Virginia attorney general is threatening legal action against NCAA
HARRISONBURG, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The James Madison University Dukes are one of the few undefeated college football teams. Its success has earned the team a spot in the AP Top 25 poll, but remains absent from the College Football Playoff rankings because they aren't eligible for the postseason. Why?
"The rule pretty much is, the NCAA makes you wait two years in order to fully acclimate and transition to an FBS level," said CBS19 Sports Director Anne-Parker Coleman.
Coleman says the rule is set in stone for a reason.
"It's not bad. It's for the schools' own good to make sure that their facilities and resources are up to date with their new, higher level of competition," she said.
The Dukes are in their second year in the FBS, but their unexpected success suggests they would have been able to compete in a bowl game.
"They've had a tough schedule," Coleman says.
It’s a rule that is upsetting many Dukes fans and has drawn attention.
"I think it's dumb. It’s a dumb rule in general," said JMU alum Will Byrnes.
The school officials sent a letter to the NCAA asking to waive the second year. That request was denied.
A law firm engaged by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares on Wednesday sent a letter to the NCAA, obtained by ESPN, that threatens legal action if James Madison's "exclusion from bowl consideration in 2023" isn't reversed. The letter lays the groundwork for an antitrust lawsuit.
In a post on X, Miyares said, "The NCAA's arbitrary, anti-competitive decisions have a profoundly negative impact on student-athletes, JMU, the Commonwealth of Virginia, & collegiate athletics as a whole. When JMU approves, I'm ready to defend our student-athletes. Let the Dukes bowl!"
Byrnes says now is the time for the rule to be changed.
"I think we are going to be great again next year but you also never know if you're going to have another undefeated season. So, I think if we never have that again we need it now," he said.
According to ESPN, JMU officials have said "relief that allows our student-athletes to participate in a bowl game, as their play has earned, is warranted." The Dukes will be playing Appalachian State this Saturday.