The news was tough for Mississippi State football fans to hear this week.
There's no college program in America that wants to hear, "NCAA investigation," but that's exactly what came to light for the Bulldogs.
Officials from MSU and the NCAA confirmed Thursday that it's working closely with each other concerning an ongoing investigation.
Over the last few months, the Bulldogs have worked in cooperation with the NCAA to examine a potential recruiting irregularity. It appears, with strong emphasis and appears, that MSU is doing everything right as far as this case is concerned.
Any investigation is a pain to have to endure, but it all goes back to how it is handled.
Not much information has come from the Bulldogs camp, the NCAA hasn't said very much, and Joe Shad of ESPN has put quite a bit out there. In fact, he's been a busy man this week reporting on news such as this in the Southeast and other areas of the country. This kind of stuff is happening everywhere, some of it gets reported and some of it doesn't.
It goes back to what was written in this space a few weeks ago when I suggested that MSU is not perfect. Well, here you go.
Someone asked me at the high school football game I covered Friday night, "how could something like this happen to the Bulldogs?" My response was, "that's just the nature of college athletics." It has become a part of the world we live in and things like this are going to come up from time to time, like it or not.
This is the first time the NCAA has knocked on the door of coach Dan Mullen, at least to the magnitude of an investigation, during his watch with the Bulldogs. He didn't seem too concerned about the situation when he met with reporters on Thursday.
How bad can it get for MSU? That's a difficult question to answer right now because many of the facts are not known. More should be revealed once the investigation has concluded.
For now, Fan Day still took place on Saturday and people came out in the rain to meet and greet the Bulldogs. There's still some excitement surrounding the program.
Exactly how the news of the week makes a difference in that support as we move forward remains to be seen, but a full house can be expected at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday when Mississippi State and Jackson State meet on the gridiron.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.