MSU Bulldog Club Annual Meeting Report

[Premium Article] The 28th Annual Bulldog Club Business Meeting was yesterday in the Bost Center on the campus of Mississippi State University. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 MSU fans showed up for the meeting.

Current Bulldog Club President Bud Thompson presided over the meeting. After beginning the meeting, he introduced Larry Jones, the Bulldog Club Treasurer.

Larry told the crowd that there was an increase of 18% in giving to the Bulldog Club this past year. One key point he noted was that the Bulldog Club generated $605,000 through the season ticket sales application. What he specifically was referring to was the line on the season tickets sale application where you can add the amount you want to give to the Bulldog Club.

Once Larry was through, BC officer Bobby Martin gave a list of the nominations for Bulldog Club officers. All were approved by the Bulldog Club membership.

Bud Thompson then spot again. He proudly announced that Mississippi State did not accept any "tax money from the state" of Mississippi. He also said there are approximately 240 Bulldog Reps.

MSU Athletic Director Larry Templeton then spoke. Points of interest during his discussion.

  • MSU "is committed to keeping the cowbell tradition" and that "there will be no (cowbell) restrictions on non-conference games." He also said that the same stadium security restrictions that were put in place after September 11th of last year would continue to be used. No backpacks, coolers, alcoholic beverages and bags will be allowed in. Purses will be checked.
  • The cowbells sound that was recorded at Fan Day will be played at times as allowed by the rules of the SEC. The rules state that a member institution of the SEC can play a recorded sound during pregame, halftime, postgame and during media and team timeouts. Any violation of this rule will incur a $5,000 fine.
  • Larry fully expects the refs to throw a flag during MSU's first SEC game which will be against Auburn. To avoid handicapping their team, he hopes MSU fans will not cause additional flags to be thrown. If they do, then MSU will receive a 5-yard penalty the second violation and 15-yard penalties each time thereafter. He has explained to the SEC that it is impossible to stop all cowbells from coming into the stadium and, hopefully, they will clarify what number of cowbells ringing in the stands will be subject to a flag being thrown.
  • MSU once again had the highest enrollment of any of the state schools. He didn't mention what the enrollment figure was.
  • MSU Interim President Lee was on a business trip to complete a corporate partnership that will be very important to MSU research.
  • MSU's freshman class has more National Merit Scholars than all of the other universities in the state of Mississippi combined.
  • MSU's freshman class has the highest average ACT score (23.8) of all the universities in Mississippi. MSU's average went from 23.4 last year to 23.8 this year. The average ACT score of the freshmen who entered the College of Engineering was 28.2.
  • The MSU athletic department has half the staff of other universities when compared on a national scale.
  • Greenwood's Charlie Maxwell recently gave MSU women's athletics a $100,000 gift, its first ever gift of $100,000 or more.
  • Long-time MSU athletic department employee Straton Karatassos has been nominated as the new Executive Director of the Bulldog Club.
  • Discussed the NCAA investigation. He said, "(the NCAA) are following up on secondary violations and chasing (rumors)," about MSU and other college/s. He didn't name the other college or colleges. Said the NCAA will be back to interview more athletes. He is hoping that they will be back the first two weeks of September. He prefers that time period and appears to have conveyed that to the NCAA with the hope that they will come back then. He also said that he didn't want to say the number of athletes that would be interviewed, but that it would be less than the original number that were interviewed the first time they came in. He said when they come back in it will be to talk to athletes about their recruitment. He said, "(the NCAA) have not asked to talk to a coach, which is very encouraging." He said he, "is very comfortable with Mississippi State's position based on the information that (he) has."
  • All MSU sports had a combined 2.72 grade point average. The men's sports combined GPA was 2.40, while the women's sports had a 3.17 GPA.
  • New academic requirements are to be implemented next year. Incoming freshman athletes will have to complete 40%, 60% and 80% of their degree requirements after their sophomore, junior and senior seasons respectively. Currently, the rate are 25%, 50% and 75%. The course requirements must be in the student's specific degree program (as opposed to the student's major).
  • This year's athletic budget is projected to be $23 million dollars, an increase of 3 million, but still the lowest in the SEC. The next lowest in the SEC is Ole Miss with $26 million. Tennessee was the highest with $60 million.
  • Of the 23 million, 37% comes from SEC revenue, 26% from Bulldog Club revenue, 21% from ticket sales and 13% from student fees. 3% comes from other sources.
  • Football generates 10+ million of the revenue while men's basketball generates 2.4 million.
  • To show how important the SEC revenue is to MSU, the largest check written by the SEC was to MSU. The amount was 8.4+ million. The next highest was to Alabama for 8.1+ million. The primary reason for MSU receiving the highest dollar amount is because they are willing to play football games on Thursday night.
  • MSU receives $650,000 from the SEC for the SEC Championship Game. It doesn't matter if MSU plays in the game or not, they still receive $650,000. Although I don't remember if he said this or not, I'm assuming each SEC school receives the same amount for that game.
  • Bowl revenues earned MSU $1.3 million last season.
  • Season ticket sales are now at 37,546. He is hopeful it will rise to 38,000 by the beginning of the season.
  • The Bulldog Club, now with 8,506 members, grossed 6.8+ million in revenue last year.
  • The combined home attendance for all MSU sports last year was 492,457.
  • Various structure additions costs: Scott Field turf - $73,500, Soccer lights - $325,000, Indoor baseball facility - $1.6 million, Indoor football facility - $3.5 million, Davis Wade stadium underneath work - $750,000. The donation for the indoor facility is closed to being finalized. Possible donors are being talked to in regard to the indoor football facility. If everything goes right, a donor should be found for the football facility by the end of the football season.
  • MSU very likely could be on television 8 times this season: 4 ESPN, 2 JP, 1 CBS and 1 FOXSports Net. Due to various game situations, the networks televising the games could change.
  • Jack Cristil is beginning his 50th year broadcasting MSU football. He will be honored later in the year.

    Coach Sherrill also spoke. Here are interesting points from his talk:

  • Wide receiver Ray Ray Bivines should be full speed by this Monday.
  • Expects about 19 redshirt and true freshmen to play this season.
  • Cowbells. Said, "they aren't going to take my cowbell. We are sending a message that you are not going to take our cowbells. We will have to adjust how we use them, but we aren't going to let you take our cowbell." He also said that while he could say that, he also understands why Larry Templeton has to take the stand he does since he is the athletic director and has to directly report to the SEC.
  • He expects MSU to carry 3,000 to 5,000 fans to the Oregon game.
  • He said the kicking, is "very, very improved" from last year. John Michael Marlin has become much more consistent. He also said punter "Jared Cook has really developed into a consistent punter."
  • "Marvin Byrdsong is an outstanding player."
  • Newcomers in the secondary that have been impressive in practice are Darren Williams, Kevin Dockery and Brett Morgan.
  • "The two young running backs (Jerious Norwood and Nick Turner) can play."
  • Offensive tackle "Richard Burch will play. He is a good football player. James Redmond (another freshman OT) will play. He is not as developed as Burch, but he will play."
  • "(Brandon Wright) can fly. (Tee Milons) can also run. (We) will see those kids on the field (this season)."
  • "Michael Gholar would be preseason All-SEC and All-American if he had played college football prior to this season."
  • True freshman "Justin Tyler will be our third quarterback because he is ahead of the other (two freshmen quarterbacks)."
  • Running back "Dontae (Walker) moved very well (Friday) night (during MSU's practice)."
  • "(TJ Mawhinny) and (Mario Haggan) will be in the game all the time."
  • "15 true freshmen will travel to Oregon. 14 will play."

    MSU men's basketball coach Rich Stansbury also spoke briefly. Points of interest.

  • "We would have been a good team without Mario (Austin), but he takes us to another level."
  • "With Timmy and Derrick, there aren't two better athletes in the country (in the backcourt)."
  • "(Michael Ignerski) has gained 20 pounds since last season."
  • He expects sophomores Winsome Frazier and Marcus Campbell to be major contributors coming off the bench this season.
  • Although he couldn't talk about the players he has commitments from due to NCAA rules, he is very excited about recruiting.

    MSU women's basketball coach Sharon Fanning spoke. Points of interest.

  • The night before the Tennessee football game, MSU women's basketball host their first-ever preseason NIT game, hosting South Alabama. If they win that game and the attendance is good, MSU will host a second-round game Sunday. She said having a lot of folks at the game will help the team win.
  • She said she hopes MSU fans will come out and watch the MSU team. Winning and having good attendance are directly related.

    New women's softball coach Jay Miller spoke. Points of interest.

  • Larry Templeton pointed the following out about Jay: Former head coach at Missouri where he won two league championships and one tournament championship. Took five of his teams to postseason play and two of those to the College World Series. His wife, a Jackson, Mississippi native, is Executive Director of the National Fast-Pitch Association. Larry considered Jay a significant hire for Mississippi State.
  • Not familiar with his MSU players yet, but has coached several MSU players while the coach of the US National Team.

    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

  • Gene's Page Top Stories