I’m not sure I’d say there’s a full-blown fire, but at least you can see the smouldering embers.
Mississippi’s football program was cited by the NCAA in 13 of the 28 rules violations levied against the school in the notice of allegations the university recently received, with nine of the violations occurring during current coach Hugh Freeze’s tenure.
The breakdown of violations by sport was first reported Tuesday by The Associated Press by a person with knowledge of the investigation, and later confirmed for ESPN.com by multiple sources.
The violations are a mix of Level I, II and III; the NCAA considers Level I violations the most serious. Many of the violations have already been self-reported by the school and, as sources told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy on Tuesday night, the ones that took place under Freeze’s tenure are low-level violations.
Ole Miss officials reiterated that there “were no surprises” in the NCAA’s report.
Yeah, well, except for the fact when the news first broke, the current staff wasn’t implicated for anything other than Laremy Tunsil’s poor judgment. Not to mention that “many of the violations” being self-reported ain’t the same as “all of the violations”. So Ole Miss has some maneuvering to do with the NCAA.
There is some good news for the school, though, assuming this is accurate.
Sources confirmed to ESPN.com’s Chris Low on Tuesday that Ole Miss was not cited for the more serious failure-to-monitor charge and that Freeze was not personally named in any of the charges.
Still, there’s enough in all of that, particularly the bit about a booster illegally transporting a recruit to campus, to give the NCAA something to dig its teeth into. I doubt the end result will be anything too overwhelming, but it won’t be nothing, either. And that means Freeze’s recruiting will face heightened scrutiny going forward.
Gee, I wonder if anyone will mention that on the recruiting trail.