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Postseason Ban & Scholarship Reductions Expanded For Ole Miss Football By NCAA
02 December 2017, 01:01 | Nina Mathis
Ole Miss to appeal sanctions levied by NCAA
Ole Miss had self-imposed a bowl ban for 2017, along with a reduction of 11 scholarships over a total of four years, prior to the news. The school had self-imposed a loss of 11, but the NCAA added 13 more.
Because Ole Miss is bowl-banned for 2018, players entering their last year of eligibility are allowed to transfer from the program without sitting out a year in "academic residence". Ole Miss has a handful of attractive seniors on its roster.
Ole Miss officials have been notified that they will receive their long-awaited ruling from the NCAA committee on infractions Friday morning, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to ESPN.
"This is now the third case over three decades that has involved the boosters and football program", the panel said in its decision.
The NCAA extended Ole Miss football's postseason ban to two seasons, cut scholarships and handed down show-cause orders to four former coaches and athletics employees Friday, concluding a lengthy investigation of recruiting violations that dated from 2012. The NCAA largely accepted those penalties, but the big addition was the extra year of postseason ineligibility.
Vitter also said he fully trusts Ross Bjork to continue to lead Ole Miss' athletics department. "It is simply not warranted and based on fundamental flaws in the NCAA case". "We will vigorously appeal the additional postseason ban".
Members of the football coaching staff knowingly committed recruiting violations and arranged for impermissible booster contact and involvement. Once the appeals committee acknowledges the request, the university has 30 days to file the appeal.
Further, he maintains that he hopes to be a head coach again "as soon as possible" and makes sure to emphasize the fact that his penalties do not prevent him from being an assistant coach right away. "I want to thank everyone who stood by me, including my family, my friends, and the University of MS". The NCAA noted that former head coach Hugh Freeze "acknowledged that upon coming to MS, he was surprised by the "craziness" of boosters trying to insert themselves into his program". Some of them are more significant than others, ranging from former staffers allegedly fixing ACT scores to get recruits qualified for the football team to recruits allegedly hunting on boosters' private land.
The Rebels will also be on probation for three more years through November 30, 2020 and must pay a financial penalty of about $179,000.
Now that Ole Miss has a better idea of its punishment, it can begin the process of rebuilding the program.
Both administrators declined to offer details about the change, but Bjork added, "We strongly disagree with the tactics used by the enforcement staff to keep us isolated in the final months of the investigation". Phone records that showed Freeze calling numbers linked to escort services with his university phone came out during that lawsuit.
Needless to say, the school plans to appeal by next week, Bjork said.
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