As WOPR found out in War Games…no one wins in Global thermo-nuclear war
The great billboard wars of Mississippi that have waged on for a fortnight…or at least a couple of months, may in fact end, not on the bloody Lamar-financed battle fields of Interstate 55, but at the hands of the NCAA and it’s Scud missle-like (ie. destructive yet misguided) by laws.
Mississippi State’s billboard foray into Oxford ended in an NCAA violation after all.
In early January, MSU erected a series of new billboard advertisements featuring the slogan, “Play with the Best,” and a picture of football players celebrating their 2011 Egg Bowl victory over rival Ole Miss. One of those billboards went up in Oxford, on Jackson Ave. near the Ole Miss campus.
The MSU compliance department, in a Feb. 3 letter to the SEC, reported that the billboards were “developed” contrary to NCAA bylaws.
The violation was “discovered” after school officials saw media reports about the billboards, including a story in the Daily Journal quoting Chad Thomas, MSU’s assistant athletics director for marketing.
In talking about the billboard campaign, Thomas said it was a recruiting tool and that the football office had input on where to put the billboards, which also appeared in Aberdeen, Biloxi, Clinton and Morton.
up and down
That violated NCAA bylaw 18.104.22.168, which prohibits advertising or promotional material “designed to solicit the enrollment of a prospective student-athlete.” All five of the “Play with the Best” billboards were taken down within a couple of weeks or so of going up.
As punishment, all Mississippi State outdoor advertising will be limited to employment of a town crier that will be allowed into hostile territory to shout expletives at opposing fans as well as hand out 8×10 glossies of Dan Mullen…but thats it.