The SWAC announced today that all ten member schools will be allowed to compete in the conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournament at the Toyota Center in Houston March 11-15.

The announcement comes with the approval of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees after the SWAC submitted a request to amend the automatic qualification policy for the NCAA tournament.

“In response to a request from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees will allow the conference to amend its automatic qualification policy for the 2014 championships only.

The conference tournaments will still determine the automatic berths into both NCAA championships. The eligible team that advances furthest in the conference tournaments will receive the automatic berth to the NCAA championships. In the event of a tie (for example, all tournament-eligible teams are eliminated in the same round), the automatic berth will go to the highest-seeded team.

The process will be revisited when the men’s and women’s basketball committees meet in the summer.”

From the SWAC release:

The [SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors] voted in favor of lifting the postseason ban, for all SWAC Championship Sports, as the old policy inhibited the current student-athletes. To some extent, postseason penalties were based on budget issues that prevent league institutions from hiring personnel to support the athletic system.

USA Today reported that the presidents voted 8-2 in favor of the measure with Alabama State president Gwendolyn Boyd and Jackson State president Carolyn Meyers voting against it.

The measure now makes it possible for the Grambling, Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Southern men’s basketball teams to participate in the tournament, but they are still ineligible to compete in the NCAA tournament due to low APR scores.


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