The University of Mississippi announced Friday it will appeal its bowl ban after the NCAA's Committee on Infractions hit the school's football program with 21 rules violations and charged it with a lack of institutional control.
"We have the best legal team in the country to handle our NCAA appeal," Ole Miss chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said in a release, according to Yahoo Sports. "We added Mississippi-based firms to further strengthen an already exceptional team so that we are in the best possible position to win this appeal. We believe the additional penalties imposed by the COI are unwarranted, which we will make very clear at the appropriate time in our written submissions on the merits of our appeal."
On Dec. 1, the NCAA announced Ole Miss would not be allowed to participate in a 2017 or 2018 bowl game as part of the sanctions.
Those penalties were handed down on top of self-imposed sanctions like scholarship reductions.
At the time, Vitter said the school planned to push back against the NCAA's ruling.
"It is simply not warranted and based on fundamental flaws in the NCAA case and how the investigation was conducted," he said, according to David Brandt of the Associated Press. "We will vigorously appeal the additional postseason ban. It's clearly an excessive punishment and we are outraged at the unfair characterization of our football program and university culture involving athletics."
Former Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze—who resigned in July after USA Today's Dan Wolken reported he made a one-minute phone call "to a number associated with a female escort service"—will also be suspended for two conference games if he's hired to lead another program in 2018.
Under interim-turned-new head coach Matt Luke, the Rebels went 6-6 in 2017, including wins in three of their final four games.