Washington State linebackers coach Jeff Choate, a former Boise State assistant and Post Falls coach, had some strong comments today about Idaho's commitment to staying at the FBS level in a VarsityCdA.com article. We have the details below and Robb Akey's response after practice today — as well as other Vandal football-related notes.
Much has been made of Idaho's decision to become an FBS independent — for now — rather than drop down to the FCS. (Last week, I wrote a story about how difficult it's been for UI to fill its 2013 schedule, and how the fan base seems to be split on what the Vandals should do.)
Choate, who graduated from St. Maries High and coached at Post Falls, told Ryan Collingwood (@Varsity_CdA) that “it’s really not right what (Idaho) is doing to its players in letting them get beat so they can get a paycheck.”
His remarks came while answering a question about the state of high school football in North Idaho. Choate, who spent six seasons at BSU before joining MIke Leach's staff at WSU, said the Broncos “had a lot of conversations” about Idaho freshman quarterback Chad Chalich while he was at Coeur d'Alene High. BSU got another commit, he said, and decided to go in another direction.
Then Choate was quoted as saying: “When Idaho does what it should and play at the FCS level, I think Chalich will be an all-American player and Walter Payton Award candidate.”
Told of Choate's comments, Akey said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
“My initial response is just that coach Choate should just pay attention to his responsibilities at Washington State,” Akey said. “And feel free to print that.”
Akey is a former longtime WSU assistant. The Vandals and Cougars are scheduled to play next year for the first time since 2007, Akey's first year at Idaho.
The Vandals were in the Kibbie Dome this afternoon preparing to meet Wyoming on Saturday at home. Both teams are 0-3 and have lost to FCS teams without their starting QBs. Here's an update on the Vandals: