NCAA denies Georgia Tech's appeal

ATLANTA -- The NCAA on Friday denied Georgia Tech's appeal to have sanctions reduced, including the loss of its 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference football championship.

The NCAA ruled in July Georgia Tech must pay a $100,000 fine and return its 2009 ACC championship trophy as punishment for allowing an ineligible player, receiver Demaryius Thomas, to compete. The school was given recruiting restrictions and placed on probation for four years.

In announcing Georgia Tech's appeal had been denied, the NCAA noted the school "was cited for preferential treatment violations, a lack of cooperation during the investigation and a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership."

Georgia Tech appealed the failure to cooperate and conditions of membership violations, as well as the vacation of records penalty.

Georgia Tech appealed to have the vacated championship restored. It argued it did not gain a competitive advantage. Friday's ruling by the NCAA's appeals committee is final.

"After a comprehensive review of the case, the Infractions Appeals Committee found the facts of the case did support the findings of violations," the NCAA's appeals committee ruled. "The Infractions Appeals Committee also found it speculative to state a competitive advantage was not gained and the penalty was appropriate in this case."

Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson said he is disappointed with the decision but said he respects "the process and the NCAA's decision."

"We felt we owed it to the Georgia Tech community and to our student athletes to exercise the appeals process provided by the NCAA in order to defend the integrity of Georgia Tech and to reaffirm our commitment to the principles and obligations of the NCAA," Peterson said.

When it announced the probation last year, the NCAA said Georgia Tech should have declared Thomas ineligible after he accepted gifts from a former player who was working for an agent.