NCAA penalizes MSU for recruiting violations
The NCAA has put Mississippi State's football program on probation for two years and cut two scholarships for the upcoming year for infractions that included recruiting violations.
Former assistant coach Angelo Mirando, who resigned on Aug. 19 just days before the school announced the NCAA's investigation, was cited for unethical conduct and given a one year show-cause penalty, which hinders his ability to secure employment at the college level.
The NCAA largely accepted Mississippi State's self-imposed sanctions, which included the loss of scholarships and other restrictions. According to the report released Friday a Mississippi State booster provided improper benefits to a recruit, including a car for $2,000 below the actual value.
The report also says that the booster provided the unnamed recruit - identified in media reports as defensive back Will Redmond - with cash on several occasions and offered him $6,000 to not take an official visit to another school.
Mirando, according to the report, "became aware of the improper recruiting activity but did not report it to university officials.''
The NCAA penalties brings to end the approximately year-long review of Mississippi State's football program. However, the program will have several recruiting restrictions over the next year, including a reduction in official visits and recruiting days.
The NCAA's Committee on Infractions chairman Britton Banowsky said during a Friday morning conference call that the violation was serious, but "narrow in scope and very straightforward.'' He praised the university for its cooperation and said Mirando provided information after initial denials, even though he was not required to talk with the committee.
Banowsky said there was no evidence that Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was aware of the recruiting violations until they were brought to the school's attention.
Redmond did not play last season, but is still on Mississippi State's roster. Banowsky did not specifically mention Redmond, but said any eligibility issues involving players have been resolved.
Mississippi State first announced in August that it was working with the NCAA because of "potential recruiting irregularities.''
Mirando suddenly resigned on Aug. 19 and the school announced the investigation days later. Mississippi State also disassociated from a booster in July because of "impermissible contact'' with a recruit.
A Tennessee 7-on-7 football coach Byron De'Vinner said he witnessed a payment of about $200 to a Mississippi State recruit and that Mirando knew about the payment. The 27-year-old Mirando was on Mullen's staff for a little over a year before his departure.
Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said earlier this week that the department took the NCAA's investigation seriously.
"We're always going to be aggressive at correcting (problems) and making sure we're doing things the right way,'' Stricklin said. "If there's something we think is there, we're going to pull the rug all the way back, find the issue and address it.''
Mississippi State finished with an 8-5 record last season, winning its first seven games of the season before losing five of six, including a 34-20 loss to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl.
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