June 2, 2016
“After careful assessment, the MSU athletics department has determined Simmons may be a part of the football team, but he will be evaluated by the licensed professionals at the university’s Student Counseling Services and be required to complete any program prescribed by that office,” the school wrote in a statement. “Additionally, he will be suspended for the first game of his college career.”
According to the Clarion-Ledger‘s Sarah Fowler, Simmons was formally charged with simple assault and disturbing the peace after a video emerged that showed him striking a woman.
The school’s official statement says Simmons “used physical force against one of those involved in the altercation” after he attempted to break up a fight between his sister and another woman.
Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin explained why the school moved forward and admitted Simmons before the charges were resolved:
Based on conversations our staff has had with school, community and church leaders in Noxubee County, this incident appears to be uncharacteristic of Jeffery. It’s a highly unique circumstance to administer discipline to a student for an incident that occurred prior to that individual joining our university. However, it’s important that Jeffery and other potential MSU students understand that these type of actions and poor decisions are not acceptable.
We expect the structure and discipline Jeffery will be a part of in our football program to benefit him. Jeffery will be held accountable for his actions while at MSU, and there will be consequences for any future incidents.
Citing a source, Tony Barnhart of the SEC Network reported “Simmons has been told he has no margin for error and will be ‘monitored closely.'”
Simmons ranks No. 19 overall among all recruits in 247 Sports’ class of 2016. He’s also the top-ranked player in the state of Mississippi and the third-ranked strong-side defensive end in his class.
Star rankings courtesy of 247Sports.
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