Missouri Western's appeal denied

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The NCAA has rejected an appeal of sanctions imposed on the Missouri Western women's basketball program.

In a decision announced Wednesday, the NCAA Division II Subcommittee on Infractions upheld penalties imposed last year.

Missouri Western was sanctioned for the major infraction of allowing an ineligible athlete to play for two seasons that included a conference championship in 2007. The NCAA also found that a former player received extra benefits from a former coach, which is a secondary violation.

The NCAA put the program on two years' probation, vacated about 50 victories, stripped one scholarship and restricted recruiting for about one year.

In its appeal, Missouri Western contested the findings of violations and argued the penalties were excessive.