Mississippi State Coach Rick Ray Apologizes for Cursing at Marshall Henderson

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

USA Today

A day after Mississippi State coach Rick Ray lost his cool toward the end of his team's game against Ole Miss, he publicly apologized to everyone he hurt in the process.   

The incident occurred in the closing seconds of a disappointing 19-point loss for the Bulldogs against their in-state rivals. As the Ole Miss players left the court, ESPN cameras caught the Mississippi State coach cursing directly at guard Marshall Henderson:

Image via Sporting News

Ray responded the next day with this message on his Instagram account apologizing for his actions:

On Monday, Jan. 27, Michael Bonner of ClarionLedger.com reported Ray would not be penalized by the SEC for his actions:

The Southeastern Conference will not discipline Mississippi State coach Rick Ray following his actions at the end of Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, the league office told the Clarion-Ledger on Monday.

Ray spoke with SEC commissioner Mike Slive on Monday morning regarding the head coach using profanity towards an Ole Miss player. Slive was satisfied with the way Ray handled the matter, including his apology via social media on Sunday.

Tim Sullivan of courier-journal.com wonders how more coaches aren't provoked by Marshall's explosive personality: 

The coach was clearly upset at the results of the game while watching Henderson score 19 points in a winning effort. Then again, the guard has made a habit of frustrating opposing coaches, players and fans throughout his career.

One of his most notable actions was after an upset of Florida in last season's SEC tournament. Henderson taunted the crowd with the school's own "gator chomp."

He has caused enemies across the country for various other incidents, although it is also important to note that he has been quite successful on the court. He is currently scoring 18.7 points per game to rank fifth in the SEC just one year after leading the conference in scoring at 20.1 points per game.

Still, there is little excuse for Ray to react the way he did. The second-year head coach could only manage a 10-22 record in his first year with the program, but he has since turned things around with a 13-6 start to this season.

The Bulldogs also earned a key victory over Ole Miss at home earlier in the year.

While this is a positive turn for the SEC program, he cannot afford much more negative press like this situation.  


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