The University of Maine men’s basketball team won’t have to forfeit a game after the NCAA granted a waiver Thursday absolving all Division I programs from penalties for playing more than four non-Division I games this season.
The ruling affects both Maine and fellow America East member Vermont, as well as Stephen F. Austin and Oral Roberts of the Southland Conference. Both America East and the Southland Conference have new league members in the process of transitioning to Division I, and games against those schools do not count as Division I games.
The Black Bears have played three games against non-Division I opponents — exhibitions against Canadian schools McGill and Laval and a regular-season game against Fisher, an NAIA school from Boston. Maine has two conference games remaining against UMass-Lowell, which is moving up from Division II to Division I. The River Hawks won’t have Division I status until next season.
Vermont has played five non-DI games, including one against UMass-Lowell, and might have been banned from postseason play without the waiver.
“We very much appreciate the NCAA staff’s efforts to expediate a review of this case,” America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen said in a statement.