DESTIN, Fla. — Mississippi State’s announcement that it is accepting five-star recruit Jeffery Simmons, despite being caught on video striking a woman to the ground, will be met with great scrutiny. It will also be in accordance with the SEC’s bylaws, both former and current.
The SEC last year adopted a rule prohibiting schools from accepting transfers with a history of sexual violence or assault. And it seems likely to expand that on Friday when the presidents meet and vote.
But that only applies to transfers.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is not available to the media on Thursday, although he’ll be available again on Friday. But here is what Sankey said on Tuesday when asked why the league was not considering expanding the rule to include the signing of high school players.
“If you’re transferring from a university you’re generally of age. You’re 18 years or older. You’re in a higher education setting. You’re in an environment that may be very different than that in which you lived in as a minor,” Sankey said. “Generally speaking, before enrollment they are minors, and you may have different access to legal reference information. There was a lot of conversation about that, and whether the conference should have that role. The decision was to allow institutions to make determinations about enrolling certain individuals with behaviors.”
And Mississippi State has made the determination to accept Simmons.