Ole Miss' AD updates the NCAA's investigation
Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork updated the ongoing NCAA investigation involving his program during an exclusive podcast interview with Ben Garrett of Scout.com.
“Obviously it’s been a well-versed topic of conversation around here, really, I guess, since late January of this year,” Bjork said. “I think for something that we’re not allowed to talk about, if you will, I think (Ole Miss head football) coach (Hugh) Freeze has been front and center on this, and I think he’s done a great job representing our football program, representing our university and really being diligent about this matter. We’re ready for it to be over. We wish we had the final chapter written in this case. It is still ongoing. We’re still looking into the matters around the (NFL) draft night situation with Laremy Tunsil. It’s still a pending matter; we’re trying to get through it as fast as we can. Beyond that, it is a process that we’re just not allowed to speak about, so there’s nothing new I can report other than it’s ongoing, we’re still looking into the same things that we were looking into before and we’re hoping we can reach a conclusion, obviously, as soon as possible.”
The NCAA began investigating former offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil’s NFL Draft admission to receiving money from staffers while at Ole Miss in April. The university self-imposed numerous penalties for its football program in response to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations but did not include a postseason ban.
Bjork said he believes in the overall approach taken by Ole Miss in compliance with the NCAA.
“I think our mindset has been control the controllable. The judgment of all of this — the media speculation, the fan speculation — there’s fans that want us to come out and attack. The hardest part of being a leader is being disciplined, right? And also, when your integrity is under attack, you want to lash out. Again, I think we’ve done a good job of being in control and being measured. The NCAA tells you you’re not supposed to talk about it. There’s a cooperative principle that applies. I want to do everything within our power to adhere to the process, but also defend our program. I think if you look at our written response that we put out there at the end of May, however you look at that tone, I think we were steadfast in believing in our program. I think we were steadfast in defending the things that we needed to defend, and then we owned up to mistakes that were made. I believe in our approach. I think it will stand the test of time, and obviously we’ll see when the final judgments come out. But I can’t control what other people think. I can’t control how the media reacts or doesn’t react. All we can do is continue to do the right thing and continue to believe in our program and how and why we do things.”
It will be interesting to see what the final results are of the investigation.
You can hear the full interview and much more on Scout.com here.