December 2, 2011 5:46:00 PM
STARKVILLE - For the second time this week, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen is denying having any contact with officials at Penn State University.
The Bulldogs third-year head coach released a statement Friday afternoon following a report from Blue &White Illustrated, the Rivals.com affiliate for Penn State, that Mullen would be interviewing for the Nittany Lions football vacancy on Monday.
"Neither I, my agent nor the administration at Mississippi State University have been contacted by anybody at Penn State University," Mullen said in a statement through the university. "I'm very happy with the direction the Mississippi State program is headed right now."
Mullen, along with MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin, are scheduled to be in New York City this weekend to attend the National Football Foundation Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner announced Monday the formation of a six-member search committee includes trustee Ira Lubert, the head of private investment management firms, and longtime women's volleyball coach Russ Rose. Also on the committee are Linda Caldwell, the faculty athletics representative; emeritus communications professor John Nichols, chair of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, and associate athletic director Charmelle Green.
Penn State fired Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno in his 46th season after child sex abuse charges were filed against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Paterno, 84, holds the Division I record with 409 career victories. He testified before a grand jury looking into the abuse allegations that a graduate assistant told him in 2002 that he witnessed an incident in the shower in the team locker room. Prosecutors have said Paterno had passed on the information to his superior, athletic director Tim Curley.
Mullen, who owns a 20-17 career record at MSU, was born in Drexel Hill, Penn., and his father is a graduate of Penn State. The Bulldogs third-year coach declined comment on the speculation during a media session Tuesday.
"I will not comment further in regards to any speculation about job openings," Mullen stated.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. The Ups and Downs of Nelson's Pillar BOOK REVIEWS