San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Just two days away from possibly earning
the first FCS playoff bid in Pioneer Football League history, the University of
San Diego withdrew from consideration Thursday amidst concerns of potential
USD president Dr. Mary E. Lyons said in a letter to the university community
that the way the Toreros athletics program awards need-based financial aid to
football players is incompatible with PFL rules.
"This issue is specific to football and does not nor will it affect our other
sports," Dr. Lyons wrote.
"I recognize the impact that this situation has on our student-athletes, Torero
Athletics and our entire university community. Our response now and going
forward reflects a commitment to our students and to the highest standards of
integrity. To that end, complying with applicable rules and regulations in the
administration of our intercollegiate athletic programs continues to be our
The PFL champion is receiving an automatic qualifying bid to the FCS playoffs
for the first time this season. San Diego (7-3, 6-1) could have captured the
bid with a win over Drake at home on Saturday.
In addition to the playoff bid, USD has withdrawn itself from consideration for
the PFL title, league spokesman Cody Bush said.
In the 12-team PFL, which has unbalanced scheduling, the playoff bid will go to
Butler (8-3, 6-1), Marist (7-3, 6-1), Mercer (9-1, 5-1) or Drake (6-4, 5-2).
There are two weekends remaining in the regular season.
The Sports Network