Idahos options for remaining in a Football Bowl Subdivision conference are dwindling after the Sun Belt Conference ruled out adding the Vandals on Wednesday.
The Sun Belt added Texas-Arlington, which was slated to join the WAC, for 2013 and announced that its membership was satisfied with 12 members (10 for football).
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 or our priority list, said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson.
At this juncture, the Sun Belt shouldnt be considered a landing spot (for any school), whether its an FCS member or an existing FBS member.
Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear declined to comment. Earlier this month, Spear laid out four future options for Idahos athletic department with the WACs viability as a conference in question.
The league has just two football-playing members (Idaho and New Mexico State) for the 2013 season.
Those four options were: an all-sport membership in an FBS conference; a football membership in an FBS conference with other sports in another Division I league; FBS football independence with other sports in a Division I league; studying the feasibility and future of the Football Championship Subdivision.
There are 10 FBS conferences outside of the WAC. With the Mountain West and Sun Belt passing on the Vandals, there are few FBS league options that make geographic or competitive sense.
Benson, the former WAC commissioner, said he had conversations with Spear about the direction the Sun Belt was headed.
Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton has been public in his desire to land Idaho for his FCS conference. But Spear has been equally clear that his preference is to remain in the FBS.
WAC Interim Commissioner Jeff Hurd said the league is working to remain viable. The WACs Board of Directors will meet June 11 and 12 in Denver to review options for the league.
Were trying to move forward. Were trying to survive as a viable conference and maintain an FBS-level entity with he WAC. Were going to exhaust every possible option out there, Hurd said.
One option, floated by Benson on KTIK 93.1 FM, is the possibility of several Eastern FCS schools that are considering or have announced a move to the FBS Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, Liberty and Jacksonville State joining the WAC.
Hurd said he knows it is an uphill climb and that the league has some obstacles in its way.
With Texas-Arlingtons departure, the WAC has just five members in all sports (Boise State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Denver and Seattle). Boise State is exploring other conferences, including the Big West. Hurd said the Broncos have been up front with the league.
(Boise State) would like to see the WAC survive and maintain as a viable home for its non-football sports, Hurd said. At the same time, Boise State has to look out for itself and explore all the options available.
Æ Colorado State Athletic Director Jack Graham told the Fort Collins Coloradoan that he was part of the Mountain Wests recent effort to keep Boise State in the league. Graham said the Mountain West offered to share revenue based on performance rather than equally help Boise State generate more revenue from its football program as part of its attempt to keep the Broncos. Graham said Boise State declined the one-time offer after the Mountain Wests deadline for a decision had passed.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444