Sun Belt Conference rules out taking Idaho as member

By Brian Murphy

The Sun Belt Conference closed the door on a potential landing spot for the University of Idaho's football program or athletic department Wednesday.

The league announced the addition of Texas-Arlington — which was scheduled to join the WAC in 2013 — for the 2013 season and said it is content with future makeup. The Sun Belt will have 10 football-playing members and two non-football schools for the 2013-14 season. The league will divide into six-team divisions for basketball and volleyball.

The Sun Belt will not hold a football championship game with just 10 football-playing members.

"We are not pursuing additional members at this time. To squelch the speculation of a football championship game, it is not high on our radar screen and priority list," Commissioner Karl Benson said. "... We wanted to be fair (to the schools that have contacted us). At this juncture, the Sun Belt shouldn't be considered a landing spot whether it's an FCS member or an existing FBS member."

Benson, the former commissioner of the WAC, said he spoke with Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear about the "direction the Sun Belt was headed." Benson said the Sun Belt's announcement "allows both Idaho and New Mexico State to know the direction the Sun Belt is headed. Personally, I wish the best for the University of Idaho and New Mexico State."

Spear said the school would consider four options for its athletic department with the WAC down to just two football-playing members (Idaho, New Mexico State) in 2013.

The four options:

• An all-sport membership in a Football Bowl Subdivision conference.

• A football membership in an FBS conference with other sports programs in another Division I conference.

• FBS football independence with other sports programs in a Division I conference.

• The feasibility and future of Football Championship Subdivision football (formerly Division I-AA).

Having been rejected by the Mountain West and now the Sun Belt, Idaho is running out of options for remaining in a Football Bowl Subdivision conference.

Spear declined comment Tuesday.

The WAC is down to five members for non-football sports in 2013: Idaho, New Mexico State, Boise State, Denver and Seattle. Boise State is exploring other options for its non-football programs, including the Big West, when it moves its football program to the Big East in 2013.

WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd told the Statesman on Wednesday that the league continues to explore every option available. The WAC's Board of Directors will meet June 11-12 in Denver.

"We've spent the last four to six weeks going through various options we think are viable for us and looking at those different possibilities," Hurd said. "We're trying to move forward. We're trying to survive as a viable conference and maintain an FBS-level entity with the WAC. We're going to exhaust every possible option out there."

Hurd said Boise State has been upfront with the conference.

"They would like to see the WAC survive and maintain as a viable home for its non-football sports. At the same time, Boise State has to look out for itself and explore all the options available," Hurd said.

• Colorado State Athletic Director Jack Graham said he was part of the Mountain West's recent efforts to keep Boise State in the league and that the league offered to distribute revenue based on success rather than equally so it could hold onto the Broncos.

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Big Sky, the writing is on

Big Sky, the writing is on the wall.

Big Sky

I feel the Big Sky and Idaho are a great match. Idaho must stop hoping against hope that they will be invited to a conference they feel worthy of them. The BS is waiting with open arms and they now run the risk of turning a win into a perceived loss by following the noise of Akey and Spear. Idaho will never again be a Boise State in football. BSU has conferences (BEC, WAC, MWC & BWC) and other schools (SDSU) all recruiting or offering to help land BSU athletic programs, while most of nation is busy trying to scrape the Vandals off the bottom of their shoes. Go to the Big Sky, Idaho, you will be happy in five years.

interesting academic comparison

from comments on education and football - you might want to check the number of national merit students at the U of I versus BSU - I believe that the U of I has the second most in the region - and BSU has 1??
Plus if BSU was the academic powerhouse that it claims - why would the PAC 10 not invite them to be part of the conference - from my understanding it was lack of academics (not the lack of a football program) -
Good for BSU to make improvements in their academics - however, they still rank behind in advanced programs and advanced degrees offered -

Big Sky, the writing is on

Big Sky, the writing is on the wall.

But, but, but

the Sun Belt can't do that to the U of I. After all, the Vandals are the flagship university for, huh? what? They what? Oh. Sorry, nevermind....Sunny...

You're a moron

Football doesn't make a university, clown. Take away football success and BSU is a crappy regional university.

Big Talk

from a Vandal given the steady stream of scandals emanating from the "flagship university" over the past few years. The fact is that one can get a good education from UofI and BSU. However any objective view of UofI's situation says there are significant problems mostly from misplaced arrogance and the "if you're not with us, your against us" attitude.

No sex allowed here.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Don't Smoke


Take away football success Some_Guy?

Football doesn't make a university? Now whose the clown? Football made BSU what is is today. If you were right and we were all morons BSU would still be a junior college? But they are not, Boise State is a University thanks only to football. Now football is paving the way for greatness in other sports and academics.

Obviously Boise State is supreme in football and according to you nothing else - right MORON? Only in basketball and a little bit of golf does BSU take a back-seat. Tennis is doing very well and swimming and diving also. Then there is gymnastics where the bronco lady got was is equaled to a Heisman award, and Felix is having his day's in the press in track, and lastly wrestling where Broncos compete in the PAC 12.

I don't blame "EWE" for being upset cause your school is heading back to the Big Sky where Vandal's will not be so big. Idaho Vandals will finish mid pack there as well and that is not a slam, just fact. Montana schools and EWU will always be better than those from the Kibbles Dome

Congrats on football making BSU a power-house

university with a 25% graduation rate! Good job, BSU football!

And yes, you're still a moron. BSU is a crappy university. Accept the facts.

good luck you'll need it

and don't feel bad about the 23 less players Vandals are allowed on scholarship - The kibbles have way to many crappy players as it stands - good luck finding better ones now : )

jesus is going to take you down


You fry wants with that?


Football can make a university. Miami(FL) academics doesn't improve throughout the 80's and 90's without it. Joe Paterno's success at Penn State created the opportunity for more academic buildings to be erected there as well. BSU doesn't get new buildings without the 2 Fiesta Bowl wins. Football success gets the name out into the national conscience, which means more students, which means more money.

Wow, really?

You're comparing Miami and Penn State with BSU? LOL. That's rich.

2 Fieta Bowl wins did not get BSU new buildings. Steve Appleton's money and more bond debt got BSU new buildings.


he had great points

and Miami and BSU are more alike than your Kibble Dome brain can imagine

At least I'm smart enough

to not resort to name calling. But what should I expect from a Vandul? All I stated that BSU is going through the same transition that other schools went through a long time ago. It takes time, whether you understand it or not is up to you.

marvelous response

thanks for setting this fool down


boring comment.


It is really hard to believe that Idaho, who once played current PAC 12 members on a regular basis and for many years had a premier basketball program, is at a point of no return. They have used up all their options and without a desire to be an independent, will have to crawl back to the Big Sky Conference. They are a good fit for the Sky, but for a University that has long "played up" it will be a final destination as they will regress to that level in all sports and will never have the option to move back up in football. If that is the case, Boise State and Idaho will never play football again. There would be no reason for the Broncos to play down. Tis a shame!!

What a freaking republican.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Are you OK?

Are you having a stroke? Your posts... they don't make sense today.

I'm worried too

When have they ever?

§ "It's time for the human race ...

... to enter the solar system."

- Dubya

Normalcy, grab some before they stop making it.


You fry wants with that?


Sunnysloper you are ignorant! The Flagship Status at the University of Idaho is Educational based. Clearly you know nothing of education probably having never stepped foot in a University classroom. Your comments represent that. The status of University's football or athletic programs means little to the overall status of a University unless you are Boise State. I guess you better dance with what brought you. For me I will dance with over 100 years of outstanding educational leadership and you can go with 10 years of football success.


100 years? That is a little old for dancing. You might want to just sit in the porch swing. And didn't they take the "flagship" status out of the wording???


"Sunnysloper [sic] you are ignorant! The Flagship Status [sic] at the University of Idaho is Educational [sic] based. Clearly you know nothing of education [sic] probably having never stepped foot in a University [sic] classroom."


Excuse me....

But wasn't the flag taken down??

You guys wouldn't stop throwing poo at it so they had to.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.


UI never actually said that the flagship thing only pertained to academics. So your claim that it was "Educational based" is not entirely correct. Football is part of the UI and therefore the football program could be said to be a part of that flagship argument. (Granted that's mostly just to poke fun at the UI's recent troubles which isn't kind.)

Also the "[sic]" thingie is only used when you're quoting someone directly and you're pointing out that the misspelling, improper word choice or grammatical issue is part of the quote and not a mistake on your part.

So, when you said "... at the University of Idaho is Educational [sic] based." it was inappropriate to use the "[sic]" designator since you weren't actually quoting Sunnysloper but were putting words in his mouth as it were. Using it after his name is also inappropriate since how he spells it is assumed to be the accurate spelling of his own name. Using it after a name would be ok if you were, again, quoting someone who spelled it differently from how the name's owner spells it.

You have a spiffy day!

I was going to eat dessert first.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

Diet Coke

all over my desk after I read your comment. Golf clap.

10 years of football

10 years of football success...yes. But let's not forget that Boise State's emergence academically is nothing to sneeze at. If I'm not mistaken, I believe they will be admitting the most academically qualified freshman class in the state of Idaho this fall. There's more than football happening in Boise.

Wrong again

There's not much aside from football happening at UI. And BSU still boasts a six-year graduation rate in the mid 20% range.

Idaho's freshman class will be better, as it has every year. Fact.

You must be....

Nasty and inebriated....

Might Be, But that is better than

The BSU student that Stole the Racing bikes.

The bikes were found locked together at three different places on the Boise State campus Wednesday afternoon.

That might be the only job one of the 6 year grads could get.

You ARE...

Nasty and Inebriated


That is still better than a BSU grad working at Arby's


BSU grad at Mcdonalds


What a come must be an Idaho Grad!

Hes a nobody

I almost feel embarrassed for him. He reads every Bronco blog with bitterness and repeats himself like a 3rd grader. He's a wannabe internet tough guy but I guarantee you he's a real life wimp.

They have jobs, you have the streets of Eagle.


You fry wants with that?

Bike thieves?

So first of all, please show any proof that a BSU student or anyone involved with BSU is involved witht the thefts. Secondly, even if you're dumb as a Vandull, you should realize theives rarely dump their stolen merchandise in their own neighborhoods so it's more than likely nobody from BSU was involved. Third, please remind me which school it was that had several football players arrested for stealing numerous bicycles from the WSU campus. Yes, that would be Id-IAA-ho under Keith Gilbertson, who gave them all fierce punishments by suspending them FOR ONE PLAY! Yes, they sat the first play of the first game and then the common theives were allowed to play every down after that. You might want to be sure your own Vandud history is clean before making unproven accusations about Boise State.

How embarassing for U of I

I notice you Vandulls never mention that in the last four debate national championships, Boise State has won it twice and finished second twice. How can it be that a "junior college" fields a debate team that kicks the crap out of the "flagship" school with a law program? You must be mortified, losing academically to a juco as bad as you lose to them athletically.

Those were BOWL GAMES, for the piecemeal damaged


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.

debate team

The debate program is not listed as a top 100 is USNWR.

So did this national championship have other regional colleges like BSU at it?

It's plural

As in national championships. I'd hope it at least has other regional universities in it instead of a cowtown school like Idaho, whose influence ends at the Moosecow town limits.

most academically qualified?

not likely. And even if they were, BSU is so bad that 50% will drop out within two years.

Buzz off, we don't need any candy bars.


It you go online and yell FAQ YOU TOO

You are cut off at the well son.