Two Former Bulldogs Support Claims Against Cohen

Forrest Moore is not alone in his claims that Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen violated NCAA rules during the 2008-09 school year.

On Tuesday, I reviewed sworn affidavits given by former Bulldogs Mark Goforth and Ryan Powers, who played with Moore and support many of the contentions the pitcher makes in his lawsuit against Cohen. Moore said the coach required players to practice well beyond the time limits set forth by the NCAA, and that players were not allowed to fill out or review their practice time sheets.

Goforth and Powers affirmed both of those allegations. In his affidavit, Goforth states, “I and to my knowledge other members of the baseball team were required to sign blank time forms which, I understood, were later completed by the coaches.”

Powers said that on “most occasions” Cohen didn’t allow players to fill out or review the time sheets. Powers said he would sometimes mark through his name to indicate he didn’t agree with the times logged.

Goforth and Powers both say that players were required to practice anywhere from five to seven hours a day and 40-45 hours a week during the fall of 2008, and they say that practice continued into the spring of 2009 – to a slightly lesser degree because of the season. Both players, who finished their MSU careers in 2009, said the Bulldogs practiced and worked out seven days a week.

I spoke with Goforth on Tuesday, and he said the practice schedule negatively affected his schoolwork. (Goforth graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.)

Powers also said that in the fall of 2008, Cohen handed out documents that indicated each player had “some sort of injury,” and he told them that by signing it they would be allowed an extra hour of practice time (rehab time).

• Powers also said he suffered a broken wrist during the 2009 season, and that it was “incorrectly diagnosed” by team doctor Rusty Linton, who Moore has said did not correctly diagnose his arm injury. Powers also said he was told by Cohen that his scholarship allotment would be cut for the 2009-10 school year, so Powers transferred to Saint Leo (Fla.). University.

In his lawsuit, Moore says Cohen took away his scholarship after intentionally injuring his arm, giving Moore only the option of permanent medical status.

• Goforth said he believes Moore “100 percent” and could tell he was pitching in pain in 2009. I’ll have more from Goforth in a story in Saturday’s Journal.

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