Southeastern Louisiana University’s women’s basketball team and Stephen F. Austin State University’s men’s squad will each forfeit an upcoming Southland Conference game in order to remain in compliance with NCAA rules related to not playing more than four non-Division I opponents in a season.
The Southland’s Executive Committee has reviewed the issues related to both teams’ schedules, and determined that Southeastern’s home women’s game against Abilene Christian on Jan. 11, and SFA’s home men’s game against Incarnate Word on Feb. 1, will be forfeited to avoid NCAA penalties.
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 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).
Southeastern Louisiana’s women’s team has played three non-Division I teams this season, an exhibition game against William Carey (Miss.), and regular-season contests vs. Mobile (Ala.) and Grand Canyon (Ariz.), a program that is transitioning into Division I but is not yet a countable Division I opponent. Stephen F. Austin men’s team has played three non-Division I teams this season, an exhibition game against Arkansas Tech, and regular-season games against Texas-Tyler and Elmhurst (Ill).
During the 2013-14 academic year, Abilene Christian and UIW are not Division I schedule-counters as the new Southland programs transition from Division II. All Southland teams have single games against ACU and UIW in 2013-14, and have had to adjust to the non-countable scheduling aspect of playing these teams. In 2014-15, ACU and UIW will be Division I schedule counters.
Southeastern will maintain its home women’s game vs. UIW Jan. 9. The forfeited game to ACU will be recorded in the Southland standings, be utilized as necessary in the seeding process for the 2014 Southland Women’s Basketball Tournament, and will be documented in the conference’s historical records. Stephen F. Austin’s men’s team will follow a similar path, keeping its scheduled home game with Abilene Christian Jan. 30, before the same effects of the forfeited UIW game will take place. The NCAA will not recognize the forfeits, but will instead view the cancelled games as no contests, thus preventing any violation.
Information for this story provided by Southland staff.