August 23, 2012 10:04:47 PM
STARKVILLE - The NCAA is conducting an investigation into a "potential recruiting irregularity" involving the Mississippi State University football program.
Sources close to the situation have confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog the investigation, at least in part, involves an automobile purchased for MSU freshman defensive back Will Redmond. The Ford Mustang was purchased before Redmond signed with MSU this February from a used car dealership in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.
According to a report from ESPN.com national college football reporter Joe Schad, former Mississippi State receivers coach Angelo Mirando is under investigation for the recruitment of at least one player. However, MSU officials are currently declining comment on Schad's report.
MSU officials released a two-sentence statement saying the school "over the last several months has worked in cooperation with the NCAA to examine a potential recruiting irregularity". The statement goes on to read that the investigation is "nearing the end".
After several attempts at communicating with the NCAA Eligibility Center, NCAA Associate Director of Public and Media Relations Stacey Osburn released a statement to The Dispatch confirming MSU's statement to the media but "have no further comment" at this time.
MSU head coach Dan Mullen said Thursday evening when asked by reporters that the investigation "has been going on for the last several months". The Bulldogs four-year head coach did confirm Redmond was participating in practice Thursday.
Mullen attempted to downplay the reports Thursday evening when told of the specific reporter who broke the news while MSU was on the practice field.
"I would try to get a little more reliable source than Joe Schad," Mullen said. "I'm supposed to be coaching at State College, I guess, right now, too, according to Joe Schad last year. Wasn't that the case?"
MSU announced Mirando's replacement as wide receivers coach would be former University of Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster. Brewster will replace Mirando less than four days after 26-year-old resigned Sunday evening due to what school officials called personal reasons.
After being questioned on the matter Tuesday evening, Mullen said he didn't have any further comment on Mirando's resignation except to add, "I'm sure down the road, at some point, much later on, we will."
According to a Memphis Commercial Appeal report, NCAA investigators have questioned a former 7-on-7 team head coach of Redmond named Byron De'Vinner. De'Vinner was also the same 7-on-7 coach of current Auburn University running back Jovon Robinson. Robinson, who like Redmond is from Memphis, is having his eligibility investigated currently by the NCAA as well.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
4. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS