ABILENE – The ACU men's basketball team was scheduled to be off Thursday, winning a game via forfeit over Oral Roberts because of a scheduling discrepancy by ORU.
That led to other schools in the Southland Conference being forced to forfeit games for the same scheduling snafu, and when the Southland made the announcement about the forfeits, schools across the country found the same problems on their schedules.
And that has led to the NCAA considering a blanket waiver submission that would provide temporary relief from the scheduling requirements that caused the forfeitures in the first place.
And all that means is that the ACU men could be playing Oral Roberts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Moody Coliseum in Abilene. But final word from the NCAA sub-committee likely won't come down until Thursday morning, which leaves both teams in limbo as to whether or not the game will actually be played.
However, both teams and the game operations team at ACU are preparing as if the game will be played Thursday night. That means the women's game would start at 5:30 p.m. with the men's game starting 30 minutes following the conclusion of the women's game.
The Southland conference issued the following statement late Tuesday afternoon:
“The Southland Conference has been provided an opportunity by the NCAA to participate in a blanket waiver submission that provides temporary relief from the requirements of Bylaw 22.214.171.124. The Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief is considering the appeal at the NCAA Convention this week, and while the league does not know the outcome of the request, the Conference’s Executive Committee has authorized preparation to play all Thursday night men’s basketball games as originally scheduled, including the Oral Roberts at Abilene Christian contest. As it relates to other possible appeal outcomes and the Conference’s previous decisions on forfeiture, the Executive Committee awaits the subcommittee’s final review. The Conference will have no other comment until that occurs.”
The ACU women were also given a forfeit win over Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday, and will now have to await the NCAA's decision and then the decision of the Southland Conference before they know if they will have to return to Hammond, La., later this season and play the Lions.