The University of Mississippi released a 124-page response to the Notice of Allegations against them by the NCAA, that came out earlier this year.
The response says “the University has conducted an exhaustive and thoughtful examination of the evidence” which includes meticulously going over every allegation and providing a response.
The University points out it is “taking responsibility for what has occurred” and “self-imposed significant and appropriate penalties”.
This all started with an investigation into women’s basketball. The more the NCAA looked into alleged violations, the investigation expanded to track and field and the football program.
There are allegations of booster misconduct, recruiting violations, lack of institutional control and charges that Head Coach Hugh Freeze failed to monitor his program. Those charges stem from testimony from a student-athlete who is currently enrolled in another university. He is referred to as “Student-Athlete 39” in the document.
In its response, the University “contests the allegations concerning institutional control and head coach responsibility” claiming testimony from “Student-Athlete 39” could not be corroborated and in some instances was contradicted by his own family and friends.
As for Coach Freeze, Ole Miss says “this case does not involve a head coach who facilitated or participated in violations”, thereby standing by their coach.
The University says its own investigation found boosters did violate NCAA rules and has since severed ties with those individuals.
It also found a football assistant coach, Barney Farrar, “committed significant violations during his recruitment” of a student-athlete. The University said he lied and tried to hide his misconduct from compliance staff and the head coach. Farrar was fired in December as a result.
Ole Miss said “none of the Level One violations in this case could have been prevented, detected or deterred by any reasonable compliance or monitoring system, especially those violations committed by relatively unknown boosters who acted on their own, or individuals who intentionally avoided monitoring systems and hid their actions from the University’s compliance and coaching staff.”
The response spelled out all of the self-imposed penalties and corrective actions that they have implemented in light of this investigation.
The University will meet with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions – likely this fall – in a private meeting to address the allegations and hear its ruling.
To read the University’s entire response, click here.
Will East contributed to this story.