Washington State assistant coach says Idaho needs to be an FCS team

Washington State linebackers coach Jeff Choate isn't making many friends out of Idaho fans.

During an interview with the website varsitycda.com, which is based out of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Choate, a former aide at Boise State, had some choice words for the Vandals.

"It's really not right what [Idaho] is doing to its players in letting them get beat so they can get a paycheck," he told the website.

Idaho is 0-3 this season and LSU beat the Vandals 63-14 last week to the tune of $925,000. That's a good chunk of change for a program that's going to find itself without a conference next summer and has declared its intention to go independent. However, the Vandals have had trouble filling out its 2013 schedule because it's not exactly the most threatening opponent available.

Choate was actually answering a question about the state of high school football in North Idaho and Idaho freshman quarterback Chad Chalich, who he'd looked at while a coach at Boise State.

"When Idaho does what it should and play at the FCS level," Choate said, "I think Chalich will be an All-American player and Walter Payton Award candidate."

The backhanded comment didn't sit well with Idaho coach Robb Akey, who before he heard Choate's comments had made a joke about the Vandals getting a nice paycheck from their beatdown by LSU.

"You've got to be kidding me," Akey said. "My initial response is just that coach Choate should just pay attention to his responsibilities at Washington State. And feel free to print that."

While it's not Choate's place to speak about the fate of Idaho, this is not a new debate. The Spokesman-Review wrote a story last week about the fan base being divided over whether the Vandals should become an FBC independent or play football at the FCS level.

Currently, the Vandals only have four opponents for the 2013 season.

"Back [in August] I thought we could get things finalized and firmed up," Idaho athletic director Rob Spear told the paper. "But there are so many moving parts with having to move games and getting the right dates freed up and then find people willing to play games. It's all over the map. It's something that some days I'm inches away from finalizing a schedule, yet I'm a mile away because of all the moving parts."

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