The NCAA Division I Board of Directors Committee denied James Madison’s soccer ball second waiver request seeking full bowl eligibility for the 10-0 football team, according to ESPN.
Jacksonville State and Tarleton State would also have been denied full playoff eligibility. James Madison and Jacksonville State are both in the mandatory two-year transition period after taking the plunge. the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level at the highest level of college football, the FBS.
Tarleton State plays in the FCS after moving up through the Division II ranks. The Dukes are ranked in the latest AP Top 25 poll. School officials expressed disappointment with the NCAA’s latest rejection.
“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome of the NCAA’s review of our request for bowl relief,” the university said in a statement Wednesday. “We are saddened for our university community and, in particular, we are devastated for our football program, the coaches and the student-athletes who orchestrated an incredible season and deserved this opportunity.
Earlier this month, school officials delivered a letter to the NCAA requesting full playoff eligibility. Copies of the letter posted on social media showed James Madison saying the Dukes would have a chance to play in a New Year’s Six tournament if the team finished with a 12-0 record.
“Members recognize participation in the postseason as a fundamental part of the student-athlete experience,” the letter states.
The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are the FBS bowl games that make up the six New Year’s bowls. James Madison was not included in the College Football Playoffs weekly rankings from the selection committee since the team is not eligible for the bowl.
This week, the school announced that it will now focus on its final home game of the season against Appalachian State.
“As we turn the page, we have an incredible week ahead with College GameDay here and our final home game, so we are focused on maximizing these moments for our university and celebrating our senior class.”
The Dukes close out the regular season on the road in a matchup against Coastal Carolina.
The Dukes finished last season with an 8-3 record. Last month, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares wrote the NCAA a letter pleading the school’s case. Miyares is a James Madison alumnus.
Teams must win six games to become bowl eligible. There are 41 bowl games scheduled for the end of the season for 82 teams. But there will likely be a shortage of teams with enough wins to qualify for all bowls this year.
If there are bowl game vacancies, James Madison will likely be one of the schools at the top of the list to fill an empty spot. Jacksonville State could also be a backup candidate for a bowl game.