Mississippi's football program has been handed a two-year postseason ban and other penalties by the NCAA.
The Committee on Infractions came down hard on Ole Miss, which went 6-6 but had self-imposed a bowl ban this year and hoped to avoid it next season over its long-running rules violation case that included a charge of lack of institutional control.
Ole Miss had also self-imposed other punishments in anticipation of the ruling, including scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions. The NCAA on Friday banned the Rebels from the postseason for the 2018 season as well.
The complicated case consisted of 21 alleged violations, including 15 that were Level I, which the NCAA considers the most serious.
The announcement by the NCAA brings to an end a long process that began with an investigation that began with women's track, basketball and academic issues relating to the Houston Nutt era Rebel football program from 2008-11, CBS Sports reports. The program self-imposed scholarship restrictions and a one-year bowl ban in 2017 as a result of that aspect of the investigation.
But when former Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil suffered through a miserable NFL Draft night that included a video of him smoking a substance through a gas mask, a sudden fall to 13th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft and the post-draft admission that he took money from Ole Miss coaches, the NCAA came calling again. That resulted in a second Notice of Allegations that dealt with recruiting violations that were unrelated to Tunsil but discovered due to the Tunsil incident extending the inquiry.
CBS Sports reports the NCAA penalties also include three years of probation through Nov. 30, 2020, and the vacating of all regular-season and postseason wins in which ineligible student-athletes competed.