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Mississippi State Responds To The Ben Howland Rumors

A solo shot of Mississippi State coach Ben Howland.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 22: Head coach Ben Howland of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks on during their game against the Liberty Flames in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at SAP Center on March 22, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Mississippi State addressed "inaccurate" reports of Ben Howland's firing, saying the men's basketball head coach hasn't been dismissed.

On Sunday, OutKick published a report that the Bulldogs hired Howland, who has coached the team since 2015. He would have joined Georgia’s Tom Crean, Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin, and LSU’s Will Wade as the fourth SEC coach canned in four days.

However, that story was, at the least, premature.

Per Stadium's Jeff Goodman, MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said Howland intends on coaching the team if invited to the NIT, which the school would accept.

"Reports of Ben Howland being fired are inaccurate," Cohen said. "MSU plans to accept a bid to the NIT should it be selected, and Howland intends to coach the team."

OutKick updated its original report to say Howland will not return next season.

Mississippi State has played just one NCAA tournament game -- a loss to No. 12 Liberty in 2019 -- under Howland's watch. For the second straight season, the Bulldogs went 18-15 with an 8-10 record in conference play.

Cohen didn't comment on Howland's future beyond this season, so the 64-year-old's time with the school could still be numbered.