MSU football faces NCAA penalties today

June 7, 2013 10:42:16 AM

Matthew Stevens - mstevens@cdispatch.com

 

STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University will learn today what penalties the NCAA Committee of Infractions will impose on the school's football program for recruiting violations committed in 2012.  

 

The NCAA was scheduled to hold a teleconference at 10 a.m. to discuss the Division I Committee on Infractions' decision regarding MSU. Britton Banowsky, the chair of the NCAA committee and current commissioner of Conference USA, is conducting the teleconference. 

 

MSU officials declined comment on the matter Thursday except to confirm initial ESPN.com reports that the school is prepared to receive the NCAA's ruling.  

 

ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy reported Thursday afternoon, based on information from an unnamed source, that the infractions "are considered major in nature and are likely to include some elements of self-imposed penalties related to recruiting." Another 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 reported the NCAA was conducting an investigation into a "potential recruiting irregularity" involving the MSU football program. Sources close to the situation confirmed to The Dispatch the investigation, at least in part, involved an automobile purchased for MSU freshman defensive back Will Redmond, a highly-coveted recruit from Memphis. The Ford Mustang was purchased from a used car dealership in Memphis before Redmond signed with MSU in February 2012. 

 

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 also said the investigation is "nearing the end." 

 

Less than a month later, Byron De'Vinner of Memphis, who coached Redmond in a summer program, went into detail about the improper benefits he encountered during Redmond's recruitment in a interview with Yahoo! Sports. De'Vinner went into details about arrangements for lodging and complementary meals in a Yahoo! Sports report.  

 

The NCAA also interviewed De'Vinner because of his ties to multiple players in Memphis who are on his summer 7-on-7 team.  

 

De'Vinner also named the booster, whose name was redacted from the documents obtained by The Dispatch, as Robert Denton Herring of Roswell, Ga. Herring is a former MSU football season-ticket holder. MSU has disassociated itself with Herring due to what its legal counsel described in letters to Herring as "impermissible contact with the prospective student-athlete." 

 

On a state-wide radio show in August, De'Vinner said Mirando "was aware" of the improper benefits. De'Vinner said he was introduced to Mirando in June 2011 and Mirando later "sent him a message on Facebook, gave me his number to call him." 

 

Mirando resigned from his position at MSU later in August, citing only "personal reasons." His resignation came less than two weeks before the Bulldogs' 2012 season-opening game against Jackson State University. Former University of Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster replaced Mirando. Brewster left MSU this past offseason for Florida State University.  

 

Redmond didn't play in 2012 and is status as a member of the team may be in question in light of the NCAA's investigation.