On Monday, it was announced that Georgia Tech dropped its appeal with the NCAA for its one-year postseason ban. The withdrawal comes just a little over a week before the 2020 ACC men's basketball tournament begins (March 10) in Greensboro, NC.
In a statement, athletics director Todd Stansbury stated he felt it was in the best interest of the men's basketball program to drop the appeal due to the duration of the appeal's process.
“I feel very good about the future of our men’s basketball program and, therefore, want to remove the cloud of a potential postseason ban from hanging over our team as we move into next season and beyond," Stansbury said.
The competition penalty was placed on the Yellow Jackets in September after an investigation into recruiting improprieties began regarding former assistant coach Darryl LaBerrie and head coach Josh Pastner's former friend, Ron Bell, who was classified as a booster by the NCAA.
Tech will continue to appeal the two other penalties levied by the NCAA in September, which include scholarship reductions and official visit limitations.
Prior to the withdrawal, Jackets were still eligible for postseason play since it was under appeal. According to NCAA rules, sanctions under appeal can’t be enforced while the the appeal is still being processed.
Although Georgia Tech accepts the penalty and will enter the 2020-21 season with no limitations on postseason play, Monday's news won't come easy for seniors James Banks and Shembari Phillips.
“I am very disappointed for them," Stansbury said. "And hope that our entire Georgia Tech family will rally around them to make the final games of their college basketball careers special.”
Following Georgia Tech's 63-57 win over Miami on Saturday night, the Jackets were in a five-way tie for fifth place in the ACC. The Jackets were on pace to have their best ACC record since the 2013-14 season. A top-nine seeding would've meant a first round-bye for the ACC tournament, an important goal for Pastner and the team.
"That was a big goal of ours," Pastner said following Saturday's game. "That was a really important step for our program was not to play on Tuesday."
The 2019-20 season will end on March 6 following the Jackets' matchup with the Clemson Tigers.
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