I am getting tired of all the naysayers out there that say the University of Idaho football and athletics should move back to Division I-AA, also known as FCS. Idaho is in the right conference and the right division.
Has the football team struggled the last 10 years? Yes!
Has the basketball team struggled? Yes!
But there are signs of improvement in the football program. I think Rob Akey is the right person to lead the turnaround. He came in and had to deal with a disaster of a team, one that Dennis Erickson tore apart in one year.
Akey had to let go 18-20 players who were dealing drugs, stealing from teammates, and couldn’t handle the academics of college. They are now playing mostly freshman and sophomores. While they are getting experience, they are making mistakes and it is costing wins, but the future is quite bright.
There are signs are getting brighter for Idaho’s basketball program. They have a good coach who can guide them. I am also hearing that they are getting commits from some good recruits. Face it, the basketball program can only get better.
Now I am a person that thinks that Idaho needs to build an outdoor football stadium, but I wouldn’t get rid of the Dome. It is too heavily used by the student body for intramurals and workouts. It would also make a great practice area for various sports.
Having an outdoor stadium would add so much. Also when Idaho played their home games at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Idaho averaged higher attendance than the Kibbie Dome holds.
Basketball needs a new arena for basketball and volleyball. The Kibbie Dome does not cut it for those sports. The new arena could even be used for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival where good jazz gets lost in the vastness of the Dome.
I am a supporter of Vandal athletics and the University of Idaho as a whole. They are going through a transition in their athletic program, but the academic program is growing. The enrollment is up, they are getting more grants and research dollars (over $100 million since 2003), and is consistently rated as one of the best values in education.
The search for a new President is on and it will be nice to get that settled and the new person into the position.
Everyone just needs to be patient with the football and basketball programs. They will come around. The future is bright for the University of Idaho.