HATTIESBURG — New Southern Miss president Rodney Bennett said Tuesday that no decision has been made on the future of the school's athletic director, Jeff Hammond.
Hammond's one-year contract is set to expire on June 30.
Bennett, who officially became the university's president on April 1, admitted that the issue of athletic director has been a polarizing one.
There are USM supporters who strongly support Hammond, but there is also a faction that disapproves of the former Army Major General.
Athletics and sports bring out a lot of passion and conviction, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, Bennett said. We just have to channel that energy into ways that can be productive.
Bennett opened up the possibility of Hammond working on a month-to-month contract if he does not make a decision by June 30, but he emphasized that he wants to step up and address the matter.
I am able and willing to make hard decisions, Bennett said. I'm not going to shy away from what needs to be done to move the University of Southern Mississippi forward. I want to be fair and I want to give due diligence.