Augustus Serves Two-Game Penalty For Outburst

Kodi Augustus still doesn't downplay the frustrations. But he does very much regret his reactions—make that overreactions—following Mississippi State's season-opening defeat. "It's over and it will never happen again," the junior forward said about his post-game outburst. "I need to grow up and it will never happen again."

Still as Coach Rick Stansbury said, a penalty needs paying for the sort of comments Augustus made to media after the Bulldogs were upset by Rider Friday night at Humphrey Coliseum. The defeat cost then-#18 Mississippi State it's ranking; Augustus' statements will cost him a couple of contests, Stansbury said today. "He will not play for two games. He's suspended, among other things." Things the coach declined to identify. "That's in-house. That's all you guys need to understand."

At Tuesday's hurriedly-called press conference, Augustus went to great lengths to make everyone understand his emotional outburst, where he clearly questioned his playing time, State's defensive approach, and both substitution and lineup adjustments through the game. Among his more volatile statements that night was "I didn't even play, I couldn't even get into a groove. I mean, I get subbed, every time I look over my shoulder I'm coming out of the game. It's crazy."

Augustus, the starting big forward, had nine points and five rebounds in his official 15 minutes (there were stat-system issues during the game) against the Broncos, as well as four fouls which Stansbury said did factor into the total time on court.

The emotions did not justify to the coach what his player said, though Stansbury did give Augustus credit for his pre-season work to re-earn a place in the starting lineup. "He's done well this fall. We've had no problem with him at all. He out of frustration said some things, and when you do things in life there's accountability for it."

And as Stansbury added, "He's done well for six months, (but) it doesn't take but thirty seconds to tear down what you've built."

"I was frustrated and mad," said Augustus, who Stansbury allowed to talk to media with no coaches present—both as a show of faith in his sincerity as well as a test of the same. "Since I've been here we've never lost our season-opener. Some comments, I shouldn't have made. Immature comments. Like I said, I was frustrated. I wish I could have been out there more."

Augustus didn't meet alone with Stansbury until after Saturday's 11:00am film meeting. Following that he addressed the squad. "I apologized to the team, told them I was very sorry and very remorseful and it was immature. And I wanted to be out there to help them," Augustus said. "A lot of my teammates supported me, they understand. Because we all were mad and frustrated about the loss. But they understand and they support me fully."

In turn Augustus will do what he can, under the temporary suspension, to support his active teammates as they play Southeastern Louisiana (Thursday) and Bethune-Cookman (Saturday). "I told them I'll be cheering them on, I'll be their biggest fan." Though he did acknowledge the suspension was not his choice, "It's fair."

"I think he's remorseful," Stansbury said. "What was said was what was said. Kodi will be the one to repair those damages." Judging by a teammate's comments, there does not seem to be much serious damage done to Augustus' standing with the squad.

"It's done," senior center Jarvis Varnado said. "He was wrong by doing that, you can't do that no matter how frustrated you are. He apologized and we forgave him for it, and move on to the next game."


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