The NCAA Division I Board Administration Committee has denied James Madison football’s second waiver request seeking full bowl eligibility for the 10-0 football team, according to ESPN.
Jacksonville State and Tarleton State were also reportedly denied full postseason eligibility. James Madison and Jacksonville State are both in the mandatory two-year transition period after they made the jump from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level to the highest level of college football, the FBS.
Tarleton State plays in the FCS after moving up from the Division II ranks. The Dukes are ranked in the latest AP Top 25 poll. School officials expressed disappointment over the NCAA’s latest rejection.
“We’re obviously disappointed in the outcome of the NCAA’s review of our request for bowl relief,” the university said in a statement Wednesday. “We’re saddened for our university community and, in particular, we’re devastated for our football program, the coaches and student-athletes who have orchestrated an amazing season and earned the opportunity.
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Earlier this month, school officials delivered a letter to the NCAA requesting full postseason eligibility. Copies of the letter posted to social media showed James Madison argued the Dukes would have a chance to play in a New Year’s Six bowl if the team finished with a 12-0 record.
“The membership recognizes postseason participation as a fundamental element of the student-athlete experience,” the letter stated.
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The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are the FBS bowl games that make up the New Year’s Six bowls. James Madison has not been included in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s weekly rankings since the team is not bowl eligible.
This week, the school said it will now shift its focus to its last home game of the season against Appalachian State.
“As we turn the page, we have an incredible week lined up with ‘College GameDay’ here and our final home game, so we’re 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 alum.
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 the bowls this year.
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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 bowl game fill-in candidate.