By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
A rogue booster has emerged as a central figure in the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Mississippi State’s football program.
For several months now, the school has been working with college athletics’ governing body to examine what MSU has called a “potential recruiting irregularity.” It appears that the booster in question potentially committed several NCAA violations in connection with a prospective student-athlete.
That’s according to correspondence between the unnamed booster and Mike Glazier, who is serving as MSU’s outside counsel during the NCAA’s probe. Documents obtained Tuesday through an open-records request reveal that MSU has disassociated itself from the booster due to his or her actions.
According to a July 13 letter from Glazier to the booster – whose name was blacked out on the document – the latter “engaged impermissible contact with the prospective student-athlete and that other violations of NCAA rules also may have occurred.”
Since the booster is a member of the Bulldog Club and gives to the athletic department, he or she is considered a representative of MSU’s athletics interests. In the letter, Glazier writes that MSU “will not associate with individuals who do not share the University’s commitment” to adhering to NCAA rules.
As of July 13, the booster had refused to grant an interview with the NCAA, which is looking into former assistant coach Angelo Mirando’s recruitment of at least one current MSU student-athlete, according to an ESPN report last week.
Freshman a target
After that report surfaced, MSU confirmed only that it was working with the NCAA in looking into a “potential recruiting irregularity.” Multiple reports have said that MSU freshman defensive back Will Redmond is a topic of interest to the NCAA.
Redmond’s high school coach, Marcus Wimberly, spoke with the NCAA in March, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Redmond is from Memphis, which has become a hot spot for NCAA inquiries the past few months. Auburn freshman Jovon Robinson was recently declared ineligible because of doctored high school transcripts, and the Appeal reported on Tuesday that one former high school player from the area was going to interview with the NCAA, and another already has.
And a common topic, according to those players’ coaches, is MSU.
The MSU booster will not be allowed to: be involved in any official school athletic organizations; assist the school in the recruitment of prospects; provide benefits (including employment) to any enrolled student-athlete; make a financial contribution to MSU athletics; or receive any privilege associated with MSU athletics that isn’t available to the general public.