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“Forward Rebels” Congratulates UM On Changes

The anti-Pete Boone fan group “Forward Rebels” has sent out a press release today congratulating Ole Miss for dismissing Houston Nutt and accepting the resignation of Boone.

“Recognizing a problem, the administration took decisive action by replacing the top two figures in Ole Miss sports… Forward Rebels supports these choices, and is thankful for these wise decisions…

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 operations 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 an 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.”

Yeesh.  Good ol’ boys?  What’s the fear, that Gunter Brewer will be promoted?  Or is that line aimed at Arkansas State’s Hugh Freeze, a former Rebel assistant and the Michael Oher’s high school coach (as depicted in “The Blind Side”)?

And how about that bit regarding the “undue pressures of special interests.”  Anyone else find it ironic that a group (made up of mostly anonymous fans) best known for placing ads in papers and threatening financial repercussions against Ole Miss should Boone be kept… is now wanting to make sure no one else puts “undue pressures” on the administration?

That’s a little like forming a lobby group to lobby against the existence of other lobby groups.

The Forward Rebels release closes with the following stanzas (which we suggest you read with a fife and drum playing softly in the background… “Green Acres” style):

“Once (an AD is) selected, we also look forward to the final chapter of the good ol’ boy network at Ole Miss and are excited to see Dr. (Dan) 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.”

Meanwhile, outside the Magnolia State, long-time Arkansas-based columnist Harry King breaks down why no coach in his right mind should want to go to Ole Miss.

Somewhere between King’s gut punch and Forward Rebels’ puffery… the truth lies.

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SEC Headlines – 8/25/11 Part One

1.  Five-star Alabama basketball signee Trevor Lacey has been cleared to play by the NCAA.

2.  Bama receiver Michael Bowman is “the biggest clown” on the team.

3.  Trent Richardson is working to be a leader in Tuscaloosa.

4.  Tide tight ends are hoping to add an extra dimension to Bama’s offense.

5.  If you though Auburn ran plays quickly last year, wait til you see them up the pace this fall.

6.  Young guys are answering the call on AU’s defensive line.

7.  Some injured Tigers are improving on the health front.

8.  This writer doesn’t expect a whole heckuva lot to come out of the NCAA’s meeting with Danny Sheridan.  (Agreed.  We said the same thing yesterday.)

9.  Kicker Zach Hocker is ready to build on a successful freshman year at Arkansas.

10.  Bobby Petrino has made his quarterbacks off limits in scrimmages, and that’s got his pass rushers longing for next week’s season opener.

11.  Freshman linebacker Brock Haman will miss the season with a foot injury.

12.  Arkansas’ plans for a 9/11 tribute are drawing some criticism.

13.  Analysts believe it’s a longshot that Jordan Jefferson will play against Oregon next weekend.

14.  The Marine Jefferson allegedly kicked has a police record of his own in Florida.

15.  In football news, Jarrett Lee is ready if needed at quarterback.

16.  Defensive end Sam Montgomery says you should expect a lot from LSU’s young D-line.

17.  MSU has a big hole to fill at left tackle this year.

18.  Depth is a question across both Bulldog lines.

19.  Mississippi State will combine its two private fundraising arms next summer.

20.  Houston Nutt was pleased with yesterday’s practice session at Ole Miss.

21.  UM’s Mike Markuson isn’t buying all the praise being heaped on his O-line this offseason.

22.  Rebel receivers coach Gunter Brewer covers up — even in the sweltering summer heat of Mississippi — because he has a history of skin cancer.

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SEC Headlines – 8/18/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama safety Mark Barron is looking to cap a stellar collegiate career.

2.  Nick Gentry uses speed — not size — at his nose guard position.

3.  Tide basketballer JaMychal Green scored 16 in Team USA’s last World University Games win.

4.  Auburn’s Mike Dyer was back at practice after missing more than a week or work due to an undisclosed injury.

5.  T’Sharvan Bell says he and his defensive mates are starting to jell.

6.  True freshman Kiehl Frazier is gaining confidence at quarterback.  (So we’ll continue to say that he’ll be the Tigers’ starter by October.)

7.  Arkansas is using a no-huddle attack in practice… to help its defense.

8.  The Razorbacks have wrapped up two-a-days for another year.

9.  New Hog hoops coach Mike Anderson is now on Twitter.

10.  LSU will be looking for intensity at this afternoon’s scrimmage.

11.  The Tigers have been dealing with a rash of injuries on the offensive line… but Les Miles sees a silver lining.

12.  Australian punter Brad Wing says none of his Tiger teammates can correctly mock his accent.

13.  Right tackle Addison Lawrence is Mississippi State’s silent leader.

14.  This writer wonders if it is possible for MSU to regress this season?

15.  Construction on State’s new football facility could being next month.

16.  Gunter Brewer is happy with the effort, but “working on the execution” of his Ole Miss receiving corps.

17.  Here’s a UM practice report.

18.  Rebel greyshirt freshman quarterback Maikhail Miller pled guilty to possession of marijuana earlier this month.

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SEC Headlines – 1/26/11 Part One

1.  Alabama will hold it’s A-Day spring game on April 16th… and next season’s homecoming will come in October against Vanderbilt.

2.  Another game, another loss for Auburn’s basketball team.

3.  The Tigers are now 0-6 in SEC play.  At one point in last night’s loss to Arkansas they missed 23 shots in a row.

4.  Auburn stands to make HUGE money off their BCS championship.

5.  Arkansas built a big lead and then had to hold on against Auburn last night.

6.  John Pelphrey: “We relaxed and didn’t play as well as we needed to the last seven or eight minutes.”

7.  LSU will try to snap a two-game skid when they travel to Tennessee tonight.  (Getting off to a good start would help.)

8.  Trent Johnson says he’s not worried about his team’s morale.  “There’s no psychiatrist in me.”

9.  Mississippi State’s basketball team desperately needs to win against Vandy Thursday and against Florida on Saturday.

10.  Rick Stansbury sounds like a man who’s about to ditch the zone.

11.  Mississippi’s Demarco Cox is getting less floor time in SEC play.

12.  This writer says Gunter Brewer’s hire is about the future, not the past (when his father coached Ole Miss and twice landed the Rebels in NCAA trouble).

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UM Hires KSU’s Burns As Safeties Coach

The University of Mississippi announced today the hiring of Kansas State’s Keith Burns as the Rebels’ new safeties coach.  Burns is a former defensive coordinator at Southern Cal and Arkansas (1998-99 with Houston Nutt) and a former head coach at Tulsa.

“Keith brings a wealth of knowledge to our secondary,” Nutt said.  “He has coached a lot of great college players to reach the NFL level.  He has coordinated defenses at several schools and been successful at every stop.  Keith will provide a lot of energy and experience for our coaching staff.”

Burns replaces Kim Dameron on the Ole Miss staff.

For those who believe Nutt is feeling pressure in Oxford, it doesn’t appear that coaches in the profession agree.  Things change fast in the SEC, but for now let’s do a little reading between the lines:

Auburn — The Tigers have held on to all of their coaches this offseason.  If aides were worried about possible NCAA sanctions wouldn’t they have left?

Georgia — Stacy Searels is a Georgia native who’s turned down job offers in the past.  Wouldn’t he have turned down a lateral move to Texas if he still believed Mark Richt standing was on solid ground?

Ole Miss — The Rebels have added Gunter Brewer from Oklahoma State, Keith Burns from Kansas State and David Lee from the Miami Dolphins.  Wouldn’t those first two aides (from solid, secure college jobs) and Lee (from the NFL) have turned down Nutt if they thought they were going from a safe zone into a danger zone?

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A Thaw Between Ole Miss And Brewer The Elder

With Gunter Brewer joining the Ole Miss football staff as Houston Nutt’s receivers coach/pass game coordinator/associate head coach, Kyle Veazey of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reached out to Billy Brewer for a reaction.

As we mentioned yesterday, Brewer coached the Rebels from 1983 to 1993 before being ousted during an NCAA investigation into his program.  In 1999 he sued the University of Mississippi for breach of contract and eventually won $221,355 from the school.

So how does he feel about his son joining the staff in Oxford?

“My deal with Ole Miss is good,” the elder Brewer said.  “It got better with Houston.  He welcomed me.  It was a great relationship.  He made you feel warm, he made you feel welcome.  Just like anybody.”

(Sounds like Dateline’s Chris Hansen should have been on hand.)

Brewer said that Nutt has occasionally called him to ask a question or two.  “I enjoyed that.  I didn’t hang around.  I didn’t volunteer.  ‘If you want to talk, I’m here for you to talk.’  He’s done that.”

And as for that lawsuit… “That has nothing to do with Gunter Brewer. … No use in washing laundry that’s already been washed.”

Don’t you miss the days when SEC coaches talked like that?  Back before they all became CEOs?

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