Posted by Adam Jacobi
On Wednesday, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen denied reports that he was interested in the open Penn State job. That, actually, is putting it mildly; Mullen said the report was "the most irresponsible reporting that I've ever heard of," and blamed the entire situation on Ole Miss -- or "a rival institution," since Mullen never actually mentions Ole Miss by name.
It stands to reason, then, that Mullen would not appreciate the latest report from Phil Grosz of BlueWhiteIllustrated.com that Mullen will interview at Penn State on Monday. There were no more particulars offered than just that, but that's enough to raise a few eyebrows by itself.
Mullen quickly denied this latest report, telling Brandon Marcello of The Clarion-Ledger "No." when asked point-blank if he would interview with Penn State, then offered an even more thorough denial of any involvement in the Penn State coaching search.
“Amidst all of these reports, neither myself, my agent or the administration at Mississippi State University has been contacted by anybody at Penn State,” Mullen told The Clarion-Ledger. “I’m very happy of the direction the Mississippi State program is going in right now.”
Normally, this would be where one would point out that Mullen and his agent could just be in contact with a third-party search firm and that such firms are not uncommon with coaching searches at major universities. And yet, according to PennLive.com, acting athletic director David Joyner said he won't retain a consultant for this search.
Joyner will likely be receiving information on the hire from Penn State's boosters, so that's another third party that could have some sort of contact with Mullen and his agent (though how much, if any, is obviously unknown and subject to change on a daily basis). Past that, however, it's very difficult to take both the BWI report and Mullen's denial and conclude anything other than "somebody somewhere is lying."
For a full, updating team-by-team overview of 2011's coaching changes, check out (and bookmark) the Eye on CFB Coaching Changes One-Stop Shop. And voice your opinion for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year by voting HERE.