There was a report out yesterday that the NCAA would be deciding soon on whether or not to waive an obscure rule that would force teams in smaller leagues to forfeit games.
In summation: Division I teams cannot play more than four non-Division I teams in a season. Transitional Division I members (Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, Grand Canyon and UMass-Lowell) count as non-Division I teams despite playing in Division I conference this season. This would have forced Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin, Vermont, Maine and others to forfeit league games without receiving a waiver.
Today, the ruling became official.
All NCAA teams would be receiving the waiver.
“Today, the NCAA’s Subcommittee for Legislative Relief formally approved a waiver that we submitted on the membership’s behalf absolving all Division I basketball programs, including Maine’s and Vermont’s men’s teams, from penalty for having more than four non-Division I opponents on their schedules,” America East commissioner America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen said in a statement. “We very much appreciate the NCAA staff’s efforts to expedite a review of this case and are extremely pleased with the decision, which we believe is fair and appropriate given the circumstances.”
The timing was, well, perfect?
A bit too late maybe be a better way to put it. Vermont has already played UMass-Lowell once this season, which was their fifth-game against a non-Division I opponent.
Oral Roberts, who already announced that they would be forced to forfeit Southland games against Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian, has ACU on their schedule on Thursday. Per a source, they traveled down to Abilene, TX, on Wednesday night with no idea whether or not they would actually be able to play the game.