Dan Mullen: 'We're all responsible' if Jeffery Simmons acts out again
HOOVER, Ala. -- As expected, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was asked repeatedly about the one-game suspension issued to five-star recruit Jeffery Simmons after he was shown on video pummeling a woman.
And, as expected, Mullen danced around the question.
"I wasn't involved as much," Mullen said Tuesday during SEC media days. "It was a university decision. I was just thrilled that we're having Jeffery as part of our family coming in."
In June, Mississippi State announced that it would allow Simmons to enroll after a viral video showed him repeatedly punching a woman on the ground during a parking-lot fight. Simmons, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound pass rusher, was charged with misdemeanor assault. He will be evaluated by counselors and was suspended for the Sept. 3 season opener against South Alabama.
Mullen said Tuesday that the school did a deep investigation into the incident and Simmons' character before deciding what to do.
"In this situation, our university did a very, very thorough investigation into everything that happened within the situation there and came up with a conclusion that we felt Jeffrey deserves the opportunity to be a part of our family," Mullen said.
Mullen reiterated that the Bulldogs' goal now is to educate Simmons and help him mature as an individual. But if Simmons has another incident of violence?
"We're all responsible if that happens," Mullen said. "All of us."