Georgia Tech withdraws NCAA appeal, will miss ACC Tournament
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech withdrew its appeal of the NCAA postseason ban against its men’s basketball program on Monday and will not play in this month’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
The school announced Nov. 15 it would appeal a one-year ban on postseason play as well as scholarship reductions and limits on official visits. By accepting the postseason ban this year, Georgia Tech is assured of being eligible to compete in the postseason in the 2020-21 season and beyond.
The school is continuing its appeal of limits on official visits connected with home games for two seasons and the reduction of one scholarship each of the next four years.
Georgia Tech (15-14, 9-9 ACC) likely would have had to win the March 10-14 ACC tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, to earn a bid to this year’s NCAA tournament. Even so, the school waited as long as possible to accept the ban this year in hopes the NCAA appeal would be successful.
“Since the appeals process will extend beyond this current season, we feel that it is in the best interest of our men’s basketball program — and especially the 14 student-athletes that return to the team — to drop our appeal of the competition penalty,” athletic director Todd Stansbury said. “I feel very good about the future of our men’s basketball program and, therefore, want to remove the cloud of a potential postseason ban from hanging over our team.”
Stansbury said the “hardest part of this decision” was taking the team’s two seniors, James Banks and Shembari Phillips, out of the conference tournament and any chance of playing in another postseason tournament.
The NCAA ruled in September that major recruiting violations were committed by one of coach Josh Pastner’s former assistants, Darryl LaBarrie, as well as one-time friend, Ron Bell. Pastner was not directly named in the NCAA’s findings and was largely cleared in the school’s investigation.
“I support the decision of our administration to withdraw the appeal of the competition penalty and am happy to know that we’ll have this penalty behind us as we go into 2020-21,” Pastner said.
In the appeal filed last year, Stansbury argued that the “severity of the penalties” has a “direct and unfair impact” on the school’s current athletes. The school said Monday there is no timeline on when the appeals process will conclude.
The NCAA said LaBarrie gave $300 to a touted prospect for a visit to an Atlanta strip club and arranged for him to meet with a former Georgia Tech athlete who played for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, an apparent reference to Jarrett Jack.
When the findings were announced, Joel Maturi, the chief hearing officer for the NCAA’s infractions committee, said the use of a strip club for recruiting purposes was especially disturbing.
The committee said Bell provided two players and a potential transfer athlete with $2,424 in shoes, clothes, meals, transportation and lodging.
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