Some leftovers from Thursday’s Rebel Road Trip stop in Tupelo …
Ross Bjork received a standing ovation after he was introduced. He joked that it was the first standing ovation he’d received while Hugh Freeze had received five. Freeze received another minutes later and received another when he was finished, so I guess it’s 7-1 going into this morning’s Oxford meeting that caps the road tour for 2016. …
Studying chancellor candidates
In his opening lines Bjork referenced last year’s road tour when he said fans were concerned about the school’s future during a time of transition at chancellor. He reminded those in attendance that he encouraged them to remain united then launched into praise for new chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. Bjork said he read the cover letters for all candidates for chancellor and that Vitter was the only one who described himself as a sports fan. …
New dates on the NCAA watch
Here are new dates on the NCAA calendar of interest. May 22 is the new deadline for Ole Miss to submit to the NCAA its response to the NCAA’s notice of allegations. After Ole Miss submits its response the NCAA has 60 days to write its response to that. After the NCAA’s response a date for a hearing will be set. The complete Ole Miss response to the NCAA will be presented on the school’s website once it’s submitted to the NCAA. …
No. 2 Quarterback
Freeze said his No. 2 quarterback position is currently a “slash” between redshirt freshman Jason Pellerin and true freshman Shae Patterson. As predicted, look for an “or” between those two on the first depth chart.
Confidence in the future
Bjork says the life of a college athletics program is like a campaign with no election date. “You’re always asking people to help and support, to believe, to have vision just like we do, because you’re constantly churning for whatever’s next. That may be a challenge, or that may be an opportunity. We’re always going to tell people that we’re going to work hard. We’re going to have a great attitude. We’re going to do the right things, and we want you to come along for the journey.
“Every day, if you only maintain, you fall behind. That’s the message that we want to get out there. We want our program to grow. There are going to be some growing pains. There will be obstacles, but the family, the plan, the vision, the attitude and the effort will carry us forward.” …
North end zone work
Regarding north end zone expansion and renovation, while it’s been a wet spring Bjork said that’s been off-set to a degree because stadium work has reached a point where it’s vertical, so workers are not dealing with earth and mud.
The new grass turf for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will actually be planted earlier than originally planned, Bjork said.
Practice fields have been more affected by the rain, but Bjork said he’s confident work crews can make up the lost time.
“Right now everything is on time and on budget for opening weekend. Here’s the thing about the north end zone. We have to be ready. Those seats have been sold. The students are counting on them. We need those restrooms, those concessions. We have a great contractor, a great plan, and they’re making great progress.”