App State football’s request for a waiver from its NCAA-mandated football postseason ineligibility for 2014 was denied by the NCAA on Tuesday.
The Mountaineers are in their second of a two-year transition period from FCS to FBS competition. NCAA policy states that programs are not permitted to compete in postseason play during such a transition period, leaving App State ineligible for a bowl despite a 7-5 overall record and a third-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference.
App State requested the waiver on the basis that it has completed, or will complete in an appropriate time, all of the requirements for full FBS membership.
“We thank the NCAA for considering our request for a waiver and respect its decision to deny the request,” said Interim Director of Athletics Rick Beasley in a statement. “We felt like we owed it to our student-athletes to pursue any avenues available to try to reward them for a terrific season with the opportunity to compete in a bowl game.”
The Mountaineers stumbled out of the gate this season, starting 1-5. However, the squad rallied to win six straight games to close out the season and finished 6-2 in conference play.
Beasley said in his statement that the team’s absence in a bowl game does nothing to diminish the efforts of the team, thanking the past two senior classes in particular for paving the way for the future of the program.
Next season, the Mountaineers will be eligible for a bowl bid in their second season of FBS play.
“The last two senior classes may not have had the opportunity to participate in the postseason, but they built the foundation for a program that will compete for Sun Belt championships and bowl bids for years to come,” Beasley said in the statement. “We’re looking forward to 2015 when we’ll have 20 starters back to compete for a Sun Belt championship and a bowl bid.”
The team’s 20 returners are split evenly, 10 on offense and 10 on defense.
Story: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor