Ah, NCAA, you’ve accomplished it once more. You’ve stopped these evil youngsters from ruining everybody’s enjoyable and destroying the integrity of the sport! Let me test again on what these dangerous, dangerous Bellarmine had been doing once more…
Oh, proper, profitable their convention championship in one in every of their first seasons in Division I. The NCAA divisional switch rule, which delays postseason eligibility by 4 years from the date a faculty joins Division I, fails to current any significant objective apart from asserting energy. Sound acquainted?
Bellarmine, a small Catholic college in Louisville, KY, was a Division II powerhouse for years earlier than initiating their switch to Division I as a part of the ASUN convention in 2020, which incorporates colleges comparable to Jacksonville State, Jap Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, and Liberty College. In simply the second yr that the Knights had been a part of the convention, they received all of it, beating Jacksonville State 77-72 in a thriller final evening.
And so the automated convention bid for the Massive Dance goes to…(all collectively now) Jacksonville State! JSU received the common season convention title, and because of the NCAA clause that bans groups from making the NCAA Event of their first 4 years of Division I membership, they are going to play instead of Bellarmine regardless of shedding to ASUN match runner-up Jacksonville within the semifinals. Bellarmine should wait and see in the event that they get invited to a different postseason match just like the NIT, however the clause prevents them from getting a shot at March Insanity till 2025.
They’re the primary staff in 25 years to require that the division transition rule actually be utilized, highlighting the idiocy of the rule itself. It’s primarily fully irrelevant till it’s used to punish an up-and-coming staff for profitable just a few years too early. Whereas this clearly doesn’t take away from the Knights’ outstanding convention championship run, it does take an thrilling alternative away from followers and gamers who earned their approach there.
After their win yesterday, match MVP Dylan Penn said, “It’s form of surreal. It looks like we’re in a film. We weren’t alleged to be competing at such a excessive degree this early.” Nicely, appears just like the NCAA agrees with you there, Dylan. The scenario is unlucky, unjust, and total fairly silly, as there’s no actual motive that the Knights ought to get screwed out of their shot within the tourney. Faculty basketball followers throughout social media are elevating the decision to let Bellarmine have their day within the Dance, however everyone knows how the NCAA operates. Not a variety of optimism there.
And sure, they knew about this rule getting in, however that doesn’t make it any much less silly. The overall perception is that the rule is in place in order that Division II groups don’t soar up a division for just a few years with a very robust staff and destabilize the divisional system — reflective of the NCAA’s particular person switch rule, abolished in 2021, that required transferring athletes to take a seat out a yr. The change in that rule has successfully created free company in faculty sports activities, the deserves and detriments of that are nonetheless up for debate.
The divisional transition rule successfully prevents most present athletes on a staff that makes the soar from DII to DI from ever seeing the postseason, as 4 years should cross earlier than that turns into a chance. Most Division II groups take that a few years, if no more, to construct as much as a degree that might enable them to qualify for a match run — most, however not all, which is how Bellarmine now finds itself hoping to get the chance to win the title for 69th-best.