Ole Miss Gets Hit By NCAA

Ole Miss Gets Hit By NCAA

Ole Miss officials are hoping that the NCAA tosses out the testimony of Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis, who told NCAA investigators that he received between $13,000 and $15,600 from an Ole Miss booster while the Rebels were recruiting him.

The penalties are a result of a five-year investigation into the athletic program at Ole Miss, which was led by Hugh Freeze, who resigned before the season.

In addition to the postseason ban and loss of scholarships, the NCAA will vacate wins where ineligible players were active, but the exact wins are not known at the time and are being assessed by the university.

Because of the length of the penalties, all Ole Miss players are allowed to transfer to another school without having to sit out the one-year usually mandated under NCAA rules.

The NCAA laid down harsh penalties against the University of MS on Friday, including scholarship reductions and a postseason ban, as part of the investigation into a series of recruiting violations committed by the football program.

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Mississippi's football program won't participate in the postseason this year or in 2018 as part of the NCAA's sanctions levied against the school in the long-running rules violation case that included a charge of lack of institutional control. The NCAA says six football staff members and 12 boosters contributed to the current violations.

The Rebels will also be on probation for three more years through November 30, 2020 and must pay a financial penalty of about $179,000. "However, the student-athlete's institution must be notified of the recruitment and may establish reasonable restrictions related to the contact (e.g., no visits during class time), provided such restrictions do not preclude the opportunity for the student-athlete to discuss transfer possibilities with the other institution". Bjork said the appeal will be launched "right away".

Both administrators declined to offer details about the change, but Bjork added, "We strongly disagree with the tactics used by the enforcement staff to keep us isolated in the final months of the investigation".

Matt Luke was recently named Ole Miss' head coach after spending the past season as the interim.

Ole Miss reached the.500 mark after beating Mississippi State 31-28 on Thanksgiving.

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