NCAA Hits Ole Miss With Two-Year Postseason Ban

Rebels players celebrate after the game against Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Because of the length of the penalties, all Ole Miss players are allowed to transfer to another school without having to sit out the one-year usually mandated under NCAA rules.

The Rebels, who are accused of 15 Level I violations, including lack of institutional control, appeared in front of the NCAA committee on infractions in Covington, Kentucky, on September 11-12.

University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter and Athletic Director Ross Bjork struck a defiant tone in a press conference about today's NCAA ruling over recruiting violations in the football program.

Every coach named in the investigation will receive a show-cause tag by the NCAA.

In three interviews with enforcement officers past year, the sophomore Bulldogs linebacker said that during his recruitment he received free Ole Miss merchandise, free food and cash payments amounting to $10,000 from a prominent Rebels booster. Freeze resigned before the 2017 season when it was revealed he had made calls to an escort service.

Former Rebels assistant coaches David Saunders, Chris Vaughn, Chris Kiffin and staff member Barney Farrar were among those disciplined by the NCAA. That is in addition to the 11 they have already lost as part of their self-imposed penalties. Ole Miss also must pay a financial penalty.

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The players who can't play immediately elsewhere include quarterback Shea Patterson, receivers A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf, and tackle Greg Little.

"It is not necessary for an institution to obtain permission in writing to recruit a student-athlete at an institution that has been placed on probation with sanctions that preclude it from competing in postseason competition during the remaining seasons of the student-athlete's eligibility". Yet, I am encouraged that the CIO found the failure to monitor was a mitigated violation based on, among other things, my personal record of compliance with NCAA rules.

When asked repeatedly about specifics and individual components of the case, Bjork, who had been behind the same podium four days previously to announce Matt Luke as football coach, acknowledged that Ole Miss released multiple examples of their displeasure in the form of correspondence and other exhibits from the case.

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