Bemidji State football team not selected to national tournament field
The Bemidji State football team will not play in the Division II National Championship Tournament.
The Beavers were not one of the six teams selected from the super region to participate in the 24-team field, which was announced Sunday afternoon.
A bubble team entering the weekend, Bemidji State made its case to make the playoffs by winning the final game of the season Saturday at Concordia-St. Paul to finish with an 8-3 overall record and 7-3 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.
But an administrative error in the transfer process leading to the participation of an ineligible player in nine of Bemidji State's games this season resulted in a nullification penalty handed down by the NCAA on Saturday.
Anthony Ragsdale, a junior transfer student, was named the ineligible player and why he was deemed ineligible is still not known. It is also unknown what the administrative error was or where it occurred within the Bemidji State University administration.
Bemidji State University stated in a press release issued Saturday night that it "has no further comment on the situation."
Nullification is a formula that negatively affects a team's winning percentage, strength of schedule index and other criteria used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee in the selection process.
Those criteria would have been critical in making Bemidji State's case for the first national tournament berth in school history.
Bemidji State was ranked No. 7 in the most recent Super Region Three rankings. Super Region three consists of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
The Selection Committee selects six teams from each of the four super regions to participate in the national tournament.
But the committee does not have to follow those rankings absolutely, so Bemidji State players and coaches held out hope, prior to the NCAA penalty, that some of the tiebreaking criteria would be enough to move Bemidji State up in the rankings.
The selection committee selected Minnesota-Duluth, Grand Valley State, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Nebraska-Kearney, Saginaw Valley State and Hillsdale to represent Super Region Three.
Because BSU did not make the national field, it was considered as a favorite to play in Mineral Water Bowl before the NCAA penalty was handed down.
The Mineral Water Bowl is a game between the top two teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association not to make the national field. It will be played in Excelsior Springs, Mo., on Dec. 5.
The two teams to qualify for the Mineral Water Bowl will be announced Nov. 15.