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NCAA Grants Schedule Waiver, Forfeited Games to be Played

The Southland Conference announced Thursday morning the NCAA granted a waiver that will allow previously forfeited games to be played. That includes the game between ACU and Oral Roberts Schedule for just a few hours later.
The Southland Conference announced Thursday morning the NCAA granted a waiver that will allow previously forfeited games to be played. That includes the game between ACU and Oral Roberts Schedule for just a few hours later.

The original issue was with some Southland Conference schools scheduling to many non-division I schedule counters this season, and putting them at risk of violating an NCAA Bylaw.

NCAA Bylaw 20.9.8.1 states: "An institution may schedule and play not more than four basketball games, including any contest (e.g., scrimmage, exhibition), in an academic year against institutions that are not members of Division I. (Revised: 3/1/12)" This language is also reinforced by Southland Operating Code 3.02.02 (Non-Division I Opponents).

That originally required the Southland Conference to force Oral Roberts to forfeit a men's basketball game against Abilene Christian on January 16th, and Southeastern Louisiana to forfeit a women's basketball game against ACU on January 11th.

Then a week ago the NCAA reached out to the Southland and other conferences regarding the Bylaw. They offered a waiver opportunity that would temporarily set aside the limits on the number of non-Division I teams that can be scheduled. The conference would take up the NCAA on it's offer and apply for the waiver.

On Thursday morning the SLR, part of the Division I Legislative Council, met at the NCAA Convention in San Diego, reviewed the request and issued the waiver.

"We are very pleased the NCAA staff and the SLR saw fit to review this issue, and that our student-athletes aren't harmed by the possibilities of forfeitures," Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett said in a release. "The Southland's Executive Committee has reviewed the outcome of the waiver request, and has rescinded its previous actions, and we are excited that all games we planned to cancel, or were canceled, will be played fully as scheduled or rescheduled."

The ACU versus Oral Roberts men's game scheduled for January 16th will now go on as scheduled. The ACU women's game against Southeastern Louisiana will be a little different since the date for the game has already passed, and the universities will now have to find another time to play the game before the regular season ends.
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