James Madison Ends Pursuit of Legal Action Against NCAA for Bowl Eligibility

James Madison University announced on Tuesday night that it will no longer be pursuing legal action against the NCAA regarding its bowl eligibility. This decision comes after the NCAA denied James Madison’s request for a postseason waiver, which would have allowed the team to participate in a bowl game this season. As the Dukes are currently in the midst of transitioning from FCS to FBS, they are deemed ineligible for postseason play. The frustration resulting from the denial of the waiver had initially prompted Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares to threaten legal action against the NCAA.

James Madison’s hopes of a perfect season came to an end with a narrow 26-23 defeat against Appalachian State last Saturday. The loss changed the dynamics surrounding the potential legal options available to the university. In their statement, James Madison University acknowledged that the nature and timing of their legal recourse had been significantly altered by this defeat. As a result, they concluded that filing emergency legal action against the NCAA was not a feasible course of action at this juncture.

The university expressed its immediate focus on securing a bowl invitation for their football team. Despite abandoning the pursuit of legal action, James Madison still has a strong chance of being selected for a bowl game. If there are not enough eligible teams to fill the 82 available spots, James Madison and Jacksonville State, which is also in its second FBS season, could potentially participate in a bowl game. Currently, 70 teams have achieved at least six wins, while an additional 24 teams have secured five wins and could attain bowl eligibility with a victory in their final regular-season game.

While the decision to forgo legal action against the NCAA has been made, James Madison University has not completely ruled out the possibility of taking legal recourse if necessary to obtain a bowl invitation. The university may revisit the idea of filing a lawsuit against the NCAA in the future. However, for the time being, there is a general consensus among the university’s administration, Attorney General Miyares, and external counsel that proceeding with legal action does not appear to be a logical step.

James Madison University’s pursuit of legal action against the NCAA for bowl eligibility has come to an end. The denial of their postseason waiver and the subsequent defeat against Appalachian State have led to a reevaluation of their options. The university is now fully focused on securing a bowl invitation for their football team. Despite the initial disappointment, there remains hope for James Madison to participate in a bowl game if there are not enough eligible teams. While legal action against the NCAA has been abandoned for now, the possibility of revisiting that course of action in the future has not been entirely ruled out.


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