MSU asks league to extend Cowbell Compromise

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

All has been quiet on the cowbell front, which should be good news for Mississippi State.
The Cowbell Compromise, reached two years ago, will again be on the table this week when the SEC’s presidents and athletics directors hold their annual meetings in Destin, Fla., starting today. The league’s artificial noisemaker policy, revised two years ago to allow the ringing of cowbells in MSU’s Davis Wade Stadium, has been handled on a yearly renewal basis.
“We put the same proposal back in,” MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said Sunday. “I haven’t gotten really much feedback at all from the conference office or the other schools. I assume that means it’s not an issue, but we’ll just have to see.”
After incurring $30,000 in fines for violating the noisemaker policy twice during the 2010 season, State was not cited for the 2011 campaign. That speaks well to the school’s educational process on when to ring, and to the fans’ willingness to comply.
What Stricklin hopes to see is for the compromise become a more long-term policy.
“The last year-and-a-half, our fans have bought in,” he said. “We’ve just got to continue to do that for two reasons: So we can continue to make a case to keep this policy, and also to prevent any fines from coming our way.”
Schedule talk
Among the major topics on the table this week will be football and basketball scheduling, as well as the SEC Basketball Tournament format. With Missouri and Texas Aamp&M joining the league this summer, some challenges remain.
The SEC is expected to fully adopt the 6-1-1 scheduling plan for football, which means each team will play six division games, have one permanent cross-divisional opponent, and then play another cross-divisional foe on a rotating basis.
Also, an 18-game league schedule for basketball is expected to be adopted.
Stricklin expects the four-team national football playoff to be discussed. He has his own opinion on how that should look but is keeping that to himself.
“It’s got a chance to be a great situation for college football,” Stricklin said. “I think you can do it in a way that also protects the bowls.”
brad.locke@journalinc.com