Nov. 18, 2002
STATEMENTS REGARDING TODAY'S NCAA DECISION
Robert M. Berdahl, Chancellor, University of California:
We have received the final decision of the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. The committee has upheld our appeal in certain respects that will help our program's future success, but denied our request to remove the prohibition on post-season play this season. The Appeals Committee agreed with our contention that the reduction of grants in aid (scholarships), imposed by the Committee on Infractions was excessive in light of action already taken by the Pacific-10 Conference, and that penalty has been set aside. The Appeals Committee also agreed with our assertion that certain factual findings of the Committee on Infractions were contrary to the evidence, and those findings have been set aside.
The Appeals Committee, however, affirmed the penalty of the post-season ban on competition. The committee recognized, as we had asserted, that such a penalty would be borne largely by innocent members of the football team. It emphasized, however, that bans on post-season play are frequently likely to have such an effect on innocent student-athletes. While recognizing that the post-season ban was not the most appropriate penalty, and that alternatives might have been more fitting, the committee concluded that the ban was defensible because of our repeat violator status.
I appreciate the efforts of the Appeals Committee in attempting to reach a fair and just resolution. I am disappointed for Cal fans, for our coaches and student-athletes and especially for the seniors on this year's team that post-season play is no longer a possibility. The entire organization has done an exceptional job in turning the program around this season. I am pleased that with the scholarship relief gained through the appeal, the football program will be in a stronger position to build upon this season's success.
Stephen C. Gladstone, Athletic Director, University of California:
While we are saddened that our student-athletes will be deprived of a possible bowl game experience, we do find some solace in the fact the NCAA recognized the merits of our appeal and have reduced our penalties. Our heart goes out to the seniors on this team, particularly, who deserved a better fate. In no way, should today's ruling diminish the great accomplishments of our 2002 team, which produced one of the greatest turnaround seasons in college football history.