Only the 21 vacated football wins will be challenged, according to the official Notice of Appeal released by the university on Thursday afternoon.
The other penalties — stemming from the scandal involving textbook distribution to student-athletes, included a public reprimand, fine of $43,900 and three additional years of probation — were not part of the appeal.
The appeal did not dispute the findings of two violations — impermissible benefits and failure to monitor — instead appealing only the vacation of 21 football wins from 2005-07 in which players later found to be ineligible participated.
There is only one basis for an appeal of a penalty alone. Alabama must prove to the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee that the Committee on Infraction’s penalty is “excessive such that it constitutes an abuse of discretion.”
After announcing the school’s decision to file the appeal last week, President Robert Witt addressed the reason.
“We believe the penalties assessed in the case involving textbooks were excessive given the nature of the infraction,” Witt said June 18 following committee meetings of the board of trustees.
Football coach Nick Saban expressed happiness when the sanctions were announced June 11 because the penalties would not hurt the future of the program. That same afternoon, Witt and Athletics Director Mal Moore both used the word “disappointed” to describe their feelings toward the sanctions. There were seven football players involved with the scandal that involved manipulation of a gap in the scholarship-athlete textbook distribution system.