Ole Miss didn’t get it done on the field last weekend, falling 48-44 in Oxford to South Carolina, but there was a reason to celebrate at the University of Mississippi last weekend — the NCAA has officially lifted all recruiting restrictions on Matt Luke’s program.
If you missed that news, Ole Miss announced that the program’s bowl ban for the 2018 season remains but that the ambiguous recruiting restrictions placed on them by the NCAA regarding unofficial visitors has been lifted. Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter and AD Ross Bjork co-signed a letter explaining the NCAA’s decision, the full letter can be read here:
During his Monday press conference, Luke was asked to share his comments on the NCAA’s decision. To no surprise, the Ole Miss coach sees it as a huge win for his program moving forward.
“We had prepared this whole season for the bowl ban. We have 17 days left, that’s the way we’ve been preparing,” Luke said on Monday. “To get that victory on recruiting is huge. As a head coach, you’re looking at the big picture and moving forward, and being able to recruit guys like Scottie Phillips and Matt Corral and all that moving forward.
“Now you’re not recruiting with one hand behind your back anymore. Now you can go out and recruit. I think a lot of people see opportunities to come and help us. That really helps in recruiting. That’s a huge victory. Now just to put everything behind us, it’s over, all the recruiting restrictions are lifted.
“There are no more bowl bans. Let’s move forward, attack this thing and see the big picture. I think our fans were pleased with that. I think the energy in the stadium on Saturday was a result of that. Let’s put all this behind us and move forward.”
Going to a bowl game would have been nice for the senior class in Oxford but the program will take any wins the NCAA will allow them and you could easily make the case that the future of Luke’s program will hang on recruiting far more than a single trip to a bowl game and the extra practices that would come with it.