Memphis Files Appeal, Lashes Out At NCAA

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The University of Memphis has filed its appeal to the NCAA, criticizing the reasoning behind sanctions that stripped the Tigers of their 38 wins in the 2007-2008 season, according to The Commercial Appeal.

The Memphis newspaper reports the 45-page brief argues that the penalties and its reasoning are unprecedented and improper.

The school particularly targets the so-called "strict liability" standard imposed after the NCAA ruled Derrick Rose was retroactively ineligible because of an SAT score that was invalidated by the Educational Testing Service in May 2008.

Under "strict liability," the NCAA punished Memphis even though it wasn't accused of being involved in the academic fraud. The NCAA Committee on Infractions argued that Rose did not respond to requests to retake the exam, forcing the NCAA to enforce the sanction.

"The Committee's statement concerning the finding that this is a 'strict liability situation' is not supported by evidence, precedent or logic," Memphis argued in the brief, the newspaper reported.

By upholding the penalties given to Memphis under the "strict-liability" standard, the school argues it sets a precedent that "will apply to (future) situations that do not warrant such treatment and could result in outcomes unacceptable to the Division 1 membership."

The appeal, which was obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, was filed Thursday after being prepared by law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King in Overland Park, Kan., as outside counsel.

The Infractions Appeals Committee will have 30 days to respond, and both the university and NCAA enforcement staff get a short period to comment. Memphis will have the last chance to respond before the committee's appeal.