James Madison won't sue NCAA to receive bowl eligibility

November 22, 2023, 9:09 AM

James Madison will no longer pursue legal action against the NCAA for bowl eligibility, the school said in a statement Tuesday night.

Last week, the NCAA denied James Madison's request for a postseason waiver to be able to play in a bowl this season. Because the Dukes are in the second year of a transition from the FCS to FBS, they are not eligible for the postseason.

But following a 10-0 start and denial of that waiver, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares had threatened legal action, saying last week, "This injustice transcends athletics, and should not be allowed to stand."

James Madison lost to Appalachian State 26-23 on Saturday, ending its perfect season. In its statement Tuesday, the school said that loss "changed the landscape in terms of the nature and timing of our legal options, including the diminished viability of a lawsuit against the NCAA."

"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. "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."

James Madison does have a chance to play in a bowl game if there are not enough bowl-eligible teams to fill the 82 available spots. Entering the final week of the regular season, 70 teams -- including James Madison and Jacksonville State, which is also in its second FBS season -- have at least six wins, while another 24 teams have five wins and could become bowl-eligible with a victory.