Croom Signs Contract; IPF a go

During Wednesday's preseason media conference, Coach Sylvester Croom confirmed that he is now, contractually, the Mississippi State head coach.

Croom, presented as the new Bulldog boss in December of 2003, said he had inked his pact with the University on Tuesday, August 10. He provided no details as to length, salary, or incentives. This information should be available as public record eventually under state of Mississippi employment guidelines.

Croom downplayed any significance to the fact that he had been on the job eight months without the security of a signed contract. "I have made a total commitment to the program," Croom said, "and they have made a total commmitment to me."

As an example of that level of commitment from Mississippi State's administration, Croom also confirmed reports that design plans for the pending baseball practice facility have been expanded, at the suggestion of athletics director Larry Templeton, so that football will also be able to conduct full-field practices in the same building if necessary. Though Croom could not give exact specifications, he did note "It will be 110 yards long!"

The Rafael Palmeiro Center, as the facility is tentatively dubbed, should be officially announced as soon as next week, according to Templeton. It will ultimately house baseball coaching offices, meeting rooms, and a recruiting center, as well as the indoor practice field. The latter is the part being expanded to allow an entire football team to utilize the surface in a pinch.

It will still be located behind the third base grandstand of Dudy Noble Field. Groundwork for the facility has essentially been completed already.

David Murray is the editor of Dawgs' Bite magazine and the featured writer for the Dawgs Bite, Powered by website. You can contact him by email at

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