Category Archives: The NCAA

Thanks, Baylor.

If you figured the release of Ole Miss’ response to an NCAA notice of allegations was being deliberately timed to follow in the wake left behind of the Baylor news means it’s probably not good, hey, give yourself a cigar!

It’s that bad.

The Rebels self-imposed the loss of 11 total scholarships in football over a four-year period from 2016-19, including a reduction of three initial scholarships in each of their next three recruiting classes, which would allow them to sign a maximum of 22 players in each class.

The Rebels also previously self-imposed a ban on unofficial visits from Feb. 21, 2016, to March 31, 2016, a 10 percent reduction in off-campus evaluation days for coaches during the 2015 evaluation period (from 168 days to 151) and a 12.5 percent reduction during the 2016 evaluation period.

Thirteen of the 28 NCAA allegations involve the football program. Eight were Level 1 violations, the most severe — four allegedly during the Hugh Freeze era and four under the previous coaching staff.

If you’d prefer it in 140 characters,

I guess somebody took Hugh up on that tweet.

The worst part of this is that they still haven’t gotten to the Tunsil draft night stuff.

In a letter posted on the university’s website on Friday morning, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork and chancellor Jeffrey Vitter wrote that the school has requested that its case be delayed in light of allegations made by former Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil at last month’s NFL draft in Chicago.

Bjork and Vitter wrote that they’ve asked the NCAA not to require the school to appear in front of the Committee on Infractions this summer so it would have ample time to investigate whether or not Tunsil, a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins, received improper benefits while playing at Ole Miss.

“On the first day of the 2016 NFL Draft, new information came to light involving a former football student-athlete,” the letter said. “That very night, the University and NCAA began a joint review to determine whether bylaws have been violated, and we hope this review will be concluded soon. To ensure fairness to all parties and pursuant to [Committee on Infractions] procedure, we have asked the COI to remove the hearing from this summer’s docket until this review can be completed and closed.”

“More to come” doesn’t do this justice.  I guess Bjork is hoping there’s another school’s big scandal in the future he can slipstream behind.  Looks like he’ll need it.

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Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

The NCAA just wants to be loved.

Introducing the “haters gonna hate” defense.

In the motion filed earlier this week, the NCAA said the “public perceives potential judicial bias” because Judge Frederick Shaller graduated from USC.

“While it is unlikely the NCAA can ever receive a fair trial — just miles from USC where students and alumni publish vitriolic, hateful messages about the NCAA with each case development — the court should guard against any public perception of bias arising from a trial judge’s ties to USC,” the motion said.

Shaller rejected a similar request by the NCAA in March, noting the issues raised by the organization weren’t “legal grounds for disqualification.”

In this week’s filing, the NCAA cited years-old news stories about the case in addition to anonymous postings on message boards and comments below stories.

“Strong hatred of the NCAA for sanctioning USC permeates social media posts,” the motion said.

It added that “even mainstream media has vilified the NCAA…”

If disliking the NCAA is grounds for moving the case, they’re gonna have to go far, far away.  Can you move a California trial to Timbuktu?

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Who said the NCAA can’t multitask?

This is commonly referred to as trying to have it both ways:

The O’Bannon case has been appealed to the Supreme Court by both the NCAA and the plaintiffs, but it remains to be seen whether the high court will agree to hear it.

However, in a footnote that was part of Monday’s filing with U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, the NCAA and the conference’s contend that that 9th Circuit’s decision “is now final and binding” for the purpose of precluding these cases “even if one or more parties seek review by the Supreme Court.”

It never hurts to ask, I suppose.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Money talks.

western-union-logo-slogan

I’m sure Laremy Tunsil won’t talk about it anymore.  Hugh Freeze would prefer not to talk about it.  The people in the Ole Miss athletic office will reluctantly talk to the NCAA about it.

Lindsay Miller, on the other hand, can’t shut up about it.

Miller claims Tunsil’s academic records were altered. He said [Tunsil’s mother Deseree] Polingo used to receive Western Union deliveries of money from Barney Farrar, Ole Miss assistant athletic director for high school and junior college relations. An apparent reference to Farrar was made in the year-old text messages on draft night; when Tunsil asked the Ole Miss administrator for money, he responds, “See Barney next week.”

I know it’s easy to hide things on the receiving end of a Western Union transfer, but I was under the impression that there is a paper trail on the front end.  Assuming what Miller says is true, wouldn’t cash have been a safer means of taking care of her?  Of course, the NCAA can’t subpoena Western Union, but it can sure look around Farrar’s records.

How many times do you figure Miller has spoken with NCAA investigators by now?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Sunday morning buffet

Momma’s home cooking, if college football were your momma.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, See You In Court, The NCAA

Maybe that’s not such a good look for you.

I’m a big fan of the Ole Miss Red Cup Rebellion website and I don’t envy those folks having to deal with the fallout from the Tunsil debacle right now, but, damn, regardless of what you think of the NCAA, there’s got to be a better way to try to calm the waters than citing Nevin Shapiro.

In 2013, the key figure in the Miami football investigation, Nevin Shapiro, was going through bankruptcy court. The NCAA leveraged this to their advantage, payrolling Shapiro’s lawyer to use depositions related to the bankruptcy proceedings as a cover to ask questions of witnesses within the football program under oath. Using the American legal system as a means to enforce its own petty rules is obviously wildly inappropriate—the NCAA was forced to apologize and drop any evidence it had acquired through the depositions.

As rationales go, it’s not even a particularly useful comparison.  The NCAA didn’t get in trouble for using deposition testimony to try to hang Miami; it got into hot water for corrupting the judicial process by co-opting Shapiro’s lawyer to do its dirty work.  The obvious lesson from that fiasco is for the NCAA to sit back and let Miller’s lawyer dig into Ole Miss on his own.

Not to mention that, um… shit did happen.

The school imposed significant penalties on itself, including the suspension of eight football players and removing itself from post-season bowl contention for one year. On October 22, 2013, after two-and-a-half years of investigation, the NCAA announced that the University of Miami football team would be docked three scholarships in each of the next three seasons, a three-year probation, recruiting restrictions, a five-game suspension for the men’s basketball coach, and a two-year show-cause order on a total of three former assistant football and basketball coaches.

The NCAA’s own misdeeds did result in nothing more than that being imposed on the school and the program.  So they had that whole “it could have been worse” thing going for them.  Somehow I doubt that’s what the guys at RCR are hoping for.

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Filed under See You In Court, The Blogosphere, The NCAA

Ole Miss’ faucet has an annoying drip.

That text message conversation that saw the light of day at the NFL draft?  Ole Miss admits it’s real and it’s spectacular.

Ole Miss officials have determined that a text message conversation published to Miami Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil’s Instagram account during the NFL draft did happen last year, sources told ESPN’s Outside the Lines, but the school is still looking into whether the messages were altered before they were published.

Looking into?  The parties involved don’t know if they were altered?  Maybe it’s just me, but if I were an assistant athletic director, I’m pretty sure I’d remember a conversation I had with a player who was asking for money – especially one who was suspended for half a season for taking improper benefits.

The Rebels received an NCAA notice of allegations in late January but have released few details about the investigation. The sources said Ole Miss officials expect to respond to the NCAA later this month.

Better get those loose ends tied up fast, boys.

17 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA