This includes four schools currently ineligible based on the Academic Progress Reports, or APR’s
In the 2013 SWAC tournament, only 4 of 7 schools were eligible.
This season, all 10 schools will play–but there is a huge caveat:
With a report stemmed from USA Today, all 10 school presidents allowed Southern University, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State, and Grambling to play in the Houston tournament slated for March 11 to 15.
The NCAA also clarified what would happen if one of those four schools managed to win their conference tournament, but are clearly ineligible for the NCAA Tournament:
“The conference tournaments will still determine the automatic berths into both NCAA championships (men and women). The eligible team that advances furthest in the conference tournaments will receive the automatic berth to the NCAA championships. In the event of a tie (for example, all tournament-eligible teams are eliminated in the same round), the automatic berth will go to the highest-seeded team.”
Something that I will monitor as 13 conferences end their regular seasons on Saturday.
* FOOTNOTE: The ineligible schools all lost before reaching the semifinal round, thereby maintaining the conference’s overall integrity in the hopes that the grades improve over time. It will all come down to those students learning and learning well that could make their future dreams of reaching the NCAA’s a dream come true.