Georgia Tech to appeal NCAA penalties

Updated: December 2, 2005, 7:01 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech will appeal the two-year probation and other penalties placed on it last month by the NCAA.

The penalties were in response to Georgia Tech using 17 academically ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 in football. It's the first time Georgia Tech has been placed on probation.

The school said Friday that it will appeal the severity of the penalties imposed by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, including having to vacate football results and the reduction of football scholarships. The school had proposed self-imposed sanctions, including one year of probation.

Tech will make its appeal to the NCAA infractions appeals committee within the next 60 days. The school expects a decision on the appeal within four months.

When the NCAA penalties were announced Nov. 17, Georgia Tech athletic director Dave Braine said the school already was considering an appeal.

"Yes, mistakes were made, but they were inadvertent and confined to a small number of cases," Braine said.

Georgia Tech president Wayne Clough said there are some issues that should be re-evaluated.

"We want to make sure that our case has been adequately evaluated before we accept the committee's decision," he said.

Georgia Tech reduced its 2005 football signing class by six and also will reduce its 2006 class by six.

The NCAA added a limit of 79 total grants-in-aid for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years in football, down from the normal limit of 85. Georgia Tech's self-imposed reduction of scholarships this year did not include a corresponding overall limit on scholarships.

There are 83 scholarship players on this year's football team.

Also, the NCAA vacated Tech's records in the sports between the 1998-99 and 2004-05 academic years and issued a public reprimand and censure.

Gene Marsh, a law professor at Alabama who chaired the investigating committee, said the committee was influenced by the fact some of the 11 football players, who were not identified, were stars.

"Many of these student-athletes were prominent members of the team, including multiple-year starters who had received conference and national recognition for their athletic performances," Marsh said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press