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Ole Miss Begins Meeting With Committee On Infractions

Photo by Steven Gagliano

On Saturday, the Ole Miss Rebels picked up their second victory of the 2017 season after beating UT Martin by the final score of 45-23. Today, several Rebels (and former Rebels) head to Kentucky to face an all too familiar foe, the NCAA. Ole Miss’ hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions begins Monday morning. Ole Miss will make their final arguments in the case that has brought 21 allegations against the program, and attempt to refute certain claims and prove that they have created a culture of compliance. 
In attendance for Ole Miss will be former head coach Hugh Freeze, current head coach Matt Luke, former assistant athletic director Barney Farrar, MSU LB Leo Lewis. Others in attendance will be those named in the COI’s appearance letter which was sent to Ole Miss in August.
The panel requests that, at a minimum, the following individuals be included among the institution’s representatives
Mr. Matt Ball, senior associate director of athletics for compliance; 
Mr. Ross Bjork, director of athletics
Mr. Maurice Harris, assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator
Mr. Derrick Nix, assistant football coach 
Ms. Julie Owen, associate director of athletics for compliance
Dr. Ron Rychlak, faculty athletics representative”
The meeting could last up to three days, as the Rebels attempt to dispute claims against nine of the 21 allegations levied against the program. The two most heavily contested allegations are the “lack of institutional control” and cash payments made to Lewis.
Ole Miss requested that Lewis be present due to inconsistencies in his story to the NCAA, for which they granted him immunity based on telling the truth.
Ole Miss has already self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2017 season, but the COI could decide to punish the Rebels further depending on the results from the meeting. It remains to be seen how Freeze’s departure will affect the case or the COI’s ruling. After this week’s meetings, it could take the committee up to 8 weeks to announce their final verdict. Ole Miss will have the ability to appeal that verdict if they choose to.

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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