The University of California desperately needs a really big favor from Grambling State in order to make a bowl game.
Cal is one of several schools in search of six regular season wins to become bowl-eligible to fill one of the 40 postseason spots.
The school has asked the NCAA Football Oversight Committee for a waiver that will allow it to count its 73-14 win over Grambling State on Sept. 5.
Here is the lowdown according to USA TODAY:
Grambling is a Football Championship Subdivision School, and Cal athletics spokesman Wes Mallette told USA TODAY Sports that the request was made because Grambling officials are trying to determine whether the school has awarded a sufficient amount of financial aid to football players for the game to count without a waiver.
Under NCAA rules, FBS schools generally can count one win against an FCS team per season toward the six needed for bowl eligibility. However, for the game to count without a waiver, the FCS school needs to have awarded — on average — at least 90% of the 63 scholarships allowed under FCS rules during a rolling two-years.
As it pertains to games played this season, according to NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn, FCS schools need to have met that benchmark over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
According to Grambling’s 2013-14 financial report to the NCAA — the most recent one available — the school awarded the equivalent of 52.55 football scholarships in 2013-14. However, that document covers only financial aid awarded by athletics department sources — not all forms of aid that can count toward the scholarship limit. In response to an inquiry from USA TODAY Sports, Grambling’s interim assistant athletic director Patricia Simmons said the school’s athletics department and financial aid office had determined the school awarded the equivalent of 56.44 football scholarships, including all countable aid, in 2014-15. That’s fractionally short of meeting the NCAA’s 90% requirement.
Reports indicate that Grambling is gathering compile information related to 2013 -14. The waiver filed by Cal can be approved only if a unique or catastrophic situation were were impact their FCS opponent. The USA TODAY cited Grambling’s 2013 boycott as a possible situation that would fit that criteria.
Cal (6-5) is scheduled to play Arizona State on Saturday.