Ole Miss reportedly charged with rules violations

Published 5:00 pm Friday, January 29, 2016

Ole Miss has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA’s enforcement staff, charging the school with approximately 30 rules violations across three sports, including football, according to a Yahoo Sports report released Friday.

The notice formally charged the school with violations in women’s basketball, track and field and football, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources by writer Pat Forde. Exactly how the alleged violations are divided among each sport is unclear as the NCAA’s protocol is to not comment on current or pending investigations.

Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork released a statement later Friday afternoon addressing the report.

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“As has been the case for the past three years, we are bound by confidentiality and cannot comment publicly on the matter,” Bjork said. “However, I can say that I’m confident in how our coaches and staff operate our program, and we take compliance, NCAA and SEC rules very seriously. We are working hard to seek a resolution to this matter.”

Senior associate athletics director for compliance Matt Ball said in an email the school had no further comment.

The notice stems from an investigation largely opened into the women’s basketball and football programs, part of which came before Hugh Freeze was hired as the football coach shortly after the 2011 season. Then-head women’s basketball coach Adrian Wiggins was fired in 2012 after roughly six months on the job while an investigation was conducted into impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct by Wiggins and members of his staff.

Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who is entering this year’s NFL Draft after three years in the football program, received a seven-game suspension from the NCAA this past season after an investigation found he had received multiple impermissible benefits. Fox Sports reported Friday that most of the alleged football violations are linked to former coach Houston Nutt and his staff with a majority of the allegations tied to the current staff involving Tunsil.

Ole Miss has an NCAA-mandated 90-day window to respond to the allegations, according to the Yahoo report. Unless a resolution is agreed upon, a hearing with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions will be scheduled.

See Sunday’s edition of the EAGLE for more on this story.