Byron De’Vinner, a key figure in the NCAA’s investigation into possible recruiting violations by Mississippi State, spoke today. He called in – unexpectedly – to Head to Head Radio, a statewide afternoon sports talk show hosted by Richard Cross and former MSU quarterback Matt Wyatt. De’Vinner claimed that he witnessed first-hand a booster giving MSU freshman Will Redmond impermissible benefits, but that a car wasn’t one of them.
“Did the booster buy him a Mustang? No, the booster didn’t buy him a Mustang,” De’Vinner said, referring to a report last month by the Columbus Commercial Dispatch. “Did I see inappropriate benefits? Yes, I did. I saw a handshake for $100, $200, I witnessed that. I saw where the booster sent him a jacket through the mail.”
De’Vinner is a seven-on-seven coach for whom Redmond played during the summer. De’Vinner said he has spoken with the NCAA and MSU’s compliance department about Redmond, who he said “was basically taken advantage of by a booster and by an assistant coach.” The assistant coach is Angelo Mirando, who resigned as MSU’s wide receivers coach Aug. 19 for what he said were “unforeseen personal issues.”
De’Vinner said he first met Mirando in June of 2011 via Facebook, and he said Mirando was aware of impermissible benefits being provided to Redmond, who’s from Memphis, which has been a hot spot for NCAA investigators in recent months.
The main reason De’Vinner said he called Head to Head was to “clear the air and to clear my name up,” because he said that “the story’s been twisted” and his name has been “drug through the mud.” He also noted that he interviewed for a job at MSU – he didn’t say what kind – in January.
MSU said less than three weeks ago that it was cooperating with the NCAA as it examined a “potential recruiting irregularity,” and said that the “examination” was nearing its end.