Bellarmine has new angle in fight for NCAA postseason eligibility

Bellarmine wins ASUN Tournament
Bellarmine wins ASUN Tournament(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Bellarmine University is taking a new angle in it’s fight to shorten the the NCAA Division I transition period from four years to two years, at least for them.

In 2022, their second year in NCAA Division I, the Knights men’s basketball program won the ASUN Tournament title, but was not eligible for the automatic NCAA Tournament bid that came along with that championship. Not only were they not eligible for the NCAA Tournament, according to the NCAA, the Knights were not even eligible for the NIT. They did not participate in postseason play beyond the ASUN.

Now the school has filed a waiver with the organization, with a new argument.

“We have been a Division I institution in Division I lacrosse for 14 years, consequently, we’ve met a lot of the criteria along the way in terms of your academic support, your game management, your commitment,” Bellarmine men’s head basketball coach Scotty Davenport told WAVE Sports. “I mean, we’re not just year two completed. We did this on a Division I level in men’s lacrosse for 14 years, so we filed a waiver on behalf of just our institution because we are unique to other transitioning institutions cause we have a sport playing Division I, and you know, there is a process that will be convened in June, and we’re hopeful that there will be a decision rendered by or before the first week of August.”

That decision could make the Knights immediately eligible to compete in NCAA postseason play in all sports.

“It’s a game changer, not as much as it would have been a year ago obviously, but recruiting it’s huge, because people use that against you, that’s what happens,” Davenport said, “but first and foremost it’s a game changer for our current players and that’s who I put first, always have and always will.”

Davenport says that since the year 2000, 39 schools have transitioned to NCAA Division I, and that Bellarmine was the first to win the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.

As for his confidence in a rule change. “I’m proud of the efforts on our administrations part and the administration of our league,” he said. “I am totally confident they have done everything, exhausted every effort to try to make this happen.”

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