The NCAA notified Ole Miss of its sanctions from a long investigation early Friday morning, and after reports surfaced detailing a few of the penalties, the NCAA has released its official report with a long list of punishments for the program and embattled former coach Hugh Freeze.
The organization tweeted some of the major penalties, but the full list is much longer.
— NCAA (@NCAA) December 1, 2017
“The University of Mississippi lacked institutional control and fostered an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting,” according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel.
You can read the entire decision here.
The report states that six staff members and 12 boosters were involved in a slew of violations, “which included the provision of approximately $37,000 to prospects through cash payments, the use of automobiles, lodging, transportation, meals and apparel. Two staff members also helped arrange fraudulent standardized test scores for three prospects.”
Here is the NCAA’s full list of sanctions the program will face:
- Three years of probation from Dec. 1, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2020.
- A financial penalty of $5,000 plus 1 percent of its average football budget for three years, which was calculated at $179,797 (self-imposed by the university).
- A postseason ban for the 2017 (self-imposed by the university) and 2018 seasons. Ole Miss will appeal the 2018 bowl ban.
- The head coach (Hugh Freeze) must serve a two-conference-game suspension for the 2018 season should any NCAA school hire him between Dec. 1, 2017, and Nov. 30, 2018.
- An eight-year show-cause order for the operations coordinator, during which he must not hold any athletically related duties or have contact with prospective student-athletes and their families.
- A five-year show-cause order for the assistant coach who facilitated standardized test fraud and living arrangements. He must not hold any athletically related duties during this time.
- A two-year show-cause order for the other involved assistant coach. During this time, he must not participate in off-campus recruiting activities or hosting any meals for prospects or student-athletes.
- A five-year show-cause order for the assistant athletics director. He must not participate in any recruiting activities during this time.
- Vacation of all regular-season and postseason wins in which ineligible student-athletes competed.
- Scholarship reductions through 2018-19, as detailed in the public report (self-imposed by the university).
- Recruiting restrictions, as detailed in the public report.
- Disassociation of boosters, as detailed in the public report (self-imposed by the university).
The duration of the show-cause penalties to all coaches who received one will apply at any future job, according to the NCAA, which also said that the Ole Miss football program had developed a culture in which rules violations had become acceptable.
The report emphasizes the unethical actions of a variety of assistant coaches and other members of the athletic department that the NCAA claims knowingly violated recruiting rules by arranging for athletic boosters to pay prospects, arranging false ACT scores for prospects, providing impermissible benefits including housing and transportation for prospects, and providing “false and misleading” information throughout and “compromising the integrity” of the investigation.
The NCAA made a particular note to condemn the involvement of boosters in the program in these violations as well as in prior ones.
“This is now the third case over three decades that has involved the boosters and football program,” the NCAA panel said. “Even the head coach acknowledged that upon coming to Mississippi, he was surprised by the ‘craziness’ of boosters trying to insert themselves into his program.”
Here is just one example from the full report on the type of impermissible activity and involvement Rebels boosters had in the recruiting process:
“Mississippi hosted a series of prospects on both official and unofficial visits where prospects, their family members, and others attending the visits interacted with football staff members and boosters. On these visits, prospects participated in and were featured in mock television commercials. One prospect utilized a booster’s land for hunting.
“On a later visit, Mississippi provided individuals traveling with prospects cost-free accommodations and meals and an assistant coach directed them to a booster’s retail store where they received free gear. The same assistant coach later allowed that prospect to spend two nights at his home. Boosters continued to involve themselves with that prospect’s family, providing them free lodging on their visits to campus over the next 18 months.”
Complete coverage of Ole Miss NCAA sanctions
- What Ole Miss said in response to NCAA after sanctions announced
- Hugh Freeze releases statement in response to NCAA ruling and sanctions
- Ole Miss to appeal 2018 bowl ban
- Hugh Freeze given 1-year penalty as head coach, could be a coordinator immediately
- WATCH: Star Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown gives epic, NSFW response after Ole Miss gets hammered by NCAA
- Hugh Freeze apparently blamed Ole Miss booster culture on Houston Nutt
- Internet reacts to NCAA reportedly hammering Ole Miss with penalties
- What Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said at introductory news conference