Friday, August 9, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Students return for move in day
Thousands of students will flood back to Starkville on Saturday for Mississippi State University's annual move in day. Move-in day, which the university began in recent years calling "MVNU2MSU," marks the official opening of Mississippi State's on-campus housing for the general student population.
 
MSU adopts commercial tailgating policies
A few weeks before football season starts, Mississippi State has unveiled the state's first set of regulations governing commercial tailgating companies. A school press release said the rules governing commercial tailgating companies -- those that erect tailgate set-ups for customers -- are designed to manage the industry's expansion. A committee adopted the policies after studying the issue on the Starkville campus. Members also examined similar policies at other institutions. The results showed that the expansion of the commercial tailgating business has led to tension with traditional tailgaters and those who contract with vendors. The commercial tailgating industry has expanded in Oxford, too, but not to the point that requires designated operation areas, Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said. "Each campus will decide on its own," he said in a phone interview last week. The University of Southern Mississippi also does not have policies in place regulating commercial tailgating, Brent Jones, associate AD for marketing and communications, said in an email.
 
Black Crowes Headline Bulldog Bash
The Black Crowes will headline Mississippi State University's annual Bulldog Bash Oct. 4. The free music event is presented by C Spire Wireless and MSU's Student Association. Events begin at 3 p.m. with the "FanFare and Dawg Rally," while the concert kicks off at 5 p.m. and ends around midnight. "FanFare" includes multiple inflatables and other family fun activities. Other 2013 performers include country artists Chris Young and the winner of this year's "Plazapalooza" battle of the bands. The event also benefits the Reclaimed Project, which assists families who wish to adopt, launches orphan care centers and helps the community.
 
Black Crowes, Chris Young to perform at Bulldog Bash
The Black Crowes will headline Mississippi State University's annual Bulldog Bash October 4. School officials the day gets underway with Fanfare and Dawg Rally at 3 p.m. and the concert will kick off at 5 p.m. Country music star Chris Young will also perform. The free event is sponsored by C-Spire Wireless and the MSU Student Association.
 
Black Crowes to headline Bulldog Bash
Mississippi State University confirmed Thursday The Black Crowes will headline Bulldog Bash 2013 on Oct. 4, joined by Chris Young and the winner of this year's Plazapalooza band contest.
 
Starkville authorities looking for armed robbery suspects
The Starkville Police Department is asking for the public's help finding three people wanted in connection with an early Thursday morning armed robbery. Investigators say about 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning three people wearing masks robbed the Sprint Mart on Academy Road in Starkville at gunpoint. Authorities say one of the suspects threw one clerk on the ground and held him at gunpoint during the robbery. Police say the three suspects left the store traveling west towards Louisville Street.
 
Ellis in good spirits as he recovers from stroke
State Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, says he is in better health and spirit following a late July stroke which hospitalized him. Ellis was discharged from Baptist Medical Center after being admitted to its intensive care wing last week. He reportedly suffered the stroke July 29, and lawmakers were notified of his condition the following day via email. Ellis, who is from Starkville, represents House District 38. He serves as the House's Democratic Whip. "I'm doing well, and I'm in therapy right now. It's a day-to-day thing. I'll probably be down for at least a couple of weeks," he said.
 
Mississippi Senate race 2014: Guessing game over Thad Cochran run
Thad Cochran is taking his sweet time. The Senate's 2014 battle lines are already largely set with the increasingly glaring exception of Mississippi. But Cochran won't say whether he will run for a seventh term and has indicated it will be months before he decides, stalling potential successors from laying groundwork in the race ahead of an impending spring primary. One thing's for sure: Cochran is not making things easy for the chairman of the Senate Republicans' campaign arm, Jerry Moran of Kansas. If Cochran drops a retirement bomb in December it will create a mad scramble for a safe Republican seat that Moran will have to referee. Moran is urging a quick decision -- preferably for Cochran to run again -- and out of deference for the longtime senator, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman says he hasn't met with prospective candidates.
 
Transportation tax hike proposed
Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, chairman of a task force looking at the state's infrastructure needs, challenged his members to come up with a plan to raise additional revenue. On Thursday, Simmons offered his own plan to raise more than $700 million in revenue through a wide array of taxes, ranging from more than doubling the current motor fuels tax to increasing the tax on the sale of agriculture produce. Simmons' proposal also included a slight increase in the casino gambling tax, on the purchase of car tires, on title fees for vehicles and on the privilege tax paid by big truckers. Jay Moon, executive director of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and a task force member, said while those projects might be worthy, he said that the panel should focus on its original task -- the state's transportation needs. After the meeting, Moon reiterated, though, that he and his powerful lobbying group would not support tax increases without "an independent analysis of what the priorities would be."
 
Senate panel weighs $700M tax hike for highway repair
A transportation task force on Thursday viewed a sweeping proposal to raise $700 million in new taxes to fund highway and bridge maintenance, plus some unrelated spending. The "option 1," presented by Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, who's chairing the task force, would raise taxes on gasoline, diesel, car tags and titles, residential utilities and tires, and would remove some sales tax exemptions on agriculture and manufacturing. Such a proposal is thought to be a tough, if not impossible, sell with the current anti-tax sentiment among Mississippi's GOP government leadership. Proposals last legislative session to raise the state fuel tax to fund highway maintenance got no traction.
 
Leader of road study group proposes $700M in taxes
The leader of a Senate transportation study committee proposes the state should levy $700 million in new taxes to support road maintenance as well as some other non-transportation related projects. Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, said Thursday that the proposal, which would be the largest state tax increase in more than 20 years, is only a starting point for discussion, and invited alternate proposals. But some members of his committee quickly indicated they aren't interested in that much spending, and may oppose any new taxes, especially the $150 million a year that Simmons proposed for university, community college, state agency and local water and sewer construction. Simmons admitted those extra items were "stretching it."
 
Mississippi leaders to fight closing of any military bases
Another round of military base closings and realignments is expected in 2015, and Mississippi officials are working to protect the state's installations. Gov. Phil Bryant said Thursday the state wants to protect the $2.6 billion economic impact the military has in Mississippi. There are 37,000 Mississippians employed in military jobs with a payroll of $1.7 billion. Mississippi is home to four federal military bases, two Army National Guard installations, three Air National Guard units and 85 National Guard Readiness Centers.
 
Former Sen. Trent Lott recovering after ruptured appendix in Jackson
A one-time aide to former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott said Thursday that the Mississippi Republican has suffered a ruptured appendix. The former aide, Lee Youngblood, told The Associated Press that he has been in touch with Lott's family. Youngblood said the 71-year-old Lott underwent surgery and is expected to recover. "He did have a ruptured appendix," Youngblood said. "That's bad, but it's not life-threatening by any means." In Jackson, Baptist Medical Center spokesman Robby Channell said Lott was in fair condition Thursday night. Word of Lott's surgery emerged after someone asked people to pray for him at a Rotary Club meeting Thursday in Gulfport, Miss., Youngblood said. Lott lobbies for Washington-based Patton Boggs LLP and the Ridgeland, Miss., law firm of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada PLLC.
 
Taylor appointed chair of House Corrections Committee
Speaker of the House Philip Gunn has announced his appointment of Rep. Tommy Taylor (R-Boyle) to the position of Chairman of the House Corrections Committee. Chairman Taylor replaces former Chairman Rep. George Flaggs (D-Vicksburg) who was sworn in as Mayor of Vicksburg on June 30. Taylor served as Warden of Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility for approximately 12 years. Prior to that, he worked in law enforcement and corrections beginning in 1969. He has been in the Legislature for two years.
 
NOAA trims forecast for busy hurricane season
This Atlantic hurricane season may not be quite as busy as federal forecasters once thought, but they still warn of an unusually active and potentially dangerous few months to come. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its hurricane season forecast Thursday, trimming back the number of hurricanes they expect this year to between six and nine. That's a couple less than they predicted back in May. "Make no bones about it, those ranges indicate a lot of activity still to come," said lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell of NOAA's Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Md. "We're coming to the peak of hurricane season now."
 
Critics bash Obama's plans for vacay
President Obama and his family are heading to Martha's Vineyard on Saturday for a week of rest and relaxation, but not before facing the ritual partisan grumblings that presidential vacations are extravagant and waste taxpayer money. While Congress is in the midst of its own five-week break, Republican officials haven't missed the opportunity to question the president for heading to the upscale Massachusetts community at a time when automatic cuts to the federal budget have left the Defense Department and other agencies furloughing employees. The tradition of criticizing presidents for the choice of vacation spots and duration of their holiday is as old as the Republic itself.
 
Hispanics lean strongly Democratic regardless of place of birth, Gallup finds
Hispanics in the U.S. lean strongly Democratic overall, with only moderate differences based on their place of birth, according to a poll released Thursday. The poll, a part of Gallup's Minority Rights and Relations survey conducted June 13 through July 5, indicates that 64 percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. to two U.S.-born parents were either Democrats or leaned that way, while just 30 percent leaned toward or identified as Republicans. The poll results, if accurate, are unfortunate for Republicans, as they suggest their recent struggles to win Hispanic votes will not be greatly improved simply by ongoing assimilation.
 
The perils of sitting down: Standing orders
Winston Churchill knew it. Ernest Hemingway knew it. Leonardo da Vinci knew it. Every trendy office from Silicon Valley to Scandinavia now knows it too: there is virtue in working standing up. And not merely standing. The trendiest offices of all have treadmill desks, which encourage people to walk while working. It sounds like a fad. But it does have a basis in science. Health ministries have been nagging people for decades to do more exercise. What is surprising is that prolonged periods of inactivity are bad regardless of how much time you also spend on officially approved high-impact stuff like jogging or pounding treadmills in the gym. What you need instead, the latest research suggests, is constant low-level activity. This can be so low-level that you might not think of it as activity at all. Even just standing up counts, for it invokes muscles that sitting does not.
 
Northeast Mississippi Community College, Blue Mountain partner on accelerated degree program
Students will now be offered the opportunity to get a bachelor's degree by attending classes offered at the Northeast Mississippi Community College campus in Corinth. Northeast and Blue Mountain College have agreed to offer an accelerated degree partnership program. School officials say undergraduate transfer students or Northeast graduated can take courses offered by Blue Mountain College on the Corinth campus. A student would receive a bachelor's degree after completing the academic requirements of both schools.
 
Thousands of U. of Alabama students move in early
Approximately 2,700 University of Alabama students involved in activities on campus before the start of classes were allowed to begin moving into their dorms early on Thursday. UA Director of Housing Administration Alicia Browne said the students were moving into dorms scattered across campus. General move-in for the rest of campus is scheduled for Aug. 16-18. Browne said the largest group of students moving in early were women participating in rush this fall with campus sororities. The formal recruitment process for sororities is scheduled to begin tonight with convocation for more than 2,000 women participating this fall. Browne said the next largest group is likely students involved with UA's Million Dollar Band. Browne noted Honors College students will also be on campus early for various community service projects in West Alabama from Sunday until Aug. 16.
 
U. of Alabama Week of Welcome helps students adjust
The University of Alabama's Division of Student Affairs will host Week of Welcome 2013 from Aug. 16-29 to help new students adjust to academic and student life on campus and in Tuscaloosa. The two-week program is expected to feature more than 50 activities, including a carnival-style event at Coleman Coliseum at 6 p.m. Aug. 18, according to a release from the university. The Aug. 18 event will include activities such as zip lines and bumper cars, information about academic departments and student organizations, and a pep rally with UA cheerleaders, the Yell Crew and Big Al.
 
New U. of Alabama house largest in sorority's national history
The University of Alabama's chapter of Gamma Phi Beta broke ground on their upcoming 40,000 sq. ft. house Saturday, which is set to be the largest housing project in the sorority's national history. "Frankly, we just outgrew our current house," Jennifer Meehan, president of the Gamma Phi Beta UA House Corporation Board, said. "The new house will house 68 women, and we're so looking forward to moving in to the new facility." The house, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2015, is being constructed on an empty lot on the sorority row extension, part of an expansion plan in which every house is being relocated or expanded.
 
U. of Alabama sorority recruitment to begin Friday, more than 2,000 rushees expected
More than 2,000 women are pre-registered for the University of Alabama's sorority recruitment, which is scheduled to begin this Friday, Aug. 9. While rushees -- or Potential New Members (PNMs), as they're known within the greek system -- can also register for recruitment on-site Friday, a University spokesperson confirmed there were 2,009 women registered as of last week. This will be the university's largest rush to date, up from 1,993 in 2012 and 1,700 in 2011. Rush week has been extended over the last few years to accommodate the growing numbers. This year's recruitment will span nine days, culminating Saturday, Aug. 17 with Bid Day at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
 
U. of Alabama engineering department to host symposium Aug. 19-20
The University of Alabama department of civil, construction and environmental engineering will host the Garry Neil Drummond symposium Aug. 19-20 on the UA campus to discuss the future of the field and key issues for the industry. The "Defining the Future of Civil Engineering through Collaborative Research," symposium includes panel discussions and brief research presentations by eight nationally-recognized civil engineering researchers during the two-day event at the South Engineering Research Center, according to a release from UA.
 
Nearly 1,200 women expected to seek bid in Auburn University sororities this year
With recruitment week at Auburn University kicking off on Sunday, nearly 1,200 women have pre-registered to take part in the Greek gatherings leading up to Bid Day on Aug 18. Director of Greek Life Jill Moore said there are currently 1,199 women registered. However, Moore said additional potential new members are expected to register on site and the number of participants to partake is expected to rise above the 1,200 mark. Auburn University maintains 53 Greek organizations, making up 29 percent of the student body during the spring semester last year. In 2012, 1,214 women participated in recruitment week.
 
More than 700 to graduate from LSU on Friday
More than 700 men and women clad in caps and gowns will leave their seats at LSU's basketball arena Friday, shake hands with university bigwigs, then walk across the stage into their new lives as college graduates. Among the 715 graduates who will pack the arena will be students from 43 Louisiana parishes, 33 states and 32 foreign countries. Their ages range from 66 to 20. This year's summer graduation ceremony will be the first for LSU's newly-installed System President and Baton Rouge Chancellor F. King Alexander. He will deliver the commencement address.
 
Bachtel, much-quoted U. of Georgia demographer, dies
One of the University of Georgia's most-quoted and influential professors died Thursday morning. Doug Bachtel, a demographer and faculty member in UGA's Department of Housing and Consumer Economics, revealed the numbers and facts underlying some of Georgia's most troubling or transformative social and economic issues, including drug abuse, rural poverty, single motherhood, Atlanta's runaway growth and the state's rapidly growing Latino population. Bachtel's messages weren't always popular, but they were based on facts and helped leaders across Georgia make decisions in their communities, said Tal DuVall, a retired head of the University of Georgia's Cooperative Extension Service. "He was the messenger that was shot many times, but he always told the truth," DuVall said. "He was telling it like it was."
 
UGA employee accused of hacking into coworkers emails
A University of Georgia employee was arrested Thursday on 34 counts of hacking into the computers of two coworkers. Rebecca Jane Pruett, 29, an administrative associate in the chemistry department, was served with the felony warrants at the Oconee County Jail, where she surrendered. She was released on a $5,000 bond. Pruett is charged with illegally accessing the emails of two employees in the department, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said. The employees came to the police department because they felt their emails were being entered, Williamson said. Williamson would not detail a possible motive. However, Pruett is the focus of an investigation into a complaint of nepotism in the Department of Chemistry. Pruett works in an office where her father, chemist Henry Schaefer, directs the Center for Computational Chemistry.
 
Texas A&M System regents table budget approval
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents significantly switched up the plans of its 11 public universities and nine state agencies when it decided not to support a $3.8 billion budget minutes before it was set to be approved. Regent Morris Foster told the members of the board's finance committee that he wanted a last-minute change to the budgets in an effort to be more fiscally responsible. He suggested that 5 percent of each institution's budget, for a total of $190 million, be withheld and given to Chancellor John Sharp, who would then decide if or how to dole out the funds. The move would potentially trim the Texas A&M University budget by $65 million and the Tarleton State University budget by $7.4 million. A system spokesman said a breakdown of the $3.8 billion system budget by institution was not available on Thursday.
 
Stewarts Donate $1M to U. of Arkansas College of Engineering
The College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville has received a $1 million gift from alumni Julian and Nana Stewart, the university said Thursday. A portion of the gift will be used to establish the Julian C. and Nana B. Stewart AACE Access Arkansas Scholarships within the department of civil engineering and provide need-based support to at least 10 students annually, according to a news release. The remainder will be used to establish a charitable gift annuity with the university listed as the beneficiary. Both Julian and Nana are graduates of the University of Arkansas. Julian earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1957, and Nana holds a bachelor of science in education from the College of Education and Health Professions.
 
Quarterly Business Analysis with U. of Arkansas' Kathy Deck Scheduled for Sept. 12
The University of Arkansas will host the next installment of its Quarterly Business Analysis with Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, on Thursday, Sept. 12. Deck's popular sessions feature business highlights of the previous quarter, key economic trends and projections and immediate and long-term issues facing the regional and state economy. The event will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the UA's Donald W. Reynolds Center for Enterprise Development in Fayetteville. The luncheon is a partnership between the Center for Business and Economic Research in the UA's Walton College of Business and the Northwest Arkansas Chambers of Commerce.
 
Campus Tours Are Revving Up
People complain when their feet get sore, the University of North Texas has learned. For years, when visitors were asked what they disliked about the campus tour, the resounding answer was: all that walking. Parents didn't like trekking around in the heat, and they weren't too keen on the cold either. So three years ago, North Texas bought two 14-passenger electric trams, which can go up to 20 miles per hour. Now the tour has two parts: Guests walk through the heart of the campus, and a tram takes them around the perimeter, stopping several times along the way. North Texas is one of at least a dozen colleges that in recent years have adopted a walking-riding hybrid for tours. With buses, vans, golf carts, and Segways, today's campus visits often rely on wheels. Comfort is one factor. Campus sprawl is another.
 
Study points to gaps between how journalism educators and journalists view j-schools
Journalism instructors assign much more value to a degree in the discipline than do practicing journalists, according to a new Poynter study. Some 96 percent of journalism educators believe that a journalism degree is very important or extremely important when it comes to understanding the value of journalism. By contrast, 57 percent of media professionals believe that a journalism degree is key to understanding the value of their field. Perhaps even more significant, more than 80 percent of educators say a journalism degree is extremely important when it comes to learning news gathering skills, compared to 25 percent of media professionals.
 
Why Aren't More Girls Attracted To Physics?
Even as the gender divide in some areas of science has diminished, a stubborn gap has persisted in high school physics. A new study finds that girls are more likely to take physics if they see women in their communities working in science, technology, engineering and math. Teenage girls growing up in communities where women are better represented in tech are more likely to see women commenting on tech issues in public forums and in school discussions.
 
OUR OPINION: Encourage bipartisan interaction everywhere
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "The nationally influential journal, State Legislatures, often reports on the best trends and efforts in legislative bodies across the U.S. The July/August issue's report by Morgan Cullen on a bipartisanship effort in the Texas Legislature offers encouragement that some lawmakers are willing to pull back from the brink of what he describes as 'toxic partisanship.' ...The obvious hope for a parallel in Washington has been expressed. Sen.. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., may have made a start on that with his two successful all-Senate caucuses. The same energy is needed in Jackson where people may know one another better than in Washington but where partisan stress is high -- and counterproductive."
 
JIMMIE GATES: Growing prison population problematic | Jimmie Gates (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Jimmie Gates writes: "A recent report shows that Mississippi, once again, was one of a handful of states that has increased its prison population. Last year -- the third year in a row -- the nation's prison population decreased. But Mississippi in 2012 saw a net increase of more than 500 inmates, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report issued last month. ...For some time now, Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps has said the state could cut its prison population and save tax dollars by placing more nonviolent inmates on house arrest. And it appears Epps may have the ear of Gov. Phil Bryant, who last week said he's open to the idea."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State WRs struggle in scrimmage
One of its biggest question marks heading into the season, Mississippi State's wide receivers had progressed nicely early in fall camp. On Thursday, though, the group took a step backward. "A bunch of false starts, some silly penalties, a bunch of dropped passes, missed assignments, that type of stuff. You see that a lot early," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "I guess as coach's talk, it's good we have a lot of time to get that stuff all fixed. You kind of expect that from a young team, but I was hoping to see us perform at a little higher level than that." The scrimmage presented MSU's wideouts their first opportunity in full pads to impress the coaches and start their quest to lock down one of three wide receiver openings.
 
MSU receivers have rough day at scrimmage
Jameon Lewis and Joe Morrow have been learning everything that's involved with being a starting wide receiver in the SEC. Thursday served as a reminder of how much work still remains. Mississippi State held its first scrimmage of the preseason, a closed affair inside Davis Wade Stadium. Lewis, Morrow and the rest of the receivers had a tough day as far as dropped passes and penalties, which head coach Dan Mullen attributed to "poor concentration." Morrow wasn't going to argue with that assessment.
 
Columbus' Smith not likely to play for MSU
Dan Mullen grew up a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan in suburban New Hampshire. Maybe that's why the Mississippi State University football coach couldn't wait to use a baseball analogy to describe sixth-year offensive lineman Tobias Smith. "We even have Tobias (Smith) sitting in the bullpen if we need him," Mullen said Aug. 1. But Mullen seems to be the only one publicly willing to talk about the possibility Smith will play for the Bulldogs this season. Smith, who was granted a medical sixth year of eligibility in February by the NCAA, hasn't been in uniform in the first weeks of training camp and has attended practices as a graduate assistant. The Columbus native hasn't indicated if he will return to action. MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy said Wednesday with a smile he believes Smith is an unofficial assistant coach. Smith has had an injury-filled career at MSU.
 
Greenville-Weston prospect commits to MSU
A scholarship offer from the Mississippi State University football team was the right fit in every way for Gerri Green. The three-star linebacker prospect from Greenville-Weston (Miss.) High School became the 15th verbal commitment of MSU's 2014 recruiting class Wednesday. 247Sports.com was the first to report the news of Green's commitment. The website has the 215-pound linebacker as the ninth-best player in the state of Mississippi. "Mississippi State is the place I want to spend the next four years of my life," Green told 247Sports.com. "I fit there as a student and as a player. I want to major in their engineering program, so that is a good fit for me academically. As a person, I fit in with their group of guys and coaches, and it is also the best fit for me as a player."
 
Huddleston shows versatility in first practice at Mississippi State
Tiffany Huddleston doesn't mind that there is an alphabet soup following her name on the roster for the 2013 Mississippi State University women's soccer team. The fact that the former Starkville Academy soccer and basketball standout is listed as a forward/midfielder/defender on the team's roster online isn't surprising because she has played a number of positions in her youth and prep career. Huddleston had a chance to showcase her versatility Wednesday morning at MSU's first official practice of the season. The training session allowed first-year coach Aaron Gordon to begin to sort through 10 freshmen, or "newcomers," as he refers to them, and figure out where everyone will fit.
 
McDonald loses at U.S. Women's Amateur
Mississippi State's Ally McDonald lost on the 19th hole of round of 32 play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship on Thursday. McDonald, a rising junior from Fulton, fell to Mexico's Maria Fassi, who trailed by three holes after 16 and won four of the last five -- including a birdie on the par-3 17th -- to claim the match.
 
NCAA told it should address loss of trust in its governance
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has called on the NCAA to expand the boards that oversee Division I sports programs to include former athletes and public officials, in order to overcome a loss of confidence in its supervision of college athletics. On the same day that the NCAA received the report, it also made news because of a controversy over sales of player jerseys on its website. The NCAA had said that jerseys and the likenesses of college athletes that appear in videos for sale on its website weren't connected to individual players. But ESPN commentator and Charlotte attorney Jay Bilas, a former Duke University basketball player, tweeted Tuesday that he'd typed in "Johnny Manziel," the current Heisman Trophy winner, in the search bar of the NCAA shop page and had come up with four replica jerseys with the Texas A&M quarterback's No. 2 on them.
 
With NCAA restructuring imminent, Pac-12's Larry Scott muses on why and how it might happen
For the first time in a while, the idea that the biggest and richest college athletics programs might circle their wagons and form a new, exclusive, best-of-the-best competitive body seems less like lofty speculation and more like an imminent necessity. Conference commissioners, football coaches and even academic watchdog groups like the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics have endorsed the idea in recent weeks. On Thursday, Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch, who chairs the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Board of Directors, said the "ambitious" goal is to approve a restructuring plan for the NCAA's top level at the board's August 2014 meeting. Inside Higher Ed spoke with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who, compared to his peers in the Big Five conferences, has been middling in the severity of his calls for change. But, along with the others, he made pointed comments at recent conference media days that the status quo will no longer do.



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