Scott Sutton's Oral Roberts squad will be starting the Southland season at a disadvantage. (Peter G. Aiken/Getty)
Oral Roberts will lose two forthcoming Southland Conference basketball games. We know this because Oral Roberts has decided it, thanks to a rules snafu related to its schedule. The school unwittingly violated an NCAA rule regarding how many non-Division I teams a program may play in a year, leading to future forfeits against Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word.
Already this season, Oral Roberts played four games against non-Division I teams: exhibitions against Northwood (Texas) and Rogers State (Okla.) and then regular-season games against Cameron (Okla.) and Dallas Baptist.
Per NCAA bylaw 184.108.40.206, that's the maximum allowable for an academic year.
Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word, meanwhile, are transitioning from Division II and into the Southland Conference, but do not count as Division I programs for the 2013-14 season. Every Southland Conference school plays them this year, and every Southland Conference school was supposed to adjust their schedule accordingly.
Oral Roberts did not. As such, it forfeits the games. According to a release from the school, the forfeits will "be utilized in the seeding process for the 2014 Southland Men’s Basketball Tournament and will be documented in the conference historical records."
"When the 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule was created, we thought that exhibition games against non-Division I opponents were exempt from the four-game limit," the school's official statement read. "Our men’s basketball program put together its schedule for 2013-14. The schedule went through the standard athletic department approval process that includes several administrators, and unfortunately, the discrepancy was not discovered."