BSU reacts to controversial interview

BSU reacts to controversial interview »Play Video
Boise State's Marty Tadman reacts after returning an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl in 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOISE - The Boise State community spent Wednesday reacting to a former Boise State football player's controversial comments made in story that appeared on the front page of the USA Today.

In the article, former Boise State safety Marty Tadman commented about an investigation into whether some college athletes choose degrees that help them stay eligible for sports versus attaining degrees that better suit them for life after sports.

The USA Today article states that in its study of the majors of juniors and seniors in five prominent sports at 142 of the NCAA's top-level schools shows athletes at many institutions cluster in certain majors, in some cases at rates highly disproportionate to those of all students.

The article reports that 48 percent of Boise State's juniors and seniors on the football team majored in communication and that 50 percent of men and women basketball players did the same.

"You hear which majors, and which classes, are the easiest and you take them," Tadman is quoted as saying in USA Today. "You're going to school so you can stay in sports. You're not going for a degree. … It's a joke."

Those comments were disappointing to some of the current football players.

"He (Tadman) is a smart guy, but that's his own opinion," said Derrell Acrey, sophomore psychology major who plays linebacker for the Broncos. "You have people (on the football team) majoring in things you wouldn't believe in."

Tim Brady, another BSU linebacker, said he also disagrees with Tadman's comments.

"By no means has getting a degree gotten any easier," Brady said Wednesday. "I take pride in trying to get a 3.0 grade point average - most of us disagree with (what Tadman said).

"We do a good job of balancing the needs of students who have a lot of things happening within their lives, understanding also that they're not going to get a good education if we don't work them hard," said Dr. Rick Moore, communication department chair.

Jadon Dailey, starting center for Boise State during the Fiesta Bowl, says his Bronco uniform came with a full ride scholarship. He says without football, he couldn't have afforded school. That's why Dailey takes offense to the article. He says athletes, at least at BSU, don't get an easy ride.

"The fact that this person would knock on the type of degree is really a slap to the face not only to the institution but the people themselves," Dailey said.

Dailey put his marketing degree to good use. He's now the color commentator for Bronco football. He says he'd be just as proud if his degree were in something else.

Sports Information Director, Max Corbett says on average players devote 20 hours per week in season, and eight hours per week out of season - to football.

Dailey says it's challenging balancing that with academics.

"This article basically trying to point out some of the obvious, that people are taking communications, so what. Their getting a college education and setting themselves up for a bright future in any sort of a career if they use it right," he said.

Tadman said his interview, which took place about five months ago, was taken out of context - "especially the joke part."

He said he was proud of the communication degree he attained.

USA Today's sports editor, Monte Lorrell, said Wednesday that he reviewed the transcript of the interview and saw nothing that was taken out of context.

The newspaper has a circulation of 2.2 million and is the top selling newspaper in the United States.