SDS– In an exclusive interview with SI.com’s Pete Thamel, Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsey Miller, explained that he talked to the NCAA over 100 hours about alleged violations regarding Ole Miss and his son. Miller told SI.com he relayed to the NCAA’s investigators dirt with boosters that led to free hotel rooms, lodging and money, and he claims the NCAA came to visit him four or five times in Mississippi.
Among the things Miller says he told the NCAA: Ole Miss had an intricate system in which the school arranged for Tunsil and his family through boosters to get loans, money and free lodging at hotels and residences around Oxford, Miss. He claims he told the NCAA of benefits that spanned nearly three years.
In one Facebook message, dated Feb. 8, 2013, Miller appears to write to Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin: “Plz do all the u you said to help me and desiree and my 2 sons I have been ole miss biggest fan 2 times he committed to ga I was there foor u be there for us when its time ok.” Kiffin appears to have responded: “You know I will!”
Well here it is. Finally Sports Illustrated decides to drop the report that SEC and Ole Miss fans have been eagerly awaiting. The only problem is we already knew most of this. Yes, the Ole Miss football program helped Tunsil and his parents by giving them improper benefits. Yes, Tunsil’s family got money for bills, accommodations, and anything else they may have needed while Laremy was an All-American tackle for the Rebels.
The real question now is what will the NCAA and Ole Miss do?
Clearly there should be some sort of repercussions brought on Hugh Freeze and the Rebels to hold them accountable for their actions; but this is the NCAA were talking about.
This is the same organization that had basketball players from the University of North Carolina admit that they took fake classes while at the school, BUT THEY STILL HAVE DONE NOTHING. Instead, they released a report naming five serious infractions, yet none specifically said ANYTHING about the basketball team.
Furthermore, this is an organization that has constantly allowed institutions to pick their own punishments. If you impose a post season ban on yourself, even if you wouldn’t have made the postseason (I’m looking at you Syracuse Basketball), you’re allowed to be sanction free the next year.
To sum it up, the NCAA has the most ludicrous punishment system of all time; and because of this I expect them to draw out the Ole Miss process for a while (probably until after the football season is over).
As for Ole Miss, they have imposed some sanctions already, including forfeiting 11 football scholarships, which isn’t all that much. That being said, the football team can’t self impose a post season ban this year. They have too much at stake, as Chad Kelly and company have a solid chance to win the SEC West (as long as they get passed Fournette).
That being said here’s what to expect from Ole Miss. They will not impose a ban and will hope and pray that this gets dragged out until the end of football season, or that the NCAA says the 11 scholarships is enough of a punishment (fat chance). THEN, if it starts to look like more sanctions will be coming, which it will, Ole Miss will suspend themselves for next post season.
Think about it. At that point they will have lost a ton of firepower, and will have a redshirt freshman at QB… It’s a no brainer. They’ll take one year off, the NCAA will allow them to come back, and Shea Patterson will lead them to a very good bowl game.
Is it fair? No. Is it the correct punishment? No chance. But this is the NCAA we’re talking about, and this is what evil organizations do.
P.S.- Maybe The Boz had it right after all…