The Ole Miss NCAA ruling: What you need to know

Beth Cruz
December 2, 2017

In addition to the bowl ban, NCAA issued show-causes to several former Ole Miss coaches and administrators including Barney Farrar (five years) and Chris Kiffin (two years).

The NCAA panel noted that this was the third case in 30 years involving Ole Miss boosters breaking rules, and said that even Freeze told them, "upon coming to MS, he was surprised by the "craziness" of boosters trying to insert themselves into his program".

The NCAA committee could have either accepted the self-imposed penalties levied by Ole Miss or add penalties.

More about the booster issue: "The football program was able to involve boosters in violations because MS fostered a culture that enabled unconstrained and undeterred booster involvement in the recruiting process".

Ole Miss also was penalized by the NCAA with an additional loss of 13 football scholarships.

Bjork also said there are "other aspects of the case that we will also appeal, and we will determine the specifics of those matters in the next few days".


Now that the NCAA has tacked on another year of postseason punishment, players with eligibility covered by the ban (rising Rebel seniors) can transfer to another school without having to sit out for a year.

The COI expressly agreed that I "promoted an atmosphere of compliance and expected my staff to abide by the rules".

"While my hope is to be a head coach again as soon as possible, this restriction does not limit, in any way, my ability to serve as an assistant coach", Freeze said in a statement released through his lawyer's office.

The Rebels will also be on probation for three more years through November 30, 2020 and must pay a financial penalty of about $179,000. Two staffers also arranged for fraudulent standardized test scores for three recruits. The show-cause is directly related to the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations. Vitter and Bjork disagreed with the additional bowl ban.

Ole Miss went 6-6 this year and beat Mississippi State 31-28 in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night. The resignation came after the university found records of phone calls from Freeze to an escort service on his school-issued cell phone. School officials removed the interim tag from head coach Matt Luke after his team's victory over their in-state rivals, but now faces an increasingly long road toward getting the Rebels back to national respectability.

Needless to say, the school plans to appeal by next week, Bjork said.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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