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UH claims NCAA committee ‘abused its discretion’

The University of Hawaii claims a powerful NCAA committee “abused its discretion” and penalized the school under the wrong version of its bylaws in imposing a post-season ban on the men’s basketball team for 2016-17.

The claims are contained in a 17-page UH rebuttal to the NCAA Committee on Infractions filed today by the school’s Alabama-based law firm.

UH had until Monday to reply to the COI’s defense of the penalties it announced in January.

The final decision on whether to retain or dismiss the penalty rests with the Infractions Appeals Committee which reviews the submissions by UH and the Committee on Infractions. A decision could come as soon as next month.

In the interim, at least two UH juniors who could have returned to school next season, announced their departures. Aaron Valdes and Stefan Jankovic have announced they will pursue professional careers.

In its rebuttal to the NCAA released today, UH said, “The COI’s response to the University’s appeal is grounded in little more than bald ipse dixit (an assertion claimed but not proven) – the postseason ban penalty is proper because the COI says it is and nothing further need be considered. The COI attempts to defend its arbitrary imposition of an excessive penalty through a litany of unsupported, conclusionary statements and rank speculation that find no support in the record of this case, and which, in some instances, are flatly contradicted by the record.”

In addition, UH claims, “NCAA bylaws require more before the extraordinarily severe penalty of a postseason ban may be levied against a member institution and its current student-athletes.”

UH asserts, “There are multiple grounds on which this Committee should vacate the postseason ban penalty. First, the COI imposed the penalty under the wrong version of Bylaw 19.9. The violations in this case predominately occurred before October 30, 2012, which requires that the COI impose penalties under the more lenient penalty structure.”

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  • Unless you are a big name school like say North Carolina you will be penalized big time, the Tar Heels were under investigation but yet nothing was done about it, do you actually believe the NCAA will penalize NCU since it is playing in the championship game, I don’t think so, they really are treating the mid major colleges as the second tier schools compared to the big name ones which is in my opinion is a slap in the face.

    • Again, unless you are putting BIG money into the back pockets of the NCAA, you won’t be given the time of day. UH is not a big name program with thousands of high profile supporters that would literally murder the NCAA in court if that happens to their programs!

      • Hawaii should also have sued for the 2002 men’s volleyball national champsionship that was taken away because a UH player played in some leagues that had professionals, even though that player was not paid.

        In this case, a self report level 2 or 3 violation is considered minor. Hawaii self impposed scholarship losses among other penalties. That should have been sufficient.

        Back some years ago, an Ohio State running back (Maurice Clarett) got caught being paid to play but the NCAA did not revoke the national championship because they said the “BCS” title game is not an NCAA champaionship.

        Sounds like the NCAA makes up stuff as they go along.

  • Knowing next to nothing about the NCAA bylaws, I would say that if the appeal claim is true – that they violation occurred under a different version of the bylaws that were imposed – that is a pretty strong argument for overturning the decision.

  • Win or lose, I for one am glad that the University of Hawaii is finally not giving in and walking away with its tail between its legs! After paying off former Presidents, coaches and caving in to the Wonder Blunder, UH is finally showing some balls. Imua!

  • Strange that North Carolina has had an ongoing four+years investigation(s) of wrong-doing which has not come to completion even as we speak? And these are very serious allegations. So swift and damaging for a small institution as in UH’s case. Guess that’s where the have’s and have not makes a big difference.
    BS is what I say.

  • The Alabama law firm which messed all this up in the first place now questions the integrity of the Committee on Infractions (abusing the discrection it is granted). UH: You are poorly represented. Get rid of the Alabama law firm. They are covering their poor representation of you, taking “false cracks” in order to look “big body” to cover their miserable handling of the Gib firing (WITHOUT CAUSE!!!) and advising UH to “admit” to all the allegations in the notice of allegations. Speculation? “litany of unsupported, conclusionary statements and rank speculation”???? They (the Alabama law firm) told you guys to ADMIT to those things. And, YOU DID!!!

    • This case reminds me of the way the NFL went after the New England Patriots without sufficient evidence to prove that their quarterback Tom Brady knowingly violated NFL bylaws in the Deflate-gate fiasco. But such evidence, or lack thereof, wasn’t needed since Patriots owner Bob Kraft accepted the punishment that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed down, despite knowing that the punishment was overly excessive–punishment usually reserved to players who are convicted of committing criminal offenses such as sexual assault or taking performance enhancing drugs. So in a way Kraft was admitting guilt and all the petitioning in the world will not get New England their number one draft pick back. If UH loses this appeal, it may be because they were too honest in admitting to the allegations. One would think the NCAA will cut UH some slack for being forthright–yet if they lose this appeal it would appear otherwise.

  • A more self-righteous bunch than the NCAA rarely stalked this fine country. Force them to justify their “facts” and conclusions and they’ll cave like wet salt. (Work the word “concussion” into the brief as a kicker.)

  • NCAA is abusing their power on small universities that had minor violations compared to major colleges like Niorth Carolina and Louisville. UH needs to prevail

  • Gib not allowed to coach at an NCAA institution for 3 years. The Syracuse coach gets a 9 game suspension.

    Louisville broke NCAA rules as well as some legal laws. They allowing things to happen on their property by their employees. They the NCAA overlooks this will be a farce. Get the legal system to handle this and you will find that someone an some organization had broken state and federal laws. Was there any possible recruit who had been under 18 who attended this so called X-Rated party?

    North Carolina having fake classes giving out fake grades. Equals to fake diplomas. Is this also breaking any laws?

    The NCAA is dealing not with their meaning of a violation(s) but the breaking of laws. Why are they having this investigated by the legal system?

    UH you are being treated like a 3rd world country. A institution that has been swept under the rug by the NCAA when they need to show their power.

  • This happening when an acting chancellor appeared to have done very little to argue the case with the NCAA. Is this why he is only the acting and does not or have not applied for the permanent chancellor position? Did UH save money by having an acting chancellor for this period of time? Especially at such a crucial crossroads facing the basketball program.

    When there is a fight you get the best man who is willing to uphold the integrity of the program instead of looking for a scapegoat(s) like they did with Gib and Akana. Let’s not forget Fotu who was not even backed or represented by the school instead they suspended him. All for the lending of an I-pad or the use of an I-pad.

  • “First, the COI imposed the penalty under the wrong version of Bylaw 19.9.” What I’m a bit baffled by is, regardless of whether the violations occurred before or after the NCAA restructured this bylaw prior to October 30, 2012, weren’t post season bans only applied and continue to be applied only to schools that commit Level I violations? Being that the most severe violations which UH committed were Level II, even under the stricter and more current Bylaw 19.9, a post season ban shouldn’t apply. Doesn’t seem like the punishment fits the “crime” so to speak, since supposedly, even under the NCAA’s current bylaws applied by its enforcement division, specific violations would trigger specific penalties. So because UH received a post season ban for committing Level II violations, does this also mean other schools will receive such unprecedented post season bans for Level II offenses. Like some of the other commenters on this thread have mentioned, there does seem to be a double standard on which a smaller school such as UH is treated, in comparison to a team from the power conferences.

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