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NCAA denies appeal and will strip D-III school of national title

Mary Hardin-Baylor got some disappointing news today as the NCAA announced the decision on their appeal of penalties.

The school self-reported the violations to the NCAA back in early April of 2018 and they included head coach Pete Fredenburg loaning out the use of his 2006 Subaru to two players for a time period of about 18 months. UMHB self-imposed penalties that included a two-year probation period, a $2,500 fine, and increased training in NCAA compliance. The school also suspended coach Fredenburg for three months without pay and for three games of the 2018 season.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions decided to add additional penalties of vacating wins and records for the 2016 and 2017 season, including the team's 2016 national title. Not surprisingly, Mary Hardin-Baylor felt the penalty was too harsh, and appealed it.

Today, two years later, the NCAA announced that the program's appeal has been denied.

UMHB President Dr. Randy O'Rear shared the following statement on the NCAA's decision:

“This process has taken more than two years to complete, and we are deeply disappointed by this final decision. We believe it is a harsh penalty, especially for all the student-athletes who had no part in the infractions. As soon as we became aware of rules violations, we took immediate and decisive action and we self-reported to the NCAA. But in the end, student-athletes who had nothing to do with the violations have been stripped of their team accomplishments by the NCAA.

Although this was not the outcome we had hoped for, this decision does not detract in any way from the stellar performance of our 2016 and 2017 football teams. It does not take away the dedication and determination our student-athletes exhibited both on and off the field to achieve their goals."

“This decision will hurt for a long time," head coach Pete Fredenburg shared in the school's release. "I have learned from this experience, and our program will continue to move forward and build on our legacy going into the 2020 season.”

See the school's full release here.