“It’s easy to make a snap decision, which is why we vetted everything we could,” says Mississippi State Athletic Director Scott Stricklin of his decision to allow five-star recruit Jeffery Simmons to join the football team with a tiny one-game suspension. That’s a bold way to lead off a press conference about a recruit who beat the shit out of a woman. Maybe he didn’t see it? That seems like easy enough evidence to come across. Here, AD Stricklin, click the link below.
Simmons is a very talented football player who could help MSU win games for four years, so his AD’s bald-faced defense of him isn’t surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less ludicrous. Thankfully, nobody in the room was buying his shit. Stricklin got well and truly grilled.
Stricklin said that Simmons would go through counseling, after which he’d be evaluated, but someone brought up how toothless that decision looks given that they’d already announced his suspension. The follow up was a question about the message MSU is sending by doling out the same punishment for a targeting penalty and a parking lot beatdown of a woman. Stricklin only managed to squirm and force a few half-baked platitudes through his uncomfortable smile, which just prompted more intense questioning.
The conference reached a crescendo when he partially defended Simmons for his actions by urging caution over five seconds of video, and the reporter filming the press conference notes, “It only takes five seconds to murder someone.” The press conference is a heated little window into MSU’s absurd logic for merely slapping Simmons on the wrist (he’s just missing a game against Southern Alabama), and the analogous over-prioritization of football over everything that Baylor is currently reckoning with.