Statement on SEC decisions

June 3, 2011

The SEC met today and took action on issues of interest to Mississippi State University. MSU President Mark Keenum, Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin and Head Football Coach Dan Mullen made the following statements in response to SEC decisions today:

Statements on cowbell issue

Mississippi State University President Dr. Mark Keenum:

"This is a good day for Mississippi State and for fans everywhere who believe traditions are an important part of the college football experience. I appreciate Commissioner Slive and our SEC colleagues working with us to allow cowbells to continue to ring in Davis Wade Stadium, within the rules. I thank them for their support.

"When the compromise was crafted last year, many people doubted we could abide by the terms of the deal. While it was a challenge, we continued to press the importance of 'ringing responsibly,' and our fans responded. I am so appreciative of our fans, who demonstrated we could do the right thing. I am confident they will continue that good work this season, when it will be more important than ever to "respect the bell." Our fans deserve the credit for ensuring that our beloved cowbell tradition lives on."

Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin:

"Mississippi State earned another opportunity to use cowbells at football games because of the progress our fans made last year in following league guidelines and respecting our great tradition. For their effort our fans are to be commended. However, as the fines we face this year demonstrate, there is still work to do. Working together this fall, let's continue to improve our cowbell etiquette and create a great experience for all fans at Davis Wade Stadium."

Head Football Coach Dan Mullen:

"The entire Mississippi State community is grateful to the presidents for the opportunity to keep one of the great traditions of college football alive for another year. Our fans deserve a great deal of credit for their compliance with the compromise that was reached a year ago, and their actions allowed us to preserve this cherished tradition. We need to continue to ring responsibly to ensure the future of the cowbell is safe for years to come."

Statement on policy for signing football prospects

President Mark Keenum:

"Mississippi State is proud of the leadership role the SEC has taken in protecting the rights of student athletes while maintaining our competitiveness in the recruiting process. It is the right thing to do for the right reasons, and we feel it will have little, if any, impact on our ability to build a program that wins consistently in the toughest conference in America."