Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NCAA to Hear UCF’s Appeal Today

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:14


The University of Central Florida Athletics Association will present its case for appeal to the NCAA today. UCF was slapped with heavy sanctions for recruiting violations last year. The school faced a number of penalties for recruiting violations that included a postseason ban for both football and basketball. UCF fired athletic director Keith Tribble once the infractions were brought to light. And while the University took responsibility for the basketball issues and accepted the postseason ban for basketball, it believed the postseason ban for football went too far. And there’s a lot on the line. UCF will be a full member of the new Big East conference in 2013; and it will be the final season the conference will have a lucrative auto-bid to the BCS. The Orlando Sentinel reports UCF will base its case on the following points:

In the appeal document, UCF notes the NCAA stated football infractions occurred from January 2010 to July 2011, but it argues the football violations were limited to a seven-week period from Dec. 18, 2010, to Feb. 4, 2011.

The appeal states UCF has “serious concerns that the committee relied upon a factual inaccuracy in concluding that the violations occurred over a 19-month time period, which is more than double the actual time — and, as a result, imposed a harsher penalty than it otherwise have required for the violations.”

The appeal also argues that, historically, NCAA postseason penalties have been given for egregious benefits, academic fraud or cases in which programs gain “a significant recruiting or competitive advantage.” The appeal states that, in part, because no recruits ever enrolled or played for UCF, “[n]o such violations were present in the football program in the university’s case.”

Third, UCF cited concerns that the football penalty was “significantly and improperly influenced by violations in the case related to the basketball program and the conduct-related violations involving the former assistant coach and former athletics director.” UCF maintains the basketball program and former employees drew separate punishments that should not factor into football sanctions.

To support that argument, the appeal includes passages from the Public Infractions Report in which football was paired with the basketball violations, including the duration of the infractions, competitive advantages gained and the note that “an involved [person] remains employed at the institution.” UCF released the only football coach involved in the violations: former receivers coach David Kelly.

It also argues the football team should not be further punished with a postseason ban for the actions of Kelly and athletic director Keith Tribble, who were removed from their jobs one day after the university received the committee’s findings. The appeal states that “the consequences of their behavior are already incorporated in their respective show-cause orders, the university’s corrective actions and a finding of a lack of institutional control against the institution.”

The appeal also cites five cases in which the NCAA did not impose a postseason ban for a repeat violator, and refers to the recent South Carolina case — decided three months prior to the UCF case — as precedent of not applying a postseason ban despite violations that “the university believes … can be viewed as more historically consistent with the cases in which the committee has chosen to impose a postseason ban.”

The appeal document also cited UCF’s cooperation with the investigation and self-imposed punishments and stated “there are significant reasons why such cooperation should carry greater weight in the committee’s assessment of penalties.”

UCF athletic director Todd Stansbury and president John Hitt will travel to Indianapolis for the appeal hearing. A decision typically is delivered within two to four months, Buckner said.

 UCF will learn its fate in about 2-4 months, which is the typical time for the NCAA Appeals Committee (comprised entirely of attorneys) to render its decision. Good luck to UCF. This penalty was way too harsh and should not have been handed down to the Knights.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress