You make the grade; Polk’s legacy


A to F, you give the grade . . .

* Greg Byrne’s hiring process, including the search and eventual hire
* John Cohen to Mississippi State

Give your grade and an explanation.

And finally, did Ron Polk erase 29 years of hard work and dedication in basically an hour on Friday?


34 Responses to “You make the grade; Polk’s legacy”

  1. jcdawgman18 Says:


    No, but he sure did burn some bridges. I really hope this can all be patched up. Both sides have a lot to lose.

  2. jcdawgman18 Says:

    BTW, like the new banner, Gregg.

  3. bigdraws Says:

    From what I can tell I’d give him an A. Everyone’s happy (except Polk and Raffo). Hard to give him a grade when you don’t know exactly what all went on. But I’m glad we didn’t have to wait all summer. Only time will tell about Polk. Expecially if something new comes out from him in the next few weeks.

  4. Gregg Ellis Says:

    jcdawgman, I was just about to tell everyone to click refresh. I like it to.

  5. Blake Says:

    Byrne gets an A.
    Cohen gets an A.

    Right now, Polk is damaged goods. He’s left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouth for now. But It will get better over the next few years.

  6. theconquistador2 Says:

    Polk: First stint: A
    Second stint: C
    Overall: B+ (no national title, no SEC title in 20 years, no West title)
    Byrne: A
    Cohen: A

    Did Polk erase 29 years with his tantrum? No, but people will never look at him quite the same. From now on whenever we reflect on Polk what’s going to come up? An apology from Polk would help but I’m not holding my breathe.

  7. everydawghashisday Says:

    I dont know what all he went through in the hiring process, but I think he got a great coach, so I give Byrne an A.

    Cohen back to MSU gets an A also. Proven coach and he is determined to get a championship, which is all that the MSU baseball legacy lacks. I think that this is his ideal job and I think we will see great things from our baseball team soon.

  8. everydawghashisday Says:

    And as for Polk: He gave us 29 years and was dedicated to MSU baseball for those 29 years, which I am greatful for. I just wish that this whole blowup wouldnt have happened because like it has been said, he put lots of people in a difficult situation. He didnt erase his 29 years at MSU, or totally ruin his legacy, but he definitely added to how he will be remembered. As a RP fan, I wish that he would apologize and endorse Cohen, and personally I dont want his name taken off of anything. I just wish he would come around.

  9. Shane Says:


    I think we have one of the top 4-5 most desirable programs to be a part of. Not a top program in terms of national championships, obviously. But a top program in terms of facilities, fan support, university support, expectations, gameday atmosphere, fun, etc.

    Our program deserves to hire the best coach available. We owed it to ourselves to do a national search and hire a highly qualified proven head coach. And we did that.

    Raffo might have been a good head coach for us. But there’s no reason for us to gamble on that instead of taking an already proven head coach.

    Several top coaches were interested in us and we hired the one that was the best match to the program.

  10. Shane Says:

    Oh yeah, about Polk…

    Ron Polk’s legacy is the reason so many good coaches were interested in us. We owe Ron Polk for that. You can’t change the past, so I think Polk will be remembered for his history here more than his hateful departure.

    In the short term,I think he can save face if he cools down and issues a statement of apology and pledges support for the program and university.

  11. bigdraws Says:

    Something else about Polk. It sounds like he called Cohen reguarding the search. It sounds like he urged him not to take it. I wonder if he did any other coaches like that(Casey).

  12. dawgface52 Says:

    Grade A for Byrne and Cohen. Polk did erase his good legacy as far as I’m concerned. Now if we eventually find out Polk has mental problems, I will have a different take on it. He quite possibly might have a mental problem.

  13. Braves Dawg Says:

    Byrne – A

    Good for him in not succumbing to the “baseball AD’s” pressure.

    Cohen – A

    MSU man with a proven track record at a what used to be a lower tier SEC baseball school. Good for him in not being swayed by his former mentor.

    Polk – Sounds like a scorned woman to me.

  14. boonevillereb Says:

    A – I’m not sure about the whole process but Byrne got the man he wanted.

    A- Cohen, the instate rivalry just heated up a few more notches.

    Polk, a big fat F

  15. Braves Dawg Says:

    F meaning “fool” Breb?

  16. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Draws, I have a strong suspicion you are correctly right.

  17. themaroonandwhite Says:

    Greg Byrne went out and picked the best man to coach the baseball team. He couldnt’t have picked a better coach to take over.

    Polk was a baseball god in my eyes. The program he built is a major reason I chose State. But, he is nothing anymore. Take his name off the place and replace it with the highest donor. Make a bad thing into a good thing and raise money for the program.

  18. bigdraws Says:

    I say change it to whomever the current coach is. Just to throw it in Polk’s face everytime we have a new coach.

  19. Braves Dawg Says:

    I’ve got a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this.

  20. bigdraws Says:

    What a piece of crap if that’s what happend. There’s no way in hell I’d have hired Raffo in that case. How mad do you think that must have made Byrnes? The man’s job is hard enough.

  21. theconquistador2 Says:

    Leave Polk’s name and add an ‘ED’ to the end of Dement and you’ve got it.

  22. bigdraws Says:

    How would anyone know if he had ED? I doubt any woman’s ever seen it.

  23. bigdraws Says:

    Nevermind, I screwed that up.

  24. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Does Polk win Farley’s award this week?

  25. bigdraws Says:

    Either Polk or Farley’s dad. Farley cooked ribs for him and he dissed them. Also put down his wife’s banana pudding. Ouch!!

  26. msu4me Says:

    Draws, I read in another paper a quote from Polk where he said he talked to Cohen, Pat Case, Smith and one other and told them all not to take the job, that he wanted Raffo to have it.

    I give Byrne an A+ for withstanding pressure from the old guard and hiring the best man for MSU.

    I will always love Polk for what he has done for MSU, but this definitely changes how people will remember him for a while. His legacy has been on a downhill slide since he went to Georgia.

  27. tishvegas84 Says:

    I’d give Polk an “B+” for the program. He spent too much time worrying about the NCAA and not enough on recruiting over the last several years. I’m looking forward to see what Cohen brings to the table. If Polk doesn’t like the move the sun wouldn’t set with his name still on the stadium if I were the A.D…..

  28. tebmsu97 Says:

    I think Byrne gets an A, like so many have already stated, he went and got his guy.

    I would have to think Cohen gets an A as well. Again, pointed out by many, he is a proven winner with school ties and a desire to win it all.

    For me, much of Polks legacy was lost during his second term. Say what you want, but his last years here stunk (the Omaha run excluded) overall. Throw his intentional undermining of the current AD on top of it and you can have the old nut. Sure he had some nice years at State and we were a respected program, but he was not greater than the program.

  29. tishvegas84 Says:

    I agree, the last few years have stunk!!! While other programs in the conference were improving, it seemed as if we were wallowing in the misery of a Polk induced NCAA coma….I’m not sure that we should have given Polk another shot after the Georgia stint….I wouldn’t have felt as bad if it had been a school from another conference…..It’s almost like I couldn’t trust him….

  30. nashdawg Says:

    Byrne, C-, National search, I don’t think so. People started naming Cohen and he basically followed the crowd. He has no idea about the legacy of MSU baseball. He never watched Cohen play at DNF. Where was he all these 3 decades when tens of thousands packed the place. Was he standing 15 rows deep in LFL in 1989 when we broke the single game attendance record? With all of 14991 fans in attendance?
    Or the fact that we are on target to surpass the four million mark in home attendance since 1976. Answer. No

    Cohen, B, He could have taken the high road and showed respect for his former teammate and loyal friend. He could have taken the high road and honored the man who helped make him what he is today. Times we as fans never see nor hear…in the hours of practice, time spent one-on-one w the #1 skipper himself talking about how to improve your skills. His teacher, no his mentor was not honored. Honor is priceless.

    Polk, A, in a moments’ time Coach Polk’s life was taken away. How would you respond after spending a lifetime of service to the game of baseball and see all of it thrown down in the mud and trampled by a “stranger”, a man called Byrne? For me personally, I understand how it feels to be betrayed. Where you at DNF last season at the last regional game win? Where you standing and cheering at the top of your lungs? Look at it…who would have imagined the turn of events one year later. All gone, forever! Those moments with the #1 skipper on that field will never, ever happen again. never! Think on that and put yourself in his shoes and view the place that Ron Polk built. His own people turn against him. That, folks, is painful! That’s how the view is from a man who gave his life to college baseball.

    Ummm, it’s the inner picture, not the one easily seen at a quick glance and then move on.

  31. Gregg Ellis Says:

    Nash, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this issue. I don’t think no one turned on Polk until he went crazy with the Tommy Raffo endorsement.

    Greg Byrne’s job is to hire the best man possible. And yes, he did conduct a national search.

    More importantly, how is your dad?

  32. nashdawg Says:

    Tks for asking…Dad is coming home this Friday or Saturday. He’s not any where near recovery from the stroke…still can’t talk, nor is he anywhere near mobile, nor eat by mouth (feeding tube only), but it’s been 90 days and he has to either go to a long term nursing care or come home. (Medicare will only cover 100 days in the hospital.) We are in the process of enclosing the carport at Dad’s home and getting him set up there. He will have Mom and family to take care of him now and home care to come out weekly. We are giving it our best to take care of him at home. Down the road, we may have no other choice but to put him somewhere else.

  33. msfan20 Says:

    Polk C + Polk had a great couple of decades in the 70’s and 80’s, but when the rest of the league started putting money into baseball and caring about it a little we quickly drifted to the middle of the pack in the conference. Polk was never more than a decent coach that had the luxury for almost half of his career of coaching against mostly asst football coaches and football players that used baseball season to stay in shape. I will say he was dedicated to the game and was a hard worker, but he went the times changed, he failed to follow suit. The tradition is the only thing that has even kept us on the college baseball map the 6 or 8 years. Byrne A- Cohen may not be the best coach in the country but he is in the mix based on his early results at UK. Plus he is a young coach, that has never been to Omaha as a head coach and you know that it will be a fire in him to get that monkey off his back asap. Plus he is close to home, a msu guy, and if he does win big then the odds are slim that he leaves for greener pastures.

  34. tebmsu97 Says:

    I guess we all turned on Polk like he did when us when he returned to Bulldogs, the ones in Athens. Here is how I see it, MSU baseball existed before Polk and it exists after him. He had the opportunity to go on top, but he threw that in the toilet when he decided he was greater than the university. He didn’t get his way and he threw a fit that has cost him dearly, I hope he comes to his right mind in a few weeks and tries to become part of MSU again, but he will never be viewed as the man he once was.

    If he would have simply blasted Byrne for the hire, that would be fine. But to state he was going to intentionally undermine “the program he loved”, that is where he crossed the line. Sticking up for Raffo is one thing, trying to stop Cohen from succeeding is a whole different ball of wax.

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