With that said, I will say this - and it is based on fact, not rumor - the Ole Miss Athletic Department should be - and probably are - concerned about the NCAA as well. How concerned? I would be speculating if I offered an opinion on that. My information is not that detailed for me to know. It is only detailed enough to know that concern is very likely present at Ole Miss today. And I am not basing this on the fact that the NCAA was in Oxford interviewing their players earlier in the summer as reported by The Clarion-Ledger today.
While the Ole Miss Athletic Department officials may want to put the reason for that concern on the shoulders of Mississippi State fans, that is not where they should put it, at least not much of it. For the most part, it can squarely be placed on the shoulders of their own fans, fans on the internet message boards.
Fans, Ole Miss and State alike, have gotten out of control on the message boards with the vicious and mean-spirited NCAA accusations - moreso on the Ole Miss side than the MSU side (i.e., vent and eggbowl message boards). Our schools very well may be about to pay the price for us getting so out of control. I'm hopeful neither school will have to pay a huge price because of what we have posted. I, along with other MSU and Ole Miss website maintainers are part of the reason for this problem. We have allowed vicious, mean-spirited NCAA rumors to be posted on our boards.
During the past few years, I have tried to control my boards, even going to the point of asking fans to email me their real name and phone numbers before being allowed to post. I had gotten away from that practice the last few months, but have since added it back. However, even with this safeguard in place, rumors sometime were posted. I promise to be even more diligent in the future.
I will add more moderators on my board as an additional safeguard. I am also requesting that everybody that currently has a username on my message board start signing your real name at the bottom of your messages. While you don't have to do that, I hope you will. I also hope you will voluntarily set up another account with your real name as your username as soon as possible. To do this, you will need to change your email address in your current account to a bogus one since TheInsiders does not allow more than one username per email address. If you are a premium site member, then you will need to wait until your current subscription has expired before changing your username.
I hope the other MSU and Ole Miss website maintainers will follow suit and do what is necessary to gain control of their message boards. I can't make them do anything, but I'm hopeful, since they are all reasonable people, they will.
The bottom line is we all need to rethink what part we have played in what is happening today with our schools and the NCAA and quit doing things we know were wrong. While I know what I'm writing will fall on the eyes and hears of some so filled with hate that they will be too blind and deaf to understand the results of their hate-filled actions, I'm hopeful the reasonable and sensible folks among us will take a stand and somehow gain control of the internet, especially the message boards. And somehow get our rivalry back to a sports rivalry, as it should be, and not a rivalry filled with such hate. It is almost like a civil war on the internet with what almost seems like brother fighting against brother. We seem to have forgotten the fact that it is a sports rivalry, nothing more, nothing less.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at email@example.com.