NCAA extends bowl ban for Ole Miss and issues other penalties

Esther Moore
December 2, 2017

When Hugh Freeze took over at Ole Miss, he told the NCAA, even he was startled by the "craziness" of the football team's boosters. Most notably, the NCAA decided the one-year self-imposed postseason ban was not enough for the Rebels, who finished the regular season with a 6-6 record.

Now that the NCAA has tacked on another year of postseason punishment, players with eligibility covered by the ban (rising Rebel seniors) can transfer to another school without having to sit out for a year.

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 NCAA laid down harsh penalties against the University of MS on Friday, including scholarship reductions and a postseason ban, as part of the investigation into a series of recruiting violations committed by the football program. Specifically, the assistant athletics director acted unethically when he arranged for boosters to provide prospects between $13,000 and $15,600 in cash payments, including $10,000 to one prospect, as well as lodging, meals and transportation.

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". "I want to thank everyone who stood by me, including my family, my friends, and the University of MS".

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Former Rebels assistant coaches David Saunders, Chris Vaughn, Chris Kiffin and staff member Barney Farrar were among those disciplined by the NCAA, according to ESPN.

Now that Ole Miss has a better idea of its punishment, it can begin the process of rebuilding the program. The school said the resignation was not in relation to the NCAA case.

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". Matt Luke was named the permanent head coach on Sunday after serving on an interim basis throughout the 2017 season.

Ole Miss went 6-6 this year and beat Mississippi State 31-28 in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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