Mississippi State, which discovered the violation in July, self-reported the incident to the NCAA and immediately declared Roberts ineligible, as is required by NCAA Bylaw 14.11.1.
According to Bylaw 126.96.36.199, the benefits and their possible penalties range from 10% to 30%, depending on the amount of impermissible benefit. "The adopted guidelines for violations involving student-athletes: value of benefit ranges from $100 to $299, 10 percent withholding condition and repayment; $300 to $500, 20 percent withholding condition and repayment; and beyond $501, a minimum of 30 percent withholding condition and repayment."
Potentially, because the amount of impermissible benefits Roberts received were in excess of $701, he could be held out for up to eight games (30% of the regular season) at the beginning of the season. However, the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee has the option of handing down a lessor penalty that could be as little as three games.
According to The Clarion-Ledger article, the committee could hand the decision down as early as next week.
Mississippi State has, according to the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee's Policies and Procedures, "an opportunity to appeal the decision by teleconference to the Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders sports network. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.