Sports

NCAA hits Ole Miss with additional year of bowl ban, scholarship restrictions


The NCAA banned the Ole Miss football team from playing in the postseason again next season, and the Rebels also received additional scholarship deductions in the ruling the university received from the NCAA committee on infractions on Friday, sources told ESPN.

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The Rebels, who were accused of 15 Level I violations, including lack of institutional control, appeared in front of the NCAA committee on infractions in Covington, Kentucky, on Sept. 11-12.

Former Rebels coach Hugh Freeze, who resigned for off-field issues in July, also received a suspension and show cause from the NCAA for failure to monitor his staff, although the length of the suspension and specifics of the show cause weren’t immediately known.

The show-cause penalty would require any school wanting to hire Freeze and those coaches to appear before the infractions committee.

Ole Miss officials had previously announced that the school had self-imposed a one-year postseason ban for this season, as well as the loss of 11 total scholarships in football over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, including a reduction of three initial scholarships in each of its next three recruiting classes, which would allow the school to sign a maximum of 22 players in each class.

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The Rebels also agreed to forfeit their share of SEC postseason revenues for this coming season, which could be as much as $7.8 million.

Ole Miss officials had hoped the NCAA would toss 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. Ole Miss also disputed charges that Lewis and Mississippi State defensive end Kobe Jones received free merchandise from Rebel Rags, a sporting goods store in Oxford, Mississippi.

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