The University of Idaho football program has undergone a lot of changes over the past couple of years. The Vandals became the first football program to voluntarily drop to the FCS level after the Sun Belt Conference revoked their associate membership on March 1, 2016. Now, Idaho football is in the news again after a pair of football players were charged with theft, according to the university’s athletic department.
Linebacker Christian Elliss and tight end Dalton Cash were arrested for stealing $100 worth of food from Walmart.
The university is aware of the charges and have already handed out punishment to the two players.
“We make it very clear that the actions of our student-athletes reflect on more than just themselves and when those actions are not in line with our program’s expectations there will be consequences,” head coach Paul Petrino said about the incident. “Christian and Dalton made a poor decision and they will both be suspended for the first game of the 2019 season.”
Vandal football players Christian Elliss (right) and Dalton Cash (left) pled not guilty to a count of misdemeanor theft Wednesday. The two, who are suspended from the first game of the 2019 season, were initially cited March 18. The Argonaut will continue to follow this story. pic.twitter.com/GeI3uycKur
— The Argonaut (@uiargonaut) April 3, 2019
Their absence from the opening game will be missed as the Vandals take on Big Ten heavyweight Penn State in Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions will be playing in their first game without record-setting quarterback Trace McSorley, but it is still a tough task for Idaho to knock off a team that should start the 2019 season in the top 25. Elliss is the son of defensive line coach and former All-Pro defensive tackle Luther Elliss.
The junior linebacker led the team in tackles in 2018 with 81 and had 13 tackles against SEC powerhouse Florida. Elliss is one of the best defensive players for the Vandals and his absence will be missed against Penn State. Cash was primarily used as a blocker in his freshman season, but he is a talented tight end at the FCS level. He was high school teammates with Oklahoma signee Spencer Rattler, so Cash has experience playing with good quarterbacks.
The loss of Elliss and Cash will be detrimental for the opening game of the season as they look to make a run for the FCS title in 2019.