While many expect Mississippi State’s John Cohen to take over soon as Auburn University’s athletic director, it has not been without some pushback from within the Auburn family.

According to Auburn Live's Justin Hokanson, Auburn University president Chris Roberts has received a lot of pushback for considering John Cohen, including from coaches within the athletic program.

Though the nature of the complaints has not been made public, Roberts reportedly plans to listen to all concerns before making his final decision.

If Cohen leaves Starkville for the Plains, what might that mean for Nelle Cohen, John Cohen’s wife?

Nelle Cohen is active on various boards and organizations, including the pro-LGBTQ activist group, the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi.

“Transforming donations into action, the LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi at the Community Foundation for Mississippi pools funds to support LGBTQ+ organizations across the state that address the needs of LGBTQ Mississippians,” the Fund’s website states. “As the first and only grantmaking fund in the state focused on supporting organizations that improve the quality of life for LGBTQ Mississippians, the fund at CFM works as a pipeline that fuels and enhances the work of LGBTQ-focused organizations by professional stewardship of funds and other resources from outside donors.”

Nelle Cohen was named to the Fund’s advisory board in 2020. That same year, she was recognized by another Mississippi LGBTQ organization, Starkville Pride, which organizes “pride” events in and around Starkville, Mississippi, including on Mississippi State’s campus.

“If you know anything about MSU Athletics, you know Nelle is there! Her husband John Cohen makes all of Starkville proud,” Starkville Pride said in a Facebook post in 2020.

Nelle Cohen is still listed as an advisory board member on the Fund’s website. In 2022, the organization issued $135,000 in grant funds to 10 pro-LGBTQ organizations.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email daniel.taylor@1819news.com.

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