It costs nothing to be kind. The NCAA is gratuitously cruel.
Despite everything going on in college football right now, one of the most interesting stories has been about a team most fans don’t know about, or what’s happening to them. James Madison is 10-0 and currently ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press pollbut unless something drastic happens, there’s a chance you won’t see one of the best teams in the country play in one of the 983 million upcoming bowl games, because the people of Indianapolis are always fixated on the letter of the law when they must be focused on its spirit, or vice versa.
We never know what we will get from them.
“Requirements for members transferring to FBS are based on factors beyond athletic performance,” the Division I Board of Directors Administrative Committee said in a statement.
JMU is in the process of transitioning from an FCS program to the FBS level. Part of that includes being barred from participating in postseason play for two years — JMU has tried to reduce that to one. But, as usual, the NCAA goes NCAA and says:
“This is intended to ensure that schools properly evaluate their long-term sustainability in the subdivision. Sponsoring sports at this level requires increased scholarships, expanded athletic compliance efforts, and additional academic and mental health support for student-athletes, and the transition period is intended to give members time to adjust to those increased requirements to position student-athletes at those schools for long-term success.”
Because of their status, JMU cannot be in the College Football Playoffs rankings. However, they are ranked higher than programs like Notre Dame, Tennessee and Oklahoma State in the AP, which sounds like a school that is “properly evaluating their long-term sustainability in the subdivision.”
“We are obviously disappointed in the outcome of the NCAA’s review of our bowl relief request,” JMU said in a statementas ESPN College Gameday will broadcast from their campus on Saturday. “We are saddened for our university community and especially, we are devastated for our football program, the coaches and student-athletes who orchestrated a great season and earned the opportunity.”
Because of the NCAA’s inability to be human, JMU’s players will be affected the most. Revenue is not the only thing that bowl games bring in as exposure is also important as it helps with recruiting. It also gives teams more practice time, which helps with player development. The “swag bags” that the players get are the least important of bowl games, despite the absurd costs for which some of them are valued. According to s report from Front Office SportsThe NCAA limits the gifts players can get to make it to a bowl game to $950.
While we are in the midst of the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan and waiting to see what will happen in court on Friday to determine whether the courts will allow Jim Harbaugh to coach the final two games of the regular season before he returns for the postseason. , The cloud over the Wolverines and the Big Ten was the biggest story in college football. JMU could have been a positive in a year full of ups and downs. And it’s not like the bowl system is one built on purity and holiness, especially if you see any value in the rumors that the Peach Bowl had interest in Colorado earlier in the season — before the Buffaloes were exposed.
If enough FBS teams can’t win six games to meet the requirements needed for 82 programs to play in the 41 bowl games on the schedule, James Madison might have a chance to be selected. But if that’s the case, their postseason aspirations will be based on other teams losing everything because the NCAA is too focused on the rules to defend their victory.
The NCAA says they mission is to “provide a world-class athletics and academic experience for student-athletes that promotes lifelong wellness.” The NCAA decided to keep a team on a 13-game winning streak that the media thinks is the 18th best team in the country to play in their first bowl game in program history. That mission statement needs to be burned.