Football

College football notes: Mississippi St. could be ringing up some hefty fines

Mississippi State fans will be allowed to ring their cowbells only at certain times during games. The fine for the third game in which a violation occurs is $50,000.
Mississippi State fans will be allowed to ring their cowbells only at certain times during games. The fine for the third game in which a violation occurs is $50,000. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violations of Southeastern Conference rules for using cowbells during football games at Mississippi State will draw hefty fines this season. MSU Athletics Director Scott Stricklin told The Clarion-Ledger that fines are $5,000 for the first game in which an offense occurs, $25,000 for the second game and $50,000 for the third.

Stricklin said SEC athletics directors meeting in Orlando, Fla., finalized the fine structure.

Cowbells can be used before a game, at halftime, during timeouts and after scores.

MSU has begun a campaign to educate its fans on when to use them. The campaign includes a Web site and pamphlets.

The fines apply to noisemakers at all schools and regulate when sound can be played through the public address system, too.

The ubiquitous Starkville cowbells had been against SEC rules for the last 36 years, according to the newspaper, but it was decided during league meetings in June to allow them with certain restrictions.

WAC commissioner says 'selfish' schools will pay

Fresno State and Nevada should not expect any parting gifts from the other members of the Western Athletic Conference when the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack leave for the Mountain West.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson said Thursday the schools will have to pay $5 million to his league and wait until 2012 to move after accepting the MWC's invitation and dismantling an agreement the WAC was on the verge of completing with Brigham Young. The Cougars were in line to rejoin the WAC in all sports other than football, in which BYU would have become an independent. Benson called Fresno State and Nevada's decision "selfish."

"In a 12-hour period, the WAC went from having a secure and prosperous future to once again not knowing what the future will hold," Benson said in a conference call.

The WAC lost Boise State to the MWC earlier this summer then, on Wednesday, Fresno State and Nevada received and accepted invitations — less than a week after WAC members formed a buyout pact intended to keep what was left of the league intact.

Although Nevada did not actually sign the buyout agreement and loyalty pledge, Benson said WAC lawyers say the Wolf Pack are still subject to the terms of the deal and will seek the money, due 60 days from Wednesday.

"I recommended (the buyout) to the board. I wish, at this time, I had made it $20 million," Benson said.

And because Fresno State and Nevada didn't declare they were leaving before July 1, Benson said both are obligated to the WAC until 2012. Letting the schools go in time for next season will be up to the remaining six WAC schools.

Around the nation

Florida: Receiver Adrian Coxson, a freshman from Baltimore, has been granted his release and intends to transfer. School officials said Thursday Coxson wants to move closer to home. The 6-foot-2 standout rushed for more than 1,200 yards, and passed for 650 more, accounting for 19 touchdowns his senior season. He chose Florida over Georgia, Maryland, Penn State and West Virginia.

Alabama: Freshman linebacker Alfy Hill has been ruled an academic nonqualifier, compliance director Mike Ward said Thursday.

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