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Why is Oral Roberts forfeiting two games in Southland play?

Jan 8, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Shawn Glover

Oral Roberts caught a bad break in what will end up being their second and last season in the Southland Conference.

Due to a weird scheduling rule, the Golden Eagles will have to forfeit league games against Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word.

Here’s what happened: According to NCAA Bylaw 20.9.8.1, “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.” Oral Roberts has played regular season games against Cameron College and Dallas Baptist and exhibitions against Northwood and Rogers State. None of those four teams are Division I programs. That’s ORU’s maximum allotment.

But the issue is that Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian are transitional Division I programs, meaning they are technically members of Division I yet and count against that maximum of four games. As first-year members of the Southland, they only play against other league foes once, and the rest of the team’s in the league were supposed to adjust their schedule accordingly.

Oral Roberts didn’t.

“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,” the school said in a statement. “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.”

Oral Roberts will be leaving the Southland to head back to the Summit League after the season.

  1. jytlm - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    The sadder thing is that Oral Roberts had two other non-D1 games on the regular season schedule in the first place. D1 schools should be playing other D1 schools. I’m curious as to whether this season had more inter-division games than previous ones, because it seems like there’s been a lot so far.

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