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Forward Rebels congratulates Ole Miss on strong choices to lead Ole Miss sports forward



Wednesday, November 9, 2011; 11:00 AM CST | Oxford, MS

Forward Rebels congratulates Ole Miss on taking an important first step in leading the Athletic Department into the future. Recognizing a problem, the administration took decisive action by replacing the top two figures in Ole Miss sports, Athletic Director Pete Boone and Football Coach Houston Nutt. Forward Rebels supports these choices, and is thankful for these wise decisions.

Our on-the-field results have proven that Ole Miss needs change, and our fan base is yearning for a leader to unify us behind a new vision for Ole Miss Athletics. While Chancellor Dan Jones emphasized that he listens closely to his institutional advisors – the UMAA and UM Foundations, the Athletics Committee, the Alumni Association, the faculty, and the M Club – we respectfully encourage Dr. Jones to also listen to the common fan and to be inclusive, not exclusive, in this exciting time. Many Ole Miss fans may not have a seat at the table of any of these organizations, but we believe that they are stakeholders just as much as the most well-connected booster. Every fan matters. Let us not circle the wagons, but let us broaden our view and find the best person to lead Ole Miss Sports.

Congratulations also on the decision to insist on the hiring of a national search firm to lend its expertise to our local search committee. Thanks to Archie Manning and Mike Glenn for lending their names and reputations to this effort. Their wisdom in choosing to seek the advice of nationwide experts is admirable, and, in this time of uncertainty and skepticism among Ole Miss fans, this objective addition is vital to protecting this search from the undue pressures of special interests from both within and without the Administration. The fair and unfettered operation of this independent search is absolutely vital to any efforts to rebuild trust among Ole Miss fans. Similarly, if our AD or
coaching choice is made by any predetermined or inside dealings, the damage will be irreparable. We must scour the entire nation for the best candidate, and we must not limit ourselves to “Ole Miss boys” alone. A “rubber stamp” by the Committee of a pre-made decision to hire a good ol’ boy would be obvious to fans and devastating for Ole Miss.

While Boone has allowed himself a thirteen month window, we are certain that with the guidance of a professional firm, this process will be completed deliberately and with no time wasted, as the end cannot come soon enough to eliminate all the problems that will exist during this period of uncertainty. It is commonly said that “Uncertainty is the enemy of success,” and we need not face this additional problem for long. Ole Miss is poised to make waves with hires at AD and Coach, and it is not ideal to perform a coaching search without an established Athletic Director. We are excited to rally behind Dr. Jones to insist that this process occurs as quickly as possible to enable Ole Miss to have every advantage in its recruitment efforts.

Once selected, we also look forward to the final chapter of the good ol’ boy network at Ole Miss and are excited to see Dr. Jones give carte blanche to this new leader to do whatever it takes to rid Ole Miss of the culture of complacency, cronyism and “good enough” that has plagued us for decades. It’s time.

Finally, upon hiring this duly and honestly chosen candidate, Forward Rebels will commit its full support to this leader and to his or her leadership of the athletic department. We are certain that ours, and others’, coffers of support, both emotional and financial, will fling open to make Ole Miss great. 

Forward Rebels!