STARKVILLE — In addition to the penalties handed out to the Mississippi State University football program and its former assistant coach, Angelo Mirando, Will Redmond also felt the wrath of the NCAA.
For his role being recruited as a high school athlete, the NCAA ruled Friday that Redmond will have to repay $2,660 he received in impermissible benefits, forfeit his eligibility for the 2012 season, and serve a five-game suspension to start the 2013 season.
Redmond, a defensive back from Memphis, Tenn., will be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 12 against Bowling Green University.
On Friday morning, the MSU football program received a loss of scholarships and a number of other recruiting violations from the NCAA Committee of Infractions.
In a press release Friday afternoon, MSU announced the penalties for Redmond, who will start his second season with the Bulldogs this fall.
All of these penalties are as a result of recruiting wrongdoings this past season involving Redmond.
MSU will be on probation for two years, get a reduction of two scholarships from 85 to 83 this fall, a reduction of the number of official visits from 41 to 39 for two years, and a reduction of the number of recruiting days during the spring evaluation period from 168 to 164. All of these penalties were self-imposed by the university and accepted by the NCAA COI. MSU spokesperson Joe Galbraith said Friday the school has met all of the recruiting sanctions but the reduction in scholarships this fall.
The NCAA investigation found that “during the recruitment, MSU booster Robert Denton Herring exchanged more than 100 phone calls with Redmond and assisted the recruit in securing a car to drive to a campus visit and provided cash to the recruit on multiple occasions. Additionally, the booster and his friend provided a car to the recruit for approximately $2,000 below the actual value of the car. Prior to taking an official visit to a different university, the booster told the recruit that if he did not take the visit, the recruit would be paid $6,000.”
According to the NCAA’s Public Infractions Report, Herring and a friend from the automobile dealership, provided a car to the Redmond through an offer to Redmond’s mother at a reduced price of approximately $2,000 below the value of the car. The car, a red Ford Mustang, was purchased by the friend of Herring’s uncle for $8,000 on Dec. 6, 2011. The initial buyer then transferred ownership of the vehicle to the dealership for $5,000 before Herring’s friend transferred it again to the Memphis dealership where Redmond’s mother made the purchase for $3,450. The NCAA had the vehicle appraised and found it to be worth $5,500.
On Aug. 23, The Dispatch reported the NCAA was conducting an investigation into a “potential recruiting irregularity” involving the MSU football program. Sources close to the situation confirmed to The Dispatch the investigation, at least in part, involved an automobile purchased for Redmond. The Ford Mustang was purchased from a used car dealership in Memphis before Redmond signed with MSU in February 2012.
On May 21, 2012, Mirando was interviewed by NCAA investigators and repeatedly denied knowledge of Herring’s telephone and in-person contact with Redmond.
In early July 2012, the NCAA enforcement staff requested documents relating to Herring’s communication with Redmond. The NCAA requested these through Herring’s employer. A few days later, Herring’s employer denied the request, which MSU regarded as the first step Herring wasn’t cooperating with the NCAA investigation.