Missouri's appeal of its 2019 postseason bowl ban will be heard by NCAA committee this week
The Tigers are hoping to get the NCAA to change course on an academic fraud penalty
HOOVER, Ala. -- Missouri will appear before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee this week to make its case that a controversial bowl ban for this upcoming season should be lifted, sources tell CBS Sports.
No decision will be rendered before mid-August, and the process could extend into September after the beginning of the season, the same sources said. The appeals committee typically takes between 4-8 weeks to issue a decision.
An NCAA infractions panel penalized the school in January after Missouri was found guilty of academic fraud. A former part-time tutor was found to have given improper assistance to athletes.
Missouri immediately appealed, saying the NCAA "abused its discretion" in handing down the bowl ban. The school started a statewide campaign to get its message out. As part of the "Make It Right" initiative, players will wear stickers on their helmet this season. Missouri also has placed "Make It Right" billboards around the state.
"We have a compelling case not only for Missouri but for the entire [NCAA]," Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said by phone. "For the membership and enforcement and compliance to work … most of the decision needs to be overturned.
"We had an instance where a part-time tutor helped some kids. She was motivated to make money for herself. There was no eligibility involved. As soon as we found out about it, we turned it in. If that doesn't work and you [hand down] significant penalties that they threw at us, it flies in the face of having cooperation of any institution or individual."
Missouri also received recruiting restrictions in football, while baseball and softball also received postseason bans.
"[Our push back] was right just because of the way Mizzou handled it," said coach Barry Odom on Monday at the 2019 SEC Media Days. "I respect the way on our approach. It's been aggressive but respectful."
Whether any of that influences the appeals committee remains to be seen. As part of its appeal, Mizzou is questioning the participation in the process by infractions panel member Carol Cartwright, a member of the reform-minded Knight Commission as well as a member of an NCAA working group seeking a clearer definition of academic fraud.
While Missouri goes through the appeal process, most of the penalties are stayed. However, Odom was upset that, when the ban came down,. It is not believed Missouri lost any transfers due to the ban.
If the ban sticks, Missouri would not be eligible to win the SEC East, and by extension, the SEC championship. If the appeals decision drags on, the Tigers could kick off the season Aug. 31 at Wyoming not knowing their postseason fate.
"Is it on their minds? Probably," Odom said of his players. "Is it on my mind? Absolutely. But that is wasted thought at this point. Let's go win them all. I'm not going to take a different approach and let our team talk about it."
The appeals committee roster can be viewed here.
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