot Boyz” is not a reincarnation of a 20-year-old Lil Wayne band. It’s actually a charitable organization formed in 2018 by eight members of the Dallas Cowboys defense. Former Boise State star DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence is the ringleader, and he has the HotBoyz going full-tilt during the pandemic crisis in Dallas. On Sunday, the Hot Boyz set up a drive-through food truck pop-up to give away 500 meals to hospital workers and first responders. Lawrence was there to help. “My daughter Moriah led the way (with the idea),” said Lawrence. “This is bigger than football. This is us stepping out and trying to be leaders and do our part.” The Hot Boyz have a gift card initiative started as well, benefitting restaurants and small businesses in the area.

What the Hot Boyz and other athletes like them are doing is a welcome respite from the NFL news that dominates the headlines during the sports shutdown. Trumpeting new contracts of $10 million, $20 million and $30 million per year seems a little tone-deaf right now (even if Lawrence is already in that salary range). Good on Lawrence, and on fellow Boise State alum Tyrone Crawford, another member of the Hot Boyz.

BRONCOS’ NFL DRAFT PECKING ORDER

When Ezra Cleveland was sitting out the win over Portland State last September with a foot injury while Curtis Weaver was tying a school record with four sacks, few thought there was any question that Weaver was Boise State’s top prospect for the NFL Draft. But Cleveland has been riding a wave of momentum since his stellar NFL Combine performance. Sports Illustrated’s new three-round mock draft from Kevin Hanson has Cleveland going in the second round, 52nd overall, and Weaver in the third, 84th overall, both to the L.A. Rams. Cleveland’s foot dogged him all last season, but the Portland State game was the only one he missed. His stock is soaring now that he’s 100 percent and able to show his stuff.

THE SHIPP IS SAILING

Braydon Shipp’s delayed arrival at Boise State has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It’s been a two-year journey. Shipp, who was originally part of the Broncos’ 2018 recruiting class, has finished an LDS mission and is ready to join the program (when it’s up and running again). “2 years really does change a guy!! It was a huge blessing I had to serve and to help the people of Lima Peru!! Now it’s time for the next mission!!” tweeted Shipp on Sunday. Shipp is an offensive lineman from American Ford, UT. When he committed to Boise State, he was 6-5, 313 pounds.

YET ANOTHER HOOPS TRANSFER

The weekend started with Boise State men’s basketball landing a commitment from Naje Smith, a 6-7 forward from Cochise College in Arizona. Smith, whose hometown is Spokane, was the Arizona Community College Association Player of the Year after averaging 12.4 points and 6.7 rebounds before the season was suspended. The Broncos are chock full of transfers for next season, but Smith is the only one from a JC. Emmanuel Akot, Mladen Argus, Devonaire Doutrive and Marcus Shaver are all newly-eligible transfers from four-year schools.

BACK TO THE SEEDING INJUSTICE< No choice but to reminisce some more. The Boise State women’s basketball team would have played in the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, if there was one. Well, it was one year ago today that, despite an absurdly low No. 13 seed in the women’s tournament that forced them to play on Oregon State’s home floor, the Broncos almost pulled off the shocker. Senior Marta Hermida, who led Boise State with 22 points, dropped in two free throws for a four-point lead with 17 seconds left in regulation. But a strange confluence of events allowed the Beavers to get it to OT, where former Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year Destiny Slocum hit a couple crucial lay-ins to get OSU over the top in an 80-75 win. Boise State, who finished 28-5, drew the low seed despite an RPI of 39. MR. AND MRS. ANTHONY DRMIC

Because we need this type of news today, a tip of the cap to Anthony Drmic, who married his fiancée, Jenna, on Sunday in a small ceremony in Australia (presumably a gathering of 10 people or less). Drmic just finished his fourth season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League in Australia, averaging a career-high 10.6 points per game. He’s Boise State’s second-leading all-time scorer with 1,942 points, ending his career two points behind Tanoka Beard in 2016.

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March 23, 2014: Wichita State, the first team ever to start a college basketball season 35-0, sees its undefeated run come to an end in a 78-76 loss to Kentucky in the round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament. It was the Shockers’ first loss since a Cinderella run to the Final Four the year before. The Wildcats, who had beaten Boise State 70-55 three months earlier, did it with one of John Calipari’s one-and-done teams on the floor. Two UK players, Julius Randle and James Young, would be picked in the first round of the NBA Draft that June.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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SCOTT SLANT: Early start on a Broncos celebration

Presented by HOFFMAN AUTO BODY.
Friday, March 20, 2020.

Because I can right now, I’m going to get started early on my recognition of Albertsons Stadium’s 50th anniversary. Every Friday until this craziness blows over (and please hold me to this), I’ll zero in on a memory from what was once known as Bronco Stadium—be it green turf or blue. Today, why not the very first game: September 11, 1970, against Chico State? Boise State was coming off two seasons in the NAIA, its first two campaigns as a four-year school, going a combined 17-3. Coach Tony Knap’s offense had already evolved into an ahead-of-its-time, crowd-pleasing show, and the Broncos routed the Wildcats, a respected team from the Far West Conference, 49-14. The grand opening drew a near-capacity crowd of 14,028 fans (only the west side of the new stadium had an upper deck).

BOISE STATE: THE 51ST OVERALL SEED

Chris Low of ESPN.com created a 64-team NCAA Tournament-style FBS football bracket this week, and Boise State is in it. But not where you might think. Low bases it on ESPN’s Football Power Index. The Broncos are all the way down at No. 51 on that list, so Low tabs them as a No. 13 seed. Boise State is the only Mountain West team in the field, and the only other Group of 5 teams—four of them—are all from the American. He projects Boise State to lose to fourth-seeded Auburn in the first round. The mythical national championship game? Ohio State 35, Georgia 31. Mark Schlabach is the one who compiles ESPN’s “Way Too Early Top 25,” and he has Boise State at No. 19.

STRANGE TIMES FOR APSEY

Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey on Thursday (remotely) held his first news conference since the sports world was rocked just over a week ago. Apsey said the university has tested some student-athletes for the coronavirus. “Not a big number,” he said, noting that all tests have come back negative. Apsey said discussions have already begun concerning the Broncos’ spring athletes who have lost a year of eligibility. There’s a sense of urgency to figure this thing out, and the NCAA is working on it. Apsey is heartbroken for Boise State’s winter sports athletes who saw things stop on a dime—and for the seniors who saw their careers suddenly end. He likened it to the football team’s experience when the First Responder Bowl was cancelled during the first quarter in December, 2018.

BASEBALL’S CONSOLATION

There was a lot of baseball left to play, and this could have changed after the Mountain West schedule. But Boise State’s abbreviated return to the diamond ended with an NCAA RPI of 148, putting the Broncos in the upper half of Division I. Boise State ranked ahead of seven schools that have combined for 14 national championships, including four-time winner Cal State Fullerton. The 9-5 Broncos also placed higher than 10 schools from Power 5 conferences. They had the second-highest winning percentage in the conference behind New Mexico. Not bad for a team that was a unanimous preseason last-place pick in the Mountain West.

BLAINE: BEST IN THE NAIA

College of Idaho never had a chance to finish its quest for a national championship, but the Coyotes’ Colby Blaine had done enough before the shutdown to be named NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year on Thursday. Blaine led the Yotes to a 31-3 record in just his second season as coach, with a school-record 25-game winning streak to carry into next season. C of I’s Talon Pinckney, the former Centennial Patriot, was named a first-team All-American for the second straight year. Pinckney is the Yotes’ first-ever back-to-back first-teamer. He’s the only player in C of I history to record 1,000 points, 500 assists and 200 steals in a career. Nate Bruneel, the one-time Rocky Mountain Grizzly, was an honorable mention All-American.

NBA DRAFT SHOULD BE FLYNN’S NEXT STEP

As we wonder whether—and why—Boise State’s Derrick Alston would declare early for the NBA Draft, it’s hard to imagine why San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn wouldn’t. Flynn has been named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated and STADIUM, and a second-teamer by NBC Sports, CBS Sports, The Athletic and USA Today. Flynn, the Mountain West Player of the Year, averaged 17.6 points and 5.1 assists per game for the 30-2 Aztecs this season. Alston and Flynn could both opt for early entry and then return to school. Best scenario: Alston declares and returns to school before the deadline; Flynn declares and goes through with it.

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March 20, 1945: The birthday of one of the most decorated coaches in NBA history. Pat Riley first made his mark with the L.A. Lakers, with whom he won four championships in the 1980’s during the team’s “Showtime” era with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. L.A. won back-to-back titles in 1987-88, inspiring Riley to trademark the term “three-peat.” The Lakers, however, would be swept by the Detroit Pistons in the 1989 NBA Finals. A four-season stint with the New York Knicks did not produce a championship, but Riley captured a fifth NBA crown in 2006 during a second tour of duty as head coach of the Miami Heat. Pat Riley…75 years old today.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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Loss Of Sports Will Lead To Strong Lessons In Humanity

Note: Column first published in the Idaho Press on March 15, 2020

BY MIKE PRATER
THE IDAHO PRESS

The television is eerily weird on this Saturday … Sunday … for how long?

It’s Selection Sunday weekend and there’s supposed to be mass hysteria on college basketball courts throughout the nation, not in the toilet paper aisles of our local stores.

On this weekend every year, we typically watch teams we suddenly pretend to care about. Players we’ve never heard of.

And stress over brackets that are worthless after 24 hours.

Instead, on this historic and very bizarre weekend of no sports, we’re watching the nation go crazy over a virus. It’s perfectly OK to be cautious and concerned when there’s a legitimate threat to our well-being, and there does appear to be a legitimate threat.

It’s another thing to panic — unless there’s only a few seconds left on the clock of a tight game and a March Madness invite on the line.

Not on this Saturday. Sunday. For how long?

The sports world — at every level — has disappeared before our very eyes. Not just changed — but completely disappeared overnight, and there’s no guarantee it’s coming back anytime soon.

Worried about Major League Baseball starting in April?

Worried about high school championships in May?

Worried about the NBA or NHL crowning champions before the end of June?

Worried about the Olympics in July?

Worried about the end of the golf season in August?

I’m worried about the football season in September.

But, as I remind myself over and over, this is not the time to be dark, negative … panic.

Yes, the world is changing. Again.

But we will survive. And thrive. Again.

There is a silver lining in the loss of sports — an intense, divisive and time-consuming creature.

The hardcores will obsess about NFL free agency for the next month. That doesn’t seem too healthy.

So let’s take a chill pill.

Strongly advised for all.

Time for more balance — myself included.

Less sports greed.

More pause buttons.

More deep breaths.

Remember, the Super Bowl is our country’s biggest event. Period. Sports or not. And two out of every three people don’t even watch the game. Sports are important. Not that important, and fragile enough to crash hard after one NBA player tested positive.

Now what?

We’ve seen all the social media suggestions, the variety of ways to fill our suddenly massive voids: Read, exercise, hang with the family, volunteer, catch up on ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries, hug a truck driver who’s making toilet paper deliveries.

I started Friday night with my non-sports go-to: A concert, possibly the last one around here for a long time. Rosanne Cash.

People packed into the Egyptian.

A nod to her music and her legendary father.

The music was fine, a little mellow for a Metallica kind of guy.

The message was brilliant. Perfectly timed.

Cash talked about inspiration and love. At one point, she told the story of how Shakespeare created some of his finest work while quarantined. Something about King Lear.

I’d rather watch King James.

But her message was dead on … take the chill pill. Spread joy. Become better humans.

Nobody is thrilled to be in this position, though liquor stores and pizza delivery chains should be OK. But the silver lining in our new reality is the opportunity to do something different, other than watch the Masters or Kentucky Derby for the umpteenth consecutive year.

Put a basketball hoop in your driveway, or plant a salsa garden. Wash your hands. Be nice to a student-athlete who just lost their senior season. Wash your hands. Be nice to someone who just lost their paycheck. Wash your hands.

Spend less time on social media.

Yeah right.

With that said, my favorite tweet from Saturday, courtesy of a friend: “Day 2 without sports: Found a young lady sitting on my couch yesterday. Apparently she’s my wife. She seems nice.’’

Dare we predict a baby-boom in nine months?

Let’s all get along. Play nice. Expand our horizons.

Maybe we emerge from this chaos as a more likeable society.

Rosanne Cash thinks it’s possible, and said so during Friday’s show in downtown Boise. She told family stories, preached Americana, touched on the crazy times, and left us thinking with this beauty of a song line …

Right now, the priority of our union is health.

One day, sports will return to normal: At the top of the priority list, where it belongs, where we feel whole.

And on that day, let’s hope crazed humans are rushing from the toilet paper aisle, only to get home in time for the next big game on television.

Crazier things have happened.

Like everything we witnessed in the past week.

Mike Prater is the Idaho Press sports columnist and co-hosts Idaho Sports Talk on KTIK 93.1 FM every Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. and Bronco Game Night after every Boise State football game on KTIK and KBOI 670 AM. He can be found on Twitter @MikeFPrater and can be reached at mikefprater@gmail.com.