With Ole Miss under investigation for NCAA violations and head coach Hugh Freeze getting canned prior to the start of the season, the fallout is continuing as the program tries to regain its footing. A report from Dan Wolken of USA Today says Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson has filed his paperwork to request a full release from his scholarship as he begins the process of seeking a transfer. Per the report, Anderson claims Ole Miss misled him in the recruiting process about the school’s investigation status.
Anderson is hoping to be eligible to play at any other FBS program in 2018, even if that new school happens to be within the SEC. Given the situation at Ole Miss, it would be reasonable to expect he may have a chance for a free transfer rather than having to sit out a full season before being eligible again, and it would be unwise from a public relations standpoint for Ole Miss to issue any blockades to potential landing spots within the SEC. Anderson sat out the 2017 season as a redshirt player, which would make that request more likely to be granted as far as his eligibility in 2018 is concerned.
Ole Miss is voluntarily sitting out of the 2017 postseason even if the Rebels pick up their sixth win this Thursday night in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State. Voluntarily sitting out of the postseason is a decision made in hopes of receiving a lighter punishment from the NCAA should the organization weigh down heavy sanctions on the program.
Anderson’s story likely is not unique at Ole Miss, but it is unknown if any other players will pursue a similar path out of Ole Miss. The NCAA ruling on Ole Miss could influence those decisions by more players, but until it does, it will be a total guessing game as to what the future has in store for the Rebels and their players.