Monday the final blow by the NCAA against Ole Miss football came when it was announced Ole Miss would be vacating wins to end the punishment.
Vacated wins are never a good thing but most Ole Miss fans expected it was coming. Monday evening Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork announced the final punishment from the NCAA. Ole Miss football would be vacating 33 games from six seasons between 2010 and 2016. While it was far more than I believed it would be we all knew the NCAA would hit us again in the win column.
The vacated wins include two victories over in-state rival Miss State which is very laughable considering they have two players caught up in a lawsuit with Rebel Rags. Miss State linebacker Leo Lewis admitted to the NCAA of soliciting funds and or other incentives from multiple schools yet the NCAA is determined to turn a blind eye towards the matter even with Lewis flashing cash all over social media just after signing with the Bulldogs.
Some of the other vacated wins include four 2010 wins and two 2011 wins which were under the watch of former Rebels head coach Houston Nutt. We will discuss Nutt more later. Seven vacated wins came from former Rebels head Hugh Freeze’s first season with seven from 2013, eight from 2014 and five from the 2016 season.
Ole Miss Rebels
Where do we really start? By now we should have already realized the problem is not with Ole Miss nor any other school in the SEC. The problem lies within all of them, the SEC Commissioner’s office and the NCAA. Why? Because while Ole Miss was wrong has done nothing greater than any other SEC school, our SEC Commissioner is biased by other entities and the NCAA is simply outdated and obviously should be realigned on an executive level.
When you look closer at the entire Ole Miss investigation it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an NCAA investigator to see what the NCAA has done to Ole Miss throughout this process. The NCAA spent over five years wasting our money in an investigation which could have and should have taken only a fraction of the time. Most of us know when they had no other way to avoid egg on their faces then they fangled a plot against a major Ole Miss donor via a rival.
When you throw in the fact SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey is also chair for the NCAA Committee On Infractions and his daughter attended Miss State then you see an obvious conflict. Sankey did recuse himself from the NCAA investigation which was the appropriate thing to do. However, in his position as SEC Commish he should have stood up for a charter member of the SEC. He never did or has as of yet but we’ll see what he has to say soon you can be sure.
Then The NCAA
Once again where do you really begin? The NCAA has been bad for a long time with a long track history of failures and forcing their ‘strong arm’ against certain teams while also clearly overlooking others. If you follow football closely you have certain questions which have arisen over the years?
The NCAA is a monopoly and pretty much have done what they wanted to do over the years to whichever team was target. When SMU received a two-year football program ban in a play-for-pay scandal it was somewhat justified but very extreme and the die was cast by the NCAA to where they had made an example. Of course, SMU was giving another Big12, then SWC, cash cow fits.
However, there have been other cases where an unfair advantage on the field of play has not mattered for some schools. Here and now it has happened again. What is really happening to Alabama, Michigan or others when you know they have shady programs because of what you see up front?
How can Bama have their own shoe store in their locker room and not every other school have the same thing? How do Bama players drive the nicest vehicles on campus when some were still riding the bus in high-school? You know the answer. Then how does Michigan fly their entire team to Rome or Paris, which they have done twice and that isn’t being used as a recruiting tool for the Harbaugh? Once again, it’s all about the Benjamins.
The Ultimate Solution
The best possible outcome would be to see the NCAA treat every team in the nation fairly and the same holds true for the SEC. However, with the executives of both entities making millions of dollars a year to be pawns for the ‘cash cows’ like Bama and Michigan among others doesn’t give us much hope in anything really changing.
While we await to see how much more the NCAA decides to delve into programs which threaten the money makers we also hope the NCAA and SEC officials who are at fault either resign or are removed from their positions. Both are examples of what shouldn’t be allowed. It’s the only way change from the way things truly are will ever have a chance of truly changing. Fingers crossed. Hotty Toddy!