Seven months after Mississippi State was one of three SEC school publicly connected to yet another impermissible benefits imbroglio, it appears the Bulldogs are in the clear.
Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, citing a source with direct knowledge of the situation, writes that “Mississippi State will not face punishment over the alleged illicit benefits published in a Yahoo Sports report” and that “[t]he NCAA notified the Bulldogs that it considers the school’s role in the matter closed.”
In mid-September last year, Yahoo Sports reported that a total of five players from Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee had received impermissible benefits from former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, who reportedly served as a middleman between NFL agents, financial advisers and college football players.
A pair of former MSU players, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and receiver Chad Bumphis, were named in the report as having received impermissible benefits from Davis in the form of airfare while they were in college. An internal investigation by the university found no wrongdoing, a finding with which the NCAA concurred.
The only current player — at the time — named by Yahoo in its report was UT defensive lineman Maurice Couch, who was ruled permanently ineligible by the Vols in early November.
The other players named in the report were Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker and Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray; there’s no word on the status of the NCAA’s probe into those two programs, with Fowler writing that “the NCAA can’t find Luther Davis, which has stalled the case.”