• #1 by jbcarol on 27 Jul 2017

    Hogville member breaks story

    The fate of the University of Mississippi’s football program could hinge on live comments from current Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis to the NCAA when the Committee on Infractions hears the case against Ole Miss this September.

    In a letter obtained by SB Nation dated May 17, 2017, Xavier athletic director Greg Christopher, Chief Hearing Officer of the NCAA Division 1 Committee on Infractions, instructs counsel for five former Ole Miss football staffers and one current assistant coach, as well as NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Jon Duncan and Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter:


        The panel will request student-athlete Leo Lewis attend the infractions hearing. Mr. Lewis’ grant of immunity related to this case is predicated on his full cooperation in the infractions process. In addition, Bylaw 19.2.3 establishes a responsibility to cooperate. Part of that duty to cooperate is ‘to make full and complete disclosure of any relevant information, including any information requested by the ... relevant committees.’ More specifically, Bylaw authorizes the panel to request specific individuals to attend the infractions hearing, including enrolled student athletes.

        Mr. Lewis’s participation at the hearing is consistent with the expectation of cooperation on which his grant of immunity was predicated. ... Mr. Lewis will receive an appearance letter.

    The letter also states that the panel can ask questions of Lewis at the hearing “that it believes necessary to decide this case.”
  • #2 by jbcarol on 27 Jul 2017

    State linebacker Leo Lewis has been requested to attend Ole Miss' Committee on Infractions hearing by the NCAA, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

    Ole Miss received its response from the NCAA to its response to the February Notice of Allegations last week, athletic director Ross Bjork told the media on Monday. Bjork on Monday also said the university is hoping to release it "in a week or so."

    SB Nation's Steven Godfrey was the first to report of the NCAA's request for Lewis to attend. In his story, Godfrey cited a letter, which was obtained by SB Nation and written by Xavier athletic director Greg Christopher, chief hearing officer of the NCAA's Division I Committee on Infractions. The letter stated: "The panel will request student-athlete Leo Lewis attend the infractions hearing. Mr. Lewis’ grant of immunity related to this case is predicated on his full cooperation in the infractions process."

    In the Notice of Allegations, Lewis, who was granted limited immunity, is referenced as Student-Athlete 39 and is tied to some of Ole Miss' Level I violations. If Lewis attends the Committee on Infractions hearing, he could potentially be asked to clarify or confirm his testimonies.

    Ole Miss tried to poke holes and highlight inconsistencies in Lewis' testimony in its response.

    Mississippi State declined to comment, per a school spokesperson. MSU has said in the past that it cannot and won't comment when directly asked about the situation. Lewis' lawyer John Wheeler said he cannot comment on the matter because of a signed confidentiality agreement.

    Lewis is also one of three defendants - along with MSU teammate Kobe Jones, and Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil's estranged stepfather - named in a lawsuit filed by Rebel Rags last month. The Oxford-based retail store levied three charges against the defendants: defamation, commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy.

    Rebel Rags alleged Lewis and the others with knowingly providing false information to the NCAA when they told investigators two former Ole Miss staffers, Chris Kiffin and Barney Farrar, arranged for them to receive free merchandise from the store.

    "I really can’t speak to whatever communication, if any, that Leo Lewis has had during the course of his compulsory, confidential participation in the investigation of the University of Mississippi football program," Wheeler told The Clarion-Ledger earlier this month. "And I can tell you he did not knowingly provide false information to anyone in the investigative process."
  • #3 by hobhog on 27 Jul 2017
  • Seems easy enough for Rebel Rags to show receipts of the recruits paying for the items. That being said- Why a recruit would BUY clothing of a school they haven't committed to yet would seem odd.....
  • #4 by jbcarol on 28 Jul 2017

    Godfrey joins the show to talk about the NCAA requesting the presence of Leo Lewis at Ole Miss' COI hearing and also the many details of the NCAA profiling Donte Moncrief back in 2013 --

    Moscona compliments Ole Miss by saying the Rebels shouldn't hire Matt Luke as head coach.
  • #5 by jbcarol on 29 Jul 2017
  • #6 by jbcarol on 29 Jul 2017
  • #7 by Inhogswetrust on 29 Jul 2017
  • Seems easy enough for Rebel Rags to show receipts of the recruits paying for the items. That being said- Why a recruit would BUY clothing of a school they haven't committed to yet would seem odd.....

    You've never owned a retail store. Some specific items can't be matched to specific receipts. They can "produce" a receipt probably but they can't say for certain it was for a specific item unless the players credit card number is on the receipt.
  • #8 by jbcarol on 03 Aug 2017
  • #9 by jbcarol on 10 Aug 2017
  •  Neal McCready‏ @NealMcCready 13h13 hours ago

    You know, the more I think about it, @ScoutSteveR has a point. We name Lewis, and we were right. Everyone is scared to name the booster...

    But we all know who the booster is. One of the most critical elements is who the COI believes -- Lewis or the booster. That's paramount.
  • #10 by sowmonella on 10 Aug 2017
  • I don't know who the booster is??
  • #11 by jbcarol on 15 Aug 2017
  •  Neal McCready‏ @NealMcCready 10h10 hours ago

    As reported earlier today on @rebelgrove, @LeoLewisIII request to be excused from the #OleMiss COI hearing next month was denied by @NCAA.

    Lewis has been requested by the COI panel to be personally present to be heard by the committee.

    Lewis' limited immunity agreement, per bylaws, requires his full cooperation throughout the duration of the case.

     Neal McCready‏ @NealMcCready 10h10 hours ago

    Mississippi State plays in beautiful Ruston, La., the Saturday before the hearing and plays LSU on the Saturday afternoon.
  • #12 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • State's Leo Lewis reportedly told NCAA he received money from 'multiple' SEC schools

    Ole Miss attorneys, which allege that Lewis also told the NCAA that he received thousands of dollars from another SEC school, alleged to be Mississippi State. Lewis received limited immunity from the NCAA for his testimony, but that immunity only protects him, not MSU.

    According to SB Nation, the NCAA briefly opened an investigation into Mississippi State football earlier this year, but quickly closed it. Lewis' allegations about receiving money from Mississippi State were found to be "ultimately... not sufficiently credible to support an allegation."

    Lewis, a four-star recruit in the Class of 2015 from the south Mississippi town of Brookhaven, initially committed to Alabama before first flipping to Ole Miss and then to Mississippi State. He totaled 79 tackles as a redshirt freshman for the Bulldogs in 2016, and is expected to be among the team's top defensive players this season.

    Ole Miss' NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing begins Sept. 11 in Covington, Kentucky. Lewis has been called to appear as a witness in the hearing.
  • #13 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • SB Nation CFB‏ @SBNationCFB

    How the NCAA turned Leo Lewis' life upside down, by @38Godfrey:

    Every time Leo Lewis spoke to the NCAA, the conversation started the same way.

    There was always a statement for the record, a reminder from college sports’ governing body that Lewis would be safe ... so long as he told the truth.

    “Leo, do you understand that the limited immunity offer is contingent on you doing that, providing complete and truthful information?” NCAA investigator Mike Sheridan asked Lewis, reading from a prepared document.

    “Yes sir,” Lewis replied.

    That first time, they were in a Hilton Garden Inn off the highway in Starkville, Miss., early on a humid Wednesday morning in August of 2016. Sheridan went through a series of formal statements for the record; Lewis was immune from losing his NCAA eligibility for anything he might have done as a college football player or as a recruit “... so long as you provide complete, truthful, and accurate information,” Sheridan said.

    If the NCAA is its own justice system for players and member institutions, Sheridan and members of the enforcement staff acts as the police and prosecuting attorney. The NCAA’s Committee On Infractions (COI), which orchestrated that meeting in Starkville, is the judge and jury.

    Lewis, currently a redshirt sophomore linebacker at Mississippi State, had received that grant of “limited immunity” by the COI at the request of the enforcement staff.

    In the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Miss, which began in 2012 — years before Lewis was old enough to play college ball — Lewis is the enforcement staff’s prize witness. The Brookhaven, Miss., linebacker had a checkered recruitment by multiple SEC programs, including Ole Miss, the target of an investigation with allegations dating back six years from the first time Lewis sat across from the NCAA.

    Of course, it would not be prudent for Lewis to have talked to the NCAA on his own and risk his current eligibility at MSU, his path to a future NFL paycheck. The NCAA likely knew Lewis wouldn’t speak without protection from his own statements about potentially improper benefits he’d received as a prized recruit. So in the summer of 2016, the enforcement staff requested an immunity grant from the committee. The COI granted it. Per NCAA literature:

        Limited immunity is an investigative tool that allows information to be elicited from an individual concerning his or her potential involvement in or knowledge of NCAA violations, with the understanding that the NCAA will not put the individual at-risk in the infractions process by bringing identified allegations against him or her.

    Now officially on the record that August, Sheridan asked if Lewis understood that immunity would only cover past events, not any potential future violations, and that if he was found to have provided false or misleading information, he could still lose his grant.

    “Yes sir,” Lewis replied.

    Finally, Lewis’ lawyer, John Brady, stepped in to clarify how far his client could go.

    “I just want to make sure we’re clear that the immunity extends to everything that you may ask Leo today, is that correct?” Brady asked.

    “That is correct,” Sheridan replied.

    Then Lewis started talking. About money. About free hotels, free rides to visit college campuses, hundred-dollar handshakes, free apparel, and even more money, bags of cash he says he received from multiple SEC programs totaling over $21,000 during the final week before National Signing Day in February 2015.
  • #14 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • SB Nation CFB‏ @SBNationCFB

    How the NCAA turned Leo Lewis' life upside down, by @38Godfrey:

     Ross Dellenger‏Verified account @RossDellenger 16h16 hours ago

    Ross Dellenger Retweeted Steven Godfrey

    Another great read from Steven.

    FWIW, coaching staff here thought Lewis would sign with #LSU - until about 2-3 a.m. on signing day morning
  • #15 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • #16 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • Anonymous Ole Miss booster ‘Allen’ claims he never paid Leo Lewis

    Leo Lewis is the Mississippi State football player  in the middle of the NCAA investigation into Ole Miss. Now one of the anonymous boosters has come forward to say Lewis’ claims against him aren’t true.

    As noted in Steven Godfrey’s deep dive into the investigation released Friday, Lewis told the NCAA that an Ole Miss booster only known as “Allen” gave him $10,000 to sign with Ole Miss the day before National Signing Day in 2015.

        “We arranged it … because I needed it. Well, I didn’t need it, I take that back. I asked for it. It was getting — it was getting close to Signing Day and so I just — I just asked for the 10 grand,” Lewis told the NCAA….

        Lewis detailed the meeting with Allen at the Hampton Inn for the $10,000, and said it definitely happened “in the noon.”

    Now “Allen” has in some sense come forward with a statement to the OM Spirit.

    In the statement, “Allen” calls the investigation “Cowboy Court” and claims that he provided the NCAA with timestamped materials that would have placed him outside the realm of culpability and unable to provide Lewis with the money on that day.

    “Allen” also had this to say:

        Another thing that has really bothered me about this false allegation is that anyone who know me knows I am not so stupid as to give $10k to a 18-year-old kid who had changed his commitment two or three times without having a letter of intent with me for him to sign prior to paying him any money. Not that I am the smartest guy in the world, but if I was so inclined to do such a thing, which I wasn’t, and coach (Barney) Farrar and I had this “grand scheme” going on, I sure as hell would have told coach to email a letter of intent before I paid him any money.
  • #17 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  •  Ben Garrett‏ @SpiritBen 15h15 hours ago

    Booster 14, or “Allen,” Releases First Statement on Leo Lewis … via @scoutmedia
  • #18 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • SB Nation CFB‏ @SBNationCFB

    How the NCAA turned Leo Lewis' life upside down, by @38Godfrey:

     Hugh Kellenberger‏Verified account @HKellenbergerCL 20h20 hours ago

    Hugh Kellenberger Retweeted Steven Godfrey

    Whatever way you come down on this whole thing, a fascinating read.
  • #19 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • Neal McCready‏ @NealMcCready

    ICYMI: @RebelGrove exclusive: Inconsistent testimony, pattern of untruths emerge in NCAA transcripts.

    In his third interview with NCAA investigators, Leo Lewis admitted to taking $11,000 from Mississippi State.

    The interview in which Lewis made that admission included Lewis waffling on details and a one-minute break requested by NCAA investigator Mike Sheridan.

    In documents obtained by that include transcripts of Lewis’ third interview with the NCAA, Sheridan asks Lewis if he took anything beyond $11,000 from Mississippi State. Lewis said he did not. Asked when the first time he remembered getting money from anyone associated with Mississippi State, Lewis said he was “not sure when it was. I came to — I went to Mississippi State one day.”

    Sheridan asked Lewis if that day was before National Signing Day. Lewis answered in the affirmative. At that point, Sheridan points out for the record that the time of day is 5:47 p.m.

    “I’m going to go off the record so I can talk with (fellow investigator) Steph (Hannah) for a second,” Sheridan said, according to transcripts. “We’re back on with Leo at 5:48. Leo, of the $11,000 that you said you got from (redacted) was that, was that $11,000 all given to you on or before signing day 2015 or did some of it come after signing day?”

    Lewis answered that it came on signing day. Sheridan then asks again if all the money came on signing day.

    “$10,000 of it came on signing day and I received $1,000 way like somewhere in 2015, I mean 2014,” Lewis said.

    Asked what month or season that $1,000 payment occurred, Lewis said he couldn’t remember.

    The conversation is just one example of a pattern that appears to be established in transcripts obtained by — inconsistent testimony, witnesses not confident with their testimony and coached witnesses who fail to recall stories they’ve rehearsed. Also included in the documents obtained by are allegations that people at Mississippi State coached witnesses to lie in their interviews with the NCAA.

    That likely provides no comfort for Ole Miss as it prepares for its Sept. 11 meeting in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions (COI) in Covington, Kentucky.

    As's Steven Godfrey wrote in his story, “The Ballad of Leo Lewis,” Friday, “the NCAA isn’t a court of law. The two sides don’t have subpoena power, and the enforcement staff is within the guidelines of its bylaws to withhold any information from another investigation into another member institution, even if evidence gathered there could impact a trial or another active investigation.”
  • #20 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  • Ben Garrett‏ @SpiritBen 15h15 hours ago

    Booster 14, or “Allen,” Releases First Statement on Leo Lewis … via @scoutmedia

     Dan Wolken‏Verified account @DanWolken 16h16 hours ago

    An Ole Miss fan site that accuses media members of having agendas allowed Booster 14 to release a "statement" without revealing his name
  • #21 by jbcarol on 26 Aug 2017
  •  Chase Parham‏Verified account @RivalsChase Aug 25

    Popcorn, popcorn, get your popcorn. Let’s talk about Godfrey’s story. … #OleMiss @NealMcCready @OxfordExxon

    Chase Parham and Neal McCready use Steven Godfrey's excellent story on to discuss the corrupt NCAA process, how all sides messed up causing things to get here and how Greg Christopher is in an unenviable position as the COI hearing looms.
  • #22 by jbcarol on 27 Aug 2017
  • #23 by DeltaBoy on 28 Aug 2017
  • #24 by jbcarol on 29 Aug 2017
  • Kellenberger: The only thing that matters is if Ole Miss paid Leo Lewis

    There have been more than a few requests for my thoughts on Steven Godfrey’s story Friday regarding Ole Miss, the NCAA and Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis, so here they are: I don’t think it’s the magic bullet many of y’all seem to think it is.

    It’s a fascinating read, and I don’t doubt any of Godfrey’s reporting. There are things to be learned from it, or re-confirmed:

        Limited immunity is a bit of a sticky wicket, in that these high-profile recruitments are rarely cut and dry and there’s plenty of blame and rule-breaking to go around. And the immunity only extends to the player, not the school he ended up signing with.
        Whether or not Lewis is in Covington, Kentucky on Sept. 11 when the NCAA Committee on Infractions meets to discuss this case is going to be the biggest news coming out of that day.
        If Mississippi State the institution was not on board with Lewis and Kobe Jones participating in the NCAA investigation, an alleged conversation between Lewis and an Ole Miss player suggests Dan Mullen was.

    But in NCAA v. Ole Miss, it does not matter whether or not Mississippi State also paid Lewis, or if LSU offered the $650,000 his mother is alleged to have claimed (an absurd number for any college football player, much less a four-star inside linebacker, to be sure). It does not matter if Mullen arranged the whole thing. The best hope for Ole Miss fans by going down that path is mutual destruction, not the absolving of any Rebel sin.

    (Also, all of this is based on transcripts from a year ago, which makes it new to us but not to any of the parties involved.)

    The only thing that truly matters is whether or not the violations Ole Miss is accused of committing happened, and more specifically than that the most damning claim — that Lewis allegedly received $10,000 from Booster 14.

    “We arranged it ... because I needed it,” Lewis said in NCAA interview transcripts reported on by SBNation. “Well, I didn’t need it, I take that back. I asked for it. It was getting — it was getting close to Signing Day and so I just — I just asked for the 10 grand.”

    It gets murky what Lewis did or did not do with that money, and what money was spent on what — an opening Ole Miss and its supporters have pursued with vigor. But Booster 14 sent that text message (“I need you to call me immediately. We met and agreed upon things … What is going on? You swore to me on your daughter. Please call me. You owe me that.”) intended for Leo Lewis to then-Ole Miss staffer Barney Farrar. You can’t get around it.
  • #25 by jbcarol on 09 Sep 2017
  • #26 by jbcarol on 11 Sep 2017
  • Will Sammon‏Verified account @WillSammon

    expect Leo Lewis in Kentucky after La Tech, before LSU. more on that + Mullen said MSU preparation won't be impacted

    At the meeting, Lewis can be asked to confirm what he previously said to the NCAA, and which resulted in allegations against Ole Miss. That includes the most vital claim — that Lewis allegedly received $10,000 from Booster 14. Lewis may also be asked to address the perceived inconsistencies in some of the statements that he made and that were reported by SB Nation last month.

    The inconsistencies mostly involve timeframes concerning when Lewis allegedly received money from an Ole Miss booster. The SB Nation article also reported that Lewis told NCAA enforcement he took $11,000 in benefits from Mississippi State.

    “Everything that was released in the public domain from these confidential interviews is old news to the NCAA,” Wheeler told The Clarion-Ledger. “It’s been in their possession for over a year. Every action that they’ve taken, every decision that they’ve made, has been with the full knowledge of everything that has been reported citing documents from these confidential communications.”