University of Missouri

Mizzou, in 64-page brief, officially appeals NCAA’s penalties in academic fraud case

Missouri AD Jim Sterk on Tigers’ response to NCAA ruling

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk talks about the department’s response to the NCAA ruling.
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Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk talks about the department’s response to the NCAA ruling.

The Missouri athletic department filed a 64-page brief to the NCAA on Monday, officially appealing the organization’s sanctions placed on three Tigers sports programs.

According to a release summarizing its legal team’s submission to the NCAA, Missouri argued its punishment for academic fraud committed by a former athletic department tutor, including a postseason ban for the football, baseball and softball teams, ran contrary to similar cases involving academic fraud.

Mizzou also argued recruiting restrictions weren’t supported or appropriate, because the case did not involve recruiting, and that the ruling set a bad precedent for athletic programs that elect to cooperate with the NCAA.

“A message is sent to the membership every time the NCAA Committee on Infractions adjudicates cases. In this instance, the message is loud and clear that neither proactive self-reporting nor exemplary cooperation is of any value to the committee,” Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said.

“We believe that the penalties our programs received were a clear abuse of the Committee’s discretion based upon existing NCAA bylaws. Our staff and legal team have worked tirelessly to research and develop a well-written appeal that accurately reflects our position.”

The NCAA has 30 days to respond to Missouri’s appeal. Should it decide to re-investigate, a ruling could take up to a year.

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