As anticipated, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have been hit with a 2-year probation and loss of two scholarships per year over the next three seasons after self-reporting recruiting violations to the NCAA. According to reports, former wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando has been handed a one year show-cause penalty, and it is alleged a former booster no longer with ties to the program was responsible with providing cash and other improper benefits to a former recruit.
On the surface, the probation is set to last through June 6, 2015, but the effects it could have in the short-term could be long-lasting. Losing two scholarships over two seasons isn’t necessarily substantial in an environment where 55 full scholarships are typically available from one season to the next. However, in a recruiting environment — especially in Mississippi where the Ole Miss Rebels have just landed a program-changing class — ever scholarship is worth its weight in gold.
The Bulldogs also lose the ability to offer four official visits total during the probation period.
For Dan Mullen and his staff, even a wrist slap will be an unwelcome distraction as they work to replicate some success in 2013 where the Bulldogs finished 8-5, with the season ending in a 34-20 loss in the Gator Bowl to the Northwestern Wildcats after a hot early-season start where the program had as much buzz as it has at any point in the last decade.
This is a wrist-slap, however, all things considered and serves of an example that its always the right move to self-impose sanctions and admit mistakes if you want the soft shoe treatment from the NCAA. This has become collective common-sense over the past few seasons and the NCAA has made a point to make examples of those unwilling to admit mistakes within the current regulatory framework.