Mississippi State AD: Jeffery Simmons is ‘a unique case’
Remember Jeffery Simmons? He’s the Mississippi State signee who was seen on video in March beating up a woman on the ground during a fight (here’s the video).
Well Mississippi State announced on Thursday that they would allow Simmons to enroll in the school and join the football team despite the misdemeanor assault charges he faces. Simmons will have to sit out the team’s first game of the season and undergo counseling. AD Scott Stricklin said the following in a statement.
“Based on conversations our staff has had with school, community and church leaders in Noxubee County, this incident appears to be uncharacteristic of Jeffery,” Stricklin said in a press release. “It’s a highly unique circumstance to administer discipline to a student for an incident that occurred prior to that individual joining our university. However, it’s important that Jeffery and other potential MSU students understand that these type of actions and poor decisions are not acceptable.
“We expect the structure and discipline Jeffery will be a part of in our football program to benefit him. Jeffery will be held accountable for his actions while at MSU, and there will be consequences for any future incidents.”
Though Stricklin did issue a statement, he also faced the media Thursday and answered questions. According to AL.com, Stricklin conceded that admitting Simmons opens the school up to a risk on campus. But he called the matter a “unique case.”
“Essentially, this was a parking lot fight that got out of control, which is why he’s not being charged with domestic violence or sexual assault,” Stricklin said. “That doesn’t make it OK. It makes it a unique situation — a unique case.”
Admitting a player who enters school with such a public concern is problematic, especially in light of the sexual assault cover-ups we just saw at Baylor. But looking at it objectively, as long as they closely monitor Simmons, it is not irresponsible to give him a chance at the school.