Things in the Magnolia State aren’t to pleasant right now. Many Ole Miss fans are riled up hotter than a sleuth of black bears. (Couldn’t resist… and look up “sleuth of bears.) Some have even taken out advertisements calling for change in the UM athletic department.
A group calling itself Forward Rebels placed the ad, following Ole Miss’ blowout loss to Vanderbilt over the weekend. The ad reads in part:
“A cloud hangs over us. We’re told we’ll never compete in the SEC. That we lack talent. The fan support. And the funding.
We respectfully disagree.
We believe Ole Miss can compete in the SEC. And win championships.
We believe that our coaches are not the problem. Or our athletes. Or our fans.
The Ole Miss administration is the problem.
Our leadership has failed us. And our leadership must be held accountable. Our coaches and athletes deserve it. Ole Miss supporters deserve it.
We’ve waited long enough. We’re tired of losing.
It’s time for a change.”
Sounds good. But Ole Miss’ budget really does lag behind most other schools in the conference, including Vanderbilt’s. And I don’t believe AD Pete Boone was the guy tossing five interceptions on Saturday, either.
Speaking of Boone, the embattled athletic director sent out a letter last night confirming rumors that he’d met with football coach Houston Nutt Sunday morning. He also called for fans to continue to support the Rebel program:
“The Rebel Family is the most important part of Ole Miss Athletics. Without your generous support month after month, year after year and generation after generation, Ole Miss would not be what it is today — a destination university for Mississippians as well as the nation. The richness of tradition and pride that encompasses Ole Miss fans all over the world is unparalleled.
The fullness of the Ole Miss football experience that you deserve and have generously invested in, has not lived up to expectations recently. Coach Nutt and I met today and discussed the current state of Ole Miss football. Bot of us are extremely disappointed in our performance this year. We agreed that to be successful, this disappointment must be met head on with solutions for improvement. We discussed several areas that needed improvement and I support Coach Nutt in his efforts to correct those areas.
As I have said, Saturday’s performance and our running two-season SEC record are unacceptable. Our commitment to compete at a championship level is as strong as ever and we will succeed! We need your continued support of the team as Saturday is another SEC weekend and we need you here!”
Hear that? That’s what doom sounds like.
Perhaps Nutt can turn things around in Oxford which would regain him some fan support and cool all the calls for his boss’ head, too.
But when a program starts to experience blowout losses to Vandy, ads being placed by angry fan groups, and its AD talking about “unacceptable” results, donations are usually quick to dry up… and once that happens, heads roll.
Start the Gus Malzahn/Mike Leach watch now. Ole Miss appears to be headed for dangerous waters.