CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: STAFF

HED:Miss. State linked to Pell fraud

From staff reports

ESPN reported Tuesday night that records concerning the misuse of Pell Grants have been seized by the federal government from Mississippi State University and other NCAA Division I-A schools.

A Pell Grant is a federal grant awarded to college students and student-athletes based on need. It pays for tuition but not for room and board.

When contacted Tuesday, MSU athletic director Larry Templeton said he had not seen the ESPN report and added that he was unaware of any of the reported violations.

"I do not know what they're (ESPN) talking about. I did not see it, nor have I heard anything about it," he said in a telephone interview.

ESPN reported that 22 universities, including some major football powers, were being investigated for fraudulent use of Pell Grants.

Templeton said the athletic department doesn't handle the administration of Pell Grants, the financial aid department does.

"I've heard everything in the world," he said. "I did not see it (the ESPN report), but I've had five or six folks call me. I've even heard the NCAA was involved.

"No NCAA people where in the athletic department today."

The NCAA has no control over the awarding of Pell Grants.

Templeton said he would look into the charges, but hadn't had time to do so.

"I'm going to try to find out if anybody knows anything," he said. "I was with my staff at 4:30 (p.m.), so I'm pretty sure we didn't know anything."

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