Deadline Monday

As the Rebel Road Trip 2012 continues its route today through Corinth, Nashville, and Memphis, winding up on the Square in Oxford Saturday afternoon, a deadline is coming.

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Monday is an important day as Ole Miss people look down the road toward the start of a new football season against Central Arkansas in Oxford.

"April 30 is a big date for us," said Senior Associate Athletics Director and UMAA Foundation Executive Director Danny White. "That's the deadline to renew season tickets and priority seating donations. I know a lot of people are excited about the new direction of our football program with Coach (Hugh) Freeze. Our phones have been ringing off the hook. Renewals are going very, very well."

White admits there are a lot of things happening right now, many of them financially, for Ole Miss and its supporters. There are some differences people need to remain aware of as the deadline approaches.

"I'd like to encourage people to not get distracted by the (Forward Together) campaign," he said. "I know we're throwing a lot at our donors right now, and we're so grateful for their support. The campaign has been very impactful and will prove to be transformational for our department.

"But this (Monday deadline) is annual operating dollars critical to run this thing and to put our coaches and student-athletes on a competitive playing level with the rest of the SEC," White continued. "We need folks to renew their season tickets. Certainly people in 2009 when we sold out, we need all of you back on board. Let's fill that stadium. Our goal is to sell that stadium out on a season ticket basis every year."

White said he hopes Ole Miss people, even the ones that aren't able to attend all the games, will still purchase season tickets to help the cause.

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"We need you to step up and commit for the season. Even if you can't make it to every game, you can do something with those tickets and put some other Ole Miss people in our stadium. Now is the time for us to come together again and really make that commitment. The first level of investment is being a season ticket holder. We need everybody to jump on board."

This week's Rebel Road Trip seems to be helping with that. Several people tweeted to athletics director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze that they renewed their season tickets or purchased them for the first time after they heard them speak at the various locales this week.

That continues for the next couple of days, and then the deadline is here on Monday. The hope is by nightfall Monday, Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is sold out – to all Rebel fans except the 7,000 allotment for the Southeastern Conference schools on the home schedule and Texas Longhorn fans.

"I'm real excited about the Rebel Road Trip," White said prior to this week. "I think it's going to create a tremendous amount of buzz. I would hope the goodwill we create and the positive feelings we create lead to more season tickets being sold."

On the Rebel Road trip, fans and supporters have also been encouraged to get others not in attendance to buy season tickets and do what they can to help Ole Miss.

"What we talk a lot about is our folks being ambassadors for us," White said. "If we have 100 people show up for a breakfast, we need those people to go out and be season ticket sellers for us and really be ambassadors for Ole Miss. I know our loyal fans do that every day. We need to get more and more people to do that."

White said it's as much about spreading the word as anything else. That's what Ole Miss officials are doing this week as they travel Mississippi and other areas.

"We have a great story to tell. We have a great product to sell," he said. "This is a phenomenal institution with a rising athletic department. We have an opportunity to really become the most unique college football environment in America. In a lot of ways, we're already there. We feel like we can build a premier college football program."

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