How could you make such a stretch without facts to try to expand MSU's part in this when 7 SEC schools were also questioned by the NCAA for their recruitment of the same athletes? If you're going to make assumptions, make it for bama, auburn, georgia, vandy, etc. They may be in trouble also.
Byron De’Vinner called into a syndicated radio show in Mississippi yesterday to clear his name. In doing so, he also said that a Mississippi State booster — who’s been disassociated from the school — had paid at least $200 to Bulldog freshman defensive back Will Redmond. (Redmond, for the record, has not played this season.)
Now De’Vinner has opened up to Yahoo! Sports and Pat Forde claiming that the MSU booster “made cash payments to a recruit and arranged for complimentary lodging and meals for De’Vinner, who was Redmond’s 7-on-7 coach. He even provided hotel bills and other documentation to Yahoo! Sports to attempt to prove his claims:
“In an interview with Y! Sports, Nashville-based seven-on-seven coach Byron De’Vinner – recipient of the lodging and meals – explained in detail how former Mississippi State booster Robert Denton Herring broke multiple NCAA rules in 2011 and ’12 in an effort to land Memphis East High School defensive back Will Redmond.
De’Vinner said he also told his story to NCAA enforcement representatives, who have been investigating the allegations jointly with Mississippi State’s compliance department over the course of several months. In July the school sent Herring, who lives in Roswell, Ga., a letter informing him that he had been disassociated from the athletic program for “impermissible contact” with a recruit. In August, Bulldogs assistant coach Angelo Mirando resigned for what the school termed “unforeseen personal issues,” but sources told Y! Sports that his resignation was because of the NCAA inquiry. De’Vinner said Mirando introduced Redmond to Herring, but that the coach and booster both wanted De’Vinner “to take the fall” for their relationship.
Vanessa Brown, Redmond’s mother, declined comment to Yahoo! Sports Wednesday morning. Attempts to reach Herring and Mirando were unsuccessful. Herring has not cooperated with investigators from both the NCAA and Mississippi State.”
It gets worse for State as De’Vinner also claimed that fellow Memphis prospect Sheldon Dawson — who signed with Georgia — was questioned by the NCAA about MSU’s recruitment of him. Also, “a source with knowledge of the investigation said the NCAA contacted nearly a dozen players who were recruited by Mississippi State.”
If those “nearly a dozen” players weren’t offered illegal benefits, no problem. But the fact that the NCAA has spoken with that many MSU recruits should be worrisome to folks in Starkville.
On the positive side, De’Vinner told Yahoo! Sports that he believed Mirando to be the only State coach who was aware of Herring’s actions. Herring had not previously been named as the booster in question.
De’Vinner also admitted to receiving clothes and gear from several schools other than MSU:
“If me getting gear from schools when I work a camp is a violation, then everything’s a violation. … Do I have a relationship with coaches at virtually every school? Yeah, I do.
I’m the scapegoat for everything that’s going on. … I’m telling the truth.”
Whether De’Vinner is telling the truth or not, the more he talks, the more all those coaches he has a relationship with are puckering up a bit.
Forde’s piece is a long one and we’ve only given you a taste of it. Click above to read the piece in its entirety.
Update: De’Vinner tells the Clarion-Ledger in a phone interview this morning that Herring attempted to persuade “at least 10″ recruits to attend MSU.