Ole Miss leader rebukes athletic program critics

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi chancellor Dr. Dan Jones says in a letter to alumni that he won't be pressured into firing athletic director Pete Boone.

Jones said Thursday that he's committed to athletic excellence and will not succumb to "anonymous, malicious and public attacks" demanding Boone be fired.

Boone and football coach Houston Nutt have been under pressure after a 1-3 start to the season. A mostly anonymous group called Forward Rebels has taken out several full-page ads in Mississippi newspapers demanding changes in the Ole Miss administration.

Jones says he has received threats saying if he doesn't make changes, "It is going to get real ugly."

Jones says he evaluates Boone's performance regularly, but would not "engage in any sort of review in response to a public campaign to force his removal."