Friday, April 17, 2015  SUBSCRIBE   
 
College Board tabs deputy Boyce as commissioner
Glenn Boyce, a current deputy commissioner, has been named commissioner of the Institutions of Higher Learning it was announced Friday. Boyce, a Madison resident, is former president of Holmes Community College. The announcement by the Board of Trustees of state Institutions of Higr Learning comes after its original selection, Jim Borsig, opted to remain as president of the Mississippi University from Women. Boyce, a New York state native, has more than 30 years of experience in education in Mississippi, ranging from a classroom teacher on the kindergarten to 12th grade level, to administration on the K-12, community college and university level.
 
Mississippi State fundraising breaks $500M mark
Mississippi State University announced Wednesday its capital fundraising campaign, Infinite Impact, has raised approximately $503.1 million and is closing in on its $600 million goal. The university quietly secured almost $345 million since 2010 when it publicly announced the fundraiser two years ago. The funds will be used to secure long-range planning efforts for the school's eight academic colleges, the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, library, athletics department and MSU's Meridian campus. Almost 50,000 individual contributors have participated in the Infinite Impact fundraiser, the release states. Since its inception, the campaign has created 325 new endowed scholarships and 24 endowed faculty positions.
 
DSU Foundation honors coach 'Boo' Ferriss with Mississippi State donation
The Delta State University Foundation has made a $10,000 donation to the Mississippi State University Dudy Noble Stadium project in honor of MSU baseball great and former longtime DSU head baseball coach David M. "Boo" Ferriss. "Boo Ferriss is one of our state's most beloved sports figures," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "He will forever be both a Bulldog and a Statesman, and because of his association with the great baseball programs at our two institutions, it is most appropriate that we join with Delta State in honoring Coach Ferriss in this manner. We are grateful to the Delta State University family for this most generous gift."
 
Local Author Donates Work to MSU Libraries
A Starkville author and artist donates her collection of writing to the Mississippi State University Libraries. During a ceremony in the John Grisham Room Thursday, Laurie Parker formally donated her work. Parker has written and illustrated thirteen children's books and two adult novels. Parker earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from MSU.
 
Company born at Stennis, founded by MSU alums to lead tech support for Google Geo Products
In what could be the ultimate business success to come from Hurricane Katrina, a tech company founded in South Mississippi to help coordinate resources and teams after the storm now is the exclusive partner to provide technical support for all Google Geo Products, including Google Maps Engine, Google Maps API and Google Earth Enterprise. "Our new partnership is the latest in a long history of collaboration between Navagis and Google," said Navagis co-founder Ben Hubbard. Navagis started at Stennis Space Center in response to needs that arose after Hurricane Katrina. Hubbard and David Moore, Navagis founder, president and CEO, are Mississippi State University graduates.
 
Ribbon cut on $20M retail complex in Starkville
State and local officials gathered in Starkville Thursday afternoon to celebrate the opening of a new retail complex. CottonMill Marketplace is a $20 million project built at Highway 12 and Spring Street near Mississippi State University. Mayor Parker Wiseman said the development is located in an area of the city that has one of the highest traffic volumes. A separate development is coming behind this one with the Mill at MSU. It is a $40 million project that will include a hotel, parking garage, conference center and office space.
 
Starkville firm Camgian Microsystems a pioneer in analytics
Starkville-based Camgian Microsystems was recently highlighted by New York-based market research firm ABI Research as a pioneer in edge analytics in its most recent market report, Edge Analytics in IoT. The market report explores edge computing as an approach to analyzing data close to its source instead of sending it to a remote server for cloud-level analysis. The report builds on ABI Research's earlier work on Internet of Things (IoT) analytics, aiming to provide further insight and conceptual clarity on the role of the network edge in the IoT.
 
Former Stennis civilian worker to spend 30 months in prison, pay thousands in restitution
A South Mississippi man will serve 30 months in prison for making false statements on travel vouchers to obtain thousands of dollars while working at Stennis Space Center, records show. Chief District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. also ordered John Mack Brown, 59, to serve two years under post-release supervision and to pay $469,852 in restitution, a $10,000 fine and a $100 special assessment fee. Brown was a civilian worker under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy when he submitted fraudulent travel receipts to the Department of Defense. According to the indictment, Brown submitted fraudulent travel vouchers claiming money was spent on aircraft-landing fees, parking fees and security services and received payments for those claims.
 
Source: Bryant has offered Glenn McCullough MDA job
Glenn L. McCullough Jr., former mayor of Tupelo and chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority board, has been offered the job as the next executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, according to a source familiar with the situation. McCullough said in a telephone interview with the Mississippi Business Journal Thursday afternoon that "the MDA is very important to Mississippi, and it's important to Gov. Bryant so I'll just have to refer you to Gov. Bryant for any comment." Nicole Webb, communications director for Gov. Phil Bryant, said that "the governor has not made a decision."
 
Legislative leaders appealing decision of Hinds County judge
House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves say they are appealing to the Mississippi Supreme Court the decision of Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd to rewrite the language that will appear on the November election ballot as a legislative alternative to the citizen-sponsored education funding initiative. Earlier this month, Kidd ruled, in a lawsuit brought by Adrian Shipman, a mother of two in the Oxford School District, that the original legislative alternative ballot title was too similar to the language of the citizen-sponsored initiative and would confuse voters. Both James Keith, a Ridgeland attorney representing Shipman, and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann had said current law giving Shipman the right to sue prevented the decision of the circuit judge from being appealed.
 
Appeal filed in MAEP funding fight
Acting on behalf of the Legislature, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves on Thursday appealed the decision of a Hinds County judge who earlier this month found the Legislature's alternative to a citizen-sponsored education funding ballot initiative confusing. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Winston L. Kidd ruled in favor of an Oxford mother who filed a lawsuit against the Legislature's alternative to the Initiative 42 ballot measure. The notice of appeal was filed at the Mississippi Supreme Court. Gunn and Reeves will argue the Hinds County Circuit Court overstepped its constitutional authority in contradicting the actions of the Office of the Attorney General. It's unclear whether the appeal will work. According to state law, the judge's decision is final.
 
Bryant: This should be 'the year of the exceptional child'
Representative Carolyn Crawford, R-Pass Christian, was beaming at the Capitol on Thursday after Governor Phil Bryant signed the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is expected to announce candidacy for president, was present to support the measure. The bill, passed by the legislature this year, will provide vouchers for parents of children with special needs to spend $6,500 a year in public money on private schools and services. It will cover 500 students the first year, and then add 500 a year for five years. Crawford, whose daughter Emily has special needs, said she knows all too well the hardships that parents of these exceptional children encounter, and that it had been a two-year battle on the way to this day.
 
Jeb Bush praises Mississippi special education vouchers
A new Mississippi law that creates state-funded vouchers to support private schooling for some special education students should provide hope and opportunity for the most vulnerable people in society, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Thursday in Jackson. Bush was at the Mississippi Capitol as Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill creating vouchers for a small percentage of students with learning disabilities. Families can use $6,500 in public money to pay for private school tuition, tutoring or other educational services outside the public schools. The program is based on one created in Florida under Bush, a Republican who's considering a 2016 presidential run.
 
Tagert leads in contributions; Pirkle has most cash in 1st District race
Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert was the top fund-raiser of the 13 candidates vying in the 1st District special congressional election during the first quarter of the year. The candidates in the May 12 election faced a Wednesday deadline for filing their first quarter contributions and expenditures. While Tagert raised the largest amount from contributors -- $246,750 -- Tupelo attorney Greg Pirkle has cash on hand of $244,753, compared to $161,206 for Tagert for the campaign's stretch run. Pirkle has received contributions totaling $155,646 and a personal loan of $100,000 to the campaign.
 
Fed Shies Away From June Rate Hike
A patch of soft economic data has created uncertainty inside the Federal Reserve about when to start raising short-term interest rates, dimming the chances of a move as early as June. Recent reports showed a slowdown in U.S. hiring in March, tepid growth in consumer spending at retail stores, a big drop in industrial output and softer-than-expected home building, reinforcing a view the economy downshifted in the first quarter and didn't have great momentum moving into the second. Fed officials want to see continued improvement in the job market and want to be confident inflation is rising toward their 2% goal before they raise rates from near zero. Most of them see the first-quarter growth slowdown as temporary, but they will need time to make sure a rebound is in store.
 
Gay rights and religious liberty: Can Americans have both?
The recent backlash against "religious accommodation" laws in Indiana and Arkansas is evidence of an increasingly bitter confrontation that is dividing the country and threatens to diminish the scope of religious liberty in America. That is the conclusion of a number of scholars and experts who are urging the United States Supreme Court to consider this confrontation when it hears oral argument on April 28 in a potential landmark case involving same-sex marriage. The stakes involve more than just whether same-sex couples will be able to obtain a cake, or photographs, or flowers for their wedding. Ultimately at stake is a quintessential requirement of life in America: tolerance -- on each side for the other.
 
Huge tornado research project coming to Alabama, Southeast next year
Alabama and the Southeast will be ground zero next spring for the continuation of one of the largest tornado research projects in history. The working title for now is Vortex-Southeast, and the goal is to understand more about Southern-style tornadoes -- and how to prevent them from becoming infamous killers. Vortex in this case stands for Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment. It will have severe weather experts, teams of scientists, a fleet of cutting-edge equipment and a $5.45 million budget. Tornadoes in the Southeast often are spawned by what meteorologists call quasi-linear convective systems, more commonly referred to as squall lines. They also tend to happen more at night. Researchers hope to find out why that is.
 
USDA veterinarian: Bird flu outbreak could be 'devastating'
The nation's poultry industry may have to live with a deadly bird flu strain for several years, which would be "devastating," the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer said Thursday. Dr. John Clifford also said that while new cases should drop to close to zero once the weather warms up and kills off the virus, there's "very likely" to be a resurgence this fall when the wild waterfowl that are natural carriers of avian influenza fly south for the winter. Clifford spoke on a visit to Minnesota, the state hit hardest by outbreaks that have led to the death of over 2.5 million turkeys and chickens in the Midwest since early March.
 
Teen use of e-cigarettes continues to soar, alarming many experts
The use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014 -- a surprising boom that threatens to wipe out hard-won gains in the fight against teen smoking, a new government report says. The percentage of American high school students who smoked traditional cigarettes on a regular basis dropped from 15.8% in 2011 to 9.2% in 2014, according to a study by a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But that drop has been more than offset by increases in e-cigarette use, which increased from 1.5% of high school students in 2011 to 13.4% in 2014, the study says. E-cigarettes are now the most popular tobacco product used by both high school and middle school students, the federal data show.
 
Alan Perry new IHL Board president with passing of the gavel
Aubrey Patterson, outgoing President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has passed the gavel to incoming President Alan Perry at the IHL board meeting held in Jackson. Perry will take office officially on May 8, 2015. He said: "My fellow Board members and I look forward to joining with the four new Trustees who will be joining the Board to continue the work done by IHL to advance higher education in Mississippi. However we will all miss the leadership provided by Aubrey Patterson as President. And it is hard to contemplate going forward without Ed Blakeslee, Robin Robinson, and Bob Owens. They have been worthy examples and I hope we can serve the State as well as they have served."
 
Ole Miss students charged in drug bust
Three current Ole Miss students and one former Ole Miss student were arrested Monday by the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit. Authorities seized 1,114 dosage units of alleged Xanax, two grams of alleged marijuana, five grams of synthetic marijuana, $3,744 in cash, two iPhones, one Apple Macbook Pro and a 2010 Nissan Xterra, Hottytoddy.com reported. All four are charged with possession of Xanax with intent to distribute. The Oxford Police Department assisted the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit in the investigation.
 
Former USM employee sentenced in stalking case
A former University of Southern Mississippi employee accused of stalking other staff members on campus was given a 14-month suspended sentence Wednesday after pleading to seven misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace. Quandom Benn, 31, of Hattiesburg, had also been charged with seven misdemeanor counts of stalking, but in a plea bargain, those charges were "remanded to file on the condition of no appeal of the other charges," Forrest County Justice Court Deputy Clerk Phillip McSwain said today. Benn had worked at USM for seven years as a technician with the university's technology support service, iTech.
 
National History Day at Southern Miss Attracts Students From Across State
National History Day, hosted annually by the Department of History at The University of Southern Mississippi, is a competition that attracts students from grades 4-12 who submit projects based on historical topics. This year's theme was "Leadership and Legacy." History professor Dr. Allison Abra believes this opportunity enhances critical thinking skills and reading and writing skills that will be applicable in college and beyond. "Ultimately, we want students in advance of their college years to really learn to appreciate history and to value the study of the past," Abra said. "These students are also cultivating a lot of really important skills that will help when they get to college because one of the most impressive things that these students do is that they use primary sources, the same way historians do."
 
LSU student newspaper: 'Shameful' lack of students at State Capitol rally against budget cuts
About 150 Louisiana college students shouted Wednesday from the State Capitol steps and took turns pleading with members of a key legislative budget panel to avoid potentially catastrophic cuts to higher education funding in the coming year. But the LSU student newspaper, The Daily Reveille, in an editorial posted on its web site Wednesday, expressed frustration that there were not more students from LSU's Baton Rouge campus in attendance. Students from all four college systems attended, and students from the University of New Orleans appeared to make up a large portion of the crowd.
 
U. of Kentucky student shot to death; he was photo editor for student newspaper
The University of Kentucky student newspaper photo editor was shot to death early Friday on East Maxwell Street near Transylvania Park. Jonathan W. Krueger, 22, was from Perrysburg, Ohio, according to his Facebook page. He was killed by a gunshot wound to shot to the chest, according to the Fayette County coroner's office. Krueger was to be the paper's ad manager in the fall. Lt. Clay Combs said officers suspect that the shooting involved an attempted robbery, although many details remain unclear. Combs also confirmed that police are interviewing a man who was arrested after an attempted traffic stop about three hours after the shooting. He said it is unclear yet whether that person is related to the shooting.
 
Panera Bread cancels plans for restaurant at U. of Kentucky; other locations planned
Panera Bread will not be coming to the University of Kentucky after all. Last year, UK officials announced with great fanfare that the boutique bakery and sandwich chain would take up residence at The 90, a new $32 million on-campus dining facility financed by UK's new business partner, Aramark. At the time, UK said it would be the first on-campus Panera in the nation, but company officials have since said the chain has restaurants on two other campuses. Last month, Panera decided not to join UK's new dining landscape.
 
17-member committee to steer U. of Florida goal-setting
The University of Florida has kicked off a goal-setting process to help steer the university's direction over the next five to 10 years, with the appointment this week of a 17-member committee to be led by Win Phillips, executive chief of staff to President Kent Fuchs. "We have engaged in establishing a process that will result in a set of university-wide goals, objectives, and strategies to achieve those goals," Fuchs told the Board of Trustees April 2. The committee of core academic and administrative leaders will build on goals already established across campus to meet the pre-eminence initiative launched two years ago with support from the Florida Legislature.
 
U. of Tennessee adds to international, cutting-edge physics research
Grant Riley knew he wanted to go to Switzerland while earning his doctoral degree. Geneva is home to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, and the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. For a physics Ph.D. candidate like Riley, a student at the University of Tennessee, it's the place to be. "There's no place that's better to be for partial physics," Riley said. "It's the largest accelerator in the world." UT students and faculty from the physics and nuclear engineering departments travel to Switzerland and are part of research at the collider that leads to new developments.
 
UGA's Grady College kicks off 100th anniversary by looking to the future
Prominent media executives tried to imagine communications industries a century from now as the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration Thursday. "Technology is the greatest enabler of mankind," said Jeff Gregor, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of TBS and TNT. Gregor, one of three panelists brave enough to talk about communications a century from now, spoke in the first "Don E. Carter Conversation," named for a Grady College graduate who was once vice president for news at the Knight Ridder newspaper chain.
 
Grand jury indicts three in drug deal death of UGA student
A Clarke County grand jury this week filed an 11-count indictment charging three men in the January shooting death of a University of Georgia student. Authorities said 21-year-old Min Seok Cho was shot and killed in a planned marijuana sale that turned into an armed robbery. The two alleged customers in the deal were initially charged by Athens-Clarke County police with felony murder, as was UGA student Lucas Amsler Raposo. Tuesday's indictment somewhat clarifies the alleged roles of the parties to the incident which resulted in Cho's death.
 
System chancellor looks to clear administrative roster ahead of Young's tenure as Texas A&M president
Texas A&M University vice presidents and other high-ranking officials were asked to resign on Thursday to allow incoming President Michael Young to establish his own leadership team. System Chancellor John Sharp in a memo requested flagship vice presidents, special advisers, special assistants and the CEOs of the Health Science Center and A&M at Galveston campuses turn in resignation letters by Young's May 1 effective start date. Sharp said the new practice, which will be adopted at all system schools and the chancellor's office, will add "order and respect" to Young's transition into his new role.
 
More than 5K expected to attend Texas A&M's annual Parents' Weekend
Aggieland will grow by several thousand people this weekend with Texas A&M's annual Parents' Weekend. The student-led planning committee for the festivities anticipates more than 5,000 parents to take part in the event, which was created in 1919 by the Aggie Mothers Club. "Parents' Weekend is a time near the end of the semester where parents and families get to catch up, especially freshmen, and get to see what their kids have been experiencing this year," said Hassan Daramsis, student director of Parents' Weekend. There are more than 30 events planned for parents and students to attend, including sporting events and such favorites as the Aggie Moms' Boutique, Aggie Ring Day and Taste of Aggieland.
 
Bill would force Missouri's public colleges, universities to post course information
Several months after the Missouri Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a national education group's efforts to acquire course syllabi from the University of Missouri System, a state senator wants to force public higher education institutions to publish course documents online. Senate Bill 465, sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, was introduced in the Senate in February. The idea, he said, stemmed from reading reports about the UM System court case with the National Council on Teacher Quality. The Senate education committee heard testimony last week. A University of Missouri System representative was among those to testify against the bill. Schmitt said he understands faculty members' concerns about intellectual property.
 
National organizations send letter to U. of Missouri chancellor about anti-Semitic messages
In a letter to University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, 16 national organizations on Thursday afternoon expressed that they feel "very concerned about the safety and well-being of Jewish students at the University of Missouri" after anti-Semitic messages were found in the stairwell of Mark Twain Residence Hall last week. Loftin responded to the national organizations with a letter at 5:04 p.m. Thursday, saying the MU Police Department is investigating the incident and that he takes this issue seriously. In the letter, he additionally outlined the programs in place at MU to promote diversity and tolerance. Loftin regrets the incident and his delay in response. Several MU students stated in the letter that they no longer feel safe on campus due to the hate messages.
 
Clemson student's parents want two things: the truth and change
Lifelong Clemson University fans Gary and Cindy Hipps want people to know one thing -- they aren't after money in their lawsuits against the university over the violent death of their son, Tucker, during a predawn fraternity pledge run in September. They just want the truth, they said in an interview with The State newspaper on Thursday. "If this had happened to one of Tucker's friends, he would go to all lengths to make sure the truth were known," Cindy Hipps said, adding Tucker had a reputation for sticking up for others. And they aren't interested in settling the matter out of court, taking a secret payment, sealing the court record and never letting the public know what happened. "We will settle this with the truth," Gary Hipps said flatly. "This is about a reckoning at every level, a reckoning for any circumstances that would intentionally or unintentionally put our children at risk." Since Tucker died mysteriously during the pledge run Sept. 22, his case has drawn state and national publicity.
 
Krakauer's New Book on Campus Rape
In 2013, Jon Krakauer was at a Missoula, Mont., sentencing hearing for a college football player accused of rape. Transfixed by the victim's steely testimony, the author of "Into Thin Air" and the classroom staple "Into the Wild" had a eureka moment: This might be a book. Mr. Krakauer's "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town," due Tuesday from Doubleday, tracks a number of sexual-assault cases involving students at the University of Montana. The publisher plans an initial run of 500,000 copies, reflecting the timely matchup of a best-selling writer and a hot-button issue. The book goes beyond the drumbeat of news reports and statistics, examining the subject through the prism of picturesque Missoula, a small city dominated by a university with a popular football team.
 
Ohio bill would effectively bar faculty unions at public colleges
Full-time faculty members at Ohio public institutions are objecting to proposed legislation with big implications for their right to organize unions. Tucked deep into a 3,090-page budget bill pending before the state's House Finance Committee is language that would reclassify professors who participate in virtually anything other than teaching and research as supervisors or managers, and therefore exempt from collective bargaining. So serving on a committee, for example, turns a professor into a manager. "What would happen if this passes, I think, is that faculty would choose simply not to do service and without that, universities would grind to a halt," said John McNay, chair of the history department at the University of Cincinnati's Blue Ash campus and president of the Ohio conference of the American Association of University Professors. "People ought to be aware that we volunteer to do those things."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State A.D., Adidas apologize for vulgar jerseys
Mississippi State's athletic director and Adidas have apologized for an obscene phrase on one of the baseball team's practice jerseys. The Bulldogs have new Adidas baseball practice jerseys that read "Viva Starkvegas" across the front. There are also small dots across the rest of the jerseys that spell different phrases, including one that is an obscene phrase referencing rival Mississippi. Soon after pictures of the jerseys started appearing on social media, athletic director Scott Stricklin took to Twitter to apologize. Mississippi State spokesman Bill Martin said the school did not approve the design before its release. Michael Ehrlich, the Adidas director of public relations in the United States, apologized for the jerseys and said it was the company's mistake.
 
Mississippi State wants super weekend
Mississippi State's Super Bulldog Weekend is always one of the biggest events on campus each year. But this weekend could be vital for the Diamond Dogs' postseason outlook as well. They host No. 6 Florida beginning today at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's contests are each slated for 2 p.m. MSU (22-16, 6-9) enters the weekend 88th in the NCAA RPI rankings and have lost four of its first five SEC series. "Winning a series is what the SEC is all about, everybody's good," said designated hitter Brent Rooker. Large crowds have become the norm at Dudy Noble Field for Super Bulldog Weekend in conjunction with the football spring game on Saturday. "I think Super Bulldog Weekend really takes on a spring version of homecoming," said MSU coach John Cohen. "It's just a fun atmosphere. There's so many activities going on."
 
Heck, Gridley solidify left side of Mississippi State infield
As Mississippi State senior baseball player Seth Heck learned recently, there's a first time for everything. For Heck, who started 55 games at shortstop as a junior for the Bulldogs last season, the first time in question came just over three weeks ago, when he walked into the dugout at Dudy Noble Field and saw his name penciled into the Bulldogs' lineup as always. Beside his name, however, was not that customary "6" denoting that he'd be starting at shortstop for the 81st straight game. Instead, there was a "5", indicating Heck was headed to third base for the first time in his career. Heck made the transition, and for the last three weeks, he has given the Bulldogs a new look at third base. But he wouldn't have been able to make the move if MSU didn't have a ready-made replacement at shortstop. That's where freshman Ryan Gridley enters the picture.
 
A more comfortable Robson producing big numbers for Mississippi State
Two years ago Jacob Robson finished Mississippi State's fall ball nearly hitting .500. His numbers from that point dropped him into obscurity. As a freshman his average hovered around .200. An injury to his throwing arm limited his sophomore season to 18 games and one hit. This year as a redshirt sophomore, he's flashing the talent he showed in 2013. "It's been evident from the moment he stepped on campus, how special that guy could be," senior Wes Rea said. "I think you're just getting a little glimpse of what is in the near future." Robson is hitting .355 as Mississippi State hosts No. 7 Florida for Super Bulldog Weekend. The three-game series begins on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
 
Mississippi State softball ready for Super Bulldog Weekend
Mississippi State fourth-year softball coach Vann Stuedeman had a candid observation Wednesday night. "Super Bulldog Weekend has been good to us," Stuedeman. MSU actually has a 5-1 record under Stuedeman during the annual spring homecoming weekend on campus. The Bulldogs swept Kentucky in 2012, did not play at home during Super Bulldog Weekend in 2013 and took two of three from third-ranked Alabama last season. MSU (31-13 overall, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) will face another tall task this weekend when it takes on No. 12 Tennessee (32-11, 8-7). The three-game conference series starts at 5:30 p.m. today.
 
Mississippi State's stars headline Super Bulldog Weekend
Dak Prescott asked for a round of applause. The gesture wasn't intended for Mississippi State's Heisman Trophy contending quarterback, but for the school's women's golf team. "It's good to clap for yourself," Prescott said. "The expectations have changed around campus, around this whole university. "Y'all have done it. We've done it. Baseball's done it. Softball's doing it. Women's basketball. Everybody's coming together and doing it for one common goal and that's to set the standard and expectations for Mississippi State." Prescott spoke to the women's golf team before its trip to the Southeastern Conference Tournament this weekend at Greystone Country Club in Birmingham. Within the office sat two of Mississippi State's best athletes: Prescott and Ally McDonald. This weekend all of the school's top athletes will be in action as part of Super Bulldog Weekend.
 
Younger Bulldogs prepared for spring game
Three months ago, Mississippi State football fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief when MSU quarterback Dak Prescott, who finished eighth in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2014, would be returning for his senior season. But with all the security that Prescott's return brings to a team that will gladly take his 42 touchdowns and over 4,000 total yards, that return also brings one major question: Who will be waiting in the wings when Prescott graduates as one of MSU's greatest players in program history? Fans might be able to catch a glimpse of that answer on Saturday afternoon.
 
Worth the wait: Jones finally has chance to be full-time starter for Bulldogs
If patience is indeed a virtue then consider Chris Jones virtuous. For the last two years, Jones has been biding his time as upperclassmen Kaleb Eulls and P.J. Jones played ahead of him on Mississippi State's defensive line. With those two now graduated, Chris Jones will finally have his chance as a full-time starter for the Bulldogs. "I've been waiting on my shot since I was a freshman," Jones said. "I came in with the mentality to start from the beginning and this is my opportunity to show it."
 
Will Clark shares passion for baseball with autistic son
The man with 2,176 major league hits played in the World Series and the College World Series. He won a Gold Glove, was the runner-up for the National League batting title in 1989 and had a career batting average of .303. Will Clark flashed a bright smile as he recounted the hit that means the most to him -- a two-run double by his son, Trey, a senior outfielder for The Dunham School in Baton Rouge. It wasn't a game winner, but it was a significant individual victory nonetheless. Clark is in fourth year as a volunteer assistant coach for the Tigers. The shared passion for baseball has made the bond even deeper for the father and son. It's a bond the New Orleans native, who starred at Jesuit and Mississippi State, wasn't sure he would have 17 years ago. Trey Clark was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder when he was 26 months old. The PDD diagnosis put him on the autism spectrum.
 
Ole Miss amends stadium expansion costs
Ole Miss athletic officials are asking the State College Board to increase the budget for an expansion project at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The school is currently in the design phase of the project to add 9,200 seats in the north end zone, including two rows of wheelchair seating with ADA compliant sightlines. Ole Miss is now asking the board to approve an additional $4.2 million for the project. The expansion will be paid for with nearly $10 million in athletic revenue, and once approved by the state College Board, the school will use bonds to finish out the financing.
 
Korn Ferry charged U. of Missouri $206K for A.D. search
International firm Korn Ferry charged the University of Missouri $206,000 to help conduct the search for Athletic Director Mike Alden's replacement, according to invoices obtained by the Tribune through a public-records request. Missouri entered into an agreement with the firm -- which has assisted in other high-profile athletic administration searches, such as the recent placement of new Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey -- Feb. 11, and the school hired Mack Rhoades from Houston on March 9. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said Jan. 30, the day Alden announced he was stepping down to take a job in Missouri's College of Education, that he would oversee the search for Alden's replacement but that he had found search firms useful in the past to keep the proceedings confidential.
 
In Nod to Future and Past, Notre Dame Receives $5 Million to Endow Coach's Job
Nearly 20 years after they first met, Karen Keyes and Muffet McGraw shared a telephone conversation that neither could have imagined when they arrived at Notre Dame together, just trying to adapt to their unfamiliar surroundings. During their talk in January, Keyes told McGraw that she and her husband had donated $5 million to endow the women's basketball head coaching position at Notre Dame. Under the typical arrangement, the money is invested by the university, and any interest earned helps pay for a portion or all of the coach's salary. It was the first coaching endowment gift in Notre Dame's history, although other universities have been recipients for several years. The Notre Dame athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, said the university was seeking donors to endow head and assistant coaching positions and athletics scholarships in all sports, a strategy he said was closely related to changes in college athletics.



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