The asterisk remains at quarterback

There’s been no announcement regarding a suspension for Boise State quarterback Ryan Finley. It’s been three weeks now since Boise State quarterback Ryan Finley was arrested, and there’s been no announcement regarding a suspension. That may be because BSU is going to let the legal process play out before a final decision. The Idaho Statesman’s Chadd Cripe reports that Finley pleaded not guilty yesterday to his two misdemeanor charges, minor in possession or consumption of alcohol and resisting or obstructing officers. Cripe says Finley has a pretrial conference June 15 and (unless a deal is reached) a jury trial scheduled for July 10. That would be just four weeks before fall camp. I’m not believing that the Finley case will last until July 10 before being resolved. It’s not a distraction at Boise State now, but by then it would be.

Boise State’s depth chart at quarterback remains in flux 3½ months away from the opener against Washington. Finley, going into his sophomore year, stood out during spring football and had the edge as Grant Hedrick’s successor going into fall camp. Whatever the case, Finley, Tommy Stuart, Alex Ogle and Brett Rypien will go about their business when the Broncos begin summer conditioning and player-run practices on June 1.

Every school has to deal with the new cost-of-attendance stipend to athletes in its own way. At Boise State, the naming rights to Albertsons Stadium are helping. At Colorado State, they can thank Jim McElwain. The former CSU football coach left for Florida last December, but the buyout in his contract left behind a pot of gold. The $7 million figure the Gators will pay the Rams over the next six years will cover Colorado State’s cost-of-attendance budget for the next three to five years, the university says. The stipend for CSU out-of-state athletes will be $3,100 per year, while at Boise State it’ll be $5,100 per year. Not sure why the discrepancy is so large, but the figures are established through federal guidelines.

Gary Stevens is an underdog again as the Preakness Stakes unfold tomorrow at Pimlico. And that makes things interesting, with no pressure on the crafty Idaho native as he rides Firing Line. Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News was on Idaho SportsTalk yesterday and said he liked Stevens’ and Firing Line’s draw—the No. 8 post in an eight-horse race. “He certainly has a chance,” said Girardi of Stevens. “He’s got a little bit of an advantage, since he’s coming from the outside. He can look to his left and make some decisions based on what the other horses are doing.” And Jerardi pointed out that the 52-year-old Stevens is known for good decisions. With that said, Jerardi added, “I think American Pharoah’s going to win—and he’s going to win by a lot.”

Les Bois Park’s season opens tomorrow afternoon with a special first post at 2 p.m. The eight-race card will take a break for the Preakness at 4:18-ish. Nikeela Black, the Boise attorney who ran away with last season’s jockey title on both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, is back at Les Bois this year. She has mounts in five races tomorrow and will debut in race No. 3 aboard Rechargable.

Things couldn’t have gone much worse for Troy Merritt yesterday at the Wells Fargo Championship. The Boise State product struggled to a four-over 76 in the first round at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow and is staring at a missed cut today. Things were fine until he made the turn. Then, over the next five holes, Merritt recorded two bogeys and two double-bogeys, and that was that. He did produce one of the video highlights of the day on No. 10, though, his first hole of the day. Merritt dropped a 118-foot approach shot within four feet of the cup, then nailed the putt for a birdie.

The National Court of Spain has suspended a planned strike by Spanish soccer players ensuring that the final two weeks of La Liga’s season, as well as the Copa del Rey final two weeks from tomorrow between Athletic Bilbao and FCS Barcelona, will be played. The ruling also brought a collective sigh of relief from organizers of the Basque Soccer Friendly in Boise July 29. Unless the Spanish court rescinds its suspension, the event will proceed in Albertson’s Stadium, with Bilbao facing Club Tijuana.

After being denied a spot on the U.S. team at the Pan American Continental Time Trial Championships in Mexico, Boise’s Kristin Armstrong will begin her comeback today in the Tour of California Time Trial at Big Bear Lake. It’ll be the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s first race since winning the time trial at the 2012 Summer Games in London. Armstrong will know right away where she stands, as Germany’s Lisa Brennaur, the 2014 world champion, will provide some stiff competition. Her long-term goal in coming out of retirement is to reach the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Following the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon, the heart of the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships begins today in San Diego. It’s the final athletic competition of the 2014-15 school year for Boise State. The race of the meet might be the women’s 1500-meters, where the Broncos’ defending champion in the event, Emma Bates, goes against New Mexico’s Calli Thackery, who has posted the best time in the conference this season. Bates is also a returning champion in the 5,000-meters, while Boise State’s Marisa Howard will attempt to defend her title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

How can we tie Boise’s Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tony Doerr into sports? By checking out Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s nightstand. Kerr has been trying to keep his crew on an even-keel as it wades through its hard-fought NBA Western Conference semifinal series against the Memphis Grizzlies. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion: “Kerr said between games that he thought it was important for his players to step away from basketball. Watch a movie. Read a book. He took his own advice. After the Game 2 loss he called general manager Bob Myers from a bookstore and asked for a recommendation. Myers suggested ‘All the Light We Cannot See,’ Anthony Doerr’s fabulous World War II bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner. During this stressful series, Kerr has allowed himself to become engrossed in it.”

This Day In Sports…May 15, 2003:

In the midst of a national hubbub over Annika Sorenstam’s upcoming appearance in a PGA Tour event the following week, the Albertson’s Boise Open announces a sponsor’s exemption for 13-year-old Hawaiian phenom Michelle Wie. The eighth-grader with the 290-yard drives would be the first female ever to play a Nationwide Tour event.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)