Thursday, the NCAA decided to waive its bowl-eligibility rule that allowed Georgia Tech to go to a bowl game, even after its loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Saturday.
The loss put the Yellow Jackets at 6-7. Before the waiver, the NCAA said you must win at least half of your games to play in a bowl game.
MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher immediately issued a statement with his disgust in the NCAA ruling.
“I am disappointed in the NCAA’s decision to issue a waiver,” he said. “I could not disagree more with the rationale provided. One of the reasons for the development of the policy covering this matter was to clearly create a selection order to manage just this situation.”
The MAC ended up sending all seven of its bowl eligible teams anyway.
“What is lacking is the willingness to enforce NCAA policy, and that is regrettable,” Steinbrecher said. “All the Mid-American Conference asks is that the rules that have been approved by the member institutions of the NCAA be enforced. That did not occur in this instance.”
Shortly after this news came out, CMU Athletics Director Dave Heeke sent a waiver to the NCAA to allow the Chippewas to get the extra bowl-game practices, even if they didn’t get invited.
“It’s obviously a huge benefit to add practices,” Heeke said. “It gets your team a chance to start over and coaches a shot to look at younger players and begin to develop them for the future.”
Obviously, with an invitation to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, it is no longer necessary.
“It’s very important to develop a football program,” Heeke said. “After multiple years of going to a bowl game, with all those extra practices, it’s like having another whole spring practice. It’s huge for us in our rebuilding stage.”
The Chippewas (6-6) will take on Western Kentucky (7-5) on Dec. 26 at Ford Field.