Baseball and Boise State University

Boise State University has not had a school funded baseball team since 1980. It will be another two years until they play their first inning. Forty years is a long time.  After that long of a hiatus, questions surrounding the return of baseball are natural.

All of Boise State University, not only the athletic department, has been growing rapidly over the past 20 years. This growth has been great for the surrounding area and most people want it to continue. So this raises the question, how does adding a baseball program help improve Boise State University?

The addition of a baseball program will diversify the student body. This is not necessarily going to be ethnic diversity, the common first thought when it comes to diversity. But a diverse mindset and thought process.  Not all athletes are created equal, and that’s a good thing.

A football player is very different from a basketball player, who is very different from a baseball player. The culture of baseball creates a mindset that has been missing form BSU.  Adding 25-35 student baseball players can change the culture of an athletic department and entire university.

Baseball is a sport where failure is not only present but common. That is why there have been only 23 perfect games pitched in over 210,000 games of Major League Baseball history. That means a pitcher failed at least once, usually multiple times, in 99.9% of games ever played. 

A batter that fails 70% of the time is considered one of the best on the field that day. The ability to handle and persevere through this vast amount of failure creates a way of thinking different from any other sport. A growth mindset, believing you can get better and learn from mistakes, is critical to success in baseball.

This growth mindset is contagious and can improve an entire university’s culture. The realization that mistakes can be made and are not a sign of insignificance but an opportunity to get better, is useful in all aspects of life.

It is no secret that Boise State would jump at the chance to move into a “Power 5” conference, (Big East 2012.) A bigger conference means more money, not only for the athletic department but the whole university. This money comes through bowl games, NCAA basketball tournament appearances, and TV Revenue.

It also means more exposure. Football games against Oklahoma or Oregon and basketball games against Kansas or UCLA every year would do wonders for the recognition of the school. I know athletics is not everything for a university, but even skeptics of college athletics have to admit that national television sports coverage is integral for a school’s name recognition.

Having a baseball program aligns Boise State University’s athletic departments with the “Power 5” schools. Although there are many options for conference realignment, including being a football only member, it doesn’t hurt to have a program for all of the major NCAA sanctioned sports in a conference. There are many qualifications that need to be met for a conference to want to add a university, but have one box already checked cannot hurt.

Having to throw an athletic program together last minute would not begin and probably not end successfully.

Boise State fans are passionate about the teams they root for. Many, if not most, are fans of the university more than the individual sport they are supporting. Fans just want to see Boise State win, and be a part of that victory, no matter if they fully understand the intricacies of what caused the win.

This is one of the great aspects of college sports, a chance for the community to rally together in support of a common goal.

Without a baseball program, a Bronco fan runs out of the popular spectator sports in early March. If they are lucky enough for the Men’s Basketball team to make it into the NCAA Tournament, it may stretch to Mid-March. NCAA Division 1 Baseball runs from late February to the end of May.

If the Broncos are involved in the NCAA tournament, it would push it into June. Baseball will add at least two months of sports to follow.  In fact BSU sports could be active in 11 of the 12 months out of the year. What BSU fan would argue with opportunities like that?

Baseball is good for Boise State University. Under the excellent administrative direction already in place, the university will only grow with this addition. It equals more students, more fans, more exposure and possibly, more money. Join me in supporting the great school of Boise State University and it new baseball program.


About Nathan Bushard

Nathan is a born and raised Boisean. Growing up around Boise State, he naturally developed a fondness for all things Bronco. He is a husband, father, BSU graduate, sports fan, and a bit of a baseball nerd.