Friday, July 14, 2017

Ethics Commission orders Ole Miss to provide NCAA notices & booster names to Kingfish

The Kingfish won his fight against Ole Miss at the Ethics Commission.  The Ethics Commission ruled that Ole Miss's redaction of booster names in two NCAA notices of allegations violated the Mississippi public records laws.  Yours truly and reporter Steve Robertson submitted public records requests for the notices to Ole Miss.  The university refused to provide a copy of the NCAA complaint against the football program and the school's response that contained the unredacted names of boosters cites in the documents.  Ole Miss said it would really really like to provide the records with those unredacted names but it awaits guidance from the Commission. Well, the Commission gave it's guidance today and ruled in favor of The Kingfish and Mr. Robertson.

JJ submitted this request on June 3 to Ole Miss:

1. Copy of NCAA Amended Notice of Allegations (or any other similarly named documents) against the University of Mississippi issued in either 2016 or 2017. 

If outside counsel has possession of documents, please obtain a copy from said counsel for this request.  There is a lawyer-client relationship between the University and said counsel. Thus Ole Miss indeed has possession, real or constructive, of the amended notice. 
 Ole Miss responded on June 6:

Please consider this email the University of Mississippi’s (“UM”) response to your public records request.  When UM released its response to the 2016 Notice of Allegations (“NOA”), UM created a website for the public to access a wealth of information regarding the NCAA investigation.  The website can be found at:  From the website, you can access the 2016 NOA, UM’s Response to the 2016 NOA, the 2017 Amended NOA, and UM’s Response to the 2017 Amended NOA.

The above-referenced documents contain limited redactions in order to comply with applicable privacy laws.  For instance, records that are confidential or privileged under federal law are exempt from disclosure. see Miss. Code Ann. § 25-61-11.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) governs the release of student records by educational institutions.  FERPA prohibits the release of a student’s education records to third parties.  Educational records are documents that “contain information directly related to a student” and are “maintained by an educational agency or institution” or a person acting for the institution. 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(4)(A)(i) and (ii).  Accordingly, the names and personally identifiable information of student-athletes have been redacted from the above-referenced documents.
Today, UM intended to release the above-referenced documents with only FERPA protected information redacted.  However, due to a case pending before the Mississippi Ethics Commission (“MEC”), the names of third parties have also been redacted.  UM will revisit the disclosure of involved third parties after UM receives more direction from the MEC.

It got some direction today.  The Commission ruled: 

 3.1 The Ethics Commission finds The University of Mississippi violated Section  25- 61-5, Miss. Code of 1972, by failing to provide a copy of the notice of allegations and the amended notice of allegations within seven working days from receipt of the public records request.
3.2 The Ethics Commission finds that under the specific record in this case The  University of Mississippi violated Section 25-61-5 by redacting the names of boosters from the notice of allegations and the amended notice of allegations before producing a copy of the notices.

3.3   The Ethics Commission orders The University of Mississippi to produce a copy of the notice of allegations and the amended notice of allegations redacted as necessary to fully comply with federal education privacy laws or any other statutes or case law, but that any  athletic booster names shall not be redacted solely due to the right of privacy. The university's production shall occur within seven working days from the  university's  receipt  of this final order.
The Commission held (p.7, #2.4) that a notice of allegations regarding a department of the university is public record if it is addressed to an official of the university.  Ole Miss tried to get around the public records laws by having the notices sent to its lawyers outside of Mississippi.  However, the Commission ruled: 

It is of no consequence  to the outcome of this particular case that the university directed  the NCAA to provide the notice or the amended  notice directly to outside counsel rather than to the chancellor. Based on the record in this case, each notice of allegations is a public record which should have been produced  to  Robertson  within  seven working days from the receipt of the public records request, unless the university obtained an extension of time as provided in Section 25-61-5(l)(b). The Public  Records  Act does not allow he university to delay production past this time for investigative purposes as urged by the university.
 Ole Miss presented a  weak argument and it is no surprise the Commission ruled as it did.  The attorneys have an attorney-client relationship with Ole Miss.  They are thus authorized to receive documents on behalf of Ole Miss.  Such constructive possession means Ole Miss has possession of the documents.

The Commission delved into Ole Miss's argument that publishing the names would violate the privacy of the boosters.   The Commission held (p.9):

2.10 The notice of allegations and the amended notice of allegations primarily concern the recruitment of student athletes by university officials and boosters. The university is a public university which relies upon substantial public funding for operations. The public has a keen interest in the university's operations and activities which cause a significant financial detriment to the university. .... Here, the university has announced a number of self-imposed penalties based on its own investigation and evaluation of the notice of allegations and amended notice of allegations, including at least one penalty which will result in a substantial financial detriment to the university. The public records requests submitted by Robertson represent a legitimate inquiry into the operations of a public university. .....
The Commission ruled Ole Miss must provide the records in seven working days.  

Earlier posts
Ole Miss would love to provide names of boosters but....
Ole Miss stonewalls again.
Ethics Commission tells Ole Miss to produce records & names in NCAA case.
Ole Miss booster sues to keep his name private.


Anonymous said...

Whooo Hooo...big deal

Anonymous said...

This is YUUUUGE! Congrats, brother. Cant wait to see it.

Anonymous said...

Good, now they can go ahead and file their lawsuits against the liars like Rebel Rags has. Lots of implications for the School Beneath Us.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about the names? Unless, of course, someone is operating out of spite or a desire for financial gain.

Anonymous said...

Freeze says the guy's name is Nunya, Nunya Bidness.

CPA said...

Bully. Bellard. Bone. Bowl.

Anonymous said...

I love all this conflict between the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. It's like watching two midgets fight on the playground.

Nobody outside of this state respects or gives either school a second thought. They are just two very average state institutions where you simply need a high school diploma (a GED will do too) and a pulse to get admitted. Both are OK schools, but nothing special.

Mississippi has the DUMBEST and more ridiculed little chant/slogan in all of college. Mississippi State has the dumbest tradition (and again, ridiculed) tradition, using a farm tool.

So, when you see all this mud-slinging, hate and anger, it's quite amusing.

Please, keep it up with this ongoing saga and then return to playing .500-level football in the fall.

Anonymous said...

(Fill in the blank) finds that the University of Mississippi violated (fill in the blank) . . .

This has become so commonplace it should be included in the Associated Press Stylebook.

Anonymous said...

When and where will we see names???

Anonymous said...

ahh!! good work Sir !

Anonymous said...

All of this is so easy to solve ---- get the money out of college sports. Limit coach, AD and staff salaries to the state statutory limits and focus on academics. And all of you folks who want to complain that these schools are broke, just take a look at their endowments (~$600MM for Ole Miss and ~$450MM for Mississippi State). These schools are squeezing the students and state budget while sitting on piles of cash. But, with an 81% acceptance rate, I suppose you have to (at least try to) be good at something.

Anonymous said...

No media outlet in Mississippi has done more in the last decade to demand and force government transparency at all levels than Kingfish and Jackson Jambalaya.

Anonymous said...

And when Ole Miss ignores the ethics commission and refuses to disclose, what's your remedy? The ethics commission has no teeth, does it?

Anonymous said...

@8:13, no different than the slush funds each of the school districts in the state have, all while asking students to bring rolls of toilet paper on their first day. Last I read, there was in excess of $400 million in these reserve funds; with all of this debate over education funding, where did that story go??

Anonymous said...

That nutbag is a far cry cry from a reporter. Most recovering addicts replace one addiction with another. Well, the new addiction is Ole Miss, and it may end up being more unhealthy than the drugs he was addicted to.

Anonymous said...

"Who cares about names?"

The people who did the crime. Now they will be known, publicly disassociated, shamed and might go to jail depending on state laws governing such.

"This nutbag is a far cry from a reporter."

Uh, he just had a hand in getting a FOI request in front of an ethics committee and broke a story. Guess what, it's the internet age. All reporters don't sit behind Underwood typewriters all day with a lit cigar on the desk.

"Most recovering addicts replace one addiction with another."

You mean actually doing legitimate investigative work? Here's what you need to know: It worked. Your school is in trouble. Own it.

Anonymous said...

Why has ole miss and their boosters outed the student athletes but not their boosters that have been identified in the shenanigans?

Anonymous said...

5:57, if your hanging your hopes on the RR lawsuit, you'll at least see those crocodile tears as they role down your nose. This is UM's bed they made, and now it's time for y'all to lie in it.

Anonymous said...

Jail for paying players? There's a new one.

Anonymous said...

You have to the think the guy from mempho that has many of (run for the border) stores is one, and would obviously be BLINDSIDED by this and might lose the sales of a taco or two.

Anonymous said...

You're right, 6:04. Because OM folks don't eat at Taco Bell but State fans certainly fit the demographic of those that do.

My guess is his stores will be fine, assuming those names ever see daylight and his name is included.

Stop salivating and think three steps ahead. Everyone pays. Everyone. Where do think outing the names of one instate school will lead?

I'll wait.

Anonymous said...

Attn 7:14 Don't blame Ms State for your criminal activity. This is your mess, now deal with it like a mature adult.

Anonymous said...

BLINDSIDED sold his Taco Bells, so chill.

Anonymous said...

@7:14 But I thought coach freeze was vehemently challenging that under his tenure that there were players being paid and now you are admitting that ole miss did pay? Also is coach freeze denying any part of the academic fraud when he was recruiting coordinato. I remember he used to talk about a plan to get players qualified. I guess he was talking about ACT tampering? Your remarks about state folks eating at Taco Bell Was funny but somewhat arrogant .It seems as though that arrogance affected the discipline that your PR/legal representation should have used when they went after your former preacher oops, coach. Seems as though they should have read his termination contract before opening the old fly trap.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There is no point in feeding information to people who can't distinguish between condoning the breaking of actual laws (Jeffery Simmons and Dan Mullen's subsequent endorsement of domestic violence) and breaking NCAA rules.

Anonymous said...

Most all the 2nd NOA has been falsified. Several involved in this. It will come out.

Anonymous said...

It just seems like the whole "booster" thing is just a money laundering scheme employed by universities to skirt NCAA rules, and for a bunch of has-beens or never-will-bes to feel important. Guess what boosters - the university DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU. Do you think you'd still be getting invitations to parties, first choice of tickets and premium parking if you were broke??

And, if these folks feel so strongly about their alma mater, why don't they fund a scholarship, or contribute to improvements to the university's infrastructure? I guess physics labs aren't as much fun as football games, and the rest of us taxpayers can foot the bill for boring stuff. This is shameful, these boosters need to get a life and the NCAA should revisit how this works. Honestly - look how much time, effort and legal fees will be wasted on this bullshit.

Hotty Taco said...

YOU WHINEY-ASSED TASSEL-LOAFER-WEARING GROVERS might want to read this take on the matter. Don't piss your red Dockers!

Anonymous said...

What about our rights as taxpayers and the coaches eing state employees ? I think what kingfish is trying to point out is that these coaches, staff and AD have made criminal acts worthy of punishment it due to everyone worshipping the football god they are willing to forget that.

Anonymous said...

8:13 it's easier than that to get the money out. Eliminate scholarships. No special grants either. If you want to play sports you first must care about school enough to pay tuition. When that happens a boat load of good players will not play. The NFL and NBA will open up minor leagues for them. College will be left with people who want an education. The kids who want money can go pro. Look at college baseball. They don't have this problem. It's because of minor league baseball. The kids who would be taking bribes to select one college over another are instead in the minors.

Anonymous said...

1:58.....wasted? Wasted hell. They won a lot of games and had a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

It's a toss up who has the stupidest fans in the sec, MSU or UM. But they are far and away at the top of the conference. This "feud" is laughable.

Anonymous said...

Dang 5:44 did it take you all day to come up with that original zinnger? You sure showed them

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to commit crimes with Hugh Freeze.

CRICKETS said...

I've been asking for five years for somebody to verify Freeze's ordination.

I Be Heppin' Yore Boy.. said...

'There is no point in feeding information to people who can't distinguish between condoning the breaking of actual laws (Jeffery Simmons and Dan Mullen's subsequent endorsement of domestic violence) and breaking NCAA rules.'

Posted by another Butt-hurt Bear. Simmons was not an MSU student. But, several abusers WERE OM students at the time they slipped from grace. However, at TSUN, 'we all about heppin' the kids' and they were saved by grace.

Anonymous said...

What is the time line for providing the info to Kingfish and does this mean they have to provide the same, upon request, to others?

Kingfish said...

yes and yes.

However, Ole Miss could theoretically refuse to provide them and force a court fight. Of course, if they lost, they also pay attorney's fees.

Anonymous said...

Did you say the time line is immediate? Will you immediately post the names or find a reason to continue the redaction?

Anonymous said...

10:21, enjoy playing in your little puddle. It hardly qualifies as even a small pond.

Why not? said...

If Ole Miss forces a court fight, the taxpayers of MS should not be responsible for their legal fees. But, of course, Ole Miss probably will take it to court & the state of MS will pay for it. What does Ole Miss have to lose w/ the state footing the bill?

Anonymous said...

I suspect the school's athletics department would pay the tab. Millions in SEC payouts alone.

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