Ah, rivalries. The sibling-like struggle across the sport is what makes the college football world spin, and we got a great example of that in a report detailing Ole Miss’s response to its impending charges.
As we know, a key charge against Ole Miss was the Rebels’ attempted payment of a sum between $13,000 and $15,000 to a recruit that ultimately signed with Mississippi State, and the Rebels’ response was to turn around and bring their Egg Bowl rivals down with them.
According to Neal McCready’s inside-the-program accounting of the process for Rebel Grove, Ole Miss has a recording of Leo Lewis‘s mother asking other programs for money:
Ole Miss, per multiple sources, possesses a recording, and has given the SEC a copy, of Lewis’ mother asking Ole Miss for money and detailing incentives she received from other programs, including Mississippi State.
Considering the sourcing on this one, the phrase “including Mississippi State” is anything but an accident. It’s the college football version defense of the “Yes, Mom, I may have taken the booze from the cabinet, but Little Brother drank some of it, too!” defense.
To which the NCAA will likely respond: “But I haven’t spent four years investigating him.”
While the “they cheated too” last gasp of a defense likely won’t extend Ole Miss a stay of execution, you have to at least respect the Rebels for trying it.
The coaching carousel keeps on turning, even as we move further and further away from National Signing Day and inch closer to spring football.
The latest move apparently is an intra-conference one as Georgia graduate assistant D.J. Looney is headed back to his alma mater Mississippi State. Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman first reported the move on Tuesday afternoon.
While things were not abundantly clear from reports, Looney’s role may or may not be as on-field coach on the Bulldogs staff. While there could be other moves forthcoming for head coach Dan Mullen, both John Hevesy (offensive line) and Scott Sallach (tight ends) are still listed as coaches on the school’s website at the two positions that Looney is reportedly going to help out with.
No matter what the full-time role ends up being, the return to Starkville is no doubt a welcome one after Looney was a three-year letter winner with MSU. The move back to the area also follows coaching stops at Central Arkansas and East Mississippi Community College.
A former FBS head coach is the newest addition to the defensive side of Dan Mullen‘s Mississippi State coaching staff.
MSU announced Thursday that Ron English has been hired by Mullen as the Bulldogs’ safeties coach. English replaces Maurice Linguist, who left Starkville to take the defensive backs job at Minnesota.
“We are fortunate to hire someone of Ron’s caliber as safeties coach,” Mullen said in a statement. “To bring someone to our staff who has served as an FBS head coach and been a successful defensive coordinator is a tremendous asset for our program. His knowledge of the game, especially in the secondary, will complement our staff. We are excited to welcome Ron and his family to Starkville.”
English spent the 2016 season as the defensive coordinator at San Jose State, his first coaching job in nearly three years following a controversial departure from his last one.
Eastern Michigan announced Nov. 8, 2013, one day before its game with in-state rival Western Michigan, that English had been fired as its head football coach. A day later, athlete director Heather Lyle alluded to a tape of English using “wholly inappropriate language” in a team meeting that had been brought to her attention and triggered the dismissal.
English subsequently apologized for losing his poise and using “homosexual slurs” in the meeting. In his mea culpa, English added that he was looking “forward to continuing a career that has been marked by molding men of integrity, passion, and intensity for 21 years.” That continuation didn’t come until mid-February 2016 when he was named the coordinator at SJSU.
Prior to his five-year stint at EMU, English was the defensive coordinator at Louisville (2008) and Michigan (2006-07).
Breaking: The SEC has a lot of money.
The conference announced Thursday it collected and subsequently divided $584.2 million in revenue during the 2015-16 fiscal year. Each school received an average of $40.4 million, which leaves around $18.7 million for the conference office.
That number represents a sharp spike from recent years, a 286 percent increase since 2008-09.
“Each of our institutions sponsor from 16 to 22 intercollegiate athletics teams and offer their student-athletes in those sports the highest level of commitment to their athletics and academic experience,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “This distribution from the SEC helps our universities’ athletics programs continue to fully support broad-based opportunities for thousands of female and male student-athletes in all sports.”
According to a copy of the SEC’s tax return obtained by CBS Sports, television and radio revenue grew from $311.9 million in 2014-15 to $420.1 million in 2015-16, a growth made possible by SEC Network. Postseason revenue also grew from $162.8 million to $180.6 million, thanks to the College Football Playoff.
The 2015-16 fiscal year also represented Mike Slive‘s swan song as commissioner, for which he was paid nearly $4.2 million. New commissioner Sankey made $1.2 million for the year.
For the second time in a row, it’s a Mississippi State football player triggering a resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker. And, oddly enough, both happened around New Year’s but are just now coming to light.
According to the Starkville Daily News, Jamoral Graham was arrested for driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve. The charge is a misdemeanor. No details of what led to the initial traffic stop have been divulged.
Not long after that rising senior defensive back’s arrest, but in an unrelated incident, MSU rising junior safety Brandon Bryant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol very early in the morning on New Year’s Day.
As was the case with Bryant, the team stated that it’s aware of Graham’s arrest and that discipline has been handled internally.
Initially a wide receiver, Graham moved to cornerback following his true freshman season in 2014. This past season, his three interceptions led the Bulldogs, while his five pass breakups were tied for tops on the team.