Former Ole Miss running back worries protest could program - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Former Ole Miss running back worries protest could damage football program

(WMC-TV) - Like many of the students and staff at Ole Miss, former running back Deuce McAllister told USA Today he was embarrassed at the actions of a few after the presidential election.

He worries that the repercussions may bleed over to the football field.

The Ole Miss Rebels are in the middle of a winning football season, but after election protests turned racial on campus.

McAllister told USA Today he worries the national headlines might cause trouble for the football program trying to recruit black athletes.

"I could see some people looking at the protest and whatever went on and looking at Ole Miss in a negative light not wanting that," said student Taylor Bolland.

"I do believe everything was blown out of proportion, if it were anywhere else it probably wouldn't be as big," said student Eddie Williams.

But as a black athlete, McAllister said his alma mater has had to work harder to move forward, but worries that other SEC teams might use the incident to dissuade potential rebel recruits.

Students admit it may be a setback, but they will move forward.

"We have Hugh Freeze who harps on Christian morals everyone knows our programs, and I think we've been through this before with Colonel Reb and the flags and stuff and I think it just takes a little time," said student David Russell.

A spokesperson from the athletic department deferred any comments to the university where chancellor Jones has repeatedly said he condemns the actions of the few who participated.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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