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Leading Through A Crisis: Ross Bjork of Ole Miss

Guest Ross Bjork, University of Mississippi
37:18 watch


Over 90% of Ross Bjork’s tenure thus far at Ole Miss has been marked by continued investigations and intense public scrutiny. In this exclusive interview with AthleticDirectorU, Bjork reflects on key moments over the last seven years, experiences preparing for and subsequently time in front of the Committee on Infractions, the influence and assistance of outside counsel, communication strategies, how he’s changed as a leader, his own job security and ultimately, how he’s navigated the Rebels through the collective crisis.


(Click the timestamp below to jump to a specific question/topic)

  • - Why are you telling this story?
  • - If you could go back to the beginning, what would you tell yourself?
  • - How do you ensure everyone in your department is on the same page for public communications?
  • - How do you respond to those who believe you should have known what was going on within your football program?
  • - Did your response to the initial 2016 NCAA Notice of Allegations change after the Laremy Tunsil video was released?
  • - Why did it take a huge crisis for your department to take a deeper look into the football program?
  • - How do you counter the public perception that Barnie Farrar was a scapegoat?
  • - What was your strategy behind releasing the press conference video with then Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter and then Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze?
  • - At what point did you realize you had to terminate Coach Freeze?
  • - How did you prepare for the hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions?
  • - Describe the experience of going through a hearing in front of the NCAA Committee on Infractions
  • - What kind of questions did you face during the NCAA Committee on Infractions hearing and were there any you weren’t prepared for?
  • - How have you been able to balance the normal duties of an AD, while simultaneously leading the department through these NCAA situations?
  • - How concerned have you been about your own job security?