November 2007 Archives

The University of Mississippi fired its head football coach Ed Orgeron today. It’s not my place to comment on what the reasons might have been for this firing, because I am not a football expert. But I do a thing or two about leadership and integrity and I have seen precious little of either in the upper ranks of leadership at the University of Mississippi. The specifics:

1) About three weeks the administration came out in support of Orgeron and said he would be back next year. I certainly understand that when the upper administration has to come out and issue proclamations of support for a coach that it means they have been fielding some irate fans and alumni. I also know it is the beginning of the end. So was the UM administration simply blowing smoke? That appears to be the case.

2) According to the Clarion Ledger, the Athletic Director Pete Boone said the statement of support was based on the assumption that the team would have a strong finish. But, he also was quoted as saying that one game was not responsible for firing the coach. The actual quote is:

"There's several criteria that I look at," Boone said in the news conference. "There should never be a point in time where one game, one call, one quarter has anything to do with such a monumental decision as this, and that's not the case here.

"That endorsement several weeks ago, it was in anticipation of finishing on a strong note, which Coach O and I both felt we would do. That did not happen. In concurrence with the chancellor, we felt for the Ole Miss people and the program that we needed to change directions."

Khayat did not speak at the news conference, but afterwards he told The Clarion-Ledger that Boone convinced him on Friday night that a change was needed. "It would be bad management on my part to get into everything that he does," said Khayat, when asked if he made the decision of if Boone did.

Well, let’s see what has happened since the statement of support. UM played and defeated Northwestern State. They then played and lost to LSU. Now come own, no one at the UM could possibly drink enough to think for even a second that they stood a chance at defeating LSU. Heck, the fact that they scored 24 points says a lot about the team. Then there was the loss to MSU. Oh yeah, and there was pillowgate—the 20 UM football players who stole clocks and pillows from two hotel during team stays. But the administration said that was all taken care of—you know; boys will be boys.

So, it appears then that there is a game that could have saved Orgeron his job but not one that cost him his job.

3) The administration, according to the Clarion Ledger, sent text messages to the football team announcing the firing because they were all out of town for the holidays. Now what kind of leadership is that? The proper thing to have done would have been to meet with the team and make the announcement prior to making it public. There was no reason why this could not happen. Boone says that he does not have anyone in mind to take the job so why could he not wait until Monday to make the announcement? What would it have cost the UM? They would have had a little more time to think things through, Orgeron could have enjoyed the holidays as best he could (even he knew the news was coming on Monday), and the players could have been properly informed.

The more I think about it the more I understand why the UM players stole the pillows and clocks. There is a definite lack of integrity and leadership on their campus.

MSU 17, UM 14

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Well it wasn't pretty but it was a win. The Bulldogs came back in the 4th quarter to defeat the University of Mississippi. The game was ugly and the Bulldogs looked pretty bad the whole game. The 4th quarter was a little better but even that was below what they had been playing most of the season. There was too much” Hotty Toddy” for my taste (is there a more stupid cheer out there?) and UM fans got a little cocky when they were in the lead. In fact, they seemed to have accepted victory before the game was over. I thought surely they would have learned by now that when the Bulldogs play, the game is not over until the last play is played.

Bully came out at the start of the game with a pillow and clock radio and some students had a couple of pillows they kept throwing around. There were the expected signs about UM stealing from hotels. Of course they say no NCAA violations were committed but I would love to see some penalties somewhere for such stupidity. You know, if it had been one or two players it would have been one thing, but to have had 20 players involved makes this seem a little more serious.

Last night one of the UM players was on the news talking about how UM wanted to come and win the game to keep MSU out of a bowl game. Comments like that really make the victory sweet.

I am still amazed at how UM botched handling the hotel items theft. They have had severe alcohol problems, have had some racial incidents, and have had other legal/disciplinary problems and the way they handle football players stealing from hotels is with a "boys will be boys" comment? But then again, when a drunk student drags a kills a Highway Patrolman during a traffic stop and gets off with a very light sentence such behavior is implicitly encouraged.

I got email earlier this week from someone who has a new UM cheer:

Hotty Toddy, gosh almighty,
Where’d my clock and pillow go?
Flim flam, bim bam,
Ole Miss stole them by damn!

Thanksgiving Day with Family

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My wife, daughter, and I spent the day visiting my parents and grandmother. My great Aunt and some cousins were there as well. I enjoyed the visit but I do not like the trip. It is not that long but it is incredibly boring. I do not know how a road could possibly go through country that had any less interesting things to see.

I did get to see my grandmother who has been moved into a personal care home. She is not very happy there from talking to her but she is making the best of it. My daughter and I took her over to her house for a while and helped her get a few things she wanted to take back with her. As we were going through things she was trying to give us some things. She wanted me to have one of my grandfather's wallets and I was just not ready to take it. It has been almost six years my grandfather died and I am still not ready to take any of his things. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about him in some form or fashion.

I did take one item though, mainly because it was not really his. After my grandfather died, one of his nieces had him listed in the World War II Memorial register. My grandmother gave me the certificate she received. I need to have him listed with the Navy Memorial as well. My grandfather meant a lot to me and helped me become who I am today. I am happy my daughter got to know him fairly well before he died.

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Secured Pillows and Clocks

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Last week it was reported that some 20 University of Mississippi football players stole pillows and clock radios from several hotels the team stayed prior to football games. Earlier this week UM announced that the 20 players would play in Friday’s Egg Bowl. I think if the roles had been reversed, Sylvester Croom, the Mississippi State coach would have suspended the players and not let them play in the game, regardless of the impact it might have had on the outcome of the game.

The Holiday Inn Express in Starkville has taken advantage of the situation and announced that their pillows and clock radios are secure. It was not announced whether the UM football would be staying in the hotel.

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Mississippi State 17, Alabama 12

How sweet it is! It is always good to see the Bulldogs win, but it is even better when they beat a team that has such obnoxious fans. I did not hear a lot of that Roll Tide Roll garbage but I did get a kick out of how excited the Alabama fans became at scoring field goals. Field goals!

Those of us who have been MSU Bulldog fans for a long time, fans because we graduated from the school, understand that the team has been good, that the team has been bad, and that it will be both again. So we just enjoy the victories when we get them and enjoy the day when we don't. Contrast that to Alabama where they live and die by wins and losses. And by the way, did any Alabama fans actually graduate from the school? I've met many Alabama fans but precious few Alabama graduates.

Not long ago Alabama was firing a coach and forking over a sizable portion of the State's net worth for Saban. Who knows what they will do now? As for Mississippi State, we will enjoy the victory while we can, try to not be too obnoxious, and wait for the next game. Win or lose we will enjoy the game.

I was also disappointed, once again, in the SEC officials. Calling four time outs for Alabama in the first half? And near the end of the game, when MSU was trying to run down the clock, the ref seemed to forget that he was supposed blow the whistle when the ball was ready to play, not wait until Alabama was ready to play.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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