“Hey, Powe! You still making fun of my dad!”
NFL player and Ole Miss favorite Jerrell Powe heard those words screamed at him in the Ole Miss football weight room recently. As Mr. Powe stood with other NFL stars, he was stunned to turn and see that Ole Miss Athletic Director Pete Boone’s son, who never played football at Ole Miss and who works for Regions Bank, not Ole Miss, was yelling at him angrily.
Not to mention the fact that Jerrell Powe is 6’2”, 335 pounds, the audacity of a non-Ole Miss employee simultaneously treating our team facilities like his personal weight room and accosting one of our most beloved players is astounding!
The next day, NFL player and Ole Miss legend Jerrell Powe was kicked out of Ole Miss practice facilities by Pete Boone.
Boone called out at Mr. Powe disparagingly, “Hey Powe! You make sure you come see me before you ever work out here again!” It is widely known that Mr. Powe has been an outspoken proponent of change at Ole Miss, and he went public last year regarding Pete Boone’s efforts to keep him from playing football at Ole Miss.
As retaliation, Pete Boone has now personally banished one of Ole Miss’s current NFL players, a guy who dedicated almost seven years of his life to Ole Miss football. Beyond that, he allows his own son to work out in that very gym and allows that son to mock our NFL heroes! You want to talk about “uncivil”?
Pete Boone’s rationalization for forcing Mr. Powe to leave the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) was a claim that NFL players who did not graduate are not allowed to exercise at Ole Miss facilities. This is simply false, and we can report with 100% certainty that Boone picks and chooses which non-graduating former players are allowed to use Boone’s IPF.
Boone continues to treat Ole Miss like his own personal country club, kicking people out at will, yet, at the same time, letting his own family, who never played sports here, use the IPF at no charge.
We believe that all NFL players should be allowed to use the IPF, so we are not going to list those players who did not graduate but are allowed to use the IPF. However, we have obtained personal confirmation that Boone’s policy is selectively applied to suit his preference.
Boone personally choosing which players to allow in the IPF is not new, and he treated Iraq veteran Tony Fein (RIP) and Linebacker Ashlee Palmer the same way. Prior to Fein and Palmer signing with NFL, they were kicked out of the IPF by Boone for not having graduated. Fein and Palmer had to literally sneak onto the field at Vaught Hemingway to train for NFL Pro Day, but, after they got on an NFL roster, Boone suddenly dropped his policy and allowed them back in the IPF. Palmer, a Compton native, simply never returned to Ole Miss.
Fein and Palmer asked Pete Boone and other athletic staff for the policy that was used to kick them out of the IPF, but Boone could never produce this on-again/off-again policy.
That is unadulterated exploitation. All the while, other more prominent players, players who did not graduate, were granted unfettered access to the IPF.
Today, if you speak out against a University official at Ole Miss, that public official will then use his authority to ban you from Ole Miss. It’s a common refrain… “You either support Pete Boone, or we don’t need you at Ole Miss!”
No one desires to be forced to reveal such pathetic facts, but, in the case of Ole Miss, the public must stand up for our school and defend it against such a discriminatory despot. If no one else will make a stand, we will!
It is a sad state of affairs when a lame duck failed athletic director is allowed to arbitrarily wield power – over publicly owned property – just to bolster his ego and to serve his son.
Voice your support for Jerrell. He gave his all for us, and he does not deserve to be treated like this by a failed AD, much less his child.
This must change, and it is the duty of our Chancellor and governing Board to eliminate such discrimination once and for all.
All of the above facts were reported first-hand and verbatim from the parties involved.
Update 1: This incident did not occur on or near Pro Day, and Powe's expulsion had no connection to other uses of the IPF.
Update 2: As stated in this article, Pete Boone justifies kicking select persons out of the IPF by saying that only players who have completed a degree or are currently enrolled and seeking a degree may use the IPF and that all others must ask for Boone's permission to use Ole Miss equipment. First, we have verified that numerous players who did not meet those criteria and who did not "ask permission" use the IPF without difficulty. Boone selectively enforces this mysterious "policy." Second, as discussed, when asked for this so-called policy, Boone has never been able to produce it. Boone uses this rationalization as a pretext to enforce his personal grudges.