Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports dropped a bit of a bombshell this morning with a report that the NCAA's investigation of Ole Miss has expanded outside of Oxford and on to interviewing players recruited by Ole Miss that signed at other SEC West schools . Notably among those schools are our own Auburn Tigers.
According to Forde,
NCAA Enforcement representatives have visited Auburn and Mississippi State, and perhaps at least one more SEC Western Division school, this summer to speak with players who were recruited by Ole Miss. The players were granted immunity from potential NCAA sanctions in exchange for truthful accounts of their recruitment, sources said.
The Tigers and Rebels have been in a number of recruiting battles over the last few seasons. Former Auburn running back Peyton Barber was a Rebels commit before flipping to the Tigers at the last minute. I'm not sure which specific players would have been interviewed by the NCAA for this investigation, but given the high-profile players both schools have recruited in recent years, you can imagine there are a few options.
Aside from Barber - who has moved on and obviously wouldn't be the player or players interviewed here, we know Jeff Holland officially visited Ole Miss in January of 2015 before signing with the Tigers. He is a definite possibility as one of those the NCAA approached. From searching the recruiting histories of the last two Auburn recruiting classes on 247Sports, he's the only one I see right off hand with an official visit to Ole Miss listed. I didn't have time to thoroughly go through every single player's recruiting history, though.
I have to stress that this doesn't mean other players weren't recruited by and unofficially visited the Rebels at some point. I don't know Holland was someone the NCAA spoke to if Yahoo!'s sources are, in fact, correct. He's just the most likely given the nature of Yahoo!'s reporting, his recruiting rankings, and his official visit to the Rebs. There are probably others since Ole Miss and Auburn have gone after many of the same players recently.
EDIT: Someone pointed out another obvious person to me on Twitter: Austin Golson actually signed and played at Ole Miss in 2013 before transferring to Auburn and sitting out 2014. It's possible/probable that he's another player the NCAA would speak to.
It's doubtful we'll know who exactly the NCAA may have spoken to. You can be sure that this will raise the same sort of comments that came up during the Cam Newton saga, though. "If they were offered something by Ole Miss and turned them down, what did they get from where they ultimately did sign?" In the Cam Newton case, the NCAA ultimately came back with the Spaceballs findings. I'm sure we can all look forward to more talk about the Tigers, who haven't been on probation in football for any NCAA violation since 1993 and haven't been on probation for a recruiting violation in football since the 1970s.