Ole Miss did so much wrong during the fight of her football program with the NCAA that it took five years and 53,000 pages of documentation to resolve the case of infractions. When the case reached a merciful and predictable conclusion on Friday, with Ole Miss being beaten by the NCAA Infractions Committee, the depths of the mismanagement of the school's case will resonate in the coming years.
Over the years and the complaints were accumulated, the officers of Ole Miss diverted their misdeeds to a previous technical body, leaked lies to members of the media and could not stop trying to change the reality of the wrong that his program had run out of control.
But the reality came cold and hard to Ole Miss on Friday morning, when the NCAA delivered a playoff suspension for two years. The school will not be eligible to play in a bowling game in 2018, and older students may transfer from school without penalty. The school already imposed significant grants reductions, which affected even more a program that has been operating under a black cloud.
The NCAA gave Ole Miss her strongest insult minus the death penalty-lack of institutional control-and much relentless rhetoric. "Mississippi lacked control over its promoters and oversight of football recruitment activities," according to the NCAA report issued on Friday. "Although the institution is now trying to administer its reinforcements, this case is symptomatic of an out-of-control culture that has existed for decades."
The only key figure in the case that seemed to go down a bit was former coach Hugh Freeze, who avoided a show penalty. He can be hired as an badistant coach next year without penalty and he would have to sit two games if he were head coach. This would be easier, of course, if Freeze had not used a school phone to call the companions, which would have fired him this summer. Its possible use will be a fascinating ethical test of fire, although in a sport that still employs Bobby Petrino, in an era of great sensitivity after the consequences of the revelations of badual harbadment against the former film executive Harvey Weinstein.
The legacy of the case, includes a book and conspiracy theories of black helicopters without limits, it could be that the sports director Ole Miss Ross Bjork and the Ole Miss officials gave the schools with problems in the future a case of a book of text on how not to handle a case of NCAA infractions. In future NCAA seminars, they will show the persistent leaks, the pathetic turn and the aura of combativity as examples of how not to irritate and antagonize the NCAA. If anyone could tell SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, some real serum, the conjecture here is that he will dress up with the Ole Miss officers for their persistent petulance, deceptive leaks, and general mishandling of this case. Ole Miss did not suspend badistant coaches when it seemed obvious that they would receive significant punishments – four staff members were given demonstration orders – and a disconcerting lack of contrition when the NCAA's punishment seemed inevitable.
Infractions Committee Chairman Greg Christopher pointed out perhaps the most revealing part of how little they respected the NCAA rules, as they continued to cheat while the investigation was underway. "This case attacks the heart of what college sports represent," said Christopher, "and it is the direct result of a culture in which violations of the rules were an acceptable part of the Ole Miss football program." He went on to point out that Ole's violations of Miss's rules continued during the investigation of this case, & # 39; the last middle finger of the NCAA.
The NCAA playbook of the SEC, with a lot of practice thanks to a century of cheating, comes directly from the era of Mike Slive. It implies saying less than nothing. Ole Miss could not help it, and the persistent public leaks and fires provoke a contentious case. Slive's old strategy book has been to remain publicly silent and take his medication. It's been a long time since he retired, but the advice would have resonated here. Ole Miss remained so concerned about saving the next recruit and the new news cycle that they ended up becoming a poster of petulance that the Committee could not wait to bad.
"If you are going to deny a violation, which may be entirely appropriate to do, you'd better make sure you're on solid probative grounds," said Stuart Brown, an Atlanta-based independent lawyer. , who spoke in general about recent cases of the NCAA.
Ole Miss tried at times to prove her case in the media, and all the effort came out as a scream of despair from a message board of several years that, predictably, only appeased the likes of Rebel Fan 64 and other theorists of The conspiracy. "The leaks are, they are hard in the process," said Christopher. "This must be a confidential process to protect the institution and the people involved."
At the beginning of the call, in the middle of his opening script, he went out of his way to mention the constant leaks in this case. It was a familiar echo of the North Carolina case. "As an organization run by the membership, it is important that we all participate in good faith." Translation: Ole Miss was so concerned about the courier recruits and the fanatics who bothered those with the NCAA hammer.
Move by Mike Garrett, his tortured NCAA Case that culminated in 2010, while the athletic director at USC finally has a partner for administrative mismanagement.
"They had this negative and arrogant attitude that was problematic," said a source familiar with the case. "They kept making public comments that were designed to help with the recruitment to calm the fan base."
The only thing that fell to the Ole Miss officials was that the Friday news outlet turned out to be a glorious moment, with the Tennessee debacle of a coaching quest marching gloriously for the weekend and Jimbo from Florida Fisher State left for Texas A & M.
The school's own chancellor called the strong reinforcement participation "disturbingly questionable". The NCAA Infractions Committee called Ole Miss the epitome of a wrong football culture, with 12 envelopes and six staff members arranging $ 37,000 in illicit payments and benefits for recruits. Perhaps the most poignant criticism of the NCAA was the notion that none of this was a particular surprise.
Considering that Ole Miss suffered significant penalties in 1986 and 1994 for similar issues, "a recurrent culture of non-compliance in the soccer program" according to the report: the attitude of the NCAA was that this type of behavior in Ole Miss had been expected, more than the exception.
The exception, it turned out to be that it was the recruit clbad of Ole Miss in 2013. That was the one with the top 10 ranking that turned out to be historically good and suspicious. Ole Miss has since fought what Freeze would call "the narrative" that the school cheated.
The narrative obtained its most definitive chapter today. Ole Miss will appeal the prohibition of the bowl, because it is too hard. But after reading the tone of the 82 pages in the NCAA report, it seems that the Committee will not move.
The report will now serve as an 82-page warning story for schools in trouble.