Officials at the University of Mississippi announced on Wednesday that following the receipt of a revised notice of allegations related to its football program by the NCAA, it would impose a postseason ban of one year on itself.
In a long statement posted by the school as a video, Ross Bjork the Athletic Director, Hugh Freeze the head coach and Jeff Vitter the chancellor outlined new allegations and acknowledged the validity of certain ones and pledging it would contest others vigorously.
The school hopes that by stepping up and punishing itself it will avoid possible harsher penalties that could be imposed by the NCAA after it has its hearing on those allegations.
At this time, Ole Miss will have 90 days to give an official response to the NCAA to the notice it received on Wednesday, after which the enforcement staff of the governing body has 60 days to submit its case summary prior to the hearing.
Originally the NCAA gave the football program a January 2015 notice which had 13 allegations but reopened the investigations following the confirmation by Laremy Tunsil a former Ole Miss player during the NFL draft last year that he received benefits that were not permitted by the NCAA, from an employee at Ole Miss.
The newly revised notice, said the school, contained another 8 allegations as well as expanding on one of the previous allegations.
The expanded allegation is possibly the most damaging for Ole Miss as it replaces a charge of failing to monitor with one claiming the program lacked any institutional control.
In addition, head coach Freeze is now being accused of violating the NCAA clause for head coach responsibility.
However, on Wednesday Freeze said that contrary to new allegations he has demonstrated during the entire process that he has a strong record of monitoring his staff and promoting compliance.
Freeze added that while it is very tough to ask players currently playing at Ole Miss to suffer the penalties based up actions taken by others, he agreed with the school’s position of a one-year self-imposed ban from bowl games.
Not any of the latest allegations speak directly to the admissions made by Tunsil during the draft. According to the school, they concern violations in recruiting that are alleged to have taken place from 2013 to 2015.
The Ole Miss AD said there was sufficient persuasive and credible evidence to give support to three of the latest allegations made by the NCAA.