The investigation into the allegations brought forth by a former player from a decade ago regarding Rick Stockstill and the Middle Tennessee State football program has recently been wrapped up. You may recall back in October, Stockstill released a statement denying the allegations.
The summary of the investigation laid out four initial allegations as follows:
During the course of the investigation, another allegation surfaced regarding an "incident of attempted physical assault of a former student athlete by former defensive line coach John Palermo."
Regarding the physical assault in Allegation 1, the student athlete recalled being yelled at by offensive line coach Jimmy Ray Stephens back in 2008, and teammates (and Stephens himself) remember the student athlete replying with something along the lines of "F*** you." What ensued next was the two ended up nose-to-nose screaming at one another. The student-athlete allegedly punched coach Stephens, and neither Stephens nor players who were interviewed that recalled the incident recall Stephens taking any physical course of action back at the player after the initial punch.
The investigation interviewed a total of 17 people, including Stockstill, former strength coach Jason Spray, the former coaches included in the allegations as well as a number of student athletes regarding all of the allegations.
What is Stephens up to now? Well back in July, he resigned after six seasons as the head coach at Walton HS (FL) to reunite with Steve Spurrier (who he previously worked with at Florida) on his staff as the offensive line coach with the Orlando Apollos.
In short, after summarizing each of the allegations and the route the investigation took to dig into each of them, four words can be found at the end of each of the reviews - "This allegation is unfounded"- meaning that no wrongdoing by Rick Stockstill or MTSU was found during the course of the investigation.
Here's the most important paragraph of the "Findings" section.
Allegations of player mistreatment and abuse are things that should always be taken, and with the news and subsequent investigations and press conferences recently at Maryland, and not all that long ago at Illinois, thorough reviews are needed now more than ever.
With all the information available, it appears that Middle Tennessee was able to do just that and clear up any perceived wrongdoing by Rick Stockstill, his staff, and MTSU regarding these allegations.
Stockstill took over the MTSU program back in 2006 after coaching stints at South Carolina, East Carolina, and a long stretch at Clemson from 1989-2002. His best season came in 2009, when the team went 10-3 with a win in the New Orleans Bowl, and this year he has the team at 5-3 and 4-1 in C-USA play. Overall he is 85-75 with the program with one conference title, coming in his first season leading the team in 2006 when the Blue Raiders were still playing in the Sun Belt.
Read more on the 16-page summary of the allegations and investigation below, and here's also a good recap from the Daily News Journal.
Summary of MTSU Investigati... by on Scribd