Hattiesburg and USM should be on same team

It’s time to bridge the divide between The University of Southern Mississippi and the city of Hattiesburg.

You might not have known that division was there, but it has been for years – even before Mayor Johnny Dupree railed against a 2004 tax proposal that would have taken from area businesses to provide funding for USM’s athletic facilities, which USM argued would be beneficial for the city’s economy.

The debate was fierce, the dissent often vitriolic.

In the end, the measure failed. The Southern Miss athletic department achieved its goals anyway, but not without financial hardship.

Sure, Dupree has made appearances at sporting events and alongside university presidents at various functions since then, but I know the Southern Miss fan base, and many of them haven’t forgotten. In fact, if Southern Miss fans were polled on whether or not they feel the city has adequately supported the school, Dupree probably wouldn’t like the results.

The Student Printz
4/26/11