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Football: A timeline of NCAA investigation into UL recruiting

The Advertiser, October 13, 2015


— 1998-2002: Saunders was employed in several "non-coaching" roles at Ole Miss

— 2002-2005: Saunders serves as head football coach at Milsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi

— 2006: Saunders serves as an assistant football coach at Ole Miss

— Jan. 3 2011: UL hires Sanders as an assistant football coach

— February 2011: The first ACT test date at Wayne County High School, where ACT test scores were allegedly altered

— June 2012: The second ACT test date at Wayne County High School, where ACT test scores were allegedly altered

— June 2013: The third ACT test date at Wayne County High School, where ACT test scores were allegedly altered

— December 2013: The NCAA enforcement staff contacts Louisiana-Lafayette and requests to speak with Saunders and an unknown football player. The names of the players in question are redacted in the report.

— Dec. 16, 2013: Enforcement staff and legal counsel for the University of Mississippi meet with Saunders and an athlete pertaining to violations incurred while at Ole Miss. During the interview, a player said Saunders “somehow affected his (redacted) ACT exam score (redacted) and he believed that Saunders similarly affected the ACT exam scores of several current or former Louisiana-Lafayette football student athletes.” Upon learning  this, Louisiana-Lafayette President Joseph Savoie and Director of Athletics Scott Farmer employed outside legal counsel to cooperate with the NCAA investigation.

— Jan. 22 to  Feb. 12, 2014: Enforcement staff and the university conduct interviews with the student athletes and their families who were identified in the December interview, plus those who were directly recruited by Saunders.

— Feb. 19, 2014: Enforcement staff, outside counsel and University of Mississippi counsel interview Ginny Crager, exam administrator for Wayne County High School. Crager was Saunders’ contact at WCHS, and Saunders disclosed in an interview he’d known Crager since 2005. It was determined that four Louisiana-Lafayette players had taken their ACT there and received NCAA-qualifying scores. This is two weeks after national signing day.

— Feb.25, 2014: Saunders was interviewed a second time. His responses, combined with evidence obtained during the investigation, form the basis of the third allegation that he knowingly provided false or misleading information during the investigation.

— May 2014: Louisiana-Lafayette removes Saunders from all recruiting activity.

— August 2014: University and enforcement staff ask Saunders to provide a release to disclose payment records bearing his name to student athletes identified in the investigation. Saunders’ lawyer withdraws representation before a release is provided.

— September 2014: Enforcement staff and the university learn that ACT conducted its own investigation earlier in 2014 into WCHS, and learn Crager is no longer working as a test administrator.

— Oct. 2, 2014: UL again asks Saunders, represented by a different lawyer, to allow ACT to disclose any payment records to student athletes bearing Saunders’ name.

— Oct. 30, 2014: Having heard no response from Saunders with regard to the payment records, UL terminates Saunders’ employment.

— Nov. 3, 2014: UL announces Saunders departure from the football team. At the time, coach Mark Hudspeth said, “There is never a good time when you announce your resignation. … That’s what (Saunders) did yesterday for personal reasons, and that’s as far as we’re allowed to say.”

— May 22: UL is formally notified by NCAA of allegations of rule violations