With Ole Miss releasing the NCAA’s notice of allegations and its own 154-page response to it, it didn’t take long for national media outlets to offer their take on the what’s taken place and what’s sure to follow. Here are some snippets of what each had to say:
It’s unclear what the NCAA or the school will do as far as punishment going forward. The NCAA still has to hand out its final ruling on this current investigation before it can add — or not add — any extra punishment that could come from an investigation into (former offensive tackle Laremy) Tunsil, who admitted on draft night to taking money from an Ole Miss staff member.
While there were some damning allegations in Ole Miss’ response, most notably the academic fraud that involved former Houston Nutt staff members Chris Vaughn and David Saunders, there was no bombshell that could cripple Ole Miss’ football program, and (Hugh) Freeze likely won’t lose his job over this.
When Mississippi shocked the college football world and signed the No. 7 recruiting class in the nation in February 2013, it didn’t pass the smell test for a lot of people in and around the sport.
Three years later, we can say with reasonable certainty that their noses did not deceive them. There was a questionable odor coming from Oxford then, and it is lingering over Hugh Freeze’s program to this day.
What’s the real cost of a down payment on a 2010 Dodge Challenger, or a $2,250 cash handout, or a fraudulent ACT score if it improves the team and increases a coaches’ earning power 10 times over? The NCAA should let Ole Miss know. … The NCAA needs to make an example out of Ole Miss. It’s not just because the school broke the rules — everyone at that level of college football is breaking the rules (and if they aren’t they won’t be long for their jobs) — it’s because Ole Miss was so brazen about it. Ole Miss might be the last major violator in the current NCAA paradigm, and if the NCAA doesn’t participate in the sanctioning process, its authority will be an afterthought going forward.
Legacies alone don’t win football games — players do, as do coaches, to a lesser extent. Yet in the top-heavy SEC, the deepest and strongest conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, even a scenario where NCAA sanctions result only in a series of scholarship reductions might represent an insurmountable hurdle for the Rebels to overcome.