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SMU vs. Pittsburgh: Mustangs' A.D. 'Optimistic' Program Can Move On From June Jones' Arizona State Incident

Speaking with the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, Southern Methodist athletic director Steve Orsini acknowledged the "process" developing to smooth tensions between the program and current head coach June Jones, who was all but gone to Arizona State in December before a bizarre, last minute withdrawal of a contract offer from the Sun Devils.

Jones has re-committed publicly to SMU, but obviously some ill will from fans and alumni exist. Orsini commented on the path towards reconciliation:

"Is it completed? No," Orsini said. "But we work on it every day. ... I'm very optimistic, but it is a process."

Orsini credited Jones' willingness to address questions and his public recommitment to SMU for the ability to turn the page. Orsini said he and Jones regularly discuss the issue and hope to turn it into something positive.

It's crucial as SMU hopes to build attendance and the program.

"We need to send the right message to fans," Orsini said. "We need their support, we can't do this in a vacuum."

Orsini also told the Morning News that no talks had occurred since the Arizona State incident regarding a change to Jones' contract with the Mustangs, which was extended following the 2010 season.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.