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Post Info TOPIC: HA, 8/11/12: Conflict of interest? Rouse may have violated ethics law

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HA, 8/11/12: Conflict of interest? Rouse may have violated ethics law
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HA's new pay-wall prevents free access to the HA, but you can read the story on other Gannett sites:

Conflict of interest? Rouse may have violated ethics law

These are turbulent times for state College Board trustee Dr. Doug Rouse....

Several text messages obtained by the Hattiesburg American show him asking Saunders to update him on her decision to hire a new AD to replace retired Athletic Director Richard Giannini.
"How are we looking for a decision on AD by tomorrow?" one text reads. Another says, "Would love to talk about search whenever you have a chance."
And one from April 15 shows Rouse trying to dissuade Saunders from hiring current AD Jeff Hammond before talking to local business leaders.
"Sorry we couldn't connect, but wanted you to know Evan Dillard, Lawrence Warren, Mickey Hudson, Ed Langton and Carl Nicholson called today stating they are against in-house hire for AD position (Hammond)," writes Rouse.
"These are not Richard (Giannini, former athletic director) supporters but people who support the Univ. as a whole, and I hope you will talk to them before hiring."
Nicholson and Dillard issued "no comment" statements about the text.
Warren and Hudson could not be reached for comment.
Langton said he talked with Rouse repeatedly, but that the text message does not adequately convey the series of conversations he had with him regarding the search for a new athletic director.
"I can't confirm or deny (opposition to an in-house hire). It requires too much depth to put a snippet in the paper," said the CEO of Grand Bank.

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