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Tue., May 1, 2012, 6:17 p.m.

UI remarks on conference changes

It's been a wild past few days for conference realignment. All signs point to the WAC losing Utah State, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and soon-to-be members Texas State and Texas-San Antonio. That would leave just Idaho and New Mexico State as football-playing members.

In response, UI released a statement this evening in which it said it was "disappointed in the recent changes that are driven not by tradition, academic quality, competitiveness, or the student experience, but by money." 

Read on for the full statement.


Here's the full statement. Earlier athletic director Rob Spear said he wouldn't comment until the moves were official.


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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