Today, Ole Miss released the long-awaited response to the NCAA’s allegations of NCAA rule violations by three Rebel sports programs in the form of a 154-page document. The football, women’s basketball, and track and field teams all have self-imposed penalties related to the violations.
There’s not a lot of new information in the reports, as the track and field and women’s basketball teams already had coaches removed as a result of the violations, and the biggest violations for football, regarding academic fraud, involved a previous coaching staff and not any current Ole Miss staff. The women’s basketball team had already served a self-imposed postseason ban during the 2013 season.
The main penalties, as of now, for the Rebel football team are a disassociation with certain boosters and one organization for at least three years, a monetary fine of $159,325, the reduction of three scholarships in each of the next three recruiting classes, and being put on probation. Keep in mind though, that these are self-imposed, and the NCAA could impose harsher penalties if they are not satisfied.
Some punishments, like the suspension of two assistant coaches from recruiting for 30 days, were already carried out before the document was released.
The biggest football infractions in regard to the current staff involve Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil’s stepfather. According to the document, Miller received impermissible benefits from boosters and from Ole Miss assistant coaches.
The most important thing to note is that this is not the end of the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss. There is still an ongoing investigation into the Laremy Tunsil draft day debacle in which texts allegedly showing Tunsil attempting to receive money from coaches were released on his hacked Instagram account. Tunsil later admitted to receiving money from coaches in his post-draft interview and has declined to comment further. Tunsil was suspended seven games in 2015 for receiving a loaner car from Cannon Motors in Oxford, also a form of self-imposed penalties related to the violations.
The infractions by the current Ole Miss football staff do not appear to be major, but the important question is whether or not the NCAA will agree with the Rebels’ self-imposed punishments or if they will levy on stronger penalties on the program. In addition to this, if there is sufficient evidence that Ole Miss staff members were paying Laremy Tunsil during his time at Ole Miss, the Rebels will be facing more, and likely worse, punishments.
For Ole Miss fans, there’s nothing to stress out about as of now. Ole Miss self-reported many of the violations, and as of now it doesn’t seem like the punishment for the violations will be detrimental to the program. It’s now just a waiting game to see what the NCAA’s response will be and if any further infractions occurred with Laremy Tunsil.