Bronco Beat

Ex-Boise State QB tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, source says

Former Boise State quarterback Rathen Ricedorff was behind redshirt freshman Jake Constantine as junior Brett Rypien’s backup in spring practice.
Former Boise State quarterback Rathen Ricedorff was behind redshirt freshman Jake Constantine as junior Brett Rypien’s backup in spring practice. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Former Boise State quarterback Rathen Ricedorff tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug this spring, which led to his eventual departure from the football team, a source close to the program told the Idaho Statesman.

The school announced on April 18 that the junior quarterback was no longer with the team, 10 days after the end of spring practices. The NCAA penalty for a positive PED test carries an automatic loss of one full year of eligibility for the first offense. The source said it had been more than a decade since the last such positive test in the Boise State football program.

Ricedorff has not responded to multiple phone calls and text messages since the news broke that he was off the roster. Boise State spokesman Joe Nickell referred a reporter to the university’s original statement.

“Rathen Ricedorff rendered himself ineligible for the entire 2017 football season due to an NCAA rules violation, and is no longer part of the Boise State football team,” the April statement from Boise State read in its entirety.

All NCAA schools sponsoring football are subject to drug testing at least once a year, including for “anabolic agents, diuretics and masking agents, peptide hormones, beta-2 agonists and beta blockers.”

Stimulants and street/illicit drugs are generally not part of the year-round testing, though the NCAA does test for all drugs before bowl games. A positive NCAA test for stimulants or street drugs results in a loss of a half-season of eligibility. Boise State performs its own tests randomly and carries its own penalty of 50 percent of a season for PEDs and 10 percent for street drugs.

A Show Low, Ariz., native, Ricedorff was signed by the Broncos out of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College in December after earning NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year honors. He threw for 3,688 yards with 42 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, and also had 207 rushing yards.

Ricedorff, 25, took a two-year church mission after high school and redshirted at Arizona State in 2014 before playing at Mesa for two seasons. Since he would have had just one year of eligibility after serving the penalty, it was determined by the Boise State staff that it was best for the two parties to part ways, the source said.

This spring, Ricedorff was behind redshirt freshman Jake Constantine as junior Brett Rypien’s backup. He appeared late in the spring game, running for a touchdown while completing 1 of 3 passes for 17 yards. Ricedorff’s wife, Kizzy, intended to play volleyball for the Broncos, but a virus put her in the hospital for two weeks in March, preventing her from ever playing in a match.

Though Rathen Ricedorff has not been added officially to another college roster, his wife has posted on Instagram that she is a “WSU football wifey” and that the couple moved to Ogden, Utah, this month. Weber State is in Ogden and was among the schools that offered him a scholarship while he was at Mesa. A school spokesman could not confirm whether the quarterback intends to join the team, as walk-ons and some transfers are not added to rosters until practices start.

With Ricedorff’s departure, the Broncos were again in the market for a veteran quarterback to join Rypien, Constantine and incoming freshman Chase Cord. They found him in graduate transfer Montell Cozart, who comes from Kansas, where he started 18 games. Cozart arrived on campus in late May.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @davesouthorn

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