Published Monday, June 24, 2013 AT 10:19 AM / Updated at 6:31 PM
Fear the beard! Mississippi State petitioned coach for facial hair
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

When you catch yourself examining the fury stubble on the chins of most Mississippi State players this week, do so knowing that those beards were earned.

It was sophomore Trevor Fitts who walked into John Cohen’s office one day last fall with a 10-minute Powerpoint presentation to convince his coach to lift the ban on facial hair.

That presentation can be viewed here, on MSU’s official sports blog (you’ll enjoy it).

Some highlights…

>> “The average High/Low temp. in February in Starkville is 58/34 … Most of a person’s body heat is lost through the head, so a beard would help to keep in a lot of that heat.”

>> “Doctor Herbert Mescon from Boston University calculated that if a teenager begins shaving at the age of 15, then in his 55 or so years of shaving, he is likely to spend approximately 3,350 hours, equivalent to 139 days, at this task in his lifetime. Imagine all the time that a player may spend away from the baseball field shaving when they could be studying, mentally preparing for the next game, or up at the field getting extra cuts.”

>> “The past three teams to win the World Series all had players with beards.” (The next slide includes photos of the bearded Arizona and South Carolina players)

Cohen had no choice.

Here’s what he said in this USA Today article: “I started to think, having our players clean-shaven, is that for me, or is that for our players? I started thinking about the facial hair part. I started thinking about allowing them to have fun. Have a good time on the bench. Have a good time in our locker room.¬†And I suddenly realized that’s important, too.”

And THAT, kids, is why your teachers/professors assign countless (seemingly pointless) Powerpoint-based assignments and spend all those hours meticulously critiquing word choice, spacing, font, etc. Never underestimate the persuasive power of bullet-pointed slideshows.

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: He welcomes feedback.