OXFORD, MS (abc24.com) - Ole Miss fans are divided over a controversial campaign. An anonymous group called, Forward Rebels wants the school's athletic director fired because the football team is having a tough year.
Forward Rebels has published several newspaper ads calling for new leadership. The ads read 'Are you tired of losing, Ole Miss fans?' 'We've waited long enough. We're tired of losing.' 'It's time for a change.'
The university's Chancellor Dan Jones said the ads aren't the only message the Forward Rebels are sending.
In a letter to the entire Rebel community, he wrote: "As a part of this orchestrated campaign, I have received threats, promising that if I do not remove Pete Boone, it is going to get real ugly, and threatening to expand the attacks to other athletics employees."
The university doesn't plan to react to the ads or those threats.
"This seems to be a pretty big distraction. So we're not going to engage publicly in some kind of debate with an anonymous group that's using these coercive tactics," said Michael Thompson, a university spokesperson.
The school calls the campaign malicious and uncivil, and refuses to respond.
Students say the controversy is taking the fun out of football.
"Football is great fun to watch I guess, but it's just a sport. We don't always win and that's okay," James Martin told abc24.com.
They agree with the point behind the message, but not the way it's being handled.
"Their hearts are in a good place, but I don't think they're going about it the right way," said Jack Weathersby. "We're an SEC team, they're paid a lot to win games and if they're not doing it then we need to put some people in."
"Calling attention to something maybe like they're trying to, but doing it in a more civil manner, that could possibly get things done," said Gabriel Austin.
"All this commotion is going on, people just should stop. Both of us are Rebels. Both are the same alumni," Keithdrick Mack told abc24.com.
Forward Rebels could not be reached for comment.