Conference Realignment: Super Depressing Statements From Idaho And The WAC

The WAC is on its last legs as a FBS conference. One of those legs is named Idaho, and the other is named New Mexico State. It is about to have no other legs, according to various reports. However, keep your head up, as the conference has issued a reassuring statement on the matter:

The Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors is well aware of the changing landscape in Division I athletics and has been in discussion about it for the last several weeks.

Further, it continues to evaluate the impact upon the WAC and is closely engaged in evaluating its membership options. It will not speculate relative to those options, but it has confidence that the WAC will maintain its more than 50-year history as a preeminent Division I conference.

Division I doesn't necessitate Division I-A, of course. The conference can survive, but it's hard to imagine how it can do so without dropping down a level.

Likewise, the Vandals issued a statement late Tuesday, in which the Spokane media market is touted. Everything about all of this just bums one out.

Conference realignment has been a major story in college athletics for several years now. A growing appetite for more funding and a steady flow of television and other media dollars feeding that appetite has resulted in conference alignments and realignments. That uncertainty continues today.

Over the past several weeks, President Nellis and director of athletics Rob Spear have worked actively to advocate for the University during this recent shift in conference realignment. We are disappointed in the recent changes that are driven not by tradition, academic quality, competitiveness, or the student experience, but by money.

Our student-athletes continue high rates of success on and off the field. The Vandals currently are atop the Western Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cup standings and have been rewarded often for their academic successes.

We believe our strong presence in the Northwest media markets is being overlooked during this crucial evaluation period. We are a presence in both the Spokane and Boise media markets, which extends our reach throughout the entire Inland Northwest.

As we anticipate future conference movement, we continue to believe strongly that athletes are students first and the experience for them and our fans is first and foremost. We will continue to work diligently to most strongly position the University of Idaho.

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