STARKVILLE • Mississippi State officials are said to be entertaining the idea of moving on from football coach Joe Moorhead.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports each tweeted late Thursday evening that MSU might be ready to fire Moorhead after two seasons in Starkville but an official decision had yet to be made.
Both writers cited the fight between teammates Garrett Shrader and Willie Gay Jr. as one of the reasons for the discussion, along with other off-the-field issues and the Bulldogs’ 38-28 loss to Louisville in the Music City Bowl on Monday.
Moorhead has guided MSU to a 14-12 record on the field, including a 2-0 mark against Ole Miss in the Battle for the Golden Egg. His 14 victories are the most by any Bulldog coach in his first two seasons since 1941.
However, all eight of Moorhead’s victories in 2018 had to be vacated after 10 football players were reprimanded by the NCAA for academic misconduct involving a former parttime tutor and an online chemistry class.
Those 10 players also served eight-game suspensions this season.
Moorhead’s initial four-year contract was extended following the 2018 season along with a raise. His salary increased from $2.7 million to $3.05 million this fall and he is set to make $3.15 million in 2020, $3.25 million in 2021 and $3.35 million in 2022 if he is retained.
Sports Illustrated reported that Moorhead's current buyout of about $7 million could be offset to as little as $4 million if he finds a job elsewhere.