At approximately 3:15pm on Wednesday, news broke that Simmons will be released from his LOI and Scout.com spoke with McKeesport head coach Jimmy Ward about the situation. Ward had not been notified and was surprised to hear the news.
"Really, that's breaking news to me I have not been told either way yet," Ward said. "I'll have to call Delvon and see if they even let him know. I did call the school today to speak with the Chancellor."
Scout.com heard that Simmons had to submit a list of schools that he was considering, before Butch Davis would allow the release, Ward confirmed that.
"When we met face-to-face with Davis, he did say we had to submit a list and Delvon did that last Monday," explained Ward. "There are seven schools that he is considering USC, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech, Iowa, Oregon, Florida and Rutgers. I have not heard from Davis since, so if the release is granted I'm not sure what if any restrictions there are on it."
Ward hopes the situation is handled quickly and that Simmons makes a final decision sooner rather than later.
"The sooner the better for me and for Delvon," Ward stated. "Delvon is uncertain where he will go and what he wants to do, but hopefully this is quick."
There has been speculation of tampering and people asking why Simmons would choose not to honor his commitment and his Letter of Intent. Ward fully supports his player.
"I think a lot of the speculation is inaccurate and I think due to it being quiet, that people choose to speculate about the situation," Ward said. "I do not believe in letting kids back out of verbal commitments or Letters of Intent. In this situation I believe Delvon was right to ask for his release. I have never had a player in 14 years of coaching back out of an LOI or a verbal. I have to support my player where they are right and in this case I believe Delvon was justified."
There has been a lot of talk about college football needing to follow the lead of basketball and institute an early signing period. Ward has seen first hand why it may not work.
"Too many kids change their minds for the wrong reasons, but I have seen it work for basketball, "he said. "It's tough for kids they build relationships with coaches and that is a factor in their decision. I'm not in favor of an early signing period. I think there are too many flaws right now."
Scout.com will have more on this breaking story, once Simmons receives the official word of his release from Butch Davis.