NCAA waiver could make Tech bowl eligible after cancellation of game

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NCAA waiver could make Tech bowl eligible after cancellation of game

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HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Georgia Tech defensive back Lawrence Austin (20) runs after he made an interception in the first half of the Georgia Tech home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 9, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

While hardly the most grave concern during a hurricane, some Georgia Tech fans may be wondering what the cancellation of Saturday's game between Georgia Tech and the University of Central Florida could mean for the Yellow Jackets' bowl eligibility.

NCAA rules regarding bowl eligibility do not address teams that can't play their full 12-game seasons. However,  Tech - or any team that ends up 5-6 and had a game cancelled because of Hurricane Irma's impact - could seek a waiver from the NCAA to grant eligibility.

Should the Jackets finish 5-6, "they could file a waiver and say, 'We were not able to play 12 games because of the storm,' and it's a committee decision," said Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association.

Tech requested and received a waiver from the NCAA in 2012 when the Jackets finished 6-7 after losing the ACC championship game to Florida State. Teams must finish .500 or better to be bowl eligible.

In the case of UCF, which has now lost two regular-season games, the Knights' bowl picture may not be as dire as might first appear. NCAA rules state that a team gains eligibility if it has as many wins against FBS opponents as losses, meaning that the Knights could be eligible at 5-5. NCAA rules allow teams to include one win over an FCS team that awards 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of scholarships. UCF is 1-0.

The Jackets are 1-1.

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