STARKVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi State will be on probation for two years, and lose four scholarships, after NCAA officials found evidence of improper recruiting. The penalties were announced Friday morning.
The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions said an investigation found a university booster made recruiting contact with a top football prospect and provided benefits that aren't allowed, like cars and cash.
In one instance, they said the recruit was set to make an official visit to a different university. But before he went, the booster told the recruit he'd pay him $6,000 not to go.
A former assistant football coach was also cited for unethical conduct for failing to report the booster's activities when he became aware of them, and lying during two interviews with the NCAA.
Since the former assistant coach is no longer employed by a NCAA member school, he was not required to appear at the infractions hearing but did attend to take responsibility for his actions. That action helped give members a full picture of what actually happened.
Other penalties in the case include a reduction in official paid visits, the number of in-person recruiting days and a one-year show-cause order for a former assistant coach.
Penalties in this case include:
- Public reprimand and censure. Two years of probation from June 7, 2013 through June 6, 2015.
- A one-year show-cause order for the former assistant coach, which prevents him from recruiting activities and booster interaction. The public report contains further details.
- A reduction of the number of official visits to 39, from the four-year average of 41, for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years (Self-imposed by the university).
- A reduction of the number of recruiting days during the spring evaluation period by four, from 168 to 164, for the 2012-13 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).
- A reduction in the number of total scholarships by two, from 85 to 83, for the 2012-13 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).
- A reduction in the number of initial and total scholarships by two, from 25 to 23 and 85 to 83, respectively, for the 2013-14 academic year (Self-imposed by the university).
- For the first two conference contests of the 2013 season, complimentary admissions to football recruits will be prohibited (Self-imposed by the university).
- Disassociation of the booster by the university's athletics program. Details of the disassociation can be found in the public report (Self-imposed by the university).
Read the full NCAA Report: http://bit.ly/12wozcq