Category: Idaho Vandals

Dezmon Epps, Deone Bucannon
Associated Press

Video purportedly shows star WR, Idaho teammates stealing from campus store


It’s been a rough last couple of weeks for Paul Petrino.

In late August it was alleged that the Idaho head coach had to be physically restrained during a confrontation with a member of the media.  Last weekend, Petrino’s squad, which went 1-10 his first season with the program, opened up the 2015 season with a 45-28 home loss to Ohio.  Now, an off-field incident could very well call into question Petrino’s priorities.

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, video surveillance footage shows several Vandal football players allegedly stealing merchandise from an on-campus store Aug. 16.  The paper writes that “[t]he video, provided to The Spokesman-Review by Pullman radio station KQQQ, clarifies an Aug. 16 incident in which $285 worth of merchandise was stolen from the campus store during a time when the store was open only to members of the football team.”

The manager of the VandalStore declined to press charges because he claimed he could not recall the identities of the football players involved. However, the newspaper report states that cornerback Isaiah Taylor, who is reportedly no longer on the team, and wide receiver Dezmon Epps, who is on the team, are visible on the video and identifiable. It’s the presence of Epps in this situation that could prove problematic for Petrino.

In April of last year, Epps was charged with driving under the influence but remained on the team. Three months later, he was charged with stealing less than $40 worth of goods from another local store and was dismissed by Petrino. He was subsequently reinstated before the start of spring practice this year… but had also served two days in jail for driving a vehicle without an interlock device as required by the terms of his drunk-driving probation. Add in the alleged August theft, and that’s four issues in less than a year and a half, which makes one wonder what the reason is for Epps remaining a part of Petrino’s program.

Well, Epps’ 79 receptions for 980 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 were easily tops on the team. And then Epps led the team with 15 receptions for 160 yards in the 2015 opener.

Reasons enough, I guess.

To Petrino’s “credit,” he did subsequently suspend Epps for this Saturday’s game against USC.  That suspension, though, only came about after the report from the Spokesman-Review began circulating.

Could Sun Belt futures of Idaho, New Mexico State be in doubt?


Have you or anyone you know ever had one of those moments where you say something out loud during a conference call thinking your line is on mute – only it’s not? Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson may be fighting that feeling right now.

In a conference call heralding the addition of Coastal Carolina, Benson acknowledged far west members Idaho and New Mexico State could be on the chopping block.





In his defense, Benson only acknowledged the obvious. Considering the Big 12 and ACC-led legislation allowing leagues to hold title games outside the 12-plus team, two-division structure should pass before Coastal Carolina joins the conference in 2017, adding a 12th team for the sake of holding a conference championship game makes about as much sense as…. having your conference footprint spread from Moscow, Idaho to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

That’s not to say the Vandals and Aggies should go packing their bags, however.


Still, chalk that decision up to a commissioner throwing cold water on a line of questioning that he himself opened.

Sun Belt confirms Coastal Carolina’s addition in 2017


Yesterday’s report has officially become today’s come-to-fruition news.

In a press release, the Sun Belt announced that Coastal Carolina has accepted an invitation to join the conference.  The Chanticleers will join the league for football in 2017, while they move all of their other varsity sports in a year earlier for the 2016-17 season.

Currently playing at the FCS level, CCU will begin a transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision with its first year of full FBS status coming in 2018. While they will be eligible to compete for an SBC title in 2017, they won’t be eligible for a bowl game until 2018.

“On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” CCU president David A. DeCenzo said in a statement. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”

The official addition of CCU will give the SBC 12 members beginning in 2017, triggering a conference championship game. The conference will be split geographically into two divisions.

Further, the addition makes for a natural geographic split between East and West to allow for certain sports to compete in a divisional format. The six members that are located in the eastern half of the Sun Belt are: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, and Troy. The six members in the western half are: Arkansas State, Little Rock, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, UT Arlington, and Texas State. Idaho and New Mexico State compete in the Sun Belt Conference as football only members. CCU’s location makes for a natural geographical fit to the Sun Belt as it borders both North Carolina, home of Appalachian State, and Georgia, home to both Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

“This is a great day for the Sun Belt Conference as we are very proud to have Coastal Carolina University join our membership,” the commissioner said in his statement. “The Sun Belt is a growing conference with a bright future and Coastal Carolina makes a perfect fit as it too has seen a tremendous amount of growth and has all the tools necessary to move forward at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Under the leadership of President David A. DeCenzo and Athletics Director Matt Hogue, I expect the Chanticleers to be competitive in all Sun Belt sports and to represent the conference in a first-class manner on and off the field.”

(Graphic credit: Sun Belt Conference)