On January 31, the NCAA Committee on Infractions brought the hammer down on the Missouri Tigers' football, baseball and softball programs with sanctions that followed self-reported violations involving an academic tutor. Each team got smacked with a one-year postseason ban, scholarship reductions, and recruiting restrictions. Needless to say, the University of Missouri is not having it any of it.
Earlier this week, Mizzou officially filed a 64-page appeals brief with the NCAA's Appeals Committee because the sanctions were "overly harsh" and something needs to change.
That's why the Tigers will be wearing helmet stickers with the phrase "Make It Right" this spring in Columbia while the committee reviews the appeal. Talk about a loud response.
What's crazy is all of this is over a former tutor providing improper assistance to 12 SEC student-athletes and the school reported it. Now, Mizzou is strapping on the armor and getting ready for war with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which has 30 days to respond to the appeal.
"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. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet face to face with the NCAA Appeals Committee later this year, and it is our sincere hope that at the end of this process, the penalties assessed are consistent with the nature of the violations and take into account our swift response."
— Mizzou Athletic Director Jim Sterk
Here's what the University of Missouri is arguing in its appeals brief, according to its press release.
- The penalties handed down were contrary to the NCAA case precedent.
- They were not supported, or appropriate, given the nature of the violations.
- They could have a chilling effect on future NCAA enforcement processes.
In plainest terms, Mizzou felt like the NCAA was trying to make an example out of them, especially with the football team, and the Tigers aren't backing down.
Honestly, this is actually kind of hilarious for the football, baseball, and softball teams to have 'Make It Right' helmet decals. It's more or less mocking college sports' government and showing they won't put up with unfair treatment.
Only time will tell if the sanctions stand after the appeal, but it's pretty safe to say the University of Missouri is not going to take the NCAA's crap with this ridiculous set of punishments.
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