BATON ROUGE, La. — The NCAA has barred Southern University's winter sports teams, including the Jaguars' men's and women's basketball teams, from playing in the postseason as they continue to investigate issues with the school's academic eligibility paperwork.
Southern had been working for weeks to provide the needed documentation, but the NCAA said in a joint statement with the university that time has essentially run out for Southern to restore eligibility this season to its winter teams, including men and women's basketball squads.
"A significant amount of work must be completed before NCAA postseason eligibility for Southern's teams can be restored. Therefore, it is not feasible for Southern's winter sports to participate in post-season competition," the statement saud. "Both Southern's administration and the NCAA staff are now focused on assisting the institution with meeting its NCAA membership requirements in time for spring sports to be restored to post-season eligibility. Southern will exhaust every effort to comply in order to reverse the post season ban."
The men's basketball team (17-11, 13-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) and women's team (16-7, 13-2) had hopes of playing deep into their conference tournaments and perhaps beyond.
The problem stems from eligibility and retention data Southern submitted in December to the NCAA's Academic Performance Program. The data was found to be incomplete and inaccurate. Without it, Southern is unable to prove its teams meet minimum standards required in order to participate in postseason play.
"Our staff is committed to working with Southern on its data issues," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs. "We hope the result of this collaboration is a fully-functioning, robust system of tracking retention and eligibility on Southern's campus, to help student-athletes achieve academically and get the support they need to succeed."
Information from: WBRZ-TV, http://2theadvocate.com