In order to remain in compliance with NCAA rules, ORU’s men’s basketball was supposed to forfeit two games on the Southland Conference schedule.
However, the NCAA granted a waiver, allowing ORU to play the games originally forfeited.
The two games that were in question are against Abilene Christian, scheduled Thursday, and against Incarnate Word, scheduled Saturday.
ORU made the trip to Abilene in case the NCAA ruled in their favor.
Tom Burnett, Commissioner of the Southland Conference, released this statement on 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. The Southland’s Executive Committee has reviewed the outcome of the waiver request, and has rescinded its previous actions, and we are excited that all games we planned to cancel, or were canceled, will be played fully as scheduled or rescheduled.”
According to the NCAA rulebook, a Division I team cannot play more than four non-Division I schools in one season. Exhibition games are included in the game count.
On the 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule, ORU scheduled six non-Division I schools: the two exhibition games against Northwood and Rogers State, and regular season games against Cameron and Dallas Baptist.
ORU’s athletic media relations originally released the following statement commenting on the forfeited games.
“When the 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule was created, we thought that exhibition games against non-Division I opponents were exempt from the four-game limit. Our men’s basketball program put together its schedule for 2013-14. The schedule went through the standard athletic department approval process that includes several administrators, and unfortunately, the discrepancy was not discovered.”
Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word are considered Division II schools because they are transitioning from Division II to Division I. Both schools were a member of the Lone Star Conference last year and made the jump to the Southland Conference last July.
The two games forfeited would have counted as no-contests by the NCAA but counted as losses in the standings for the Southland Conference.
The Golden Eagles weren’t the only team to have a problem with scheduling. Stephen F. Austin’s men’s basketball team and Southeastern Louisiana’s women’s basketball team also had to forfeit one game each. Both of those teams are included in the waiver.