Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

NCAA smacks Ole Miss with additional postseason ban, more scholarship cuts

NCAA smacks Ole Miss with additional postseason ban, more scholarship cuts

He added that he was aware of efforts by other universities to poach Ole Miss players.

Freeze, who was sacked in July for issues not related to the NCAA investigation, has received a show-cause penalty, though the length is unknown.

Now that the lengthy investigation by the NCAA Committee on Infractions has finally come to an end, the presence of doubt in Oxford is finally gone.

Several former Ole Miss assistants and staff members received show-cause restrictions, which hinders their ability to work for schools in the NCAA. Yet, I am encouraged that the CIO found the failure to monitor was a mitigated violation based on, among other things, my personal record of compliance with NCAA rules.

The NCAA panel noted that this was the third case in 30 years involving Ole Miss boosters breaking rules, and said that even Freeze told them, "upon coming to MS, he was surprised by the "craziness" of boosters trying to insert themselves into his program".

The NCAA slapped the program with lack of institutional control and an additional bowl ban in 2018 on top of the self-imposed ban the school applied in 2017, which means that seniors in the program can transfer to any FBS program without penalty for the 2018 season.

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Among the penalties, Freeze was given a two-game conference suspension should he be hired before November 30, 2018.

Former head coach Hugh Freeze received a show-cause tag also.

"Off the field, (Freeze) promoted an atmosphere of compliance and expected his staff to abide by the rules", the NCAA ruling said. The committee said it reviewed 53,000 pages of information related to the case.

The investigation spanned violations committed under both Freeze and former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt, and spawned a dispute between Nutt and Ole Miss that inadvertently resulted in Freeze's downfall.

Now that Ole Miss has a better idea of its punishment, it can begin the process of rebuilding the program. The 41-year-old led the Rebels to a respectable season, including an Egg Bowl win over rival Mississippi State last week.

Bjork also confirmed that players with more than one year of eligibility remaining who wish to transfer must still go through the normal transfer process with the school and NCAA, and will be required to sit out a year, upon their release and transfer. The school said the resignation was not in relation to the NCAA case.

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