NCAA
Graham Hays, espnW.com 258d

Use of improper basketballs to affect CAA tourney seeding

Women's College Basketball, William & Mary Tribe, Charleston Cougars, UNC Wilmington Seahawks

The Colonial Athletic Association on Thursday reversed the outcome of two women's basketball games involving the College of Charleston because of the school's use of improper basketballs.

However, the reversals apply only to seeding for the conference tournament. The CAA said this is because according to the NCAA, the situation did not meet the criteria necessary for an official forfeit or no contest.

Under a forfeit, the score would have been recorded as 2-0 and all statistics would have been voided.

The results affected are the College of Charleston's 70-60 win against William & Mary on Jan. 6 and 76-37 win against UNC-Wilmington on Jan. 8.

The CAA confirmed that the specific violation was "improperly sized" basketballs but would not confirm that meant men's basketballs were used in place of women's basketballs. Section 16, Article 8 of the NCAA rules for women's basketball equipment states that the circumference of the basketball "shall be within a maximum of 29 inches and a minimum of 28½ inches." Article 9 states that "the weight of the ball shall not be less than 18 ounces or more than 20 ounces."

The specifications in the men's basketball rulebook are a maximum of 30 inches and a minimum of 29½ inches for circumference and between 20 and 22 ounces for weight.

Basketballs for all NCAA games are supplied by the home team.

"The College of Charleston regrets that this unintentional situation occurred," College of Charleston athletics director Matt Roberts said in a CAA release. "We accept full responsibility for what happened, and appreciate the efforts of the conference office to find an amicable and fair resolution to this matter. We fully support the decision of the commissioner as it relates to the two games in question."

The CAA's website still listed Charleston's conference record as 3-6 as of Thursday, reflecting the wins against William & Mary and UNCW, with a note below the standings explaining the method by which records would be revised for seeding purposes.

William & Mary's official record is 3-5 in conference and 13-6 overall. UNCW's record is 3-6 in conference and 8-12 overall.

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