Two teams drop from DII Playoffs, Norwich gets a bye
- Texas Tech men drop out, replaced by Central Missouri
- Rutgers drops out but will not be replaced
- Three teams approached to replace Rutgers
- Norwich gets a bye as a result of Rutgers dropping out
Two teams that had initially qualified for the Emirates Airline USA Rugby @Link("[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((571129506))", "Internal", "URI", "Men's", " lo_id="571129506||699642253" lo_value="[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Links\\Content\\640785905\\571094762\\572284364\\571129506" lo_type="Internal" lo_datatype="URI" lo_namepath="[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((571129506))"") and @Link("[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((572256786))", "Internal", "URI", "Women's", " lo_id="572256786||699642253" lo_value="[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Links\\Content\\640785905\\571094762\\572284364\\572256786" lo_type="Internal" lo_datatype="URI" lo_namepath="[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((572256786))"") Division II College Playoffs, the Texas Tech men and Rutgers women, have dropped out so one team who thought their national title hopes were finished get a second shot at glory. Central Missouri will replace Texas Tech in the DII Men's bracket and will play the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in the men's round of 16 next week. On the women's side, Rutgers will not be replaced despite a concerted effort to find a team to step into the playoffs that get underway today (Friday April 20) in four locations around the country.
When a team drops out of playoffs, it adds pressure to the entire system and puts potential replacement teams, hosts, and tournament organizers in a tough situation. Many teams whose seasons ended when they were knocked out of the playoffs perhaps aren't as prepared physically and mentally for playoff rugby, especially with late notice and understandably so.
Following the Rutgers withdrawal, the Women's College Competition Committee started to evaluate suitable replacements in the Northeast region (the playoff location Rutgers was set to play in) as travel costs and logistical challenges are astronomical this late in the game. Bowdoin and Delaware were approached but declined. Stony Brook University accepted initially, but later declined.
The result is that Norwich, the opponent Rutgers would have played in the first round, will have a bye and will play the winner of Vassar and American International College in the round of eight on Sunday April 22.
Rutgers cited violations of university policy as a reason the women's team could attend. Texas Tech cited lack of funds and high number of injuries as reasons they could not compete.