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The Idaho Vandals are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Idaho in Moscow. They are members of the Big Sky Conference in NCAA Division I, except for football, where they play in the FBS (formerly I-A) Sun Belt Conference. The football team was an independent for the 2013 season due to a major wave of departures from the WAC that left just two football-playing schools. In July 2014, Idaho returned its football team to the Sun Belt Conference and the other sports rejoined the Big Sky Conference.
The university's official colors are silver and gold, honoring the state's mining tradition. Because these metallic colors in tandem are not visually complementary for athletic uniforms, black and gold are the prevalent colors for the athletic teams, with an occasional use of silver, similar to Colorado, whose official colors are also silver and gold. When Idaho moved out of the Big Sky to the Big West in 1996, the yellow "Green Bay" gold was changed to metallic "Vegas" gold. Yellow gold and black were the colors used by the most of the varsity teams from 1978 to 1996, initiated by first-year head football coach Jerry Davitch's new uniforms for 1978. After nine years, Idaho left the Western Athletic Conference in July 2014, following a large defection of members to other conferences. (The WAC dropped football after the 2012 season, as only two members with football programs remained, Idaho and New Mexico State.) The Vandal football team was an independent for the 2013 season, and rejoined the Sun Belt Conference as an affiliate member in 2014. The other sports shifted back to the Big Sky Conference, rejoining after an 18-year absence. UI joined the WAC in July 2005, moving from the Big West, which it had joined in 1996 to move back to Division I-A after 18 years in I-AA. Because the Big West discontinued football after the 2000 season, the UI was a "football-only" affiliate member of the Sun Belt Conference for four seasons (2001–04).