Coach: Booster paid more players

Updated: September 12, 2012, 11:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Byron De'Vinner, the 7-on-7 summer league football coach in Nashville who said Tuesday that he witnessed a booster give Mississippi State freshman defensive back Will Redmond money, told ESPN on Wednesday the same booster told him he provided benefits to "five or six" Mississippi State athletes.

De'Vinner told ESPN's Joe Schad the booster, Robert Denton Herring, said that among the athletes he provided benefits to was junior defensive lineman Denico Autry.

"He (Herring) told me he provided the benefits," De'Vinner said. "He told me he helped get Denico there. Robert Denton Herring loves State. And he was going to do whatever he could to help State."

De'Vinner said Redmond told him it was former Mississippi State wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando who introduced Redmond to Herring, whom he claims provided cash and clothing to the player. Herring lives in Roswell, Ga.

De'Vinner also said Herring asked him to help steer a Georgia recruit and an LSU recruit to Mississippi State but he would not do it.

"Denton was trying his hardest to get Frank Herron, a 2013 recruit, to come to Mississippi State," De'Vinner said. "He asked me to call his mom and say if he committed to State he could get her a better job. He also told me if Brandon Hill, who did not qualify at Alabama, committed to State, he could get him eligible because of a Mississippi State booster that was a counselor in his school. It comes back to pimping kids. And I wouldn't do it."

Herring could not be reached for comment. Mirando said that he is aware of the allegations but would not comment at this time.

Mirando resigned Aug. 19, citing "unforeseen personal issues."

"I've read what's been written but I have nothing to say about that," Mirando told Schad on Tuesday.

De'Vinner, who has been interviewed by NCAA investigators, told the "Head to Head" radio show in Mississippi on Tuesday that he saw a "handshake" between the booster and Redmond, and that Mirando was aware of benefits.

De'Vinner confirmed to Schad on Tuesday afternoon that he called into the radio show. He said the handshake between Redmond and Denton Herring included about "$200."

"Will Redmond is a kid that was basically taken advantage of by a booster and by an assistant coach," De'Vinner said on the radio show.

Mississippi State has been working with the NCAA to examine a "potential recruiting irregularity" over the past several months, but has declined to provide further details since Mirando resigned.

According to documents provided to the Clarion-Ledger on Aug. 28, a Mississippi State booster was found to have had "impermissible contact" with a recruit and may have engaged in other NCAA rules violations. The school has since disassociated with Herring.

Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that De'Vinner received a complimentary stay at a Mississippi golf resort while Redmond was on his official recruiting visit. Yahoo! said Herring arranged for the room, which is a violation of NCAA rules. Yahoo! reported that De'Vinner showed them documentation of the complimentary room, but said that he didn't think any of the Mississippi State coaches knew about it, other than Mirando.

De'Vinner told Yahoo!: "I'm the scapegoat for everything that's going on ... I'm telling the truth."

A Mississippi State spokesman said Wednesday there was no comment beyond the last statement issued by the school.

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