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MBJ Editorial

Two important personnel decisions jumped above the fold last week — newspaper talk for big news.

After considerable speculation but with little surprise, Gov.-elect Haley Barbour named Charlie Williams as his chief of staff.

Williams, a former chairman of the Ways and Means committee in the Mississippi House of Representatives, has the perfect background to help Barbour move forward with his important legislative agenda. The announcement last Tuesday in Jackson was welcomed by many members of the Legislature as a sign that Barbour is committed to working together with them.

And, as the governor-elected noted, a Mississippi governor can`t do a thing without the cooperation and support of the Legislature.

Welcome news also came from up the road in Starkville as Mississippi State University named Sylvester Croom its head football coach. Croom becomes the first African-American head football coach in Southeastern Conference history.

The announcement has members of the Bulldog family excited about a football program that has fallen on tough times in recent seasons. Croom, who will be leaving the Green Bay Packers at the end of the NFL`s season, brings a wealth of knowledge and ability to the MSU athletic department, and he will be a strong asset to the campus community.

Croom seems well aware of the tough position he`s in: losing seasons, high expectations, an ongoing NCAA investigation and of course being the first at anything is never easy.

But the new coach kept things in perspective when he said that black and white didn`t matter. The only color that does matter? Maroon.

The right person in a position can make all the difference in the world whatever the organization — university, state government or business and industry.

We’re confident that both Charlie Williams and Sylvester Croom will do well in their new positions, and that the state of Mississippi will benefit from their hard work, dedication and leadership.

We also wish them the best of luck. That never hurts and they`ll probably need it. In Mississippi, few games are rougher than politics and football.


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