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Idaho to join Sun Belt for football

The Vandals play in their 2012 Homecoming game against New Mexico State, which could also go to the Sun Belt Conference. Photo courtesy of University of Idaho.

Idaho is joining the Sun Belt Conference as a football-only member.

The Idaho State Board of Education voted unanimously March 27 to allow Idaho to accept an invitation to join that league for the 2014 season.

Idaho had been a member of the Western Athletic Conference, which has lost most of its football-playing members.

The Vandals will play next season as an independent, but had been searching for a conference to join. During a short state board meeting, U of I officials said the move will help the help the budgets and stability for the football team and entire athletic department.

The team will be required to travel to four away games against foes in the Sun Belt Conference, which includes mostly teams from the southeastern U.S. Idaho will attempt to schedule more non-conference opponents against teams on the west coast to cut down on travel costs.

Idaho was a football-only member of the Sun Belt from 2001-2005, then joined the WAC.

Idaho’s other sports are moving to the Big Sky Conference.

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