October 18, 2021

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Ole Miss Spirit website fires reporter over made-up quotes allegation

Ole Miss Spirit website fires reporter over made-up quotes allegation

Ole Miss Spirit website fires reporter over made-up quotes allegation

Information about Ole Miss Spirit website fires reporter over made-up quotes allegation

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Lane Kiffin, whom this drama does not involve for once

Lane Kiffin, whom this drama does not involve for once
Photo: Getty Images

Ole Miss has been a haven for fun, light-hearted drama ever since Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her role in The Blind Side. Immediately after the movie was released, the Rebels had their first losing season in three years. They’ve had four different head coaches since and exactly five winning seasons (including 2021), two losing seasons, and two .500 seasons. Of course, there was the whole “coaches paying players” scandal under Hugh Freeze. Then, finally in 2019, the Rebels found their head coach of the future in… Lane Kiffin.

Now, Ole Miss football is at the center of another interesting story, but one that only tangentially involves the team.

With all the backlash Adam Schefter has received for sending an entire story to one of his sources, some people might have forgotten that you do actually need to TALK TO said sources before writing a piece with quotes from them. This was the case for Yancy Porter, a former reporter for Ole Miss Spirit, a 247Sports (now On3) site. Porter had written several pieces for Ole Miss Spirit concerning Ole Miss football’s recruitment processes during his time with the website. He was well-respected by Ole Miss fans, but he blew all of that away in one fell swoop.

It all started when Devin Brown, a 4-star QB recruit and USC commit, who started looking elsewhere after the Trojans fired head coach Clay Helton, took an official visit to Ole Miss on October 11.

The visit probably went the same way they all do. Ole Miss coaches probably hyped up their team and facilities and made Brown incredible promises all while talking down the University of Alabama. Brown probably thanked the coaches for their time and told them he’d let them know when he made a decision, but just as Brown was about to head to the airport to fly back to Utah, he was stopped by Porter. Porter asked for the quarterback’s number and said he’d be in touch.

The only problem is… Brown says Porter never got in touch with him, but still proceeded to publish an article about Brown’s visit quoting the Corner Canyon quarterback on his thoughts regarding the visit. From Porter’s piece, which has since been taken down: “[Ole Miss] blew me away, honestly. I loved everything about my trip down there.” Brown took offense to this.

Instead of issuing an apology though, Porter doubled down on his deceit, claiming that he got the quote from a third party who must have misquoted Brown. Brown wasn’t buying it though.

Brown called out the reporter, who proceeded to beg Brown via Twitter direct message to stop tweeting bad things about him because it was “making [him] look very bad.” What a sorry excuse for an apology. My word.

However, that’s not where the story ends. Obviously, when word of Porter’s fake quotes made their rounds on the internet, several people were calling for Porter’s career with Ole Miss Spirit as a recruiting analyst to be terminated after nearly a decade. Yet, the site’s owner, Chuck Rounsaville did not want to fire Porter. Why? Because he’s been a big part of Ole Miss recruiting since joining the site, of course. Emails from Rounsaville were leaked to the public and revealed as much.

Basically, the site’s owner said it’s okay to break the fundamental rules of reporting so long as you help his favorite football team get great players.

I shouldn’t have to explain why that’s beyond terrible.

These email leaks were enough to get Ole Miss Spirit to move on from Porter, and while there were rumors that Rounsaville would be terminated as well, 247Sports founder Shannon Terry said in a tweet yesterday that Rounsaville will remain on staff.

As for the Ole Miss Spirit site, the popular fan site has been moved from 247Sports to On3. While this move may sound like a pretty significant change for Ole Miss Spirit, On3 is just another site founded by Shannon Terry. Basically, this move to a different website just seems like a publicity stunt made to look like the site is being reprimanded when in reality, it’s just an attempt to get the new site publicity while dragging in the Ole Miss Spirit following that was built on 247Sports.

Arguably the most ironic news to come out of this whole situation is that Brown really did like his time at Ole Miss. He believed everyone representing Ole Miss football was “first class.”

However, Porter’s decision to quote Brown without speaking to him will probably drive the 4-star recruit away from Oxford. If that’s not poetic justice, I don’t know what is.

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