Mississippi State Football, Basketball Lose Scholarships over Tutoring Scandal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 29: The Mississippi State Bulldogs logo is seen before a game against the Florida Gators at Davis Wade Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Mississippi State University's football and men's basketball teams incurred penalties Friday stemming from a tutoring scandal. 

The NCAA announced Mississippi State received three years of probation, a reduction of two football scholarships for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years, and a reduction of one men's basketball scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year.

Mississippi State also has 45 days to submit a report to the NCAA detailing which football and men's basketball games involved ineligible players in order to determine a proper vacation of records.

It was determined a former Mississippi State student who was serving as a part-time athletics department tutor "completed multiple assignments, exams and, in some instances, nearly the entire course" for 10 football players and one men's basketball player.

Of the student-athletes involved in the scandal, it was determined eight football players and one men's basketball player competed while ineligible.

In addition to probation and a loss of scholarships, the teams received a reduction in official and unofficial recruiting visits. Also, the football team had its evaluation days reduced by two in fall 2019 and 10 in spring 2020, and men's basketball had its recruiting-person days reduced by six for spring 2020.

The tutor involved in the scandal was given a 10-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA, meaning any school that hires her must "restrict her from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply."

In Joe Moorhead's first season as Mississippi State's head football coach, the Bulldogs went 8-5 in 2018 and lost in the Outback Bowl. They are currently on a nine-year bowl streak.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi State men's basketball team under head coach Ben Howland went 23-11 last season and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.