Dear Knights Fans,
I want to update you on today’s NCAA ruling related to our football and men’s basketball programs and what it will mean for UCF Athletics. You have most likely already seen the media coverage of today’s ruling. But I felt it was important that I reach out to you as supporters of our programs.
The NCAA added several sanctions, including one-year postseason bans for our football and men’s basketball programs, to the significant self-imposed penalties that the university had already proposed.
As President Hitt said today, we generally accept the findings and sanctions imposed by the NCAA, and we are in the process of thoughtfully considering the many elements in the lengthy report. However, we have decided to appeal the committee’s decision to impose the postseason ban for the 2012 football season. We don’t believe the “aggravating factors” cited from NCAA bylaws justify that sanction.
There is no doubt that the NCAA penalties will impact our programs, coaches and student-athletes. But I encourage you to continue to support our student-athletes enthusiastically as they strive for success in the competitive arena, in the classroom and in the community.
Let’s also not forget that we have had significant successes in many of these areas recently. 2011-12 was a year of accomplishment for UCF athletics. We placed 55th in the nation-wide Directors Cup rankings, which was 3rd among NCAA Division I institutions in the State of Florida. There were postseason appearances for both our soccer programs, including a run to the Elite Eight for the women. Baseball and Softball both advanced to postseason play with Baseball staying in the top 25 national rankings for the entire season. Track and Field won its third consecutive C-USA championship, had a top-10 finish in the NCAA National Indoor Championships and 4 of its student-athletes competed in the U.S. Olympic trials.
In the classroom, our student-athletes earned a department-wide grade-point average of 3.0 or greater for a ninth consecutive semester. In the community, our young people also participated in 70-plus community service events and reached more than 8,000 children in Central Florida.
I also urge you to help me build a culture of compliance that lives up to President Hitt’s and my high standards of conduct. The NCAA ruling serves as a reminder that all of us – administrators, coaches, staff members, student-athletes and fans – have a responsibility to work together to win with integrity. If you have any questions about whether certain actions are permitted, please ask before you act. You can contact our Compliance Office at 407-823-3089 or UCFCompliance@athletics.ucf.edu.
Thank you for your commitment to play by the rules and for everything you do to support our dedicated and hard-working student-athletes.
I assure you that today’s ruling will not define our program. I am confident that a bright future lies ahead for UCF Athletics.
UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics