Jame Madion write NCAA a letter aking for 9-0 Duke to be fully bowl eligible

James Madison is 9-0 and atop the Sun Belt East Division by two games. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)James Madison is continuing its push to be eligible for the postseason.

The Dukes are 9-0 and in control of the Sun Belt’s East Division at 6-0. However, JMU is ineligible to compete in the Sun Belt title game because its in its second year at the top level of college football. Tuesday morning, the school sent the NCAA a letter asking again for the governing body to allow the school to be fully eligible for the postseason.

In the letter, James Madison explicitly says the Dukes would have a chance to compete in a New Year’s Six bowl if it finished the season undefeated and was eligible for a bowl game.

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“The membership recognizes postseason participation as a fundamental element of the student-athlete experience,” the letter states. “If relief is provided, our student-athletes would potentially have the rare opportunity to participate in a prestigious New Year’s Six bowl contest. Our team includes cohorts of students who have been through COVID disruptions, missed out on earned opportunities last year, and face uncertain prospects for postseason play again this year despite their sustained excellence.”

The letter https://t.co/aQT4LgJP1Xpic./OlmQqlOFWk— Shane Mettlen (Shane_DNRSports) November 7, 2023Because it’s not eligible for the postseason, James Madison cannot be considered by the College Football Playoff selection committee for its weekly top 25. The highest-ranked Group of Five team in the committee’s rankings at the end of the season automatically qualifies for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

The letter can be considered a last-ditch effort by the school after its previous attempts to be eligible for the postseason in 2023 were denied. The school made the move from FCS to FBS before the 2022 season knowing that NCAA rules included postseason ineligibility for the first two years at the top level of college football.

After an 8-3 season in 2022, James Madison applied for a waiver to be eligible for a postseason game in 2023 during the spring. That waiver was denied by the NCAA. In October, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares — a James Madison graduate —

wrote the NCAA a letter pleading the school’s case.So far, the NCAA has been unmoved. And there’s a great chance James Madison will be going to a bowl game anyway, even if it’s banned from participating in the Sun Belt championship game.

With 41 bowl games set for the end of the season, it’s unlikely there will be 82 eligible teams with six or more wins to fill those bowl spots. If there are not enough teams with six wins at the end of the regular season, teams like James Madison and Jacksonville State are first up on the list to fill the empty bowl spots. Jacksonville State is in its first year at the top level of college football and is 7-3.

However, it’s clear from the letter that being a fill-in team in a lesser bowl game is not what James Madison wants.