Did Facebook Stalking Just Uncover a Mississippi State Recruiting Scandal?

↵UPDATE 2: The Clarion-Ledger has the story today on how Mississippi State admits recruits visited an "establishment deemed impermissible by our recruiting rules and regulations." ↵

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↵Gary Barnett has been located. He's the guy sneaking around Starkville in a ↵big floppy sombrero and outrageous mustache, lookin' all incognito. ↵Or high school kids and college freshmen just like to see topless women whether or not pernicious adult influences are taking some time off from tying maidens to the tracks to corrupt the youth. ↵

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↵Either way, three Mississippi State recruits—Jay Hughes, Jameon Lewis, and Robert "Firebird" Johnson— hit campus last weekend and reported back to the Facebook about the most important part of their ↵visit: a trip to a strip club wholesomely called "The Pony (NSFW)." A blogger with extensive knowledge of Starkville adjacent strip club naming etiquette and poor taste in photos (NSFW) was looking ↵for some attention, dug through their profiles, and brought the field trip to the public eye. ↵

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↵It's spreading—including ↵to hereabouts—and the school has already issued a statement. The lesson, as always, is don't say crap on Facebook and don't approve anyone you don't actually know. Also, acquire a killer nickname like "Firebird" if at all possible. ↵

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↵The social networking issues are played, though. Kids in high school not used to the idea that anyone other than their mom gives a damn what they do post stupid stuff on Facebook. Once burned, they stop. It's the kind of story that invites questions about privacy in the internet age, yes, and we had a conversation about whether it was newsworthy. It is, we think, mostly because of this question: who the hell is Lyon Brown**, and how blatantly did he violate NCAA rules? ↵

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↵Lyon's (probably soon to be hidden) Facebook ↵profile reveals him to be a floppy-haired Mississippi State freshman who is a "huge Bulldogs fan" and a guy who attended a private high school. Those replies certainly imply he bankrolled the educational experience undertaken, and his own wall post, well… ↵

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↵…doesn't exactly exonerate him. Strip cubs are expensive for a college freshman. On each of the player's pages Brown makes a stalkerish post. On two of them he implies that the player "owes" Brown for the trip. Unless Brown just gave these guys directions, "doing work" here is opening his wallet and, possibly, an NCAA investigation*. ↵

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↵Sloppy. Do they not watch The Wire in Mississippi? ↵

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↵*(Probably unnecessary disclaimer goes here: there is indeed a chance this is totally innocent and a blog post is not a proper investigation or proper reporting. You'd have to be willfully naive (read: fan of school in question) to believe this creepy-seeming guy is just hanging with the football recruits because they love his bangs, but, yes, this is circumstantial.) ↵

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↵**On the off chance Brown was a team manager or something, we contacted Mississippi State equipment manager Phil Silva, who said he'd never heard of Brown. ↵
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↵UPDATE: The Clarion-Ledger got a hold of one of the three kids, who said it was all a joke. Read more here. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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