Because of the two-year bowl ban, NCAA rules state Ole Miss players could become free to transfer elsewhere without sitting out a season.
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. A dozen boosters and six former staffers were implicated by the NCAA in arranging impermissible benefits, including cash payments, free auto rides to campus, free hotel rooms, food, and Rebels apparel from an Oxford-area sports merchandise store.
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The 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". The ruling said that Freeze promoted an atmosphere of rules compliance, but that he failed to monitor his staff. The Rebels got a new bowl ban, financial penalties, a loss of scholarships and individuals have also been penalized.
Several former Ole Miss assistants and staff members received show-cause restrictions, which hinders their ability to work for schools in the NCAA. Two staffers also arranged for fraudulent standardized test scores for three recruits.
The complicated case consisted of 21 alleged violations, including 15 that were Level I, which the NCAA considers the most serious.
Now that Ole Miss has a better idea of its punishment, it can begin the process of rebuilding the program.
Ole Miss went 6-6 this year and beat Mississippi State 31-28 in the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving night. School officials removed the interim tag from head coach Matt Luke after his team's victory over their in-state rivals, but now faces an increasingly long road toward getting the Rebels back to national respectability.
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