Another former Ole Miss assistant has apparently been implicated in the NCAA investigation. Sources told The American Statesman that Texas will part ways with defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn because of his involvement in the allegations in Oxford. The NCAA reportedly has a "thick file" on Vaughn, who served as a defensive assistant and recruiting coordinator under Houston Nutt from 2008 to 2011.
"Chris did a tremendous job for us," Longhorns coach Charlie Strong said on Thursday. "He's a terrific football coach and a great person. However, circumstances have put us in a position that we are going to part ways."
Vaughn was on staff in Oxford at the same time as David Saunders, the guy who was slammed last month by the NCAA for less-than-compliant ACT testing policies for recruits during his time as a Louisiana-Lafayette assistant. While looking into the violations he committed with the Ragin Cajuns, the NCAA discovered previous violations committed while he was employed by Ole Miss. Earlier this week, ESPN reported that four of the current 13 allegations against Ole Miss are tied to Saunders' time on staff.
On one hand, Vaughn losing his job at Texas (it's not clear yet whether he's being outright terminated with cause or receiving a settlement) is bad news for Ole Miss. It suggests the the violations extend beyond Saunders. And if whatever Vaughn has been implicated in spooked Texas enough to send him packing, it's gotta be pretty serious. He'd been very successful in Austin since joining the staff two years ago, playing a key role in the elite recruiting haul the Longhorns just landed.
On the other hand, maybe this isn't bad news at all. Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee offers the optimistic approach:
Chris Vaughn was at Ole Miss under Nutt. If he's being let go at Texas, there's your Level I stuff from Ole Miss' notice.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 12, 2016
To clear that up, ESPN reported some Level I violations. If they're Vaughn-related/pre-Freeze, that's good for Ole Miss.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 12, 2016