The playing of "From Dixie With Love" has been a pregame favorite of the Pride of the South marching band and Rebel fans for a long time.
It is in danger of disappearing due to a group of Ole Miss fans, mostly students, who insist on now chanting, at the end of the song, "The South Will Rise Again."
Chancellor Dan Jones has issued an edict that the song will be deleted from the band's play list if the chant is not stopped.
Ole Miss Coach Houston Nutt said he was unaware of the chant until this year, but now he's feeling some ramifications in his program from it.
"I got a call from a recruit's Mother who saw the story, that kind of went national," he said. "She was concerned about there being race problems here. I told her nothing could be further from the truth and I will prove it to her when they visited in December."
Nutt said he would hate to see the song go.
"I'm going on my second year to live in Oxford. This is one of the greatest communities there is," he began. "This is one of the greatest schools in the country. I have not seen one race issue ever, no matter where I go in this town or on this campus. Not one.
"All I see is harmony and I love the song, but I agree with the Chancellor. We don't want the words at the end of the song. We want the band to play that beautiful song the way it was intended and leave it at that."
Nutt said it's ridiculous that people have tied TSWRA again to the perception there are race problems at Ole Miss.
"Ridiculous. I can get you tons of parents that will 100 percent disagree with that. That's what stirs me up a little bit," he continued. "I thought I might have some issues in recruiting before I got here with the flag or whatever, but I have not. There's no racial tension here and it's a very good place to recruit. All of that is bogus by linking that chant with problems here. There are none.
"But when the national media picks up on it, it creates hurdles in recruiting and sheds a poor light on the great situation we have here."
Nutt was asked if he wished the administration at Ole Miss had tried to handle the issue more internally.
"I have my own problems. I am trying to make first downs and win football games. I didn't even know it was going on until recently," he stated. "I liked what Shepard Smith said in his video, by the way.
"All I know is there are black and white players on our team and I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood at a predominantly black school. I don't look at color. It bothers me that in 2009 we are talking about this. It's ridiculous we are being confronted with that now when it's totally unwarranted and as a result of a chant that needs to cease."
Nutt addresses TSWRA
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