For those who thought a talented 2016 recruit would be an untouchable in the eyes of the law, think again.
Controversy swirled over the weekend after a video that purportedly showed Jeffery Simmons, a five-star Mississippi State signee, violently striking a female several times while she was on the ground. In a Facebook apology, Simmons claimed that the woman had spoken ill of a deceased relative, although he stated that didn’t excuse his actions.
Law enforcement officials in Macon, Miss., apparently agree.
Breaking: Macon police say charges will be filed against MSU signee Jeffery Simmons after video of a fight is released. More details to come
— WCBI News (@WCBINEWS) March 28, 2016
MSU officials have yet to comment publicly on what if any impact the incident above and the forthcoming charges will have on Simmons’ future with the football program. Given Simmons’ recruiting pedigree, here’s to guessing the university finding a way to see past this significant misstep caught on tape.
Simmons was the only five-star member of the Bulldogs’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Mississippi and the No. 15 player overall by Rivals.com. On National Signing Day this past February, Simmons, in what some recruitniks considered a surprising development, opted for MSU over Alabama and in-state rival Ole Miss.
UPDATED 3:20 p.m. ET: Simmons has been charged by Macon (MS) police with disturbing the peace by fighting, a misdemeanor.
“We are aware of the situation,” a school official said in a statement. “As more details become available, we will continue to evaluate the situation.”
UPDATED 3:56 p.m. ET: WCBI-TV writes on its website that the women seen in the video, Sophia Taylor, “is filing an affidavit in justice court seeking [additional] charges against Simmons but if and what those charges will be are not confirmed at this time.”
UPDATED 4:28 p.m. ET: In addition to the disturbing the peace by fighting charge, Simmons has also been charged with assault. That too is a misdemeanor.
Additionally, Simmons’ mother and sister as well as the victim in the video have been charged with misdemeanor assault.