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Penn State Coaching Search: Dan Mullen Takes Shot At Rivals In Denial

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After a report from WAPT 16 in Jackson, Miss. cited a source saying Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was close to a deal to replace Joe Paterno as head football coach at Penn State Tuesday night, Mullen denied the rumor, calling the report "irresponsible."

He took his comments a step further in a story published on Wednesday by Rick Cleveland of the Clarion-Ledger.

"I blame it on rival institutions trying to ruin our recruiting which we have dominated in this state over the past three years," Mullen said.

Mullen also said he had not been contacted by Penn State as of Tuesday night.

And so, it seems the chatter surrounding the Mullen-to-Penn-State rumors is going to slow down temporarily. That's not to say reporting that he's near the top of Penn State's wishlist is inaccurate, but a deal certainly does not appear to be imminent between the two sides.

For the latest on the Penn State coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.