NCAA Penalizes Mississippi State Football for Improper Recruiting Benefits

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJune 7, 2013

The NCAA has released the sanctions that will be presented to Mississippi State for recruiting violations.

According to the NCAA website, penalties will include a reduction in scholarships, two years of probation, a reduced number of in-person recruiting days and a one-year show-cause order for a former assistant coach.

This all stems from a Mississippi State booster who made contact with a recruiting prospect and provided him with impermissible benefits. Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News provided exact details of those benefits:

As for the player who received them, Matthew Stevens of the Commercial Dispatch reports that he won't be getting off the hook, either.

What made things even worse in the eyes of the NCAA is that a former assistant football coach knew about the allegations and didn't choose to come forward. He then later provided false information to the NCAA when he was interviewed.

Per the NCAA report, the former assistant coach denied knowing anything about the booster's activity during the first two interviews. After he later resigned from his position is when he admitted knowledge of the situation and decided to provide the NCAA with information. That then gave the NCAA enough to cite the school for unethical conduct and come down hard with the sanctions.

The two years of probation will begin on June 7, 2013, and last until June 6, 2015.

As Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports reported, the NCAA accepted the self-imposed reduction in scholarships:

Mississippi State will lose two total scholarships, which drops the total from 85 to 83 for the 2012-13 academic year. The NCAA also accepted the self-imposed reduction in the number of official visits, which has been reduced to 39 instead of the four-year average of 41. Complimentary admissions to football recruits for the first two conference meetings of the 2013 season will be prohibited.

Other sanctions include a reduction in spring evaluation days from 168 to 164 for the 2013-14 academic year, as well as a reduction in initial scholarships from 25 to 23 for the 2013-14 academic year. The one-year show-cause prevents any booster interaction or recruiting activities for the former assistant coach.

While these sanctions are no laughing matter, things could have certainly been a lot worse.