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Boise State sells stadium name for $12.5M, then school prez laments 'commercialism'

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The irony!

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Boise State announced that it has sold the naming rights to its football stadium to Albertsons, a local grocery store, for $12.5 million over 15 years. From the Idaho Statesman:

Learfield Sports, which owns Boise State's marketing rights, will receive 25 percent of the Albertsons deal. That breaks down to $625,000 for the athletic department and $208,333 for Learfield.

Then later Wednesday — THE SAME DAY — the Idaho Statesman published an op-ed that Boise State President Bob Kustra submitted to USA Today, in which he slams the new NCAA reforms and the "commercialism" of major athletic departments.

It is sometimes hard to believe that our finest universities and their presidents are behind this effort to fuel what the former NCAA President Myles Brand termed the "arms race" in Division 1 athletic budgets. You would think that the primacy of the academic mission and the long-held principles of amateur athletics would trump the drive toward commercialism and professionalism in the athletic department.

Oh the irony!

Kustra has the right to be angry. Those proposed reforms essentially make Boise State and other mid-majors second-class citizens compared to the power conference schools.

But spare me the self-righteous whining. As Kustra points out, Boise State has a $37 million athletics budget, has profited off of two BCS bowl games, and still pretends its athletes are more amateur than the ones in the power conferences.

We shouldn't be surprised by now, though. College presidents have a knack for saying silly things when it comes to the NCAA and amateurism.