Last week, Ole Miss received their final (or so everyone thought) ruling from the NCAA which included a bowl ban for the 2018 season. The penalties brought against the program have opened up the possibility for players to transfer. As other programs have begun their descent on Oxford, AD Ross Bjork issued a statement to attempt to ease the “anxious” Rebel fan base.
The University has opted to appeal the bowl ban and other penalties, but ESPN has reported that QB Shea Patterson, WR Van Jefferson, and Saftey Deontay Anderson have all scheduled an official visit to Michigan. While the players have been granted permission to contact other programs, in his statement, Bjork says that they will not allow tampering with the Ole Miss program and its players.
“We will not allow outside influences to define who we are, and we will use every avenue available to hold those accountable who tamper with our student-athletes,” Bjork said. “Our great University has been through a lot over the past few years, and we are focused on building upon the strong foundation that is already in place.”
Earlier this week, Anderson posted a photo with who appears to be Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in Oxford.
Is Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in Oxford, MS? Deontay Anderson, who recently retained the services of Thomas Mars requesting a transfer from Ole Miss, posted this picture this morning. pic.twitter.com/MFZ3wbtem6
— Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) December 5, 2017
Bjork’s statement began by saying that the Ole Miss administration is working to keep in contact with all players throughout what has been a difficult process.
“We can assure you that we are being proactive with each player and their families, and we are communicating with them on a daily basis. Our focus is on their well-being while also making sure that we protect the present and future of our program. The Ole Miss Football program is bigger than one person, and we want our players to know that they can, and will be part of something special,” Bjork said.
During a press conference the day that the NCAA ruling was announced, Bjork said that the appeal process for the bowl ban could take anywhere from 3-6 months.