Despite finishing with a 9-3 record and winning the Sun Belt with a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play, Georgia Southern will not play in a bowl game this season.
Teams ordinarily only need six wins to be bowl eligible, but because the program is in its first season at the FBS level, the NCAA classifies GSU as a “transitional” team, making the Eagles ineligible for postseason – a rule that has been in place since 2002.
Despite multiple appeals to the NCAA by the school, its final appeal was denied on Tuesday, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today. Per Wolken, Georgia Southern initially requested a waiver to appear in a bowl game last week, but it was denied.
The school “was appealing on the grounds that its unique situation as a conference champion should merit special consideration for relief from rule.”
The NCAA evidently thought otherwise.
The decision was not unexpected from the school's standpoint. In October, when the team was 5-2, athletic director Tom Kleinlein said the possibility of the NCAA approving a waiver was "slim."
"There's always a possibility in terms of NCAA rules," Kleinlein said, per the Statesboro Herald. "Now, the possibility's a slim one."
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