Big changes today in Idaho collegiate athletics: Boise State's Olympic sports programs have found a new home in the Big West conference, and the University of Idaho's football program is about to go independent.
The presidents of the Big West are expected to approve Boise State's membership shortly after the new semester begins. Boise State President Bob Kustra has confirmed that Boise State and the Big East will compensate the Big West for the split-conference arrangements. The latter will be home to Boise State football beginning in 2013.
When Boise State made the leap from the Mountain West to the Big East conference, the Big East told Boise State officials that it was only interested in housing its football program, and the Mountain West had no desire to include Boise's other sports sans football. But apparently, after this final year with the Big West, Boise State football will head east and the university's Olympic sports programs will head west. Beginning in 2013, the Big West will include Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii and San Diego State.
Meanwhile, the Idaho State Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for Friday, when it will consider the University of Idaho's request to become an independent football program. It's non-football programs will join the Big Sky Athletic Conference.
To play as an independent football program, the U of I must have at least five home games and play a minimum of four games against NCAA Division I schools.