The NCAA has FINALLY hit Ole Miss’s football program with its notice of allegations. And after a four year investigation — that included rogue boosters, leaked text messages and draft night bong hits — Hugh Freeze’s program is under siege. And Ole Miss trying to get ahead of this buzz saw won’t stop a damn thing. The hammer is coming — and no self-imposed one-year bowl sanction is going to stop it.
The NCAA alleges 21 different violations against the Ole Miss Football program — included the dreaded lack of institutional control charge — all charges that took place under Freeze’s watch. The 21 violations span from minor charges like students hunting on a booster’s private land to staff assistants Fixing A-C-T SCORES, and boosters paying somewhere between $13,000 and $16,000 to a recruit that the team DIDNT end up landing.
Not that everyone in the world didn’t already suspect it, but now we know how Freeze’s program came out of NOWHERE in 2013 to sign five-star recruits Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil and Robert Nkemdiche — all three turning into first round picks for the Rebs. Allegedly. The rumors were there. And back then Freeze tried to play them off — dropping this deleted tweet just before Signing Day that’ll live on forever:
From Freeze’s Twitter:
“If you have facts about a violation, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If not, please do not slander these young men or insult their family.”
I’m pretty sure they took you up on that one, Hugh. And now your program might get detonated — and that was BEFORE a video of Laremy Tunsil taking rips from a bong and airing out a bunch of dirty laundry dropped the night of the draft, sending Tunsil plummeting down the draft board.
So that bizarre Hostage Video Ole Miss released yesterday won’t stop the NCAA from bringing the lumber. And that one-year bowl ban that Ole Miss dropped on itself probably won’t deter the NCAA from giving them a much stiffer penalty, which would open the flood gates and allow players to transfer away free of penalty… in other words, a stake right through the program as rival coaches will come poaching.
I mean, the 152-page release reads like SEC fan fiction. Boosters paying recruits. Staffers fixing entrance exams. Money going into athletes pockets. And a head coach who has NO IDEA what’s going on under him.
And as much as you can say “EVERYBODY IN THE SEC IS DOING IT” not everybody in the SEC is getting caught. And while Freeze, the AD and the school’s chancellor are trying to say all the right things. They got caught. And now they’re going to get smashed. And that cheater tag is going to stick to Freeze wherever he is.
As always, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying and it’s only cheating if you get caught. No one knows this better than the SEC. And in this case, Freeze and Ole Miss, got caught.
And if you’re going to cheat that blatantly, you better have something to show for it. And they really don’t. So, this is a REALLY bad look.
Not the fact that they cheated. Dozens of programs dish out cash handshakes all over the country. The bad look for Ole Miss is that they cheated THIS MUCH and won absolutely NOTHING for it.
When Barry Bonds injected himself with enough anabolic steroids to kill a rhinoceros… ALLEGEDLY… At least he ripped the single-season and career home run crowns. When the Patriots got caught filming other team’s practices or deflating footballs… ALLEGEDLY… at least they ripped a couple Super Bowls out of the ordeal. And when Lance Armstrong was Living Strong with more dope than blood in his veins… ALLEGEDLY… At least he was winning 7 Tour de France’s.
But for Ole Miss… They get tagged with the dreaded “lack of institutional control” crown, and they haven’t even EVER made it to the SEC Championship game. More like “lack of institutional success.”
Where does that leave them? Nowhere good. Then again, it’s not like anyone goes there for the football team. Or the academics. Students pick Ole Miss for one reason. The vodka. Not my take. That one belongs to the Queen. The Mississippi Queen: