Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has addressed the controversial one-game suspension for incoming recruit Jeffery Simmons, who was recorded on video in March repeatedly striking a woman as she lay on the ground.
Simmons was arrested for simple assault and disturbing the peace by fighting. His case is reportedly still pending.
Many have called for harsher punishment for Simmons, a five-star defensive end prospect. Despite the controversy, athletic director Scott Stricklin stood by the school’s decision.
Mullen discussed the school’s decision-making process and shared his thoughts on responsibility. He told reporters that he didn’t have a large role in the suspension process.
"I wasn't involved as much," Mullen said. "It was a university decision, but I was just thrilled we're having Jeffery as part of our family coming in."
“In this situation, our university did a very thorough investigation into everything that happened within the situation there, and came up with the conclusion that we felt that Jeffery deserved to be part of our family,” Mullen told reporters at SEC Media Days, “and now, we, uh, move forward in helping educate a young man and be successful in his life.”
“We’re all responsible,” he continued.“If that happens, all of us. I’ll be honest with you, I am responsible for the actions of every one of my players, I’m the head coach. I can’t be with them all the time but I’m a parent, my wife and I try to be parents to every one of the kids in our programs. Not any individual, we try to be parents to every single one of them.”
The defensive end will not play in the season opener against South Alabama.