Mississippi State football: Marcus Murphy shouldn’t have to worry about the NCAA

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 11: A general view of Davis Wade Stadium prior to the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers on October 11, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 11: A general view of Davis Wade Stadium prior to the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Auburn Tigers on October 11, 2014 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

With everything that he is dealing with and the help that he needs from the community surrounding him, Marcus Murphy shouldn’t have to worry about losing his eligibility on the Mississippi State football team.

NCAA bylaws and regulations are a tricky thing to navigate. They’re convoluted, complex, and complicated. Plus, there’s an abundance of them. That makes things difficult when a student-athlete is dealing with a crisis and can’t accept funds from outside sources due to fear of losing their eligibility.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of situation that Marcus Murphy, and his family, are potentially in.

Murphy is an incredibly talented, former four-star recruit who has joined the Mississippi State football team as a safety. He came to Starkville from another point of the Golden Triangle, just up the road in West Point, Mississippi.

Right now, Murphy is coming off of his freshman season and should be focused on making his way into the starting lineup. Instead, his mother recently passed away and now it’s come out that his one-year old son needs a bone marrow transplant. 

That’s a burden that is difficult for anyone to bear, especially for someone as young as Marcus Murphy. Taking care of his family is really all that he should have to be concerned with. Potentially losing eligibility because members of his community are trying to help him cover his mother’s funeral costs isn’t something that should even be remotely on his radar.

But that NCAA eligibility concern has reared its ugly head.

Shortly after a GoFundMe was created to help alleviate the burden that was placed upon Murphy and his sister, my colleague Justin Strawn ran a post on it to help draw attention to the fundraiser. A post like that is not totally uncommon for us here at Maroon and White Nation. During just about every news and notes post that we get up, there’s typically a link to a fundraiser or a way for MSU fans to help others.

Shortly after that post on Maroon and White Nation started gaining traction, things went more than a little sideways.

Due to Murphy’s status as a Mississippi State football player, MSU’s compliance department chimed in with a vague tweet stating that they had not approved of the fundraiser.

That statement, with unclear language regarding the situation, seemingly runs counter to what West Point Athletics shared about the fundraiser once it started making rounds on social media platforms.

And yet, after West Point Athletics attempted to clarify the situation, MSU’s compliance department did nothing.

That left a lot of people who are invested and want to help in limbo about what to do and who to trust here. Justin and I updated the Maroon and White Nation post about the GoFundMe accordingly.

Mississippi State’s compliance department has yet to clarify any of this.

I have attempted to reach out to Bracky Brett (Mississippi State’s executive senior associate A.D. over compliance) immediately after he tweeted MSU’s statement and then attempted to follow up on three separate occasions since his vague tweet. My hope was to simply get some clarification on the matter. It’s the responsible thing to do since we publicly posted on this situation.

Now, here we are five days later and he has yet to respond to my emails or make any other public statement on the matter.

That lack of clarification makes things unnecessarily complicated here.

Mississippi State football fans and boosters aren’t sure if they potentially endangered an individual’s NCAA standing by simply trying to help a young man in need. All they were trying to do was to donate to a fundraiser to help cover the financial strain caused by a mother passing away. To everyone’s knowledge, it seemed as if donating to this GoFundMe would be in the clear.

And without any sort of clarification, things are a bit unclear and confusing for many. Many who want to donate may not do so because they feel that it’s the right thing as not donating won’t endanger Murphy’s eligibility.

The Starkville Daily News’ Joel Coleman had a suggestion on that front:

The bottom line of all of this is this: it’s unfortunate that someone so young is having to handle everything that is going on in his personal life. His mother passing away and his son needing a bone marrow transplant is a ridiculous burden for anyone to bear. Marcus Murphy, and his loved ones, are trying to deal with that.

Murphy and his loved ones shouldn’t have to worry about any issues stemming from members of their community stepping in to help shoulder that burden with them.

Next. Marcus Murphy needs assistance after mother’s passing. dark

If any sort of clarification, or update on this matter is given, we will update this post accordingly and promptly.