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James Madison no longer pursuing legal action for bowl eligibility


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James Madison looks like it will be accepting its bowl ban.

Days after losing their unbeaten record to Appalachian State on Saturday, the school announced on Tuesday that it will not be suing the NCAA regarding their current bowl ineligibility.

The school has sought waiver approval, which would grant full bowl eligibility. But those requests have been denied.


Jordan McCloud throws a pass

James Madison quarterback Jordan McCloud (2) throws a pass against Utah State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Logan, Utah.  (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)

The Dukes are currently in the mandatory two-year transition period after making the jump from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level to the highest level of college football, the FBS. 

“On Saturday evening, following the game, we consulted with Attorney General Miyares and his staff, as well as with our outside counsel, and the consensus was that filing emergency legal action against the NCAA was not a viable course of action at this point in time,” the school said in a statement. 

“The University’s focus now is on getting the football team into a bowl game, and it appears that such a result is still a strong possibility. We could still file an action against the NCAA later if needed to receive a bowl invitation, but for the time being, there was a strong consensus that proceeding with legal action did not make sense.”

Curt Cignetti in 2022

Head coach Curt Cignetti of the James Madison Dukes stands with his team during a first quarter timeout against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Boone, North Carolina. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)


James Madison could be selected for a bowl game if not enough teams qualify to play in one — teams must win six games in order to be bowl eligible, and the Dukes are 10-1.

Last month, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares wrote the NCAA a letter pleading the school’s case. He also hired a law firm that is arguing for JMU’s inclusion in bowl consideration based on the Dukes’ record, national ranking and success in its two-year process of reclassifying from the FCS to the FBS.

Miyares is a James Madison alum.

Kaelon Black runs the ball

James Madison running back Kaelon Black, right, carries the ball as Utah State safety Ike Larsen defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Logan, Utah.  (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)


James Madison has not been included in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s weekly rankings since the team is not bowl eligible. The team is also not allowed to play in the conference championship.

Fox News’ Chantz Martin contributed to this report.

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