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Report: Mullen Close To Signing Deal With Penn State; MSU Coach Denies It

According to Jackson television station WAPT, “sources close to Mississippi State University’s program have said that football coach Dan Mullen is close to signing a deal to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State.”

Asked about the report, Mullen said Tuesday night, “it’s the most irresponsible reporting that I’ve ever heard of.”  According to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Mullen said he has not been contacted by Penn State “or any other school.”

Mullen claimed the report was started by “rival institutions trying to ruin our recruiting which we have dominated in this state over the past three years.”

MSU AD Scott Stricklin added: “They quoted a source close to the school.  I can’t imagine who that could be, because I haven’t been contacted by Penn State and Dan hasn’t been contacted by Penn State.  It’s not a story, period.”

Later in the evening a spokesperson for MSU tweeted that the reporter for WAPT-TV had “come to the (Mississippi) Hall of Fame (gala) to apologize for station’s erroneous report.”

All this after the Mullen rumor filtered out of Pennsylvania late Monday and was followed by an ESPN report Tuesday afternoon stating that Mullen was Penn State’s top candidate.

The coach laughed off the reports at the time by saying tongue-in-cheek that his name comes up every time there’s an open coaching job.  If WAPT’s report does eventually turn out to be correct, MSU fans likely won’t be laughing along with Mullen.

Mullen hails from Pennsylvania and his father is a Penn State grad, which partly explains why a coach with a 6-6 record this past season is so high on the Nittany Lions’ wish list.

In the end, State’s coach said he believes the rumors about him are actually a positive.  “… There are two rumors about you: either rumors you’re going somewhere or rumors you’re getting fired.  So, I’ll take the going-somewhere rumor better than the getting-fired rumor.”

 


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