Hugh Freeze brought in the seventh-ranked class in the country in 2013, according to Rivals. The class included the No. 1 defensive end, No. 1 wide receiver and No. 1 offensive tackle in the nation. It seems the NCAA is suspicious.
CBS Sports is reporting the NCAA spoke to Chris Jones, a Top 20 defensive end who signed with Mississippi State, about his recruitment. Ole Miss was the only other school that recruited him. Andy Staples detailed how Ole Miss recruited that 2013 class for SI in February. Hugh Freeze invited the public to email Ole Miss compliance with evidence of a violation.
As always, it’s a long way from “the NCAA is investigating” to “the NCAA has evidence.” It’s also a long way from “the NCAA has evidence” to “the NCAA is willing to impose meaningful penalties.” Oregon, essentially, paid a player’s representative/street agent $25,000 and was let off with probation, a reduction of three scholarships over three years and the dreaded “public reprimand and censure.”
It’s plausible to presume Ole Miss must have cheated (beyond tacitly accepted levels). It’s equally plausible to presume a program that has brought in Top 20 classes recently has an energetic recruiting staff and had an in with the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit.