March 15, 2011 8:29:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Vanderbilt University men''s basketball coach Kevin Stallings apologized Monday for critical comments he made about Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury.
Stallings alleged in a report in The Tennessean that Stansbury instructed his players to intentionally step on the inured foot of Commodores'' guard John Jenkins during their game in the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday.
Jenkins scored 29 points in Vanderbilt''s 87-81 win.
"I simply misunderstood what my player told me about an incident that happened in the SEC tournament," Stallings said in an apology released by MSU. "I have apologized to coach Stansbury, and I want to publicly apologize to the Mississippi State athletic department for the misunderstanding and for saying something that was erroneous."
Jenkins sat out the previous tournament game with a turf toe injury.
Stansbury was out of the office recruiting Monday and wasn''t aware of Stallings comments, according to a statement released by MSU. The coaches spoke later in the afternoon and discussed the incident. Stansbury has no comment on the issue.
Said Stallings in The Tennessean article, "We actually had an incident in the tournament of a player intentionally stepping on it, and being told to by his coach. I thought that was very interesting that his coach was telling him, ''Step on his foot! Step on his foot!'' "