Mississippi State’s decision to suspend incoming five-star recruit Jeffery Simmons for one game following his domestic assault incident has garnered a ton of backlash.
The most astute rant of them all might have come from WJTV 12’s (Jackson, Miss.) TJ Werre.
Werre hit the airwaves Sunday night with a strong take on Mississippi State’s handling of this situation. The school described Simmons’ actions during the incident as breaking up a domestic fight, which Werre believed was a shameful explanation.
“This, according to Mississippi State, is called breaking up a fight. That’s embarrassing,” Werre remarked. “It’s embarrassing that the peanlty Simmons is receiving is a one-game suspension from his first college game. It’s embarrassing that multiple punches to the head of a defenseless woman is the same thing as a targeting penalty in a game.
“It’s embarrassing that (athletic director) Scott Stricklin and (coach) Dan Mullen and (president) Mark Keenum can stand together and say this is breaking up a fight. In what world? What world are you living in?”
Werre wasn’t done there. He claimed that comparisons between Simmons’ incident to other off-field situations at in-state rival, Ole Miss, are completely irrelevant and excusing Simmons’ actions.
“What’s also embarrassing is that there are people out there who are bringing up players from Ole Miss of all places and questioning things they’ve done in the past and the penalties from things they did at previous institutions, when they had nothing to do with Ole Miss.
“This has nothing to do with Ole Miss,” Werre said. “Seriously, stop defending and making excuses for what this guy did.”
Werre also stated that Mississippi State’s punishment isn’t much of a punishment at all, and that it sends a bad message about the program’s stance on domestic abuse. He also questioned whether the program would handle the situation differently if it involved a lesser-known recruit or a low-profile player.
“This punishment says, in my eyes, that you can hit a woman multiple times and still get to play football at Mississippi State and only have to miss one game,” Werre said.
Werre said he believes Simmons deserves another chance and deserves forgiveness, but believes Simmons should be suspended at least a year. He concluded by questioning whether the university put winning over righteousness.
“This punishment says you care more about football than doing the right thing. Luckily, there’s still time to fix this punishment and that would be the right thing to do.”
You can watch Werre’s entire rant here: