/Former MSU coach Sherrill vs NCAA Potential jurors asked about their allegiances to State or to Ole Miss

Former MSU coach Sherrill vs NCAA Potential jurors asked about their allegiances to State or to Ole Miss

Although Sherill was not indicted by the NCAA, he did not coach again. Sherill, still the winningest school coach, resigned in 2003 from Mississippi State amid the NCAA investigation. Sherill later filed a lawsuit claiming that the NCAA investigation had defamed his coaching abilities in an effort to force him out. Monday saw the trial before Judge Dewey Arthur. The trial began Monday with jury selections and opening statements. The trial is expected to last approximately one week. Rachel Pierce Waide from Tupelo, representing Sherill, said that she and her husband Jim had heard all the evidence. Sherill requested unspecified damages. Cal Mayo from Oxford represented the NCAA and its investigators. He said that the enforcement agency was following its rules and had done nothing wrong. Mayo stated that Sherill had in fact announced that he would be retiring at the end the season. He also said in a press conference that his decision not to step down was unrelated to the ongoing NCAA investigation. Sherill was not charged with the alleged infractions until much later in the year. Mayo stated that Sherill claimed the Mississippi State head coach position was his last rodeo. Sherill had an unmatched record at Mississippi State, winning the Southeastern Conference championship in 1998. His record in his last three seasons was 8-27. Mayo stated that Coach Sherill had to go. “The NCAA had no involvement in that.” Sherill was accused, among other things, of promising to buy a car for a recruit as well as to support the family of another recruit. The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions dropped Sherill’s charges against him in 2004 because there was not enough evidence. However, the university was placed on probation. Waide stated that Sherill’s retirement news conference in 2003 was only a “face-saving” effort and that he did not intend to retire from coaching. She stated that he wanted to show Mississippi State, currently under investigation, the best possible light. Sherrill, 75, now lives in Wimberly Texas. He began his coaching career at Washington State University. He later coached at Texas A&M and Pittsburgh before taking the job at Mississippi State in 1991. He was a high school football player at Biloxi High School and then at the University of Alabama. Sherrill initially named Madison County businesswoman Julie Gibert as a defendant in the lawsuit to try and defame him. She could be a witness at the trial this week. Potential jurors were asked questions during jury selection about their allegiance to Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi. Sherrill was previously placed on probation by Texas A&M before he arrived at Mississippi State. However, he was not found guilty of any violations. Sherill, a Mississippi State student, was controversial for having his team watch the castration of bulls before the team played against the University of Texas. The original lawsuit was filed in Starkville (home of Mississippi State), but it was later moved to Madison County.