MSU billboard upsets Ole Miss fans

By The Associated Press

OXFORD — Mississippi State says it recruits athletes from far and wide.

In Oxford, University of Mississippi fans aren’t happy.

WTVA-TV reports that an MSU billboard sits on a busy street in Oxford near the Ole Miss campus. It shows MSU football players holding up the Egg Bowl trophy next to the words “Play with the best.”

Rebel fans say they feel MSU is rubbing in last year’s win.

MSU officials said the billboard is only about recruitment.

“We do billboards for different reasons. In this particular instance this board is placed strategically to try to attract student athletes to our campus. We’ve done similar billboards elsewhere in the past,” said Mike Nemeth, senior associate athletic director at MSU.

Michael Thompson, the senior associate athletic director at Ole Miss, said he was not surprised at all about the billboard.

“They (MSU) have an audience they want to reach and they are going to buy certain media that reach that audience and in certain markets that they want to target. It’s not any different than what we are doing. We target markets that we see as great opportunity markets for the message we want to send,” said Thompson.

Knowing this still doesn’t sit well with Harrison Edwards. He said some lines you just don’t cross.

“You know I don’t see any Ole Miss stuff down in Starkville. I think it’s more of a respect thing,” said Edwards.

MSU officials said the billboard went up Jan. 1 and will remain until the end of the month.