Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Forward Rebels release devastating to Pete Boone, Dan Jones

    The Forward Rebels organization has come out with some new information that is absolutely devastating to Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones and Athletic Director Pete Boone. To say this newly released info paints them in a bad light is an understatement.
    In the newest post on its website, called "The Case Against Pete Boone," Forward Rebels presents an actual letter written in 2009 by a major donor to Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones, in which he carefully outlines problems with the Ole Miss athletic program. I'll get to some of the contents of the letter in a minute, or you can read it for yourself. But after the letter was written the donor got an email from John Hartwell, Senior Executive Associate Athletics Director, informing him that because of his letter he would not be allowed to travel with the team for the upcoming year, even though his large donations apparently entitled him to.
    Also included is a letter written in March 2011, from 161 major supporters expressing similar concerns. This group in particular wanted the physical education major to be immediately restored, as all coaches have requested, and for an outside consulting firm to do a thorough review of the athletics department. Jones gave them a hem-haw about the phys-ed major and told them he had already done a thorough review when he took office, and Pete hires consultants all the time. Of course, the idea is not to have consultants hired by Pete!
    When Pete Boone has acted so maliciously towards a major donor, how can Dan Jones claim that he is the victim of "malicious" attacks -- of which he has been unable to identify one? How can Dan Jones say that the demands of Forward Rebels are being made by anonymous people when he's met with them and exchanged correspondence with them?
    There are a couple of things in the lengthy letter to Dan Jones that just pop off the page. One is that Pete Boone apparently interferes with and tries to micro-manage all of the coaches. Relations between Boone and football coach Houston Nutt are so strained that John Hartwell was hired specifically to work as a go-between to smooth things out. It hasn't worked very well. Boone is by all accounts a jerk, and sending a proxy over to do his jerky meddling doesn't make things any better.
    You might remember the lawsuit filed a couple of months ago by former Ole Miss Coach David Saunders. See Former Ole Miss coach serves notice of claim. Saunders claims that he was offered a job by Nutt and that the job fell through because Boone didn't like him. He says in the suit that the reason Boone didn't like him was because he wanted to recruit students with severe learning disabilities.
    Now I pointed out in my earlier post that a "severe learning disability" is often a fancy way of saying "low IQ." And if Saunders' claim is true, I might very well side with Boone, in that I would rather try to recruit really smart players than really dull ones. But in the end I would want to recruit players who could play football, regardless, and if that means recruiting a struggling player, so be it. And the AD shouldn't be going around behind the coach's back undercutting his decisions.
    What the David Saunders story tells us, if true, is that Boone is getting heavily involved in all of Houston Nutt's decisions. This is backed up by the letter from the big donor to Chancellor Jones. This is no way to run a football team! We have a problem and it is Pete Boone.
    There is a second tib-bit of information in the letter from the big donor to the chancellor. This is really only a rumor or concern that the big donor had, but he had apparently heard that checks were being written from the athletic department to the academic department, possibly taking funds that were legally allocated or donated to athletics and improperly transferring them to academics. Obviously just a concern, but sunshine is the best disinfectant, and it's time for a complete audit of the athletic department budget to properly account for these funds. It's a matter of public record, and we deserve to know where this money is going.
    There was one more bit of bad news for Pete Boone on Monday. Former Ole Miss standout and current K.C. Chief Jerrell Powe, who struggled for two years to gain academic admission to college, posted a letter on his Facebook page which is highly critical of Boone. Said Powe: "While you would think Mr. Boone would want me to go to school, and even more to play for Ole Miss, he was, if anything, discouraging to me during my struggle. Although many are familiar with Mr. Boone's desire to keep me out, I have held it back for a while." You can read the entire letter on the Forward Rebels Facebook page, as it has been reposted.
    If you read the David Saunders Notice of Suit, it's pretty obvious that Jerrell Powe was likely one of the players that Saunders was recruiting and working with.
    There are a lot of threads to this whole affair, but they all come back to point zero: Pete Boone needs to go.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Good Article. Thanks!