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#1 2018-12-05 14:57:59 - The Prez on AD search.

TheChosenOne (119)
Member
Registered: 2017-08-26
Posts: 393

The Prez on AD search.

I’ll admit, like how prez accepting responsibility and calling a spade a spade in many cases

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:
Charting the Path Forward for Southern Miss Athletics
I am writing today to share my initial plans for selecting a new Director of Athletics and, more importantly, to address concerns related to our Department of Athletics.

Like you, I am concerned that we are searching for a new athletics director for the third time in recent years. I am committed to a thorough selection process that will result in a Director of Athletics who will bring stability to the department, as well as consistent and sustained success for many years.

Like you, I am disappointed that bowl and television executives did not select our football program for participation in a bowl game this year. I do not agree with their decision, but I am now focused on how to help our football program become increasingly competitive next season.

And like you, I am not satisfied with our current place in the landscape of college athletics. I believe strongly we should be aspirational about our place both within Conference USA and in the NCAA.

As President of The University of Southern Mississippi, my expectation is that our student-athletes graduate with a treasured degree and that our athletics programs—all of our athletics programs—win championships and compete in postseason play. Our next Director of Athletics will be key to ensuring the success of our student-athletes in the classroom and in competition, and I am committed to bringing leadership stability to all areas of the University, including our Department of Athletics.

The selection process for our next Director of Athletics will not be quick. The complexity of our challenges will necessitate a different approach to the hiring process, one that requires patience, the engagement of our stakeholders, and a thorough review of our department. The process must include an intentional review to evaluate how we got here – how we got to this place of searching for our third Director of Athletics in recent years, how we got to this place of not being selected for postseason bowl competition, how we got to this place of unrest with our placement within the NCAA, how we got to this place of continued uncertainty with our financial sustainability within the department – and to determine what can be done to address these systemic challenges.

To prepare for the future we want in athletics, we must cultivate sustainable change. We must ask and answer these questions before we initiate a selection process for a new director.

So, for now, the following three actions will be taken.

First, I am appointing Jeff Mitchell, current Deputy Director of Athletics, as our interim Director of Athletics, effective immediately. Jeff is an experienced athletics administrator who, prior to coming to Southern Miss, served as a member of the senior management team at Santa Clara University. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Master of Business Administration from Millsaps College and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Jeff is a native Mississippian who is certainly qualified to serve in this interim capacity, but most importantly, he is committed to helping us resolve the challenges we face in athletics.

Second, I am naming Brian Morrison to the position of interim Deputy Director of Athletics, effective immediately. Brian is a longtime, well-respected Southern Miss staff member who has most recently served as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development. Jeff, Brian, and I will work together to identify a staff member to serve as the lead athletics fundraiser during this interim period.

Third, I will be visiting several cities in the spring for the purpose of hearing from Southern Miss stakeholders about our athletics programs. Cities will include Hattiesburg, Gulfport, Jackson, Houston, Nashville, Birmingham, Mobile, and other locations if needed. The dates, times, and specific locations will be announced in the first part of the new year. I look forward to our conversations and the contributions of your ideas. What we learn from this self-evaluation will help determine the timeline for my hire of a permanent Director of Athletics.

Although we again find ourselves searching for a new Director of Athletics, we should not forget who we are—we are The University of Southern Mississippi. For more than 108 years, Southern Miss has never walked away from a challenge. Our story is one of ordinary people doing extraordinary things; it is one in which neither persistence nor resiliency wavers. Our journey is one in which we have always worked harder than required to succeed. It starts with me, but our success will require the commitment and action of all of our stakeholders.

As an institution, we have positive momentum in many areas—our enrollment is rising, fundraising has reached record levels, and we have continued to improve our reputation and status as a major research university. I am excited about the future of The University of Southern Mississippi, including our athletics programs. Nevertheless, we cannot be satisfied with our current level of success in any area. As we continue on our current trajectory toward becoming the model for public higher education across the country, we must continue to transform every aspect of the University.

Intercollegiate athletics has provided thousands of students with the opportunity to pursue and complete their degree requirements while playing their sports at the highest amateur levels since the earliest days of this institution. There are more than 300 Division I athletics programs across the country, and The University of Southern Mississippi is proud to be among that group. We are at another crossroads in Southern Miss athletics’ path to the top; however, each time The University of Southern Mississippi has faced a challenge, we have persevered. And we will do so yet again.

Thank you for your support of our institution.

Rodney D. Bennett
President
The University of Southern Mississippi

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#2 2018-12-05 16:15:40 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Just words or ?


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#3 2018-12-05 16:30:55 - The Prez on AD search.

B&GBU (89)
Member
Registered: 2017-08-27
Posts: 279

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Sounds as close to spitting fire as someone in his position can exhibit. I like it.


"Winning is relative."

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#4 2018-12-05 17:03:03 - The Prez on AD search.

stinkfist (358)
Member
Registered: 2017-08-29
Posts: 1,899

Re: The Prez on AD search.

there's a big difference being unhappy and being willing or able to do something about it....

with our current budget and facilities, it's obvious something major would have to happen - e.g., rename to The University of Southern Mississippi - athletics funded by Warren Hood

w/o a vi(s)able hoops program and a stagnant annual budget, we don't stand a chance to improve our current standing on a national basis...

the ship that could've/should've addressed that sailed long ago....

the only hope I see is the P5 elite breaking off with the leftovers ending up on a more level playing field....even if that were to happen, we'd still be behind the 8-ball....

that's just the cold hard truth of where we currently reside in revenue generating D1 athletics....we bring nothing of value to the table...

good luck to him.....he's gonna need a shiteload of 'that'....


95368035975122i7o8%5B1%5D.jpg

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#5 2018-12-05 17:15:14 - The Prez on AD search.

Noodles (14)
Member
Registered: 2018-01-02
Posts: 37

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Absolutely stoked after reading this.
Somebody up there gets it. That's the most important thing.

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#6 2018-12-05 17:42:35 - The Prez on AD search.

AndreWhere (683)
Member
From: Dunwoody, GA
Registered: 2017-08-24
Posts: 5,671

Re: The Prez on AD search.

GREAT letter, but...

Why would he go to places like Birmingham and Houston but not New Orleans? What on Earth does he think he'll find in Houston?

And I'm afraid Stinkfist is likely right. There was a path forward for USM. It was called the AAC, and the opening was something like 5 or 6 years ago. "We" decided we'd rather keep shooting marbles with the kiddos because growing up is scary.

That said, there is a blueprint written into the history books. Ditch your faux conference that's really a zero exit fee / zero revenue scheduling alliance. Play 7 road games per year, as many of them @ P5 schools as possible. And get a coach who can win enough of those games to rebuild USM's legacy and fan base.

Absolutely nothing short of that will accomplish anything worthwhile. And my blueprint probably won't work, either. Too many people want us to sit still at the kiddy table.

Last edited by AndreWhere (2018-12-05 17:43:12)


Bring back Reed V. "Pie" TurkPalmer Eustachy.

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#7 2018-12-05 17:46:03 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

AAC IS A DEAD END.  BUT CUSA IS SHIT HOLE OF LEFT OVER SPREADOUT RAT VOMIT.


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#8 2018-12-05 20:07:11 - The Prez on AD search.

Nugget's Ghostbuster (671)
Member
From: U.S. Department of Interior
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 2,767

Re: The Prez on AD search.

AndreWhere wrote:

GREAT letter, but...

What on Earth does he think he'll find in Houston?

1951-ford-f-1.jpg


"Pressure washers are great for removing deep-seated dirt, grease, peeling paint and even graffiti from concrete, asphalt, siding, decks, lawn furniture, garbage cans, boats and trailers, and outdoor power equipment." - Jon Dilbert, ECU AD

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#9 2018-12-05 21:03:02 - The Prez on AD search.

Ace Barker (145)
Member
From: Bougherville SC
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 395

Re: The Prez on AD search.

99beers wrote:

AAC IS A DEAD END.  BUT CUSA IS SHIT HOLE OF LEFT OVER SPREADOUT RAT VOMIT.

I would rather take the dead end path. You still have an option to turn around. The rat vomit just dries up and blows away.

Ace...

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#10 2018-12-06 13:44:06 - The Prez on AD search.

Fighting eagle (60)
Member
Registered: 2018-06-30
Posts: 194

Re: The Prez on AD search.

You have to make a play for the AAC. no matter your thoughts. better TV money,  better exposure, better competition, better bowls, and playing the old rivals again will bring some fans and some excitement back. You have to get in there. Otherwise the attendance and money will continue it's decline.

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#11 2018-12-06 15:04:14 - The Prez on AD search.

Nugget's Ghostbuster (671)
Member
From: U.S. Department of Interior
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 2,767

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Fighting eagle wrote:

You have to make a play for the AAC. no matter your thoughts. better TV money,  better exposure, better competition, better bowls, and playing the old rivals again will bring some fans and some excitement back. You have to get in there. Otherwise the attendance and money will continue it's decline.

Why does the AAC need to expand? They are in the final hour of finalizing their new media rights deal so why would they add another program that will take another percentage of the revenue pie?  The AAC has 8 of 12 full members in the top 50 Neilsen markets, Navy is also in the Top 50, and all are in the top 100. We are 160+. They are currently receiving 2 million per school per year with their expiring deal. Market size is no longer the primary factor but it is still a factor with their media rights holders.

UCF and The American are in a good spot, as they can negotiate their TV deal with their stock rising, where the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 have to wait another four years before they go back to the media rights negotiating table. Nobody, I mean nobody, knows how we will all consume sports content 5 years from today so this AAC media deal will be the last of its kind if they go forward with ESPN. They have zero need to add another program right now. Paying them 10 million in cash won't open the door either since thats small potatoes based on where they are expected to go to 4-5 million per school per year with their new tv deal.


"Pressure washers are great for removing deep-seated dirt, grease, peeling paint and even graffiti from concrete, asphalt, siding, decks, lawn furniture, garbage cans, boats and trailers, and outdoor power equipment." - Jon Dilbert, ECU AD

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#12 2018-12-06 15:19:07 - The Prez on AD search.

skyvoyager (32)
Member
Registered: 2017-09-13
Posts: 113

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Nugget's Ghostbuster wrote:
Fighting eagle wrote:

You have to make a play for the AAC. no matter your thoughts. better TV money,  better exposure, better competition, better bowls, and playing the old rivals again will bring some fans and some excitement back. You have to get in there. Otherwise the attendance and money will continue it's decline.

Why does the AAC need to expand? They are in the final hour of finalizing their new media rights deal so why would they add another program that will take another percentage of the revenue pie?  The AAC has 8 of 12 full members in the top 50 Neilsen markets, Navy is also in the Top 50, and all are in the top 100. We are 160+. They are currently receiving 2 million per school per year with their expiring deal. Market size is no longer the primary factor but it is still a factor with their media rights holders.

UCF and The American are in a good spot, as they can negotiate their TV deal with their stock rising, where the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 have to wait another four years before they go back to the media rights negotiating table. Nobody, I mean nobody, knows how we will all consume sports content 5 years from today so this AAC media deal will be the last of its kind if they go forward with ESPN. They have zero need to add another program right now. Paying them 10 million in cash won't open the door either since thats small potatoes based on where they are expected to go to 4-5 million per school per year with their new tv deal.

but the aac is dead.... i know i read it on this board.


Everyone has the right to be stupid... It's just that some people abuse the privilege.

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#13 2018-12-06 15:33:48 - The Prez on AD search.

AndreWhere (683)
Member
From: Dunwoody, GA
Registered: 2017-08-24
Posts: 5,671

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Getting into *any* real conference will take a major and ongoing investment into coaching and facilities.


Bring back Reed V. "Pie" TurkPalmer Eustachy.

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#14 2018-12-06 15:58:57 - The Prez on AD search.

Nugget's Ghostbuster (671)
Member
From: U.S. Department of Interior
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 2,767

Re: The Prez on AD search.

skyvoyager wrote:

but the aac is dead.... i know i read it on this board.

I know, right......

They AAC is the flavor of the month right now because of UCF. Its all cyclical. It fluctuates widely according to which conference has the hot G5 team. I remember when it was the MAC with Northern Illinois and then Western Michigan a few years ago. Its been the MWC because of Boise. It was going to be the new Big East when both Boise and TCU committed to joining several years back. Hell even CUSA had a few moments with Houston and USM 7 years ago. If you watched any AAC games this season you saw horrible attendance minus UCF and Memphis(although Memphis wasn't close to selling out, averaging around 28K per game). Cinci was top 20 and had pathetic crowds. Same with USF. Tulsa, Tulane, UCONN, ECU, Tulsa......all pathetic. But they are the flavor of the month because UCF hasn't lost a game since the 2016 season and they are getting national exposure on every sports channel right now.

You can't just go to the AAC because you want to and while its better than CUSA, its not going to increase our attendance by 7-10K per game. If you think changing out UTSA with Tulsa or Rice with USF brings in those millennial students who are not going to the game right now you are sadly mistaken. I might get 5K-7K more for Tulane instead of La Tech but in 3-4 years the shine on that change will be long gone and attendance will be back to where it is today.

We need 3-5 years of stability and success to grow our brand back to 2011 levels. It honestly won't take long considering all of the G5 is really on the same playing level when it comes to attendance and national relevance. Just because you can pay a coach $1 million + in the AAC it doesn't equate a better program. ECU has had twice our budget since forever and they draw less right now and they are paying tens of millions on a stadium expansion for a terrible product and program. You think Dilbert is going to successfully correct that? His first move was to over pay a coach from FCS that had success with another coaches staff and players. Its just throwing good money at a bad problem.

Get the right AD, win 8+ games in 2019, win a CUSA title again and by 2021 the landscape will be changing again in college football. We need to focus on game experience just as much as winning. Thats what the game is all about today. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Why you will go to the stadium outside of the actual game is where everything is heading and you better be figuring that out now and not how do I get to play UCONN, Navy or Temple..........


"Pressure washers are great for removing deep-seated dirt, grease, peeling paint and even graffiti from concrete, asphalt, siding, decks, lawn furniture, garbage cans, boats and trailers, and outdoor power equipment." - Jon Dilbert, ECU AD

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#15 2018-12-06 16:40:33 - The Prez on AD search.

B&GBU (89)
Member
Registered: 2017-08-27
Posts: 279

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Position ourselves to be the best choice for inclusion next time something shakes loose.


"Winning is relative."

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#16 2018-12-06 18:09:34 - The Prez on AD search.

Black Diamond Reb (238)
Member
From: Palmers Crossing, Mississippi
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 865

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Nugget's Ghostbuster wrote:

Get a couple of Bigfoots, win 8+ games in 2019, win a CUSA title again and by 2021 you could have lil bigfoots in an enclosure on campus.

We all love Bigfeets.


"I don't think being in the 6th best conference is too bad."

"Look for Crickets Robertson to be one of the first 64 players chosen in the draft."

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#17 2018-12-06 19:06:33 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

Fighting eagle wrote:

You have to make a play for the AAC. no matter your thoughts. better TV money,  better exposure, better competition, better bowls, and playing the old rivals again will bring some fans and some excitement back. You have to get in there. Otherwise the attendance and money will continue it's decline.

THEY DONT WANT US.


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#18 2018-12-06 19:09:55 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

skyvoyager wrote:
Nugget's Ghostbuster wrote:
Fighting eagle wrote:

You have to make a play for the AAC. no matter your thoughts. better TV money,  better exposure, better competition, better bowls, and playing the old rivals again will bring some fans and some excitement back. You have to get in there. Otherwise the attendance and money will continue it's decline.

Why does the AAC need to expand? They are in the final hour of finalizing their new media rights deal so why would they add another program that will take another percentage of the revenue pie?  The AAC has 8 of 12 full members in the top 50 Neilsen markets, Navy is also in the Top 50, and all are in the top 100. We are 160+. They are currently receiving 2 million per school per year with their expiring deal. Market size is no longer the primary factor but it is still a factor with their media rights holders.

UCF and The American are in a good spot, as they can negotiate their TV deal with their stock rising, where the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and Big 12 have to wait another four years before they go back to the media rights negotiating table. Nobody, I mean nobody, knows how we will all consume sports content 5 years from today so this AAC media deal will be the last of its kind if they go forward with ESPN. They have zero need to add another program right now. Paying them 10 million in cash won't open the door either since thats small potatoes based on where they are expected to go to 4-5 million per school per year with their new tv deal.

but the aac is dead.... i know i read it on this board.

no asshole. You read dead end.


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#19 2018-12-06 19:15:14 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

B&GBU wrote:

Position ourselves to be the best choice for inclusion next time something shakes loose.

Oh man.  Expansion?  What expansion?   We couldn’t get included in the aac so p5 is possible?   Geeez.


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#20 2018-12-06 19:21:41 - The Prez on AD search.

99beers (250)
Member
From: Uranus
Registered: 2017-08-25
Posts: 1,244

Re: The Prez on AD search.

You people are stupid dreamers. It’s over.  Face the facts. 

WE WILL NEVER BE P5. 

WE WILL NEVER BE IN THE DEAD END AAC. (None of them will be P5 either)

We can lead for a g5 playoff however.  We can start discussions and be proactive.


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