[Premium site interview. Portions of this interview are in the Football Skuttle-Butt section]<BR> MSU AD Larry Templeton talked to Gene's Page about the security for the Thursday night MSU-USC game, the MSU cowbell policy, the upper deck completion time-frame, indoor facility and baseball addition fundings, new sound system in the Hump and a couple of other things.

With the upcoming MSU-USC game this Thursday night being the first college game since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., what security measures are in place?
Larry Templeton: "Our fans and supporters can feel comfortable that they are coming to a secure facility. They need to come early and they need to be patient with us. We have several law enforcement groups involved. We are not allowing any vehicles to be parked within 50 yards of the stadium. And that means we are going to have to move back some parking lots. It means we are going to move some RVs. It means we are not going to have use of the scoreboard parking lot. We are not allowing any back packs, large bags or any thing other than ladies purses brought into the stadium. No artificial noisemakers will be allowed through the gates. Officials are going to enforce that policy very stringently. Law enforcement officials are going to be at the gates and they have a job to do. I can promise you that law enforcement officials are on a high alert. We have additional law enforcement officials that will be in our stadium who have never been in our stadium before. There will be some outside the stadium and inside the stadium. There will even be undercover law enforcement officials in the stadium. I am not going to discuss the procedures. When people go into that stadium, we are going to make sure, to the best of our ability, that our facility is safe and secure.

"We want people to have fun. We are going to pass out (30,000) American flags. We need everybody to be in their seats by 6:30 p.m. because the pre-game show, the entire seven minute tribute, will be televised live on ESPN. [The show will include both teams, along with the ROTC, unraveling the big American flag MSU uses for its yearly patriotic show.]

"The SEC conference and each of the 12 institutions committed $1,000,000 to the disaster relief fund. We have arranged with the American Red Cross and the fire departments of West Point, Columbus and Starkville to collect donations from our fans inside the stadium after they enter the gates. Do not donate any money to anyone unless they are in a Red Cross or fireman's uniform. If they aren't in one of those uniforms, they are not soliciting on our behalf."

Will there be metal detectors at the gates?
Larry Templeton: "I am not going to say where the metal detectors will be."

You mentioned in The Clarion-Ledger that it would be about 24 hours before you would know if the BYU game would be made up on December 1st. Has that been decided?
Larry Templeton: "They have Hawaii on December 1st. They are doing everything they can to make it happen. We just have to give them a little time. It wasn't until (Monday) at noon that we could tell them we could play on December 1st. We have had some conversations with some other schools to see what our options are, but we are hopeful Brigham Young will be able to work it out."

You have a policy in place that no artificial noisemakers will be allowed into any game at MSU. That includes cowbells. While it is a policy, many cowbells still get through the gates.
Larry Templeton: "That is our policy and one we try to enforce to the best of our ability. We have not gone to the procedure of searching anybody. If the security people see them, they have been instructed to tell them to go put them up. We have not asked our security people to search people but Thursday night is a very different situation."

How are football skybox and club level sales going?
Larry Templeton: "All of the skyboxes have been sold. In fact, I believe we have a waiting list of two or three people wanting a skybox. We have about 400 club level seats left. Sales were really heavy the four or five days after the (Memphis) game. Everything has kind of slowed down the last seven or eight days, however, we are still selling a few and hope to continue selling them. Once they have all been sold, people will be out of luck."

There has been talk that Mississippi State football will play a Pac-10 team for the 12th game next year. Will you say who it will be?
Larry Templeton: "There has been speculation about who it might be and that's fine. I can't say right now who it might be. If we complete the package, it will be a home and home type deal for the years 2002 and 2003. We will go to their place in 2002 and they will come to our place in 2003."

How is the football upper deck work going? Are you still hopeful that it will be open for the Ole Miss game?
Larry Templeton: "Actually, we are ahead of schedule but it will be November 1st before we will have use of it. It will be ready for the Ole Miss game. In time, we will announce the ticket procedure for selling tickets to the upper deck."

Are you closer to finding the funding for the new indoor facility?
Larry Templeton: "We are working on it but it takes time to find the necessary funding. We are talking to several potential donors."

Once you do find the funding, how long will it take to complete the facility?
Larry Templeton: "About a year, depending on the time of the year that we start it."

Tell me a little about the new sound system in Humphrey Coliseum?
Larry Templeton: "We have installed a new sound system but I haven't been in there to hear it so I can't say how it sounds." [I have heard it and it sounds much better than it has ever sounded in the Hump.]

How is the funding going with the new additions to the MSU baseball facility?
Larry Templeton: "We have one major donor but need more."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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