The University of Idaho will drop its football program down to the FCS level, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reports.
Idaho officially announced the decision Thursday.
“I understand the magnitude of this decision and the strong opinions that surround it, both for and against, but joining the Big Sky Conference is the best possible course for our athletics program and for our university,” said president Chuck Staben.
“We have carefully weighed our options and concluded that competing as an independent with an extremely uncertain future conference affiliation would be irresponsible when we have the alternative of joining one of the most stable FCS conferences,” Staben added. “The Big Sky allows us to renew traditional rivalries and offers our athletes the opportunity to excel, just as they do in our other Big Sky sports programs.”
The Vandals will play two more years at the FBS level, making the move at the start of the 2018 season.
The Sun Belt Conference announced last month that it would not renew Idaho’s membership following the 2017 season. New Mexico State was also voted out of the conference.
The Vandals compete in the Big Sky Conference for all other sports.
Idaho went 4–8 in 2015.