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ECDawg78
08-25-2017, 11:00 PM
Report: Mississippi State LB Leo Lewis received $21,000 before National Signing Day from 2 SEC schools

by Corey Knapp
August 25,2017


According to an in-depth report from Steven Godfrey of SB Nation, Mississippi State linebacker Leo Lewis, a prized recruit in the 2015 class, received a number of benefits from a number of schools, namely Ole Miss as well as his current Mississippi State team, prior to National Signing Day that year.

“Then Lewis started talking,” Godfrey says. “About money. About free hotels, free rides to visit college campuses, hundred-dollar handshakes, free apparel, and even more money, bags of cash he says he received from multiple SEC programs totaling over $21,000 during the final week before National Signing Day in February 2015.”

Lewis has met with NCAA investigators three times, detailing the benefits he received on recruiting trips. The first was with his lawyers to tell his story only to NCAA investigators, the second was with those people and representatives from Ole Miss, and the third was with NCAA enforcement staff after new information had surfaced that multiple schools had paid him during his recruitment.

In order to gain more information into the Ole Miss infractions, the NCAA granted Lewis conditional immunity, in that as long as he provided truthful information, he would remain eligible to play for the Bulldogs.

However, the immunity does NOT protect the actions of either Ole Miss or Mississippi State. And only Lewis’s past acceptance of benefits is immune; any current or future violations would still result in his discipline.

In the transcripts of the NCAA meetings that Godfrey and SB Nation obtained, Lewis outlines the relationships he built with coaches and other prominent figures around Oxford. He took multiple unofficial visits, on all of which he says he hardly paid for anything and received plenty of merchandise.

Lewis says he took $10,000 cash from an Ole Miss booster, he could only recall the name Allen, the day before signing day.

“He told the group (NCAA investigators, his lawyers, and Ole Miss lawyers and reps) he had never intended on signing with Ole Miss and that as he took the payment, he was still deciding between LSU and Mississippi State,” Godfrey says. “Lewis was then pressed by a lawyer for Ole Miss as to why he took the money.”

‘I just wanted the money,'” he said. “‘Cause I needed it … We was moving to a house, and I actually had my daughter. My dad had just went to prison. Uh yeah, so needed it, so I took it. [I] asked for it, and I took it.'”

“Additionally, new documentation submitted to the Committee on Infractions by attorneys for Ole Miss claims Lewis told NCAA enforcement he took $11,000 in benefits from his current school, Mississippi State. Unlike Lewis, Mississippi State cannot receive conditional immunity for any former, current, or future statements its current player makes.”

Godfrey reports that NCAA enforecment staff member Mike Sheridan asked Lewis if he had ever been set up with a female while on visits to Ole Miss. “Never,” he replied.

Godfrey’s report also states that an audio tape exists in which Lewis’ mother, Tina Henderson, “allegedly told Farrar (Barney Farrar, Ole Miss staff member at the time) that she had received multiple cash offers for Lewis, including $650,000 from LSU and $80,000 from Mississippi State.”

“Sheridan asked Lewis which schools offered money to Henderson and which schools she took money from,” Godfrey writes. “Lewis’ answers are all redacted. Lewis told the NCAA he received $11,000, $1,000 up front and $10,000 shortly after National Signing Day, all from the redacted school.”

Ole Miss alleges that the redacted school is Mississippi State, which puts his alleged payments received at at least $10,000 from Ole Miss and $22,000 from Mississippi State.

Lewis has been asked to appear at the Ole Miss hearing before the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Sept. 11. If he does not, he could lose all of his immunity previously granted. Godfrey does well to describe the complex details that if he does appear and testify, Ole Miss will try to prove that he is not credible through a string of cases Lewis is involved with that would eventually come back to this one involving the Rebels.

Lewis is a sophomore and is set to start for the Bulldogs when the season begins on Saturday, Sept. 2. His lawyers have argued MSU’s Sept. 16 game as one reason why he cannot appear at the Sept. 11 COI hearing.

As Godfrey concludes, “Lewis has no good options remaining…there is no outcome in which Lewis’ career maintains actual immunity.”

https://www.seccountry.com/sec/mississppi-state-lb-leo-lewis-received-21000-national-signing-day-2-sec-schools

Bama_Man
08-25-2017, 11:09 PM
Why would a kid currently on a schools roster say these things? Unless the NCAA already knew, this seems incredibly dumb on his part. I'll be surprised if MSU doesn't find a way to punish him for throwing them under the bus.

Just Some Hog Dude
08-26-2017, 09:22 AM
Why would a kid currently on a schools roster say these things? Unless the NCAA already knew, this seems incredibly dumb on his part. I'll be surprised if MSU doesn't find a way to punish him for throwing them under the bus.

He probably wants to transfer.

Cuz
08-26-2017, 11:20 AM
He should now. Blanket party at midnight.

MKfromPA
08-26-2017, 12:51 PM
You have to credit the kid for being honest. He probably wanted to cover himself.

Herchel
08-26-2017, 01:42 PM
He probably wants to transfer.
3rd chance Gus is available.

Bama_Man
08-26-2017, 05:59 PM
You have to credit the kid for being honest. He probably wanted to cover himself.

The kid admits to soliciting money from schools he had no intention of enrolling. He gets no credit from me. If q booster is dumb enough to give a kid 10k, he deserves to be ripped off but the kid is at fault for asking for and taking money.

Just Some Hog Dude
08-26-2017, 07:30 PM
You have to credit the kid for being honest. He probably wanted to cover himself.

He probably thought Starkville wasn't worth the money. The kid is no idiot. He must have read Trump's book.

MKfromPA
08-27-2017, 11:55 AM
The kid admits to soliciting money from schools he had no intention of enrolling. He gets no credit from me. If q booster is dumb enough to give a kid 10k, he deserves to be ripped off but the kid is at fault for asking for and taking money.

Wouldn't the booster have to know a potential consequence of giving a kid money is he could blab about it?