A temporary waiver to absolve the University of Vermont men’s basketball team, as well as other programs across the country, of a schedule issue is expected to be approved by the NCAA later this week, the Burlington Free Press learned.
The America East conference filed the waiver after the reports of Southland Conference teams forfeiting games to avoid violations of NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52, which limits the number of non-Division I teams that men’s basketball teams can play in a given year. The rule includes institutions transitioning to Division I, which meant some conference games in the Southland, WAC, and America East fell under the limit.
Given how widespread this issue is, the NCAA should do a couple of things to address this once and for all:
- Issue a blanket waiver for this year, so no other waivers have to be requested, especially since it appears these waivers are routinely approved.
- Publish an interpretation and/or Educational Column which explains in detail the application of Bylaw 184.108.40.206.
- Decide either that this is the last year for exceptions and announce that in the blanket waiver, interp, or Ed Column, or work to change the legislation so that games against institutions transitioning to DI no longer fall under the rule.