Ole Miss Chancellor foolish to stand by his Athletic Director

Asinine. That is the only way to describe the Ole Miss Chancellor and his support of embattled University of Mississippi Athletic Director Pete Boone.

Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones told the AP, “that he’s committed to athletic excellence and will not succumb to ‘anonymous, malicious and public attacks’ demanding Boone be fired.”

If Dr. Jones is committed to athletic excellence then he has a strange way of showing it. Athletic excellence is incompatible with Pete Boone.

Boone is a disaster. Boone is responsible for chaos within the athletic department. If you need any further evidence than the current disaster then recall Ed Orgeron.

What a brilliant hire!

Or not. Orgeron may be the biggest joke to ever coach in the SEC—even bigger than Lane Kiffin.

Whom should you blame for Ed Orgeron? Pete Boone.

But, the chancellor’s latest remark makes it clear the problem at Ole Miss is much deeper. Perhaps for Ole Miss fans to get athletic excellence then a change at the top is in order—the very top.

If Ole Miss decides it is time to part ways with Houston Nutt, then would Ole Miss fans feel comfortable with Pete Boone picking a successor? After today’s comments would Ole Miss supporters feel good about Dr. Jones picking a new coach?

Probably not.

There is no reason for Ole Miss to be woeful in football. The school has a rich tradition. The school has passionate fans. The school is located in fertile recruiting ground. While Ole Miss is not Florida, fans have every right to expect a program that is competitive.

Building a competitive program at Ole Miss must follow the same roadmap followed at LSU or Alabama. The university must have leadership.

Football coaches always talk about the need for leaders on the field. It is the same for an athletic department.

For years, Alabama wallowed in mediocrity. This mediocrity was a creation of pathetic leadership in the athletic department via failed athletic director Bob Bockrath. What made this worse was the lack of leadership in the president’s mansion.

What was the result of incompetence in a president and athletic director?

At Alabama, the result was Mike Dubose.

That turned out badly.

Alabama’s current run of success was the direct result of a strong leader—Alabama President Dr. Robert Witt. Dr. Witt fired Mike Price for his off-the-field shenanigans. This was painful as Alabama suffered through the Mike Shula years, but Dr. Witt made the right decision in putting the university’s integrity over wins. When it was clear the Shula experiment failed, Dr. Witt required his athletic director to find a winner.

Do Ole Miss fans trust their chancellor to have the fortitude to make the tough decisions? If not, it is time for a change at the very top. It isn’t about wins on the field; if a president or chancellor can’t show leadership in athletics, it is unlikely they can show leadership in other important areas of university business.