When Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was asked about incoming 5-star defensive end recruit Jeffery Simmons on Tuesday morning, he said he was not the one who green lit the university’s decision to allow Simmons to play football this season despite Simmons being filmed beating a woman earlier this year.
“I wasn’t involved as much,” Mullen said at SEC Media Days. “It was a university decision. But I was just thrilled that we’re having Jeffery as part of our family coming in. I take a lot of pride as a coach on developing young men to be champions, not just on the field, but off the field in every part of their life … and that’s not an easy process.”
Mullen’s comments raised the eyebrows of many media members on Twitter, and their reactions are below:
Thrilled to have a player on your team who beat the hell out of a woman on video? Mmkay https://t.co/nncLTSUF72
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisK_AJC) July 12, 2016
So both the Mississippi St president sand now Dan Mullen have passed the buck on the Simmons decision. Lonely place for @stricklinMSU
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 12, 2016
Dan Mullen saying enrollment and 1-game suspension of Jeffery Simmons is a "university decision." Didn't know admins made football decisions
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) July 12, 2016
Did Dan Mullen just say "I wasn't involved as much…" on the Jeffrey Simmons decision? If I heard that right, what does that mean?
— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) July 12, 2016
#SECMD16 Dan Mullen keeps reiterating that keeping Jeffrey Simmons was not his decision but that of the University deflect..deflect..deflect
— Zach Bingham (@Bada_Bingham) July 12, 2016
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) July 12, 2016
Dan Mullen asked if Jeffery Simmons has another incident of violence vs a woman at MSU campus if he's responsible: "We're all responsible."
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 12, 2016
Now I understand why Dan Mullen wears those Yeezys. They're like life rafts for him from the Jeffrey Simmons questions.
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonBR) July 12, 2016
— Carson Dockery (@CFBDock) July 12, 2016
But look at my cool shoes, tan, and wake boarding video!!! I'm hip! – Dan Mullen right now.
— Brian Stultz (@brianjstultz) July 12, 2016
Mississippi State reviewed the situation and eventually ruled that — despite the widely-viewed assault — Simmons would be eligible to enroll and play football for the Bulldogs this fall (he will be suspended for the opening game).