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Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

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Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

Thought I should post this article here as well. It's a good article by the Sun-Sentinel detailing what has been discussed at the NCAA meetings. So far it's looking good that we will be able to continue our move to I-A without having to repeat the first year of the transition phase. Here's the article:


Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted January 10 2005

GRAPEVINE, Texas – With a decision affecting the fate of Florida Atlantic's move to Division I-A football expected today, indications are that the Owls' journey may be easier than expected.

On Sunday the NCAA Division I Management Council approved FAU's strategic plan, a vote that clears the way for FAU and Florida International – also in the process of moving from I-AA to I-A – to move into the second and final year of the transition.

That followed the recommendation made Friday by the D-I Membership Subcommittee that reviewed the plans submitted by FAU and FIU.

"Both schools had solid plans and good things in place that we feel will get them to the I-A level," said Helen Grant, a member of the subcommittee and Management Council.

"I think we were optimistic that things would fall in place," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said at the NCAA's 99th annual convention, which concludes today.

There is a possibility the Management Council's decision will be complicated today by the D-I board of directors, which has the final say over all legislation.

The stumbling block for FAU and FIU is the new rule that requires I-A teams to average 15,000 in turnstile attendance at home games.

The Owls and Golden Panthers fell short of that this season, along with six existing I-A teams.

The attendance rule has generated controversy, and the board has been reviewing it and today could rescind it, weaken it, retain it or delay action until April.

Before the convention, NCAA officials said FAU and FIU might have to repeat the first year of the transition because they failed to meet the attendance mark.

That could have jeopardized their plan to join the Sun Belt Conference next season and also created problems for next season's schedule, since they would not be considered I-A teams.

But that initial stance has softened at the convention. "They are not trying to kick people out," said Steve Mallonee, the NCAA's managing director of membership services.

Mallonee said the worst-case scenario is that FAU and FIU would not be allowed to move forward if the attendance rule is upheld.

"But there is a waiver process, and I think if they can show they are making progress, they would not have to repeat," Mallonee said.

Waivers would also keep FAU's schedule intact, Mallonee said.

"That's the sense I am getting," said FIU Athletic Director Rick Mello, who has been monitoring the convention from Miami, "but nothing is concrete until it's official."

Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters is also getting reports from the convention at his office in New Orleans.

"We're encouraged by what has happened," he said.

The Sun Belt lost three teams to the WAC after the season and needs FAU and FIU to make the transition to I-A successfully to stay at the NCAA-mandated minimum of eight members for I-A conferences.

But separate legislation has added an insurance policy of sorts for the Sun Belt in case FAU and FIU are held back.

The Management Council approved a two-year grace period Sunday that allows conferences that do not have eight full D-I members to maintain their I-A status.

Sunday's votes by the Management Council are the first of the two required before it goes to the board for final action.

The council will meet in April to take a second vote, with those that survive going before the board for final approval.

In other action Sunday, the Management Council:

Approved adding a 12th football game beginning in 2006. Up until now the limit was 11, with a 12th game allowed occasionally.

The added game will increase revenue for teams, like Florida, that can fill the stands. Angelos said it could also boost FAU's bottom line since the Owls could add another money game on the road.

Tabled a provision that would have allowed a one-time transfer exception for I-A basketball and football athletes without having to sit out a season.

Opponents said it would create a kind of free-agency system.

Approved reducing the number of campus visits a prospective I-A football recruit can make from five to four.

Panthers on the Rise
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Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

Thanks Maxx. We both may get through this thing after all. Like the one memeber stated..they are not in the business of kicking people out. From an FAU standpoint, look at FAU's progress over the past year and see that the attendance has more than doubled! That in itself shows that we are committed to reaching the goal. This season should be even better.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that some big money school's member, have an off day and don't argue too hard.
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Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

I just hope they reach a definitive answer on this issue today and it is in our favor. I don't want them to drag this out until April or worse yet, screw us out of another year.

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Outlook better for FAU and FIU shift to I-A

Hopefully, worse case will be a waiver for this year which should give us another year to get attendance up. Lets hope for good news.
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