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Southland Conference forces Stephen F. Austin to forfeit game

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Is this league on a roll or what?

Earlier on Wednesday we shared with you how the Southland has forced Oral Roberts to forfeit two games on its upcoming schedule due to an NCAA rule prohibiting teams from playing more than four games in one season against teams outside Division I.

The rule makes sense. The NCAA doesn't want its top-tier teams getting fat on a whole bunch of inferior competition, inflating their records in the process.

Now we're learning that Oral Roberts isn't the only program in this conference to unwittingly violate the rule. See, because Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian are both in this league, both in their first season, and both transitioning (technically) from D-II to D-I status, ORU and Stephen F. Austin did not anticipate (or know) they'd be violating NCAA rules.

So now Stephen F. Austin -- and we can guess what the "F" stands for today -- will lose a potential win on its slate. This move actually has real impact, since the Lumberjacks are 13-2 overall and perhaps the best team in the league. Now they'll lose one game they probably wouldn't have lost otherwise.

"SFA's home men's game against Incarnate Word on Feb. 1 will be forfeited to avoid NCAA penalties," according to the league's press release. "Stephen F. Austin men's team has played three non-Division I teams this season, an exhibition game against Arkansas Tech, and regular-season games against Texas-Tyler and Elmhurst (Ill). During the 2013-14 academic year, Abilene Christian and UIW are not Division I schedule-counters as the new Southland programs transition from Division II."

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