Southern Miss releases statement regarding football controversy

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The Southern Miss football program is ready to move on following a controversial week between the powers that be, stemming from USM’s decision to not hire Art Briles as its new offensive coordinator.

Today, University President Dr. Rodney Bennett released a statement addressing an article published by ‘The Athletic’ on Thursday questioning the personnel decisions and recruitment practices of Head Coach Jay Hopson.

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The report suggested Hopson was acting without administrative approval when trying to hire Briles who was fired as head coach at Baylor in 2016 as result of an investigation into sexual assaults committed by some of his players. Bennett defies that notion; claiming Hopson did in fact go through the proper channels.

However, his statement fails to directly mention Charles West, a junior college football player accused of raping two women at knifepoint in separate incidents in 2015.

Last month, West signed a grant-in-aid to attend USM, but was later declined admission when members of the athletic department uncovered his past.



As it pertains to the situation as a whole, Bennett says “I consider the matter closed and I look forward to working with Coach Hopson on our mutual priorities and shared goals for the Southern Miss football program and how it contributes to our vision for the University of Southern Mississippi.”