Boise & Garden City

Boise State football dismisses player accused of assault; attorney defends player

Jace Richter
Jace Richter Boise State

Boise State University issued a one-line statement Friday about a player who is accused in a civil suit of beating a fellow student, causing serious injuries.

“Jace Richter has been dismissed from the Boise State football team,” said a statement from Joe Nickell, associate athletic director/communication at Boise State.

Michael Bartlett, Richter’s attorney, said coach Bryan Harsin’s decision to dismiss the 19-year-old from the team was made too hastily, before all the facts had been considered.

Boise State said last week that it had suspended an athlete while it conducted an investigation into an incident but declined to say which athlete or sport. Richter was suspended from the team last week, his attorney told the Statesman.

In a civil suit filed last Friday, Richter was accused of beating student Ben Taylor inside a campus dorm. Photos of Taylor’s severely bruised and swollen face were circulated with a press release from his attorney, David Claiborne. The suit seeks damages in excess of $10,000.

Bartlett said Richter had tried to tell Harsin his side of the story the first day back to practice after the incident but the coach declined.

“I’m very disappointed that Coach Harsin would make decisions without hearing all the facts,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett says there are multiple witnesses who say Taylor was the initial aggressor. He praised the university’s investigation, which is ongoing.

“BSU is taking this seriously,” Bartlett said. “They are investigating thoroughly, and I don’t think they’re jumping to any conclusions. They just want to find out what happened before making any decisions.”

Boise Police also are investigating the Oct. 8 incident. Once that’s complete, they will forward the report to prosecutors for review.

The civil suit alleges Richter punched Ben Taylor in the face, knocked him to the ground and continued punching him. The lawsuit offers no motive for the attack.

Richter was a true freshman walk-on from Mountain View High in Meridian. He was the 2016 5A Southern Idaho Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He hadn’t appeared in a game for Boise State.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller