A few hours after he was arrested last December for an altercation with a cab driver, Ole Miss Basketball coach Andy Kennedy went on the offensive.
He vehemently denied accusations he punched and taunted the driver. He insisted he would be exonerated.
He even had a persuasive talk with the Ole Miss athletics director, who
publicly took his side.
Four months later, Kennedy is taking blame and apologizing.
The 41-year-old coach avoided jail time on Monday by pleading
guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in Hamilton County Cincinnati
Municipal Court. He was sentenced to 40 hours of community service
and probation...plus Fined $100 Dollars and Court Costs.
He released this statement via Satellite from Ole Miss late Monday afternoon.
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to Pete (Boone), the Athletics Department, to Chancellor (Robert) Khayat, our university, and to the entire Ole Miss family for any negative light that has been shown as a result of my involvement in this unfortunate situation. I acknowledge using poor judgment which resulted in an adverse reflection on me, my family, our program and the university that I so proudly represent. Our program is built on the Foundation of Accountability, and I, as its leader, take full responsibility for my actions and the consequences that follow. This "season" of adversity has presented me with many opportunities through which I could talk to our players about real life lessons. I, too, have learned a valuable lesson that will aid in my continued growth as a coach, a leader and, most importantly, a man. I want to publicly thank my boss, Pete Boone, our boss, Chancellor Khayat, the University of Mississippi and the loyal Rebels everywhere for their unwavering support. I look forward to moving ahead as I assure you that I will work diligently in my efforts to represent this university in the manner in which it deserves to be represented."
OLE MISS ATHLETICS DIRECTOR PETE BOONE STATEMENT ON ANDY KENNEDY
"I am pleased that a resolution has been reached that will put this unfortunate situation behind Coach Kennedy. Andy's role as Ole Miss' Head Basketball Coach requires him to lead the young men under his care. This means athletically, academically and in life. Andy should have handled this situation better as it relates to the time frame and subsequent dispute. Andy and I have had numerous conversations regarding this event. I believe the lessons he learned will pave the way for him to become a truly outstanding coach in every sense of the word. Coach Kennedy's on-the-court performance this season warranted a contract extension. Nevertheless, Coach Kennedy knows that any conduct that is detrimental to the image of Ole Miss is unacceptable. Therefore, Coach Kennedy and I have mutually agreed that an extension will not be consummated at this time. Adversity brings opportunity. Coach Kennedy and our program will emerge from this stronger. We look forward to next season."