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NCAA Sanctions: Ole Miss Probe Swells

SI.com/Andy Staples

About 3-and-a-half years ago, social media wondered, “How did Ole Miss, get all those players when they never recruit outside of the South?” Well, the other shoe dropped today:

According to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA’s investigation of Ole Miss has grown in scope and focus beyond the Laremy Tunsil saga stemming from text messages, deleted tweets and the NFL Draft.  According to Forde’s article:

NCAA Enforcement representatives have visited Auburn and Mississippi State, and perhaps at least one more SEC Western Division school, this summer to speak with players who were recruited by Ole Miss. The players were granted immunity from potential NCAA sanctions in exchange for truthful accounts of their recruitment, sources said.

Those interviews indicate that the NCAA investigation has expanded beyond the spring focus on former All-American offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.

Furthermore, Ole Miss in late January was charged with 28 violations in three sports – 13 of them in football, with the rest coming in women’s basketball and track and field. Nine of the 13 football violations occurred allegedly during current coach Hugh Freeze, who has a 34-18 record in four seasons in Oxford.

Many believe Ole Miss could possibly receive the SMU-style death penalty if the investigation shows the promised financial assistance to recruits beyond education. People wonder, how did Hugh Freeze convince LaQuon Treadwell leave Chicago for Oxford, Mississippi? How did that 2013 recruiting class really come together? Also, if recruits that now play (or have played for) Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Arkansas now feel the need to railroad Ole Miss, can the Rebels deny the allegations by simply saying, “Oh, they’re playing for our rivals and they simply want to take us down.”

Who knows! “Where there’s smoke, usually there’s fire.”

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