Statement from Dr. Robert E. Witt, President
"This afternoon, the NCAA announced penalties imposed on The University of Alabama because of violations of NCAA policies regarding the distribution of textbooks to student athletes.
"In 2007 when we learned of this problem, we immediately reported it to the SEC and the NCAA. We rapidly and thoroughly investigated the problem, in cooperation with both the SEC and the NCAA, and reported our findings to both organizations.
"In our report, we acknowledged the violations and accepted full responsibility. The University of Alabama failed to monitor its textbook distribution program. As a result, a small number of athletes purposely took advantage of the program to obtain textbooks for their friends – textbooks that had to be returned or paid for at the end of the semester.
"It's important to note that no coach or staff member was involved in the violation. No sport gained a competitive advantage, and not one athlete pocketed one dollar.
"It's also important to note that the penalties imposed affect the past. They do not impact our future. They in no way affect the ability of our football team to compete fully without competitive disadvantage.
"We're disappointed in the severity of the penalties. We regret that a large number of players and coaches are being penalized for something that they were not involved in.
"The University of Alabama is committed to doing things the right way – to being in full compliance with SEC and NCAA policies – and steps have been taken to ensure that, in the future, we will be."
Statement from Mal M. Moore, Director of Athletics
"Upon discovery of this situation in 2007, we conducted an exhaustive review, and we have corrected and strengthened our textbook monitoring process.
"We have clearly demonstrated our commitment to doing things the right way, so we are disappointed by the ruling of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
"Throughout this process, we have done everything possible to cooperate with the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA Enforcement Staff.
"This case involves a failure in an isolated aspect of the program, and there is neither evidence nor allegations of other NCAA violations. No head coaches or assistant coaches of any sport, and no administrators were involved. No players gained financially or otherwise; no competitive advantage was gained; all of the books were returned.
"We will carefully consider our options regarding an appeal, as we feel that we owe that to our current and former student-athletes, and to our alumni and fans.
"It is important that our fans and supporters understand this: the ruling does not hinder our efforts going forward in recruiting as well as competition. But the ruling is a clear reminder that we must maintain strict compliance with all NCAA regulations."