The NCAA denied Alabama's appeal of a ruling vacating 21 football victories for violations involving free textbooks.
The NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee announced Tuesday that the Committee on Infractions' ruling in June 2009 stands.
Alabama claimed the penalty was "unprecedented" in such cases. The appeals panel says the infractions committee must be free to assess penalties based on the specific facts of each case.
The case involved 201 athletes in 16 sports who obtained textbooks they weren't entitled to under their scholarships, including 22 "intentional wrongdoers."
University President Robert Witt said Alabama officials were "disappointed by the committee's inconsistent decision."