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Central Florida president: NCAA 'went beyond what was supported by the facts' in ban

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

After receiving numerous NCAA sanctions in football and basketball for major recruiting violations, Central Florida has decided to appeal the one-year postseason ban in football.

The Committee on Infractions cited UCF for numerous recruiting violations and lack of institutional control. As a result, the NCAA penalized the school with five years of probation, a postseason ban in men's basketball and football, show-cause orders for athletic department personnel, scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions, a vacation of men's basketball records and a $50,000.

"We accepted the one-year postseason ban for men's basketball because the facts supported that penalty," school president John Hitt wrote in a letter released by the school. "But in assigning the postseason ban for football, the NCAA report went beyond what was supported by the facts.

"Consequently, UCF is filing an appeal. In doing so, we will ask the NCAA for an expedited ruling in order to bring closure to this issue."

According to Hitt, the university will notify the NCAA of their intent to appeal Wednesday. After consulting with university academic and athletic leadership, the UCF president called the decision to appeal "the right thing to do."

Instead, it has been suggested -- specifically by CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd -- that Hitt and head coach George O'Leary are playing the system. UCF has arguably one of the best teams in Conference USA and the postseason ban would prevent the Knights from competing in the C-USA Championship Game. An appeal of the sanction could drag out the process, allowing UCF to compete for a league title until the appeal is upheld or denied.

If the appeal process drags beyond the season, the ban -- if upheld -- would carry into 2013. It is possible that UCF believes taking that sanction in its first season of Big East competition would leave less on the table than a possible league title in Conference USA.

If the NCAA rejects UCF's appeal, Hitt wrote that the school will accept that decision.

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