OFFICIAL: Idaho to pursue FBS independence in football

Published On: Aug 17 2012 09:15:30 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 18 2012 12:03:42 AM PDT
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MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho on Friday was granted permission by the State Board of Education to pursue independence in football and to assess where its non-football sports will play.

“I would like to thank the State Board of Education for their approval to explore the independent status,” Director of Athletics Rob Spear said. “We needed approval to move forward and enter into negotiations.”

Spear and University President M. Duane Nellis presented their case to the SBOE of education on Wednesday then answered final questions about their request during a teleconference Friday morning. The request was approved by a 5-1 vote.

“This strategy offers several positives related to game guarantees and BCS revenue,” Nellis said. “Our goals are straight forward: We want the best long-term solution for the University of Idaho, our students and all of our sports.”

The Vandals are looking for a football home as the Western Athletic Conference no longer will offer football beginning in the 2013 season. Spear and Nellis also are looking at the possibility of returning other sports to the Big Sky Conference. Spear expects to have a decision in the next three weeks.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes,” Spear said. “We need to make sure we secure those football games.”