the media and journalists can't be trusted to stay classy these days...except for Mr. SEC, of course ;-)
First-year Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray has been through the wringer this season. His team endured a 13-game losing streak before finishing the season with two wins in three games. The Bulldogs were 9-21 overall and 4-14 in SEC play. Ray inherited a paper thin roster and his own no-nonsense approach further whittled away at his bench as he handed down a pair of suspensions midseason.
The man lived through as much of a nightmare season as a coach can face, yet — with a win over Auburn on Saturday — he still managed to guide his team out of the Southeastern Conference basement. You take victories where you can find them after a miserable regular season and that’s just what Ray did with an early-morning tweet yesterday:
Now, it’s probably not the best idea for a college coach to post something like that. Even if ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan did say his team was the worst in SEC history earlier this season. By tweeting about it, Ray was literally asking for a response.
Naturally, he got one. But not from Brennan or from a fan. Instead it came from Memphis Commercial-Appeal sportswriter Ron Higgins:
You can guess what happened next. Yep, MSU fans lit into Higgins who responded with another roundhouse kick to Ray’s chops:
Wisely, Ray ended the back-and-forth:
Now why Higgins chose to jump Ray’s case is anyone’s guess. Did Ray nix a scheduled interview? Did he cut Higgins off while driving? Or is Higgins just a pal of ESPN’s Brennan?
Whatever the reason, this little back-and-forth between a coach and a sportswriter on Twitter is unusual in the SEC. Especially considering the fact that Higgins writes a “Traditions” column for the league’s official website, SECSports.com.