clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Only a few of NCAA's Ole Miss allegations believed to concern football, sources say

New, comments

The Rebels aren't all that worried about the potential of major violations impacting the football program.

Butch Dill/Getty Images

The NCAA has formally notified Mississippi's athletic department of allegations of "roughly 30 violations" across the Rebels' football, women's basketball and track and field programs, Yahoo's Pat Forde reported Friday.

One Ole Miss source tells Steven Godfrey they believe only five of the 32 are alleged football violations, and that coaches are "confident" allegations related to the current staff are secondary violations. In addition, an NCAA source tells Bud Elliott that the "vast majority" of the football allegations are more than two years old.

The program has been under institutional fire for some time. Star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil took a seven-game suspension last season for receiving "impermissible extra benefits," and it's been three years since people started to loudly accuse Freeze of recruiting impropriety.

An Ole Miss official told Godfrey that almost all of the allegations are women's basketball, track, Tunsil, and football from six years ago, during previous coach Houston Nutt's tenure.

In 2012, Ole Miss fired its women's basketball head coach, and in 2015, its track coach unexpectedly resigned.

SIGN UP TO GET THIS IN YOUR INBOX

Get one roundup of college football stories, rumors, game breakdowns, and Jim Harbaugh oddity in your inbox every morning.

"As has been the case for the past three years, we are bound by confidentiality and cannot comment publicly on the matter," Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in a statement. "However, I can say that I'm confident in how our coaches and staff operate our program, and we take compliance, NCAA and SEC rules very seriously. We are working hard to seek a resolution to this matter."

On the field and the recruiting trail, Ole Miss has been on an impressive run. The Rebels crushed Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl earlier this month, and they have a real shot at finishing this recruiting cycle with the No. 1 class in America.

Update, February 10: Multiple sources inside the Ole Miss athletic department continue to insist the NCAA's case will not have a severe impact on football.

Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that 13 allegations involved Ole Miss football, nine of which were connected to Hugh Freeze's staff, with a mix of Level I, II and III violations. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported five allegations are specific to violations involving Tunsil, who sat out seven games in the 2015 season.

"Regardless of how it is framed, many of the football violations involve Tunsil or the previous football staff. Almost all the violations under Hugh Freeze's tenure involve Tunsil or are low level violations. Freeze is not personally named in any violation," a source in the athletic department told SB Nation on Tuesday night.

A second source at Ole Miss said the university is still assembling its response to the NCAA. From initial receipt of the letter, the university has a 90-day window to respond. Multiple sources at Ole Miss said the university has no current timetable in place for a public announcement.

That source also indicated that outside of Freeze's staff, allegations include former assistant coach David Saunders, who received a seven-year show cause penalty in January from the NCAA for his part in sanctions received at Louisiana-Lafayette.