Originally created 06/11/04

Mississippi State to plead its case



JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi State officials are preparing for a weekend hearing before the NCAA's committee on infractions concerning allegations of rules violations within the Bulldogs' football program.

Athletic director Larry Templeton declined Thursday to speculate on possible outcomes but said school officials are bracing for a long day Saturday, when they will meet with the committee in Indianapolis.

"We look forward for our legal counsel to have the opportunity to discuss the agenda with the committee," Templeton said. "It'll be a long hearing on Saturday that will last most of the day and half the night."

In April, Mississippi State admitted to secondary rules violations within its football program, but denied more serious NCAA allegations of offering to provide cash and other perks to recruits.

"This is just the hearing where the NCAA staff presents their allegations to the infractions committee (and) Mississippi State has the opportunity to present the facts," Templeton said.

Mississippi State received a letter of allegations from the NCAA on Dec. 2, detailing 13 possible rules violations.

The school acknowledged that several minor rules were broken, admitting that a booster arranged a part-time job for a recruit, a booster loaned a player $750 for tires for his pickup truck and the school paid three recruits nearly $400 for automobile expenses they didn't incur.

Mississippi State has said it would consider imposing penalties on itself, but hasn't said what those penalties might be. The NCAA will announce what, if any, sanctions the school might face in late August.

If Mississippi State is found guilty of serious violations, the school could face NCAA probation, lose scholarships and could be prohibited from playing in televised games or in bowl games.

UMEH AUTOPSY: Incoming University of Arizona freshman McCollins Umeh had an enlarged heart when he died during a workout Tuesday, an initial autopsy from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office said.

The Medical Examiner's Office also determined heat was not a factor.

University police released the findings of the Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday evening, saying the results are pending further examination of organ tissue and toxicology results.

Umeh, 18, collapsed 20 minutes into a voluntary workout at the school Tuesday afternoon and died about an hour later. Umeh, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end, had arrived in Tucson on Monday night.