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SEC Country: Ole Miss Stands By Hugh Freeze In Response To NCAA Allegations

Ole Miss Head Coach Hugh Freeze. Photo by Steven Gagliano

Ole Miss appears to be standing by head coach Hugh Freeze as it responds to allegations of major NCAA violations.

The school issued a response to the NCAA’s latest notice of allegations on Tuesday, contesting charges relating to lack of institutional control and head coach responsibility. The university also implied that a current Mississippi State player may have conspired to hurt the Ole Miss football program with his testimony during the NCAA’s investigation.
Ole Miss specifically said in its response that Freeze did not participate in any NCAA violations or look past potential “red flags.”
“(A)fter careful analysis of the testimony and supporting records,” the statement said, “the University has concluded that head football coach Hugh Freeze has met it and membership’s expectations to emphasize and promote compliance and to implement strong and comprehensive monitoring.”
The university also claims to have satisfied the NCAA’s standards for institutional control. Ole Miss claims neither of those charges are based on any new evidence of wrongdoing.
Coach Freeze was not specifically named in any allegation in the 2016 Notice,” the school’s response said. “Without any additional investigation or rationale, however, the current Notice adds Freeze as an involved individual to one of the legacy allegations from the 2016 Notice … suggesting for the first time that the violation was committed with Freeze’s ‘knowledge and approval.’ … The University objects to the modification of this allegation.”
Ole Miss also singled out a former recruit who has been at the center of NCAA’s investigation. Multiple reports have indicated that Mississippi State LB Leo Lewis claims to have received impermissible benefits from Ole Miss boosters as a recruit.
Ole Miss claimed that the recruit “enjoyed causing the University harm,” and used one of Lewis’ tweets as evidence.

The NCAA gave Lewis immunity for any violations he participated in during his recruitment in exchange for his testimony. Ole Miss claimed in its response that Lewis may have lied about the source of those impermissible benefits and used the investigation as an opportunity to hurt the Ole Miss football program.
The school is contesting seven of the NCAA’s 21 allegations in all. The contested charges include:
-Institutional control
-Head coach responsibility
-Impermissible contact
-Impermissible recruiting inducement

The university has taken responsibility for some of the violations, self-imposing a bowl ban and therefore forfeiting $8 million in postseason revenue from the SEC. The school has also reduced its number of football scholarships and “disassociated” itself from the boosters implicated in the NCAA’s allegations.

This story was originally written by SEC Country’s (Matt Jennings)It was republished on HottyToddy.com with permission from Cox Media Group. 

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