By Zac Ellis
Central Florida has a chance to go bowling as a new member of the American Athletic Conference. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Knights have won their NCAA appeal and will be eligible for postseason play in 2013.
The school's appeal came in reaction to heavy sanctions handed down by the NCAA last season as a result of recruiting violations and a loss of institutional control ruling. The school accepted much of the NCAA's punishment across both the football and men's basketball programs, but UCF president John Hitt decided to appeal football sanctions he felt were excessive. UCF played in the Conference USA title game and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl last season while its appeal was heard.
This is a big victory for UCF, because as SI.com's Stewart Mandel noted Friday afternoon, a successful appeal to the NCAA for any program is not common.
Incredibly rare. RT @osknights: I can confirm that UCF won its appeal. Knights will be eligible to play in postseason this fall. — Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) April 19, 2013