Southern continues filing NCAA paperwork

Southern sent another batch of paperwork to the NCAA on Wednesday in its ongoing effort to have a postseason ban lifted.

The university met its ninth deadline set by the NCAA in order to allow it to make a ruling in time for the Jaguars men’s and women’s basketball teams to participate in the upcoming Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament and potentially the ensuing NCAA tournament in the event of a favorable ruling.

Southern is attempting to fully document the academic performance of its student-athletes during the past four years.

The NCAA discovered “unusable” data during a routine examination of academic records the Jaguars had submitted, and instituted the postseason ban in early December.

Southern might not be through with its documentation. If the NCAA has any additional requests after reviewing what has been submitted, the university will have an opportunity to respond to those.

In the meantime Chancellor James Llorens and Athletic Director William Broussard have had regular phone conversations with the NCAA. Ultimately, Southern expects to have a hearing before the NCAA’s committee on academic progress.

Neither Llorens nor Broussard returned a message seeking comment, though the university issued this statement: “We are collaborating with the NCAA and developing strategies for providing usable data in a timely fashion.”

The NCAA has not responded to requests for comment.

The ban will prevent the women’s indoor track and field team from participating in the SWAC meet this weekend, though Southern is hopeful of getting reinstated in time for the basketball postseason.

The SWAC tournament is March 11-15, and the NCAA tournament starts a week later. The winners of the SWAC tournaments receive automatic bids to the NCAA tournaments.

Both Southern teams are in first place. The men, 15-11 and 11-2 in the SWAC, have a two-game lead on second-place Alabama State. The women, 15-6 and 12-1, have a half-game lead on second-place Texas Southern. Both teams play at Alabama A&M on Saturday.

The women’s bowling team faces the next most urgent deadline as the SWAC bowling tournament is scheduled for March 21-23.