Archive for July 28th, 2008

FOOTBALL: Powe’s in … Now what?

July 28, 2008

I celebrate today’s announcement, because I think I may have an August without the need for quotes from attorneys and the NCAA.

But what does the announcement mean for Ole Miss football. Now that Jerrell Powe is officially a part of Ole Miss football, how does it impact the 2008 Rebels?

— PA

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FOOTBALL: Powe’s statement

July 28, 2008

The following comes from Jerrell Powe by way of Ole Miss Media Relations.

— PA

“I am deeply grateful to Ole Miss and to the SEC for the opportunity to be admitted here and to prove that I can succeed academically and on the football field. I have always had faith and a plan and both are beginning to show results.

“Through God’s help and help from Ole Miss professors, counselors and coaches, I have successfully completed my first year of school at Ole Miss. However, my journey is just beginning. I have to continue to work hard in the classroom, and I still must prove myself on the football field in the SEC.

“Therefore, I have decided that I don’t deserve to give interviews yet, and that I will not give any interviews until such time as I have proven myself both in the classroom and on the football field. The teachers and the coaches will make that decision for me.

“Thank you for your interest in me. However, there are other Ole Miss student-athletes who are more deserving of your time and interest since they have already proven themselves.

“Thank you and God bless … Jerrell Powe #57″

FOOTBALL: Powe update

July 28, 2008

Here’s our update, which is also available at djournal.com. Neither Pete Boone nor Houston Nutt have been available for comment beyond the news release. We’ll have more in Tuesday’s print edition.

— PA

OXFORD – Jerrell Powe’s quest to play football at Ole Miss ended successfully today.

At roughly 4:20 this afternoon the university announced on its website that Powe was in good academic standing and had been cleared for competition for the 2008 season.

In addition to its news release, the university released letters from athletics director Pete Boone and SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

Boone’s letter informed Slive that Powe — a learning disabled student from Wayne County High School who has sought admission at Ole Miss since completing his prep career in 2004 – has made the necessary progress toward degree requirements while enrolled at Ole Miss for the 2007-2008 academic year.

In his responding letter Slive signed off on Powe’s eligibility.

In August 2007 the NCAA ruled that Powe could enroll at Ole Miss and receive athletic-related financial aid but could not play football until passing college coursework for a year, in effect making him a “partial qualifier.”

Since the SEC rules on partial qualifiers on a case-by-case basis, Slive held the final say on Powe’s immediate future.

“We are pleased that Jerrell will now become a student-athlete. It has been a long process and it is now time to move forward,” said Boone in the news release.

FOOTBALL: Powe is officially in

July 28, 2008

Here’s the link to the official university release. More to come.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Powe update

July 28, 2008

Ole Miss has announced that a Jerrel Powe update will be posted on its website — Olemisssports.com — later today. The school would not say if a final decision will be announced within the pending update. We’ll update you here as well.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Important dates upcoming

July 28, 2008

Aug. 2 – Freshmen and newcomers report.

Aug. 3 – Varsity reports.

Aug. 4 – First day of practice.

Aug. 5 – Campus media day.

Aug. 16 – Meet The Rebels Day.

Aug. 25 – First day of classes.

Aug. 30 – Ole Miss vs. Memphis, 5 p.m.

In the old days freshmen would report and practice a little bit before the veterans arrived. That’s changed, and most schools receive newcomers and veterans on the same day. In fact, Ole Miss is the only SEC school that will have separate report days for the new guys and the old guys.

I don’t know an exact practice schedule at this time. I do know that one of the first things Houston told the players in his first meeting with them was that they would on occasion practice inside during August.

I’ll post more significant dates as they become available.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Cleaning out the notebook

July 28, 2008

With August still a few days away it’s kind of hard to think about an Oct. 25 game. Still, last week in Hoover there was no shortage of questions to all the necessary parties about the Ole Miss game at Arkansas.

Everyone provided the safe answer, and there was nothing extra to come from Media Days to spark a game that will have emotions running high already.

“You can’t help but think about it. You grew up in Arkansas. You thought at one time you’d be there for life,” said Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who began his response in the second person. “I had 10 great years of experience there working with some great people. We won three titles. Two of them went to Atlanta. Very close against Florida, winning that ballgame. So we had some great days, great times there. You can’t help but think what it’s gonna be like coming in from the visitor side.”

Nutt said he’ll think about the return game at times, not much, because his attention usually shifts quickly to Memphis. Good thing. Ed Orgeron was 3-0 against Memphis, but all three games were close. It would have taken much to turn them the other way.

Ole Miss offensive tackle Michael Oher said he hadn’t given much thought to the Houston Nutt angle of  the Arkansas game. He’d just like to see his team be more competitive against the Razorbacks.

“We really haven’t had much of a chance against them except for my freshman season,” he said.

Indeed, the Razorbacks have outscored the Rebels 82-11 the last two seasons. A mediocre Arkansas team outscored a mediocre Ole Miss team 28-17 in Oxford in 2005.

On the Arkansas side of the equation, new Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino says he’s heard talk about the Oct. 25 game but more from boosters than from players.

“I do think that our players understand that, you know, it’s not us playing Coach Nutt. It is our players playing against their players, University of Arkansas playing Ole Miss, which has always been a great rivalry,” he said.

Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs, last year’s Rimington Award winner, says he expects he and his teammates to treat the encounter like any other game, but he was surprised to see Nutt leave.

“We kind of thought he was in the hot seat, and we thought that the LSU game would be the explanation point for him staying,” Luigs said. “There were things going on behind the scenes we didn’t know about and so the next week he was gone but you just have to play football and that’s what we’re here for.”

— PA

FYI: Looks like Ed is settling in

July 28, 2008

My mother often calls to tell me what’s being reported in Baton Rouge when she thinks it has some sort of impact on what I do up here. She called this morning to tell me about Ole Miss fans booing Ed Orgeron at the Saints training camp at Millsaps. I haven’t seen a whole lot of Ed coverage from camp except for him to say how much fun he’s having and how good it feels for him to be coaching DL with the Saints.

— PA

FYI: Ex-Rebels star Cozart in the news

July 28, 2008

Former Ole Miss star Zack Cozart was part of the world class minor league brawl between Peoria and Dayton last Thursday. Cozart didn’t throw any punches. He was actually hit in the head while batting and had to leave the game.

— PA