Appeals committee upholds Mizzou's postseason ban
Missouri has received its final answer from the NCAA appeals committee — and it's the same as the previous answer. PowerMizzou.com has confirmed with multiple sources that the initial ruling by the Committee on Infractions was upheld. Those sources told PowerMizzou.com that all sanctions have been upheld by the appeals committee.
The NCAA has now released its findings, which you can read here.
On January 31, the NCAA released its initial sanctions against Missouri in the case resulting from the improper actions of a tutor, known to be Yolanda Kumar, who completed coursework for 12 student-athletes. Those sanctions included, most notably, a one-year postseason ban for the football, baseball and softball teams.
Mizzou quickly lashed out against the sanctions. Athletics director Jim Sterk called the decision unfair, unjust and unprecedented in the days after the ruling was passed down. The school launched a "Make it Right" campaign and spent more than $500,000 on legal representation for its appeal, according to Sterk.
The department filed its appeal in March and went before the appeals committee in mid-July. The penalties were stayed while the appeal was being decided, and both the softball and baseball teams participated in the 2019 postseason. With the ruling today, those schools will be ineligible for the 2020 postseason. Barry Odom's football team, which has waited nearly all season to hear whether it would be eligible for the postseason or whether a decision would come at all, will play its final football game of the season Friday against Arkansas, regardless of whether the team wins its sixth game of the season.
Because the appeal was still ongoing, the postseason bans for the baseball and softball teams were not enforced during the 2019 season. Those teams will now be banned for the 2020 postseason, which includes both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
Perhaps more impactful for Missouri is the fact that being banned from postseason competition will prohibit the school from receiving Its share of bowl revenue from the SEC. Sterk estimated that will cost the athletics department roughly $8 million. Missouri operated at a $1.8 million deficit during the 2017-2018 school year, according to USA Today. If the department does not run afoul of the NCAA during its time on probation, it will recoup half of that lost revenue.
The other sanctions include a fine of $5,000 plus one percent of the football, baseball and softball budgets; a five percent scholarship reduction for each of the three sports; recruiting restrictions for each of the three programs; vacation of wins and three years of probation. The recruiting restrictions are as follows:
-- A seven-week ban on unofficial visits for football, baseball and softball.
-- A 12.5 percent reduction in official visits for all three programs. This amounts to reductions of seven visits in football and four visits in baseball.
-- A seven-week ban on recruiting communications for all three sports.
-- A seven-week ban on all off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations for the coaches of all three sports.
-- A 12.5 percent reduction in recruiting-person or evaluation days for the football, baseball and softball programs. This amounts to 27 total evaluation days for the football coaches.
Again, multiple sources have told PowerMizzou.com that all sanctions were upheld. The official language will not be known until the NCAA releases the decision. At that time, this story will be updated.
PowerMizzou.com will have much more on the result of the appeal and the remaining sanctions as soon as possible. It is also expected that Sterk will address reporters some time after the news is officially released.