By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
Vanderbilt men’s coach Kevin Stallings apologized Monday for accusing Mississippi State of trying to deliberately step on the foot of an injured Vandy player in Friday’s SEC tournament game.
“I simply misunderstood what my player told me about an incident that happened in the SE Tournament,” Stallings said in the statement. “I have apologized to coach Stansbury.”
In Monday’s Tennessean newspaper, Stallings accused an unnamed MSU coach of telling a Bulldogs player to step on the injured foot of Vandy’s leading scorer, guard John Jenkins.
Stallings’ quote, in part: “I thought that was very interesting that his coach was telling him, ‘Step on his foot! Step on his foot!’”
Jenkins, who had missed the Commodores’ opening-round victory against LSU, played 34 minutes in Friday;’s 87-81 win over MSU and scored a game-high 29 points.
On Twitter, MSU men’s basketball media contact Gregg Ellis noted that, “For the record, Rick Stansbury didn’t order his players to hurt any Vandy players.”
Stallings made more news Monday as he was the only one of 68 NCAA tournament coaches who did not participate in a five-hour ESPNU coaches show.