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Georgia Tech to appeal NCAA penalties

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech will appeal the two-year probation
and other penalties placed on it last month by the NCAA.

The penalties were in response to Georgia Tech using 17
academically ineligible athletes in four sports, including 11 in
football. It's the first time Georgia Tech has been placed on
probation.

The school said Friday that it will appeal the severity of the
penalties imposed by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, including
having to vacate football results and the reduction of football
scholarships. The school had proposed self-imposed sanctions,
including one year of probation.

Tech will make its appeal to the NCAA infractions appeals
committee within the next 60 days. The school expects a decision on
the appeal within four months.

When the NCAA penalties were announced Nov. 17, Georgia Tech
athletic director Dave Braine said the school already was
considering an appeal.

"Yes, mistakes were made, but they were inadvertent and
confined to a small number of cases," Braine said.

Georgia Tech president Wayne Clough said there are some issues
that should be re-evaluated.

"We want to make sure that our case has been adequately
evaluated before we accept the committee's decision," he said.

Georgia Tech reduced its 2005 football signing class by six and
also will reduce its 2006 class by six.

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. Georgia Tech's self-imposed reduction of scholarships this
year did not include a corresponding overall limit on scholarships.

There are 83 scholarship players on this year's football team.

Also, the NCAA vacated Tech's records in the sports between the
1998-99 and 2004-05 academic years and issued a public reprimand
and censure.

Gene Marsh, a law professor at Alabama who chaired the
investigating committee, said the committee was influenced by the
fact some of the 11 football players, who were not identified, were
stars.

"Many of these student-athletes were prominent members of the
team, including multiple-year starters who had received conference
and national recognition for their athletic performances," Marsh
said.