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Another former player involved in MSU suit

June 24, 2011

Goforth

By MATTHEW STEVENS
sdnsports@bellsouth.net

Another former player has come forward to speak against Mississippi State head baseball coach John Cohen.
In a response to a motion by the representation of Cohen to dismiss the lawsuit against him, the attorney for the plaintiff and former MSU player Forrest Moore has included an affidavit from another former Bulldog player that claims direct violations of NCAA rules governing practice times.
Former MSU outfielder Mark Goforth claims in his signed affidavit that Cohen and the rest of the coaching staff did not allow him or other players to complete practice time forms or “review the completed time sheets before requiring us to sign or initial.”
Goforth's signed testimony states the Mississippi State baseball team practiced "40 -45 hours per week, every week" during the fall season of 2008 months after Cohen was hired to replace Ron Polk after the school's all-time leader in wins retired.
The affidavit was signed by Goforth on May 26 in Lauderdale County, Tennessee, according to documents provided by Foster to the Starkville Daily News. Foster said he filed the response to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court but the clerk's office said Thursday they had yet to receive such documentation.
Under NCAA rules, college student-athletes are restricted to an allotment of no more than four hours per day or 20 hours per week.
Goforth, who was a teammate of Moore during Cohen’s first fall season at MSU in 2008, is alleging Cohen “required” players to “dedicate more hours than permitted by the governing rules,” an act that continued into the spring of 2009.
Goforth's affidavit also states he has knowledge other members of the baseball team were required to sign blank time forms "which, I understand, were later completed by the coaching staff."
The affidavit is the first piece of testimonial evidence provided from the Moore representation in their lawsuit against Cohen, Mike Nemeth and MississippI State University.
The clerk's office did receive Thursday a motion from the legal counsel of Mississippi State University to the initial claim by Moore similarly worded as the response by Cohen and his representation.
The 17-page motion filed Thursday morning states that Moore and his complaint filed by Oxford attorney J. Douglas Foster is not sufficient due to not including "a copy of the alleged contract" or scholarship offer and "nor articulates any reason at all, much less 'significant justification' required for failing to include a copy of the document."
Also the MSU representation are claiming the Moore suit fails to prove Cohen and Nemeth violated the scholarship agreement throughout Moore's tenure as a Bulldogs student-athlete.
Moore's claim contends Cohen forced him to pitch while injured, causing further damage to his arm that required surgery to repair. Moore is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, and alleges that Cohen conspired with Nemeth, the senior associate athletic director, to purposefully push Moore out of the program. The school also failed to provide Moore proper written notice when his scholarship was not renewed in 2009-10, according to the suit, which would also be considered an NCAA violation if true.

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