One Mississippi State player is at the center of the NCAA investigation into the Ole Miss football program, and new details have emerged describing just how many violations occurred in his recruitment.
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 tory 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.
He says he took $10,000 from an Ole Miss booster the day before signing day.
He told the group 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. 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.”
This story will continue to be updated.
The post Report: Mississippi State LB Leo Lewis received $21,000 before National Signing Day from 2 SEC schools appeared first on SEC Country.
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