Southern Miss faculty backs Hammond for AD job

HATTIESBURG — The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Senate wants Jeff Hammond to be the school’s next athletic director.

The American reports that the faculty body voted overwhelmingly in favor of outgoing President Martha Saunders’ choice of the former Army major general as the next permanent athletic director at the college.

Hammond is the school’s interim AD. In April, he criticized former AD Richard Giannini for running up a $1 million deficit at the athletic department.

The faculty body praised Hammond for making “important strides to improve the financial status of athletics.”

“We want someone who shows ethical behavior. That’s part of our core values,” said Desmond Fletcher, co-chair of the senate budget committee that drew up the recommendation.

The recommendation passed 23-0 with four senators not voting.