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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Trib: Spear resisted UI Big Sky move

MOSCOW - In late April, the University of Idaho made a landmark NCAA decision, dropping its football program from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and effectively ending a 22-year run at the highest level of college football.

UI president Chuck Staben formally announced the school's intention to join the Big Sky Conference in a news conference on April 28, more than a month after the Sun Belt Conference chose not to re-up with the Vandals.

The move was controversial. It was met with resistance. Many vehemently disagreed with Staben's vision. Others thought the president acted rashly in making a decision just 58 days after the Sun Belt showed UI the door - that he moved too swiftly without truly combing through the options, or allowing others to materialize.

The Big Sky gave Idaho until May 3 to accept an invitation, but it was widely thought to be more of a soft deadline than an ultimatum, and the league would grant an extension if requested.

Idaho's top athletic administrator was among those who believed the university's best move, for the time being, was to not make a move at all/Theo Lawson, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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