January 10

Men’s basketball: Scheduling error could cost UMaine

The Black Bears may have to forfeit an upcoming game because of NCAA rules.

From staff reports

The University of Maine’s men’s basketball team may have to forfeit a game that has not been played yet because of an NCAA rule that limits the number of games a Division I program can play against non-Division I teams.

The NCAA allows Division I teams to play only four games against non-Division I competition, including exhibition games. The Black Bears (3-11) have already played three such games this season. Maine played exhibition games against Canadian universities McGill and Laval and a regular-season game against Fisher College, an NAIA school from Boston.

A game against UMaine-Presque Isle was postponed because of snow.

The problem arises with two scheduled games against the UMass-Lowell, an America East newcomer.

Maine has 14 games remaining, all in the conference. Because UMass-Lowell is making the transition from Division II to Division I, the River Hawks do not count this season as a Division I opponent. The River Hawks will have Division I status beginning in the 2014-15 season.

“The conference is looking into the status of UMass-Lowell as a Division I opponent on your schedule,” said Maine’s interim athletic director, Seth Woodcock.

“As they transition into a full Division I opponent, there was some miscommunication, a misinterpretation on if they’re a Division I program or not.”

Unless the NCAA issues a waiver, Maine would only be able to play one of its two games against UMass-Lowell and would have to forfeit the other one.

At least one other America East team, Vermont, faces a similar problem. The Catamounts have already played five non-DI games, including one against UMass-Lowell.

The UMaine women’s basketball team has played only two games against non-Division I opponents, the University of New Brunswick and Division III Southern Maine. The remaining two games against the River Hawks will give the women four non-Division I games this season.

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