Big Sky commissioner on Idaho's situation: Top of FCS is healthier than bottom of FBS

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton has not been shy about his league's interest in adding the University of Idaho.

Now — with the Vandals' current league crumbling — Fullerton just might get his chance at convincing Idaho that the Big Sky is the best place for its athletic department.

Fullerton and Rob Spear, Idaho's athletic director, have spoken and, Fullerton said, will talk again this week. Spear said last week that he is considering four options, including a return to the Football Championship Subdivision, but said the ideal situation was to remain at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

"I'm really impressed with the University of Idaho, the athletic director and the president. They are doing what they need to do and looking at the options that are available," Fullerton told the Idaho Statesman on Monday morning.

Fullerton said the competitive and financial imbalance in the FBS makes the FCS a better spot for some teams, including Idaho.

"Playing at the top of the FCS is a better situation than playing at the bottom of the FBS," Fullerton said, adding that it is nearly impossible for schools with budgets near $20 million to compete with schools like Texas and its $140 million athletic department budget.

"The success and fan base and excitement you can do (by) staying regional is what college athletics are supposed to be about, unless you can play at the national level," Fullerton said.

He said athletic departments that raise money from their fan base, booster support, fans at the game and media rights are doing it in a healthy way. Departments that rely on student fees and game guarantees are not stable.

Idaho is playing a number football road games with big paydays in future seasons, including games at Florida, Auburn and LSU.

He said Idaho could shave $3 million to $5 million from its athletic budget by moving to the Big Sky, lessening the need to play those types of payday games. Those savings would come from fewer scholarships in football and women's sports and from lower coaching salaries. Idaho, he said, could then reinvest that money into other programs.

"I think I could sit at a debate table and be able to convince an awful lot of people that the Big Sky will be the best option for (Idaho)," Fullerton said.

Fullerton said the league is well-positioned to be in the second-tier of college football if there is a break in the FBS with the top five conferences creating their own level of play. Spear made several references to this scenario during his call with media last week.

The Big Sky has 11 all-sport members and 13 football-playing members. The league is positioned as the No. 3 football-playing conference in the West, behind the Pac-12 and Mountain West, a position Fullerton said that will allow his league to garner better talent and more media attention. The league has a TV contract with Root.

On Boise State:

• Fullerton said he has not had any conversations with Boise State. He said his biggest worry about adding the Broncos' non-football programs would be the school's commitment to the league. "At the first opportunity, they would be gone," he said.

Boise State is moving its football program to the Big East in 2013 and most of its non-football programs to the WAC. However, with the WAC losing members quickly, the Broncos could be searching for a new landing spot for its non-football teams.

In his only public statement about the recent changes, Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle had the following statement: "We continue to closely monitor the changing landscape of college athletics as a result of the latest news on conference realignment. During this time of change, we remain committed to making the best long-term decisions for Boise State University."

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Positioning

"Playing at the top of the FCS is a better situation than playing at the bottom of the FBS."

Doug Fullerton has it right. Look at the schools at the top of the FCS. They're good schools, they've got excellent football teams and they'd be absolutely steamrolled by many FBS football programs because, for the most part, it really is about the money.

I just don't see the problem with Idaho moving to the Big Sky.

Pure and simple, ITS NOT

Pure and simple, ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Get over Broncos!

Why Not?

You'd rather see the Vandals flounder around as an independent? No bowl games, no home games, no chance of being successful? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Neither does going back to

Neither does going back to your first wife.

When You've Been Cornered

Go ad hominem.

NO FLASH AD HOMINEM

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Dujmb, but funny

O.K. your comment was funny...that said re-creating a rivalry with the Montana schools makes perfect sense and allows the school to get off the college football merrigoround.

best wife

Maybe your first wife was the best wife? Had she been treated right there might not have been a need for a second. Vandals should never have left the Big Sky. Who is kidding whom here? It was a good marriage. Some crazy people thought that Vandals could/would support a 1-A team, schedule, etc. The population base is NOT there. NOT there! Has been and always will be crazy. Wake up and smell the money.

What if...

your ex-wife had some mental health issues resulting in the marriage ending, but now that she is being treated with medication she wants another go at it?

Is that such a bad thing?

depends if the chains go back on the bed

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Welcome

to the mind of Harleyslackwater.

Sorry it doesn't fit nicely

Sorry it doesn't fit nicely into the "pea brains" of Broncos.

wow

What a zinger. If that is all you have, I wouldn't be comparing brain size anytime soon. How about how big of an arse you have? Or that you are?

Idaho has had one winning season in the

past 10 years. They averaged less than 12,000 fans a game last season and yet think it will cure their ills to expand their 16,000 seat stadium to 20,000, bringing it up to an additional 7,000+ empty seats. The sad truth is, slackwater, that while Boise State chases the teams in the big leagues, Idaho chases Boise State.

harleythecoward

has yet to post an intelligent comment. dipstick.

Repeat the Bronco pledge

Repeat the Bronco pledge after me..."We Broncos are the most important football fans in the world. We are not humble or thoughtful...we don't have to be. We believe the world revolves around us and our football team. And we are entitled to talk and behave any way we want. We are spoiled and inconsiderate...and we are poor losers and worse winners...we are even committed to changing the NCAA rules to abolish field goals and field goal kickers. We may not have attended BSU or even know that there are other parts to the campus outside of the football complex. But we will drive around all year with Game Day flags on our inferior cars/trucks just to prove we are a fan (the more flags, the better the fan). We will buy and wear any colored shirt that BSU tells us to so we look coordinated on TV. We have an opinion about everyone else's program and team...especially Idaho's. While our thoughts are muddled and confused, we still give our opinion about every conceivable article in the paper and how it relates to our superior program and football team. We don't care about any other sport because those sports have not bestowed glory upon us and given us reason to live. Someday we will be champions of the universe and everyone else will kneel at our feet and praise us for the great bandwagon fans that we have become. We wear our Bronco shirts and hats to every conceivable venue including weddings, airports, McDonald staff meetings and prison. We are Bronco Nation...carrying the pride and joy of mankind...or at least that is what we think when we can think."

Envy thy name is Vandull

Stay FBS, I enjoy the comedy.

well

there goes 30 minutes of your life you will never get back. Makes you a better person does it?

Bold...

Harley dude is a dbag. Its well ESTABLISHED.

According you, Chump? Once

According you, Chump? Once again you prove the Pledge accurate. Thanks for the validation.

To me?

It looks like everyone views you as a dbag with deep daddy issues.

I'm sure that is accurate,

I'm sure that is accurate, Chump! There, are you happy now?

More Insatiables than Marilyn Chambers, for sure/

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I am satisfied with being

I am satisfied with being accurate!

when

When do you start being accurate? WHen trying to hit the cheerio in the toilet water?

That's one way of being

That's one way of being accurate...there are others. Perhaps you can explore other definitions of the word "accurate" as well...might be enlighting.

I will accurately reflect...

...on how much better the Broncos are than the Vandals while I sit and watch the Broncos in a BCS Bowl some time in the next 2 or 3 years. Hope you enjoy the Vandal/Bengal game in the Kibble Dome.

Bragadochio or some other rapid happy thing?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

The real truth

We may not have attended BSU or even know that there are other parts to the campus outside of the football complex.
Now that is classic.

You missed the part of being the 94% of the BSU students. That is the percentage that did not finish in 4 years.

You are correct, not enough

You are correct, not enough space to bring all those important factors to light.

I've seen the arena, Morrison Center, never inside the stadium.

Never been in any part of the actual learning buildings.

and you're a freaky librarian who never looked good in polka dots.

Woe is me!

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

harleythecoward

your streak is intact. are you ready to confess to being a vandal fan that did not attend idaho?

Whatever you think Bronco

Whatever you think Bronco IQ<81. You have ALL the answers, why would you need confirmation of anything. Coward...ooh that is a brave comment on a blog!

harleythecoward

still too cowardly to confess. pusillanimous.

I don't wanna see your pus!

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

go feast in your

mangroves

I prefer womangroves, Grape Ape

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I confess I was too busy

I confess I was too busy fighting in Vietnam to preserve your right to the First Amendment so you could print stupid garbage on a newspaper blog. What you say says more about you than the University of Idaho. Think about it jerk!

harleythecoward

you are a dbag. it is well doc-umented that i graduated from the university of idaho prior to graduating from boise state. i don't hate the ui. i detest bags like yourself who insist on insulting boise state for no reason. don't like all the hoopla? can't stand the bandwagoners? go back to nam fool.

Loser Bronco!

Loser Bronco!

Wait a minute...

Harley dude is saying someone else has a low IQ? That's rich. You never disappoint Harley dude.

Vietnam

You are old enough to have fought in Nam but act like an immature dolt on here? How embarrasing. You are a pimple. How dare you discrace the rest of the Vets by even mentioning you are one. You should rethink your priorities. How very sad.

So sad bronco moron! Some

So sad bronco moron! Some of us are proud of our service!

That was then

This is now. So sad you let yourself go down the tube. Respect is earned.

You sent in boxtops, rookie.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Sorry

I'm so sorry that you're life is so pathetic. I suggest you see a psychiatrist.

Most are guys so I won't get a date.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I remember when you were the constant butt of all jokes...

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It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Very sane

logical article. Not very same logical comments.

MWC invite should have happened

Honestly, I'm not sure why the MWC didn't invite Idaho and NMSU. That would give the league 12 members which permits a championship game. Both fit geographically. What is Spears holding out for?