The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday recommended the removal of normal requirements that teams must meet in order to become bowl eligible. This would apply only to the 2020-21 bowl season.
College football teams must complete the regular season with a record of .500 or better in order to be considered bowl eligible. The oversight committee is recommending that requirement be waived this season as scheduled have been shortened and some teams may be unable to play in the postseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A football team meeting the mandatory minimum Academic Progress Rate (APR) score will be the only determining factor in whether it is eligible for a bowl game this season, according to the committee's recommendations. The NCAA Division I Council will have the final as it needs to approve the recommendation next month.
"Providing a more flexible framework for the postseason in this unprecedented time will provide some certainty moving forward," West Virginia athletic director and Football Oversight Committee chair Shane Lyons said in a statement. "These are important postseason opportunities for our student-athletes, and this will help everyone to prepare."
Football Bowl Association executive director Nick Carparelli also signaled his approval for the measure in the NCAA's statement.
"The Football Bowl Association appreciates the efforts of the Division I Football Oversight Committee in recognizing the need for maximum flexibility this bowl season," Carparelli said.
There were still 41 bowl games scheduled for the end of the 2020 season as of last month, even when just 76 teams were scheduled to participate in the 2020 season. Even with the Pac-12 and Big Ten now scheduled to play this year, filling all the bowl games with .500 teams would have have likely been impossible.
Some teams with 5-7 records have been admitted to bowl games in the past, but they were chosen in order of who had the highest multi-year score in the APR. Likewise, programs that fall below a certain APR threshold can receive postseason bans. That rule would remain in place under Thursday's proposal.