MSU AD reacts to NCAA, SEC calling for Mississippi to change state flag: 'I think it is time for change'
Mississippi State has yet to officially respond to Kylin Hill’s comments regarding a potential boycott of the upcoming college football season if the state flag isn’t changed but the program’s athletic director continues to issue his support when it comes to his desire to see his state change its state flag.
Hill’s comments came after the SEC and NCAA both announced they have extended their bans on holding championship events in any state that flies the Confederate flag — a decision that would only affect the state of Mississippi.
During a recent appearance on Mississippi-based radio show “Out of Bounds” hosted by Bo Bounds, John Cohen was asked to share his reaction to the strong stances from the SEC and the NCAA.
“The first thing is I’m really disappointed that our kids and our coaches could be held responsible for something that they had nothing to do with,” Cohen said. “That’s issue No. 1. But, issue No. 2, which is a little different than issue No. 1, is that I agree. I think it’s time for change. Our [school] president Mark Keenum has made his voice clear on that… I can’t speak for all the people in the state of Mississippi nor would I.
“But I think it is time for a change. We represent Mississippi State University. There are so many facets of what we do at this university: we recruit personnel, we recruit student-athletes and I think it’s just the time for a change. And even though I don’t want our players and staff to get hurt by this ruling by the NCAA or the SEC — I understand it.”
Cohen was then asked if he saw these decisions coming and if he had previously addressed the possibility of these rulings with his coaches.
“Well, we’ve had discussions with our coaches for a variety of reasons,” Cohen answered. “We just wanted to make sure that our kids, even though potentially – and I’m saying potentially, because I still think there’s a chance that, you know, and I’m just going to say this, I still believe there’s a chance that we’re all going to do what’s right, which is remove the flag and change the flag.
“But you know, the issue I have with the kids is, we have to take care of our kids. And I’m just gonna be honest, I feel like our softball team, I feel like our soccer team, our baseball team, our women’s basketball team. They all have, they’re going to be really good next year, and they all have a chance to host NCAA regionals and our tennis team hosted 2 rounds, just 2 years ago, they’re ranked in the top 5 in the country. I just, I don’t want to see that happen. When you are hosting an event, it’s because you have earned it. I just would hate it. If that got taken away from our kids and our staff.”
Cohen and Mississippi State are currently in a tough spot. They are calling for the state flag to be changed but until it is, the athletes at Ole Miss and Mississippi State will be the ones paying the price for the state’s lack of action when it comes to the flag.
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