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BREAKING NEWS: NCAA Committee of Infractions to hand down penalties Friday to Mississippi State football program




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University has learned the NCAA Committee of Infractions will officially release its penalties toward the football program involving recruiting wrongdoings this past season.  


The NCAA has announced a media teleconference to discuss the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions' decision regarding MSU and will be conducted by Britton Banowsky, the chair of the NCAA committee and current commissioner of Conference USA. 


MSU officials have no comment on the matter Thursday except to confirm initial ESPN.com reports that the school is prepared to receive the ruling by the NCAA Friday.  


ESPN.com reporter Brett McMurphy reported Thursday afternoon through an unnamed source the infractions being levied by the NCAA "are considered major in nature and are likely to include some elements of self-imposed penalties related to recruiting". A unnamed source also confirmed to ESPN that former wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando "is a key element to the infractions and that head coach Dan Mullen is not expected to be directly implicated" 


On Aug. 23, The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog reported the NCAA was conducting an investigation into a "potential recruiting irregularity" involving the MSU 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 in Feb. 2012 from a used car dealership in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.  


On that same day in August, 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". 


Less than a month later, the 7-on-7 summer team coach of Redmond, Byron De'Vinner, went into detail about the improper benefits he encountered during the college recruitment of the four-star prospect in a interview with Yahoo! Sports.  


De'Vinner, who has been interviewed by NCAA investigators regarding the investigations into multiple players in Memphis on his 7-on-7 team, went into details about arrangements for lodging and complementary meals in a Yahoo! Sports report.  


De'Vinner also named the booster, whose name was redacted from the documents obtained by The Dispatch, as Robert Denton Herring. Herring, who is based in Roswell, Ga., was a former MSU football season-ticket holder and has had the school disassociate itself from him because of what their outside counsel described in letters to Herring as "impermissible contact with the prospective student-athlete".  


Mullen attempted to downplay the reports in August 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?" 


On the Head to Head radio show, De'Vinner said that former MSU receivers coach Angelo Mirando "was aware" of the improper benefits. De'Vinner said he was introduced to Mirando in June 2011 and later Mirando "sent him a message on Facebook, gave me his number to call him". 


Mirando resigned his position on the MSU staff last August, less than two weeks before the 2012 season opener against Jackson State University, in the wake of an ongoing NCAA investigation related to his recruitment of Redmond.  


MSU announced Mirando's replacement as wide receivers coach, less than four days after 26-year-old resigned Sunday evening due to what school officials called personal reasons, in the form of former University of Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster. Brewster eventually left MSU this past offseason for Florida State University.  


Redmond did not play in the 2012 season and therefore as of today is eligible for that to be a redshirt season after being a four-star recruit from Memphis.  




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.



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