Many staff from the Ole Miss REBEL Road Show rolled into Philadelphia this morning for a 7:30AM start. The "breakfast" was spread, the video was running, and the various staff members were roaming around. At 7:35AM there was an announcement---uh, they are on their way(meaning the AD and the Coach). At 7:45AM there was another announcement--uh, they were LOST but they have found their way and will be here shortly! At 8AM, the bus rolled in with the featured speakers!
It was well worth the wait! The AD led off and reminded us that a "Change in the Culture" is underway at Ole Miss and especially within the Athletic Department. Ross said that WAOM is to be said with head held high meaning that We Are Ole Miss and nothing negative! WAOM is who we are and who we expect to always be---the flagship university of the state of Mississippi. He also emphasized that success in athletics will make that "Change in the Culture" much, much easier. He spoke of integrity and commitment and said that the situation with the "former" Women's Basketball Coach should emphasize those two points. He pointed to the Egg Bowl Trophy and the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Trophy and said this is the type of result we want, this is what we expect, and this is what we are constantly working to achieve. He encouraged all of us to do what we could to help in those efforts by joining the Athletic Foundation and contributing what we could from $5 to ever how much we could. He spoke about the many projects going on and how they were progressing as planned. He said that athletes had an overall GPA of 2.87, the highest ever.
Coach then took over and introduced CJ Johnson's family to the crowd. He gave a quick review of the Spring and said that he was so thankful that these injuries did not take place last fall when the same five offensive linemen played all the games! He was positive about the coming season but reminded everyone that we are still taking it one step at a time to get where he wants to be---a contender each and every year for the SEC title. He spoke of the success of the 25 in academic trouble when he arrived and the fact that 23 of them were able to continue to play. He said that only two of the incoming excellent recruit class would need "close monitoring" with their academics. He was fired up and ready for the fall.
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