The University of California has requested a waiver from the NCAA that would allow its season-opening win over Grambling State to count toward bowl eligibility, after concerns surfaced that the Football Championship Subdivision school might not meet the requirements.
In question is whether Grambling meets the required scholarship standards to be counted toward a bowl game. FCS schools are allowed to give 63 scholarships and must meet at least 90 percent of that during a rolling two-year period in order to count as a win for Football Bowl Subdivision teams looking to reach the six-win standard for bowl eligibility.
USA Today first reported the story Tuesday afternoon.
Wes Mallette, Cal's associate athletic director for communications, told ESPN.com that he hopes to hear from Grambling on Wednesday and is confident that when the figures are added up, Grambling will reach 90 percent. Filing the waiver was "us doing our due diligence and covering our bases," Mallette said.
In a statement on behalf of Cal, Mallette said: "At this time, we have received assurances from Grambling and are fully confident that the program meets the NCAA requirements. We believe our game against Grambling will count toward bowl eligibility. We filed a waiver with the NCAA as a precaution in the very unlikely event that Grambling's calculations do not meet the NCAA requirements."
If Grambling's numbers fall short, the waiver would allow the win to still count if the FCS team in question has been affected by a "unique or catastrophic situation" during the two-year period, according to NCAA rules. In 2013, Grambling's football team boycotted practices and forfeited a game after the university's funding was severely cut. A member of Cal's athletic department, who was not at liberty to speak publicly about the situation, said Cal believes that should qualify as "unique or catastrophic."