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Kennedy Talks About His Heated Seat

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy is feeling heat to his seat in Oxford.  His Rebels have lost back-to-back games to so-so Mississippi State and South Carolina.  Kennedy has lost five in a row to Rick Stansbury head-to-head, never good in the UM-MSU rivalry.

Making matters worse, Kennedy is in his fifth season at Mississippi but he’s yet to reach an NCAA Tournament.  And the only way he’ll get there this year is with an SEC tourney championship.

If he doesn’t reach the Big Dance and is retained by UM, Kyle Veazey of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger points out that Kennedy would be just the third SEC coach since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1985 to coach a sixth season without reaching the tourney in a previous year.  Kennedy’s take on that?

“That’s the way college basketball coaches are judged at the end of the day.  At the end of the day, it comes down to ‘Did you get to the dance?’  ‘Did you not get to the dance?’  And that’s really — it’s been amplified tremendously over the past five or six years.  It’s all about the tournament.  You’ve got guys that are making a lot of money, creating terms such as ‘bracketology’ and ‘bubble watch’ and this and that, and it becomes the en vogue thing to talk about.  For our team not to hav ebeen in the conversation this year, certainly, as a coach, is frustrating.  But now, honestly, is not the time for me to reflect and say, ‘Hey what should we have done?’  That time will come.”

What a refreshingly honest answer from a college coach.  Not exactly the “Fifty years!” speech Houston Nutt delivered in his own defense just a few short months ago, huh?

Athletic director Pete Boone has said that he will discuss the situation with Kennedy at the end of the season.  If Ole Miss chooses to buy Kennedy out it’ll cost the school $3.9 million.


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