Fed up with the innuendo swirling around a recruiting class that was becoming increasingly high-profile, Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze tweeted a provocation of sorts five days before national signing day: If you have evidence I’m cheating, send my compliance guy an email.
Eighty-five times over the next few days, someone did.
That’s according to Ole Miss’ general counsel office, which gave 54 of those emails to The Commercial Appeal this week in response to the newspaper’s public records request for them. Since the email address Freeze tweeted was an olemiss.edu address, whatever came to and from it was a public record, according to Mississippi law.
Citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the school redacted the names of recruits mentioned in the emails.
The released emails were ones the compliance staff had already scoured and determined did not include a violation; the school withheld the ones that contain information Ole Miss is still examining. The school continues to look into the veracity of 31 of them. (The newspaper’s request for those emails remains in force.) “We are continuing our due diligence on the remaining emails but at this point have found no evidence of violations,” Matt Ball, Ole Miss’ senior associate athletic director for compliance, wrote in an email.
A significant chunk of the 54 emails released Wednesday were from Georgia fans apparently upset over the recruiting battle for Laremy Tunsil, a 5-star offensive lineman from Lake City, Fla. He signed with Ole Miss.
Continue reading at The Commercial Appeal.