Mississippi State president Mark. E. Kennum set the record straight on Wednesday.
Bonner’s report caused such a stir that Keenum released an official statement regarding the athletic director search Wednesday afternoon.
“I announced on Sept. 26 that a nationwide search was underway to choose Mississippi State University’s next Director of Athletics. In that announcement, I outlined the process we would observe in which we would engage an executive search firm to help guide the effort and that we would seek substantive input from MSU stakeholders during the search. We are following that plan.
“The report today by The Clarion-Ledger’s Mike Bonner indicated that a decision has been made in that process was inaccurate. I’m extremely disappointed that a reputable newspaper and reporter would make such a report without seeking basic confirmation of the facts of the story being circulated. Doing so is irresponsible and in some ways may interfere with the process. It’s unfair to the candidates seeking the position who have not yet been interviewed.
“At present, no decisions have been made, no announcements prepared, and no press conferences scheduled. Neither I nor any of the university’s senior communications staff was asked to confirm or deny Mr. Bonner’s story prior to his publication of it. Perhaps that’s most disappointing of all.
“We’re not going to make this personnel decision in the media. We will follow our plan, we will conduct this search in the manner we previously outlined, and we will ultimately make the best decision for Mississippi State. This will be done in an expeditious timeline, but on our timeline.”