HOOVER, Ala. - The story you didn't hear about Jeffery Simmons during the 2016 SEC Media Days on Tuesday: Mississippi State's embattled freshman helped change a flat tire for three women over the weekend.
You didn't hear about it because Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen chose not to share the anecdote with the media on his own.
"It wouldn't have played today," said a source close to the Mississippi State program.
Tuesday was the day Mullen went through the annual SEC media car wash. A large portion of the questions he faced related to why he -- and the school -- allowed Simmons to enroll in the first place.
The five-star defensive end became a national story this offseason when Mississippi State admitted him and granted him the ability to play football despite public video of him punching a woman.
Simmons was given a one-game suspension and will attend counseling while at MSU.
Mullen did not answer questions about Simmons last month at the SEC Spring Meetings but couldn't avoid them on Tuesday.
Mullen was asked to explain he didn't share the positive Simmons anecdote at a point during his comments on the podium before about 1,100 media members. It wouldn't have worked with the audience, Mullen explained, because he didn't want to seem like he was making excuses for Simmons.
After his round of interviews concluded, though, Mullen confirmed for CBS Sports that Simmons had helped the women out.
"That's not the first one," Mullen said. "I have about four different emails of all that stuff [about] him doing community service for people and people are like, 'I didn't know that was him.'"
Here is a summary of some of the pointed questions Mullen got peppered with as he passed through various interview rooms.
Q: If it's your wife or your daughter [who Simmons hit], would you feel the same way about him?
Mullen: "I think he's a young man who deserves the opportunity. I have the opportunity to help mold him."
Q: If it was your family member [being assaulted], would you feel the same way?
Mullen: "I don't think it would be my family ... In the video, I don't know if my family would be in that situation."
Q: Why not? Anybody can be on the ground and be assaulted.
Mullen: "Honestly, I'm very strongly against any violence ... I think the video does not really define who that young man is.
"I would hate for anybody, for their life to be defined not only by 10 seconds of video ... that that is now all you get to do in life. You don't get an opportunity to get an education. You don't get an opportunity to be mentored by father figures when you don't have a father."
Q: Even with that 10 seconds of video, do you understand some player saying [he wouldn't want to play with him]?
Mullen: "I think that once they got more information, that changed."
Q: Why [only a] one-game suspension?
Mullen: "That was all a university-based decision. Make sure it was not based on football. ... The university wanted to make sure it was a university-wide decision."
Q: What kind of message does it send when a head football coach isn't involved in disciplining his player in a scenario such as this?
Mullen: "I think a lot of situations you see out there, football programs [have] too much control about things that go on. We want to be transparent about things that go on."