President Lee T. Todd Jr. listens to reporters' questions
at today's news conference.
University of Kentucky football program is already
way down the road in our rebuilding efforts, and we
will move forward from here. These outstanding young
men and quality coaches have been through a lot of
turmoil the last couple of years. From what I see,
with their 3-0 start, it just made them stronger."
Lee T. Todd Jr.,
University of Kentucky
Director Mitch Barnhart answers a reporter's query.
read the NCAA's news release, click
here, then click on the link titled "9/17/2002
- NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee Upholds
Penalties Against University of Kentucky"
17, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) --
A news conference was held today at the University
of Kentucky following an announcement of the decision
made by the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee
regarding the ban on postseason eligibility for the
2002 football season. The committee concluded that
the ban on postseason competition was not excessive
or inappropriate based on all the evidence and circumstances.
the announcement, UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. expressed
his disappointment in the committee's ruling. "I
have not wavered on this one issue. From the beginning,
I felt this appeal was important for the athletes
and the coaches. The vast majority of our current
football players and coaches were not involved in
the violations. These are the individuals who are
trying to rebuild the program the right way. This
effort to overturn the postseason ban was about supporting
them and providing an incentive for their efforts
to restore credibility to UK football. From my view,
every coach and every student on that football team
is working at 110 percent to earn that credibility
and they are doing an outstanding job."
UK respects the NCAA enforcement process, the enforcement
staff and the Committee on Infractions. He stressed
that throughout this process, the university was open
and cooperative with the infractions committee.
never disputed or appealed any of the infractions
that were presented. In fact, the university and the
committee share a similar goal: upholding integrity
in intercollegiate athletics," said Todd.
the university's appeal was based on the belief that
the postseason ban penalty was simply too severe when
considered with the other significant penalties imposed
in this case. He said the university believes that
the NCAA Committee on Infractions was incorrect in
its position that the university received a significant
recruitment advantage, which dictated the imposition
of the postseason ban.
our best efforts, the Infractions Appeals Committee
obviously did not agree with our thinking," said
Todd. "I am very disappointed with its ruling.
The prospect of postseason play in any sport is what
drives the hope and optimism for all of us.
am disappointed for our fans. I am disappointed for
our coaches. And most of all I am disappointed for
the student-athletes on this team who are giving their
all to restore this program. This is a pivotal year
for UK football and this team is making a difference.
For them, I feel the process has let them down,"
UK has admitted its mistakes and accepts full punishment.
"The University of Kentucky football program
is already way down the road in our rebuilding efforts,
and we will move forward from here. These outstanding
young men and quality coaches have been through a
lot of turmoil the last couple of years. From what
I see, with their 3-0 start, it just made them stronger.
I am very proud of this team. Every week they are
proving just what kind of team they have become, and
I'm confident they will learn from this and carry
that success into their lives well after their days
that everyone move forward for the betterment of collegiate
athletics. "I believe it is also prudent for
us -- and I include in that us, UK and every other
university, every athletic conference and the NCAA
itself -- to now look beyond any single case and reassess
how full accountability of a college athletic program
can be attained. I have a real problem with programs
that get a sanction of 'lack of institutional control'
and the head coach of that program walks away free
and clear and moves on to coach at another school
while the students are left to pay the price,"
said Todd .
misunderstand me, the institutions must be held accountable,
but I believe too many times and in too many cases
the full range of accountability is not applied. If
our goal is to find a remedy to NCAA infractions,
I think one method of prevention is to make
sure the person at the helm of that program, the head
coach, is held responsible for everyone in that program.
I offer this idea simply to create some debate and
discussion for administrators across the country as
we all work to improve the integrity of college athletics
and the student experience in our programs,"
he fully supports Guy Morriss and his staff.
believe they are doing what is right and necessary
to build UK football into a program in which we are
all proud. I also believe Mitch Barnhart is doing
what is right and necessary to strengthen the entire
UK athletics program and ensure that we are not back
in front of the Infractions Committee in the future."
Director Mitch Barnhart said, "It is extremely
difficult to express the disappointment that our football
players and coaching staff is feeling after this decision.
They now have to pay the price for the infractions
that others have created. But this team has displayed
great heart and courage in the face of adversity the
past two years, and I truly believe that they will
remain focused on the upcoming schedule and continue
what could be a storybook season for Kentucky football."
like winning just as much as any coach or player in
this program, but we are going to be diligent in our
efforts to do it the legal way, the fair way, and
the right way," said Todd. "From here we
have no choice but to take our penalty and keep moving
forward and work a little harder."