NCAA Confirms “No Contest” Ruling

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Just got off the phone with Jim Wright, director of statistics for the NCAA. He confirmed that the NCAA has ruled Sunday’s game between Mississippi State and Nicholls State, which was called off, goes down as a “no contest” and not, as MSU claimed, a forfeit. And it wasn’t the pictures of Dudy Noble Field that NSU sent to the NCAA that led to that ruling.

“It appears the field was playable. (But) there is no provision that would allow for anything but no contest, because there was no game official on hand.” Nicholls coach Chip Durham said that the umpires couldn’t make it from Birmingham, but even that was irrelevant. (See the below posts for further details.)

The only way the game could have been ruled a forfeit, according to Wright, was if the umpires were there, told the Colonels to take the field, and they refused. “Until a game official has assumed jurisdiction, there can’t be a forfeit,” Wright said.

Two rules come into play here. First is Rule 5-14-a: “There shall be no forfeit of a contest until the umpire or other appropriate contest official has assumed jurisdiction of the contest in accordance with the applicable playing rules.” There were no umps in Starkville. Then there is 5-14-b: “When a team does not appear (e.g., due to weather conditions, accidents, breakdown of vehicles, illness or catastrophic causes), a forfeit is not recorded.” The latter rule was originally inserted into the basketball rulebook about 30 years ago to address basketball teams who couldn’t make a game due to inclement weather. It now applies to all sports.

“The intent of this rule is to say if this game never took place, regardless of the circumstances, it’s a no contest,” said Wright.

Also, Wright said that this game will not factor into NCAA regionals selections, nor will it affect anyone’s RPI.

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4 Responses to “NCAA Confirms “No Contest” Ruling”

  1. markillas44 Says:

    case closed, next stop hawaii…glad that ‘drama’ is over with. any predictions for state in the SEC b-ball tourney? 1 and done is all we’re good for, bads as i hate to say it.

  2. db33 Says:

    Sounds to me like our NCAA compliance staff didn’t read the fine print. Cohen should’ve had the dogs take the field at game time and had our contest official declare Nicholls State a no show. Right Brad? If I’m reading that correctly, then it officially would’ve been a forfeit for failure to show up.

    I’m sure then the argument would’ve been a weather one, but by 1pm the sun had been out for hours. The field looked fine, and pictures AT GAME TIME would’ve shown that.

    The catch I guess is the umps not coming over from Bham. Is finding local backup umps even allowed? If so, then they could’ve declared it a forfeit at game time.

    The issue would seem to be Nicholls State leaving 2 1/2 hours early. They should be penalized for that. It wasn’t their call to make.

  3. db33 Says:

    Let me add that I read elsewhere that the umps in Birmingham WERE able to go and about to head that way when called by our people to let them know not to come.

    NSU claiming they couldn’t come is total BS.

    So, again, it looks like we should’ve had the umps come. Took the field. Then, the umps could’ve declared a forfeit at that time.

  4. Brad Locke Says:

    Charles Bloom from the SEC office told me that if backup umpires were going to be called in, they’d still have to be approved by the SEC and NCAA. “I don’t understand the accusation that they were getting high school officials,” he said. Bloom couldn’t confirm that the umpires were ready to come from Birmingham, but he said, “I have no doubt that they were.”

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