Ole Miss is digging in for its appeal to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in hopes of being able to be eligible for the postseason in 2018. The university released its full appeals letter to the COI online Friday, days after formally submitting the appeal to the infractions committee earlier this month.
“This Committee should vacate and reverse the penalties and factual findings,” the appeal stated, “because the COI abused its discretion, departed from precedent, committed procedural errors, and reached factual conclusions inconsistent with the evidence.”
In addition to appealing the 2018 postseason ban (Ole Miss voluntarily sat out of the 2017 postseason), Ole Miss also hopes to have restrictions on unofficial visits overturned as well as have the “lack of institutional control” label scratched from the record.
The NCAA’s COI has 30 days to review and respond to the appeal, which sets the deadline in the first week of March. Ole Miss will then have 14 days to respond with any rebuttal if the university feels one is warranted. But if the COI doesn’t adhere to the appeal now, odds are there will be little that can be done by NCAA in the rebuttal stage if it reaches that point that will affect the outcome of the NCAA’s decision.
Ole Miss argues the addition of the 2018 postseason ban on top of the school’s voluntary postseason ban is unprecedented. Given the charges against Ole Miss, it still seemed likely a second year would be added to the postseason ban already self-imposed anyway. But a second year without postseason eligibility cuts into the coffers for Ole Miss, as it means the school would be blocked from accepting any postseason revenue shares other schools in the SEC would receive. So you can see one of the main reasons why Ole Miss hopes at least part of the appeal is accepted.
The sanctions levied against Ole Miss came for offenses under former head coach Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss has argued it should not be punished as severely now that those parties connected to the infractions are no longer a part of the program.