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Information about NCAA Case
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December 15, 2017

Today, the University of Mississippi is submitting to the NCAA written notice of its intent to appeal the Public Infractions Decision Letter of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions issued December 1.

The university has also retained the Mississippi-based law firm of Butler Snow to join the existing legal team of Lightfoot, Franklin & White and Bond, Schoeneck & King for the appeal and other related legal services. Don Barrett of the Barrett Law Group will also join the university’s legal team.

“We have the best legal team in the country to handle our NCAA appeal. We added Mississippi-based firms to further strengthen an already exceptional team so that we are in the best possible position to win this appeal,” stated Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter of the University of Mississippi. “We believe the additional penalties imposed by the COI are unwarranted, which we will make very clear at the appropriate time in our written submissions on the merits of our appeal.”

December 1, 2017

Today, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions issued its report to the University of Mississippi regarding the NCAA investigation of the football program. In the report, the committee disagreed with the institution’s position on most of the contested allegations. In addition to accepting our previously self-imposed sanctions, the committee has imposed a postseason ban for 2018.

While we continue to review the full report, we will vigorously appeal the 2018 postseason ban. The additional postseason ban is excessive and does not take into account the corrective actions that we have made in personnel, structure, policies and processes to address the issues.

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter and Vice Chancellor for Athletics Ross Bjork will be available to the media at 1 p.m. CT in the Burns Team Meeting Room in the Manning Center to discuss the Committee’s findings.

Links to Documents

Press Conference Transcript: Click Here
NCAA’s Public report: Click Here
Supplemental Response: Click Here
Correspondence with NCAA: Click Here
Booster Sanctions Summary: Click Here

August 9, 2017

The below documents were recently requested pursuant to the Mississippi Public Records Act.

Case Summary: Click Here

Enforcement Staff’s Written Reply: Click Here

Committee on Infractions Appearance Letter: Click Here

Errata and Replacement Page: Click Here

Consistent with the previously published 2016 and 2017 Notices of Allegations and the corresponding Responses to those notices, the names and other personally identifiable information of student-athletes have been redacted.  The documents published today include booster names except for John Doe and his/her employee, and these two names remain redacted pursuant to the Hinds County Chancery Court’s order staying the Mississippi Ethic Commission’s Final Order.

UM’s position is that the public interest is best served by releasing booster names. UM will await further direction from the Hinds County Chancery Court regarding the release of Doe’s name and the name of his/her employee.

July 28, 2017

The University of Mississippi has publicly released versions of the 2016 and 2017 Notice of Allegations and UM’s Response to the NOAs (see links in right column) that include booster names except for John Doe and his/her employee. These two names remain redacted pursuant to the Hinds County Chancery Court’s order staying the Mississippi Ethic Commission’s Final Order.

UM’s position is that the public interest is best served by releasing booster names. UM will await further direction from the Hinds County Chancery Court regarding the release of Doe’s name and the name of his/her employee.

July 25, 2017

The University of Mississippi’s position is that the public interest is best served by releasing the names of boosters appearing in the 2016 and 2017 Notice of Allegations (“NOA”) and UM’s Response to the NOAs.  Consistent with this position, today UM planned on publicly releasing these documents in accordance with the Mississippi Ethic Commission’s (“MEC”) Final Order.

However, John Doe appealed the MEC’s Final Order.  Today, the Hinds County Chancery Court entered an order staying the MEC’s Final Order in part.

Pursuant to that order, UM will publicly release versions of the 2016 and 2017 NOAs and UM’s Responses on or before July 28, 2017, that include booster names except for John Doe and his/her employee.  These two names will remain redacted pursuant to the court’s stay.  UM will await further direction from the Hinds County Chancery Court regarding the release of Doe’s name and the name of his/her employee.

June 6, 2017

Today, the University of Mississippi is releasing the February 22, 2017 Notice of Allegations and the university’s Response to the Notice.

As stated in February when the Notice of Allegations was issued, we have cooperated fully with the NCAA enforcement staff over the more than four-year-long process. The university has concluded several violations of NCAA bylaws occurred, and we have taken responsibility for those violations. We have self-imposed significant sanctions on our football program including a postseason ban for the 2017 season, a reduction in available scholarships and recruiting days, and an $8 million forfeiture of SEC postseason revenue.

Although we agree several violations occurred, we do not agree that credible and persuasive evidence supports all of the allegations in the Notice. Our Response details our position on each allegation, and we look forward to appearing before the Committee on Infractions.   

Please note: the university intended to release the Notice and Response with only the names and other personally identifiable information of student-athletes redacted. However, due to a case pending before the Mississippi Ethics Commission, the names of third parties have also been redacted. The university will revisit the disclosure of involved third parties after we receive more direction from the Ethics Commission.



The University of Mississippi (the “University”) has a duty to its faculty, students, alumni and supporters, to fellow members of the Southeastern Conference (the “SEC”) and the NCAA, and to the public at large to operate its athletics programs in a manner consistent with the highest principles of intercollegiate athletics. This duty includes the obligation, whenever the University learns of potential conduct that transgresses those principles, to follow the evidence wherever it leads, regardless of whether that may result in adverse findings or potential sanctions. Simply put, the University’s commitment to integrity, honesty, and fairness in all endeavors requires that it “get it right.” This same spirit has guided the University’s response to the 2016 and 2017 Notices of Allegations.

Consistent with its commitment to getting it right, the University has conducted an exhaustive and thoughtful examination of the evidence. Based upon that review and the high evidentiary standard prescribed by Bylaw, the University has concluded that significant violations occurred in connection with its football program over a period of years, including during this investigation. These violations, which include multiple, intentional acts of misconduct by (now former) University employees and (now disassociated) boosters, are serious. As described in this response, the University has held those responsible accountable – many in unprecedented, public ways – and has taken institutional responsibility for what has occurred. The University firmly believes its bold corrective actions will make a meaningful and permanent difference.

In taking responsibility for what has occurred, the University has self-imposed significant and appropriate penalties. To determine the appropriate measure for those penalties, the University considered the breadth and scope of the violations along with two other factors: (1) the fact that all but three of the Level I allegations (i.e., Allegations Nos. 5, 20, and 21) were the result of intentional misconduct specifically intended to evade monitoring systems implemented by the University, the athletics department, and the head football coach; and (2) the University’s proactive approach to compliance, including its efforts to detect and investigate potential violations, and its exemplary cooperation throughout this four-plus-year process. Based upon these factors, the proper classification for this case is Level I – Standard. The University has accordingly imposed meaningful Standard core penalties. As detailed below, these penalties include: a post-season ban, which necessitates the loss of nearly $8,000,000 in SEC revenue; a double-digit reduction of scholarships; a more-than 10 percent reduction in off-campus evaluation days in each of two years; a nearly 20 percent reduction in official visits; a more-than three month prohibition on unofficial visits; the refusal to grant a staff member’s request for a multi-year contract; the disassociation of involved boosters, including a prohibition on attending University home athletic events and a restriction on entering all athletic facilities; violation specific rules education; and a $179,797 financial penalty.  See Part D.3 for additional self-imposed penalties.

Yet, there are instances in which the University disagrees with the enforcement staff’s interpretation of the evidence or its sufficiency. Most importantly, the University contests the allegations concerning institutional control and head coach responsibility (Allegations Nos. 20-21). The University has consistently satisfied each of the four pillars of institutional control: (1) “adequate compliance measures exist”; (2) “they are appropriately conveyed to those who need to be aware of them”; (3) “they are monitored to ensure that such measures are being followed”; and (4) “on learning of a violation, the institution takes swift action.” See Exhibit IN-1, Division I Committee on Infractions’ Principles of Institutional Control (the “Principles”). It has myriad compliance measures in place, many of which have detected or prevented violations. Those measures have been bolstered over time as a result of evolving national best practices and “hot-button” issues, self-evaluation of areas to improve, and analysis of major infraction reports from across the country. The University has also improved its compliance systems based on lessons learned during this investigation. Because an institutional control charge was not included in the 2016 Notice based upon substantially similar facts, it appears this charge rests on the increased number of allegations, which has never been – and should not be – this Committee’s focus. Instead, the question before the Committee in evaluating the institutional control charge is whether the University had appropriate policies and procedures in place at the time of those violations, and if so, did the University implement and enforce those policies. Second, after careful analysis of the testimony and supporting records, 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.

Continue Reading or Download the Complete Response Below

February 22, 2017

Click here for complete transcript of video that includes detailed summary of the new allegations.

October 7, 2016

Statement from the University on Conclusion of Women’s Basketball and Track and Field NCAA Case

The University of Mississippi is grateful to conclude the women’s basketball and track and field case and appreciates the Committee on Infractions’ efforts to bring closure to this matter.  The University is equally pleased the Committee accepted the proposed and self-imposed penalties without further addition.

Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said, “We regret the violations of NCAA bylaws in both programs and have taken several steps to prevent future violations.  One of my first acts as chancellor was to seek a comprehensive external review of our athletics compliance function.  The review was recently completed and has confirmed to me that our compliance systems are robust while offering recommendations for areas where we can and will improve.  We are pursuing the implementation of the recommendations, and we believe in our strong athletics leadership team, which shares the values of the NCAA and Ole Miss.”

The University continues to work with the NCAA on concluding the case related to the football program. Everyone involved is committed to bringing these issues to a resolution as soon as possible.

To read the NCAA’s press release, please click here.

To read the Committee on Infractions’ complete report, please click here.

To read the Athletics Compliance External Review report, please click here.

April 29, 2016

Statement from University

The University is aware of the reports from the NFL Draft regarding Laremy Tunsil and potential NCAA violations during his time at Ole Miss. Like we do whenever an allegation is brought to our attention or a potential violation is self-discovered, we will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC.

April 21, 2016

Statement from University

One of the other parties to the NCAA Notice of Allegations has requested and received a 30-day extension to respond to the notice. This extension is an often used tool available to all parties, and the Notice of Allegations itself has not changed in any way. Upon the completion of the 30-day extension period, the University will release our full Response to the Notice of Allegations.

January 30, 2016

Statement from Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork

Outside counsel for the University of Mississippi received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA – another step in a more than three-year process. Included in the notice are alleged violations of NCAA bylaws in women’s basketball in 2012; track and field in 2012-13; and in football, with many of the allegations dating back to the former football staff in 2010 and the withholding and reinstatement process around Laremy Tunsil in fall of 2015.

To be clear, the NCAA has only brought allegations, and as part of the NCAA process, the University and others have 90 days to issue a response. We’ve been transparent throughout this process, and it is important to note that most of the football allegations are based upon facts that have been publicly disclosed previously in “self-reports” and reinstatement requests or have been reported publicly in connection with another NCAA case.

Out of fairness to the individuals involved and the integrity of the NCAA process, we will not provide further details or comment until everyone has had an opportunity to review the allegations and respond. Once they do so, we will release the official notice and the university’s response. In all three sports, I am confident in the leadership of our current head coaches and the manner in which they operate their programs.

October 12, 2015

Press Release

NCAA Decision on Laremy Tunsil Announced All-American Lineman Returns to Action for Rebels Against Texas A&M

OXFORD, Miss. — On Monday afternoon, the University of Mississippi was notified by the NCAA that Laremy Tunsil will be suspended for a total of seven games and will return to competition on October 24.

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Statement from Laremy Tunsil: I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.

Statement from Hugh Freeze: We have been supportive of Laremy throughout this process, and we are thankful he can return to competition starting with the Texas A&M game. More important than his football ability is his character, and I am confident that Laremy will grow from this experience and continue to be a positive member of the University and our football team.

September 12, 2015

Statement from Coach Freeze and Ross Bjork

We have been preparing as if Laremy Tunsil will not play and that status will continue until the matter is resolved. The team of our university administration, athletics compliance and outside counsel are working daily on this sensitive matter. Although the process is ongoing, the decision to withhold Laremy is not related to any current items involving our football staff, and we have been assured that everyone is aggressively seeking a resolution. We continue to support Laremy in every way. In early July, the University offered (Laremy accepted) separate legal counsel with experience in similar matters, and the University continues to pay for Laremy’s counsel, as permitted by NCAA rules.

September 5, 2015

Statement from University

As a precautionary measure, we are withholding Laremy Tunsil from today’s game until the pending process can be completed. We are cooperating fully with the NCAA and feel this is the best way to protect Laremy, our football program, and the University.

July 6, 2015

Statement from University

The University of Mississippi Department of Athletics is aware of the allegations made by Laremy Tunsil’s stepfather regarding potential NCAA violations involving Laremy. As we do with any allegation, we initiated an internal investigation last week and have offered the NCAA our full cooperation. We take the obligations to the NCAA and SEC very seriously, and we will continue to educate, monitor and enforce all applicable rules. Any other reports are speculation until the process is complete.

October 20, 2012

Press Release

Personnel Changes Announced With Ole Miss Women’s Basketball

OXFORD, Miss.– The University of Mississippi announced today that women’s basketball head coach Adrian Wiggins will no longer serve as head coach and has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues over impermissible recruiting contacts and academic misconduct committed by members of his staff.

These staff members, which include assistant coach Kenya Landers and director of basketball operations Michael Landers, have been terminated effective immediately. Wiggins hired the Landers couple six months ago shortly after he joined Ole Miss as its head women’s basketball coach.

The allegations and findings that led the University to this decisive and swift action are now being further examined jointly by the University and the NCAA.

In addition, student-athletes Kay Caples, a transfer from Trinity Valley Community College, and Brandy Broome, a transfer from Pensacola State College, are ineligible to compete at the University after failing to meet NCAA transfer eligibility standards.

“This is a sad day for the University of Mississippi, our profession and most importantly our student-athletes,” said Ross Bjork, Ole Miss Director of Athletics. “We are committed to the values of professional integrity and academic honesty found in the University Creed and the vision, purpose and core values we have established since I arrived at Ole Miss. We expect our staff and our student-athletes to promote and uphold our values, and I am extremely disappointed these events have occurred.

“We learned of possible violations in September and immediately began a vigorous investigation. As we discovered troubling facts, we informed the Southeastern Conference and NCAA and began taking steps to remedy the problems. Although there is no current evidence that Coach Wiggins was complicit in or had direct knowledge of this misconduct, as head coach, he is accountable for the actions of those who report to him.”

The search begins immediately for an interim head coach for 2012-13, and a national search for a permanent head coach will be conducted at the conclusion of the season.

“At this point, our focus will be to identify an interim head coach to lead this talented team of student-athletes for 2012-13,” Bjork said. “We have asked our team to move forward academically, athletically and socially, and we will support our student-athletes and their welfare during this difficult time. As soon as an interim head coach is selected, we will make the appropriate announcement.”