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BREAKING NEWS: MSU coach John Cohen suspended by NCAA for Tuesday game vs. Mississippi Valley State


FILE - Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen, shown being ejected after arguing a call here in 2010, will miss Tuesday's game due an NCAA mandated one-game suspension for being ejected after the loss at Alabama

FILE - Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen, shown being ejected after arguing a call here in 2010, will miss Tuesday's game due an NCAA mandated one-game suspension for being ejected after the loss at Alabama


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University baseball coach John Cohen will serve an NCAA-mandated one-game suspension Tuesday night after receiving a post-game ejection following Sunday's series finale at Alabama.  


When Alabama first baseman Austen Smith laced a hit off the left-centerfield wall to secure an 8-7 victory for the Crimson Tide, Cohen sprinted out to get nose-to-nose to each of the three umpires attempting to leave Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Cohen continued his verbal tirade of the umpires all the way into the MSU dugout until he turned to do his post-game radio interview with Bulldogs play-by-play voice Jim Ellis. It is unclear when exactly received the post-game ejection from an umpire. It marks Cohen's first ejection since being tossed in the fourth inning of a 5-3 loss to the University of Iowa on March 5, 2011.  


"There's some other things that were going on in the game that didn't have a lot to do with Mississippi State that were pretty frustrating when you're watching the game on Maroon to the Max (the school's internet broadcast provider)," Cohen said after that loss. "There was some stuff we just couldn't control." 


He was also ejected in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes in an 11-10 home victory versus the University of Georgia on March 28, 2010.  


The loss to Alabama Sunday left Cohen as angry as the fourth-year head coach has ever been this season. A controversial call on a chopper in front of home plate left Cohen, a Tuscaloosa, Ala., native, in the face of all three umpires when the foul call was made. MSU's position was the ball was bounced in front of the plate making for it being a fair ball, which is why the Bulldogs coaching staff told relief pitcher Taylor Stark to throw the ball to first base in a pseudo appeal effort. 


"When you go on the road in the SEC you have a lot of things working against you and certainly our kids did a great job of overcoming (those things)," Cohen said to the media Sunday. "There are things you can control in this game and things that you can't. We ain't backing down to anybody no matter what the conditions." 


The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog currently has not been informed which of the MSU assistant coaches will serve as the interim head coach against Mississippi Valley State Tuesday for a game set to begin at 6:30 p.m.  


The MSU-MVSU game, originally set to be played April 3, was canceled due to weather concerns. Season ticket patrons can use tickets from MSU's two rain-out games (Game 16 vs. Alabama A&M or Game 21 vs. Mississippi Valley State) for admission to Tuesday night's game. 


Including early-season 13-5 and 5-1 wins over the Delta Devils, the Bulldogs have built up a 22-0 all-time series lead against MVSU. 


Tuesday's suspension marks the third game Cohen will be forced to sit out. Cohen was suspended for one game three years ago and another game two years ago as a result of violating the Southeastern Conference Baseball Ejection Policy. The first suspension was served during Mississippi State's game Saturday game at Vanderbilt on April 25, 2009. Vanderbilt defeated the Bulldogs in that contest 10-4. The following suspension occurred after being ejected from a contest against the University of Tennessee on April 15, 2010. 


During the game following the second suspension of Cohen's MSU tenure, the Bulldogs were managed by MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson against the Volunteers.  


The SEC Baseball Ejection Policy went into effect at the start of the 2009 SEC conference baseball season and states, "A student-athlete, coach or team representative ejected for misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct for a first offense will receive a written warning cautioning of actions on further like conduct. A second and subsequent ejection in the same year will carry a next game suspension for each ejection." 


The first suspension since Cohen arrived at MSU was a result of ejections from contests against Auburn University on April 5, 2009 and Vanderbilt University on April 24, 2009. 


However, an SEC spokesperson has told The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog this suspension Tuesday night has nothing to do with the SEC's policy but is an NCAA policy issue. 




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.



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