MSU basketball coach Rick Stansbury made history today, but not in a good way. The SEC announced this afternoon that Stansbury had been fined $30,000 for his criticism of officials following the SEC Tournament title game against Kentucky, which MSU lost in overtime, 75-74.
The fine is the largest ever levied against an SEC basketball coach and comes a month after the incident.
At the end of regulation, Kentucky appeared to have committed a lane violation on an intentionally missed free throw attempt by UK’s Eric Bledsoe. The Wildcats wound up with the rebound and scored a game-tying bucket at the buzzer.
“This was a hard pill to swallow because this was not a judgment call,” Stansbury said at the time.
He then told the Lexington Herald-Leader, “I’ve been at this a long time and one thing I’ve learned, at Mississippi State you’re supposed to take it and be quiet. I had a hard time swallowing this pill because so much was at stake and my players were affected. When does the truth matter?”
The league, of course, cited SEC bylaw 10.5.4, which states that coaches, assistant coaches, players, support personnel and others associated with the institution’s athletic programs must refrain from public criticism of officlals.
In the news release, Stansbury said, “It’s obvious I’ve said enough already. So, it is what it is.” Classic.
The discussion here in the Bryan Building is whether Stansbury will pay the fine in dimes, nickels or pennies. I vote for Spanish dubloons.