Ole Miss releases response to latest NCAA notice of allegations
Having already formally sent in its response to the latest Notice of Allegations to the NCAA, Ole Miss’ response was released to the public Tuesday. This response follows the latest allegations the NCAA accused Ole Miss of back in February. At the time, Ole Miss responded with a video explaining some of the charges against the school and issued a one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season and a reduction of 11 scholarships over a four-year period.
Here’s a summary of the extensive document:
Ole Miss responds to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations & will contest 7 of the 21 allegations. pic.twitter.com/Z6zJhSt7PK
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 6, 2017
In the document, Ole Miss is willing to concede some violations occurred but states these acts were committed by former employees and boosters:
“These violations, which include multiple, intentional acts of misconduct by (now former) University employees and (now disassociated) boosters, are serious.”
In the response, Ole Miss firmly stands behind head coach Hugh Freeze and his control of his program.
“Freeze matched his front-end emphasis on and promotion of rules compliance with equal attention to monitoring on the back-end. Consistent with the NCAA’s guidance for head coaches,
Freeze utilized written compliance forms and delegated specific compliance functions to his staff.”
The school also includes notes describing his adherence to NCAA rules and regulations from several of his former assistants.
As for the dreaded lack of institutional control charge levied against the school, arguably the biggest charge hanging over the program, Ole Miss disputes that charge ‘in its entirety’ in the official response.
“The University disputes Allegation No. 21 in its entirety. The University has robust rules education and compliance monitoring systems, and the University has continuously worked, both before and throughout this investigation to improve and supplement them over time. The University has conveyed high expectations for compliance to its staff, student-athletes, athletics representatives, and fans. All of these constituencies have repeatedly received (and continue to receive) rules education instructing them about their obligation to avoid any action that would imperil the collegiate model or the eligibility of the University’s student-athletes.”
The NCAA will now have a 60 day period to examine the school’s response before all parties meet, including former Ole Miss assistant coach Barney Farrar, for the hearing held by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions. Following the hearing, the NCAA will announce any and all punishment Ole Miss is to receive. However, Ole Miss has the right to appeal the committee’s decision, whenever that ruling is handed down.
The NCAA has accused the Ole Miss athletic department with 21 violations, including several Level I violations – the most severe in the new NCAA penalty matrix system.
While Ole Miss has admitted to some violations, which is why the school imposed the bowl ban and reduced its scholarship numbers, the athletic department is planning to fight against a large majority of the allegations, including the Level I violations.
Farrar is an important figure in the case as Ole Miss employed him as an assistant A.D./high school and junior college relations from Dec. 12, 2011, until Dec. 8, 2016. He is among the assistants that directly worked under Freeze when the alleged violations took place and was fired from his position prematurely last year.
Since being let go by the school, Farrar has had to hire his own legal counsel and his attorney, Bruse Loyd, fears the school will attempt to make him the scapegoat for the many alleged violations.
“It is as close to a death penalty as you can get without having that actually happen,” Loyd said. “Coach Farrar has been questioned extensively, in fact, five times by the NCAA about those allegations.”