This letter was emailed earlier today to Ole Miss alumni and friends in response to the Forward Rebels newspaper ads placed on Monday of this week which criticized the Ole Miss administration.
Dear Ole Miss Family:
On Monday, September 19, 2011, full page public ads were placed in multiple Mississippi and Memphis daily newspapers by a group called “Forward Rebels.” These ads were directed anonymously at our University Athletic “Administration.”
Regretfully, these ads were not placed in Ole Miss publications or directed just to the Ole Miss family- they were placed in public daily newspapers for full public consumption. Our Ole Miss family has at times, and may in the future, differ among itself on issues regarding our University, whether they be coaches, athletic administration, etc. However, it is imperative that we address and resolve our differences and challenges in a manner which upholds the integrity and dignity of our great University. Public ads placed in newspapers are not and, in my opinion, will never be appropriate for our family to “air its laundry” to all who care to read about it. We must deal with those issues within our family and with those of us who love Ole Miss, and not through public advertising for those who do not love Ole Miss to capitalize to their benefit.”
It is not my job to decide who leads our athletic department or coaches our teams. Like all of you, I want to win. But even more so, I want Ole Miss to stand with dignity and our Ole Miss family to work together. If we have issues to be resolved- let’s resolve them! But not through public means to criticize our leadership to the world…that’s not what family does!
Therefore, I call upon all connected with “Forward Rebels” to please refrain from further public media criticism and let’s work together among ourselves to resolve whatever challenges or issues we face.
Also, please join me and continue to support our athletes and remain constructive and respectful to those who lead them. Most importantly, please continue to love Ole Miss – always!
Yours very truly,
Bill T. May
President, Ole Miss Alumni Association