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Alleged $37,000 to players has already cost Ole Miss at least $9.4 million so far

And that’s without even estimating the impact on what fans will be willing to spend in the future.

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Auburn v Mississippi Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

Ole Miss announced on Wednesday that it would be self-imposing a bowl ban for its 2017 season. The news came with the program’s response to the NCAA’s nine new allegations against the football program, bringing the total number to 21.

“Adding in the new accusations, the Ole Miss football program is accused of doling out $37,310,” Andy Staples writes. That includes the boosters who are accused of giving at least $13,000 to a player who signed elsewhere, along with some smaller alleged payments to family members: stuff like car loans and store merchandise, and some benefits for which the NCAA estimated a dollar amount, like $33 for a couple nights lodging at a coach’s house.

Aside from the implications of the bowl ban and the scholarship limitations that the Rebels self-imposed in May, there are a few clear financial setbacks right up front, in addition to any impact down the road.

$7.8 million

“As part of this postseason ban, under SEC rules we must forfeit our annual portion of SEC postseason football revenue for next year, expected to be approximately $7.8M,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said on Wednesday.

Conferences pool bowl and playoff revenue and divide it among themselves in their own ways. Postseason money forms a large portion of the revenue that schools get from conferences, behind broadcast revenue.

$1.5 million

In May 2016, when Ole Miss announced the first 13 allegations, it also stated that it anticipated spending $1.5 million in legal fees over the course of its own investigation. The university called it a “dedication of financial resources” in its response to the notice of allegations.

One can guess that given the new allegations, especially the four that the school plans to contest, a lot more money will be thrown at lawyers. One could also assume more has already been spent since the NCAA reopened its investigation following the 2016 NFL draft incidents with Laremy Tunsil.


With Ole Miss’ self-imposed sanctions from May, it also announced that it would be self-imposing a $159,352 fine.

So added up, that’s a grand total of more than $9.4 million without even factoring in any potential declines in future football revenue.

It’s no secret that these numbers are likely get even bigger, as some of the new allegations have yet to be settled upon due to Ole Miss contesting them. It’s not out of the question that the NCAA adds a 2018 bowl ban on top of Ole Miss’ self-imposed 2017 ban.

Freeze’s status also comes into play here if Ole Miss does eventually decide to fire him:

If Freeze is fired “for cause” — the term for a firing that takes place due to reasons beyond on-field performance and thus frees the school from having to pay contractual buyouts — the NCAA could see that as evidence that his program did wrong. Freeze’s buyout hasn’t been reported publicly but is surely multiple millions of dollars, based on those of his peers.

Of course, the Rebels’ success during the 2013-2015 seasons meant increases in contributions, ticket sales, merchandise, and other sources of revenue, as well as the Playoff’s arrival meaning more money for everyone, especially Power 5 programs. Based on the finances alone, the Rebels still might’ve come out ahead, but there’s more to it than just money.