Knights Bowl Eligible After NCAA Grants UCF Appeal

Knights Bowl Eligible After NCAA Grants UCF Appeal

The NCAA granted the University of Central Florida’s appeal of a one-year football postseason ban today, making the Knights bowl eligible for the 2013 season.

“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. “Our football program looks forward to competing for an American Athletic Conference championship and a bowl berth.”

In July 2012, the NCAA announced penalties for past violations that occurred in UCF’s football and men’s basketball programs. The university accepted all of the penalties except for one: a one-year postseason football ban.

In its report about the appeal, the NCAA wrote “the penalty in question was based in significant part on irrelevant factors resulting in an abuse of discretion” by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

“I think it was great news for UCF, the UCF football program and the fan base with the appeal committee reversing the decision on the postseason ban,” head coach George O’Leary said. “President Hitt decided to appeal this ban and I’m glad for UCF and the football program that it turned out in our favor.”

The Knights will play one of the most anticipated schedules in team history this season. UCF plays it first game in the American Athletic Conference Oct. 5 at Memphis, while its first home conference game is set for Oct. 26 against Connecticut.

Thanksgiving weekend sees UCF renew its I-4 rivalry with USF on Friday, Nov. 29, either on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Family Weekend is Sept. 28 against South Carolina, and Homecoming is Nov. 9 vs. Houston.

“We’re certainly happy with this outcome,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “We appealed the postseason ban for football because we felt it went beyond what was supported by the facts, and we’re pleased the Infractions Appeals Committee agreed with us.

“With the appeal process behind us, we’re ready to move forward. Our first season in the American Athletic Conference, including the opportunity to play in a bowl game, is right around the corner. It’s an exciting time for the Knights.”