Like the 31 other coaches who vote in the coaches poll, Idaho State's Bill Evans recently cast his ballot for the preseason rankings, which were released on Thursday. But unlike his colleagues, he excluded schools implicated in the recruiting scandal engulfing the sport
"What really prompted me to do this is my son and I go over the poll," Evans told USA Today, which administers the poll. "He's 12, and we talk about [the poll] every week. I think I was sending him a little bit of a message, too. … I'm not throwing any of those schools under the bus. I did my poll early, about when those things came to light, and I told him, 'I'm not going to vote for those guys.'
Four of the teams teams made it in Thursday's-- No. 5 Arizona, No. 11 USC, No. 12 Miami and No. 16 Louisville.
"When I voted, I think maybe I was being 'rebel for a day,' And as I sit back and reflect, I wonder if that might not have been fair because I think it's not just these schools," Evans said.
Evans, who is entering his sixth season as the coach at Idaho State in the Big Sky Conference, says he simply can't relate to those coaches in the Power Five programs. And especially not those who have been charged in the pay-to-play scheme brought to light by the FBI.
"I don't live in their world," Evans said of those who have been named in the scandal. "I don't walk in their shoes. I live in my own little world, with about 275 other people at schools like mine. … That doesn't make it right. Now, no one has been convicted. But I know the challenges that they face are way different than the challenges that I face."