School will release information about NCAA appeal next week

Huntsville Times Sports Staff paulg@htimes.com

TUSCALOOSA - Alabama officials had little to say Friday after appearing before the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee in Chicago.

But more information will be available early next week.

Alabama will release a redacted copy of its appeal brief early next week, according to a statement released by the school Friday.

The brief is expected to have detailed arguments for the points the school disputed in the finding by the Committee on Infractions, which was announced in February. Alabama has already released documents outlining its points of emphasis for the appeal.

Alabama officials met for about four hours with the appeals committee at a Chicago hotel. A ruling is expected in about 4-6 weeks.

''Although we cannot predict any outcome, we feel no stone has been left unturned in the presentation of our appeal,'' said the statement, released by associate athletic director Larry White. ''We will now wait for the Infractions Appeals Committee to render its decision.

''We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss our case with the committee and very much appreciate the attentive manner in which the hearing was conducted.''

The hearing was not about guilt or innocence, but rather about the application of NCAA bylaws to Alabama's case.

Among the issues protested by Alabama included the use of an unidentified witness by the infractions committee to gather information. Tide officials consider that to be improper.

Also, Alabama disagreed with being considered a repeat violator - which came about because Alabama self-reported violations regarding men's basketball in 1999. No sanctions resulted and the NCAA praised Alabama's compliance efforts, but the NCAA still extended the five-year repeat violator window.

Alabama lost 21 scholarships over three years and received a two-year postseason ban after being found guilty of nine major violations.

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