Mississippi State Releases Statement Addressing Cam Newton's Recruitment

SB Nation's SEC blog, Team Speed Kills, has the official statement from the Mississippi State University athletic department regarding the ongoing controversy regarding quarterback Cam Newton's recruitment:

STATEMENT FROM THE MISSISSIPPI STATE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:

Mississippi State University acknowledges that it contacted the Southeastern Conference office in January of 2010 regarding an issue relating to its recruitment of Cam Newton.

Shortly after the initial call, the SEC office requested specific information to include interviews with involved staff from MSU.

Due to MSU dealing with ongoing and time-consuming eligibility issues involving non-football matters in the winter and spring of 2010, the specific SEC request went unfulfilled. Some additional information was provided to the SEC during July of 2010. Once the NCAA enforcement staff became involved, Mississippi State University cooperated fully with its investigation. MSU is confident the SEC office has managed this process consistent with its established procedures and the university is committed to the conference's ongoing efforts to ensure compliance with SEC and NCAA rules.

Team Speed Kills notes that the "time-consuming eligibility issues" referenced in the release most likely relate to Renardo Sidney, who was pursued by MSU after USC dropped him following a report that Sidney's family accepted free housing and a loan based on Renardo's future earning ability. That case would delay MSU fulfilling the SEC's request for information because Mississippi State employs only one compliance director.

Also worthy of consideration is the fact that MSU coach Dan Mullen continued to recruit Newton even after he was made aware of the compliance issues. The initial contact the university made to the SEC came only after Newton signed with Auburn.

The NCAA has so far declined to comment on the release.

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