Friday, June 14, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Minority, Women Business Owners & Yokohama Tire
Yokohama Tire is coming to Northeast Mississippi and contractors are ready to do business with the major company. Betty Yates owns a staffing company in Holly Springs. She came to the Mississippi Minority Business Alliance meeting at Mississippi State University on Thursday for more information on how to do business with Yokohama Tire. The conference also included guest panelists Joe Higgins of the Golden Triangle Development Link and Don Buffum, MSU's director of procurement and contracts.
 
Grant Donation to Mississippi State University
Mississippi State honors a Holly Springs woman for her contribution to the campus-based Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library. Thursday afternoon, Jorja Lynn donated a Grant collection that belonged to her late husband Michael Edward Lynn III. The ceremony in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Library was open to the public. The donation includes busts of the former president, framed covers of Harper's Weekly Magazines, framed mixed media and a variety of curios. Lynn and his wife moved to Holly Springs where they restored the Walter Place, an important Ulysses S. Grant site, that inspired their collection.
 
New Trial Stands for Former MSU Professor
The Mississippi Supreme Court confirms its order for a new trial for a former MSU professor convicted of killing his wife. In April, the court threw out 73-year-old David Parvin's murder conviction, saying prosecutors wrongly were allowed to use computer simulation evidence. The state appealed but the court said this week the ruling will stand. Thursday's ruling means Parvin likely will be released from prison until another trial date can be set.
 
Local Democrats to discuss party fallout
Oktibbeha County Democratic Party Chairman Chris Taylor confirmed a special executive committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 25 at the county courthouse to discuss one member's alleged support of Republican candidate Dan Moreland in the Starkville mayoral race. Photos emerged on social media last month linking three Democratic aldermen-elects -- Roy A. Perkins, Henry Vaughn and Lisa Wynn -- and executive committee member Dorothy Isaac to a May 29 Moreland fund-raiser. A second photo also showed Elzena Neal, the wife of executive committee member Kennedy Neal, at the same event. Outrage built within the party before the June 4 election as members learned of the Democrats' attendance.
 
New representatives expected for Starkville Parks Commission
Two sitting members of the Starkville Parks Commission confirmed Wednesday they will resign their posts in the coming weeks. Both incoming Ward 5 Alderman Scott Maynard and Chris Taylor said they will step aside from SPC as the incoming board of aldermen takes its place at the helm of city government. State law requires Maynard's move, but Taylor cited time requirements for other area boards he serves. Taylor holds leadership positions with the Oktibbeha County Democratic Party and the local NAACP chapter. More changeover could occur when Ward 6 SPC representative Dorothy Isaac's term expires June 30. SPC's board of aldermen liaison Eric Parker's term also expires June 30.
 
Young adults in Mississippi divided over government intrusion
In a world where children practically grow up in front of the world on social media and have cellphones to call and text their friends before they even hit double digits in age, it would seem that privacy expectations would be low. Not necessarily. A poll conducted over the weekend for the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post found that young adults were much more divided than older generations when asked which they value more: their safety or their privacy.
 
Courthouse gun bans permitted
A new law that goes into effect July 1, clarifying the people's right to carry guns and other weapons openly, should not prevent sheriffs from banning those weapons in county courthouses, according to a ruling released Thursday by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. Thursday afternoon in his Sillers office building, Hood said the law passed by the 2013 Legislature "is as clear as mud" in determining where people can and cannot carry a gun or other weapon. Hood said weapons could be banned from public education property, from the kindergarten to the higher education level.
 
Mississippi attorney general: Open-carry gun law has some limits
Attorney General Jim Hood issued an opinion Thursday that while a new Mississippi law will allow people to openly carry guns, they can still be prohibited on private property and in courthouses and they're forbidden at schools. Otherwise, Hood said, the new law is "clear as mud" and "poorly written," and he expects courts will be years in interpreting it. Its author, House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, said he generally agrees with Hood's legal opinion, but disagrees the law is unclear or poorly written. He said past confusing opinions from Hood prompted the new law.
 
Hood: Sheriffs can ban open guns from courthouses
Mississippi sheriffs can ban people from openly carrying guns into courthouses, state Attorney General Jim Hood said in a legal opinion Thursday. Hood issued the document in anticipation of a law that starts July 1. The opinion clarifies that people may openly carry guns in Mississippi without a concealed weapon permit. Some people had previously interpreted state law to say people couldn't carry a visible gun on the streets without a permit. Attorney general's opinions aren't legally binding, although they provide legal protection to officials who follow them.
 
State lawmaker calls federal online-gaming legislation positive
The introduction of federal legislation to regulate Internet gambling could bring a calm to the patchwork of state laws that appear inevitable -- or it could split the gaming lobby, leaving it up to states to write their own online gaming laws. "I think that's a positive," said state Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, who has made two unsuccessful attempts to pass online gaming bills on the state level in Mississippi. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., last week introduced a bill that would fully regulate in at the federal level.
 
Economic equality evasive, Jesse Jackson says in Mississippi
Racial barriers have been broken during the half century since Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated but economic disparities remain, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Thursday at an Evers memorial event in Lorman. Mississippi remains one of the poorest states in the nation, and its unemployment rate for black residents is significantly higher than that for whites. "The vertical gap between the haves and the have-nots has gotten even wider," Jackson said during a luncheon at Evers' alma mater, Alcorn State University.
 
Mississippi No. 1 in late credit-card payments
Mississippi, already burdened with historically high poverty and low average household income, continues to falter in paying off its debt in a timely manner, a report states. And those late payments create a ripple effect that, even after the debt is paid, cripples the debtors' credit score and future ability to buy a home or car. Information/risk-management firm TransUnion says Mississippi had the highest credit card delinquency rate, 1.1 percent, of any state for January through March.
 
How Mississippi could end up killing Medicaid
The fight over expanding Medicaid has gotten ugly, and the latest state to grab the spotlight is Mississippi, where a standoff in the legislature is pushing the state toward a cliff. Without a last-minute agreement, Medicaid may cease altogether there on July 1. Most people think it won't come to that, but given the unpredictable nature of the fight over Obamacare, advocates and hospitals there are growing understandably concerned. Some 700,000 people are on the Medicaid rolls in Mississippi, and the program represents about 16 percent of the state's hospital revenue. How did this happen? It is another strange reverberation from last year's Supreme Court ruling making the health law's Medicaid expansion optional for states, a decision that has thrown a number of state capitals into chaos this year and put Republican lawmakers in a particularly tight spot.
 
Sequestration Cuts Cause Mississippi Republicans To Complain About Impact Back Home
Midway through Wednesday's Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on cyber security, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) turned the conversation to the budget cuts that threaten the intelligence community. Concerns about how sequestration would affect national security readiness have been aired since the across-the-board cuts were conceived, often by the same lawmakers who supported the law that instituted them, the Budget Control Act of 2011. But in worrying Thursday about sequestration's impact on the NSA, Cochran continued a peculiar trend of Mississippi Republicans expressing concern over the fallout of the cuts. At a little-noticed rally two weeks ago, the state's governor, Phil Bryant, its other U.S. Senator, Roger Wicker, and two representatives, Gregg Harper and Alan Nunnelee, protested the cuts to the Defense Department's acquisition programs. Of particular concern was the downsizing of the UH-72A Lakota helicopter program, produced in the local Columbia, Miss., plant.
 
Farms and Food Together Forever? Don't Bet on This Legislative Marriage
"Can this marriage be saved?" remains the central storyline as the House gets ready to vote on a farm bill next week. The answer now looks to be a qualified "yes": The union of crop subsidies and food stamps, created out of political convenience in the Nixon era, is on course to be preserved one final time. But a no-fault divorce has a very good chance of being granted before the next farm bill is written near the end of the decade. After 40 years, more and more of the rural lawmakers who care most about the livelihood of farmers have decided they're ready to dump their urban and suburban colleagues who care more about the nutrition of the poor.
 
Port of Gulfport still trying to get a handle on job numbers, descriptions
Four years into West Pier restoration and expansion aimed at job creation, state port officials are still trying to confirm the number of existing jobs and set up training to prepare the workforce for future employment prospects. Community members and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which supplied $570 million for the West Pier work, have grown impatient. HUD has demanded better performance from the port on job tracking and hiring of low- to moderate-income workers, while community advocates regularly question port commissioners about what type jobs will be available and when.
 
NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar
Inside Fort Meade, Maryland, a top-secret city bustles. Tens of thousands of people move through more than 50 buildings---the city has its own post office, fire department, and police force. But as if designed by Kafka, it sits among a forest of trees, surrounded by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, protected by antitank barriers, monitored by sensitive motion detectors, and watched by rotating cameras. This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America's intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world's largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command.
 
Federal judge's ruling threatens unpaid interns
Unpaid internships have long been a path of opportunity for students and recent grads looking to get a foot in the door in the entertainment, publishing and other prominent industries, even if it takes a generous subsidy from Mom and Dad. But those days of working for free could be numbered after a federal judge in New York ruled this week that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on production of the 2010 movie "Black Swan." The decision by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III may lead some companies to rethink whether it's worth the legal risk to hire interns to work without pay.
 
Family, crowds gather for Evers unveiling ceremony at Alcorn State
Medgar Evers had things he wanted for himself and for others -- things like equal rights and equal access -- but one thing he never wanted was attention. But 50 years and one day after he was assassinated outside his home in Jackson, a crowd of hundreds gathered on the campus of Alcorn State University to honor his legacy with the unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue of the civil rights leader. The monument was funded by a capital campaign driven by the ASU Foundation and the Alcorn Alumni Association.
 
Medgar Evers Statue Unveiled at Alcorn State University
A 13-foot tall bronze statue now stands on the campus of Alcorn State University in honor of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers. The statue was unveiled 50 years after he was gunned down in the drive-way of his Jackson home. A crowd of several hundred people react to Evers' widow Myrlie Evers-Williams removing the purple covering to reveal the statue of Medgar Evers. People traveled from around from around the country to witness the unveiling of the statue.
 
WUSM-FM earns Best of the Pine Belt award
WUSM-FM (88.5 FM), the campus radio station at The University of Southern Mississippi, was recently voted "Best of the Pine Belt" in the Signature Magazine/Festival South yearly poll. "It's great to have our fans step forward and vote in such great numbers to help us earn this award, and we want to keep building on that," said WUSM station manager Justin Martin. WUSM's music format is a celebration of American roots music with a strong Mississippi influence, drawn from a 60,000-plus music library.
 
U. of Alabama plans $25 million road project
The University of Alabama's plans to develop the Bryce Hospital property will happen sooner than expected thanks to a $16 million state grant. The grant awarded in April will allow the university to build a $25 million road that will cross the Bryce property and connect the eastern portion of campus with Jack Warner Parkway. The properties committee of the UA board of trustees discussed the road project at its meeting Thursday and approved a preliminary construction budget the full board will consider today.
 
Three U. of Alabama-related companies in Launchpad competition
Three start-up companies affiliated with the University of Alabama are among the 10 start-up companies from across the state that were selected this week to compete in the second 2013 Alabama Launchpad Start-Up Competition. Twenty-seven start-ups applied for the competition and a five-judge panel chose the 10 after reviewing submitted applications. The 10 teams now will compete for up to $100,000 in award money that will be used to further develop their company. Alabama Launchpad is in its seventh year. Its purpose is to help innovative ventures that have the potential to create and keep jobs in Alabama grow into businesses in the state.
 
Auburn-based tech company helping top aircraft fly
About 20 years ago, Dr. Michael Greene took a leap of faith and started his own aerospace and automotive company. He said it was a decision he made "foolishly." "I was a professor of electrical engineering at (Auburn) University," Greene said. "I had been a pilot for a long time and I was unhappy with the state of instrumentation in my plane. I thought I could do better, did do better, but it wasn't commercially successful." Today, Archangel Systems employs approximately 32 people, 18 of whom are engineers and many of whom are Auburn graduates.
 
City OKs design of U. of South Carolina alumni center
The proposed designs for the University of South Carolina alumni center have been approved by Columbia's Design/Development Review Commission. The project has been more than 160 years in the making, said Jack Claypoole, executive director of the alumni association. The new center will be at the corner of Lincoln and Sumter streets, adjacent to the Hilton hotel. "We're now the only Southeastern Conference school without an alumni center, but we will clearly now have the best alumni center," Claypoole said.
 
Prayer proposal shortlived in Texas A&M faculty senate
A proposal to hold a prayer before Texas A&M faculty senate meetings was rejected before it could gain traction. Senate speaker Walter Daugherity proposed an invocation and a Pledge of Allegiance before each monthly meeting of the faculty at their Monday meeting. But after a backlash to the idea, Daugherity sent out an email at about 1 a.m. Thursday to let senators know he had withdrawn the proposal. "I assure you, I acted in good faith with the best intentions and no hidden agenda, and sincerely want to make our senate and our university a better place and to regain your confidence as a worthy speaker," Daugherity wrote. Senate secretary Dale Rice, on behalf of the senate's executive committee, said that the committee held an emergency meeting Thursday and confirmed that there would be no opening ceremonies on future agendas.
 
Vet school professor to lead Texas A&M Institute for Pre-Clinical Studies
An Aggie veterinary professor has been named as the director for the Texas A&M Institute for Pre-Clinical Studies, or TIPS. Dr. Matt Miller, professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences and veterinary cardiologist at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, was recently appointed to lead the institute, which was established in 2007 as a research facility for exploring endeavors that require Good Laboratory Practice Methods. According to a press release from the university, Miller's experience includes helping to "develop the clinical cardiology program that today is considered one of the top programs in the world."
 
U. of Missouri's Deaton discusses career, plans for emeritus work
Food security is one of the most important challenges facing the world in the coming decades, said University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton, who intends to work hard to address it as chancellor emeritus after he retires Nov. 15. Deaton, who announced Wednesday that he would retire as chancellor, took time to talk with Missourian reporter Brendan Gibbons outside a closed meeting of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators on Thursday. He talked about his past interest and studies in agricultural policy and trade issues and how growing up on a farm in Kentucky helped instill those values.
 
U. of Missouri System Board of Curators approves employee benefits for same-sex partners
The question of whether the University of Missouri System should extend benefits to partners of same-sex employees was settled with a single word: "Aye." The UM System Board of Curators voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to extend benefits to same-sex partners of system employees if they meet certain criteria. The measure was part of a larger set of changes to the university's regulations governing employee health benefits. One of those changes added "sponsored adult dependents" as a new category of people who can be eligible for employee medical, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as accidental death and dismemberment insurance, starting in 2014. "The adult-sponsored dependents will cover same-sex couples who do meet the criteria," said John Fougere, chief communications officer for the UM System.
 
Awards at U. of Arkansas in Honor of Late Professor Ziegler
The University of Arkansas has announced two $25,000 awards that have been established in the name of the late Professor Joseph Ziegler. The university said the Joseph A. Ziegler Study Abroad Award and the Joseph A. Ziegler International Business Student Endowed Award are funded with donations from Ziegler's friends and family. The awards were established by Ziegler's widow -- Ann Marie Ziegler. Joseph Ziegler was a professor in the university's Sam M. Walton College of Business. He died earlier this year at age 67.
 
GE, U. of Kentucky to work together on research
The University of Kentucky has reached an agreement with GE Appliances to collaborate on research aimed at producing innovations in the appliances business. UK President Eli Capilouto joined GE Appliances executives to announce the collaboration Thursday at GE's Appliance Park in Louisville. The agreement sets terms for the licensing and sharing of jointly developed innovations. GE Appliances Vice President Kevin Nolan says the partnership will allow the company to tap into the technical expertise of UK scientists. Capilouto calls the agreement a step forward for Kentucky's economic development.
 
Academic Scientists Hail Supreme Court's Rejection of Gene Patents
A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court this week ruled that sequences of naturally occurring genes cannot be patented, a decision hailed by academic researchers who said it "opens up the field" for genetic testing and research. A DNA sequence, even after it is identified and isolated, is still "a product of nature and not patent eligible," the court said in its 18-page ruling. The ruling strikes down parts of three patents developed at the University of Utah and used by Myriad Genetics Inc. for a pricey test it sells exclusively to help predict the hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The test concerns genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
 
U. of Florida expert: High court ruling barring patents on human genes to have big impact
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that companies cannot patent parts of naturally occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect women and the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries, experts at the University of Florida and nationwide said. The high court's unanimous judgment reverses three decades of patent awards by government officials. The court's ruling will have a profound impact on women and genetics researchers, said Bill Allen, an associate professor and director of the Program in Bioethics, Law and Medical Professionalism at the University of Florida. Researchers no longer will have to worry about potential patent infringement suits, he said.
 
With student loan rates about to double, lawmakers squabble
Student loan rates will double to 6.8 percent on July 1 if Congress doesn't settle on a new plan soon, but disagreements flared Thursday, not only between the two parties, but between a veteran Democrat and President Barack Obama. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chastised his own party's leader over the details of the president's solution to the problem. Obama in his budget plan earlier this year proposed a market-based student loan rate, similar to a Republican proposal, but at a lower rate and with a different protection for future increases.
 
Collegiality experts advocate its role in personnel decisions
Collegiality can be a dirty word in higher education -- particularly in regard to tenure or promotion, where it frequently becomes a catchall for likability and other subjective qualities that some faculty advocates say can be used to punish departmental dissenters. But two researchers are trying -- through data-based definitions and metrics -- to sanitize collegiality enough for it to be a viable, fourth criterion in personnel decisions.
 
Slimantics: Legislature: Just say 'no' to drug courts | Slim Smith (Opinion)
The Dispatch's Slim Smith writes: "Our elected officials have had plenty to say recently about the need for Mississippi to improve its education. A good place to start would be at the Legislature itself, which seems to have no grasp of the basic concepts of math. Earlier this week, the state drug courts advisory committee said it would have to cut its projected budget by 42 percent, a savings of $3.3 million, primarily because the system has expanded to all counties but the necessary funding has remained unchanged. All our legislators heard, apparently, was the 'save $3.3 million' part. The folks in Jackson absolutely love 'savings' of this sort, especially since it deals with people they view as undesirables. The pompous moralists who run this state would rather lose an arm than do anything that might be perceived as being 'soft on criminals.' What suffers most in this sort of thinking is common sense."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State's Girodo among CWS X-factors
There's a difference between talent and potential, and talent and production when it matters most. Evidence of this: of the 33 players drafted in the first round of last week's MLB Draft, all of whom are undoubtedly talented, just two will play in this week's College World Series (UNC's Colin Moran and MSU's Hunter Renfroe). Instead this time of season is often won by the teams that are just that, with run-producers up and down the lineup and arms for days coming out of the bullpen. They are not always the biggest of names, and often underclassmen. Everyone knows about Bulldog closer Jonathan Holder, but he's given up two runs in three postseason innings. Southpaw Chad Girodo has emerged as the team's ace out of the bullpen, with a 2-0 record and 24 strikeouts in 13 innings.
 
Bulldogs have fun after beard ban lifted
Trevor Fitts grew a hopeful beard last Christmas. When he returned to school for the spring semester, the Mississippi State sophomore pitcher was still scruffy, and he was eager to see whether he'd be allowed to keep his facial growth. His coach, John Cohen, had a long-held policy prohibiting facial hair, but Fitts had made his case for a change. Cohen relented, which explains why Fitts, Ben Bracewell, Alex Detz, Wes Rea and several other Bulldogs have fuzzy faces heading into the College World Series. No. 14 MSU opens Saturday against No. 4 Oregon State (2 p.m., ESPN2).
 
Cohen has Bulldogs alive, full of bite
John Cohen knows pictures can sometimes speak louder than words in the recruiting process. As a former Mississippi State University baseball player, Cohen knows how to use the power of images to highlight the program's rich tradition. The Palmeiro Center, the school's practice facility for baseball and football, is one of Cohen's jewels. It includes a Hall of Fame Champions room, which would leave even the most ardent supporter a little awed and star struck. In five seasons as MSU baseball coach, Cohen has proudly used the room full of jerseys, plaques, pictures, trophies, and mementos to attract recruits who can help him get the Bulldogs back to the sport's biggest stage. That day is finally here.
 
Bulldogs say road to Omaha was worth it
It was all worth it. This was the consensus from members of the Mississippi State University baseball team as they stared into television cameras and faced the most media attention they've received this season. Every one of the 27 active members of the MSU roster has faced a form of adversity -- from battling through the questions that accompany slumps to working back from possible career-ending injuries. Was it worth working through all of the setbacks for MSU? Ben Bracewell, who has had two major surgeries, is a perfect player to ask.
 
Rea, Holder go from rivals to long-haired teammates
As a 10th-grader, Jonathan Holder stood on the mound and -- in the terms normally applied to some Biblical epic -- sort of "beheld" Wes Rea. Until that moment, Holder had known Rea only by reputation -- "he was this big-time football recruit and a year ahead of me in high school," Holder recalled Wednesday as the Mississippi State University baseball team met with the media before leaving today for Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series. First baseman Rea and closer Holder are now teammates. Five years ago, they were on opposing sides of a fierce rivalry common between neighboring "city" and "county" schools. Although both are from Gulfport, Holder played for Gulfport High School and Rea played for Harrison Central High, the county school north of the city.
 
Former East Central standout Trey Porter realizes College World Series dream with Mississippi State
The summer after his senior year at East Central High School, Trey Porter watched on television as former Hornets teammate J.R. Ballinger pitched Southern Miss to the 2009 College World Series. Four years later, Porter gets to find out first-hand the thrill of playing in Omaha, Neb. The senior from Hurley is part of a Mississippi State baseball team that reached the College World Series and is in pursuit of the school's first national title.
 
Mississippi State's Ellis knows call to Omaha
Radio broadcaster Jim Ellis has called some of the biggest moments in Mississippi State baseball history. Whether it was Kenny Kurtz shutting the door on Murray State 8-6 to help the Bulldogs secure the 1979 trip to the College World Series, or the Alex Detz throw from third to first base to beat Virginia 6-5 and clinch the latest trip to Omaha, Neb., Ellis has been there to describe the action. This will be MSU's ninth appearance in the College World Series and it will be the eighth time for Ellis, who is in his 35th season of announcing baseball games.
 
City of Maben to celebrate Johnthan Banks
On Saturday, June 22, at 10:00 a.m., the city of Maben will be hosting Jonathan Banks Day. The celebration will be held at the W.O. "Bill" Shivers Park Pavillion, next to the library, on Main Street. Banks, who grew up in Maben, played football at East Webster High School and Mississippi State University. Banks recently signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
 
Biloxi baseball stadium could attract top college programs
Biloxi's new baseball stadium could serve as host to many college games in the coming seasons, Tim Bennett of Overtime Sports said this week. Bennett has already reached out to several top college baseball programs in the region with Southern Miss serving as a key focus of the effort. Bennett, who also helped attract the Double-A Mississippi Braves to Pearl in 2004, was hired by Biloxi to bring minor league baseball to the city. During his involvement with the Pearl franchise, he played a hand in having Ole Miss, Alabama, Southern Miss, Mississippi State and Louisiana-Monroe land games at Trustmark Park. He also helped bring the SWAC and Conference USA baseball tournaments to the Jackson area. He plans to do much of the same thing in Biloxi.
 
Auburn's trees? Clemson's rock? College football needs an Updyke Law | Kevin Scarbinsky (Opinion)
Columnist Kevin Scarbinsky writes: "First, Harvey Updyke killed Auburn's trees. Now, some unknown lowlife has ripped a chunk out of Clemson's rock. What other icon is next on the endangered species list? LSU's tiger? Georgia's dog? Arkansas's pig? When will this college football crime spree end? Do the NCAA and local law enforcement authorities throughout the South have to put together a joint task force to protect and defend the things that football fans hold dear? This is not a joke. If you're having trouble suppressing a laugh, go ask Updyke how much fun he had during his time in the Lee County Detention Center after his poison hastened the demise of the Toomer's Corner oaks."
 
U. of Tennessee's bad APR shows deeper troubles | David Climer (Opinion)
The Tennessean's David Climer writes: "When Wimp Sanderson was coaching Alabama's basketball team in the '80s, he once was asked how many of his players graduated. His response: 'All of 'em that want to.' It was classic Wimp and his audience responded with laughter and nodding heads. At the time, it was an honest, common sense thing to say. Well, the game has changed. These days, we're keeping score on everything, including the progress athletes are making toward graduation. It's not just about W's and L's anymore. You have to pay attention to your APR -- Academic Progress Rate. All of which brings us around to the University of Tennessee's football program and its lousy APR. Numbers came out this week showing a single-year score of 909 and a multiyear score of 924 for Vols football. ...In other words, the Vols have been as bad in the classroom as they have on the field. No wonder they couldn't get the right number of players in the huddle. They couldn't count to 11."



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