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DI Council approves bowl certification moratorium

Current postseason bowls will continue during three-year period

The Division I Council voted Friday to place a three-year moratorium on certifying new postseason football bowl games. The moratorium is intended to give a working group examining postseason football, including bowl certification criteria, time to complete its work. Existing postseason bowls will continue to operate while the moratorium is in effect. New and existing bowls will have the opportunity to attract conference commitments for the 2020 bowl season.

Only Football Bowl Subdivision representatives voted on the moratorium, which was recommended by the working group and supported by the Division I Football Oversight Committee. There are now 40 bowl games, plus the College Football Playoff championship game, with 80 teams needed to fill every berth.

“The Football Oversight Committee believes that a moratorium on new bowls is an important step that will help the Postseason Football Bowl Games Ad Hoc Working Group focus on a future postseason model,” said Football Oversight Committee vice chair Vicky Chun, athletics director and vice president at Colgate University.

The working group, chaired by Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, was formed earlier this year in response to a shortage of bowl-eligible teams in the most recent bowl season.

In the fall, the Council’s FBS members voted to waive the deserving team criteria for the 2015-16 bowl season only. The waiver allowed teams with a 5-7 record and the highest multiyear Academic Progress Rates to be selected to participate in a bowl game. The moratorium is necessary to avoid moving further away from the deserving team criteria to fill team slots for the postseason.

Last week, Council members tabled a proposal that, through Aug. 1, 2020, would have allowed the team with the highest multiyear Academic Progress Rate in the Football Bowl Subdivision to be eligible to be selected for bowl participation when there are not enough bowl-eligible teams using existing criteria. The Council will revisit that proposal in June.

The NCAA does not manage bowl contracts, which are agreements between bowls and conferences. The Association does, however, certify bowl games and set criteria for eligible teams. The Council will receive an update from the working group during its June meeting.

The last moratorium was imposed by the Division I Board of Directors in 2011 and lasted for three years.