** Mississippi State will admit five-star recruit Jeffrey Simmons although a video clearly shows him beating a woman supine on the ground back in March. (See March 29, 2016 post “Jeffrey Simmons.”) The punishment? He’ll have to sit out the first game, a non-conference affair against South Alabama. (The second game is an SEC contest – can’t have him miss that.)
** One game. Doesn’t exactly send a message, does it? Or if there is a message, what does it say?
** When coach Dan Mullen left town (probably not coinidentally) just before the school’s announcement that Simmons would be admitted, athletic director Scott Strickland was left holding the bag. He was at conference meetings in Florida when he was questioned intensely by reporters. He lamely offered that the school’s investigation concluded Simmons’ behavior was not at all typical of the young man. Mississippi State feels he’s of solid character. Stickland also noted this was not sexual violence; it was just violence. He believes one bad moment shouldn’t mar a young man’s life. One must wonder about the victim’s life after getting pummeled by a star football player who may’ve been twice her size and certainly was more than twice her strength!
** Mississippi State could have admitted Simmons and suspended him for the first half of the season (six games) or even a whole season, but it would have risked losing the five-star signee to another school. Likely would have.
**Football coaches, athletic directors and other leaders of college athletics can apparently forgive a young man’s violent act more easily than if he sought to transfer to another school.
** And that’s not right. Even in the rough-and-tumble SEC.