Miss. State confirms NCAA probe

Updated: August 24, 2012, 6:23 PM ET
By Joe Schad | ESPN

Mississippi State on Thursday confirmed an ongoing NCAA investigation into a "potential recruiting irregularity." The school said the investigation is "nearing an end" and it will cooperate fully.

"That's been going on for the last several months," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said following Thursday's practice. "I'm not able to comment on any of that."

Wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando resigned Sunday, less than two weeks before the season opener against Jackson State, in the wake of an ongoing NCAA investigation related to his recruitment of at least one player on the Bulldogs' roster.

On Sunday, a statement released by the school said Mirando resigned because of "unforeseen personal issues." In the statement, Mirando said, "It is in my best interest to resign from Mississippi State." He also said he wanted to "stress that these issues are personal."

Mississippi State freshman defensive back Will Redmond was the subject of an NCAA interview that his coach at Memphis East High School gave, according to the coach, Marcus Wimberly.

"I told them as far as I was concerned his recruitment was on the up and up," Wimberly said. "Who knows what they're looking for. Will chose his school because he felt most comfortable and it was close to home."

Mullen criticized ESPN regarding Redmond and said that the defensive back is still practicing with the team.

The Bulldogs hired former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster to fill Mirando's position.

Mirando was a graduate assistant under Mullen for two seasons before becoming a full-time assistant in 2011.

Brewster was fired as Minnesota coach in 2010 after going 15-30 with the Gophers, including 6-21 in the Big Ten.

Brewster was at Thursday's practice and said the transition was going smoothly. The 51-year-old said it was "great to be back on the grass today" and that he missed coaching badly. He spent the 2011 season as a television analyst for Fox. He had recently been hired for a similar opportunity for the CBS sports network before accepting the Mississippi State job.

"Timing and opportunity in life are so special," Brewster said. "And when the two meet -- an opportunity like this comes up -- it's something I just couldn't pass up at this point."

Brewster will lead a veteran group of receivers, led by seniors Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark, Brandon Heavens and Chris Smith.

Mullen said he was pleased to add someone of Brewster's caliber on such short notice. On top of his substantial college experience, Brewster has also spent time as an NFL assistant coach with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos.

"To me, it's been kind of a blur of a lot of things going on," Mullen said. "Talking to a lot of people while we're preparing for the season, while we're reviewing training camp, while we're still in practice, while we're getting through the first day of school, while we're getting organized to get through this process. It's been very, very difficult. We're extremely fortunate."

Mullen said he didn't think Mirando's resignation or the NCAA's investigation would cause any problems for his team's focus.

"I like our leadership," Mullen said. "I don't see it being a distraction for our guys at all right now."

ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Joe Schad

College Football