Ole Miss football and it’s fans have awaited this day since the beginning of the NCAA investigation. So what did we really learn from the sanctions?
So whether you are a diehard Ole Miss football fan or opposing foe you’ve been ready to see this day. It’s finally here. For Ole Miss Rebels fans it was a chance to finally know our fate and pray it isn’t a program wrecker. For foes, it’s a chance to see a rival football team get a colonoscopy from the NCAA.
Just knowing that it was going to soon be over and Ole Miss football could begin moving forward was a relief. Not having an impending sense of doom hanging over the program is a great. Simply get past what has been done and being able to start over is a blessing.
The sanctions have certainly hurt us even though we are receiving a little more than what we self-imposed and a modern-day slap on the wrist. Much of the damage was done way before today. Of course, like all things there are specifics. However, let’s take a look beyond the specifics at a few things we learned from the entire ordeal.
What We Learned
Ole Miss Rebels Football
We learned a lot from the revealing details of the NCAA and COI ruling against Ole Miss. Number one, the NCAA marched into Oxford with an agenda. They intended to punish Ole Miss at any cost and make us an example. This isn’t the first time the NCAA has used its strong-arm seige tactics to cripple a sports program.
Of course, not every school has had to endure the NCAA quite to the extent Ole Miss has. Not every school has had racially motivated NCAA investigators camped out on their campus for 5 years.
Oh yeah NCAA investigator Chris Howard made a tweet where he stated “Headed to Oxford Mississippi to take down the most racist school in the South!” The tweet was later deleted. It should be noted Howard was part of NCAA compliance at LSU.
Think about that when you listen to the tape with Barney Farrar and Tina Henderson discussing pay for play for her son Student-Athlete No. 39 from other SEC schools.
There’s no doubt the southern culture on and around the Ole Miss campus played a huge part in the investigation. I dare the NCAA to say it isn’t so. Ole Miss has been demonized over the years by the media for what happened eons ago. It’s no big secret Ole Miss is still haunted by ghosts of the past and persons with an agenda. At some point enough is enough but the NCAA Director of Enforcement Chris Howard couldn’t stop. He couldn’t resist his opportunity to make a name for himself.
Oh There’s More
We have also learned there are reports of efforts by rival schools to impede a justified cross-examination of players who were given limited immunity and blatantly lied about the Ole Miss football program and a high-profile Ole Miss donor.
What we have to remember is this. If the COI called Leo Lewis credible in accusations against Rebel Rags then they should deem all of his statements credible. Even his statements to NCAA investigators where he admitted to soliciting and receiving inducements from multiple schools.
I’d say the recent release of a taped conversation corroborates his involvement in pay for play on the night before National Signing Day. Come on NCAA, do your job! Note: Under NCAA standards ‘limited immunity’ covers only the player and not the school or schools involved. Just figured I’d throw that out there Miss State and LSU.
However, remember that the Director for NCAA enforcement during the Ole Miss investigation served within the NCAA compliance department at LSU. Oh, what a tangled web the NCAA has woven. No wonder they can’t win a federal case. To think Chris Howard is actually an attorney. Laughable at best. And even more funny when you understand he has an obvious agenda to ‘take down’ Ole Miss. Congrats Robert Morris University, you have a real stand up guy.
Oh There’s Even More
There’s always more to be learned. In this case we’ve learned nobody has our back. From the SEC Commissioners Office in Birmingham we’ve heard nothing from Greg Sankey whose daughter has attended Miss State, one of the schools seriously involved within the case. It should be noted that Sankey is also the chair of the NCAA Committee On Infractions.
Of course, Sankey recused himself from the Ole Miss COI hearings because there was conflict of interest and rightly so. He should have recused himself. At least he did that right. However, Greg Sankey dropped the ball as SEC Commissioner. Mr Sankey, you are no Commissioner. You are an Emmert minion who makes millions to perform a job. A job which should include going to bat for a charter member of the SEC.
If you can’t perform your duties as COI Chair because of personal conflict then you SHOULD do your job as SEC Commissioner. If you can’t do either then you should take the money and run which is exactly what you have done. You’ve failed as COI chair because of your job as SEC Commissioner and you’ve failed as SEC Commissioner because you didn’t do your job. It’s time to kick rocks Commissioner Sankey.
So today the Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork and Chancellor Jeff Vitter had a nice little press conference discussing the sanctions which were doled out earlier today. They have promised to ‘vigorously fight’ the post-season bowl ban for the 2018 season. We’ll see soon enough just how far they are willing to go to save our University of Mississippi, our program, our players and us the fans.
I’m like a lot of other Ole Miss fans right now. Of course, I’m confounded by the way this entire investigation has been handled. However, we are Ole Miss and we have to believe this too shall pass. Bad things come and go but strong family stays true. Ole Miss Rebels may get knocked down but we always get back up. And, we own the Egg. Hotty Damn Toddy!