MSU Off Probation

Life is about to get a whole lot easier for coach Sylvester Croom and the Mississippi State football team.

Four years of NCAA probation ended Wednesday for the Bulldogs after the NCAA found assistant coaches under Jackie Sherill provided improper benefits to recruits.

Mississippi State remains under the NCAA's no-repeat clause until Oct. 29, 2009. If the school commits a repeat violation during that time, it is eligible for additional penalties.

Probation cast a pall over the program and limited Croom's ability to turn things around quickly.

While the loss of four scholarships and a reduction in paid on-campus visits for recruits were difficult, Croom said probation hurt most in recruiting where other schools used the sanctions as a wedge.

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