Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear declined comment to Vandal Nation Monday on rumors of WAC schools looking to leave the conference.
In the last week, news has surfaced of impending defections of Utah State and San Jose State to the Mountain West. In addition to those two schools leaving the conference, speculation is that Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio will leave the WAC for Conference USA after the 2012 season. The moves would be effective for the 2013-14 academic year.
Reports also surfaced Monday speculating that Texas State and Texas-Arlington will be joining the Sun Belt in 2013-14. Texas State and Texas-San Antonio are slated to join the WAC in 2012-13 in all sports, with Texas-Arlington, Seattle University and the University of Denver joining the conference as non-football playing schools.
If the speculation turns out to be true, Idaho will be one of only two football playing schools left in the WAC for the 2013-14 season, along with New Mexico State, and one of only four schools in olympic sports.
Needless to say, if things stay as they are now with rumored speculation, the WAC will cease to exist, leaving Idaho and New Mexico State in limbo as FBS programs.
Both Idaho and New Mexico State joined the WAC in 2005 from the Sun Belt conference – Now re-joining the Sun Belt may now be both programs’ only hope of staying afloat in the FBS. The Sun Belt is said to be losing North Texas and Florida International to Conference USA, which could open up spots for the two remaining WAC programs.
Coincidentally enough, the Sun Belt commissioner is none other than former WAC commissioner Karl Benson, who ushered the Vandals and Aggies in to the WAC in the first place.
Rob Spear was out of the office Monday for meetings when contacted by Vandal Nation for comment. He said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on speculation unless made concrete and official.
We will have more information as it comes out.