Utah Valley and Cal-State Bakersfield have accepted invitations to the Western Athletic Conference, the WAC announced this morning. The addition of the two schools is with the intention of preserving the WAC as a non-football playing conference, as the two schools do not sponsor football.
The two schools move the conference to six teams for non-football sports, joining Seattle, Denver, Idaho and New Mexico State (NMSU and Idaho have plans of taking football independent). Thanks to a two-year grace period, the WAC will still hold on to its automatic bid to NCAA Championship tournaments despite being below the required minimum of seven schools.
Despite conversations with the Big Sky, the University of Idaho will still most likely be one of those schools playing WAC olympic sports for the 2013-14 calendar. As of today Idaho has not withdrawn from the WAC, nor has the school stated intentions to withdraw from the WAC.
Jahrie Level catches a TD at El Camino CC (Courtesy of El Camino CC)
It’s been a week now since Idaho football kicked off fall pre-season practice. Since Thursday’s opening practice the team has gone through its first couple of practices in full pads, had a couple two-a-days and played the first of three scrimmages. The scrimmage took part last Saturday afternoon in the Kibbie Dome, and was the first chance that coaches had an opportunity to really evaluate the two quarterbacks competing for the starting job.
Statistically, Dominique Blackman had the edge throwing four touchdown passes and 181 yards on 16 completions out of 21 attempts. Taylor Davis was 6 for 14 with 75 yards. Reps between the two haven’t fluctuated much from the start of fall camp, though it would be hard not to think that Blackman hasn’t at least created some separation in the competition. There is a long way to go in the competition with Akey not likely to name a starter until after the third scrimmage on Aug. 16.
The real storyline from the scrimmage is more than just the two quarterbacks. The entire offense clicked with all five quarterbacks leading touchdown drives, with significant contributions at the skill position spots from Junior College transfers.
By Sean Kramer and Madison McCord
The University of Idaho family has lost one of its own.
The athletic department has confirmed that wide receiver Ken McRoyal has died in his home state of California late Saturday evening/early Sunday morning. The statement said that details of his death are not available.
“It’s a devastating loss,” coach Robb Akey said. “We’ve lost a brother, a teammate, a family member. But, more importantly, a momma lost her son today. All of our prayers go to the family – that they can be strong in their healing from this tragedy.”
The Seattle Seahawks have prolonged the career of Idaho inside linebacker Korey Toomer, after drafting Toomer with the 19th pick in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Although Toomer was the only Vandal drafted, four of his teammates have agreed to join four separate teams as free agents. Running back Princeton McCarty is set to join the Carolina Panthers, defensive tackle Michael Cosgrove will join the Detroit Lions, offensive tackle Tyrone Novikoff will join the Dallas Cowboys and another offensive tackle, Matt Cleveland, will join the Cleveland Browns.
After missing the first phone call from the Seahawks, Toomer, who doubted Seattle would draft a second linebacker, answered the phone on the second attempt.
“They asked me if I wanted to be a Seahawk and I said yes,” he said. “I was shocked. I didn’t think they were going to pick up another linebacker.”
The Idaho men’s basketball squad lost in heart-breaking fashion today in a first-round match-up against the Hawaii Warriors. Photos courtesy of Ilya Pinchuk
University of Idaho mens basketball coach Don Verlin, forward Kyle Barone and guard Landon Tatum talk about the team’s 73-64 victory over La. Tech on Feb. 11.