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Trying To Make Sense Of Ole Miss’ Moves Today

So let’s get this straight…

Ole Miss is firing Houston Nutt.  But not immediately.

And AD Pete Boone is stepping down, saying today that he’s hired his last coach.  But he’s not leaving immediately either.

That leaves everyone to wonder who’s hiring who and what will the time frame be?

Some bulletpoints on today’s announcement from Oxford:

* Nutt will step down after coaching the last three games of the season having asked for that right.  “The thing about the SEC, one thing I know is they pay you to win.  We do a great job with academics. … We change their lives, but the bottom line is, you have to win.  I would like to be here, see it through, want to go to Atlanta (for the SEC title game) with this group, but I understand the decisions that have to be made.  That’s not up to me.”

* Nutt will be paid $6 million over the next five years as a buyout.

* UM did not reveal how much it will owe Nutt’s assistant coaches.

* Nutt’s replacement will be Ole Miss’ fifth coach since 1998 and its third since 2007.

* Rebel legend Archie Manning and FedEx executive/UM booster Mike Glenn will co-chair a five-person search committee charged with finding replacements for Nutt and Boone.

* Boone will remain as Ole Miss’ AD for another year, resigning at some point before December, 2012.

* Boone will not be instrumental in the search for Nutt’s replacement.  But… “Pete is the athletic director and will be until the day he retires,” Chancellor Dan Jones said.  “He will have the full authority and responsibility of the athletic director’s position, no question about that.”

* The chancellor acknowledged that “resources” at Ole Miss are more of a challenge that at some other SEC schools.

* Jones also admitted that hiring a coach before an athletic director would not be the best option, but he said he was confident the school could make quality hires.

Uh, yeah.  Good luck on that front.

So Mississippi is going out to find its fifth coach in 14 years and its third in five.  It will do so as one of only three schools never to have reached an SEC title game.  It will do so having not won a conference championship since 1963.  It will do so with a program of limited resources which is currently buried at the bottom of the toughest division in college football.

And once Ole Miss finds a man willing to ignore all of that, the search committee will then have to tell him that he’ll also have a new boss at some point in the coming year.  He’ll have no clue who that boss will be, what his expectations will be, or how supportive he will be of a coach he inherits from ol’ #18′s search committee.

Yeah, that list of candidates should be quite impressive.

If Ole Miss wants to go down this road, it should have made Boone’s resignation effective immediately.  Then it could grab an AD before a football coach.  As it stands, one mess looks like it will likely just lead to another mess.

As for Nutt, he closed with the typical, “I can’t believe they would fire me” spiel that so many multi-millionaire coaches toss out on their way out the door.

“I never expected it to happen to me.  You talk to any coach, they’d say the same thing.  You work as hard as you can.  I gave it my all, without a violation, the right way.  I go to bed feeling good about that.  But it comes down to one thing.  It’s not a graduation rate.  It’s not community service.  It’s about winning.  It’s a big, big, big business.”

Yep.  And that’s why he’ll be paid $6 million to not coach football… while millions of Americans look for ways just to make ends meet.

It’s a big, big, big business.  And he’s done pretty well by it.

Here’s coverage from…

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

The Associated Press


Hoxfard Hswuks
Hoxfard Hswuks

The real problem ole miss faces is that most of the really good coaches out there are homophobic.


Joe Paterno may be available soon! John's right.... shouldn't have gotten rid of Cutcliffe. He would have stayed and recruited well for many years. He left Tennessee to have his own SEC school and he was pretty happy in Oxford. Once again, Pete Boone blew it.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

The problem is how good Mississippi can ever be. Alabama, Auburn, and LSU will have more resources. A&M will have that advantage as well in addition to the Texas recruiting. Arkansas is a single state school so does not have to compete with an Arkansas State or Arkansas A&M for loyalty within their own state. That just leaves Mississippi and Mississippi State battling for the bottom spot in the west. Kentucky has a basketball team, and Vanderbilt has academics as their fall back, maybe Ole Miss just needs to focus resources on a sport they can win, and go from there.


Should have never gotten rid of Cutcliffe. That aside, Ole Miss needs to look into someone who runs a triple-option, 5-wide spread, or heck even a wishbone, something that it will be the only school in the SEC that runs it and that will make Saben and Miles want to chew on their hat every time they have to play Ole Miss.


I'd go after Franklin at Vanderbilt


If I were Ole Miss I would give Jeff Bower a call. He already knows the state of MS and proved he could be pretty successful with limited talent and he was always competitive against superior teams if nothing else. Southern Miss has pretty much sucked since he left so I don't think USM was as ready to "turn the corner" as the people down there believed. Bower was a good coach and I don't think he is in coaching right now.

You can scratch off the names of any elite coordinators out there. Why would they take a chance on a program like Ole Miss especially when they don't even know who the AD will be?

Ben Dover
Ben Dover

So Since Om has had alot of coaches, they should just live with Nutt? Record SEC losing streak? Stupid reasoning.


I happen to know a lot of great Ole Miss supporters, fans and alumni. They just want a football team to cheer for, not an administration to criticize. I don't know whether the blame lies with the alumni (heavy donors) or the administration but I assure you my friends are mad as hell with all of the conflicting info. Your article is an excellent representation, in my opinion, of what is known at this point. The problem is that there are so many rumors currently being spread by so many people that no one knows what to believe. A friend (alumni and donor) told me today that he was instructed to get ready to ante up. He replied "for what?" He told me he didn't get a response.


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