James Madison v Appalachian State
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James Madison announced it will back off the threat of taking legal action against the NCAA in regards to its eligibility for the college football postseason. The NCAA denied JMU's pursuit of a bowl eligibility waiver last week as the Dukes stood at 10-0 and No. 18 in the AP Top 25 poll entering a home showdown with Appalachian State.

Following the denial, Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares suggested in a letter obtained by ESPN that James Madison was prepared to file a lawsuit claiming the bowl ban is in violation of antitrust of laws. Ultimately, JMU's heartbreaking 26-23 loss to Appalachian State diminished its chances of qualifying for a New Year's Six game, and the program's announcement cited the outcome in its rationale for standing down. 

"Based on consultation with and advice of our outside counsel, the loss to Appalachian State University on Saturday changed the landscape in terms of the nature and timing of our legal options, including the diminished viability of a lawsuit against the NCAA," the statement said.

James Madison is in Year 2 of of the NCAA-mandated FCS-to-FBS transition, which entails two years of postseason ineligibility. The Dukes are off to a strong start with an 18-4 mark (12-3 Sun Belt) over their first two seasons. They could still play in a bowl game, too, if there are not enough enough 6-6 teams to fill up the bowl spots.

However, making a New Year's Six game would have required JMU to be among teams listed in the College Football Playoff Rankings. As a transitioning program, the Dukes are ineligible for that status. Ultimately, the loss to Appalachian State likely made that issue a moot point.

"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," JMU's statement said. "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. This sentiment was shared by both the University and the Department of Athletics."