George O'Leary's UCF Knights
will be bowl eligible this season after winning their NCAA appeal. (Landov)
By Zac Ellis
The NCAA granted Central Florida's appeal of a one-year postseason ban, the school officially announced Monday.
Reports surfaced on Friday that UCF's appeal had indeed been granted, but the school released a statement on Monday confirming the decision by the NCAA.
"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 statement. "Our football program looks forward to competing for an American Athletic Conference championship and a bowl berth."
The NCAA handed down sanctions last year as a result of recruiting violations within the football and men's basktball programs. The school accepted all the sanctions except a one-year bowl ban, which school president Hitt felt was excessive. The NCAA's report on the appeal released on Monday said "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 in a statement. "President Hitt decided to appeal this ban and I'm glad for UCF and the football program that it turned out in our favor."