Some good news for Jacksonville State fans this evening, apparently Houston Nutt is not leaving Ole Miss after all. From Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger:
Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone said he had a 45-minute end-of-season meeting with football coach Houston Nutt this morning that "went well." Boone said the topics for the regular end-of-year visit were more "bigger-picture things" and that Nutt did most of the talking.
Boone said he thinks Nutt is "still digesting" what to do with his staff, which is what the coach said at a press conference earlier in the afternoon. But Boone said he didn’t demand any changes from his coach.
Boone said that Nutt’s contract, which previously expired at the end of the 2013 season, will automatically extend to 2014 due to a handshake agreement for a seven-year deal that was made when Nutt took the Ole Miss job after the 2007 season. Contracts with state employees in Mississippi can only last four years, thus the arrangement. Nutt will receive an automatic 5 percent raise as dictated by the contract to approximately $2.7 million, Boone said.
You have to give Nutt credit, the man is damn good... Ole Miss is basically prorating his salary out to about $700,000 per win in a bad economy. If I were that good you'd have to pay thousands of dollars to read this article.
In the long run, I don't think any of this really matters on either end. Clearly Ole Miss rightfully should fire Nutt, but realistically who would they get to replace him? No established high-end coach would ever consider them, and they'd have major problems just wooing a big-name assistant coach to use Oxford as a two or three year pit stop to a better job. Nutt will probably get fired at the end of 2011 unless things improve, he'll keep getting paid big bucks, Ole Miss will hire some other middling hack that will continue them in their long tradition of mediocrity, and Colonel Reb will continue to be nearly a guaranteed win for any halfway decent SEC team.