Ole Miss releases notice of allegations, response to violations
Ole Miss has released a notice of allegations and response relating to NCAA violations against the university.
The notice indicates several violations occurred during football coach Hugh Freeze’s tenure, and include some Level I infractions, which the NCAA considers the most serious. Women’s basketball and track and field are also mentioned in the allegations.
The university released a response to the notice, in which it agrees that several “serious violations have occurred” due to “intentional misconduct” by former employees and “actions of individual boosters,” but does not agree on all of the facts surrounding them. The university believes that five of the 27 violations should be classified differently.
As a result of the violations, Ole Miss claims it has taken “several corrective actions” and the school said it self-imposed penalties.
The University has accepted responsibility for the violations that occurred and self‐imposed meaningful penalties. While discussed in more detail below, they collectively and generally include the termination of four coaches, including the only two involved head coaches still employed when the violations were discovered; the disassociation of every involved booster; a post‐season ban in women’s basketball; a double‐digit reduction of scholarships in the football program; a significant reduction in off‐campus evaluation days and official and unofficial visits in football and track and field; violation‐specific rules education across all involved sports; and a $159,325.00 financial penalty. In every one of these situations, the University carefully weighed the appropriate range of penalties and erred toward the upper limits.
The university also vowed to pursue a “proactive approach to compliance issues and exemplary cooperation throughout this process,” and acknowledged that “the proper classification is Level I” for several of the allegations.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions will assess the situation before ultimately deciding the university’s penalties.
Despite the notice and response, however, the university indicated it does not want to move forward with the case until the situation concerning alleged payments former offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil received while with the program is resolved. Ole Miss said it has requested not to appear in front of the committee this summer.