NCAA probe targets Memphis-area football players

Pat Forde

NCAA enforcement representatives have spent months in Memphis looking into potential football rules violations, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The investigation is far-reaching enough to encompass multiple potential violations involving multiple schools, sources said. Among them is Auburn running back signee and Memphis Wooddale High School product Jovon Robinson, whose academic transcript was found to be falsified, and Mississippi State freshman defensive back Will Redmond, from Memphis East, whose coach was questioned by the NCAA. It is unknown whether other players are being probed.

Robinson has been declared ineligible by the NCAA. A guidance counselor at Wooddale reportedly admitted to falsifying his transcript and resigned. At Mississippi State, receivers coach Angelo Mirando's abrupt resignation this week was related to the NCAA inquiry, according to a source.

According to sources and media reports, Memphis high school coaches Marcus Wimberly of East and Lynord Crutchfield of Central have been interviewed by the NCAA. So has 7-on-7 coach Byron De'Vinner, who lives in Nashville but coached a team out of Memphis that included both Robinson and Redmond among other major-college signees.

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Mississippi State acknowledged this week that there is an investigation underway of a “potential recruiting irregularity.” Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said Redmond is practicing with the team, and the school announced the hiring of former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster as a replacement for Mirando.

This is not the first time Memphis has found itself in the middle of a potential multi-school SEC rules scandal. Earlier this century, Alabama and Kentucky were hit with major sanctions for recruiting violations committed in the pursuit of players out of the city. Both schools were given postseason bans and significant scholarship reductions.

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