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The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)
OXFORD - The hits came in waves for Ole Miss' football program when it received its notice of allegations from the NCAA's enforcement staff Wednesday.
Coach Hugh Freeze was charged with violating his responsibility legislation, the university was charged with a lack of institutional control and Ole Miss announced a self-imposed one-year bowl ban for the 2017 season.
So a black cloud, which has lingered and lingered, still hovers above a program with an uncertain immediate future. A few 2018 recruits with Ole Miss offers shared their opinion on the news with The Clarion-Ledger.
"I wasn't too shocked. I think everybody knew they were going to get some penalties," Tupelo linebacker Jett Johnson said. "One-year bowl ban stinks for the players there and the coaches now, but if it's just one year then that won't effect my decision too much.
"If the NCAA comes down with the hammer and hits them with a lot harder stuff, that'll influence probably my decision, honestly. I wasn't too surprised. It stinks for them."
Johnson said a two-year bowl ban wouldn't effect his decision either. He also plays basketball for Tupelo, which will force him to miss the Rebels' junior day on Saturday. Johnson, who also has offers from Mississippi State and Louisville, will be on Ole Miss' campus Sunday and has some questions for the staff regarding the allegations but doesn't know exactly what he'll ask yet.
Ole Miss hasn't received a single commitment yet for its 2018 recruiting class and is one of three SEC programs, along with Missouri and South Carolina, without a 2018 commit right now.
Oxford receiver Jaquan Webb, who received an offer from Alabama earlier this week, will be at Ole Miss this weekend but said nothing has really changed for him.
"I feel the same way about them," he said. "They've effected me only in positive ways.
"They already addressed it (the investigation) to me before it came all the way out."
Olive Branch defensive end Fabien Lovett, who holds offers from Mississippi State, Memphis and Southern Miss, found out the news from his teammate and three-star cornerback Jaylon Reed, who also owns an Ole Miss offer.
"We were just talking about how it doesn't really hurt us," Lovett said.
When asked if Freeze being charged with violating his responsibility legislation changed anything, Lovett said: "No, sir."
While it may not end up impacting Lovett, the self-imposed bowl ban will have an effect on the 2017 recruiting class, which ranked 30th in the country and 12th in the SEC, according to 247SportsComposite.
Three-star linebacker Mohamed Sanago, a Texas native, is one of those players who will have to miss a bowl game his first season.
"It was exactly what I expected," Sanago said via text. "The coaches were telling us from the start that they were expecting a one-year bowl game suspension."
Sanago said linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto called him to make sure he knew about some of the new allegations.
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