The University of Central Florida won its appeal of a one-year football postseason ban, the school announced Monday.
The penalty was one of several announced in July of 2012 for recruiting violations by both the football and men’s basketball programs.
In addition to one-year postseason bans of both the football and men’s basketball programs, the NCAA placed UCF on five years of probation, reduced scholarships, placed recruiting restrictions on the programs and vacated all basketball wins in which an ineligible student-athlete participated during the 2008-09, ’09-10 and ’10-11 seasons.
UCF accepted all penalties except the postseason bowl ban of the football program, which UCF vice president and director of athletics Todd Stansbury said “went beyond what was supported by the facts.”
The NCAA appeals committee agreed, writing “the penalty in question was based in significant part on irrelevant factors resulting in an abuse of discretion” by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
While the appeal was under review, UCF, which just finished its final season in Conference USA, was eligible to play in the Conference USA title game (which it lost to Tulsa 33-27) and the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (where it defeated Ball State 38-17).
Had the appeal failed, UCF would have been ineligible for a bowl for its first season in the Big East (recently renamed the American Athletic Conference).
“We are pleased with this ruling and applaud the NCAA for handling our appeal with care, competency and professionalism,” UCF president John C. Hitt said via a press release. “Our football program looks forward to competing for an American Athletic Conference championship and a bowl berth.”