Byron De’Vinner has offered several details about the recruitment of MSU freshman Will Redmond in a story by Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. Among the details is the name of the booster who’s been disassociated by the school: Robert Denton Herring, who De’Vinner has alleged slipped cash to Redmond and provided other impermissible benefits.
De’Vinner, a 7-on-7 coach from Nashville, coached Redmond in the summers. Redmond went to Memphis East High School and is one of several figures in the Memphis area who have spoken with the NCAA in recent months. This Yahoo! story comes a day after De’Vinner called Head to Head Radio – a statewide sports talk program – in an effort to clear his name of any wrongdoing regarding the recruitment of Redmond.
Some main points from Forde’s story.
• Herring arranged for complimentary lodging and meals for De’Vinner.
• The NCAA contacted almost a dozen players who were recruited by MSU.
• De’Vinner believes former MSU assistant coach Angelo Mirando was the only staff member who knew about Herring’s unethical recruiting tactics. (Mirando resigned on Aug. 19, citing “unforeseen personal issues.”)
• De’Vinner first met Herring on Oct. 15, 2011, prior to the South Carolina-MSU game in Starkville. They met at Herring’s tailgating spot, and that is where De’Vinner said he witnessed Herring giving Redmond “gas money.” When he and Redmond were in a car together later, De’Vinner told the player, “You take this to your [expletive] grave.”
• During a mid-January recruiting visit by Redmond, De’Vinner said several NCAA violations were committed. Herring paid for De’Vinner’s stay at the Old Waverly Resort in West Point.
• De’Vinner said he was asked by Mirando to interview for the assistant recruiting coordinator position. He said the interview, held in January of this year, was a formality to help secure Redmond’s commitment, but then after interviewing for seven hours, De’Vinner said MSU started taking seriously the possibility of hiring him. Ultimately, he didn’t get the job.
De’Vinner has declined to speak with me despite my several attempts to interview him. MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin declined comment last night, and head coach Dan Mullen did not show up to his regularly scheduled post-practice interview.