April 26, 2018

Southern Miss unconcerned with Florida State's eligibility questions, players sitting out

23 December 2017, 12:18 | Darrell Baldwin

FSU Football: Willie Taggart looking for 'right fit' on and off the field

Florida State starters Braian Angola, Phil Cofer and Terance Mann watch as Travis Light takes a shot late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Southern Mississippi in Tallahassee Fla. Thursday Dec. 21 2017

The 6-6 Florida State Seminoles are now preparing to face Southern Mississippi in the Independence Bowl on December 27th, but very detailed report posted on Reddit questions whether Florida State is officially bowl eligible, just days before the game. Or did it? The bowl game is still on but even that has come with a catch. This would typically make the Seminoles fully eligible for a bowl, but Reddit reports that the victory over Delaware State shouldn't be counted to toward their six wins because the program fell short of rewarding 90 percent of the FCS scholarship limit.

Delaware State, which lost 77-6 at Florida State on November 18, was about two players short of meeting the minimum, according to the post. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he did not want his real-life details connected with his online identity. For a win over an FCS team to be countable toward bowl eligibility, that school has to have awarded at least 90 percent of potential scholarships to players. And what a remarkable return it was as Bill Clark's squad won eight games in the regular season, already the most in the program's history - topping the old standard of seven set in 2004 - and finished second in the Conference USA's West division. OH has made its hay this season on the ground, finishing the regular season 17th in the country in rushing yards per game at just over 244; UAB, conversely, was slightly below average in giving up 169.8 ypg (71st out of 130 FBS teams).

Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen said when he was AD at FCS power Northern Iowa that requirement was in every contract it had with an FBS school.

"They trusted the numbers we gave them", Dannen said.

"This is a good example of you can't assume compliance", he said. That committee no longer exists after NCAA restructuring, but there is still a waiver process.

What has already been a unusual December for Florida State got a little weirder on Thursday.

"We're still going to focus on our job and get our job done [with] no hard feelings or anything".

Florida State should have been deemed ineligible based on the scholarship status of their FCS opponent this season.

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