Category Archives: NCAA textbook

NCAA case cost UA athletics 6-figures

The final bills are in for Alabama’s NCAA textbook scandal case and the numbers run well past $100,000. According to figures provided by the university this afternoon, UA athletics paid the law firm of Bond Schoeneck & King a total of $165,972.50 in fees and $22,470.12 in expenses.

Pull out those pocket calculators and you’ll get a grand total of $188,442.62.

Keep in mind, taxpayer dollars were not used in this case. All the money for the defense came out of the athletic department account.

Deeper insight into NCAA ruling

Here are a few excerpts from the eight-page document released this morning detailing the NCAA’s ruling that denied Alabama’s textbook scandal appeal. The school argued the vacation of 21 football wins was excessive in light of the school’s cooperation in the investigation and precedent set in similar cases.

On UA’s cooperation:

“We disagree that the Committee on Infractions failed adequately to consider and weigh the institution’s cooperation. In fact, the Committee on Infractions noted at several places in its report that it had considered the institution’s cooperation. While the institution may disagree as a matter of substance with the Committee on Infractions’ conclusions regarding the level and nature of the cooperation, and its impact on the penalties imposed, we find no basis on which to conclude that the Committee on Infractions’ determinations in that regard constituted an abuse of discretion.

On textbook and vacation of win precedents:

“… We acknowledge, as the institution argued, that the facts presented in the University of Colorado, Bolder Committee on Infractions’ case (2007) were generally similar to those present here, but the Committee on Infractions did not vacate any wins; and prior textbook cases did not include the imposition of a vacation of wins.

“On the other hand, the Committee on Infractions has noted significant aggravating factors in this case, including the institutions’ status as a repeat offender. Seldom will two cases be exactly alike. And while we reiterate that the Committee on Infractions must maintain consistency among its decisions over time, we also recognize, as we have stated before, that the Committee on Infractions ‘must have latitude in tailoring remedies to the particular circumstances involved in each case.’ ”

BREAKING NEWS: NCAA denies Alabama appeal

This just in: The NCAA’s Infraction Appeals Committee has turned down Alabama’s final appeal in the textbook scandal. This means the 21 vacated victories officially comes off the books after the hung in limbo for nearly a year.

Here is an excerpt from the NCAA’s news release:

The university appealed only the vacation of records penalty, which affected its football, men’s tennis and men’s and women’s track and field programs. The university argued on appeal that the vacation of wins penalty was excessive such that it was an abuse of discretion as it did not consider the university’s cooperation. The university also argued that the penalty: (a) was not consistent with past cases which included a vacation of records; and (b) did not follow previous textbook case precedent.

In its affirmation of the penalty, the Infractions Appeals Committee disagreed. It noted that the Committee on Infractions mentioned several times in the public report that it had considered the university’s cooperation. Further, when discussing the role of case precedent in penalty decisions, the Infractions Appeals Committee noted that two cases are seldom exactly alike and that the Committee on Infractions must have latitude to tailor the penalties to the specific facts of each case.

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 the university and the Committee on Infractions.

The wins that now officially never happened include:

2005: Middle Tennessee, Southern Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Utah State, Mississippi State, and Texas Tech (Cotton Bowl).

2006: Hawai’i, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Monroe, Duke, Ole Miss, and Florida International.

2007: Western Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Houston, and Ole Miss.

Alabama president Robert Witt had this to say on the matter:

“The Appeals Committee acknowledged that their decision in our case is not consistent with the NCAA’s prior textbook and vacation-of-wins cases, which was the heart of UA’s appeal. Despite that acknowledgment, however, the Appeals Committee did not find an abuse of discretion. We are disappointed by the committee’s inconsistent decision given the negative impact the decision has on hundreds of uninvolved student-athletes and their coaches.”

Said UA athletics director Mal Moore:

“We’re very disappointed because the Committee missed an excellent opportunity to follow its precedent set in recent cases, the precedent we followed due to the nature of the case. We have thoroughly addressed the situation and have taken corrective measures. We are eager to move forward while continuing to build a program that not only is successful on the field, but also reflects the values of our University.”

Check back later for further updates.

Alabama’s NCAA legal fees above $175k

The price tag for The University of Alabama’s defense in the NCAA textbook scandal has risen well into the six-figure range.

According to information obtained by The Daily through a public records request, the school has paid more than $175,000 so far on legal costs and expenses

The matter, handled by the school’s general counsel and attorney Mike Glazier of the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, racked bills of $170,228.77. Attorney’s fees cost $149,252.50 while other expenses totaled $20,976.27.

The additional $5,221.04 was spent on miscellaneous expenses, according to the information provided by the university.

All expenses, which total $175,449.81 to date, were paid by of the athletic department with no state money involved.

Read more about this story in Thursday’s paper.

Documents for NCAA appeal

As promised in the print edition, the documents for the appeal are on the blog.

Click this link
to view the various documents Alabama filed in its NCAA case from the original appeal to the most recent rebuttal.

NCAA textbook fight continues

Stay tuned for more details, but the University of Alabama has taken the next step in the appeal of the 21 vacated football wins. This can get confusing, but I will try to word it as carefully as possible.

First: There is no final decision.

Second: The document released today by Alabama is response to a response. Their original appeal goes to the first committee on infractions. They can either alter their ruling or stand by it. They went with that first option. So today’s new material is Alabama’s counter punch to that.

From here: The NCAA Infractions Appeal Committee has the final say.

Check back later for specifics from the Alabama response.

To view the university’s 14-page rebuttal, click here.

BREAKING: Alabama releases NCAA appeal documents

Another story just jumped onto the plate. Read more about it in Wednesday’s paper, but the university released its 29-page appeal for the NCAA textbook case just minutes ago.

The document spells out the appeal. In brief, they make contentions to try and prove the penalties, including vacating 21 football wins were excessive. UA contends the penalties departed from precedent in several ways.

It did not argue the facts of the case but said there were problems with some of the wording in the committee on infractions report.

Read more tomorrow.

Good Tuesday (afternoon) update

My apologies for the tardiness of this daily posting. It really was a slow day in the sporting world of Alabama. There is nothing new with the NCAA case and Nick Saban has not signed a new contract. I guess that is just how it goes on a lazy day in late June.

So I will get to work on a second story from Monday’s SEC basketball coaches’ teleconference. Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant didn’t reveal much in yesterday’s call, but there were still interesting nuggets that came out of the call.

Read Wednesday’s paper for a story looking at the conference’s return to power after a lacking 2008-09 season. There wasn’t a coach who said anything about the league slipping into a permanent state of mediocrity.

Read more Wednesday and check back on the blog in case anything interesting pops up.

Alabama releases Notice of Appeal

The university just sent out its official notification of appeal. In the document, it states Alabama will appeal only the 21 vacated wins and not the $43,000 fine or the three years of probation.

The report does not list a specific reason for the appeal but the only possible basis for appealing a penalty would be claiming it is excessive. That “excessive” word was one used by President Robert Witt last week.

Check back for more later on.

President Witt supports Mal Moore

Another long Thursday in Tuscaloosa ended with a confident statement from Alabama President Robert Witt. Following Alabama System Board of Trustee committee meetings, Witt said he was standing behind AD Mal Moore after his second round of NCAA sanctions in his 10 years as AD. (In case you missed it, UA is appealing).

“I have 100 percent confidence in Mal Moore,” said Witt. “I believe we have the finest athletic director anywhere in the country.”

Finis St. John, the president of the trustees also supported Moore and the decision to appeal the NCAA sanction. St. John went as far as to say Moore had no responsibility in the textbook distribution scandal.

Also in the meeting, the Physical Plant Committee gave initial approval to three athletic projects:

  1. A $4.5 million expansion of Coleman Coliseum for a men’s basketball practice facility.
  2. A $15 million renovation of historic Foster Auditorium for the women’s basketball and volleyball programs.
  3. The wild card, a late entry to the agenda was $1.3 million for upgrades to the Mal Moore Athletic Facility would make the building more recruiting friendly.

Read more about all of the above in Friday’s edition of the Daily.

UPDATED BREAKING NEWS: Alabama to appeal NCAA ruling

This statement just came from The University of Alabama:

Statement from Dr. Robert E. Witt, President

“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.”

More information will come when available. Stay tuned.

UPDATE AT 4:38 p.m.: From doing a little research on the appeals process, I came across a document from the NCAA the spells out the burden of proof for an appeal to succeed. Here is what Alabama must prove to the Infraction’s Appeal Committee:

1. That the ruling was clearly contrary to the evidence;

2. That the individual’s or institution’s actions did not constitute an infraction of NCAA rules;

3. There was a procedural error and but for the error, the Committee on Infractions would not have made the finding of violation; or

4. The penalty assessed was excessive such that its imposition constitutes an abuse of discretion.

Vacated bowl win would kill bragging right

Another interesting tidbit from the always-interesting textbook scandal penalties. As it would be (pending a possible appeal), vacating that 2006 Cotton Bowl win would give Alabama only 30 bowl wins.

That’s one less than Southern Cal’s 31 meaning Alabama can no longer claim to have the most bowl victories in college football.

But as was stated in the story I wrote for today’s Daily, Alabama officials have yet to clean out the record books. The school may still appeal the penalties.

Anyone have a thought on the matter? Leave a note in the comment section.

A few quick updates on vacated wins

Read more in Saturday’s paper, but here is a quick update on what these “vacated wins” become.

They never existed. The games were never played so Alabama’s 21 wins don’t suddenly become losses. They became figments of your imagination.

That is the short answer. Any win secured with any of the seven rule-breakers were never played if you read Alabama records. The losses still count for the teams the Tide “never” beat.

  • So what about the losses suffered with those rule-breakers? They still count.
  • What about stats from those games? They still count. The NCAA isn’t concerned with stat sheets, school records or tackles (assisted or unassisted). It’s just about those wins.
  • What about the 2007 Cotton Bowl? The appearance counts. The win doesn’t. University officials are still trying to find out if they have to ship that trophy back to Dallas.
  • Did the sky fall? Of course not.
  • Will Alabama appeal? They aren’t sure yet. The countdown to deadline for that decision stands at 14 days. (There will be no countdown clock for that placed in the upper left-hand side of the blog home page.)

Football records: The way they were/They way they are”
2005: 10-2 (then) 0-2 (now)
2006: 6-7 (then) 0-7 (now)
2007: 7-6 (then) 2-6 (now)

Final Cliffs Notes on Thursday’s NCAA ruling

Whew. It’s been a long day. From my cozy booth in a Tuscaloosa Panera, I am happy to report this day is almost in the books. But before I go and hit our beautiful interstate system for the ride home, let’s do a quick recap of the day’s events.

  • Alabama was punished for violating two NCAA by-laws.
  • The football team did not lose any future scholarships and did not have recruiting restrictions imposed.
  • The Tide football team did, however, have 21 wins vacated from 2005-07.
  • That did not make Mal Moore or Robert Witt very happy.
  • Moore said the school is considering an appeal.
  • Overall, 201 athletes violated the rules, but only 22 did so willingly. Of that 22, seven played football, 14 ran track and one played on the men’s tennis team.
  • Only one program has no dirt on its hands — the women’s rowing team.

This story isn’t dead yet. Keep reading on Friday for any of the latest details on a possible appeal.

With that, I am signing off. Many thanks go to the Panera staff who never once asked me to leave.

As always, I welcome your feedback on this and any topic in the comment section located at the bottom of every posting.

UA football vacating 21 wins

According to an official release from the university, 21 football wins for 2005-2007 will be vacated by Thursday’s NCAA ruling. Those now vacated wins include:

2005: Middle Tennessee, Southern Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah State, Mississippi State, and Texas Tech (Cotton Bowl).

2006: Hawai’i, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Monroe, Duke, Mississippi, and Florida International.

2007: Western Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Houston, and Mississippi.