When your Athletics Director is sending a “hold the rope” email at 11:34 CDT on the Sunday night after your football program was pillaged, ransacked and burned by the studly Vanderbilt Commodores, you’ve got a full-scale meltdown in progress. It’s a core breach of biblical proportions and it’s a disaster brought upon the program by none other that Pete Boone, the author of the desperate email dispatch late last night.
Pete Boone hired Houston Nutt. Pete Boone fired David Cutcliffe after his first losing season, a season one year removed from a 10-win season, and replaced him with the biggest buffoon in SEC coaching history. It took Orgeron three years to get 10 wins total, all under the “leadership” of Pete Boone. And can we all agree that, under Andy Kennedy, the Ole Miss men’s basketball program is mediocre at best and sliding into obscurity? Pete Boone hired Andy Kennedy. Colonel Reb is crying.
But Colonel Reb is crying in an Ole Miss administration exile. The mustachioed southern gentleman in the old south garb has been dismissed from the Grove and replaced with a Black Bear, or something. Not only is Ole Miss struggling to gain some identity in its football and basketball programs, the entire athletics department seems to be in a massive identity crisis. They don’t even know who, or what they are any more.
This is not the Ole Miss that produced Charlie Conerly, Archie Manning, Deuce McAllister and Eli Manning. This is the program that instead produced the 2007 bunch who were suspended for stealing pillows and clock radios from hotels in which the team had stayed. This is the program that won the 2009 Oversigning National Championship by inking letters of intent from 37 players but still fielded only about 75 scholarship players for the 2011 season.
This is also a men’s basketball program that has famously flamed out in every season coached by Kennedy. Ole Miss hasn’t made the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament once under Kennedy. Attendance at Ole Miss home games is so bad that any SEC West school can generate homecourt atmosphere just by getting tickets, showing up and rooting their team on to a win.
If Chancellor Dan Jones has any sense left in him, he’ll start cleaning house. Find something else for Pete Boone to do. Buy him a bank. He’s got to be better at that than he is running an athletics program—it’s what he did after his first stint as Ole Miss AD (yes, this is his second bite at the apple, sports fans). Get rid of Houston Nutt, Andy Kennedy and that stupid black bear. Let Ole Miss fans return to the Grove with pride and reestablish their identity.
Some fans, alumni and boosters are already pounding the drum. Here’s wondering if Dr. Jones hears the beat.