What is it about Houston Nutt being the football coach that really brings out the crazy among fans? The attacks on Ole Miss athletics director Pete Boone from the lunatic fringe of Rebels fans have gotten so bad, chancellor Dan Jones felt the need to publish an open letter repudiating them:
Many are aware of anonymous, malicious and public attacks on athletics director Pete Boone. The Ole Miss family may not be aware, however, that as a part of this orchestrated campaign, I have received threats, promising that if I do not remove Pete Boone, "It is going to get real ugly," and threatening to expand the attacks to other athletics employees.
Friends, supporters and the media have asked how I will react to this anonymous and vicious pressure. The short answer is that I will not react.
When the chancellor of the school feels the need to publicly state that he will have no public reaction, it tells you something about the volume of vitriol coming from the crazies right now. Jones later invokes the requirements for keeping the university accredited as a reason not to make decisions based on letter-writing campaigns, and he calls for people to stop attacking Boone.
I feel bad for reasonable Rebels fans who, though they may disagree with the direction of the program right now, are not threatening university employees. The sad thing is that I know people like this exist in every big fan base, and if it wasn't Ole Miss going through this right now, someone else would be.
While Jones is attempting to show some strong leadership here, I can't help but feel that this letter will only encourage the idiots. Hopefully I'm wrong about that, but reason isn't their strong suit to begin with.