Wes Slay, a former Mississippi State football graduate assistant coach, was quoted in The Clarion-Ledger today in regard to the NCAA investigation of Mississippi State. I talked with Wes earlier this afternoon."> Wes Slay, a former Mississippi State football graduate assistant coach, was quoted in The Clarion-Ledger today in regard to the NCAA investigation of Mississippi State. I talked with Wes earlier this afternoon.">

Wes Slay Dispels the Rumors

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/football/wslay.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="163"> Wes Slay, a former Mississippi State football graduate assistant coach, was quoted in The Clarion-Ledger today in regard to the NCAA investigation of Mississippi State. I talked with Wes earlier this afternoon.

Wes, talk a little about the NCAA investigation that is currently going on at Mississippi State and your involvement.
"The thing that hurts me is a few MSU fans have expressed the opinion that I am to blame for all this. That really hurts. That is simply not the case. First off, I never contacted the NCAA. They contacted me. I was more than willing to talk with them because I had nothing to hid. As far as I know, Mississippi State has not done anything wrong other than a few secondary-type violations, all of which we self-reported. All of the things were extremely minor. It really hurts that I have heard rumors that I turned us in. That really hurts me because I truly care about the university and care about everybody at that university. I wouldn't do anything like that."

You worked in the MSU football office the past few years. Are you worried at all about this NCAA investigation?
"Folks at Mississippi State, as far as I'm concerned, have nothing to be worried about. There was nothing to hide. As far as I know, we did nothing wrong. The folks throwing the mud are the ones with dirt on their hands. As I said before, it is mostly an issue of sour grapes. And that is all I believe it is."

Do you want to comment on who interviewed you and what he asked?
"I would prefer to keep that to myself and the NCAA investigator. It was different questions. I will say that some of the allegations made by the NCAA investigators were so much of a stretch that they were almost humorous."

Without going into what they asked, do you feel they really have something on State or are fishing for things?
"Obviously, they had some knowledge of some minor, secondary violations of which we self-reported. That was obvious."

Were other universities asked about in the questions you were asked by the NCAA investigator?
"Universities other than Mississippi State were included in the questions asked by the investigator."

Do you feel like this is almost a campaign to divide MSU fans?
"Certainly, Gene, this is certainly something to divide MSU and they have been very successful I would say. What was Mississippi State's record against Ole Miss prior to the arrival of Jackie Sherrill?"

Very poor.
"What is it since he has been there?"

Obviously, very good.
"I believe it is 7-4 against Ole Miss. That is pretty much domination I would say."

Did you leave Mississippi State with any hard feelings?
"It was tough because I fully expected to be at Mississippi State. That was not the way it turned out. It is a rough business and that was part of it. The memories I have from Mississippi State will last a lifetime and I will carry them with me to my grave. I can honestly say they are 95% positive. I only hope that I get to relive them in the near future. Hopefully, when I work my way up to that level, I get to stay there a little longer next time. Until then, any of those Mississippi State fans who want to are definitely welcome to come to any Friday night football game here at Raymond High School and ring those bells. Gene, tell them that artificial noisemakers are encouraged at Raymond High School football games. Tell them I have one in my office and I refused to paint it blue. It is still maroon. We are blue and gold here, but if they wear maroon, we know they are cheering for us."

Yeah, you wound up at Raymond High School as the head football coach at 26 years of age. I guess you are very excited about that.
"I have the chance of a lifetime. I am at a young school that is up and coming. It is a great place. I have great kids here; kids who want to work, who want to win and who want to be successful. It is a great situation. Everybody has been 100% supportive. It is very reminiscent of my first year at Mississippi State and the period after coach (David) Wilson left (to take the job at Georgia Tech). Everybody was so supportive."

Thanks for taking my phone call, Wes.
"Thank you, Gene."


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

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