Tuesday, March 3, 2015  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Indian Student Association Hosts Flash Mob at Mississippi State
Unsuspecting students at Mississippi State enjoyed a lyrical snack at the Colvard Student Union Monday evening. After hours of choreography and practice, members of the Indian Student Association showed off their skills and culture with a flash mob. Flash mobs gained popularity a few years ago, when the surprise performances were first introduced. The ISA conducted a flash mob event back in 2012 as well.
 
Insurance agent veto override absent from Tuesday's agenda in Starkville
It appears Tim Cox will continue to serve as Starkville's insurance agent of record as a challenge to a recent veto from Mayor Parker Wiseman is absent from Tuesday's board agenda, but a separate item is expected to start a process aimed at replacing the long-serving agent. Last month, Wiseman vetoed a 4-2 board decision to replace Cox, who has served in his capacity for 18 years, with the Integrity Group's Debbie Jaudon after Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn alleged Cox concealed information from aldermen regarding the city's controversial plus-one insurance option. The board is also expected to authorize the issuance of $5 million in economic development bonds that, in conjunction with a county issuance, provide funding to develop 326 acres of rolling hills and farm land into a major industrial park.
 
MEMA: Third winter storm possibility in three weeks
Citizens of the Magnolia State who have not packed up their cold weather gear cannot be accused of lacking intelligence, as the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said Monday that ice and snow are again possible this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting the possibility of freezing rain, sleet, and snow for areas along and north of the Highway 82 corridor. The rain will more than likely turn into freezing rain and sleet across most of the Delta and northern portions of central Mississippi.
 
Standardized tests taking toll on Mississippi schools
Mississippi schools spend up to one of every four days of the year giving their students standardized tests. The Mississippi Association of State Superintendents put the range of testing between 38 and 45 days of the 180-day school year. "Then you have to add the time that teachers spend on reviewing prior to the test and then reviewing after the test," said Executive Director Sam Bounds. State Superintendent Carey Wright said the state requires only about three days of standardized testing for each grade but that local districts can add their own testing beyond that.
 
Pre-K disparity: Report reveals access varies across state
Access to public pre-K is high in pockets of Mississippi but varies throughout the state, according to a new report released last week. In some school districts, all entering kindergartners have access to either district-run or Head Start pre-K programs, while in others there are no such slots, according to "The State of Public PreKindergarten in Mississippi." The report was published by Mississippi First, an organization that advocates for education reforms, including the expansion of high-quality pre-K. "I think this shows people we have a long way to go," said Rachel Canter, executive director of Mississippi First. "School districts can't do this on their own, and we can't rely on Head Start on its own to fill the gap."
 
Gunn: Mississippi would not lose money with tax phase-out
House Speaker Philip Gunn used an analogy involving goats and church tithing Monday to make the point that Mississippi would never lose money under a long-term proposal to phase out the state personal income tax. Under a bill that has passed the House and awaits Senate debate, the personal income tax would be reduced a bit at a time, and only during years when state revenue increases at least 3 percent. Under the speediest scenario, the tax would disappear after 15 years. If the economy sputters, the phaseout would take longer. "I think a lot of people have failed to understand it," Gunn, R-Clinton, said Monday at a forum sponsored by the Capitol press corps and Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government.
 
Gunn: Income tax phase-out is responsible
Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, defended a House proposal to eliminate the state income tax, which accounts for nearly one-third of the state general fund revenue, as a responsible plan that will not force large cuts in the budget. "The important thing here is there is never a decrease in revenue," Gunn said Monday during a speech before the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government/capitol press corps luncheon. "...I am not about a reduction in revenue." The House, led by Gunn's advocacy, passed a proposal authored by Rep. Brad May, R-Oxford, to phase out the state income tax over a period of years.
 
Mills announces House candidacy
Itawamba County prosecutor Chip Mills has declared his intent to run in the 1st District U.S. House special election on May 12. In a press release, Mills touted his North Mississippi roots. He is the fourth candidate to enter the race for the seat that was vacated when Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, died Feb. 6 after a battle with cancer. State Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, District Attorney Trent Kelly of Saltillo, and Oxford attorney Quentin Whitwell announced their candidacies last week.
 
Bridges deteriorate as lawmakers seek temporary fix
An updated report shows Mississippi's bridges continue to deteriorate as lawmakers work on "stop-gap" funding to fix the worst of them. But the stop-gap measure faces political and pragmatic problems, as it would strip money long earmarked for road projects in Mississippi counties with casinos. And while transportation officials continue to call for a gasoline tax increase or other permanent funding solution, there's no appetite in the state Legislature for such a move this election year. "If we don't do something, we are going to be in real trouble," said Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall.
 
Bill to open SRHS, other hospitals to scrutiny in danger in Mississippi House
The Mississippi Hospital Association for the second year in a row is on the verge of killing a bill that would open the Singing River Health System and other public hospital boards to more scrutiny. If the state House Public Health and Human Services committee doesn't send the bill to the House by the end of the day Tuesday, it will die, said Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, the bill's chief author. It passed the Senate on Feb. 21 on a 51-0 vote. Wiggins said committee Chairman Sam Mims, R-McComb, told him he hasn't decided if he will call a meeting to deal with the bill.
 
Legislation targets cancer-drug disparity
Brandon resident Jennifer Burrell-Richards pays $1,300 monthly for an oral chemotherapy drug that, if it were available intravenously, would cost her just $35. That's because her health insurance plan, like many others, treats self-administered and physician-administered drugs differently, creating a financial disparity that health advocates seek to end with a bill before the Legislature. House Bill 952 requires health insurance plans to provide equal coverage of oral and intravenous anti-cancer treatments, thus preventing them from charging higher co-pays or deductibles for pills. Thirty-two other states already have passed such measures, according to the State Patients Equal Access Coalition.
 
Mississippi small towns could get big money from state
Millions for small town makeovers are in the works at the State Capitol. The bill is dubbed the Main Street Investment Act. Towns with a population of 15,000 or less will be eligible. "Just about everybody here knows everybody," said Flora Mayor Leslie Childress. "We're considered Mayberry of Madison County." You'll find similar descriptions for small towns across Mississippi. "A lot of places don't have a Main Street," explained Childress. "We have one, we want to maintain it, make it nice and attract people from everywhere to come here." That takes serious savings. The Main Street Investment Act would make up to $5 million in bonds available to towns like Flora.
 
Judge puts AG Jim Hood's attempt to investigate Google on hold
The Mississippi attorney general's attempt to investigate Google is on hold for at least four more months. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate on Monday granted Google's request for a preliminary injunction, preventing Attorney General Jim Hood from going through with a subpoena meant to examine whether Google is facilitating others' illegal activities on its sites. The injunction will also bar Hood from filing civil or criminal charges for now. The showdown between Google and Hood had been building for several years, but it escalated last fall when Hood sent a 79-page subpoena to Google.
 
Rick Perry Steps Up PAC Staffing
Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is continuing to put the pieces in place for a 2016 campaign. Mr. Perry is moving to establish a "super PAC" to back his effort, and has turned to Austin Barbour, a Mississippi-based lobbyist and political operative to head it, according to three people with knowledge of the moves. Mr. Barbour's brother, Henry, is a Republican national committee member who has supported Mr. Perry for years. The brothers' uncle is Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor and a senior figure in Republican circles.
 
Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules
Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record. Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.
 
In West Texas oil boomtowns, 'the end is near'
Fear blew in fierce over a patch of West Texas late last year, falling fast and without warning through gray skies to alight on the shoulders of men and women who depend on oil for their livelihoods. Oil that was once $100 a barrel started selling for $75, then $60. Well drillers started pulling out. The rumbling truck traffic slowed. Across the U.S., skyrocketing oil production rooted in the fracking boom is just beginning to feel the effects of collapsing prices. Towns like Andrews, the fastest-growing small city in Texas over the last two years, are the canaries in what many fear may be the next bust. With more than 80% of the town's economy depending on oil, city officials are bracing for possible cuts in government services.
 
Female engineers make inroads in automotive industry
In 2014, Mary Barra became CEO of General Motors, making her the first female CEO of a major automobile company. Barra is among a growing number of women -- like Jennifer Vuong, news anchor and multimedia editor at Automotive News, and Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification at Ford -- who are making imprints in the automotive industry. Despite the prominence of leadership roles, women hold about 25 percent of jobs in the motor vehicle and parts industry as of late 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet women influence 80 percent of car buying decisions, according to "Women in Cars," a 2014 analysis by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
 
Ole Miss honoring USA Today editor with Silver Em
Fred Anklam Jr., a senior editor at USA Today, has been chosen to receive the 2015 Samuel Talbert Silver Em Award from the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The award will be presented at a dinner April 8. The school's highest honor in journalism, the award dates to 1958. Recipients must be Mississippians with notable journalism careers or journalists with notable careers in Mississippi -- or both, which is the case with Anklam. "Of all the students we've had in journalism, he's one I am so impressed with because of how humble he is. He didn't let success go to his head," said Will Norton Jr., dean of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
 
Justices to hold court at Mississippi Valley State
The Mississippi Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the campus of Mississippi Valley State University on March 31. The court periodically hears cases on college campuses as a teaching tool for students. A panel will hear an appeal from Charles Kuebler, who was sentenced to life in prison for the death of his girlfriend.
 
Legislators turn out for informative breakfast at Pearl River Community College
It was sausage biscuits, coffee, fresh fruit and a side of lawmakers Monday when Pearl River Community College hosted its annual Legislative Breakfast at the Forrest County Center. Sen. John Polk, Rep. Toby Barker and Rep. Larry Byrd were on hand to share some of the session's top legislative issues. "Each year about 3,000 bills are introduced during a session, with only about 10 percent of those becoming law," Byrd, R-Petal, explained to the group of community members, PRCC faculty, staff and students. "In some cases many of these are not new laws but amendments to existing laws." Barker, R-Hattiesburg, urged PRCC students to stay in Mississippi and use their talents and skills to make the state better once they graduate.
 
Talk of 'De-Tenure' Triggers Faculty Ire at U. of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee's Board of Trustees has triggered suspicion among faculty members by calling for tenure polices to be reconsidered as part of a cost-cutting plan. The system's administration on Monday retracted from its summary of the plan language that had especially aroused faculty opposition---a reference to the potential "enacting of a de-tenure process." The "de-tenure" reference had helped fan faculty outrage over the plan on Twitter and elsewhere. Joseph A. DiPietro, the system's president, last week assured his Twitter followers, "I fully believe in the concept of tenure." A revised version of the university's news release about the plan said the original one's reference to de-tenuring had been "inadvertent and incorrect."
 
U. Tennessee System backtracks on 'de-tenure' language
It was there and then it wasn't: the University of Tennessee System's plan, announced in a news release, to "de-tenure" some faculty members as part of its new cost-savings strategy. While the university has backed down on that specific language amid faculty outcry -- focusing instead on a "comprehensive review" of existing tenure and posttenure review processes -- some Tennessee professors say any plan by any name to strip professors of tenure, especially one linked to financial, not academic issues, smells sour. The "de-tenure" idea was proposed last week after Joe DiPietro, system president, outlined the framework for a new financial model to the Board of Trustees for the university system's five campuses.
 
Tysons Give $5M to U. of Arkansas System Agriculture Division
The Tyson family and Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale donated $5 million to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The money will be use to build a $16.3 million research center in Fayetteville that will be called the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences. The 60,000-SF building will be located on Garland Avenue near the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center. University officials said the research center will help improve the growing and sustainability of crops and farm animals.
 
Nelsons Give $100K to Arkansas' Walton College of Business
Steven Nelson and his wife, Deborah, of Little Rock have given $100,000 to support accounting faculty in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, the UA announced Monday. The university said that the Nelsons' endowment, the Accounting Faculty Innovation Fund, will provide operational discretionary funding for the Department of Accounting and support the recruitment and retention of top-quality accounting business faculty. "I saw that they needed funds with flexibility so they could retain talented faculty," Nelson said in a news release. "So we wanted to provide them with a pool of money that would be entrusted to the accounting chair to use for enhancing their program."
 
House bill would put wild hogs in Georgia hunters' sights
Wild hogs are causing millions of dollars worth of crop damage in Georgia each year, and a new bill in the Legislature would make it open season on them. "You're not going to eradicate them," said Michael Mengak, a professor and wildlife specialist at the University of Georgia, who said it's only possible to keep them under control. The beasts caused more than $81 million in crop damage across 41 counties in southwest Georgia in 2011, said Mengak. This year, he is conducting a follow-up survey. State Rep. Tom McCall, R-Elberton, who is the author of House Bill 475, called the feral hogs "the worst problem" for agriculture in the state. The bill "pretty much does away with any restriction on shooting feral hogs," he said.
 
Louisiana higher ed commissioner: Bobby Jindal's budget proposal a starting point
State Higher Education Commissioner Joe Rallo says the budget recommendation released by Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration last week is a starting point for bigger discussions as state legislators work to craft a final spending plan for the coming year. In the meantime, uncertainty lingers over the state's colleges and universities -- from immediate questions over how many classes to schedule to long-ranging questions over the future of some campuses. "The uncertainty is there, and it's going to accelerate," Rallo said, speaking to the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday. Though some have stoked fears of possible campus closures, Rallo said the idea makes little sense in practice and wouldn't reap immediate savings that the state needs.
 
Embarrassing U. of Florida license plates pulled from tag agencies
When Melanie Bracewell walked into the Alachua County Tax Collector's office last week to renew her University of Florida license plate, she was presented with a new tag that started with the letters HPV. You know, for the human papillomavirus. The clerk held up the tag and asked Bracewell, a proud 2001 UF alumnus, if she was sure she wanted the new tag. An offended Bracewell declined, opting instead for a one-year renewal sticker so she could keep her existing tag. The specter of 200 cars and trucks tooling around Gainesville with HPV license plates must have proved too much. It also probably doesn't help that Alachua County is ranked fourth statewide in the number of sexually transmitted diseases per thousand residents.
 
Some U. of South Carolina students evacuated, relocated after pipe bursts in South Quad dormitory
Some University of South Carolina students were evacuated from their dorm Monday night after a pipe ruptured and caused flooding. According to an advisory posted on the university's website, the pipe ruptured in the South Quad dormitory, between Wheat and Blossom streets, causing extensive damage to the south side of the building and a loss of power. The flooding was caused by a ruptured coupling on the pipe which was located in a storage closet on the third floor of the building. Some South Quad residents were able to return to their rooms Monday night, the university's advisory said. Others were told they would be relocated to other residence halls on campus.
 
Brett Giroir gets chairman spot at the Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M Health Science Center CEO Brett Giroir was named Monday as chairman of a panel overseeing an independent review of Veterans Affairs medical facilities. The 16-member advisory panel was chosen by the MITRE Corp., a not-for-profit organization that operates federally funded research and development centers, including The CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare. In October, the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs selected the alliance to provide the operational framework and oversight for the assessments of hospital care, medical services and other health care processes in VA medical facilities.
 
3 Higher-Education Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Raise Research Funding
Three higher-education leaders are urging federal lawmakers to repeal sequestration and increase research funding in the budget for the 2016 fiscal year. In a letter on Friday, the presidents of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, and the American Council on Education wrote that continued limits on federal investment in scientific research and higher education would threaten the position of the United States as the world's top economic power.
 
UCLA student government questions judicial board nominee for being Jewish
A University of California at Los Angeles student was nearly denied a position on the student government's judicial board last month after student representatives questioned whether her ties to the Jewish community were a conflict of interest. The sophomore candidate, Rachel Beyda, originally failed to win the majority she needed to serve. She was later unanimously approved for the position, after a faculty member intervened. The votes came after an interview with the student, in which she was asked, "Given that you're a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?" Critics have said that they are stunned that being Jewish and active in the Jewish community could be cited as a reason to reject a candidate for a student government position.
 
BILL CRAWFORD (OPINION): Gunn steals tax cut spotlight
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "For the past several years, Gov. Phil Bryant has pushed hard for the Legislature to adopt a rational budget process called 'performance-based budgeting.' No doubt, this rational approach to budgeting -- budgeting includes both revenues and expenses -- led the governor to put forward his reasonable request for a tax cut. He proposed an overall budget that left room to create a state earned income tax credit for working families. The program would help families earning less than $52,000 a year at a cost to budget revenues of $79 million per year. 'I am encouraged that the Legislature has expressed serious interest in moving toward a more accountable budget system, and I look forward to working closely with House and Senate leaders to develop a plan that is right for Mississippi taxpayers,' said Bryant. Well, so much for that."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State announces 2015 Super Bulldog weekend schedule for April 17-19
The 30th annual Super Bulldog Weekend, a Mississippi State spring homecoming tradition featuring three days of athletic events and a pig cooking contest, will take place April 17-19 on the MSU campus. The event is once again being presented by Regions Bank. The annual pig cooking contest gets underway the 17th with judging scheduled for 9 a.m. on the 18th at McArthur Hall on the corner of Barr and Collegeview Streets. The Cotton District Arts Festival, a showcase of art, music and food in Starkville, will take place on April 18.
 
Mississippi State announces time for Maroon-White Game
Football season is here -- or at least spring football. Pro Day is Wednesday. Spring practices start March 18 and Mississippi State announced the start time of the Maroon-White Game on April 18. The spring game will start at 11 a.m. at Davis Wade Stadium as the highlight of Super Bulldog Weekend. Admission to the spring football game is free. The 30th edition of Super Bulldog Weekend begins on Friday, when MSU baseball hosts defending SEC champion Florida for a three-game series. John Cohen's bunch hosts the Gators at 2 p.m. after the spring football game.
 
Mississippi State baseball plays early today
Weather has once again bumped up Mississippi State's start time on the diamond. The 15th-ranked Bulldogs host Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 4 p.m. today hoping to improve on a perfect 13-0 start to the season. MSU is coming off a round-robin weekend sweep of Arizona and Samford. Today the Diamond Dogs will send freshman right-hander Jesse McCord (1-0, 7.71 ERA) to the mound opposed by UAPB redshirt junior righty Ciji Ramos (0-0, 10.80 ERA). It will be the first meeting between the two programs.
 
Flawless February catapults Mississippi State in polls
Mississippi State completed February with its third straight weekend sweep on Saturday. Its most recent 4-0 weekend was also its most impressive. MSU took two games from Arizona and Samford to improve to 13-0 on the season for the fourth time in school history. The success helped the Bulldogs jump in the polls. MSU saw its highest ranking in the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 7. Mississippi State continues non-conference play Tuesday against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, before a three-game series against San Diego this weekend.
 
Latest bracketology predictions have Mississippi State hosting
So much for Senior Day. Mississippi State and its fans honored four seniors during Sunday's regular season finale against Ole Miss. Humphrey Coliseum hosted a record 7,326 fans for the game. But it won't end up being the biggest game of the year, according to ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme. Creme projects the MSU women's basketball team will take the No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament after its win against Ole Miss that secured a third-place finish in the Southeastern Conference. As a top-four seed, MSU (26-5, 11-5 SEC) would host the first two rounds.
 
Mississippi State women score record crowd Sunday
The No. 11 Mississippi State women's basketball team defeated Ole Miss 55-47 before a single-game record crowd of 7,326 at Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday. The previous record of 6,055 was set Feb. 9, 2003, in a 77-72 loss to LSU. The crowd also was the biggest crowd in the state of Mississippi for a women's college basketball game, according to MSU. MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin was one of the more than 7,300 fans in attendance. He praised coach Vic Schaefer and the Bulldogs for working hard to build relationships with the fans. "It makes me really proud of Vic and our young ladies because I know how hard they have worked, not only in basketball, but creating a great atmosphere and the type of program people want to come and support and be a part of," Stricklin said.
 
ADAM MINICHINO (OPINION): Signs of growth everywhere for Mississippi State in record win
The Dispatch's Adam Minichino writes: "The signs of growth were everywhere. From the fact that the Mississippi State women's basketball team battled back from another slow start to the fact that a single-game program record crowd of 7,326 turned out at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs had every reason to celebrate another special day in a history-making season. But one sequence probably best encapsulates No. 11 MSU's 55-47 victory against Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference regular-season finale for both teams."
 
Mississippi State softball closes solid weekend in Florida
After having its schedule shifted due to a Saturday washout, the Mississippi State softball team defeated Miami University and No. 23 Notre Dame on Sunday at Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. "I love the level of energy we came out with today after getting rained out yesterday," MSU coach Vann Stuedeman said. MSU will play host to Kennesaw State at 3 p.m. Wednesday (SEC Network +).
 
Rick Ray believes Craig Sword has had an All-SEC season for Mississippi State
Rick Ray addressed the media twice Monday. Each time he reserved a portion of his opening statement to pitch why Craig Sword is deserving of all-conference accolades. Sword's overall numbers don't impress. He leads Mississippi State with 10.4 points per game with 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Those numbers came while the junior attempted to recover from back surgery. Since the start of SEC play, Sword's averaging 14 points per game, which is 10th best in the conference.
 
SEC's Slive leery of making freshmen ineligible
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive says it would be best to wait until after the NCAA's initial eligibility rules take effect in 2016 before considering whether to limit freshmen eligibility. Slive said in a statement Monday if the goal is to improve graduation rates and grade-point averages, "we have to remember that each college student has his or her own academic challenges." Slive said many students do come to college prepared to compete both academically and athletically.
 
Sustainability VP challenges Auburn University to install solar panels for new stadium video board
George Bandy Jr., an Opelika native and vice president of sustainability for international carpet tile manufacturing company Interface, challenged Auburn University to think about sustainability in Jordan-Hare Stadium. One of five panelists at the university's first Sustainability in Business Summit Monday night -- hosted by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Academic Sustainability Programs and the Office of Sustainability -- Bandy addressed the university's Board of Trustees' recent approval of a $13.9 million, 200-foot-wide by 105-foot-tall video board in the south end zone of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The screen will be the largest in college football. He also suggested AU students learn to install and read the panels by partnering with engineers.
 
Gator fans now can buy tickets via text
A men's basketball game is approaching. The University of Florida sends out a text message to fans. Fans send a quick text back and get seats to the game. That's the process for a service called Text for Tix launched this month by the University of Florida. It allows the Gator faithful to sign up for free at ReplyBuy.com/florida/welcome and receive a text a day or two before the game if any seats are still available. When fans reply, they indicate how many tickets they want, and the seats are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Buyers select PayPal or credit card payments when first registering.
 
SEC coaches voted to force Vandy to change coach box
Vanderbilt got an unlikely advocate in Bruce Pearl in a fight to keep Memorial Gym's coaching box as it's been for 63 years, but it proved a losing cause. Pearl, the former Tennessee and current Auburn coach, said he voted against forcing Vanderbilt to extend its unique coaching box from the baseline to the sideline next season. "I believe in tradition, and that's Vanderbilt's home court," Pearl said. "They should be able to decide how they want it operated." Pearl was apparently among the few Vanderbilt supporters in a straw vote of SEC basketball coaches held last spring, which resulted in the SEC requesting the NCAA mandate a change in the long-standing Memorial Gym setup.



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