I spoke to Ray Cella, Associate Commissioner of the Atlantic 10, yesterday about GW’s men’s basketball schedule, and whether it broke any rules as far as the quality of opponents allowed. Although GW is in the second tier of the league and is not supposed to play any out of conference teams ranked below 250 on the RPI, GW will play two: Harvard and Sacramento State.
Cella said he would not comment on any team’s individual schedule, but added the league looks at each team’s schedule after the season ends. Exceptions to the rule can be made, Cella said, in cases such as teams with bad RPIs from last year, but are expected to improve. As far as other criteria for exceptions, Cella said the academic quality of the opponent’s school–a factor Kvancz pointed to in defending the game against Harvard–has no effect on whether the team is worth playing.
Cella said some schools have been punnished for breaking the rule since its inception two years ago, but he would not specify which schools nor what particular punnishment they received.