Friday, March 27, 2015  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Gatsby Gala Attracts Crowd to Mississippi State
Flappers and foot tappers took over Mississippi State Thursday evening. The 9th Annual Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival began with the Gatsby Gala fashion show. The MSU Fashion board modeled the 1920's fashions, designed and sewn by design students. The next two days will be filled with concerts, activities and seminars. Previously an event exclusively featuring piano and concentrating mainly on ragtime, the Templeton Festival is "spreading its wings to include more instruments and styles," said Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman. As an added festival feature, free public viewings of "African American Treasures," a section of The Kinsey Collection -- among the largest private collections of its kind in the world -- will be available March 21-June 20 in Mitchell's third-floor John Grisham Room.
 
MSU Cheese Store adds catfish fillets
Frozen catfish fillets have joined Edam cheese, ice cream, muscadine juice, peanuts, beef and more in the lineup of local products for sale in the Mississippi State University Cheese Store. Starting Monday, shoppers can buy 4-pound boxes of frozen, U.S. farm-raised catfish in the cheese outlet, also known as the MAFES Sales Store, operated by the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Catfish will be sold in the popular 2- to 3-ounce fillets at a price in line with the current market. Troy Weaver, manager of the MAFES Sales Store, said the catfish will be available year-round.
 
Mississippi State student wins statewide solo piano competition
A Mississippi State University sophomore from Brandon is this year's winner in the piano solo division of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association competition. Sarah E. Jenkins is a music major concentrating in piano and a president's list scholar. Professor Rosangela Sebba, who chairs MSU's piano program, said she and her music department colleagues are especially proud of Jenkins "because this is the first competition that she entered, and she won first place."
 
Holmes Cultural Diversity Center presents International Fiesta
The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center of Mississippi State University will host the 25th annual International Fiesta this Saturday on the Drill Field. Throughout the years, the HCDC and the Multicultural Lions Club have gathered a tremendous amount of international students each with their own unique culture, including music, dancing and food. "This is the 25th year of the International Fiesta, which is a big deal. It started as a tiny event in front of Kroger, and it has eventually grown into a huge Mississippi State event," Amy Harrison said. Food is a huge part of the fiesta.
 
Unemployment dips in Golden Triangle, but experts say students skew numbers
The Golden Triangle saw an impressive dip in unemployment rates over the past month, but the numbers, while generally encouraging, can be a bit deceiving. February's unemployment rates fell anywhere from 1.2 to 1.8 percent in the three Golden Triangle counties, as well as Noxubee County, and there were 700 fewer people listed as unemployment in February than in January, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Mary Willoughby, of the MDES' labor information department, said the drop may be more a matter of students returning to school after working the holidays than a surge in jobless people finding work.
 
Documenting the Blues in the Mississippi Delta
The urgent need to preserve a cornerstone of American culture led folklorists like John Lomax to travel the country documenting early blues recordings and writers like Amiri Baraka to publish "Blues People: Negro Music in White America." Although Margo Cooper did not know it when she began more than 20 years ago, she has followed that tradition and produced a documentary project that archives the oral and visual histories of blues musicians, their families and communities in northern Mississippi and the Delta. Her project, "Deep Inside the Blues," includes B.B. King, Sam Carr, Bobby Rush, R.L. Burnside, Otha Turner and many others. It is, for her, a love letter to the people she befriended in the Deep South.
 
Mississippi farmers take nearly $1B personal-income hit
Mississippi farmers took a nearly $1 billion hit in personal income in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The BEA released numbers Wednesday relating to the nation's personal income growth. Broken down by state, the study found Mississippi's personal income grew in 2014 but saw a decrease in the growth rate from previous years. Mississippi saw 1.3 percent growth in personal income in 2014. The national growth rate was 3.9 percent. "The striking thing about last year, 2014, is in most states personal income growth accelerated," said David Lenze, an economist with BEA. "Nationally, it went from 2.0 percent to 3.9. Mississippi went the opposite. It fell. So Mississippi was going in the opposite direction."
 
USDA rule would limit payments to non-farmers
Farm payments to non-farmers would be limited to individuals designated as farm managers under a proposed rule change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the proposed rule that would be consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. Congress gave the USDA the authority to address a loophole for joint ventures and general partnerships, while exempting family farm operations from being impacted.
 
Harris out; Mississippi Supreme Court decides special judge will hear SRHS cases
Chancery Judge Neil Harris must remove himself from presiding over cases filed against Singing River Health System, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered. The court plans to appoint a special judge to hear the cases. SRHS asked for Harris' recusal, maintaining that he could appear to be biased. Both lawsuits were filed over Singing River Health System's underfunded pension plan, one by retiree Cynthia Almond and another by current SRHS employees. The court ruled 5-1 in favor of recusal, with Justice Jess Dickinson dissenting. Justices Randy Pierce, Mike Randolph and Josiah Coleman did not participate.
 
New questions plague Department of Mental Health's records refusal
A growing number of people now claim the Mississippi Department of Mental Health didn't disclose its intentions to keep confidential a study whose participants believed it would be made public. One of them, special-needs advocate Joy Hogge of Jackson-based Families As Allies, wants to retroactively withdraw her consent and have her information redacted from the report. She also wants the same courtesy extended to other participants who now feel deceived. At issue is a recently completed study on children's mental health services conducted by Boston-based Technical Assistance Collaborative, a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in the area of mental health.
 
Special-needs voucher bill heads to Bryant
Legislation to provide state funds for students with special needs to pursue private education options passed the Senate 30-18 Thursday. The legislation, which passed the House earlier this session, now goes to Gov. Phil Bryant, who is expected to sign it into law. Detractors of the legislation say it creates a voucher system and siphons state funds away from an already underfunded public education system. Supporters, including Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, the primary author of the legislation, say help is needed for the students, whose needs are not being met in the public schools. "If you care about students with special needs, this bill doesn't do much for them," said Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory. "If you want to establish a voucher program, this is your bill."
 
Push for Private Options in Education Gains Momentum
A growing number of statehouses are considering measures that would allow school districts, parents and students increasingly to use taxpayer funds to explore alternatives to traditional state-backed public education. The flurry of new bills---which range from supporting private-school options to putting education dollars directly into parents' hands---come amid concerns of increasing federal overreach in schools and a backlash against the widespread implementation of shared learning benchmarks and standardized testing. A bill to establish so-called education savings accounts, which put state funds into special savings accounts for some parents to pay for certain services directly, passed through both chambers in Mississippi on Thursday.
 
Four candidates qualify for 1st District congressional race
Tupelo dentist Ed Holliday, Eupora lawyer Henry Ross, State Sen. Nancy Collins and Tishomingo County attorney Daniel Sparks all qualified Thursday for Mississippi's 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. Congress. The four candidates are the latest to have gathered and submitted 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State's office ahead of the qualifying deadline today. Four candidates have yet to qualify.
 
Hillary's brother raised Chinese money for McAuliffe's green car venture in Mississippi
With his sister serving as secretary of state, Tony Rodham, the brother of likely Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, became a kind of traveling salesman in China for a politically connected green car company that was building a factory in a distressed corner of Mississippi. "When I first got involved, Tony was taking part in jaunts to China, and they would do presentations. Somebody in China did recruiting and found people who were interested and could qualify," said former Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D-La.), who until December sat on the board of Rodham's Gulf Coast Funds Management. Blanco told POLITICO that while Rodham was listed as president and CEO, he appeared to have little day-to-day involvement in the firm. His principal role was recruiting investors for Gulf Coast's main client, GreenTech Automotive, a start-up automotive company linked to Terry McAuliffe, now Virginia's governor. GreenTech completed construction of a factory building in Tunica, Miss. last year.
 
Harry Reid will not seek reelection
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Friday morning he will not seek reelection. His departure opens up a top swing seat and deprives Republicans of their hopes to take out the Democratic leader. "I have had time to ponder and to think," he said in a video released by his office, referring to his recent time off as a result of an injury. "We've got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the State of Nevada than us and as a result of that, I'm not going to run for reelection." He tried to limit speculation that the departure was linked to the injuries he sustained to his face and ribs earlier this year that has left him with dark bruises on his face and wearing protective glasses.
 
Research and Development Cuts Under Sequestration Worry Defense Department
Military research and development, and the technological superiority it creates, will bear an outsized share of cuts if sequestration remains, US Defense Department officials told members of the House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee Thursday. After a decade spent focusing on counterinsurgency, the US' technology edge is eroding, said Alan Shaffer, the DoD's principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering. Opponents and potential adversaries, having seen how effective US technological superiority was in the first Gulf War, have spent the intervening years ramping up their military research, closing the gap with the US, he said. If the budget caps set by 2011's Budget Control Act, known as sequestration, are reinstated in FY 2016, they will hinder the military's ability to develop the next generation of technologies, he said.
 
Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?
Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones? In the last several years, Boulder and Denver have become hubs for tech startups, and companies in the state's Front Range are on a tear, patenting new technologies in irrigation, food science and plant genetics. Public scientists are keeping pace, publishing research articles in agricultural science in record numbers. The equation for the growth sounds something like: universities plus entrepreneurs minus regulation multiplied by high quality of life equals innovation.
 
Drones Invade Hollywood
Used for everything from car commercials to news programs to televised sports, drones are becoming a permanent addition to aerial photographers' toolboxes thanks to their relative ease, agility and low cost. The remote-controlled aircraft are creating a new visual vocabulary in entertainment, delivering the stunning aerials once reserved for big-budget movies to even mundane projects. With the technology still new, Hollywood is split over whether the aircraft are artistic tools or flying buzz saws. The Federal Aviation Administration bars most drone flights for profit---only hobbyists can use them legally. But late last year, the agency began issuing exemptions to certain companies using drones in fields such as real estate and engineering.
 
Black Caucus: College Board lacks diversity
Members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus and a black education group are criticizing Republican Gov. Phil Bryant for what they see as lack of diversity in his College Board nominations. The caucus chairman, Democratic Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones of Canton, said Thursday that black senators are prepared to vote against three pending nominations. Jones said it is "disgraceful" that the 12-member College Board will soon not have a graduate of any of Mississippi's three public historically black universities. Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said the governor has a strong record on diverse appointments, including nominating a woman and an African-American man to the College Board in 2012.
 
Bryant criticized for latest College Board appointees
Black legislative and higher education leaders are protesting Gov. Phil Bryant's appointees to the state College Board, saying they lack diversity and representation of historically black public universities. The protest came shortly before a Senate committee on Thursday passed the last three of Bryant's four new appointees -- including one African American -- to the full Senate for ratification. Universities and College Chairman John Polk, R-Hattiesburg, said he expected the nominations to be presented today to the full Senate. Bryant has previously appointed four members to the 12-member College Board, and has four appointees who will start in May. Those eight Bryant appointments include one woman and two African Americans, none graduates of Mississippi's historically black public universities.
 
Dan Jones rejects 2-year deal, negotiations continue
Negotiations are continuing Friday after Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones rejected the state College Board's offer of a two-year contract extension, The Clarion-Ledger has been told. Contracts for university heads usually last for four years. Sources close to Jones' side of the continuing negotiations say he would have been required to resign after those two years -- an offer he rejected. Other sources have cited a requirement that he acknowledge there were contract procurement violations at University of Mississippi Medical Center. A promise to correct those would be another contract condition, sources said. Jones has reportedly counter-offered that he would accept the two-year offer and agree to a full review of his work by the board. If the board still wanted him out at that point, he would willingly resign.
 
IHL, Jones mull possible contract extension
University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones has been offered a two-year contract extension by the State Institutions of Higher Learning, sources have confirmed to the Daily Journal. Under the offer, Jones would be given a two-year extension, instead of the traditional four-year contract, and would have to make a public apology to the College Board. The offer was made during negotiations that have taken place between Jones and the IHL this week and which continued on Thursday. Whether those talks are close to any resolution is unclear, however. IHL Commissioner Jim Borsig would not comment about the negotiations on Thursday.
 
Mississippi Meets the Pitfalls of Running a Medical Center and a University
The ouster of the University of Mississippi's chancellor, Daniel W. Jones, came as an upsetting surprise to thousands who protested this week. It was less startling to administrators and observers elsewhere in the nation who have seen the challenges of managing both a university and a major medical center that can dwarf even a flagship institution in size and complexity. "This really opens up an important issue for American higher education," said Darrell G. Kirch, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The fundamental problem dates back 100 years, Dr. Kirch said, when universities realized they needed "real world" clinical centers to train their doctors. Since then, health care has grown into the nation's largest industry. And with that, he said, "there is no other American business in which the university has become so deeply involved."
 
Southern Miss holds ribbon cutting for Small Business Development Center
The College of Business at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg unveiled the new Southern Miss Small Business Development Center in a special ceremony on Thursday afternoon. Counselors in this new center will work with people to start new businesses, help with proposals to get additional funding for existing businesses and advise people who are struggling with small businesses.
 
As Alpha Psi Rodeo grows at Auburn, so do safety concerns
Over the past 50 years, the iconic Alpha Psi Rodeo has grown to be the largest charitable event hosted by Auburn University students and one of the biggest fundraisers in the nation. But with last year's attendance ballooning to 15,000 people at Auburn's biggest party, the event has also earned a notorious reputation. The day-long event draws jean short-clad college students from across the Southeast who pile friends and coolers into the backs of pickup trucks, a combination that concerns law enforcement. "It requires a lot of presence by law enforcement because there is a lot of alcohol involved in the venue," said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register. "When you get 15,000 or so young people drinking alcohol, there is the opportunity to get hurt."
 
LSU's Acacia fraternity booted from campus following university hazing probe
LSU's Acacia fraternity has been shuttered -- at least through 2018 -- after a university investigation concluded that the group had hazed new members last fall. According to LSU, the university was notified of several allegations against the fraternity, including forced alcohol consumption and physical violence. The university says it confirmed those and other Student Code violations, including numerous acts of theft during a road trip to Auburn University last fall. Those thefts included "several high value items from a tailgate and a fraternity composite" from an Auburn fraternity house.
 
New UGA animal hospital open as veterinary college alumni gather in Athens
Tails are wagging at the announcement of University of Georgia's new Veterinary Teaching Hospital opening this week in its new location. The well-timed opening occurs just ahead of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine's annual Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend. Veterinarians at the new teaching hospital at 2200 College Station Road held their first appointments on Wednesday, beginning with a dog owned by the dean of UGA's Odum School of Ecology, who brought his 10-year-old Labrador retriever to exercise on one of the hospital's new underwater treadmills. The new College Station campus, called the UGA Veterinary Medical Center, includes an education center with an auditorium and three classrooms as well as the teaching hospital.
 
Authorities searching for missing UGA student
Authorities this morning are searching for a University of Georgia student who reportedly was extremely intoxicated when she went missing in downtown Athens. Nicole Pope, 20, was last seen at about 3:19 a.m. Friday in the area of Foundry Street, according to a lookout issued at 5:07 a.m. by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. The lookout stated that the student may be sparsely clothed. The search is currently concentrating in the area where Pope was last seen and locations along North Avenue. Authorities are contemplating going door-to-door.
 
Fayetteville Couple Create Endowed Engineering Scholarship at U. of Arkansas
A Fayetteville couple is donating $100,000 to establish a scholarship in electrical engineering at the University of Arkansas. The donation from Hugh and Martha Brewer will be used to create the Hugh and Martha Brewer Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering. Undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering and enrolled full-time will be eligible for the scholarship.
 
Texas A&M, Blinn College students prepare for the worst at annual Disaster Day simulation
Inside of a College Station gymnasium, amid the hysteria of several hundred victims of a wildfire that broke out Thursday morning, Texas A&M senior nursing student Kyla Jo Gresham tries to keep her cool. While tending to a patient suffering from internal bleeding, Gresham is surrounded by cots full of burn victims, people searching for friends and family, and even a woman in labor. It's just a drill, though. Gresham was one of 350 A&M and Blinn students tasked with caring for the more than 700 volunteer actors who donned makeup to reflect their various maladies as a part of the A&M Health Science Center's Disaster Day simulation.
 
Texas A&M scientists discover oxygen-breathing life more than 200 feet below sea floor
The discovery of oxygen-breathing life more than 200 feet below the sea floor could open up new research possibilities in the ocean's greatest depths and beyond, according to one Texas A&M University researcher. Carlos Alvarez-Zarikian, expedition project manager and staff scientist with the International Ocean Discovery Program at Texas A&M, was part of an international team that discovered microbial life exists throughout the space between the ancient igneous basement rock that forms the crust of continents. The revelation reverses a widely accepted belief that life can only exist within the top few meters of sediment below the ocean floor, which could help scientists understand more about how life can exist in the harshest conditions. Alvarez-Zarikian said he was surprised by the discovery.
 
About half of eligible U. of Missouri administrators accept voluntary buyout
Nearly half of the eligible academic administrators at the University of Missouri have accepted a voluntary buyout option, but the university has no intention of revealing the identities of those administrators. Missouri's open records law has an exemption for "individually identifiable personnel records," but citing that exemption as a reason for not disclosing names of employees who are eligible for or who have accepted a buyout has not been challenged in court. A total of 28 out of 48 total academic administrators -- including deans, among other academic roles -- were eligible for the voluntary buyout. Details about how much money is being saved by the administrative buyout were not available.
 
Universities: The world is going to university
The modern research university, a marriage of the Oxbridge college and the German research institute, was invented in America, and has become the gold standard for the world. Mass higher education started in America in the 19th century, spread to Europe and East Asia in the 20th and is now happening pretty much everywhere except sub-Saharan Africa. America's early and lasting enthusiasm for higher education has given it the biggest and best-funded system in the world. Hardly surprising, then, that other countries are emulating its model as they send ever more of their school-leavers to get a university education. But, an Economist special report argues, just as America's system is spreading, there are growing concerns about whether it is really worth the vast sums spent on it.
 
Why Colleges Don't Do More to Rein In Frats
It's getting hard to keep up with the number of shocking incidents attributed to fraternities. As headlines pile up -- racist and sexist speech, sexual impropriety, destruction of property, hazing, illegal drugs, and even the death of a student -- there is a growing sense that Greek organizations are out of control. As a result, some colleges have moved to close fraternities, suspend or expel student offenders, and -- in cases of alleged criminal activity -- open their own investigations. But the latest spate of bad behavior has raised bigger questions about Greek organizations' place on campuses: Why don't colleges, or the national associations the fraternities represent, hold frats more accountable? Can they, or should they, do more? How? Cracking down on fraternities faces big hurdles.
 
Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal
A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of "fabricated" peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications. The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it's not "a China problem. We get a lot of robust research of China. We see this as a broader problem of how scientists are judged."


SPORTS
 
Current Bulldogs resembling 2013 baseball team
John Cohen has heard the comparisons between his current Mississippi State baseball team and the 2013 squad that reached the College World Series and played for a national championship. He just hasn't had time to give it much thought. "We just don't have time to analyze it," Cohen said. "We have to get ready for Auburn. This club is a different group. I do think this group is capable of getting on a roll." While the resumes to this point are similar, the end of the season turned out great for the Bulldogs two years ago. This season? That remains to be seen. "This team does everything, as a coach, you'd want them to do," Cohen said. "They are probably some of the best students we've ever had. They approach the game the right way."
 
Cohen hopes to find a spark
Mississippi State was rolling right along, beginning the year with a 13-game winning streak until suffering its first loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff on March 3. The Diamond Dogs are just 5-9 since, dropping their first two SEC weekend series to start the year. MSU will try to find its groove again while hosting Auburn this weekend for a three-game set that starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. "We just need to get back to the way we were playing at the beginning of the season," said MSU pitcher Paxton Stover. "We weren't playing SEC schools but it just seemed like everything was on track and everybody was working together. We were hot and it just kind of flowed. We just need to get back to that point."
 
Humphreys emerges as Mississippi State's hottest hitter
Though an afternoon class had him running a little late for Mississippi State's Thursday baseball practice, MSU left fielder Reid Humphreys didn't have to worry about finding a parking space. There, just under the grandstand at MSU's Dudy Noble Field, was an empty space, with a small sign indicating that the spot is reserved for MSU's hitter of the week. For his huge effort at Kentucky last weekend, the parking space currently belongs to Humphreys. "I would love to keep that parking spot for the rest of the year," said Humphreys, a sophomore from Northwest Rankin High. "But we have a lot of great hitters on this team who are coming for it." Humphreys and his teammates will each take their turns vying for the right to park right outside the MSU locker room this weekend, when the Bulldogs -- currently 2-4 in Southeastern Conference play -- host 1-5 Auburn.
 
Tigers try to get back to winning ways vs. Mississippi State
In the midst of its second multiple-game losing streak of the season, the Auburn baseball team will look to get back to its winning ways this weekend as the Tigers head to Starkville, Miss., to face the No. 28 Bulldogs of Mississippi State. The 15-10 (1-5 SEC) Tigers will be taking on the 28th-ranked Bulldogs (18-9, 2-4 SEC) for three games beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. For Auburn to have any success against the Bulldogs, the bats will need to be in full force. The Tigers will face Mississippi State's Preston Brown on Friday, who has a 3-2 mark and a 3.77 ERA. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Jacob Robson, who's hitting at a .415 clip.
 
Silkwood's no-hitter fuels Mississippi State softball sweep of USM
Alexis Silkwood helped the Mississippi State softball team close a six-game road trip in styles Wednesday night. The sophomore left-hander threw a six-inning no-hitter in a 10-0 win in Game 1 before MSU rallied for a 12-6 victory in the nightcap to sweep Southern Mississippi at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. "It's always nice to get two road wins," MSU coach Vann Stuedeman said. "The MSU Hattiesburg Alumni Chapter greeted the bus as we rolled in. It was nice to see so much maroon in the stands." MSU will play host to No. 2 Florida (30-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Game 1 of a three-game weekend series.
 
Mississippi State's RPI still high as No. 3 Florida prepares to visit
This past weekend, the Mississippi State softball team lost a Southeastern Conference series to arch-rival Ole Miss and subsequently its first national ranking in six seasons. Tuesday, the Bulldogs found out the damage was not as severe as first thought. MSU checked in at No. 27 in the first Ratings Percentage Index released by the NCAA. The RPI is one of the major tools used to determine the teams invited to postseason play. The Bulldogs then took out their aggression from the two Saturday losses on fellow in-state rival Southern Mississippi in a doubleheader sweep Wednesday night in Hattiesburg. Now, MSU (24-8, 4-5 SEC) returns home and looks for more RPI points when it plays host to defending national champion and third-ranked Florida (30-3, 3-3 SEC). The three-game SEC weekend series starts at 5:30 p.m. today on SEC Network+.
 
Mississippi State players react to hiring of Ben Howland
In Ben Howland's first public appearance as Mississippi State's head basketball coach, the first people he embraced were his players. He walked out of the tunnel at Humphrey Coliseum to applause from hundreds of fans in attendance last Tuesday. Instead of walking to the podium, he turned left to fist bump Gavin Ware, Craig Sword and others. "I met our team (Monday) night for the first time and was so impressed with the character of these young men," Howland said. "Coach (Rick) Ray and his staff recruiting not only good players but young men of high character."
 
Freeze, Mullen take course with golf legends at Fallen Oak
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and his coaching counterpart at Mississippi State, Dan Mullen, took part in the week's final pro-am prior to the start of today's Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak Golf Club. Freeze was part of the group featuring Couples and Mullen was teamed with Billy Andrade. Thursday's pro-am was put to a halt at 11:53 a.m. due to heavy rain and lightning in the area. Freeze's group managed to get in nine holes while Mullen teed off on the seventh just before the rain started and played 15 holes total. While the two coaches were treated like celebrities along with the rest of the golfing legends, Mullen's wife, Megan, also received plenty of attention. She once worked as a TV anchor for the Golf Channel and was the captain of her high school golf team. "Everybody out here knows Megan from her days with the Golf Channel," Mullen said.
 
RICK CLEVELAND (OPINION): Mullen, Freeze tackle Champions pro-am
Syndicated Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "So, I saw Hugh Freeze leave it in the sand trap on the par-5 first hole at Fallen Oak. I saw Dan Mullen leave it in the trap from the 18th fairway. Lots of sand flew out of both traps. No ball. Both took it like a man, here at Thursday's Champions Tour Gulf Resorts C Spire Pro-am. Ole Miss and State fans should both cheer. Here's why: You never want your football coach to be too good a golfer. You want your football coach on the road recruiting or in the film room, not on the golf course."
 
Education groups reconsider hosting events in Indiana after new 'religious freedom' law
The National Collegiate Athletic Association said Thursday that it is "especially concerned" by the passing of a controversial Indiana law that critics argue gives businesses the right to refuse service to gay people. The N.C.A.A. is one of a number of organizations with ties to higher education and plans to host events in Indiana that are speaking out against the law -- known as S.B. 101 -- as college sports officials, educators and pundits call on the groups to boycott the state outright. "We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees," Mark Emmert, president of the N.C.A.A., said in a statement. The N.C.A.A., which is headquartered in Indiana, is not likely to change the location of its Final Four games at this late stage, but the statement does express a willingness to avoid hosting upcoming N.C.A.A. events in the state.
 
Donnie Tyndall out as U. of Tennessee basketball coach
Donnie Tyndall is out as the University of Tennessee's head basketball coach The athletics department, which confirmed Tyndall's termination, will hold a press conference Friday morning. "It is disappointing that we have to take this action," athletics director Dave Hart said in a statement. The NCAA has been investigating Tyndall for violations that allegedly occurred during his time as head coach at Southern Miss. During the investigation, Tyndall avoided speaking publicly about it, saying only that he was cooperating with NCAA officials. This isn't the first time that Tyndall has encountered trouble with the NCAA.
 
Guarantees for upcoming U. of Missouri football games total nearly $5 million
Missouri is on the hook $4.91 million in football guarantee games over the next six seasons, according to copies of athletic department contracts obtained by the Tribune through a public-records request. Upcoming home games against in-state FCS teams Missouri State and Southeast Missouri State will cost the Tigers around $400,000 each. Missouri has to shell out more than $ 1 million to get midmajor FBS teams Eastern Michigan and Idaho to Memorial Stadium. Missouri executive associate athletic director Bryan Maggard, who handles football scheduling, said guarantee games with midmajor schools went for $700,000-$800,000 as recently as a few years ago. "It's indicative of the fact that your midmajor programs have greater needs from a financial standpoint," Maggard said.
 
Duke study: Most 'die-hard' college fans are male, white and didn't go to the school they cheer for
A study released by a professor at Duke University found that for those considered "die-hard" fans of a particular university, only about a third ever attended the school. The finding, from a study by Charles Clotfelter, a professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy, was based on mentions of team loyalties published in obituaries. Clotfelter chose 26 colleges with colorful team names and searched online obituaries for references to the schools. While a "large minority" of super fans did not attend college, the group as a whole was twice as likely to have gone to college than the general population.
 
Changes at Syracuse U. do little to hold officials accountable for academic fraud, critics say
When Syracuse University last week announced the resignation of its athletics director and impending retirement of its revered basketball coach, the university's supporters and even some of its critics said the moves showed the university was finally owning up to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's allegations that Syracuse failed to properly monitor its basketball program for over a decade, leading to academic fraud, improper payment to athletes by a booster and failure to follow its own drug testing policies. But some faculty members and critics of big-time college sports aren't convinced the university is sufficiently punishing those who share the blame for the fraud.
 
For UConn Women, Twitter Is Off Limits Until Off-Season
On Oct. 14, the day before their first practice of the season, several Connecticut women's basketball players sent similar messages to their Twitter followers. The words differed, but the meaning was the same. "Bye bye Twitter," the junior guard Moriah Jefferson (@_BonnBonn) wrote. "See Ya after season." The top-seeded Huskies (34-1) hope they will not be back on Twitter until next month. That would mean they had advanced to the Final Four of the N.C.A.A. tournament for the eighth consecutive season. For the past four years, UConn's coaches have not allowed their players to use Twitter from the first day of practice until the last day of the season.



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