Yesterday, Mississippi State confirmed a decision on its NCAA case, likely in connection to the recruitment of defensive back Will Redmond, was coming in short order.
Right on cue, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions released its findings Friday morning.
The NCAA concludes that a university booster — not officially identified but believed to be Robert Denton Herring – provided impermissible benefits to a recruit (Redmond), including cash and use of a car.
“Additionally, the booster and his friend provided a car to the recruit for approximately $2,000 below the actual value of the car,” the release states. “Prior to taking an official visit to a different university, the booster told the recruit that if he did not take the visit, the recruit would be paid $6,000.”
Redmond, who did not play in 2012, will be suspended for the first five games of the 2013 season and is required to pay back the $2,660 in benefits he received.
The release also notes that a former assistant coach (Angelo Mirando) became aware of the violations, but did not report them to university officials. The NCAA also says the coach provided false information during two interviews by denying knowledge of the violations. Byron De’Vinner, a Nashville 7-on-7 coach, told Yahoo! Sports last year that he believed Mirando was the only MSU coach who knew of the violations.
Mirando, who stepped down for “personal issues” last August, has been cited with unethical conduct and given a one-year show-cause. Should Mirando be hired by another school within the next year, both he and the program must appear before the COI to determine if the new school should be subject to show-cause procedures. The NCAA states that because Mirando is not employed by a member school, he was not required to appear at the infractions hearing, but did anyway to take responsibility for his actions.
Mirando’s show-cause and a two-year probation period, effective immediately to June 6, 2015, were NCAA-imposed sanctions. The COI also accepted the following self-imposed sanctions from MSU:
- A reduction of the number of official visits to 39 from the four-year average of 41 for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.
- A reduction of the number of recruiting days during the spring evaluation period by four, from 168 to 164, for the 2013-14 academic year.
- A reduction in the number of total scholarships by two, from 85 to 83, for the 2012-13 academic year.
- A reduction in the number of initial and total scholarships by two, from 25 to 23 and 85 to 83, respectively, for the 2013-14 academic year.
- For the first two conference contests of the 2013 season, complimentary admissions to football recruits will be prohibited.
- Disassociation of the booster by the university’s athletics program, which the university took care of last year.
The takeaway? It pays to cooperate with the NCAA — so to speak. The fact this case went before the COI results in a “major violations” label, though the sanctions are anything but major.