The NCAA has come down hard on the Ole Miss football program, reports say, banning the Rebels from the postseason in 2018 and imposing additional scholarship restrictions.
The university received official word of its sanctions Friday morning.
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.
According to the NCAA's official report, the three-year probation period is from December 1, 2018, to November 30, 2020. "We will vigorously appeal the additional postseason ban".
NCAA gave the Rebels a bowl ban for 2018 (the school self-imposed a ban for 2017), vacated all wins that any ineligible student-athlete participated in, and placed the school on probation for three years. You can read the full letter here.
The Rebels are accused of 15 level 1 violations such as paying players to attend Ole Miss and providing extra benefits.More news: Missing Florida teen found safe in NY , officials say
"The University of MS lacked institutional control and fostered an unconstrained culture of booster involvement in football recruiting, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel". Some of them are more significant than others, ranging from former staffers allegedly fixing ACT scores to get recruits qualified for the football team to recruits allegedly hunting on boosters' private land.
Friday's sanctions also included the loss of 13 football scholarships, reports ESPN. A show-cause on an NCAA coach means the coach does not escape the penalties by leaving the school where the penalties took place.
He is free to work as a coordinator or assistant coach at another program. The school had previously cut 11 scholarships during the investigation.
Hugh Freeze must serve a 2-game conference suspension for 2018 season should any school hire him between December 1, 2017, and November 30, 2018.
Almost every coach named in the Notice of Allegations received a show-cause as well.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions said the case was similar to other Ole Miss rules violations cases in 1986 and 1994 and that the school had an "unconstrained booster culture". It's unknown which games this includes.