Murray State head coach Steve Prohm was contacted by a search firm on behalf of Mississippi State last week.
March 21, 2012 11:34:04 AM
STARKVILLE -- According a report from WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky., Murray State University athletics director Allen Ward is pretty upset and everything involved with the Mississippi State men's basketball coaching search process.
This list includes Mississippi State officials and the Parker Executive Search firm hired on behalf of the Bulldogs program to help in the process.
WPSD-TV in Paducah reporteed Tuesday Parker reached out to Murray State head coach Steve Prohm last week to gauge his interest in the Mississippi State open position. The issue which has Ward upset is the timing as the Racers, who would eventually received a 6-seed and reach the third round of the NCAA tournament, were still playing in its season. Ward said no executive from MSU has contacted him for permission to speak with Prohm, which is professional courtesy rather than a mandate considering Prohm still has three years left on his contract.
"I think there's a right way to do things," Ward said to WPSD Tuesday. "Considering we were still playing -- it is what it is."
CBS Sports college basketball national writer Gary Parrish quoted anonymous sources saying Prohm was "the leading candidate" to fill the vacancy at Mississippi State.
The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog should note search firms contacting coaches while their current team is still playing postseason games as a part of another school's opening is a common practice and one Stricklin laid out Thursday after the retirement announcement of 14-year head coaching veteran Rick Stansbury.
"They can do a lot of groundwork and make connections especially in a situation where people are playing and you want to be respectful but you also want to put feelers out," Stricklin said Thursday about hiring a search firm. "I think sometimes, especially in basketball, that's helpful."
Multiple text messages and voice mails by The Dispatch to Stricklin have not been returned.
Ward told WPSD-TV Prohm immediately informed him and other school officials of the search firm's initial contact with him and the two of them had a long meeting Tuesday to discuss a contract extension to keep Prohm at Murray State with a substantial raise.
"There's a great chance he'll stay," Ward said to WPSD-TV. "In the end, I think he'll be back."
After going through arguably the most memorable season in Murray State men's basketball history, Prohm was adamant with the media after his team's third round loss to 3-seed Marquette Saturday that he would be back roaming the sidelines in Murray, Ky.
"I'll be back," Prohm said in the Saturday post-game press conference. "I love Murray, and I want to be at Murray. We signed a great class, and we have great kids coming back. We have a great future."
-- Despite reports to the contrary, m ultiple sources close to the situation confirmed to The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog Tuesday, Oral Roberts University head coach Scott Sutton was not and will not be interviewed for the Mississippi State opening. A Tulsa television station reported Monday evening Sutton met with Parker Executive Search to discuss the not only the Nebraska but the Mississippi State opening as well.
The University of Nebraska also hired Parker Executive Search to assist with its men's basketball coach hiring process after the Cornhuskers program fired Doc Sadler after six seasons.
Sources told The Dispatch the executives at Parker Executive Search were displeased with the fact news leaked about Sutton's interview with the University of Nebraska for their opening and canceled any future plans to talk with Sutton immediately afterwards.
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.
5. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS