Ole Miss Putting “Final Touches” On Appeal to NCAA

Bjork Luke Vitter
Ross Bjork addresses the media at a press conference announcing the hiring of Matt Luke as head coach. Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Sports

The deadline for the University of Mississippi’s written appeal to the NCAA is coming up fast, and, according to the Clarion Ledger, Ole Miss is “putting the final touches” on the document now.

Ole Miss filed its notice of appeal on December 15. After the NCAA officially recognized the notice on Jan. 4, the university had 30 days to submit the appeal in writing. The deadline is 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 5.

Ole Miss is appealing the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions finding of a lack of institutional control during the Hugh Freeze years and a two-year postseason ban that would make the Rebels ineligible for a bowl appearance in 2018. The Clarion Ledger says Ole Miss has been told “it could appeal on facts, violations or penalties found or prescribed to the institution.”

After the NCAA’s ruling came down, Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter and Athletic Director Ross Bjork struck a defiant tone. Vitter called it “an excessive punishment” and an “unfair characterization of our football program and the university culture involved in athletics.”

Click here to read our original story from the day the NCAA ruling was issued.

The university’s case will be heard by the five-member Infractions Appeals Committee, including Ellen M. Ferris, associate commissioner/senior woman administrator for the American Athletic Conference; Patti Ohlendorf, vice president of legal affairs at the University of Texas; and W. Anthony Jenkins, chief diversity officer at Dickinson Wright PLLC. Two additional members will be appointed by the end of February.

In its Dec. 15 statement, the university said it had “the best legal team in the country” to handle the appeal, adding, “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.”

Rick Hynum is a contributor to HottyToddy.com.


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