Wednesday, July 1, 2015  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State Upgrades Cheese Production Facility
Recent upgrades to the Custer Dairy Processing Plant at Mississippi State University are helping ensure the next generation of Bulldogs can enjoy the same quality which MSU cheese connoisseurs have come to appreciate and expect. Julie Wilson, quality control supervisor in the plant, said upgrades were essential. The project included replacing and waterproofing the plant floor and updating the plumbing and electrical systems. "This is the first time the plant has been down for any length of time since we moved into this facility in December 1970," Wilson said. "The plant has been basically running nonstop for about 45 years. This renovation was vital to ensure continued production of a high-quality product people have come to know and love."
SMART splits Boardtown route, adds new stops for residents
The Starkville-Mississippi State University Rapid Area Transit (SMART) has formally expanded its footprint in Starkville after experimenting with new public routes and stops this year, and plans are in the works to link local riders to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, Columbus and West Point in the future. After it was announced SMART would split its primary city-circular route -- the Boardtown Route -- into two connected routes, the MSU-run transit system added additional access locations: the Salvation Army's Airport Road location, Louisville Street's Dirt Cheap shopping area and Emerson Family School, which is located near city limits on Louisville Street, in the south and Garrard and Reed road locations in the north. "We have a real demand from city residents for some type of mass transit," said Jeremiah Dumas, the university's parking, transit and sustainability director.
Mississippi State professor to lead national beef organization
A Mississippi State University professor is the new executive director of the Beef Improvement Federation. Jane Parish, an Extension and research professor in the university's North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, will lead the organization, which works to connect science and industry to improve beef cattle genetics. Parish, who is based at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Prairie Research Unit, took over the leadership position at the 47th Beef Improvement Federation Annual Convention and Research Symposium on June 11 in Biloxi.
New school board member selected in Starkville
Aldermen in Starkville have filled a vacancy on the new Starkville Oktibbeha School District Board of Trustees. They voted 3 to 1 Tuesday evening at a special meeting to appoint Eddie Myles to the board of the newly consolidated school district. "I think the most important thing is that I worked in the county with East Oktibbeha County High School with the Titans, so I do know some of the county folks," he said.
MDA names new deputy director, Mike McGrevey
Mississippi Development Authority is pleased to announce Mike McGrevey has joined the agency as deputy director, effective July 6. McGrevey comes to MDA from the city of Meridian, where he served as chief administrative officer responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the city, including economic development and working to improve the city's infrastructure. In 2010, McGrevey was named president and COO of JBHM Education Group where he worked for four years. Before joining JBHM, McGrevey served as the vice president of finance and administration for Mississippi State University for two years. From 2006 to 2008, McGrevey was the chief of staff and CFO for MSU
Meridian CAO resigns to take state post
Meridian Chief Administrator Officer Mike McGrevey is resigning his post to take a job with the state of Mississippi. McGrevey has been named the new deputy director for the Mississippi Development Authority. McGrevey announced his acceptance of the position Tuesday morning from city hall. He will start the position Monday. His last day as the city's CAO is Thursday. McGrevey has been Mayor Percy Bland's CAO since February 2014 and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the city and its approximate 475 employees. His job also includes economic development and working to improve the city's infrastructure. Bland said he will name an interim CAO as soon as he can.
McGrevey named new MDA deputy director
Meridian's former chief administrative officer is the new deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority. Mike McGrevey will officially start July 6, according to an MDA press release. He replaces Jim McArthur, who left the agency earlier this year. In 2010, McGrevey was named president and COO of JBHM Education Group. Before joining JBHM, McGrevey served as the vice president of finance and administration for Mississippi State University. From 2006 to 2008, McGrevey was the chief of staff and CFO for MSU. McGrevey holds a bachelor of science in business from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master of science in management from Webster University and a Ph.D. in education from Mississippi State.
Next Gear Solutions expanding in Oxford
Officials from Next Gear Solutions, provider of management software for the restoration industry, have announced an expansion of its customer service operations in Oxford. The project represents a corporate investment of $58,800 and will create 60 new jobs. "Mississippi's economy continues to grow and our economic development efforts continue to yield success. Small businesses and global corporations alike understand that our state is a great place to do business," Gov. Phil Bryant said. The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for building improvements. Additionally, the city of Oxford and Lafayette County provided assistance for the project through the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation.
Lovett named Clarion-Ledger interim publisher
Genia Lovett, a longtime Gannett executive, has taken the reins of The Clarion-Ledger as interim president and publisher. Gannett East Group President Michael Kane made the announcement Tuesday, welcoming Lovett to Jackson. In addition to leading The Clarion-Ledger, Lovett will serve as a regional president for Gannett East Group with responsibilities for Hattiesburg and Montgomery, Alabama. Lovett is an Ohio native who retired from Gannett last year after spending seven years as president and publisher in Appleton, Wisconsin. She also served as regional president for Gannett's Wisconsin properties.
State cuts off texting and driving
Starting today, it is against the law in Mississippi to text and drive -- even when at a stoplight. The new law prohibits drivers from writing, sending or reading text messages, emails or social media messages. For the first year, it will carry a $25 fine. Starting July 1, 2016, the penalty will jump to $100. "It is a primary offense, so it can be used as probable cause to pull someone over," said Trooper Ray Hall, spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop F. "If I pull up beside someone and see the phone on the steering wheel and thumbs on it, I can pull someone over. Whether or not someone is given a ticket depends on the discretion of the officer. We will be out in force this weekend for the Fourth of July, and we will be trying to get the word out about this new law."
Grenada Circuit Clerk resigns over same-sex marriage
In a letter to the board of supervisors, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette announced her resignation on Tuesday, citing the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Barnette has been the circuit clerk for 24 years, and announced that her resignation is effective immediately. Grenada County voter Lue Harbin said she is disappointed in Barnette's decision. She said she has voted for Barnette in every election since she got out of the Army in 2001. "I was kind of shocked, I don't know her personally but I never thought she was that way," Harbin said. "She's given marriage licenses to people who have committed adultery and stolen and lied, and when their parents haven't approved... it's just crazy the way she's thinking. That's her job and she's not there to judge people."
No immediate high court action on Mississippi abortion law
Mississippi's only abortion clinic will likely remain open at least until the fall, because the U.S. Supreme Court is taking no action until then on a dispute over a state law that could close it. The justices' silence Tuesday on an appeal by the state means a lower court order blocking Mississippi from enforcing the law will remain in effect for the next few months at least. The clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, remains open, as it has throughout the court fight over a 2012 law signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. Supreme Court justices will meet again September to consider adding cases for the court's term that begins in October. The Mississippi case was not among the five cases the court added Tuesday or on the list of those it rejected.
Mississippi, other states score victory in challenge to EPA rule
Mississippi is one of 23 states that succeeded in convincing the U.S. Supreme Court that cost of compliance -- estimated $9.6 billion a year -- for coal-fired power plants should have been considered by the Environmental Protection Agency in imposing limits on mercury and other air toxins under the Clean Air Act. While the 5-4 decision on Monday did not overturn the EPA rule, the agency will have to rewrite it and include the costs. Jim Compton, general manager and chief executive of the South Mississippi Electric Power Associations, said that the ruling is "positive. Utilities don't have costs. Ratepayers have costs." "The ruling is not about clean air, it's about shutting down coal plants," Compton said. "The issue ought to be the balance between clean air and cost of electricity."
Close election in Choctaw chief runoff
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was to count absentee ballots Wednesday to decide the runoff election for chief. Multiple media outlets report the unofficial results from Tuesday's runoff showed incumbent Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson with a 54-vote lead over former chief Beasley Denson. Tribal officials say 370 absentee ballots remain to be counted.
As South Carolina mulls furling flag, pro-Confederate protests grow
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who has called for lawmakers to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the State House, appears to have the votes to make that happen, according to an assessment by the Associated Press and other media outlets. Long hailed as a genteel reminder of the "lost" South, the Confederate battle flag has taken on a darker meaning, especially in light of the shootings in Charleston, S.C. But even though South Carolina's Republican governor and others now say it's time to permanently furl what for many has become an embodiment of segregation and white supremacy, not all Southerners are on board. To some on the pro-Confederate side, the flag is a symbol of the South, depicting valor and also representing opposition to political tyranny. And the push to take it down inflames an already-wounded sense of Southern pride.
U.S., Cuba Reach Agreement to Establish Full Diplomatic Relations
The U.S. and Cuba have reached an agreement to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies in each other's capitals, a senior administration official said Tuesday, the biggest step yet toward ending a half century of enmity between the two countries. President Barack Obama plans to tell the nation on Wednesday that the U.S. will reopen its embassy in Havana, the official said, culminating a central aspiration of his presidency and representing the end of one of the last vestiges of the Cold War more than a quarter century after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary of State John Kerry will color in details of the U.S. effort, speaking from Vienna on Wednesday about the move to convert the diplomatic post in Havana, known as the U.S. Interests Section, into a full embassy, officials said. He is expected to travel to Cuba in July to oversee the embassy's reopening.
FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines
The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning. Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state's capital. FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday's attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo. The pattern of attacks raises serious questions about the glaring vulnerability of critical Internet infrastructure, said JJ Thompson, CEO of Rook Security, a security consulting and services provider in Indianapolis.
Car Crashes Into MUW Building
A car crashed into a Mississippi University for Women building on Tuesday night. The Lincoln car appeared to jump the curb and hit the outside of Pohl Gymnasium on 11th Street South. Rescue crews were called to the scene 8:20 p.m. Paramedics were checking out the driver, who was conscious. MUW and Columbus police officers did put the unidentified driver in handcuffs. It's unclear if he was arrested.
IHL schedules chancellor search listening sessions
The state College Board will hold its first listening sessions related to the search for a new Ole Miss chancellor July 14 on the university's Oxford campus. The first, from 11-11:45 a.m., is for alumni. The second, from 2-4 p.m., is for students, faculty and staff. Both sessions will be in the ballroom of the Inn at Ole Miss. They will be streamed online. Additional listening sessions are scheduled for August 20 at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and for August 27 in Oxford. Discussions at each session are meant to gather input from stakeholders about what qualities and qualifications they believe the next chancellor should have, according to a press release from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Ole Miss earthquake expert explains Madison tremors
Although Mississippi residents are unaccustomed to earthquakes, such as the 3.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Madison County the morning of June 29, the state is no stranger to earthquakes, said Charles Swann, associate director for state programs at the Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute. Swann's research on earthquakes at the MMRI shows that the state has a number of epicenters running throughout it. "There [are] quite a few earthquakes that have occurred throughout the state," Swann said. "People don't often associate Mississippi with earthquakes, but if you go back and record all the earthquakes [in which] we can find epicenters, they plot all over the state. There have even been earthquakes on the (Gulf) Coast."
UM Names New Liberal Arts Dean
The University of Mississippi has hired Lee Cohen, professor and chair of Texas Tech University's psychological sciences department, to become the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He is set to begin his new post Aug. 1.
USM hosts seminar on how bystanders can intervene to prevent violence
Employees at the University of Southern Mississippi Tuesday learned how they could help stop physical abuse, sexual assault or other types of violence. About two dozen employees participated in a bystander intervention training seminar, co-hosted by the Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention. It focused in teaching skills and techniques they could use to safely and effectively intervene in situations where violence could be a possibility. "Most of us want to help when we see a situation that makes us uncomfortable, but we don't know what to do and fear stops us," said Becky Malley, Title IX coordinator at Southern Miss.
Scientists track simulated industrial spill in Grand Bay NERR
It's a disaster response drill that involves industry and the environment. A team of scientists in Jackson County is using bright green dye to simulate a chemical spill in a popular lake. The exercise is happening at the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which happens to border the heavily industrialized area of Bayou Casotte in Pascagoula. Team leader Kevin Dillon opens the valve, which starts the release of 200 gallons of fluorescent liquid into Bangs Lake. This popular recreation and fishing area is adjacent to heavily industrialized Bayou Casotte. "We really don't have a good idea of the water currents in this area, so this is an easy way for us to put out a real visible tracer that we can track over time and find out where this water's going to sort of understand currents and flow," said Dillon, who's with USM's Gulf Coast Research Lab.
National organization defends LSU prof fired for spicy language, risque jokes
The top national organization of university professors on Tuesday urged LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander to reconsider the recent firing of associate professor Teresa Buchanan, saying it places the university well outside of the "mainstream of our secular research universities." The LSU Board of Supervisors on June 19 carried out Alexander's recommendation to terminate the 20-year veteran of LSU for using curse words and for telling the occasional sexually themed joke to undergraduate students. Her behavior created what university administrators described as a "hostile learning environment" that amounted to sexual harassment. LSU is entering its third year under censure from the AAUP, which has more than 47,000 members nationwide, for the university's treatment of its faculty members.
Pat Allen, UGA's face for many in Athens, is stepping down
After a dozen years of tending to town-gown relations, Pat Allen is stepping down. Tuesday was the last day for Allen, the University of Georgia's director of community relations. It's the second retirement for Allen, 67, who came to UGA in January 2003. That was two years after he retired after a 26-year career with C&S Bank and its successors, a career that brought him to Athens from Augusta in 1985. About two years later, UGA began a search for a community relations director, at a time when tensions were rising between Athenians and the university over a couple of issues, including concerns that student housing was encroaching on Athens residential neighborhoods. Allen must have seemed ideal for the job.
Benefits for UGA same-sex couples? Regents will 'comply with law'
The Georgia Board of Regents stopped short of saying that legally married same-sex couples can now claim dependent and spousal benefits, such as health insurance, at the University of Georgia and state colleges and universities. But the board will obey the law, according to a statement. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that all states must recognize same-sex marriages and overruled any state laws preventing same-sex couples from marrying. The ruling will apparently end the long struggle for domestic partner benefits at UGA and other state colleges, said UGA psychology professor Janet Frick, a leader in that fight for years. "Our ultimate goal had always been to get full benefits equally for all families," she said. "I think (the Supreme Court ruling) does accomplish that."
U. of South Carolina says student housing tower would mar Horseshoe
A shadow war has erupted between the University of South Carolina and a national student housing developer from Memphis. The USC Alumni Association has launched a petition drive and social media campaign claiming that a proposed 15-story private student tower on south Main Street would cast "a nasty shadow" on the Horseshoe and "on many of our most historic sites." An image on the Website shows a massive shadow covering the Horseshoe at 4:30 p.m. in December -- about one hour before sunset on one of the shortest days of the year. Memphis-based developer EdR said it has a shadow study that disputes USC's. A spokesman for USC said the university did not spur the campaign, but supports it.
Texas A&M University System to extend benefits to spouses of same-sex employees
The Texas A&M University System's decision to extend benefits spouses of same-sex couples gave local advocates a chance to not only celebrate, but let go of almost a decade of frustration built up during a fight for those benefits. Some in the local LGBT community thought A&M, given its conservative history, would delay offering enrollment to spouses of employees and retirees after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide Friday. So it was a pleasant surprise to Stephen Balfour, director of information technology for A&M and treasurer for the A&M GLBT Professional Network, when he heard of the Monday memo stating employees of all walks of life would have the opportunity to enroll spouses in benefits programs starting Wednesday.
Supreme Court takes case that could threaten financing of most faculty unions
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to consider a case that could effectively make union membership dues optional for public employees. The vast majority of faculty members who are represented by unions are in public higher education, and such a shift could be devastating to the financing of their unions. Currently the norm for faculty unions is that if they win a vote to represent a bargaining unit, all members of that unit must pay for the costs of collective bargaining in the form of dues. Members of a unit who object to political stances of a union may get a refund for those expenses, but are still required to pay what is known as a "fair share" of union costs that are related to bargaining and representation. That requirement could go away, depending on how the Supreme Court rules.
Colleges Brace for Supreme Court Review of Race-Based Admissions
The Supreme Court's decision to reconsider a challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas at Austin has universities around the country fearing that they will be forced to abandon what remains of race-based admission preferences and resort to more difficult and expensive methods if they want to achieve student diversity. "A broad general statement by the Supreme Court that it's unconstitutional to consider race at all will have domino effects across the whole country, and will sweep across private universities as well as public ones," said Tom Sullivan, the president of the University of Vermont. Many lawyers and higher education experts said the court's decision Monday to take a second look at the challenge to the University of Texas' admissions decisions seemed to signal a readiness to strike down the policy, in which a quarter of the class is admitted through what is known as a holistic process, in which race may be considered as one of many factors.
Obama pushes for-profit colleges to the brink
On Wednesday, the Obama administration will begin choking off the financial lifeline of for-profit colleges whose graduates can't find well-paying jobs -- and the move is likely to accelerate a wave of shutdowns for an industry taking assaults from all sides. Reining in the multibillion-dollar industry has been the administration's goal for most of President Barack Obama's term in office, fueled by complaints that for-profit colleges lure students with misleading promises, then saddle them with debts they can't pay back despite their newly granted degrees. Its latest tool is the Education Department's long-debated "gainful employment" rule, which requires colleges to track their graduates' performance in the workforce and eventually will cut off funding for career training programs that fall short. Supporters call the regulatory moves long overdue. But the industry denounces them as a witch hunt.
Twitter explodes with (false) reports that U. of Memphis fired a professor
The University of Memphis has been mostly silent in the last month as conservative bloggers and publications have criticized Zandria Robinson, until recently an assistant professor of sociology at the university. But on Tuesday afternoon, the university posted an 11-word comment on Twitter: "Zandria Robinson is no longer employed by the University of Memphis." The university declined to say anything more, such as whether she had been fired and, if so, why. Perhaps not surprisingly, Robinson's defenders took to social media to denounce her apparent firing. After a few hours, Robinson shared a post with some friends saying that she had not been fired, but had accepted a job elsewhere a few weeks ago. Faculty members at Memphis confirmed this. But while Robinson has found a new employer, she has become a new cause in a culture war going on about the online comments of black women in academe, and specifically in sociology.
CHARLIE MITCHELL (OPINION): South's heritage includes reputation for gentility, too
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "One stereotype we Southerners love to hear praises our collective gentility. We open doors for ladies. We say yes ma'am and no sir. When a friend's momma dies, we send flowers and food. When a hearse-led procession passes, we pull over. These gestures don't change anything. Momma is still dead. But they ease the grief of the family and show respect. That is our sole intent. It's our heritage. The deadly rampage by a virulent racist in South Carolina quickly morphed into a debate about Mississippi's flag. People have come at the topic from all angles. Many see no connection, but viewed across the pattern of history, there is one and it is obvious: When a travesty occurs, people of good will want to do something, to respond in some way. This state's flag, which incorporates the red, white and blue of the American flag as well as a battle flag of the Confederacy, has no magic. But it's time. Symbols do matter."
BIRNEY IMES (OPINION): Now is the time to change Mississippi's flag
The Dispatch's Birney Imes writes: "We should seize the moment. As the only state in the union that incorporates the Confederate battle flag in its state flag, we signal to the rest of the world allegiance to a cause a large portion of our population associates with enslavement and oppression. Removing the Confederate battle flag from our state flag is simply the right thing to do, and now is an opportune time to do it. Changing the flag is an "us" issue. It is not a liberal v. conservative, Democrat v. Republican or a white v. black matter. Changing the state flag would exhibit compassion and vision, traits too seldom associated with the state."

Mississippi State's Howland leads strong group of new coaches in SEC
Southeastern Conference men's basketball will see several new faces roaming the sidelines later this year. Those faces are pretty recognizable at the national level. Mississippi State, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida all hired new head coaches this offseason, and all four received high praise from college basketball experts. After letting Rick Ray go after three losing seasons, MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin made a splash with the hiring of Ben Howland, who led Pittsburgh to two trips to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. Howland also spent 10 seasons at UCLA and guided the Bruins to seven NCAA tournament appearances. He led UCLA to three-straight Final Four appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2006. "The guy who hired him at Pittsburgh, Steve Pederson, he called me a week or so after the announcement and he said, 'Hey, I wanted to call and talk to the smartest man in college athletics,' " Stricklin said. "I had never met Steve, but his point was Ben's outstanding."
Mississippi State's SEC baseball schedule partially released
Virginia's win in the College World Series isn't a week old yet, but fans can already start looking ahead to the 2016 schedule. Mississippi State confirmed a portion of its Southeastern Conference schedule to the Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday. Hail State Beat's Bob Carskadon, first reported the news. John Cohen and Company will open SEC play on the road with national runner up Vanderbilt. It's the first of three road series against clubs that were placed in the top 5 this season. Other road matchups include Florida, LSU, Alabama and Auburn. The first home series of the 2016 season will be against Georgia, followed by Ole Miss.
Mississippi State to play at Vandy in 2016 baseball season opener
Mississippi State released a tentative SEC portion of its 2016 baseball schedule on Monday. The Bulldogs begin the SEC slate on the road at national runner-up Vanderbilt before returning home for back-to-back weekends against Georgia and Ole Miss. MSU travels to Florida and returns to Starkville against Texas A&M for what could be Super Bulldog Weekend. The full schedule is expected to be released in the fall.
Mississippi State's Dudy Noble Field listed as nation's third best ballpark experience
Mississippi State endured a losing season in 2015 but it didn't affect the atmosphere inside Dudy Noble Field. Stadium Journey ranked 283 college baseball stadium experiences. Dudy Noble field ranked third. South Carolina's Carolina Stadium topped the list, while LSU's Alex Box Stadium ranked second. The rankings follow a study done by Wallet Hub that ranked Starkville as the 16th best baseball town in the country. Stadium Journey points to MSU's fan participation as the leading reason for its spot on the list. Last year, Stadium Journey ranked Dudy Noble Field No. 4 and second in the SEC behind Carolina Stadium.
Holmes will look to add depth for Mississippi State women
Jazzmun "Jazz" Holmes isn't going to let her relative inexperience hold her back. Going up against speedsters like Morgan William and Roshunda Johnson every day in practice should be just the test Holmes needs to make a quick adjustment to the Mississippi State women's basketball team. If Holmes, a 5-foot-9 guard from Harrison Central High School, can make that transition, MSU coach Vic Schaefer's Bulldogs figure to be able to go at least two deep at every position for what many believe is a promising 2015-16 season. "I think it is going to be a great experience," Holmes said earlier this month in her first news conference with all of MSU's newcomers. "Morgan pretty much helps me now with everything, trying to get all of the plays down and helping me to get better. She plays me extremely hard on defense, but it is going to be a great experience."
Favre not coming out of retirement, 'but I could play'
Another summer, another Brett Favre story. The future NFL Hall of Famer, former Southern Miss star and current Hattiesburg resident appears on the cover of a special, double edition of Sports Illustrated, which hit newsstands Tuesday. The magazine features interviews with some of the top athletes from years past. Favre, who retired from the NFL in 2010, was a regular headliner toward the end of his career and still finds the spotlight from time to time even in retirement. In his most recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Favre said he believes he could still play in the NFL. But he quickly added he's not even considering it.
Stepfather alleges Ole Miss' Tunsil was with 'football agents' during fight
Lindsey Miller, the stepfather of Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil, told Lafayette County Sheriff's Department deputies on Thursday night that he and Tunsil's mother were arguing about Tunsil "riding around with football agents" at the time of the incident that led to Tunsil's arrest, according to a police report obtained by The Clarion-Ledger on Tuesday morning. Tunsil, who is projected to be a top five pick in next year's NFL draft, was arrested on charges of domestic violence after he allegedly assaulted his stepfather on Thursday in defense of his mother, Desiree Tunsil, coach Hugh Freeze said in a statement released Saturday.
Excitement, disappointment preceding Tennessee's Nike launch
Tennessee's last day with adidas was one of mixed emotions. A UT-produced promotional video, and an unconfirmed leak, provided more clues about UT's new Nike gear and spiked the level of excitement preceding the online launch at noon Wednesday on UT's 50-second promotional video, titled "Nike, Welcome to Tennessee," provided quick glimpses of the new jerseys, along with athletes' responses. Meanwhile, some Lady Vols commemorated an end instead of a beginning. Softball player Rainey Gaffin bridged both sentiments. She was one of the athletes featured in UT's 50-second promotional video that filmed players' responses to their new Nike uniforms. But the senior outfielder/pitcher lamented the loss of the Lady Vols name and logo in a message posted on her Twitter account on Tuesday.
Lady Vols mourn on last day of nickname
On the last day most of the women's athletic teams at the University of Tennessee will be known as Lady Vols, several female athletes took to social media to show pride in the nickname. "Last day as a Lady Vol before they take it away from us," junior volleyball player Lexi Dempsey posted to Twitter. The university announced in November that, effective July 1, only the women's basketball team would remain known as the Lady Vols. Administrators, such as Athletics Director Dave Hart and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, have cited branding consistency as the reason for the change, which coincides with the school's adoption of Nike as its official apparel provider. Dempsey wasn't alone in acknowledging the end of an era.

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