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  1. #1
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    Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    http://http://collegebaseball.rivals...asp?CID=815403

    JACKSON, Miss. - Former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk blasted the school's new athletic director Friday as "utterly cruel" for hiring Kentucky's John Cohen and vowed to remove his name from the stadium and the school from his will.

    Polk campaigned for assistant coach Tommy Raffo, a former player who was college teammates with Cohen, since he announced his retirement in March. The outspoken 64-year-old said he warned athletic director Greg Byrne of the consequences if he did not promote Raffo.
    Associated PressRon Polk vowed to remove his name from Mississippi State's stadium."Now he's got me on the war path and all I can do is hurt him," Polk said of Byrne in a phone interview with The Associated Press from Athens, Ga., where he is watching Georgia play North Carolina State in an NCAA super regional. "I'm going to do everything I can to make his life miserable."
    The 41-year-old Cohen will be introduced Saturday at news conferences in Starkville and Jackson. He resigned from his job at Kentucky on Friday morning. Wildcats athletic director Mitch Barnhart immediately promoted associate head coach Gary Henderson.

    Byrne won't replace Larry Templeton until July. But interim president Vance Watson charged Byrne with hiring a new baseball coach since he would have to live with the decision far longer than Templeton.
    Byrne, 36, is the son of Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne. He was the associate athletic director for external affairs at Mississippi State for two years before being promoted by president Robert Foglesong.

    After Foglesong abruptly resigned this spring, many speculated there would be a power struggle between supporters of Byrne and Templeton, whose 20-year tenure as athletic director ended when Foglesong forced him out. But Byrne's hiring had already been approved by the state's College Board and he will take over the department in July.
    Cohen and Byrne are familiar with each other from their days together at Florida where Cohen was an assistant coach. Byrne was traveling home from Lexington, Ky., on Friday and a spokesman said he would not be available for comment. Cohen did not return messages left on his cell phone.

    Polk, 64, said he was disappointed that Cohen went against his wishes, but put the blame on Byrne.
    "Now our new athletic director throws me under the bus, slaps me in the face, punches me in the stomach," Polk "Technically, he did the same thing with Tommy Raffo ? and all our coaches, all our signees, returning players and their parents who wanted Tommy all the way."

    In addition to taking his name off the stadium, Polk said he will personally take down the banners that display his name and number. He also will use his influence to scuttle a number of support programs, such as the foster parent program and the Dugout Club.

    And he's taking Mississippi State athletics out of his will.

    "That's coming out," Polk said. "I'm going to go up to Tupelo and design the first 'Until Greg Byrne is Gone' clause."

    If Byrne resigns or is fired at some point, Polk said the school is welcome to return his name to the stadium and can expect his support again. Polk has told Cohen he won't have his support until then. He believes Cohen will eventually build a winner, but it will take longer with no smooth transition.

    "The only reason why I'm supporting Tommy is John's got a job," Polk said. "He's got a job. Tommy doesn't got a job. John got a break."


    Last edited by cybsball20; 06-10-2008 at 09:25 AM.

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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    What the....?



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    I think coach Polk pretty much earned the right to name his successor... This is not going to end well for anyone involved...



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    I think coach Polk pretty much earned the right to name his successor... This is not going to end well for anyone involved...

    When has a "named" successor ever really worked?



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    I know basically nothing about Polk or Miss St. baseball.

    From an outsider view, it looks like an angry old man throwing a 2-year old tantrum. While I don't dispute the fact Polk may have earned the right to name his successor - he's certainly helping no one by going about it this way.

    Does he no longer care for the kids he recruited and coached simply because someone he didn't tap on the shoulder is going to succeed him?



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Good for Polk, I hope he sticks to it.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by becrisgreg View Post
    When has a "named" successor ever really worked?

    see Drake University Basketball...2007-2008.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by becrisgreg View Post
    When has a "named" successor ever really worked?
    I wonder if Byrne received some advise from his dad. He felt trapped into going along with Osborne's decision to promote Solich when TO stepped down. Byrne would have preferred to conduct a national search, but didn't have the opportunity to do so.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by cybsball20 View Post
    I think coach Polk pretty much earned the right to name his successor... This is not going to end well for anyone involved...
    Will Polk take the heat if the guy he names as coach has problems, or turns out to be a failure and harms the program?


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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    I actually got to know coach Polk a bit through my recruitment, he is definately old school. I think he feels that this 'new guy' came in and completely dismissed the legends wishes. The two candidates, Raffo and Cohen have pretty similar resumes, except Cohen has a little more head coaching expereince and a prior relationship with the new AD. Raffo chose to stay at MSU rather than jump around job to job trying to move up the ladder that way, a move that Polk surely appreciated... It will be interesting to see if Cohen can mend this being that he IS a former Bulldog.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    That's what I don't understand from reading this. They AD hired an alum, it's not like he went out and hired some complete outsider.

    I can understand Polk's frustration - I just don't see the need to cause complete chaos for the program.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by becrisgreg View Post
    When has a "named" successor ever really worked?
    Tom Izzo.


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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    I'm glad Johnny Orr didn't react this way.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    As anyone who has ever been to Old Country Buffet can attest, people in their 60s are vengeful. Especially when you take the last of the fried chicken.



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    Re: Retired Miss St. Coach Takes His Name Off the Stadium Named for Him.

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    As anyone who has ever been to Old Country Buffet can attest, people in their 60s are vengeful. Especially when you take the last of the fried chicken.
    That is the funniest thing I have heard today... and a nice mood lightener.



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