13 Questions and Answers About the NCAA Findings

With the NCAA investigation of Mississippi State football finally over, here are the answers - with tongue in cheek sometimes - to thirteen questions that I feel you really want to know.

The NCAA considers these penalties as major. Do you?
"No, truth be known, comparing the penalties to beer, they are more like Miller Lite."

What does the reduction to 81 scholarships for each of the next two seasons really mean?
"Mississippi State's football program can only have 81 players on scholarship during the 2005 and 2006 seasons instead of the normal 85."

Does that mean State can only sign 21 players instead of the normal 25?
"No, Mississippi State can - and will - sign 23 in Febuary of 2005 and 25 in 2006."

Why just 23 in 2005?
"Mississippi State officials self-imposed a penalty of two scholarships for the 2004-2005 recruiting season, hence a reduction of 2 from the normal 25."

Will the reduction in official visits from the normal 56 to 45 really hurt that much?
"Probably not, since most colleges don't use their full allotment. However, MSU will be more selective in who they bring in."

During last year's recruiting season, some of MSU's opponents told recruits that MSU football would get the death penalty. Was it possible that MSU could have received the death penalty or was that nothing more than recruiting tactics by the opposition?
"That was nothing more than unethical recruiting tactics, which is par for the course in a situation like this. According to NCAA committee chairman Thomas Yeager, his committee never gave that any consideration because the facts didn't call for it."

Last year, MSU's share of SEC bowl money and the SEC Championship Game was 2.7 million dollars. How will MSU make up that 2.7 million dollars?
"You got a couple of million dollars of lose change sitting around? Joking aside, MSU will have to make budget cuts or go out and generate new donations. If you wish, you can help out by donating to the Bulldog Club."

The NCAA said they found nothing to justify that any of their investigative staff did anything wrong during the investigation. Do you really believe that?
"That's what Yeager said during his Wednesday teleconference with the media. I just wish I could have seen if he had a straight face when saying it."

With the cloud of the NCAA no longer handing over their head, how much do you really think this will help MSU's coaches in recruiting?
"Probably a great deal. Recruiting experts - ok, in reality, football coach wannabes who are making a killing off recruiting addicts - are already saying that MSU is one of the surprise teams in recruiting this year. And that was before the NCAA findings were known."

Do you think Ole Miss boosters really hired private investigators to see what dirt they could find on MSU football?
"Committee chairman Thomas Yeager said his committee's didn't use any evidence that came from private investigators. However, that doesn't really answer if there were any investigators. My guess is a couple of out-of-control Ole Miss boosters probably hired some Jim Rockford wannabes who obviously saw a chance to make a few bucks by telling them what they wanted to hear. I wonder if they will ask for a refund?"

MSU officials were fairly low key about what appeared to be what I consider light penalties. What do you think they were like away from the media and fans?
"You must not have heard all that laughing and cheering coming from the Bryan Building late Tuesday. Ok, maybe they didn't laugh and cheer, but I'm fairly certain they all are going to sleep much better from now on."

Why the heck did it take so long for the NCAA to announce the penalties if they knew what they were since June?
"They accidently put the MSU folder in their Cold Case files. Truth be known, according to Yeager, '(The NCAA committee) had several large and very complicated cases in the April-June timeframe that delayed the report much longer than we would have liked.' He also said individuals involved in this particular case and their attorneys brought up charges against NCAA investigative staff members which had to be investigated, hence prolonging the process."

What's with the flash floods in Oxford, Mississippi? Have they had that much rain the last few days?
"Nope, that's from all the crying."

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 swindoll@genespage.com.

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