We have now gone to a whole new level on this Dan Jones thing. After a week where 2500 Ole Miss supporters protested in front of the Lyceum and major givers reconsidered 8-figure gifts to Ole Miss, IHL had an even worse PR week than Noel Fritsch. With the media tracking the flights of the Ole Miss jet to follow the goings on, the crack PR team at IHL apparently has Jones right where they want him.
According to the Clarion Ledger, IHL reportedly made an offer to Jones to stay on only for two more years (other college presidents got 4 year deals), but would require him to apologize now and then resign after two years. Jones apparently countered that he would take the two year deal but not be required to resign.
Sources close to Jones’ side of the negotiations say he would have been required to resign after those two years — an offer he rejected. Other sources have cited a requirement that he acknowledge there were contract procurement violations at University of Mississippi Medical Center. A promise to correct those would be another contract condition, sources said.
First, I’ve always known that the worst thing you can give someone is exactly what they’ve asked for. From the Y’allPolitics Memorable Apologies Division (MAD), here are some of the better ones.
Jones could go all Bill Clinton on ‘em.
Or, he could dial it up a notch and go all Jerry Falwell on ‘em.
But if you’re going to do something right, do it all the way. If I’m Dan Jones, I call a press conference a do something like this just to show IHL what a real apology looks like.
Or maybe Jim Borsig could issue a similar apology to Jones. If he were still at MUW, he would have already teed off at Old Waverly on a Friday afternoon instead of fooling with this mess.
Second (and more seriously), if IHL has a reason that Dan Jones shouldn’t be around (malfeasance on contracts at the medical center), don’t “not renew” his contract. Don’t have him (the person that is in their eyes responsible for the problems) lead the search for his own replacement. Don’t give him a two year deal. Just go ahead and fire him. How is giving someone, who’s not doing something you want, two more years to do it going to help?
If, however, IHL doesn’t have a real reason to terminate, they should apologize clearly and unambiguously and openly admit that they screwed up. Don’t parse it. Don’t try to assign partial blame. Clean up the mess and move on. The public is not in any real position to know the details, and I freely admit that IHL may be privy to something they’ve yet to disclose, but the rhetoric from IHL still does not appear to match the facts out there at this point.
There seems to be way too much “splitting the baby” and “ass covering” and trying to make everyone feel good and/or not withhold donations (not necessarily in that order). And never mind that it’s an election year. No elected official is going to touch the IHL/Jones matter with a 10 foot pole. IHL is on their own on this deal.
The bottom line is that Jones either screwed up bad enough for IHL to be rid of him or he didn’t, and publicly “negotiating” about the circumstances he stays and who admits fault seems stupid.
One thing is for sure. IHL is on the clock to pick a course and execute on it. Right now, they still look less concerned with the right answer and more interested in searching for a solution to make the PR nightmare end.