Keeping it in perspective

Published 10:04 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

Many Ole Miss football fans are reeling from Wednesday’s news that the now-concluded NCAA investigation into the football program has resulted in eight new allegations on top of what already existed, many of which could carry severe consequences for the athletic department and the university when the punishment is finally handed down.

We get it. It’s disappointing and embarrassing and an emotional blow for members of the Ole Miss faithful who’ve held on in good times and bad. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to keep it in perspective when it comes to how we spend our time and energy.

Even more disappointing than the alleged wrongdoing of football staffers and boosters is the defensive reaction of some fans on social media, including a few who openly wished harm on players and coaches of other teams and some who used the horrific sexual assault allegations surrounding Baylor’s football program as a prop to deflect blame or responsibility. That obviously doesn’t represent the majority of the fan base, but it’s inexcusable behavior that has the power to represent the university with little more than a screenshot and a few retweets.

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Football is a cultural pillar in the South and certainly in Oxford, but at the end of the day, it is just a game. A game many of us love, yes, but a game, nonetheless. If focus is placed anywhere, let it be on how the university responds and takes steps to rebuild what has been broken — not on anger or conspiracy theories. While it’s natural not to be thrilled about a bowl ban or other potentially severe consequences that lie ahead, at this point there’s little anyone can do other than let the chips fall where they may.