Oral Roberts University will forfeit two upcoming Southland Conference men's basketball games in order to remain in compliance with NCAA rules related to not playing more than four non-Division I opponents in a season. The Southland's Executive Committee has reviewed the issue, and agrees with ORU's decision to forfeit the pair of upcoming league games, Jan. 16 at Abilene Christian and Jan. 18 at Incarnate Word.
NCAA Bylaw 188.8.131.52 states: "An institution may schedule and play not more than four basketball games, including any contest (e.g., scrimmage, exhibition), in an academic year against institutions that are not members of Division I (Revised: 3/1/12)." This language is also reinforced by Southland Operating Code 3.02.02 (Non-Division I Opponents).
ORU has played four non-Division I teams this season, exhibition games against Northwood (Texas) and Rogers State (Okla.), and then regular season games against Cameron (Okla.) and Dallas Baptist. During the 2013-14 academic year, Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word are not Division I schedule-counters as the new Southland programs transition from Division II. All Southland teams have single games against ACU and UIW in 2013-14, and have had to adjust to the non-countable scheduling aspect of playing these teams. In 2014-15, ACU and UIW will be Division I schedule counters.
The forfeits will be recorded in the Southland standings, be utilized in the seeding process for the 2014 Southland Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, and will be documented in the conference historical records. The NCAA will not recognize the forfeits, but will instead view the canceled games as no contests, thus preventing any violation.