Ole Miss gets more time to respond to Notice of Allegations

Published 5:11 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ole Miss has been granted a 30-day extension by the NCAA to submit its response to the Notice of Allegations it received in January.

The school received the notice charging it with multiple rules violations across three sports, including football, in late January. Ole Miss had 90 days to give the NCAA its official response, a window that would have expired Friday, but athletic director Ross Bjork told the EAGLE today the school received the extra time after another involved party requested and was granted the extension.

In a statement released by the athletic department this afternoon, Ole Miss said it will release its response to the allegations in full once the 30-day extension is up. Once the NCAA receives the response, it has 60 days to issue its final ruling.

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“This extension is an often-used tool available to all parties, and the Notice of Allegations itself has not changed in any way,” part of the statement read.

Bjork said when the school initially received the notice that many of the violations alleged in football were under former coach Houston Nutt, though much of the investigation into Hugh Freeze’s tenure is focused on former offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who was suspended seven games last season after an NCAA investigation found Tunsil received multiple impermissible benefits, including the free use of three loaner cars over a six-month period.

The football program is linked to 13 of the 28 rules violations alleged by the NCAA with nine of those occurring under Freeze, according to the Associated Press.

The women’s basketball and track and field programs are also part of the investigation, which dates back to 2012. Then-women’s basketball coach Adrian Wiggins was fired before ever coaching a game because of academic misconduct and recruiting violations committed by two staff members, Kenya and Michael Landers, who were also let go. Two players were ruled ineligible while the program self-imposed a postseason ban the following season as well as recruiting restrictions.

Former track coach Brian O’Neal abruptly resigned last summer after three years at the helm in a move he said in a statement at the time that he believed was “in the best interests of the university and my own interests.”

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