NCAA says Georgia Southern can't play in a bowl

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) Georgia Southern's appeal for bowl eligibility has been denied by the NCAA, ending the Eagles' season.

Georgia Southern won the Sun Belt Conference championship with a perfect 8-0 record in league games. Because it was in its inaugural season in the FBS, Georgia Southern (9-3) was not eligible for a bowl bid. The school asked for a waiver on the rule.

Athletic director Tom Kleinlein says it was important the school take its argument ''to the highest level.'' Kleinlein says Georgia Southern's accomplishment this season was ''nothing short of extraordinary.''

The school announced Tuesday it will not submit another appeal.

Georgia Southern, a former longtime Division I-AA power, was only the third team to win a conference title in its first year in the FBS.

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