Friday, May 31, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
City prepares for NCAA regional
City workers were busy planting new flowers and hanging signs along Main Street and the adjoining areas on Thursday morning in preparation for the weekend's NCAA baseball regional at Mississippi State University. Banners welcomed visitors to the town, using the city's signature "Mississippi's College Town" tagline.
 
Nunnelee offers advice at Boys State
U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee spoke to delegates at Mississippi American Legion Boys State at Mississippi State University on Thursday to offer leadership advice as the delegates continued to develop new legislation and city projects.
 
4-H Congress at Mississippi State
They came from every county in Mississippi. More than 700 young people are visiting the campus of Mississippi State University, this week, for the annual 4-H Congress. They are participating in a series of contests and workshops. The fun spread to every corner of campus.
 
Keb' Mo' brings the blues to Meridian
Keb' Mo' may know the blues, but after witnessing one of his stellar performances or listening to any of his 11 albums, it's clear that he knows so much more. Born Kevin Moore to Southern parents living in Los Angeles, Keb' Mo' has spent more than four decades crafting songs influenced by a considerable range of genres, including pre-disco R&B, rock, gospel and folk music, according to a press release. During their spring tour, Keb' Mo' and his band will stop at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian on Saturday.
 
Starkville double homicide reopened; serial killer suspect Felix Vail's DNA being compared
Starkville police have reopened a double homicide from Labor Day 1990. "We just got a lead," said Detective Bill Lott, who is investigating the case along with detectives Kenny Watkins and Stephanie Perkins. Betty Jones, 65, was watching Katherine Crigler, 81, at her home on 306 Mississippi 82E in Starkville when they were killed by an intruder. Jones died immediately from injuries, and Crigler died later from injuries. He would not share additional details of the case, including the cause of death. The homicides are known locally as "The Labor Day Murders." Police have a DNA profile from a rape kit. All the original suspects have been ruled out, Lott said. This week, Starkville police obtained DNA from serial killer suspect and Mississippi native Felix Vail through a search warrant in Louisiana. "We're comparing," Lott said. "He's a strong suspect we must look at because we were able to determine he was in Starkville at the time."
 
Starkville mayoral candidates closing in on $100K donation mark
Starkville's two remaining mayoral candidates, Democratic incumbent Parker Wiseman and GOP candidate Dan Moreland, combined to raise almost $96,000 in campaign donations as of May 28, a number which falls about $11,000 short of what all 15 primary candidates raised by April 30. State-required reports of receipts and disbursements show both candidates increased their political war chests since the end of April -- Wiseman's $19,082.11 in donations outpaced his opponent's $6,225 -- but both Moreland and the incumbent spent more than $20,000 since the primary pre-election report deadline. As the June 4 election nears, Wiseman leads Moreland in terms of cash on hand -- $12,511.18 to $3,024.41 -- but those figures do not include any money the GOP candidate received during a Wednesday fundraiser which featured Gov. Phil Bryant.
 
Mississippi Wants Drone Testing Facility
Drones have gained a reputation through their use in the fight against terror. What many don't know is that drones can be used to fight wildfires, conduct search and rescue missions and even help farmers design irrigation systems. Now, Mississippi is competing to become one of six drone testing sites in the country. "There's no doubt that you've seen an improvement and increase in the number of drones that are being built. The testing is an important component to that, in order to accomplish the mission that they will have. Nobody is better poised than Mississippi to increase that and to be a part of that testing program," says Congressman Gregg Harper of Mississippi's 3rd District. District One Congressman Alan Nunnelee adds that our state's economic condition makes it attractive for major industries, including drone manufacturers. Civilian use of drones is expected to increase once the FAA approves them for commercial use in 2015. In the meantime, Mississippi is positioning itself to be a part of a program that will impact lives at home and around the world.
 
Hundreds of Supporters Attend Lakota Helicopter Rally
Armed with "I Love Lakota" signs, more than 800 people, including Governor Phil Bryant, U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Senators gathered at American Eurocopter to support the Lakota Helicopter Program. The federal government is considering cutting the program to save money. Lakota is considered one of the most successful rotary wing aircraft programs in the country. Meco Reed has been working at American Eurocopter for 8 years. "It brings Mississippi to the top level in the aviation business. We build the best aircraft for the military. I have a daughter that attends Mississippi State, which American Eurocopter gave me the opportunity to send her to college. I have a husband that's a truck driver. We can spend time together on the weekends. They're very family oriented." At Thursday's ceremony the company also received an award from the Golden Triangle Development LINK for their outstanding economic impact on the community and for their continued development in the region.
 
36 Hours in Jackson, Miss.
When movie crews descended on Jackson in 2010 to film "The Help," based on Kathryn Stockett's novel about the city's maids in the 1960s, they transformed the streets of its trendiest neighborhood into a retro backdrop. A lot has changed here in 50 years, though Jackson's population of fewer than 200,000 still gives it the familiarity of a big country town. Over a dish of peach cobbler at one of the city's beloved dining spots you can feel time rewind, and Mississippians' old-fashioned charm is no rumor. Lately, top-notch restaurants and music venues have joined Jackson's soul-food restaurants, creating a relaxed marriage of old and new. With community groups organizing music, food and art festivals seemingly every weekend, there's never been a better time to visit the self-proclaimed City With Soul.
 
Jobs on the way: General Dynamics to open 2nd call center, create 1,000 new jobs
The Pine Belt's work force received more good news Thursday when Gov. Phil Bryant announced General Dynamics Information Technology plans to open a second call center in Cloverleaf Center on U.S. 49 in Hattiesburg. The move is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. The new call center will support General Dynamics' contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- including the 1-800-MEDICARE program -- by providing responses to inquiries from CMS customers across the nation. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss, said companies around the world continue to take notice of Mississippi because of its exemplary work force. "Confidence in our skilled and dedicated work force is helping to fuel needed job creation across the state," he said. "The message is clear — Mississippi is the place to be."
 
Biloxi scores $15 million from state for new stadium
After more than nine years of dreams and plans, Biloxi scored a minor league baseball stadium Thursday when Gov. Phil Bryant kicked in a $15 million BP grant to help build the ballpark on U.S. 90. Earlier this month, the Biloxi council announced its intent to issue $21 million in bonds to help finance the $35 million stadium that will be built north of U.S. 90 between Interstate 110 and Caillavet Street. Bryant said BP had given the money to the state after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 to be used at his discretion to improve the environment and economy of the area. "Our economic development here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is tourism," he said.
 
National Guard releases furlough numbers for Mississippi
Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, the adjutant general of Mississippi, released details Thursday of upcoming furloughs among more than 1,400 full-time National Guard employees across Mississippi. Collins said from July 8 through Sept. 30, the affected employees will take 11 additional days off, which for most will be Mondays. He said the furloughs will result in about a 20 percent reduction in pay. Collins said the most will be at the National Guard's Jackson headquarters.
 
Conditions at privately run prison 'barbaric,' suit filed against MDOC says
Mississippi's cash-strapped correctional system came under fire again this week with the filing of a federal lawsuit claiming "barbaric conditions" at a prison for the mentally ill. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed the 83-page complaint against the Mississippi Department of Corrections on Thursday in the federal court in Jackson. It alleges numerous gross abuses at the privately run East Mississippi Correctional Facility near Meridian, which houses some 1,500 inmates. Among the claims are that of a grime-covered facility reeking of feces where inmates spend months in isolated darkness without access to showers or working toilets. It says prisoners routinely are denied medication, ignored by the guards, and use the rats that infest the building as currency to obtain goods and services.
 
Some companies looking at retaliating against cyber attackers
Frustrated by their inability to stem an onslaught of computer hackers, some companies are considering adopting the standards of the Wild West to fight back against online bandits. In taking an eye-for-an-eye approach, some of the companies that have been attacked are looking at retaliating against the attackers, covertly shutting down computers behind the cyber assaults or even spreading a new virus to stymie the hackers. Such retaliation is illegal in the United States, but companies see it as a way to curtail the breaches, particularly if the attack is originating from another country, where the legality of retaliatory attacks is unclear. Companies also view counterattacking as a way to bypass U.S. authorities, avoiding publicly admitting that they've been attacked and exposing themselves to lawsuits from loss of confidential data or service disruptions.
 
USM building new residential project
Construction is scheduled to begin soon on a new student housing project on the University of Southern Mississippi's campus in Hattiesburg. Joe Paul, vice president for Student Affairs, says Century Park South will provide 954 beds for freshmen and other scholarship students. The $55.6 million project will feature three buildings, with five floors in each structure. The new construction comes on the heels of Century Park North's grand opening in August 2010. Century Park North includes four buildings with four floors and 864 beds.
 
MUW Students Making Progress on Mural
A group of W art students and their professor are painting their view of Columbus history on an exterior mural in the heart of downtown. It's a part of the city once known as Catfish Alley. "The mural is a reflection of the Alley's history as a lively social and commercial center in downtown Columbus," said Mayor Robert Smith. "The alley was once one of the few places African-Americans could do business but soon grew to a place that everyone cherished." Located on the corner of Fourth Street South and Main Street, the mural will depict Catfish Alley through the years and is a collaboration between The W and the city.
 
Miss. Supreme Court to hear appeal in shooting
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Eboni White, who was convicted of manslaughter in the 2009 death of a former friend and Alcorn State University classmate. White was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in 2010 in the shooting death of 22-year-old Danielle Newsom. White was charged with murder, but the Claiborne County jury convicted her of the lesser crime.
 
U. of Alabama collecting gift cards for Oklahoma storm victims
A campus-wide gift card drive to benefit survivors of the Moore, Okla., tornado has been organized at the University of Alabama. UA's Student Government Association and its Community Service Center are sponsoring the drive in a partnership with City Care, a nonprofit organization in Oklahoma City. UA students, staff and faculty members are encouraged to buy gift cards from retailers with locations nationwide.
 
LSU's Miles, others rappel to support adoptions
LSU head football coach Les Miles, State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson and Miss Louisiana 2012 Lauren Vizza rappelled 20 stories down the One American Place building Thursday in support of the adoption of Louisiana children. The event, sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum and dubbed "Over the Edge for Adoption," brought together local dignitaries to draw attention to the need for the adoption of foster-care eligible children in Louisiana The two-day event will culminate Friday with Gov. Bobby Jindal signing the Faith and Families Act, said Ruth Flores, event coordinator for Louisiana Family Forum.
 
U. of Florida unveils 'friendly' new pediatrics clinic
Walking into the recently remodeled pediatrics department at UF Health feels a bit like falling into the sea -- safely. The soft, sky-blue floors are etched with outstretched swallow-tailed kites, and skylights brighten the foyer -- far removed from harsh glare of fluorescent lights that typify many medical clinics. "The way you walk into the clinic says that you've arrived in a place that's special, friendly and able to care for you," said Christina Mullen, the interior designer at UF Health Shands Hospital who designed the renovation, which began last August. A reception highlighting the renovations takes place at the department today at 5:30 p.m. for University of Florida faculty and staff, as well as pediatricians in the community.
 
Smoke-free deadline nears for U. of Missouri campus
The University of Missouri is on track to make campus smoke-free beginning July 1, a full year ahead of schedule. In 2009, Chancellor Brady Deaton announced a five-year plan to move toward becoming a smoke-free campus, said Laura Schopp, director of the T.E. Atkins UM Wellness Program. Smoking was banned in buildings, and in 2011, a transition phase began by allowing smoking only in designated areas -- a move meant to give smokers "ample time to successfully quit smoking or make necessary adjustments to their smoking patterns," the Smoke-Free Mizzou website said. The original smoke-free target date had been Jan. 1, 2014, but last year it was moved up by six months. More than 500 U.S. college or university campuses have gone tobacco-free or smoke-free in recent years.
 
Sen. McCaskill discusses rising loan rates with U. of Missouri students
Salama Gallimore is about to start her third year at the University of Missouri School of Law, but she's got more than difficult classes to worry about. Gallimore has taken out student loans not only to help pay for her education but also to cover living expenses. By the time she's finished with law school, she'll be about $100,000 in debt. She's not sure how she's going to pay it off, especially given the high interest rates that graduate students pay on their loans. Gallimore was among 16 MU students who sat down to talk with U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Thursday about an impending increase in student loan interest rates. McCaskill thinks higher student loan interest rates are a bad idea, and she is co-sponsoring the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, which would allow undergraduate students receiving subsidized federal students loans to borrow money at the same interest rate as Wall Street banks, or 0.75 percent.
 
Obama to push Congress on student loans
President Obama will appear in the Rose Garden with college students on Friday to pressure Congress to approve his plan to prevent the interest rates on government-subsidized student loans from doubling in July. It will mark the second year in a row that Obama has sought to negotiate an extension of the lower rates on the loans. Last year, during the presidential campaign, Congress and the White House engaged in political brinksmanship before agreeing just days before the deadline on a plan to freeze the interest rate at 3.4 percent for one year. Obama highlighted the rising costs of higher education as part of his re-election platform, appealing to young voters in campaign appearances in swing states across the country.
 
Georgia university system to offer more 'massive' online courses
The University System of Georgia and big university systems in nine other states have announced a joint partnership with a large educational technology company to offer massive open online courses, or MOOCs. The company, Coursera, started working with four elite universities in 2012 and since has added dozens of university partners. Just what Coursera will do for the University System of Georgia is unclear, as is what and how courses will be shared among the new partners. UGA has been less involved with online learning and MOOCs than many other universities, but that is changing.
 
U. of Tennessee Foundation officer out of a job after child porn arrest
In a curt, one-sentence letter, the University of Tennessee Foundation fired one of its top administrators Thursday, two days after he was arrested at his downtown office on federal child pornography charges. According to the letter signed by foundation President Johnnie Ray on foundation stationery, the services of Bruce Downsbrough, 60, "are no longer required and your employment will end effective May 31." Downsbrough, who made $202,000 annually, had been placed on administrative leave following his arrest. The foundation, an affiliate of the university that manages its fundraising operation, is an at-will organization that does not need cause to terminate employment, said spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter.
 
Texas A&M's Reveille VII dies after respiratory complications
The former First Lady of Aggieland passed away Thursday morning. Reveille VII, the American Collie who served as Texas A&M's mascot from 2001 to 2008, succumbed to a respiratory complication at about 10 a.m., said Dr. Stacy Eckman, the A&M veterinarian who had served as Reveille VII's primary caregiver. She was 12-and-a-half-years old. "Up until Tuesday morning, she was very healthy," Eckman said. "There were minor medical problems, but overall she was very healthy and had a good quality of life. It came on very suddenly, and she had a whole team of doctors here working on her, but in the end the best decision was made for her."
 
Grants for Sustainable Strawberry Projects Awarded
Close to $3 million in grant money is being awarded to 16 agricultural researchers to develop more sustainable methods for growing strawberries. The project is funded by the Wal-Mart Foundation and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability is administering the awards. Winners were announced Wednesday. The competitive grants drew 56 proposals from 29 states. Officials say the goal is to increase local and regional production of strawberries and limit environmental impact.
 
Ohio State president jabs Notre Dame, Roman Catholics, SEC in recorded remarks
The president of Ohio State University said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten because the university's priests are not good partners, joking that "those damn Catholics" can't be trusted, according to a recording of a meeting he attended late last year. At the December meeting of the school's Athletic Council, Gordon Gee also took shots at schools in the Southeastern Conference and the University of Louisville, according to the recording, obtained by The Associated Press under a public records request. The university called the statements inappropriate and said Gee is undergoing a "remediation plan" because of the remarks. Gee apologized in a statement released to the AP.
 
College Slots for Poorer Students Still Limited
Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified -- and the reason is money. "It's expensive," said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. "You have to go out and identify them, recruit them and get them to apply, and then it's really expensive once they enroll because they need more financial aid." The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon in a closely watched case over admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, and the court could outlaw any consideration of race.
 
Amid coordinated effort to transform higher ed with Coursera, some faculty remained in the dark
Some faculty leaders were surprised this week when state systems and flagship universities in nine states announced a series of new business partnerships with Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based ed tech company. The universities plan to work with Coursera, a provider of massive open online courses, to try out a variety of new teaching methods and business models, including MOOCs and things that are not MOOCs. But some faculty leaders were nevertheless caught off-guard by the deals that were widely reported Thursday in national and local media. Some faculty accused Coursera and the state-funded universities of working together to experiment on students.
 
Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate
When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist -- at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags. Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in the part of the state, started catching tuberculosis from wild deer. "There's a large number of people that would like to know where their food comes from; just understand that better," says Daniel Buskirk, an expert on the beef industry at Michigan State University. He's using the university's own herd of cattle to experiment with ways to track those animals, and then make the information available to shoppers in the store. "This is one way that we can hopefully, kind of connect the story of how this food is being produced with the consumers who are consuming it," Buskirk says.
 
Tea party groups rallying against Common Core education overhaul
Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation's public schools. Activists have donned matching T-shirts and packed buses bound for state legislative hearing rooms in Harrisburg, Pa., grilled Georgia education officials at a local Republican Party breakfast and deluged Michigan lawmakers with phone calls urging opposition to the Common Core State Standards. The White House has promoted Common Core, written by governors and state education officials in both parties and largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to create consistent math and reading standards from kindergarten through 12th grade. The standards do not dictate curriculum. Rather, states decide what to teach and how to prepare children for standardized tests based on Common Core.


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs not feeling pressure of hosting regional
General consensus says the Starkville Regional is the toughest in the country. Maybe so, but Mississippi State's players are unfazed by it. For starters, the No. 14-ranked Bulldogs (43-17) are hosting an NCAA regional for the first time in 10 years, and it's been six years since the super regional they played here against Clemson. So there's plenty of buzz about town, and that's expected to spill over into the stands at Dudy Noble Field this weekend. Top-seeded MSU opens the regional at 7:05 tonight against No. 4 seed Central Arkansas (39-20). That game will be preceded by a 2:05 p.m. showdown between No. 2 South Alabama and No. 3 Mercer. "People can say we drew a tough straw, but I say it could be a lot worse," MSU first baseman Wes Rea said.
 
Mississippi State hosting first NCAA baseball regional since 2003
Mississippi State coach John Cohen has always embraced a gritty, blue-collar approach to baseball that emphasizes toughness. That's why he has so much respect for the three teams coming to the Starkville Regional this weekend. Mississippi State (43-17) is the host and No. 1 seed in the double-elimination, four-team regional that includes South Alabama, Mercer and Central Arkansas -- three programs from lesser-known conferences that might not have big stadiums or big budgets, but certainly understand how to play high-level baseball. Cohen knows from experience. He played in college at Mississippi State in the late 1980s, but started his head coaching career in 1998 at Northwestern State -- a little-known school in Louisiana that constantly had to fight for respect when facing larger opponents. The four-year experience left him with a deep appreciation -- and maybe even a little envy -- for this weekend's opponents.
 
Graveman Mississippi State's best chance in regional opener
For the first time since March 22, Luis Pollorena won't be on the hill for Mississippi State on a Friday night. The Bulldogs (43-17) open NCAA Tournament play as the host team in the Starkville Regional today, and they'll give the ball to senior Kendall Graveman. The right-hander usually follows the lefty Pollorena in the rotation on Saturday. But Graveman's arm slot gave him the advantage over his southpaw teammate. "I'm not comparing the two," Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. "What we're comparing is what one kid in their lineup or several kids in their lineup, how they do against right-handed sink, right-hand slider, who's going to do the best job controlling the running game, who's got the better opportunity with the two-strike put-away opportunities."
 
Central Arkansas to start McClanahan against Bulldogs
Caleb McClanahan threw 249 pitches over a 10-day span, including 158 in a pair of starts four days apart. But he's good to go. The senior right-hander will take the mound tonight for Central Arkansas in its NCAA Starkville Regional opener against No. 14 Mississippi State. McClanahan (10-5, 2.17 ERA) has put in a lot of work lately, including two starts in last week's Southland Conference tournament, which UCA won. In his last outing, six days ago, McClanahan tossed six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits versus Oral Roberts. "I'm good. Good to go," he said. "Thrown a lot, but we went through all that in the fall, in the spring, all the working out and the running and everything. I'm fine."
 
ESPN won't televise LSU, Ole Miss, MSU games
ESPN will not air the NCAA regional openers of Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Jackson State and LSU today. The Ole Miss-William & Mary, LSU-Jackson State and Mississippi State-Central Arkansas contests are only available at ESPN3.com and on the WatchESPN application for mobile devices. ESPN has the right to select the NCAA baseball regionals and determines on what platform the games will be televised.
 
College Baseball: The Ping Is Losing Pop
Major League Baseball had its infamous dead-ball era. Roughly a 100 years later, college baseball may be entering something a little similar: a dead-bat era. With the NCAA regionals set to begin Friday, college players are hitting home runs at the lowest rate since aluminum bats were first introduced in 1974. Through March 31, teams averaged a paltry 0.38 home runs per game—the result of the latest round of restrictions aimed at taking the life out of the non-wood bats. In 2011, the NCAA turned to a handful of physicists to devise a "Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution" (BBCOR) limit on batted ball speeds to make modern metal bats perform no better than their wooden counterparts -- essentially this means bats can no longer compress or "give" more than a wood bat. This is hardly the first attempt to curtail the arcade-like scoring of the college game.
 
SEC trying to boost non-conference hoops schedules
Southeastern Conference basketball coaches are getting a lesson in scheduling analytics. It could lead to more NCAA tournament berths. On the heels of what SEC Commissioner Mike Slive called a "bad year" -- defending national champion Kentucky missed the tournament while only Florida advanced past the first weekend -- the league has hired former NCAA tournament guru Greg Shaheen as a scheduling consultant. Shaheen gave detailed presentations to coaches and athletic directors during the league's annual spring meetings this week. And SEC schools agreed to send their non-conference schedules to the league office for evaluation and possibly renovation.
 
Alabama AD Bill Battle isn't necessarily opposed to paying college players, but questions how
New Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle said he isn't necessarily opposed to paying college players but questions how it could happen. "I know the conference (SEC) is on record as saying they want a (cost-of-attendance scholarship) stipend for all athletes," Battle said. "I don't see how you can pay one set of some players on a team more than others. The Olympic model might be something where you put money in a trust and it goes to that individual and they don't use it until after they graduate." Battle's perspective comes with a twist. He is the founder of Collegiate Licensing Company, which is a defendant with the NCAA and Electronic Arts in the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit over the use of college athletes' names, images and likenesses.
 
Details of lawsuit when Julie Hermann was Lady Vols volleyball coach released
In June 1997, a former women's assistant volleyball coach was awarded $150,000 in a discrimination lawsuit against the University of Tennessee. Sixteen years later, the story has been thrust into the spotlight. Its antagonist, former Lady Vols coach Julie Hermann, is the center of an ongoing hailstorm of controversy as the maligned new athletic director at Rutgers University in New Jersey. On Thursday, the News Sentinel received UT's court files on the case through an open records request.
 
The Questions Keep Coming for Rutgers
It was a few weeks after Rutgers hired a well-regarded recruiting firm to identify and vet candidates to lead the university's athletic program, which was still reeling from a scandal involving an abusive coach, when Julie Hermann, a leading applicant, turned to one of the firm's final questions. "Are there any potential issues of controversy or concern we should be aware of?" Parker Executive Search asked. Ms. Hermann, a longtime athletics administrator at Louisville, signed the sheet, indicating that Rutgers had no cause to worry. New details about the vetting process raise serious questions about the thoroughness of the search, and how much university officials knew about their high-profile hire. Interviews with people close to the search process, as well as internal e-mails, show that it felt rushed and secretive, leaving some elected officials, major donors and search committee members deeply uneasy with how Rutgers responded to one of the biggest scandals in its history.



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