The Ole Miss-NCAA saga finally came to a close Thursday, as the school announced the NCAA has made its final decision on the school’s appeal following the 2018 bowl ban and recruiting restrictions.
This is good news and bad news for Ole Miss, as the 2018 bowl ban remains but the ban on unofficial visits to campus for prospects has been removed.
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:
Today, the NCAA released the Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) decision, bringing the nearly six-year process to an end. The university prevailed in its appeal of the most onerous sanction, the penalty restricting unofficial visits. According to the IAC, “the Committee on Infractions (COI) abused its discretion when prescribing penalty VII.5.c [unofficial visit restrictions] in that it was based in significant part on one or more irrelevant or improper factors.” The IAC overturned the penalty entirely, clearing the way for the football program to move forward and continue recruiting at a high level.
Throughout the NCAA enforcement process, we accepted responsibility for violations of NCAA bylaws that were grounded in fact, and we took meaningful corrective action and self-imposed harsh sanctions. However, when allegations not grounded in fact were presented, we vigorously defended our great university.
As leaders at the University of Mississippi, we are sorry for what the Ole Miss family has endured throughout this long, arduous process. As the state’s flagship university, our resolve has been tested many times in our history, and we have prevailed by staying true to our core values combined with the amazing support of the Ole Miss family. This challenge will not define us, and we will be stronger because of it.
This ordeal is now over. Our attention must now be on the present and the future of our football program, and we are calling on the Ole Miss family to help finish this season strong. With the freedom to recruit and promote all that the University of Mississippi has to offer, Coach Luke and his staff will keep building on the momentum we have in our program.