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SEC Coaches Help Save MSU’s Cowbells… For Now

Just when it looked like Mississippi State’s cowbells were about to be silenced, the SEC’s football coaches came to the rescue.  Yesterday, the league’s athletic directors voted to discontinue last year’s “cowbell compromise.”  But then the league’s football coaches voted in favor of giving State one more year to show that they can ring the bells at the appropriate time.  As a result, the ADs changed their vote and passed the issue on to the league’s presidents for a vote tomorrow.

“I think the football coaches swayed some of that first vote,” State AD Scott Stricklin said afterwards.  In a text to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Stricklin said, “We appreciate the ADs’ and football coaches’ vote to continue Mississippi State’s valued tradition.

Dan Mullen went on the offensive yesterday in his defense of the tradition.  First, he and Stricklin spoke of deceased player Nick Bell’s mother ringing a cowbell in honor of her son.  Then Mullen compared MSU’s cowbell tradition to the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.

“I empathize with Auburn this year,” the coach said.  “Somebody came in and tried to hurt one of their traditions.  I can empathize with that because it’s happened to us.”

The fact that the league’s coaches voted in favor of the cowbells shows that the bells — when used at assigned times — are not that big of a distraction.  And because the league’s coaches went to bat for State’s tradition, MSU fans should be respectful of that fact next season and ring the bells only during stoppages in play.

If State fans do that, then eventually the league will be able to stop discussing cowbells every June in Destin.

With the league’s coaches and ADs voting to allow the bells, it’s expected that the league’s presidents will follow suit in their vote on Friday.



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