University of Mississippi

Supplement to Response to Notice of Allegations

Case No. 00561

Enrique (Henry) J. Gimenez, Esq.
Brian P. Kappel, Esq.
Hallett D. Ruzic
Lightfoot, Franklin & White, L.L.C.
The Clark Building
400 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Mike Glazier, Esq. Lee Tyner, Esq.
Bond, Schoeneck & King PLCC The University of Mississippi
7500 College Boulevard 209 Lyceum
Suite 910 1848 University Circle
Overland Park, KS 66210 University, MS 38677
The University of Mississippi (the “University”) submits this supplement to its Response to the

Notice of Allegations (the “Response”) in order to clarify the impact of new information learned during its

September 11-12, 2017, hearing before the Committee on Infractions (the “Committee”) on certain

allegations it contests, specifically Allegations Nos. 9, 15 and 16. In particular, [Institution 10] student-athlete

[Student-Athlete 39] revealed two facts at the hearing that were previously unknown to the University: (1)

that [Student-Athlete 46’s Father], the father of fellow [Institution 10] student [Student-Athlete 46] and an

individual [Student-Athlete 39] associated with [Institution 10], gave him $10,000 on National Signing Day

2015 (February 4, 2015); and (2) that [Student-Athlete 39] met with [Institution 10] head football coach

[College Head Coach 1] before [Institution 10’s] spring game in April 2016 regarding a future interview with

the NCAA enforcement staff.

Generally speaking, these new facts support the University’s position that the contested allegations

are not corroborated by credible and objective or otherwise persuasive evidence sufficient to meet the

Committee’s standard. Had the University known earlier what [Student-Athlete 39] ultimately revealed at the

hearing, it would have analyzed the impact of that information on the contested allegations in its Response or

addressed them more directly at the hearing. Because the University had only a short time to assess and

articulate the potential importance of that information during the hearing, it believes a supplement to its

Response is both appropriate and necessary.1

ANALYSIS OF NEW INFORMATION

At various points during this investigation and at the hearing, the enforcement staff relied on

statements from [Student-Athlete 46’s] interview as support for the contested allegations. At times, [Student-

1 The University presumes that the new facts revealed at the hearing were also unknown to the enforcement
staff. Had the enforcement staff learned of this information prior to the hearing date, Committee on
Infractions Internal Operating Procedure 3-6 (enforcement staff is required to provide “[a]ll pertinent
documents, submissions, and information” that “could reasonably affect an allegation or potential penalty
against any party, or a potential defense for any party), Enforcement Internal Operating Procedures 2-6-2
(enforcement staff shall provide “factual information of which it is aware that tends to rebut any allegation
made against an institution or involved individual”), and Bylaws 19.5.1 (enforcement staff is required to
develop “all relevant information”) and 19.5.9 (enforcement staff shall provide access to all “factual
information pertinent to the case”) would have required disclosure of those facts to the Committee, the
University, and involved parties.

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Athlete 46] was the only individual who provided information supporting those allegations. In these

instances, the information offered by [Student-Athlete 46] largely conflicted with the recollections of [Family

Member 11] and [Family Member 12], [Student-Athlete 39’s] cousins and high school classmates whom

[Student-Athlete 39] described as his close friends. On other occasions, [Student-Athlete 46’s] recollection

was part of a larger evidentiary picture. Under both scenarios, the enforcement staff viewed [Student-Athlete

46’s] statements as corroboration for [Student-Athlete 39’s] allegations involving University boosters.

The University did not share the enforcement staff’s interpretation of [Student-Athlete 46’s]

interview. In its Response, the University expressed doubts about [Student-Athlete 46’s] reliability based

upon numerous factors, including: (1) [Student-Athlete 46’s] admission that he had discussed his up-coming

NCAA interview with [Student-Athlete 39]; (2) the fact that the information shared by [Student-Athlete 46]

was not known by other witnesses much closer to [Student-Athlete 39] and who were in a better position to

have relevant information;2 (3) [Student-Athlete 46’s] offering of information that corroborated details of

[Student-Athlete 39’s] account in his interview before those details were sought or when answering unrelated

or tangentially related questions; and (4) the fact that [Student-Athlete 46’s] lawyer, who also represented

[Student-Athlete 39], knew potential areas of inquiry.3 FI 266 at 59-60, 63, and 76. In addition to those

factors, the new facts learned at the hearing further undercut [Student-Athlete 46’s] credibility in a significant

way and provide a powerful and persuasive reason to believe that he coordinated his story with [Student-

Athlete 39] prior to his interview in order to avoid implicating [Institution 10], his father, and his teammate in

wrongdoing. Accordingly, as set forth below, the University asserts that the contested allegations are not

factually supported by sufficient, credible and persuasive evidence to substantiate findings of violations.

2 For example, while [Student-Athlete 46] attended a different high school than [Student-Athlete 39] and
accompanied [Student-Athlete 39] on just one recruiting visit, he is claimed to be the only person to whom
[Student-Athlete 39] allegedly divulged information related to these allegations.
3
To be clear, the University is not implying [Student-Athlete 39’s] and [Student-Athlete 46’s] lawyer engaged
in professional misconduct or disclosed [Student-Athlete 39’s] specific account to [Student-Athlete 46]. But
while preparing for his interview, [Student-Athlete 46] presumably would have gleaned the general areas of
inquiry.

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A. Allegation No. 9-(b) – Rebel Rags

In its Written Reply and at the hearing, the enforcement staff cited a single individual as direct

corroboration for [Student-Athlete 39’s] claim that he received free clothing items from Oxford, Mississippi

retailer Rebel Rags, LLC (“Rebel Rags”): [Student-Athlete 39’s] current teammate, [Student-Athlete 46]. See

Enforcement Staff Written Reply, p. 51. Generally speaking, the University respectfully suggests the

enforcement staff’s reliance upon [Student-Athlete 46’s] statement that [Student-Athlete 39] received “a lot”

of Ole Miss gear was misplaced in that: (1) in the statements cited by the enforcement staff, [Student-Athlete

46] is apparently discussing cleats, gloves, helmet visors, etc., given to [Student-Athlete 39] by current players,

not items from Rebel Rags; and (2) [Student-Athlete 46] clearly states that the group did not receive items

from Rebel Rags during his single trip to the University with [Student-Athlete 39]. FI 266 at 50-51.

However, the information discovered during the hearing regarding [Student-Athlete 46’s] incentive to protect

[Institution 10], his father, and [Student-Athlete 39] casts further doubt on the assertion that he alone – as

opposed to [Student-Athlete 39’s] family members and closest friends – witnessed [Student-Athlete 39] in

possession of clothing items that no one else has ever reported seeing. In other words, the University

believes that, based on the more complete factual record now before the Committee, the evidence cited by

the enforcement staff in support of Allegation No. 9 is further away from (not closer to) meeting the

applicable evidentiary standard. 4

B. Allegation No. 15 – Impermissible Cash Payments and Food/Drinks (Funkys/Lee Harris)

As the University explained in its Response and at the hearing, [Student-Athlete 39’s] allegations

about the Oxford, Mississippi bar named Funkys and its owner, Lee Harris, have always contained evidentiary

4 The allegation additionally relies on [Family Member 1] (Allegation No. 9-(a)) and [Institution 10] football
student-athlete [Student-Athlete 40] (Allegation No. 9-(c)). As the hearing revealed no new information
involving [Family Member 1], the University rests on the multiple criticisms of and concerns with [Family
Member 1’s] testimony and credibility raised in its Response and reiterated at the hearing – including the fact
that [Family Member 1’s] allegation was initially determined not sufficiently credible to support an allegation.
Likewise, [Student-Athlete 40’s] allegation was originally vetted in February and March 2016. At that time,
the enforcement staff found that [Student-Athlete 40’s] account was insufficient to support an allegation or
warrant further investigation. See, FI 227 ([NCAA Investigator 2] memorandum detailing the staff’s
determination that the individual [Student-Athlete 40] claimed to have interacted with at Rebel Rags did not
exist).

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holes and inconsistencies, including instances where the individuals present for the alleged events (namely

[Family Member 11] and [Family Member 12]) denied key aspects of [Student-Athlete 39’s] claims5 and where

the enforcement staff’s narrative stretched the specific claims made by those individuals in order to impute

responsibility for alleged impermissible benefits onto Harris6. See e.g., University Response, pp. 46-47. The

enforcement staff disagreed with the University’s position and, among other things, cited [Student-Athlete 46]

during the hearing as important corroboration for the allegation that Harris (and not some other person) was

responsible for providing free food and drinks to [Student-Athlete 39] and his friends. Specifically, the

enforcement staff recounted one portion of [Student-Athlete 46’s] interview in which he claimed that he,

[Student-Athlete 39], [Family Member 11], and [Family Member 12] went to Funkys near closing time and left

with two boxes of pizza. FI 266, p. 30-31. The enforcement staff implied that [Student-Athlete 46’s]

recollection confirmed, contrary to other information indicating he was not in Oxford on the evening in

question, that Harris had provided those pizzas to the group.

As an initial matter, the University notes that [Student-Athlete 39] did not specifically recount this

specific event in any of his interactions with the enforcement staff and neither [Family Member 11] nor

[Family Member 12] mentioned returning to Funkys near closing time in their respective interviews. The

University believes that, coupled with the new information it learned about [Student-Athlete 46’s] father’s

involvement with [Student-Athlete 39] and [Student-Athlete 46’s] resulting incentive to support [Student-

Athlete 39’s] allegations, these notable omissions cast significant doubt upon the reliability of the

enforcement staff’s supposedly corroborating evidence. Although [Student-Athlete 39] seemingly adopted

[Student-Athlete 46’s] account during the hearing, the University recalls that [Student-Athlete 39] also

changed his story about the involvement of other Funkys employees in the alleged violations, asserting for

the first time that food and drinks were given to him by a bartender at Harris’s direction. As noted at the

5For example, all of [Student-Athlete 39’s] friends, including [Student-Athlete 46], denied any knowledge that
Harris had given [Student-Athlete 39] cash on multiple occasions.
6While the University does not contest that [Student-Athlete 39] and his friends may have received free food
and drinks from someone while at Funkys, it pointed out in its Response and at the hearing that [Student-
Athlete 39] repeatedly claimed in his interviews that he did not know who had paid for or provided the food
and drinks.

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hearing, [Student-Athlete 39’s] statements on this issue were directly contrary to what he had said in his earlier

interviews and appeared calculated to correct the obvious evidentiary gap separating the alleged benefits from

Harris. See FI 265, p. 79 ([Student-Athlete 39] expressly denies knowing or having any relationship with a

Funkys bartender).

C. Allegation No. 16 – Impermissible Cash Payments ([Booster 14]/[Booster 12])

Although [Student-Athlete 39’s] closest friends (also his cousins) and his parents deny any awareness

that [Student-Athlete 39] was receiving cash payments from the University or its athletics representatives,

[Student-Athlete 46] relayed that [Student-Athlete 39] told him – and only him – about an attorney in

[Location 1] who wanted [Student-Athlete 39] to attend the University. FI 266, p. 59. [Student-Athlete 46]

additionally stated that this attorney had given [Student-Athlete 39] $10,000. Id. The enforcement staff relied

heavily upon [Student-Athlete 46’s] corroboration at the hearing in asserting that [Booster 14] paid [Student-

Athlete 39] $10,000 on February 3, 2015.

The University was initially troubled by [Student-Athlete 46’s] knowledge of a [Location 1] attorney

being involved in [Student-Athlete 39’s] recruitment and his volunteering of the exact amount of the alleged

payment ($10,000).7 Prior to the hearing, the University’s unease over this issue was tempered by the facts

that: (1) [Student-Athlete 46’s] general testimony was an outlier in comparison to that of closer friends and

family; (2) when pressed on the basis for his knowledge of the $10,000 amount, which appeared suspiciously

convenient at the time, [Student-Athlete 46] immediately began to walk back his described knowledge of the

alleged payment; and (3) [Student-Athlete 46] admitted to discussing his likely NCAA interview with

[Student-Athlete 39] beforehand.8 FI 266, pp. 60 and 76. As outlined above, however, [Student-Athlete 39’s]

admission at the hearing regarding [Student-Athlete 46’s Father’s] involvement in making a supposedly

identical $10,000 payment provides a credible and persuasive explanation for why [Student-Athlete 46’s]

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Again, the University does not dispute that a Level II violation occurred when [Booster 14] and [Booster 12]
injected themselves into [Student-Athlete 39’s] recruitment with a disturbing number of impermissible
contacts.
8
All of this payment-related testimony was the basis for the University’s statement at the hearing that
[Student-Athlete 46’s] testimony appeared affirmatively forced and awkward, as if he wanted to ensure that he
provided certain corroborating details regardless of what specific allegation he was being asked to address.

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interview was such an outlier – he wanted to reduce the possibility that his current institution, his father, and

his teammate would be implicated in misconduct.

Perhaps most importantly, the enforcement staff expressly relied upon objective evidence of

[Student-Athlete 39’s] purchases – including a down payment on a used car, a down payment on his family’s

home, and other expenditures for himself and his daughter – as corroboration that [Student-Athlete 39]

possessed around $10,000 after the date of the alleged payment by University booster [Booster 14]. See, e.g.,

Enforcement Staff Written Reply, pp. 89-90. However, the enforcement staff has never addressed (or even

mentioned) the impact of [Student-Athlete 39’s] now-confirmed receipt of the “other” $10,000 payment via

[Student-Athlete 46’s Father] on its allegation. Id. This new information establishes an obvious and potential

bias and motive to mislead on both [Student-Athlete 46] and [Student-Athlete 39’s] parts and significantly

undercuts the relevance of [Student-Athlete 39’s] spending as evidence of a payment from [Booster 14].

While [Student-Athlete 39’s] expenditures may corroborate that [Student-Athlete 39] had as much as $10,000

after signing day, that same information will not support the inference that [Student-Athlete 39] had at least

$20,000 available to him during the same time period.

CONCLUSION

The factual revelations at the hearing raise serious concerns about [Student-Athlete 46’s] involvement

in this case, as well as continued concerns regarding [Student-Athlete 39’s] credibility. Accordingly, the

University submits that [Student-Athlete 46] and [Student-Athlete 39’s] statements are self-serving and not

sufficiently credible or persuasive to support a finding on Allegations Nos. 9, 15 and 16.

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