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The SEC and the potential ripple effect of the Ole Miss NCAA mess...

on 2/27/2017

Crimson Tide:

Maybe the damage will stay contained in Oxford.

Maybe sometime in the fall the NCAA Infractions Committee will issue its ruling against the Ole Miss football program, the Rebels will sink back toward their traditional level, with or without Hugh Freeze, and the SEC will continue to spin on its money-making axis.

That would be the least negative outcome for Commissioner Greg Sankey and company, the rags-to-riches rise of the Rebels exposed as just another get-rich-quick scheme.

A more ominous possibility looms that Ole Miss won't go quietly, and if the Rebels are going down, they plan to take rival Miss. St. down with them, if not other's!


As Ole Miss AD Bjork said on that grim 20-minute video produced by the school, "It is alleged that between April 2014 and February 2015.

Former Staff Member A initiated and facilitated two boosters having impermissible contact with Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution).

It is further alleged that these two boosters provided Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution) with impermissible cash payments during that time frame and that Former Staff Member A knew about the cash payments.

"The value of the alleged inducements according to the NCAA is between $13,000 and $15,600. This is charged as a Level I violation."

Neal McCready, publisher of www.RebelGrove.com reported that the recruit in question is Leo Lewis, a LB who signed with Miss. St. in 2015, red-shirted and played for the Bulldogs last season, one of several players at other schools given immunity by the NCAA for his testimony against Ole Miss.

RebelGrove.com reported that one of those players was offensive lineman Austin Golson, who transferred from Ole Miss to Auburn. Golson allegedly was involved in a less-serious Level III violation for "hunting near campus on private land owned by a booster" during his official visit to Oxford and after signing with Ole Miss.

THE SMOKING GUN?
McCready reported an additional nugget that could have an incredibly damaging ripple effect: "Ole Miss, per multiple sources, possesses a recording, and has given the SEC a copy, of Lewis' mother asking Ole Miss for money and detailing incentives she received from other programs, including Mississippi State."

If that information is correct, the SEC and the NCAA have an obligation to examine the authenticity of the tape and the veracity of its contents.

The notion of one SEC school trying to bring down a rival dredges up memories of Tennessee's involvement in the 2002 NCAA case against Alabama, which resulted in a two-year postseason ban for the Crimson Tide, and the Eric Ramsey-Gene Jelks, Auburn-Alabama booster wars of the early 1990s that saw both programs get hit with major sanctions.

The Ole Miss case is far from over. The news of last week suggests there's no guarantee the ending will result in pain for the Rebels alone.

That one statement from Lewis's Mother - Incentives from other programs as well as Miss. St. - should leave most ALL other SEC fan bases if not completely NUTS at least a little worried...!


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