Ole Miss officials announced Wednesday that the school is self-imposing a one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season, after the university received a new NCAA notice of allegations that accused the school of lack of institutional control and that Rebels coach Hugh Freeze failed to monitor his coaching staff.
The notice of allegations, which the university received Wednesday morning, included eight new alleged rules violations and the lack of institutional control charge. The NCAA has now accused the Rebels of 21 rules violations by current or former members of their football coaching staff.
Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said the school agreed with the NCAA that there was sufficient and credible evidence to support at least three of the new charges, but he said the university would contest the allegations of lack of institutional control and the charge against Freeze of failing to monitor his staff.
"The additional allegations announced today are serious," Bjork said in a video statement released by the university. "But we will vigorously defend the university against the allegations that we believe are not appropriately supported, including that we lacked institutional control and that our head coach did not promote an atmosphere of compliance or monitor staff in the football program."
Bjork said the NCAA didn't accuse Freeze of personally violating its rules, only that he was responsible for the actions of his coaching staff.
"This allegation is not based on personal involvement and violations by Coach Freeze, but because he's personally responsible for the allegations involving his staff that occurred between October 2012 and January 2016," Bjork said. "Although we disagree, according to the NCAA, Coach Freeze has not rebutted the presumption that he's responsible for his staff's action."
Bjork said Ole Miss would have to forfeit its share of SEC postseason revenues for this coming season, which could be as much as $7.8 million.
Ole Miss has 90 days to respond to the new notice of allegations. A hearing with the infractions committee could take place at some point this summer.
The Committee on Infractions could accept or add to Ole Miss' self-imposed penalties, and Freeze might face a multigame suspension if he isn't able to successfully fight the failure-to-monitor charge.
"This has been a long process for all involved, and I'm like everybody here, saddened by the negative attention that has been brought on our great university by the seriousness of this case," Freeze said. "I feel terrible for our players and staff who have to handle the consequences of the actions of a very few."
The seven additional charges against the Rebels include:
• A former student-athlete was allowed to hunt on property owned by a booster while he was being recruited by the Rebels and then again on a few occasions after he enrolled at Ole Miss.
• From March 2014 to January 2015, a former Ole Miss staff member provided improper recruiting inducements in the form of lodging and transportation to two prospects who enrolled at other institutions. The NCAA said the improper benefits were valued at $2,272.
• A former Ole Miss staff member committed unethical conduct by providing false and misleading information to the university and the NCAA about his involvement in the recruiting violations.
• A former Ole Miss staff member arranged for a recruit to receive cash payments from two boosters totaling $13,000 to $15,600.
• A former staff member arranged for the associate of a recruit to receive merchandise from a store owned by a booster, and two other prospects received goods from the same store totaling about $2,800.
• In 2014, a current Ole Miss football coach made improper in-person, off-campus contact with a football prospect.
• A booster provided free food and drinks to a recruit at the booster's restaurant, totaling between $200 and $600 in improper benefits.
A significant portion of the eight new charges Ole Miss faces in the NCAA's amended notice of allegations revolves around alleged wrongdoing involving former Ole Miss assistant coach Barney Farrar and information the NCAA gathered from current Mississippi State players Leo Lewis and Kobe Jones, sources told ESPN.com.
Ole Miss announced in December that Farrar, Ole Miss' director for high school and junior college relations, did not have his contract renewed and was no longer with the program. Ole Miss had been granted an exemption by the NCAA allowing Farrar to go out on the road recruiting in place of former co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner, who was also fired in December.
The notice of allegations that Ole Miss received Wednesday didn't include any additional alleged rules violations related to former Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil.
Shortly before Tunsil was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of last year's NFL draft, a screenshot of a text was published to the Instagram account @kingtunsil that appeared to show a request for money from Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller for rent and so that Tunsil's mother could pay her $305 electric bill.
After the draft-night developments, Ole Miss officials asked the NCAA to delay the university's hearing before the Committee on Infractions, and NCAA enforcement staff reopened its investigation, which uncovered the new allegations.
Tunsil, a former All-American from Lake City, Florida, was named in three of the more serious allegations made by the NCAA last year.
The NCAA previously suspended Tunsil for the first seven games of the 2015 season for his use of three loaner vehicles at no cost during a six-month period. The NCAA alleged he also received an interest-free loan for a $3,000 down payment for the purchase of a used car from the same dealer.
As part of Tunsil's reinstatement last season, he had to repay the value of the extra benefits to charity and make a $3,000 down payment to the dealer.
The NCAA also alleges that Lindsey Miller, Tunsil's estranged stepfather, received $800 from an Ole Miss booster on Aug. 22, 2014, and that a booster provided Miller and other members of his family free lodging in Oxford, Mississippi, on 12 occasions between June 2013 and May 2014. The NCAA determined the value of the extra benefits was about $2,253.
Ole Miss self-imposed a double-digit reduction in scholarships for football in May 2016 as part of its response to an NCAA notice of allegations it received in January 2016.
In a 154-page response to the NCAA, Ole Miss announced it had self-imposed the loss of 11 scholarships in football over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, including a reduction of three initial scholarships in each of its next three recruiting classes, which would allow the school to sign a maximum of 22 players in each class.