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Mizzou puts the ball in NCAA’s court by filing appeal brief

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

make it right

Mizzou files appeal, will wait to hear from NCAA

It feels like ages since the NCAA decided to hammer the University of Missouri for the crimes of the University of North Carolina, but Monday’s happenings remind us that we still have a ways to go before there’s any resolution.

On Monday, the university filed a 64-page brief with the NCAA Appeals Committee, seeking relief from the harsh sanctions handed down by the association earlier this year.

From the official news release:

“We believe that the penalties our programs received were a clear abuse of the Committee’s discretion based upon existing NCAA bylaws. Our staff and legal team have worked tirelessly to research and develop a well-written appeal that accurately reflects our position,” said Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. “We look forward to having the opportunity to meet face to face with the NCAA Appeals Committee later this year, and it is our sincere hope that at the end of this process, the penalties assessed are consistent with the nature of the violations and take into account our swift response.”

Obviously we’re not getting a complete picture of Mizzou’s appeal to the NCAA, but the university did offer some insight when it pointed out that the appeal rested on three key arguments.

  • The penalties handed down were contrary to NCAA case precedent
  • They were not supported, or appropriate, given the nature of the violations
  • They could have a chilling effect on future NCAA enforcement processes

This is an interesting mixture of foundational points. There’s no denying that the third is true. In fact, the NCAA admitted as much briefly after handing the sanctions down. The second may be harder to prove given that the sanctions are consistent with the level of infractions Missouri admitted to.

The first argument, however, is what could be really interesting. The university’s stance essentially rests on the idea that it’s being treated unfairly — which, let’s be honest, the NCAA has never cared about treating anyone fairly — and they seem to believe they have the examples to prove it.

If Missouri is able to prove there have been other schools in similar situations that were treated more leniently, that could turn the tide in terms of getting the postseason bans and recruiting sanctions overturned. Of course, that would be assuming the NCAA is willing to acknowledge (A) it’s incredibly inept oversight (B) that it was trying to make an example out of Missouri, neither of which the NCAA would seem particularly fond of doing. Either way, though, the NCAA is going to come out of this entire situation with a whole lot of egg on its face.

More Links:

  • Gabe dove into Sophie Cunningham, Jontay Porter and more in this week’s Monday Morning Thoughts ($$).
  • Dave Matter also addressed Jontay Porter’s recent injury — and his options moving forward — in his quick run through of all Missouri sports.
  • Congrats to No. 19 Mizzou Gymnastics, who will head to NCAA Regionals in Athens, Ga., next weekend. It’s the program’s fifth straight bid.
  • Alex Schiffer broke down the latest in Missouri recruiting, including a look at the recently available Kobe Brown, at the Kansas City Star.
  • We’ve reached the point in NFL Draft season where mock drafts aren’t enough for one round, so two-rounders are starting to become more prevalent. In CBS Sports’ latest, two Missouri players pop up.