April 22, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State athletic department has acknowledged its football program violated an NCAA bylaw April 10 when former coach Jackie Sherrill visited a spring football practice session.
The school has self-reported the secondary violation of NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199.1.4 regarding the use of outside consultants when Sherrill was seen working with Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and the kickers to the Southeastern Conference.
A letter was sent Tuesday by MSU Associate Athletic Director of Compliance Bracky Brett to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
"We handled this process in the same manner we handle any secondary violation," Brett said. "It wasn''t anything unusual, but was something in a normal process we do all the time."
Brett said the school deals with 12 to 16 secondary violations per year.
Mississippi State will take three actions. At the next monthly coaches compliance meeting, the compliance staff will review issues related to bylaw 11.7. Mullen will be issued a letter of admonishment and be reminded of his obligation under NCAA bylaw 188.8.131.52, and Sherrill will not be invited to any future practices.
Sherrill, who coached the Bulldogs from 1991-2003, spoke to the team in the meeting room prior to practice, but the violation occurred when he followed the squad to the practice field and interacted with players during the pre-practice part of the session.
Mississippi State spokesman Joe Galbraith and Brett released the contents of the letter, but said Mullen has chosen not to comment further about the situation.
"All we''re saying is we reported it to the Southeastern Conference and the letter has been sent from our compliance office," Galbraith said. "End of the matter."
The only comments Mullen has made came following the practice when he said Sherrill was present to help the coaches and not players.