The Mississippi State Bulldogs football and basketball teams have been placed on probation by the NCAA due to academic misconduct from a former tutor who completed “multiple assignments, exams and, in some instances, nearly the entire course for student-athletes.”
The course was an online general chemistry course where the tutor helped 10 football players and one men’s basketball player.
The NCAA handed down level I-mitigated penalties to the football and basketball programs such as:
- A fine of $5,000, plus 1% each of the football and men’s basketball budgets.
- A reduction of two football scholarships during each of the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years.
- A reduction of one men’s basketball scholarship during the 2020-21 academic year.
- A reduction of four football official visits from the program’s four-year average of 40 visits during the 2019-20 academic year.
- A reduction of two men’s basketball official visits from the program’s four-year average of 10 visits during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 rolling two-year period.
- A prohibition of football unofficial visits during one home contest for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years.
- A prohibition of men’s basketball unofficial visits during two home contests for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.
- A reduction of football evaluation days by two in the fall 2019 and 10 in spring 2020.
- A reduction of men’s basketball recruiting-person days by six in the spring of 2020.
- Three years of probation.
- A vacation of records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.
- A disassociation of the former tutor.
- All involved student-athletes must conduct one rules education session on the consequences of academic misconduct.
- Participation in the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals program review and Academic Integrity Assessment process.
- A 10-year show-cause order for the former tutor. During that period, any NCAA member school employing her must restrict her from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
Steve Robertson of 247 Sports is also reporting that the Bulldogs will have to vacate wins from last season’s 2018 football campaign and their 2018-19 basketball campaign.
While the football players have not been named, it is worth noting that Nick Weatherspoon, a guard for the Bulldogs, was suspended for violation of team rules in February of this past season, missing both the SEC and NCAA Tournament for Mississippi State.
This is actually the second time that the NCAA has hit an SEC team for academic misconduct this year, as the Missouri Tigers were punished for a similar violation earlier this year.
But heaven forbid the NCAA do anything to North Carolina.