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Author Topic: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington  (Read 825 times)

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jbcarol

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Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« on: September 11, 2017, 05:05:41 am »

Antonio Morales‏Verified account @AntonioCMorales

Ole Miss will open its COI hearing 24 hours from now. Here's what to know as its hearing approaches.


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Ole Miss will finally get its stage in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions when its hearing begins Monday morning (7:30 a.m. CT) at the Embassy Suites in Covington, Kentucky.

Of the 21 allegations levied against the football program, the university is challenging at least portions of nine of them.

The heaviest among them is the dreaded lack of institutional control allegation.

"The facts uncovered during a fair and thorough investigation substantiated numerous violations and revealed a culture of noncompliance infecting the football program,” the enforcement staff’s response read, “both internally among personnel and externally among boosters."

Hugh Freeze is charged with violating his head coach responsibility legislation. The university is contesting both of those allegations, which are deemed Level I violations.

Of course, Ole Miss is in the odd spot of having to defend Freeze’s compliance record less than two months after he resigned once the university discovered a pattern of personal misconduct, which was tied to calls to escort services.


Aside from that, Ole Miss is mostly contesting cash payments. The big one is alleged payments of between $13,000 and $15,600  from Booster 14 to Mississippi State’s Leo Lewis. Ole Miss admits contact between the booster and Lewis occurred, but it contests the fact that payments did.

It’s also contesting the allegation that former staffers Barney Farrar and Chris Kiffin arranged for Lewis, his MSU teammate Kobe Jones, and Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil’s estranged steptfather, to receive approximately $2,800 worth of free merchandise from Rebel Rags.

That allegation has led to a much-publicized lawsuit.

The university conceded that Lewis and friends received free food and drinks at Funkys, an Oxford daiquiri bar, on at least one occasion but disputes that alleged cash payments between Lee Harris, the owner of Funkys, and Lewis took place.

The most serious allegations, in general, are those of ACT fraud committed by former staffers David Saunders and Chris Vaughn many years ago, which the university agreed happened.

There is plenty of actors in this film, but only so many main characters. Lewis, who was granted limited immunity, is tied to five violations, a majority of which are of the Level I variety.

Ole Miss attempted to poke holes and highlight inconsistencies in Lewis’ testimonies in its response to the Notice of Allegations. Lewis has been requested (and is expected) to be in Kentucky for the hearing.

Committee on Infractions will have the chance to confirm or verify Lewis’ testimonies there.

Freeze is also one of those main characters. His time at Ole Miss has come to an end, but he has to defend himself and the university has to defend him to avoid further punishment.

Farrar has been painted as the rogue assistant throughout this process, so he’ll be a central figure in this hearing as well. Ole Miss acknowledged Farrar arranged impermissible contact between Booster 14 and Lewis among other things.

While the university paints Farrar as a rogue staff member, it still has defended him on certain things, like the denial he arranged for free merchandise Rebel Rags and knew of the cash payment from Booster 14.

But the committee holds all the cards in this situation and will ultimately decide how this goes.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 04:19:36 am »

Antonio Morales‏Verified account @AntonioCMorales

.@SpiritBen reported earlier, and I can confirm the committee went through 14 of the 21 allegations Monday.


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COVINGTON, Kentucky — The doors of the John A. Roebling ballroom at the Embassy Suites finally flung open a few minutes before 6 p.m. Monday evening.

Hugh Freeze exited the room. Lee Tyner, Ole Miss' general counsel, soon followed, as did Ross Bjork and others.

Those exits marked the end of Day 1 of Ole Miss' long-awaited hearing before the Committee on Infractions.

Freeze was accompanied by his legal team, which is led by Walter, "W.G." Watkins, and entered the hearing room at 8:10. Ole Miss' contingency, led by Jeff Vitter, the university's chancellor, and Bjork came in a few moments afterward.

Who was not seen by the media is perhaps the most intriguing name, Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis. A source told The Clarion-Ledger's Will Sammon that Lewis was in Covington Monday.

Lewis isn't mentioned until Allegation No. 9. The allegation is Farrar and Kiffin arranged for Lewis, his MSU teammate Kobe Jones, and Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil's estranged stepdad, to receive approximately $2,800 worth of free merchandise from Rebel Rags, which was categorized as a Level I violation.

Lewis is a key figure in this case. He was granted limited immunity by the enforcement staff and is tied to five violations, a majority of which were deemed Level I.

He was requested and expected to attend the hearing.

A source confirmed the committee got through 14 allegations Monday. Ben Garrett of the Ole Miss Spirit was the first to report the committee went through that amount.

The hearing resumes at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 04:22:07 am »

Report: Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis testifies at Ole Miss hearing

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According to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde, Lewis, a sophomore, became the first active student-athlete to ever appear at a COI hearing.

Forde reported that although Lewis was not seen publicly entering or exiting the ballroom in Covington, Ky., where the hearing was held, sources told him that Lewis was there and gave testimony.

According to Forde, the hearing session on Monday lasted from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST, with another scheduled for Tuesday, with possibly more on Wednesday and beyond. He said that “neither Ole Miss nor NCAA officials commented after the session was completed.”
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 04:34:48 am »

 Michael Carvell‏ @Michael_Carvell 12h12 hours ago

Report: NCAA denied Mississippi State request to have officials present at Ole Miss hearing
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Sivad

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 03:11:01 pm »

.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 04:49:54 am »

Antonio Morales‏Verified account @AntonioCMorales

Ole Miss' COI hearing is done, now all it can do is wait.


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After consecutive nine-and-a-half-hour days, all Ole Miss can really do now is wait.

A years-long NCAA investigation led to 21 allegations, including 15 Level I violations, charged against the football program.

And it took two long days for the NCAA's Committee on Infractions to hear the university and enforcement staff's side of things, completing its hearing in Covington Tuesday night around 6 p.m.

Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork declined to comment...

Ole Miss had to defend itself against a lack of institutional control charge and Freeze against a failure to monitor allegation. Those were two of the heaviest allegations in the Notice of Allegations that was sent to Ole Miss in February.

It also had to sort out some Leo Lewis allegations, mainly the allegation that he received between $13,000 and $15,600 from a booster.

Lewis was in Covington and testified Monday, sources confirmed to The Clarion-Ledger. He was expected to attend the hearing Tuesday as well and did, a source confirmed.

Lewis was tied to multiple violations, and the panel's judgment of his testimony will play a big factor in its decision.

Ole Miss received its initial Notice of Allegations, which also included violations tied to women's basketball and women's track, in January 2016. The women's hoops and women's track cases were settled in October.

The university received another notice in February, which resulted in it announcing a self-imposed postseason ban. The school also had to forfeit nearly $8 million in postseason revenue.

The school is desperately trying to avoid a two-year bowl ban, which would mean more money lost and the door opened for players to transfer freely.

Throughout this process, Ole Miss officials have said a ruling from the Committee on Infractions would come six-to-eight weeks after its hearing.

It took 74 days between the hearing and the announcement of the decision on women's basketball and women's track and field.

So while six-to-eight weeks has been the thought, there's potential a ruling could come after that.

Now that the hearing is done, private deliberations will take place between panel members in person, through teleconference or video conference. They'll eventually agree on a consensus decision.

If Ole Miss doesn't agree with the ruling, it can appeal to the Infractions Appeals Committee.

Matt Luke and assistant coaches Derrick Nix and Maurice Harris were at the hearing. Nix and Harris were there for their roles in separate allegations.

As head coach of the program, Luke was required to be at the hearing for its duration. Ole Miss, which is 2-0, is preparing to play Cal on the road this weekend in its biggest game to date this season.

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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 05:32:33 am »

Neal McCready‏ @NealMcCready

Ole Miss' COI hearing is over. Here's my updated thread today on @RebelGrove


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Yahoo national college football reporter Pat Forde, who was in Covington Monday, reported early Monday the COI "isn’t going to be saying anything before the Egg Bowl game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State on Nov. 23 – no need to further stoke that out-of-control fire. The Rebels and their former coaches will not learn their fate until the last week of November at the earliest."

A source close to Ole Miss' case said he found Forde's report "difficult to believe."

Typically, rulings are issued within 6-8 weeks of the COI's conclusion. Ole Miss wants a ruling well before the end of the regular season so that it can conduct a coaching search with one major variable no longer hanging over the program.



6:07 P.M. Update: It's over. The involved parties have left the conference room. Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork confirmed the hearing is over. He declined to comment.

6:15 P.M. Update: Ole Miss' coaches appear to be checking out of the Embassy Suites now, heading back to Oxford.

Sources are very tight-lipped. Warnings have clearly been issued regarding leaks and such. I've picked up a very positive vibe, but I'd be hesitant to read much into that.


Leo Lewis bids adieu to Covington, Ky
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Pig in the Pokey

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 11:31:06 am »

Where are all the arrogant posters here who kept saying nothing bad would happen to Ole Miss? Come and eat yo damn crow!
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Sivad

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 01:41:58 pm »

Come on NCAA!
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Ward

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 07:56:12 pm »

This is taking forever

I'm not wishing death penalty, or am I?
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Ward

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 07:59:10 pm »

Come on NCAA!

Yep bring it

Bring it down hard
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LRHawg

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 11:40:38 pm »

Curious what will come of all the other schools implicated in Lewis' testimony. College football recruiting is a dirty game, especially in the SEC.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2017, 05:36:40 am »

Egg Bowl has become one of, if not, the most heated rivalries in all of sports

And with comments like the ones Dan Mullen made today, it’s easy to see why


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On the SEC teleconference call, Mullen was asked about his linebacker, Leo Lewis, who is involved in the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss. That’s when Mullen dropped a great zinger on the Rebels and their current state of affairs.

“We’re not going to comment on major violations that other institutions have, but Leo has done a great job of preparing this week,” Mullen said.

Ole Miss spent Monday with the NCAA and its committee on Infractions, with regards to the major violations committed at the school.

Lewis was also being heavily recruited by LSU as well, who the Bulldogs happen to play this week.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2017, 05:49:33 am »

AL.com sports‏Verified account @aldotcomSports

Dan Mullen sidesteps question about Leo Lewis' reported appearance at Ole Miss' NCAA hearing


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Dan Mullen declined to comment Wednesday when asked about a report that Bulldogs linebacker Leo Lewis had testified Monday at Ole Miss' NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing in Covington, Kentucky.

Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday that Lewis made an appearance at the hearing in Covington, Kentucky, though no on-site media reported seeing him enter or exit the building. Much of the NCAA's case against Ole Miss is built around testimony by Lewis, who told the NCAA that he and his mother received cash and other gifts as inducements during his recruitment by the Rebels.

When asked about Lewis' preparation for Saturday's game against LSU in spite of his reported appearance at the NCAA hearing, Mullen wouldn't offer much insight.

"He's prepared great," Mullen said on Wednesday's SEC coaches' teleconference. "We're not going to comment on major violations that other institutions have, but Leo's done a good job of preparing for this week."

Lewis, the Bulldogs' leading tackler last season with 79 stops, has totaled just three tackles in Mississippi State's first two games. He did not start last Saturday against Louisiana Tech, though Mullen noted that for situational reasons.

"They were in four (wide receivers) the entire time, so we started in dime defense," Mullen said.

Ole Miss' NCAA hearing concluded Tuesday after two days of testimony. The Rebels are expected to find out soon what, if any, additional punishment they might receive along with the one-year postseason ban and scholarship limits...

Lewis posted a photo of himself at the Embassy Suites in Covington.
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jbcarol

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2017, 05:59:56 am »

Real Message Board Heroes:

Antonio Morales‏Verified account @AntonioCMorales

Clant Seay, AKA "JHVaught" on Ole Miss message boards, traveled 300 miles & spent $1,250 to go to its COI hearing.


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COVINGTON, Kentucky — Clant Seay is a 71-year-old attorney interested in animal welfare. He moonlights as a citizen journalist with his website, and he also regularly posts on the RebelGrove.com message boards under the handle “jhvaught.”

Mostly, Seay said, he’s an Ole Miss Rebel.

That’s what led him roughly 300 miles this week to this Cincinnati suburb, where he spent many hours Monday and Tuesday sitting in the corner of the lobby of the Embassy Suites, right outside the doors of the ballroom where the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions held Ole Miss’ hearing.

On each day,  there were two armed guards who secured the doors of the hearing room.

Mostly they protected the hearing room from four writers, a local Mississippi television station, and ... Seay

Seay, who has earned a reputation as a firm Ed Orgeron defender, wasn’t covering the story for his own site. With his digital camera, he took photos of Hugh Freeze, Jeff Vitter and Ross Bjork, among others, and posted them on the RebelGrove’s message boards.

He acted professionally.  He didn’t attempt to interact with any of the involved parties. He was there to document and observe what he felt like was a historic event. He doesn’t consider himself a fan because it would mean he’s a fanatic, which he says isn’t the case, even though he spent roughly $1,250 to make this trip.

All these years of NCAA drama have left the fan base confused, he felt. So this was his attempt to try to find out what the deal is.

“I just think the public needs to be informed,” Seay said. “I think they have a better understanding of what’s happening here, a better appreciation. … The whole university is involved in this. In that room right behind me.”
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Sivad

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 05:30:01 pm »

More of the cesspool that is Ole Miss getting exposed:
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tusksincolorado

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2017, 07:49:10 pm »

Well did you really think they were honest....really.
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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2017, 05:45:50 am »

Well did you really think they were honest....really.
Not for one preaching minute.
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NaturalStateReb

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Re: Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions Hearing in Covington
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2017, 07:35:00 pm »

Where are all the arrogant posters here who kept saying nothing bad would happen to Ole Miss? Come and eat yo damn crow!

Nothing has happened.....yet. Something's going to happen. The question is what.

I've heard that Ole Miss people think it went better than they thought it might, that the COI was a bit tougher on Lewis than they expected. We'll see.
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