The Sun Belt conference has made the decision not to keep Idaho in their conference. The Vandals will not be a member after the 2017 season for football.
New Mexico got the ax as well. Both institutions submitted their case to the league as to why their contracts should be renewed to allow them to stay in the conference.
The decision was supposed to be made by March 10th but was moved up to today. Idaho could have the opportunity to go independent or drop down to the FCS level.
“We will evaluate our options and as always athletics remain very important and we have and we want to show that our student athletes have a great experience and that our fans have a great experience and that we have stability for our programs so that we can move forward.” said University of Idaho President Chuck Staben.
With the Sun Belt dropping two of their members they will now have 10 football playing members. Idaho and New Mexico were the western most members of the league. With the exception of football Idaho competes in the Big Sky for all their other sports.
In the past three seasons the Vandals are 6 and 29 and just 5 and 18 in their two seasons in the Sun Belt conference. Idaho athletic director Rob Spear says they will be looking at many different options moving forward.
“We’re going to continue to do our due diligence and gather all the information so we can make the best possible decision. I don't think we really have one option preferred over another. We need again to do our due diligence. We certainly had expected this decision to be on March 10th, it's happened earlier and it allows us to start evaluating our options earlier.” said Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear.