Did Ole Miss cheat at recruiting?

I don’t follow college football recruiting, but there are plenty of comments in the blogosphere about Ole Miss cheating to recruit such a good class this year.

My gut feeling is that they did cheat and they made promise of money, cars, or apartments to the players. I assume the Ole Miss boosters decided that they wanted to play with the big boys in the SEC and knew what it would take.

I’m convinced every program cheats. Whether it be Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, or Derrick Henry, the special players are more likely than not to get a little something something on the side. People in the SEC complaining about Ole Miss’s recruiting class remind me of the scene in The Sting, when Lonnigan yells at his underling about losing at poker:

Floyd: Doyle, I KNOW I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can’t let him get away with that.

Doyle Lonnegan: What was I supposed to do - call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?

Got any evidence, or are you just making shit up?

No evidence at all, just a few hours reading sports blogs. And no, I’m not an SEC basher nor supporter.

I don’t follow recruiting, I dont’ have enough energy to care about who the #1 tackle is at some high school in Pig Pen, Georgia.

But, I completely believe Auburn paid Cam Newton and/or his family and I bet that college recruiting is about as clean as pro cycling was during Lance Armstrong’s era.

Sometimes the right coach and athletic director can turn a program around without doing anything dirty. Wisconsin football was a non-entity since the early 1960s until they put Pat Richter in the AD office and he hired Barry Alvarez. Northwestern, while they’ll probably never be a National Championship program, now has a sustained legitimate competitive football program after being awful even longer than Wisconsin was.

But then there are programs who cheat to keep up with the established big boys like SMU. There’s probably good reason to be suspicious given the SEC football environment, but programs can turn around without being dirty. In a few years we’ll probably know whether or not Mississippi is dirty or not.

I think recruiting is a totally corrupt business, but I don’t see a reason to be suspicious of Ole Miss specifically.

Yes, you are. You just accused Ole Miss of cheating at recruiting without any supporting evidence, and tossed a backhanded smear at the rest of the conference. That’s bashing.

I hold this general sentiment. The whole business of college sports is dirty and rotten to the core. I am amazed with the respect held for academia in some circles whilst simultaneously ignoring this shit associated with its institutions.

I don’t have access to the info right now, but out of nowhere Ole Miss has a top level recruiting class. That is why suspicions are arriving. Those ranks and levels for recruiting classes are business all to themselves I believe and like the NFL draft a lot of times don’t amount to much.

I’m on the “everybody cheats” side of things. Some of the ways to keep money under the table are impressive.

Smearing the SEC is a way of life for some of us. If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

In the mid-90s, Nebraska won three unbeaten titles in 4 years. So, “they” came up with some story that Nebraska used “country scholarships”. What this meant was NU could give one person per Nebraska county a scholarship, and it wouldn’t count against the NCAA limit. A few flaws:

  1. NU’s recruiting classes were never stellar, we were usually in the #15-20 range (5-star WRs and QBs don’t play option)
  2. There are maybe 2-3 urban counties, so not a lot to draw from
  3. Would Nebraska cheat SO obviously?!? Give us some credit here :stuck_out_tongue:

I obviously can’t prove that Ole Miss didn’t cheat. But the unusually high ranking of their recruiting class this year, it seems to me, has a much simpler explanation. The older brother of Robert Nkemdiche, the consensus top recruit in this year’s high school class, currently plays linebacker at Ole Miss. Giving a scholarship to a player because you are gambling on being able to eventually bring in that player’s more-gifted sibling is perfectly legal.

Here’s a good inside look at how Coach Hugh Freeze got so many stars to come to Ole Miss:


It doesn’t look like cheating- rather, it looks as if

  1. Freeze had a well thought out recruiting plan that he executed perfectly, and
  2. He caught a few lucky breaks as well.

It’s true that, normally, Ole Miss would not be at the top of the list of schools a Parade All-American would be looking at. Alabama would be, Florida would be, Oklahoma might be, but not Ole Miss.

But Freeze and his staff made a point of targeting stars who had ties of some sort to Mississippi (sometimes tenuous ties, but ties nonetheless). He also made a real effort to get ALL the stars he was targeting to visit Oxford, Mississippi on the same day. That way, if he could sell one or two stars on his program, dominos might start falling, and OTHER stars might think, “Hey, if THOSE guys are coming here, this could be a much better team than I thought. Maybe we really COULD win here.”

If it were just a matter of bribery, well, I have little doubt that boosters at more established schools could offer at LEAST as much in payola as Ole Miss could. Why would a kid take money (or cars or girls or…) to play for a perennial also-ran when he could get the same perks at a school that’s already a perennial powerhouse?

From that link, here’s a potential issue

Also, a link to the story in the Chicago Tribune

I get tired of the same old Cam Newton accusations.

Here is what we know. He was highly recruited HS athlete that originally signed with Florida.

He got in trouble academically (Strike ONE) and with law (STRIKE TWO) and subsequently Urban Meyer kicked him out of Florida…

Went to some JUCO school no one has ever heard of then Transferred to Auburn.

At the start of his Heisman year, he was not on anyone’s Heisman RADAR. No one but the most passionate SEC fan had ever heard of him. Why would a Auburn supporter be be willing to invest a lot of good money into an athlete with two strikes?

Some things just don’t make sense. If he was that good of a prospect, Urban Meyer would have done everything he could to protect him and hide him. He certainly would have made sure he would never get into a SEC school.

That’s bashing, but it doesn’t make him a basher. I might cook dinner for my girlfriend once, or even once in a while, but that doesn’t make me a chef.

Don’t blame me, blame his father and Kenny Rogers.

It didn’t stop his dad and Kenny from seeking over $100,000 for Cam’s services. It didn’t stop the NCAA from suspending him, then, by some odd coincidence that happened to occur the week before the BCS championship, rescinding their own suspension. And it didn’t stop Cam from throwing those two under the bus and denying any agency relationship for their actions.

Like when your own father asks for money for you to play, but he had no relationship with you? Like that?

It’s NCAA big boy football. Let’s not pretend.

One thing being overlooked here is that Ole Miss is a program on the rise. By the end of this past season, there were few better teams than them.

Winning teams tend to attract better recruits. Playing in the SEC also helps.

On the rise? Maybe so. But they were just 3-5 in the SEC, and just 6-6 in the regular season. I wouldn’t start buying BCS bowl tickets just yet, Rebel fans.