By MICHAEL WARDLAW
An amateur football coach accused a former Mississippi State University booster of several NCAA violations involving freshman Will Redmondās recruitment Wednesday.
Byron DeāVinner, a Nashville-based amateur 7-on-7 football coach, accused former MSU booster Robert Denton Herring of providing Redmond with cash and apparel in addition to providing meals and accommodations for DeāVinner.
DeāVinner made statements Wednesday to Yahoo! Sports and also a Mississippi call-in sports radio show.
In the Yahoo! Sports report, additional details were revealed in regard to alleged recruiting irregularities, including the linking of Herring to the incidents under investigation by NCAA and MSU officials.
Two weeks ago, MSU officials announced their cooperation with an ongoing NCAA investigation surrounding recruitment irregularities and also said the university had distanced itself from an unnamed booster.
The name of the booster in question was redacted from legal documents released by the university, and the recruitās identity was never confirmed by the officials. Those documents said the unnamed booster was refunded for all donations to MSU athletics for the 2012 year, including the cost of his season tickets and qualifying donation.
āWe walk out there, we get to (Herring), they shake hands and Will introduces me to him,ā DeāVinner said to Yahoo! Sports. āWe have something to eat at the tailgate, and he tells Will to come back to the tailgate after the game. He has some gas money for him. After the game was over, we go back out there and he gives Will the traditional handshake. Will didnāt know what the heck was going on. He tells Will, āShake my hand.ā He put the money inside Willās hand. It was probably $150, $200. Iām just guessing how much it was. We get in the car and I told Will, āYou take this ā¦ to your grave.ā The guy was introducing us to other boosters and stuff, saying they were glad to have him at Mississippi State.ā
DeāVinner claims to have stayed at West Pointās Old Waverly Golf Club during one of his visits to Starkville, and Herring assured DeāVinner accommodations would be provided.
While Old Waverly officials opted not to comment on the matter due to their status as a private club, a spokesman said they would cooperate completely with any investigation MSU or the NCAA would conduct into the matter.
Herring, a federal government employee based in Atlanta, is a MSU alumnus who was considered a booster for a relatively short period of time prior to being disassociated from the university earlier this year.
According to the Yahoo! Sports report, DeāVinner said he believes Angelo Mirando, MSUās former wide receiver coach who resigned for personal reasons, was the only university member who knew of the recruiting issues surrounding Herring.
Herring also served as a moderator of the non-university sports site Bulldawgs247. Site Publisher Paul Jones issued a statement acknowledging Herringās role with Bulldawgs247.
āI do know the booster in question with these allegations and have talked football and recruiting with him (Herring) like I do with numerous MSU fans,ā Jones said. āBefore last week, I had no prior knowledge of what may have happened or not as far as this booster being investigated by MSU and the NCAA.
āEarly last week, it was hinted to me by the booster in question that he (Herring) may be asked questions or investigated,ā Jones added. āThen on Friday, he said he would be involved in the investigation and would be questioned by MSU and the NCAA.ā
DeāVinner also explained the process in which he claimed he applied for and interviewed with MSU for a position vacated by Mark Ouimet following the 2011 season. While he said he felt qualified for the position, MSU went in a different direction.
Later on Wednesday, DeāVinner said Herring was involved in the recruitment of as many as 10 players on MSUās radar.
āHe has been involved with recruiting up to 10 current and former Mississippi State players,ā DeāVinner said.
MSU officials had no comment on the matter in regard to any involvement Herring may or may not have had.
During a Southeastern Conference teleconference Wednesday morning, MSU head coach Dan Mullen was asked about the situation with Redmond and said the NCAA was handling the matter and he would have no comment.
Mullen did not say whether Redmond would dress out or not for this weekās game against Troy on the road, but being a freshman, he did not dress out for the first two home games of the season.