UCF wins appeal with NCAA, is bowl eligible

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Alabama and Virginia Tech will play for the
UCF won't get a trophy for it, but the Knights won their NCAA appeal. (USATSI)

The University of Central Florida has won its appeal against the NCAA and will be eligible for postseason play in 2013.

Reports of UCF's win began surfacing Friday, but on Monday the school officially announced the news.

"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 in a release. "Our football program looks forward to competing for an American Athletic Conference championship and a bowl berth."

UCF will join the American Athletic Conference -- formerly the Big East -- for the 2013 season.

The NCAA originally announced the penalties against UCF in July 2012 for past violations that had occurred in both the men's basketball and football programs. The school accepted all the penalties except for the postseason ban in football. According to the NCAA's report about the appeal, the bowl ban "was based in significant part on irrelevant factors resulting in an abuse of discretion" by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

UCF is still on probation and will still have to deal with scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions announced in the NCAA's initial ruling.

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