Just weeks prior to the 2012 football season, Mississippi State fans were hit with the surprising news that the NCAA was looking into the school's recruiting tactics. Shortly after the initial announcement, details began to emerge of a situation involving incoming MSU freshman Will Redmond, an MSU booster, and former MSU wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando. Now, just a few months shy of a year after we were first made aware of the situation, the NCAA has announced its findings in the case, as well as the penalties being handed down to the Bulldogs in light of the infractions.
The Division 1 Committee on Infractions has announced the fate of a former assistant coach, Angelo Mirando, who was cited for unethical conduct for failing to report the booster’s activities when he became aware of them and providing false information during his first two interviews with the NCAA (source). After an ongoing investigation, the NCAA has made the decision to reprimand Mississippi State’s recruiting violations with the following penalties (source):
- Two years of probation, covering the 2013 and 2014 seasons
- Reductions in football scholarships by two, from 85 to 83, for the 2012-2013 academic year.
- Reductions in football scholarships by two for the 2013-2014 academic year.
- Reductions in the number of recruiting days during the spring by four, from 168 to 164, for the 2012-2013 academic year.
- Reduction in permissible official visits from 41 to 39 for two years
- For the first two SEC home games, complementary admissions for recruits will be prohibited
- The booster involved has been disassociated from the athletics program
- One-year show-cause order for a former assistant coach. If the former assistant coach seeks employment at an NCAA member school during that one-year period, he and the school must appear before the Committee on Infractions to determine if the school should be subject to the show-cause procedures.
Robert Denton Herring, who has been disassociated from the MSU athletics program since last July, is the booster accused of allegedly making cash payments to a recruit and arranged for complimentary lodging and meals of the recruit’s coach, Bryan De’Vinner. De’Vinner had spoken to Mirando about the gifts given, who had confirmed them with the booster and saw no need to take action. A month after MSU’s disassociation with the booster, Mirando resigned for what the school termed "unforeseen personal issues."
Freshman defensive back Will Redmond is the athlete named in the investigation, and despite the accusations, Redmond signed with Mississippi State in February. Redmond was a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com and had offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt, among others.
According to the NCAA's findings, all eligibility issues have been resolved, therefore Redmond is cleared to play for the 2013 season. [edited to add]: in the MSU statement released just shortly ago, it states that Redmond will serve a five game suspension this season, as well as a post-facto suspension for the 2012 season. Here's what the MSU statement said with regards to Redmond:
The current football student-athlete involved in this matter has been reinstated through the NCAA Student Athlete Reinstatement Process, which requires that he repay $2,660 in impermissible benefits, forfeit a year of eligibility (during the 2012 season) and be withheld from competition for the first five games of the 2013 season. (source)
You can read the full 18-page report from the NCAA below: