Knights gain opportunity to play in 2012 postseason with January hearing
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 22:10
The NCAA informed the UCF Athletic Department last week that it will hold a hearing Jan. 24, 2013 in regard to the university’s appealed football sanctions, head coach George O’Leary said.
The timing of the decision means the Knights will be eligible for postseason play in 2012 if they win one more game.
“I think it’s great news for our team; it’s great news for our fan base,” O’Leary said. “We would have never have appealed unless we thought we had a great opportunity to win that certain sanction.”
The Knights currently stand at 5-2, and sit atop the Conference USA East division one win short of bowl eligibility. UCF controls its own destiny as far as qualifying for the C-USA Championship game.
O’Leary told his team in August, when the Athletic Department decided to go forward with the appeal, to continue to play hard and that it might have a chance for postseason play.
“There was nothing new I could tell them, but it just reassured that there is nothing in our way but ourselves,” O’Leary said.
The Knights received sanctions for recruiting violations in football and basketball.
University President John C. Hitt announced in August that the school decided to appeal the postseason ban.
If UCF loses the appeal, it will be ruled ineligible for postseason play for its first season in the Big East.
“I think nothing has changed as far as the football team is concerned,” O’Leary said. “Basically, we can fight for a conference championship and go to a bowl game, and then go out Jan. 24 and win that appeal because I definitely think we have a great opportunity to do that.”