MSU’s Rick Ray apologizes for outburst on Saturday

MSU basketball coach Rick Ray said he "responded inappropriately" to Ole Miss player Marshall Henderson. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

MSU basketball coach Rick Ray said he “responded inappropriately” to Ole Miss player Marshall Henderson. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

Controversy and Marshall Henderson have seemingly gone hand-in-hand since the guard arrived at Ole Miss last season.

But this time, he’s the one getting an apology – from Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray.

After the buzzer of the Rebels’ 83-62 victory in Oxford on Saturday, Henderson strutted off the court to a roaring ovation from the home crowd to celebrate with his teammates.

Henderson’s path took him right past Ray, who had a few choice – and apparently profane – words for the Ole Miss senior. The incident was captured and aired live on SEC-TV.

The situation went viral after Saturday’s game, and on Sunday afternoon the Bulldogs coach took to social media to accept responsibility. Ray issued a statement on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Taking blame

“I responded inappropriately to an Ole Miss player yesterday in our game,” Ray wrote. “I reached out to coach (Andy) Kennedy immediately to apologize and subsequently to the player too.

“There is no reason for a coach to ever have interaction with an opposing player, ever, regardless of the circumstances. I was more upset at our performance than the player, I was totally at fault.”

Henderson did not play in the first meeting between the two programs earlier this month in Starkville while concluding a three-game suspension levied during the summer for a violation of team rules. MSU won that game 76-72, but Henderson’s 19 points against the Bulldogs on Saturday were a major factor in a 19-point Ole Miss win.

Asked by the Daily Journal if he had a comment on Sunday, Kennedy texted: “No. Thanks.”

Ray is expected to address the situation further at his weekly press conference this afternoon. Both he and Kennedy may also face questions about the incident during today’s SEC teleconference, which is limited to media members.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com