Scheduling Error Could Cost UVM Men's Basketball

Published 01/10 2014 05:06PM

Updated 01/10 2014 11:15PM

Burlington, VT -- The America East conference is looking into a possible violation of an NCAA bylaw by its basketball programs including the University of Vermont. Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett, whose conference has 3 teams that forfeited games to avoid a violation, believes a violation would result in a postseason ban.

NCAA bylaw states: "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."

Including their two exhibition games, the Catamounts have already played five games against non-Division I schools.

10/26 vs. Saint Michael's (Division III) Ex.
11/3 vs. Concordia (Canada) Ex.
11/30 vs. Sonoma State (Division II)
12/18 vs. UMass-Lowell (see below)
12/30 vs. Lyndon State (Division III)

UMass-Lowell is the newest member of the America East conference and a newcomer to Division I. During the transitional period, UMass-Lowell is not considered a Division I opponent. That means Vermont had 6 games scheduled against non-Division I schools during the 2013-2014 season. UMass-Lowell appears on the schedule twice.

UVM had no comment Friday; deferring to the following statement from the America East: 

"We are aware of the situation involving the Southland Conference programs and the NCAA bylaw restricting teams to playing no more than 4 non-Division I programs in a season and are looking into how they affect any of our programs." - America East Conference Office

Southland Commissioner Burnett directed the Oral Roberts and Stephen F. Austin men's teams and the Southeastern Louisiana women's team to forfeit games to avoid a 5th non-Division I game and a violation. Burnett told the Tulsa World newspaper that violators of the bylaw would be given restricted membership status and be ineligible for postseason championships effective the following year.

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