January 27, 2014 10:29:29 AM
Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray issued an apology Sunday afternoon for his interaction with Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson near the end of his team's 82-63 loss at Tad Smith Coliseum.
As Henderson left the game to a standing ovation, Ray was seen shouting what appeared to be an expletive at the Rebels' leading scorer. Henderson scored a team-high 19 points in the victory. Ray issued an apology on Twitter via his Instragram account. The video of the incident was on the website Deadspin.com late Saturday night. It isn't apparent what Henderson says to Ray when he turns back to the MSU bench.
Ray didn't mention Henderson by name in the apology. "I responded inappropriately to an Ole Miss player yesterday in our game," Ray wrote. "I reached out to (Ole Miss) coach (Andy) Kennedy immediately to apologize and subsequently to the player, too."
Henderson missed MSU's 76-72 victory against Ole Miss on Jan. 11 in Starkville due to a university mandated suspension. The senior guard, who has been involved in numerous incidents at Ole Miss, appeared to say something to Ray as he left the court, but the video doesn't show Henderson's response.
"There is no reason for a coach to ever have interaction with an opposing player, ever, regardless of the circumstances," Ray wrote. "I was more upset with our performance than the player. I was totally at fault."
Before graduating from high school, Henderson was placed on probation for trying to purchase $800 worth of marijuana with counterfeit money. Following that incident, while still on probation, he tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine. This, combined with his failure to perform community service, forced Henderson to serve 25 days in jail in the spring of 2012 at Tarrant County Jail in Texas.
Last summer, Henderson was caught in possession of marijuana and cocaine, which resulted in his suspension. On the court, Henderson was booed off the floor at Auburn, did the Gator chop cheer in the 2013 SEC tournament final against Florida, and flipped off the crowd at the end of a 76-74 loss to La Salle in the NCAA tournament.
Ray, who has yet to receive a technical foul as a head coach, also hasn't been publicly admonished or punished by the Southeastern Conference since taking over at MSU in April 2012.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.
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