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BREAKING NEWS: Mississippi State head coach John Cohen suspended by SEC for Friday's game at Florida


FILE - Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has been suspended one game by the Southeastern Conference. Cohen will sit the Friday night game at the University of Florida

FILE - Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has been suspended one game by the Southeastern Conference. Cohen will sit the Friday night game at the University of Florida Photo by: MSU athletics



Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University baseball coach John Cohen has been suspended one game for violating Southeastern Conference sportsmanship rules. 


The announcement was made by SEC commissioner Mike Slive Wednesday afternoon and is a result of Cohen's post-game ejection following Sunday's contest at Alabama.  


The suspension will be served during the Friday night series opener at the University of Florida on May 11. The suspension also prohibits Cohen from taking part in Mississippi State's practice on Thursday, May 10. 


"I have all the respect in the world for Commissioner Slive and I will adhere to his ruling," Cohen said.  


When asked by The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog if Cohen had additional comments about the situation or the additional suspension by the league, the Bulldogs fourth-year head coach responded simply with "no." 


Cohen received a post-game ejection at the conclusion of Sunday's game in Tuscaloosa, which by NCAA rule came with an automatic one-game suspension. Cohen served that suspension Tuesday night versus Mississippi Valley State University.  


In Sunday's loss at Alabama, Tide first baseman Austen Smith laced a hit off the left-centerfield wall to secure an 8-7 victory for Alabama. 


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. 


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." 


As accordance with SEC rules, any further ejections of Cohen during the 2012 season will result in him getting an automatic one-game suspension and the possibility of additional sanctions.  


Friday's suspension will mark the fourth game Cohen will be forced to sit out. Cohen was suspended for one game three years ago as a result of violating the SEC Baseball Ejection Policy. The 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 SEC 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 suspension was a result of ejections from contests against Auburn University on April 5, 2009 and Vanderbilt University on April 24, 2009. 


Cohen was also suspended for a 2010 game vs. the University of Tennessee. Sunday's post-game ejection was Cohen's first since being tossed in the fourth inning of a 5-3 loss to the University of Iowa on March 5, 2011. 




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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