Article Comment 

Cowbell assault a ‘high priority’ for MSU police


Tim Pratt



STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State University Police Department is continuing to investigate a weekend assault during which one man severely injured another by hitting him over the head with a cowbell. 


The incident occurred in the student section bleachers in the north end zone at Davis Wade Stadium shortly after Mississippi State''s football team defeated the University of Mississippi 41-27 in the Egg Bowl.  


According to MSU Police Chief Georgia Lindley, some fans got into an argument and it escalated until the suspect struck the 21-year-old victim with the cowbell. The suspect was with someone who had an Ole Miss logo on their clothing, Lindley said. 


The victim, whom Lindley identified only as a student at MSU, was injured "pretty severely" and taken by ambulance to Oktibbeha County Hospital. He was treated for a mild concussion and received several staples in his head where the cowbell had struck, Lindley said. 


Cowbells have been a mainstay at MSU football games for decades, but they haven''t been legal at Southeastern Conference games since the mid-1970s when the SEC adopted a rule against artificial noisemakers at football and basketball games. 


Still, the tradition of ringing cowbells at games has remained popular, and Bulldog fans risk confiscation to bring the noisemakers into the stadium. 


In 2002, presidents of the SEC member universities voted 11-1 to add penalties to the rule banning noisemakers. Then-Interim President Charles Lee, who later was named president voted against the move. 


"Cowbells have been a symbol of Mississippi State spirit and pride for more than 75 years, and we understand the deep attachment that many alumni and friends have for this unique tradition," Lee said after the decision, according to a memo issued by MSU in June 2002. "Efforts over the past 25 years to enforce the Southeastern Conference ban on artificial noisemakers inside the stadiums have met with limited success. This has led now to a provision that our teams can be penalized on the field if our fans disregard the longstanding rule." 


Game officials are to enforce the conference ban with a verbal warning on the first offense, a 5-yard penalty on the second offense and a 15-yard penalty on any subsequent offenses. 


The amendments also extended the ban to all conference-sponsored sports. 


Several TV cameras were panning the end zone stands Saturday, and MSU police are scouring those videos to see if they caught the assault on film, Lindley said. But police have no suspects, she said. 


"We''re continuing to work very hard on it," Lindley said. "This young man was really injured and we want to arrest whoever did it. It is a high priority for us." 


Anyone with information is asked to call MSU Police Department Detective Brad Massey at 662-325-2664. 





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Reader Comments

Article Comment n commented at 12/4/2009 12:54:00 PM:

Sorry this MSU student got hurt by one of his own. The SEC rule is a joke. The cowbells could be taken away if MSU wanted to. But the msu fans "wear" their cowbells as a badge of honor. It is not fair to other SEC schools that they get away with breaking the rules. Just read the back of a ticket and it plainly states no artifical noisemakers.


Article Comment Starkpatch commented at 12/4/2009 1:24:00 PM:

Well, fans of tsun carry in alcohol flasks which is also clearly labeled on the back of a ticket stub (They even throw empty bottles and red high heels at the officials as well). TN and AL pipe in music over the PA system, which is against the rules as well. The tsun band played and beat drums after players broke the huddle, which is also against the rules.

The rule IS a joke- it was adopted only to punish MSU b/c AU and tsun are whiny little babies who wanted to blame the cowbell for losses they incurred in the past.

What's SAD is the way tsun sings Dixie, yells the South will rise again and has klan rallies on campus.

I hate this happened to the young man, but remember that cowbells don't injure people---- people injure people.


Article Comment Dave commented at 12/4/2009 3:13:00 PM:

Starkpatch, You displayed your own ignorance re what happened at Ole Miss. Ole Miss didn't have a "Klan Rally." The Klan, no matter how ignorance and disgusting they are (hopefully we can at least agree on that), still have a legal right to protest. In fact, that is why they were there - not to support Ole Miss, but to protest Ole Miss. Then again, you're just another Ole Miss hater from "The School Beneath Us."


Article Comment JC commented at 12/4/2009 3:26:00 PM:

The noise the cowbells make isn't artificial. I've heard it myself; it's a real cowbell noise.


Article Comment Heather commented at 12/4/2009 4:56:00 PM:

So "colonel reb" and flag sticks are banned as well correct? Then why do I see them at games just as often (if not more) than cowbells? Who are you kidding old miss?


Article Comment bear commented at 12/4/2009 7:59:00 PM:

I think it's time for the cow college to give up the cow bells. Colonel Reb never gave anybody a concussion. As for music in Bryant-Denny, the Barners are jealous that they spent all their allowance on a 50 ft television in that jr. high "stadium" of theirs, and now they can't afford a PA. Congrats to the puppies, though. Y'all got the egg (lol), Ole Sissy got the Cotton Bowl.
On a side note, when you Barners visit that shrine of football excellence in Tuscaloosa please wipe the cow dung off your shoes before entering. Your cowbells will be confiscated, and if you do manage to sneak one in hope you have bail money.


Article Comment cowbellmel commented at 12/4/2009 11:35:00 PM:

Dave: the klan held a rally because of a cheer fans of your school chose to perpetuate.
bear: Colonel reb may have never caused a concussion, but the flying whiskey bottles sure have. Also, get your talking in now, you won't be able to in a couple of years.


Article Comment KG commented at 12/5/2009 5:22:00 AM:

I think it's sad that someone from the great Mississippi State University would pull such an awful and pathetic stunt. What doesn't make it better is the petty bickering I see on the thread that follows a serious story. This is a fun rivalry. When people get hurt, it goes beyond your petty arguments about football. I'm one of the biggest State football fans there is, but the guy that hit someone over the head with a cowbell should be punished, I hope the victim is alright, and all of you should check your ego at the door and grow the hell up.


Article Comment MO commented at 12/5/2009 3:09:00 PM:

I married into MSU and have relatives in both schools. What disappoints me is the fan behavior overall. We watched fans call the police on opposing fans for stupid reasons. Adults embarrass themselves in front of kids. For once, I'd like to just be able to watch the game, cheer for a team and be with people who are tolerant of others, regardless of their school colors. Ring the bells or play Dixie...I don't care...just behave at the level expected of a mature adult and that goes for this blog, as well.


Article Comment Dinky commented at 12/6/2009 3:12:00 PM:

My wife, three daughters, and I have attended one football game in Starkville. I have refused to go back because of the cowbells. My youngest daughter was covering her ears with her hands because of the cowbells. If MSU campus police would enforce the SEC rules it would be better for all fans. Now someone is hurt and they don't even know who did it. All SEC rules need to be enforced at all SEC games!!!


Article Comment Ron commented at 12/7/2009 2:50:00 PM:

I saw some Ole Miss fans pulling on a flask when they panned the cameras in the stands. It's really no better than a cowbell. But it WAS in the visitors section, where the fingers outnumbered the teeth.


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