$EC Schools Paid 2015 LB Recruit a Combined $32,000

Submitted by VicTorious1 on August 25th, 2017 at 1:43 PM

Leo Lewis, a 2015 LB recruit, was paid by Ole Miss & Mississippi St to come to their respective schools.  He ended up signing with Miss St and is cooperating with the NCAA in its investigation of Ole Miss.  He was granted conditional immunity in exchange for his cooperation; however, he's admitted that his current team, the one he ended up signing with, illegally paid him as well.  I can't imagine that this is going to end well.



The money quotes:

Lewis says he took $10,000 cash from an Ole Miss booster, he could only recall the name Allen, the day before signing day. “He told the group (NCAA investigators, his lawyers, and Ole Miss lawyers and reps) he had never intended on signing with Ole Miss and that as he took the payment, he was still deciding between LSU and Mississippi State,” Godfrey says. “Lewis was then pressed by a lawyer for Ole Miss as to why he took the money.”
‘I just wanted the money,'” he said. “‘Cause I needed it … We was moving to a house, and I actually had my daughter. My dad had just went to prison. Uh yeah, so needed it, so I took it. [I] asked for it, and I took it.'”
"Godfrey’s report also states that an audio tape exists in which Lewis’ mother, Tina Henderson, “allegedly told Farrar (Barney Farrar, Ole Miss staff member at the time) that she had received multiple cash offers for Lewis, including $650,000 from LSU and $80,000 from Mississippi State.”


Mr Miggle

August 25th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

We only know this story because their investigators gave the kid immunity for his testimony.

One thing I know for sure, whatever the Ole Miss penalties are, people will complain. Either they were too lenient or they made an example out of Ole Miss, but would never punish the big boys in the SEC.


August 25th, 2017 at 1:45 PM ^

I predict there will be literally no punishment for anyone because of this. Except the poor kid who took the money. The NCAA might crucify him... 

gpsimms not to…

August 25th, 2017 at 3:21 PM ^


Recall that Hadley comes into some cash from a dead relative he barely knew. Upon overhearing Hadley complain to a coworker about the taxes he will have to pay, Andy suggests that Hadley take the money and give it to his wife as an untaxable gift.

If I receive $10k in income, but then give that $10k to my wife as a gift, the IRS will most certainly tax my income.  They will not tax the gift, but that doesn't protect me from the income tax.  It just means I don't have to pay taxes twice. 

So, should Andy Dufresne's tax advice really help here? Because I always thought that was weird, I eventually got around to googling it.

One interesting thing I have read is that Andy knew this to be true, and also knew that Hadley's dead relative probably was not so rich that an estate tax would come into play.  So, he actually fooled Hadley into thinking his tax/advice knowledge was necessary, when in fact he was not going to pay any taxes on anything regardless.

Quick/brave thinking on Andy's part:

Hadley: Can't believe I have to pay taxes on this free money.

Andy: Fool. He doesn't have to pay anything...I could tell him that, but he's the second worst  (second to Norton) human being on the planet, so screw him.

Andy: Hm. On second thought, maybe I can convince him that he is correct that he would have to pay taxes without using some clever banking trick that only I know.

I always thought that he *helped* Hadley, and just did it because of his general good nature and eagerness to solve problems. But it actually appears as though Andy, in an instant, devised a plan to *fool* Hadley to get in the good graces of management at Shawshank. Andy Dufresne is one of the greatest heroes in any story. The other elements of his escape are impressive, but he has literally nothing but time to plan and engineer it. This instant is actually his most impressive moment, IMO.




August 25th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

Almost correct. Per Forbes, totally separate from the lifetime gift exemption amount is the annual gift tax exclusion amount. It's $14,000 for 2017, stuck at that level since 2014. You can give away $14,000 to as many individuals as you'd like. Also, a husband and wife can each make $14,000 gifts.


August 25th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

The amount is looked at from the gift giver's perspective and not the recipient's.  Here, no gift giver gave in excess of the annual exclusion, which is $14,000 for the year in which the payments were made.  The question, however, is did the bagman give the money without expecting to receive something of value in return?


August 25th, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

If the NCAA reneges on its investigator's promise, that would set a terrible precedent that would make it more difficult to obtain cooperation in future investigations.

NCAA investigator "Sheridan went through a series of formal statements for the record; Lewis was immune from losing his NCAA eligibility for anything he might have done as a college football player or as a recruit '... so long as you provide complete, truthful, and accurate information,' Sheridan said."  https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2017/8/25/16199394/leo-lewis-…



August 25th, 2017 at 7:59 PM ^

1)  Protect them against what?

2)  Is it better to have sanctions handed down without the underlying info. available to the public?  Seems that the facts would have to be made public at some point, although that point might be later in the process than was the case here.


August 26th, 2017 at 11:05 AM ^

When I say protect them, I simply mean that we as a general public really don't need to know who the person was. The details of what was allegedly given is fine.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe we are entitled to know every detail. I do not believe the NCAA will be able to get others to talk in the future if they know that their name will be thrown out to the general public.

Just my opinion on how the NCAA can use this type of tactic to uncover details in the future.

Hotel Putingrad

August 25th, 2017 at 1:48 PM ^

all this MS news is causing me to wonder what Gary Danielson will say about it this fall? I don't pay any attention to Finebaum and have given up on ESPN's general reportage ability, but I do actually watch the weekly SEC game on CBS, and I've always been put off how Danielson and the studio guys go on and on about how great everything always is in SEC country. I am guessing Archie Manning won't be back on air for awhile.

Ghost of Fritz…

August 25th, 2017 at 2:09 PM ^


Danielson of course knows in great detail what goes on behind the facade in college football.

OTOH, CBS wants viewers and ratings for its SEC games, and honest jounalistic integrity that calls out the SEC for its bagmen, etc., is just not going to happen.  Not part of the business model.

Danielson' job is to present the games in a way that perpetuates the mythology of the SEC and college football more generally.  And if that means pretending he hears, sees, knows nothing about anything, well.....that is part of the job. 


August 25th, 2017 at 1:52 PM ^

not as an investigation that will crater either program, but only for the joy it brings me when actual evidence or witness shows that what we all know is happening, is happening.


August 25th, 2017 at 1:52 PM ^

because what in the world is that booster going to do about it other than get pissed? He can't say anything without submarining the entire program he's trying to support.