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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More cowbell? Auburn expects to hear the bells a-ringin' in Starkville on Thursday

Since receiving a one-year window to prove it can clang its cowbells with discretion, Mississippi State has urged its fan to ring responsibly.

Thursday night’s game against Auburn will be the first major test to the SEC’s new guidelines.

The SEC revisited a 36-year ban on artificial noisemakers at the league meetings in Destin, Fla., last spring, coming up with a cowbell compromise that allows Bulldogs fans to ring them at specific times during a football game.

“That’s just one of the things that makes a place unique,” Auburn left tackle Lee Ziemba said. “It’s one of the their traditions, just like we have traditions. You have to look past it. It’s out of our control. You just have to play through it.”

Fans may ring the bells before the game, at halftime, during timeouts and after scores.
Violations of those guidelines could result in the school receiving escalating fines: $5,000 for a first offense, $25,000 for a second and $50,000 for a third. No in-game penalty will be assessed.

Unauthorized cowbell use surged last year as Dan Mullen reinvigorated the program, prompting the SEC to revisit the situation in the offseason.

Although Bulldogs fans followed the rules in a 49-7 win against Memphis last Saturday, Thursday night’s matchup — an ESPN game that is the SEC opener for both schools — figures to be a more lively atmosphere.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik didn’t sound concerned. The Tigers usually have one practice before road games they designate as a “noise day” in order to prepare for hostile crowds.

“In my opinion, every place is really, really loud in the league and every place has its challenges,” Chizik said. “We don’t really think of that any different with the noise factor. We’ll just prepare like we always do.”

From a player’s perspective, however, it’s hard not to notice them.

“Those cowbells, I’m glad they put those rules on them,” linebacker Josh Bynes said. “They used to ring them every three seconds.”

Does Bynes think the MSU fans will respect the rules Thursday?

“Naw,” he said with a laugh.

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1 comment:

Jared said...

If Miss St. makes announcements over the PA system and puts announcements up on the screen saying when to not use them, you still think SEC will fine them when they get used inappropriately? I really don't see it happening.