From SFA Athletics Office
FRISCO, TX - Stephen F. Austin will forfeit one upcoming Southland Conference men's basketball game in order to remain in compliance with NCAA rules related to not playing more than four non-Division I opponents in a season. The Southland's Executive Committee has reviewed the issue, and agrees with SFA's decision to forfeit the Feb. 1 game against Incarnate Word.
NCAA Bylaw 22.214.171.124 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 (Revised: 3/1/12)." This language is also reinforced by Southland Operating Code 3.02.02 (Non-Division I Opponents).
The forfeit will be recorded in the Southland standings, be utilized in the seeding process for the 2014 SLC men's basketball tournament, and will be documented in the conference historical records. The NCAA will not recognize the forfeit, but will instead view the canceled game as a no contest, thus preventing any violation. With the NCAA not recognizing the forfeit, the cancellation will not affect SFA's nation-leading 26-game active home court winning streak.
SFA's men's basketball team is one of three Southland schools that preemptively forfeited games to avoid NCAA sanctions, joining Oral Roberts' men's basketball team and Southeastern Louisiana's women's basketball team. The SFA women's game against Incarnate Word at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1st will be played as scheduled.
Official Statement from Robert Hill, SFA Director of Athletics:
"We mistakenly did not count the exhibition game as one of the four non-Division I games we are allowed to play. When the ORU issue was raised this week, we immediately realized that we also would exceed the four allowable games and notified the Southland Conference office. It is our responsibility to know the rules and we accept the penalty. There were plenty of eyes on our schedule and we did not catch it."