Ole Miss NCAA case wrapping up

Collin Brister
Staff Writer

The NCAA process has run its course at Ole Miss, and they’ll soon be getting answers as to what their punishments will be.
The Rebels have been under investigation since 2011, and the process has taken a toll on many people that are involved with the program. Last year when the investigation became public it obviously impacted coaches and their ability to do their job.
What will be interesting for the Rebels is the timeline of how the NCAA reviews its case. The Rebels will surely want the process to be completed before signing day of 2018, but the NCAA moves at its own timetable, and that most certainly isn’t a guarantee.
The Rebels were first impacted with the NCAA in 2009 when then assistant coach David Saunders was allegedly committing academic wrongdoings, and the NCAA was able to catch on to that.
The Rebels signed the highly-touted signing class in February of 2013, and that brought the investigators back in to look at some things, and eventually they found what they could only be considered a smoking-gun.
The NCAA, however, wasn’t able to find much on the 2013 recruiting class, with the only serious infraction that happened being an $800 dollar gift to a recruit’s stepfather.
The NCAA got most of their information from a car dealership in Oxford where two student-athletes kept loaner cars for longer than they should have, and from players that are playing at rival SEC Western Division schools.
After draft night in 2016 where Laremy Tunsil admitted to taking money from the school, and text messages were revealed on his Instagram page that was obviously hacked that implied he took money from school officials, the NCAA continued to investigate until they were able to find something that they believed confirmed their biases about the Rebels.
The NCAA interrogated two student-athletes at a rival institution, and those two claimed that infractions happened during their recruiting visits to Oxford, and that they were given free apparel, food and drinks during their time as a high school prospect in Oxford, leading to the multiple level ones levied against the school in the second “Notice of Allegations.”
The key for Ole Miss is going to be proving that those claims are without merit. The NCAA doesn’t work like a court of law, and you’re not going to have to be proven to be guilty, you’ll have to prove yourself innocent, as the benefit of the doubt won’t be given when Ole Miss goes in front of the committee on infractions to receive their punishment.