There is a fine line between arrogance and stupidity. I’ll be damned if I can figure out on which side of the line Ole Miss falls.
Take, for example, the information that Dan Wolken provides about the school’s “remain calm, all is well” campaign early on.
The minute that 2013 class was signed with star recruits Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss knew the whispers of impropriety were never going to stop. Skepticism from rival coaching staffs and close scrutiny from the NCAA was a given. Meanwhile, Ole Miss and Freeze very carefully cultivated media allies to help build the narrative there was nothing to hide.
What does “cultivated media allies” mean, anyway?
Done out of ignorance, or merely a cynical attempt to sign a class, either way, it’s blown whatever credibility Bjork and Freeze had with the media. Combined with the inept attempts on social media to appear casual about the investigation, and these guys look like a national joke. That it happened because they hadn’t done their due diligence or simply because they didn’t give a rat’s ass makes you wonder what those guys were thinking. Or even if they were thinking.
That’s not the weirdest thing I’ve come across so far, though. Here’s a tidbit dropped by the guy who publishes the Rivals Ole Miss site:
Ole Miss, per multiple sources, possesses a recording, and has given the SEC a copy, of Lewis’ mother asking Ole Miss for money and detailing incentives she received from other programs, including Mississippi State.
Ole Miss is secretly taping recruits’ parents? Holy shit. Aside from the legality — and I have no idea whether Mississippi state law requires consent to be recorded — the optics of that are horrid. Can you imagine the negative recruiting field day some rival programs are going to have with that? Yet, if that allegation is to be believed, apparently someone with the program thought that was a good idea. The big question about that is why that might have been the case. Arrogance or stupidity? You tell me.