Georgia Tech appeal reinstates 1998 results

Updated: May 18, 2006, 3:21 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The NCAA denied Georgia Tech's appeal to restore lost football scholarships but will allow it to keep its 1998 ACC championship after the school was penalized and placed on two years of probation in November.

Georgia Tech was put on probation for the first time in school history Nov. 17. Notable penalties included vacating results and records in several sports, including football, and losing additional football scholarships in addition to those the school took away.

In January, Tech appealed the severity of the penalties. The infractions committee said the school had a lack of institutional control in using 17 academically ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 football players.

In its initial ruling, the NCAA vacated Tech's records in the sports involved in the infractions between the 1998-99 and 2004-05 academic years. Those results in football, including Tech's claim to a share of the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, are restored.

Tech president Wayne Clough said the school accepts the findings of the NCAA's appeals committee.

"We take certification of athletic eligibility seriously and have strengthened the system to help ensure that we are fully compliant in the future," Clough said in a statement.

"Additionally, we are particularly appreciative that the committee determined that the football team's records should stand. I am personally pleased that we are now able to close this issue and put it behind us."

Georgia Tech reduced its 2005 and 2006 football signing classes by six each year.

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. Tech's self-imposed reduction of scholarships this year didn't include a corresponding overall limit on scholarships.

Tech hoped to have the limit on total grants-in-aid lifted.

The NCAA accepted Tech's self-imposed reductions of 3.9 scholarships in men's track and field and two scholarships in women's track and field for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years.

A violation also was found in the women's swimming program, but the swimmer involved wasn't on scholarship, so that program wasn't penalized with a scholarship reduction.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press