Most of the media and rival fans have made up their mind on Ole Miss. Their agenda gets in the way of the facts that the NCAA has discovered.
There was a program that articles were written about their pay for play system, players using illegal drugs, rampant cheating and the use of “hostesses” in the recruiting of athletes. Does this sound familiar? If you pay attention the national media, live in the south and especially live in Mississippi it should.
I’m not talking about the program you are thinking. I am talking about Oklahoma State. In the fall of 2013 there were several articles written about Oklahoma State alleging them of things that Ole Miss is being accused of now.
Even though none of those things were in the NOA (Notice of Allegations). The NCAA response to the Oklahoma State case “This case stemmed from a series of articles published about alleged NCAA violations. The University alerted the NCAA to the NCAA to the allegations and a cooperative investigation began. More than 50,000 emails and other documents were reviewed ad nearly 90 interviews of current and former student athletes, coaches, staff and boosters were conducted. The investigation determined that many of the allegations from the series of articles were unfounded; However, the panel concluded that the university violated its drug testing policy and committed recruiting violations.”
Again does this sound familiar?
The last few days I’ve gone through the Ole Miss NOA and the Ole Miss response. None of the things that the Ole Miss has been alleged of doing are in it. There are national and local media members that have claimed to read the NOA and response but once you get to reading it you know from their claims they probably didn’t look at it, never the less read it all the way through.
If you read the Ole Miss NOA and response it basically reads of a glorified bed and breakfast and taxi cab service. I know… I know. I know what you’re thinking……….PROVE IT!
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Here we go!
-Ole Miss received the NCAA findings in January 13, 2016
-Assistant Coach Chris Kiffin let a player sleep on his couch with out demanding payment. The NCAA deemed that was worth $33.00.
-All but 1 of the 16 level 1 violations (women’s basketball,track &football) arose from intentional misconduct committed by rogue former employees or boosters outside the university. The remaining level 1 is woman’s basketball.
-Ross Bjork spent countless hours working with the enforcement staff.
-Ole Miss spent 1.5 million dollars on the investigation.
-University found or had a big part in finding violations.
-University had almost finished the ACT Fraud investigation when the NCAA joined in.
-Ole Miss ask the committee to consider a lower range of penalties based upon, among other things, the institutions compliance efforts and conduct during the investigation. (Exemplary Cooperation Exhibit IN-1 University of Louisiana Lafayette January 12, 2016) at 21; Exhibit IN-2, University of Southern Mississippi (April 8, 2016) at 32)
-Laremy Tunsil was suspended 7 games by the NCAA for rental cars
-CJ Hampton was suspended 2 games by the NCAA for rental car
-Lindsey Miller gave NCAA his and his family’s bank statements
-Ole Miss wanting Chris Kiffins misrepresentation of Lindsey Millers relationship to Tunsil and his mother changed from a level II to level III. Have shown other cases where it was a level III
-2 of 3 player athletes involved with ACT Fraud test scores were cleared by the ACT center. (Ole Miss fighting to get this changed to only 1 count of ACT Fraud.)
-David Saunders left the University in 2010
– 2 of the 3 student athletes involved in the ACT fraud lasted less than 1 academic year at Ole Miss.
-Accusations about David Saunders and Chris Vaughn were made after they left the university. They university should not be held accountable for their actions.
Fly War Eagle
Since the major topic for everyone is Laremy Tunsil and his impermissible benefits let’s take a look at Todd Gurley’s suspension at the University of Georgia. Todd Gurley was suspended 4 games for accepting $3,000.00 to autograph memorabilia for multiple dealers.
No punishment to the University of Georgia.
Let’s also look at HaHa Clinton-Dix at Alabama. Clinton-Dix was suspended 2 games for receiving a loan of $500.00 from assistant strength and conditioning coach. No punishment to Alabama.
Another popular narrative is Ole Miss will be the first major University judged by the new guidelines of the NCAA they will not be the first university judged by the guidelines. ULL went on probation in January for:
- 104 counts against from Waynesborro ACT testing center (6 players)
- Multiple Level 1’s
- The institution was actively engaged throughout the investigation in this case & provided the enforcement staff with valuable assistance to expedite its final resolution, including arranging interviews, requesting & providing documentation. Therefore, the enforcement staff as identified this as a potential mitigating factor.
- NCAA noted the fact ULL consistently reported level III or secondary violations
- 2011-12 through 2014-15 university reported 24 secondary violations
- 4 level I’s which Saunders had direct knowledge of
- Saunders violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct
- 2counts of impermissible cash payments to then a prospect as well a rounded cash payment to the prospect after he enrolled (pay for play)
- Saunders refused to furnish the NCAA with information that was relevant to the investigation
- Saunders set up a “supervisor” at ACT site to complete or alter the prospects answer sheets in a manner that they would get a fraudulent score.
- university records indicate the (redacted) made 2 cash payments in the fall of (redacted)
- Both payments were for (redacted) housing $814.00 on August 27, 2012 and $1,200.00 on September 11, 2012. (Level 1 severe breach of conduct)
- Recruit stayed on U.L.L Campus while attending local community college in 2012. Saunders paid the recruit multiple cash payments to make sure the recruit could pay his on campus housing rent. Saunders had the recruit bring back a receipt to show he had paid his rent
- During the Spring & Summer of 2012 Saunders made cash payments totaling approximately $5,000.00 for living and educational expenses. Additionally after the recruit enrolled in the fall of 2012 Saunders provided another cash payment to the student athlete in the amount of $1,500.00 to pay for an installment of his housing bill.
ULL Self Imposed:
- 2 years of probation
- Reduce initial & total football scholarships by 11
- Vacate wins in which ineligible players played
- other recruiting restrictions
Th NCAA accepted ALL ULL’s self-imposed penalties. Most importantly for Ole Miss nothing was done to coach Hudspeth. That’s important because under the new NCAA guidelines the NCAA was said to punish the head coach for violations under his watch.
Here is a key phrase for Ole Miss about the ULL sanctions from the NCAA “Based on these reasons, the Ragin’ Cajuns football program received the lowest level of penalties for Level 1 violations within the NCAA’s penalty structure while imposing the most-severe penalties on Coach Saunders.
The NCAA accepted all of ULL’s self-imposed penalties because of Exemplary Cooperation. Which is another focus point for Ole Miss. Ole Miss has a similarities with the ULL case. (Lowest level of penalties for level 1 violations, Exemplary Cooperation and Academic Fraud with David Saunders)
If Ole Miss could get most if not all Level I’s reduced the self-imposed penalties should be more than fair. If you are worried about the public sentiment of Ole Miss remember Oklahoma State had several articles written about the cowboys alleging potential NCAA violations.
The NCAA looked into it and could not find any hard facts to back most of those allegations up. The NCAA sanctions were:
- 1 year probation
- Recruiting visits reduced
- Coaches visits reduced
- Valuation days reduced
- May not use “Orange Pride” or any other student organization to assist in recruiting.
Unless something new comes up Ole Miss should escape any major penalties by the NCAA. Like Paul Harvey said “Now you know the rest of the story.”