Ole Miss Issues Latest Response To NCAA Investigation

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Ole Miss was hit with the dreaded lack of institutional control, as well as failure to monitor for head coach Hugh Freeze, each of which Ole Miss, as expected and now confirmed in its response, will contest.

This investigation has lasted five years and originally began in the women's basketball program, where academic and recruiting misconduct was discovered.

The 21 total charges the football program and head coach Huge Freeze are now facing involve: lack of institutional control, head coach responsibility, impermissible contact and impermissible recruiting inducement such as free apparel, transportation and lodging, cash and drinks as well as cash payments to recruits.

"Yet", the response reads, "there are instances in which the University disagrees with the [NCAA] enforcement staff's interpretation of the evidence or its sufficiency". The University has also improved its compliance systems based on lessons learned during this investigation.

The school is pinning former Hugh Freeze assistant Barney Farrar-whose name popped up in draft night text messages that indicated Laremy Tunsil was getting paid while at Ole Miss-with a lot of the blame.

Ole Miss stood by its self-imposed sanctions, announced in February, that include but aren't limited to a postseason ban that necessitates the loss of almost $7.8 million in SEC revenue, a double-digit reduction of scholarships and a more than 10 percent reduction in off-campus evaluation days in each of two years. Instead, the question before the Committee in evaluating the institutional control charge is whether the University had appropriate policies and procedures in place at the time of those violations, and if so, did the University implement and enforce those policies. Ole Miss has already self-imposed several penalties. But others are lacking in evidence and are meant to sabotage the university.

The NCAA gave Lewis immunity for any violations he participated in during his recruitment in exchange for his testimony. The university states that in one account of the story, said athlete states that a booster "provided him a wad of $100 bills" and in another interview states that the booster "handed him a bag full of money". "The University firmly believes its bold corrective actions will make a meaningful and permanent difference". Shortly after the second NOA surfaced, Ole Miss self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for the 2017-18 season, although the investigation remained open with further penalties possible.

The university must address the future of Freeze.

According to Loyd, the university became aware of allegations against Farrar in August of 2016. School officials will likely appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions at some point this fall.

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