A National Collegiate Athletic Association appeals committee upheld a sweeping records vacation penalty  against the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa on Tuesday. The university was found last summer to have committed major rules violations  in 16 sports, including football. More than 200 athletes abused a university textbook distribution program, getting free books for non-athletes and non-academic swag for themselves from the student bookstore. Alabama officials unsuccessfully argued that the penalty being levied against them was too harsh. The NCAA decision comes a day after a records vacation penalty was upheld for violations committed by the men’s basketball program at the University of Memphis .