Alabama To Appeal NCAA Ruling

Aaron HarrellCorrespondent IJune 17, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide watches his team from the sidelines while taking on the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Auburn 36-0.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The University of Alabama has announced that it will appeal the sanctions that were handed down last week by the NCAA Department of Infractions, involving 16 sports programs and 201 athletes, seven of which were on the football team.

Today, UA President Robert Witt confirmed that the school will file an appeal prior to the 15-day deadline (June 26). Last week's verdict placed the Alabama football program on three years probation, vacating over 20 wins starting in the 2005 season through midway in the 2007 season.

Below is President Witt's statement:

“The University of Alabama will appeal the sanctions announced on June 11 by the NCAA Committee on Infractions regarding violations of the NCAA’s policies on textbooks for student-athletes.  We appreciate that the Committee recognized the isolated nature of this violation as well as UA’s immediate and aggressive actions to correct the situation as soon as we discovered the problem.

“However, we are disappointed with the excessiveness of the sanctions in view of the facts of this case and the penalties in other textbook infractions cases. There is no evidence or allegations of other NCAA violations; no coaches or administrators were involved; no players obtained books and sold them for cash, and all the books were returned or charged to the student’s account as required by the UA textbook policy in effect at that time.

“We are in the process of preparing our Notice of Appeal and will file it prior to the 15-day deadline (June 26).  The University of Alabama remains committed to doing things the right way, and we will continue to work with the NCAA and the SEC as we focus on strict compliance with all NCAA regulations."

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