ATLANTA -- The NCAA denied Georgia Tech's appeal to restore lost football scholarships but will allow it to keep its 1998 ACC championship after the school was penalized and placed on two years of probation in November.
Georgia Tech was put on probation for the first time in school history Nov. 17. Notable penalties included vacating results and records in several sports, including football, and losing
additional football scholarships in addition to those the school
In January, Tech appealed the severity of the penalties. The infractions committee said the school had a lack of institutional
control in using 17 academically ineligible athletes in four
sports, including 11 football players.
In its initial ruling, the NCAA vacated Tech's records in the sports involved in the infractions between the 1998-99 and 2004-05 academic years. Those results in football, including Tech's claim to a share of the 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference championship, are
Tech president Wayne Clough said the school accepts the findings
of the NCAA's appeals committee.
"We take certification of athletic eligibility seriously and
have strengthened the system to help ensure that we are fully
compliant in the future," Clough said in a statement.
"Additionally, we are particularly appreciative that the
committee determined that the football team's records should stand.
I am personally pleased that we are now able to close this issue
and put it behind us."
Georgia Tech reduced its 2005 and 2006 football signing classes
by six each year.
The NCAA added a limit of 79 total grants-in-aid for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years in football, down from the normal limit of 85. Tech's self-imposed reduction of scholarships this year
didn't include a corresponding overall limit on scholarships.
Tech hoped to have the limit on total grants-in-aid lifted.
The NCAA accepted Tech's self-imposed reductions of 3.9
scholarships in men's track and field and two scholarships in
women's track and field for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 academic years.
A violation also was found in the women's swimming program, but the swimmer involved wasn't on scholarship, so that program wasn't penalized with a scholarship reduction.