Associate Director of Public
and Media Relations
The University of Central Florida football postseason ban has been reversed, according to a NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee report released today.
The case centered on what the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions noted was an ever-increasing problem in college athletics today, namely the involvement of outside third parties with prospects and student-athletes. This impermissible activity also resulted in findings of unethical conduct for the former director of athletics and a former assistant football coach and a failure to monitor by the head men’s basketball coach. According to the findings, the impermissible recruiting activity undertaken by these third parties, who through their activity became athletics representatives of UCF, was both known by athletics department personnel, and, in some cases encouraged.
Penalties, as determined by the Committee on Infractions in this case, included five years of probation, a postseason ban in men’s basketball and football, show-cause orders for athletics department personnel, scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, a vacation of men’s basketball records and a $50,000 fine.
In its appeal of the football postseason ban, UCF cited that the Committee on Infractions does not adequately distinguish between what factored into the basis of the football postseason ban versus the basketball postseason, and therefore should be vacated. In its decision, the Infractions Appeals Committee stated that the rationale for the football postseason ban penalty is so intricately woven with factors only supportive of the basketball postseason ban that it is impossible to determine whether the additional factors formed a significant basis for the Committee on Infractions to impose the football postseason ban. The record creates the appearance that the Committee on Infractions relied on material factors not present for a particular sport to assess the penalty. Therefore, the Infractions Appeals Committee determined the football postseason ban is excessive such that it constitutes an abuse of discretion and vacated the penalty.
In considering the university’s appeal, the Infractions Appeals Committee reviewed the notice of appeal; the transcript of the university’s Committee on Infractions hearing; and the submissions by both the university and the Committee on Infractions.
The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were: David Williams, vice chancellor for university affairs and athletics and athletic director at Vanderbilt University, chair; Susan Cross Lipnickey, health studies professor and the faculty athletics representative at Miami University (Ohio); Jack Friedenthal, professor of law at George Washington University; W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney at Dickinson Wright PLLC; and Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at University of Texas at Austin.