Gardner, the Daily Journal's 2011 Player of the Year and a first-team Parade All-American from Okolona, sent out a barrage of tweets last night and this morning critical of MSU and its handling of him. He is being redshirted this season – his choice, according to Stansbury, and Gardner never tweeted anything to contradict that.
The sticking point seems to be the reason(s) for Gardner asking.
The school's release did not specify Gardner's actions, but Stansbury told me this morning that he was aware of the situation and said, "I'll handle it. That's all that matters." Stansbury did not offer any further comment after dismissing Gardner.
Gardner first sent out a profanity-laced tweet yesterday saying (the only one not posted here), in no uncertain terms, that he took the redshirt because someone (he didn't specify) "tried to [screw] me over" and added, "I don't even know y I'm still here." Soon after he wrote, "Call em and tell more... I can't stand liars and that's all they did since I started being recruited.. R.I.p to that contract I signed."
In a reply to someone, Gardner wrote, "these mf's pushed me to the limit."
Gardner deleted most of the tweets soon after posting them, and his account (@OKOLONAEAST) has now been deleted.
Stansbury said yesterday, in a press conference setting, that Garder came to him before the Europe trip and asked to be redshirted.
"I didn't make the decision. He came to us before he left on a trip. He wanted to make the decision," Stansbury said Thursday. He said Gardner simply needed time to to adjust to college life and the college game.
Gardner is the fourth Bulldogs player to leave the program in nine months — joining Twany Beckham, John Riek and Elgin Bailey. Stansbury had banned his players from using the social messaging website last season after Ravern Johnson used Twitter to question his role on the team.
The ban was lifted after the season. Stansbury hasn't said if it will return.
Gardner asked for redshirt, but his mother Angela said they were supposed to have further talks with coaches about it. They were surprised to hear the news yesterday.
"We were not upset about the redshirt, it's just how they did it," Angela Gardner said. "We found out about it on the news."
Gardner added: ""He tweeted out of anger. He's young, and he's got a lot of learning to do."
Click here for more, including screen shots of the Tweets, at Brad Locke's Inside Mississippi State blog.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.