By JOEL COLEMAN
Mississippi State football signee Jeffery Simmons, who was charged with simple assault in March after a video surfaced of an altercation in which Simmons struck a woman multiple times, has been allowed to enroll at MSU and participate in football activities, with conditions, according to a university release.
The former Noxubee County standout, who was the jewel of Mississippi State’s February signing class, will be suspended for the first game of his college career and evaluated by MSU’s Student Counseling Services. Simmons will then be required to complete any program that office prescribes.
“Based on conversations our staff has had with school, community and church leaders in Noxubee County, this incident appears to be uncharacteristic of Jeffery,” MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said of the circumstances surrounding Simmons’ charges. “It’s a highly unique circumstance to administer discipline to a student for an incident that occurred prior to that individual joining our university. However, it’s important that Jeffery and other potential MSU students understand that these type of actions and poor decisions are not acceptable.
“We expect the structure and discipline Jeffery will be a part of in our football program to benefit him. Jeffery will be held accountable for his actions while at MSU, and there will be consequences for any future incidents.”
Simmons is still awaiting a final resolution on his charges and has a trial date set for June 14.
MSU head coach Dan Mullen hasn’t yet commented on the situation, other than to say repeatedly throughout the process that he has been evaluating things.
On Tuesday, Mullen commented on the general topic of player discipline while at Southeastern Conference media days in Destin, Florida.
“I think we want to be as fair as we can to student-athletes in making sure we’re not taking opportunities away from people who deserve opportunities in people’s minds, but also not making decisions without other students’ safety or bringing people that might not be great for the university on the campus,” Mullen said according to Bleacher Report.
In addition to Simmons, eight other true freshmen are enrolled for the first term of the summer semester at Mississippi State. Those players include Korey Charles, Jamal Couch, Greg Eiland, Kobe Jones, Stewart Reese, Marquiss Spencer, Jordan Thomas and Erroll Thompson.