Wednesday, August 14, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State University Veterinarian on National Committee
Dr. David Smith, an epidemiologist at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected to serve on the U.S. Agriculture Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health. Smith, who is the first Dr. P. Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professor of Beef Cattle Health and Reproduction at MSU-CVM, will serve on the national committee through August 2014. Smith and other committee members will lead dialogue on livestock economies and public health concerns. He will provide perspective and feedback on U.S. Department of Agriculture strategies, polices, and animal health disease eradication programs. "Dr. Smith's inclusion in the federal animal health committee is beneficial to the university as well as our state's beef cattle producers," said Dr. Kent Hoblet, MSU-CVM dean.
 
Happy Left-Handers' Day! Local Residents Celebrate Being Born A Lefty
The world just isn't right for a lefty. Throughout our lives, we've had to write on right-handed desk and have our elbows collide with our classmates or dinner companions. There is one place where lefties reign supreme: the baseball diamond. Mississippi State University's associate head baseball coach, Butch Thompson, is a southpaw. In fact, three other coaches on the team are lefties too. "You know, once you get outside of trying to use a skill saw or fountain pin or a 3 ring binder, it really helps you go further in the game. 33% of Major League Baseball pitchers are left handed, so, there's more of a chance to reach the big leagues as a left-hander than being able to do anything else. Usually if you're on a pitching staff or about 12 or 14 pitchers, there would be only about two or three of you. So you would have more opportunities because there's not as many of you," said Thompson.
 
Flier lists Atlanta as host for rugby tournament
A flier believed distributed by a Mississippi State University volunteer rugby coach states an upcoming Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference tournament will be held Nov. 9-11 in Atlanta, Ga. Randy Pannell, who last week criticized Mayor Parker Wiseman for perceived animosity with Starkville Parks Commission Chairman Dan Moreland, said Tuesday he would pull out of potentially hosting a Southeastern Conference rugby tournament and send its associated economic stimulation elsewhere if the mayor continued to criticize Moreland through the media. The Dispatch was unable to reach Pannell Monday for clarification. The university distanced itself from the situation Friday when MSU University Relations Director Sid Salter said Pannell, who is listed in as an advisor for the club, is not authorized to speak on behalf of the school.
 
Mississippi State grad returns to premiere film 'Headrush'
On a dark and stormy night Kurt Schuler, a biochemist studying death, finds himself in a lab with an unidentified body laying on the laboratory table. And so begins the short film, "Headrush." Schuler is the main character in the murder mystery film written, directed and edited by Johnson Thomasson, a graduate of Mississippi State University. The movie will premiere at Hollywood Premiere Cinemas on Aug. 22.
 
Peanut acres help to boost Mississippi's economy
The increase in Mississippi's peanut acreage in recent years has not only provided another source of income and diversity for many of the state's farmers, it also has been a boost to the economy, says Al Myles, Extension professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University. "Just a few years ago, peanut production was a very small part of Mississippi's agricultural picture, but today, peanuts are grown in about 40 of the state's 82 counties," he said at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation's peanut commodity meeting at Hattiesburg. While oversupply and lower contract prices have resulted in a sharp cutback to an estimated 24,000 acres this year, "the future looks bright for the peanut industry in Mississippi," Myles says.
 
Bryant promoting health care during summit; program aims for economic impact
Gov. Phil Bryant will promote Mississippi's health care industry as an economic development tool during Thursday's Governor's Health Care Economic Development Summit at the Jackson Convention Complex. Last year, Bryant signed into law the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act, a business incentive program for those in the health care industry who create 25 new jobs or invest $10 million in the state. "This summit is designed look at ways of collaboration in both the public and private sector of health care and increase Mississippi's prominence as a place to come for outstanding medical care," Bryant's spokesman Mick Bullock said.
 
Tipping point? Being tough on all crime costing Mississippi taxpayers
Before the Legislature passed a "truth in sentencing" law in 1995, the state had about 11,000 people in prison and the Mississippi Department of Corrections budget was $119 million. Now, inmate population has doubled, to 22,000 and MDOC's budget has nearly tripled, to $340 million. Taxpayers routinely have to cover budget deficits for the prison system, and state officials are faced with the same tough question with which federal officials are grappling: How tough can we afford to be on crime, particularly nonviolent and drug crime? Other states have had to back down from the lock them up, throw away the key laws passed years back, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is advocating the same now on the federal level.
 
Mississippi Wrangles With Open-Carry Gun Law
In Mississippi, where gun rights have wide support, a legal debate is raging over open-carry gun legislation. After a judge blocked the law, the matter is now headed to the state's Supreme Court. The fight is an extreme example of a larger dispute nationwide over the definition of a concealed weapon. All 50 states allow hidden weapons, usually with a required permit, but have varying definitions of what concealed means and different regulations for getting permits.
 
Mississippi working on testing and driving ban
A phone in one hand could lead to a ticket in the other if Mississippi lawmakers can send the message they want on texting and driving. "There will still be people that text. But if they know it's the law and that they can receive a ticket. And they'll pay a hefty fine, then possibly they'll reconsider the fact that maybe they should wait till they get home to answer a text or pull over," said State Sen. Dean Kirby (R-Pearl). Similar bills haven't survived in previous sessions, but Kirby believes that's because they were loaded down with other restrictions. "I really think this year, you'll see a true texting bill and it's time for one. Matter of fact, it's overdue," Kirby said.
 
Top Mississippi Republican Points Out Challenges for GOP
The chairman of Mississippi's Republican Party is headed to Boston today for the summer meeting of the Republican National Committee. Chairman Joe Nosef believes the party should moderate its message without giving up core principals. He says some GOP candidates have set the party as whole back by saying what he calls 'stupid things' about controversial issues, specifically about rape and abortion. "Whether we are talking about pro-life issues, immigration or whatever. We have to be able to defend those and promote those policies in a way that doesn't bring up a bunch of other issues that don't have anything to do with it and offending everybody across the country along the way," Nosef said.
 
Chaney Visits Meridian
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney spoke at the EMBDC's Business Before Hours meeting Tuesday in Meridian. Chaney talked to small business owners about what they can expect here in Mississippi when the federal government enacts its federal health care program, which is currently set to be in place by Jan. 1. "Individuals need to be very much aware of what they are going to be facing beginning January 1, 2014, and why it's important to know now since you have an open enrollment date," Chaney said. "So if you have a pre-existing condition, you're an individual and you don't have insurance and coverage, this is a good time to be able to buy it."
 
Bentz defends Kemper as he prepares to leave PSC
Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz hasn't set a date to resign and become executive director of the South Mississippi Planning and Development District. But the Republican probably won't be a commissioner by the time the state's utility regulators meet again on Sept. 10. "Probably so," he said when asked if Tuesday's PSC meeting was his last. "Not 100 percent, but I would say probably so." As Bentz leaves office, he continues to defend Mississippi Power Co.'s construction of coal-fired plant in Kemper County, saying the commission has limited costs to ratepayers so far. He says he's not fleeing the disputes that surround the project or the votes commissioners face on the project over the coming year, even as completion nears.
 
Former Lott Aide Sticks Close to Mississippi Roots in D.C.
Washington, D.C., is more than 1,000 miles from W. Louis Hengen Jr.'s home in Biloxi, Miss., yet he has never really left home. The newest member of Balch & Bingham's government relations group and a former high school and college student-body vice president, Hengen said politics and policy have always energized him. "I sort of had natural instincts of enjoying politics and policy and that led me to Washington," Hengen said. "Like a lot of people, I didn't expect that I would be in Washington as long as I've been here." But for the 33-year-old lobbyist who began his career in the office of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., politics and family ties run through his blood. His father worked on Lott's first congressional campaign in 1972, and all three were members of the Sigma Nu fraternity at the University of Mississippi. Hengen said Balch & Bingham, the 91-year-old law firm and lobbying group, felt like home.
 
Shrimpers plead for their way of life before federal panel
The future of the U.S. shrimp industry and a way of life along the Gulf of Mexico are threatened if the government doesn't set duties on the large volumes of foreign shrimp that are flooding the domestic market, shrimp producers told federal trade officials Tuesday. "Shrimping is about much more than economics," Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne told a hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission. "The men and women who catch our prized Gulf shrimp would call it a way of life. Allowing foreign countries to continue to engage in unfair practices will force Louisiana folks to relinquish their heritage." Dardenne urged the commission to impose countervailing duties, which would increase the price of subsidized imports to how much they'd cost without subsidies.
 
States elbow for piece of drone windfall
The drones of the future could bring a windfall for the U.S. economy, boosters hope --- so states are elbowing to get a taste of the action. Twenty-four states have submitted proposals to the Federal Aviation Administration to be test sites for unmanned aircraft, competing to be among six selected by the end of the year. But the test-site selection is just the beginning, officials said Tuesday at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington. The unmanned systems commercial market is set to explode, they say, and states such as Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, Ohio and Idaho are jostling to position themselves to reap the economic benefits.
 
Defense industry girds for drone drawdown
Top U.S. defense industry firms are bracing for the looming drawdown in drone development and manufacturing as the Pentagon continues to cope with deep budget cuts. Unmanned weapons systems have so far been insulated from the Defense Department's budget woes, with Congress and the Pentagon pumping billions into current and future programs. Pentagon leaders slashed just over $1 billion total from its unmanned weapons programs within the department's $45.4 billion request for all military aircraft spending in its fiscal 2014 spending budget. Dyke Weatherington, the Pentagon's unmanned warfare director, told industry leaders on Tuesday that those cuts forecasted for fiscal 2014 were just the beginning. "We will see [future] reductions" to unmanned weapons portfolios, Weatherington said at an industry symposium on unmanned vehicle systems in Washington.
 
Mercedes unveils new Alabama training center
About 1,000 new employees will be joining the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International's workforce in Vance, Ala., in coming months, and many of them will be headed to the expanded automotive assembly lines. But before the new workers start assembling vehicles on the factory floor, they will have to know the intricacies of the assembly line. Starting next week, most of that hands-on training will be done in a new assembly training center in a building at the rear of MBUSI. The warehouse-like building includes an open classroom and various workstations where small groups of workers will learn everything from safety to ergonomics to proper use of tools and equipment.
 
North Carolinians Fear the End of a Middle Way
When Pat McCrory, a Republican former mayor of Charlotte, was elected governor last year, he pledged to "bring this state together," and to focus on bread-and-butter issues amid an ailing economy. But with Republicans controlling all branches of the state government for the first time in more than a century, the legislature pushed through a wide range of conservative change. The Republicans not only cut taxes and business regulations, as many had expected, but also allowed stricter regulations on abortion clinics, ended teacher tenure, blocked the expansion of Medicaid, cut unemployment benefits, removed obstacles to the death penalty, allowed concealed guns in bars and restaurants, and mandated the teaching of cursive writing. North Carolina has long had a strong conservative strain, even when its political leadership was almost entirely Democratic. But it was also the home of Senator John Edwards, the Democratic populist who ran for president and became John Kerry's running mate. For decades, the state's contradictory inclinations came to something of a stalemate, resulting in its pragmatic political style. Things began to change in 2010.
 
Ole Miss launches new law/engineering program
Following a national trend to make higher education more "user-friendly," the University of Mississippi schools of Engineering and Law have joined forces to create a new program that provides early admission to the latter. Through the accelerated law program, students in the general engineering pre-law program can be admitted into a fast-tracked Bachelor of Engineering and law degree program. Juniors who have maintained a 3.6 grade-point average and passed the LSAT with a minimum score of 160 can be admitted early to law school. "I definitely think having a technical background would help," said Sally I. Gaden, an attorney in Cordova, Tenn. "With so many attorneys finishing law school and not having job prospects, I think having a technical background is extraordinarily helpful and can give them an edge."
 
USM campus police officer to discuss murder cases on Discovery ID
University of Southern Mississippi Police Capt. Rusty Keyes will appear on the Discovery ID program "Wicked Attraction" Wednesday night to discuss a murder case that captured national headlines. The program airs at 8 p.m. central time. Keyes worked as lead investigator for the Hattiesburg Police Department in March 2004 when Hattiesburg residents Vernon Hulett and Linda Heintzelman were found dead inside a freezer on an abandoned farm in Kansas. Roger Gillett and his girlfriend Lisa Jo Chamberlain were both convicted of the murders in separate trials. They were subsequently sentenced to death.
 
Mississippi College's Beacon Magazine Receives Awards
Mississippi College's Beacon magazine recently received regional awards along with Hederman Brothers---the MC alumni magazine's printer in Ridgeland---and Kirkpatrick & Porch Creative, the publication's creative-services firm. Mississippi College distributes Beacon magazine, published twice a year, to more than 30,000 alumni and friends around the nation. Leaders of the Printing Industry Association of the South---a non-profit trade association that helps expand the print industry in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia---honored Beacon for the magazine's summer 2012 issue, which spotlighted an orphan-care center in Botswana.
 
Belhaven University Honored
The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked Belhaven University as one of the top colleges to work for in the nation. The Great Colleges to Work For program is in its sixth year. CHE designated Belhaven in its top tier as an Honor Roll institution, a distinction only 42 other colleges and universities around the country share. The organization randomly sampled Belhaven's 370 full-time employees for the study, along with 44,500 faculty and staff at other colleges and universities. Other Mississippi universities to receive honors include Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi University for Women.
 
Evans named East Central Collegians director; guitar instructor
Chas Evans is a recent addition to the music faculty at East Central Community College in Decatur, announced ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. Evans will serve as guitar/music instructor and director of the Collegians -- the college's rock 'n' roll group. The ECCC alumnus is a former member of the popular group, led for 31 years by Thomas W. Carson who recently lost his battle to cancer. Evans said he hopes to continue the tradition of "music excellence" as established by Carson during his distinguished career as EC's director of bands. "Mr. Carson lit up the lives in this community with his love of music," said Evans." I hope to pass along the spark that he lit in me to future generations of aspiring musicians."
 
U. of Kentucky trustees hear positive evaluation of Capilouto
An evaluation of University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto's second year by key constituencies rated his performance positively, but a survey of faculty only was not so favorable. The executive committee of the UK Board of Trustees discussed the evaluation Tuesday. It was conducted in July 2013 by David Hardesty, president emeritus and law professor at West Virginia University, who has a similar profile to Capilouto. Capilouto received "high marks for his personal communication style." That's an improvement from last year's evaluation, which raised questions about his communication with the university community, according to the report. In a separate survey of faculty, more than half of the faculty surveyed disagreed that the president is effective in involving the faculty in decision-making. Faculty surveyed also wish to see the president refocus on graduate education and research.
 
U. of Tennessee ranks No. 15 among universities selling most merchandise
Volunteer fans buying up jerseys, baseball caps and other orange-and-white gear have landed the University of Tennessee at No. 15 on this year's list of universities with the top licensing revenues. The University of Texas at Austin once again took the top spot in the annual list released by the College Licensing Co., the largest and oldest licensing agent for NCAA schools. In 2012, the campus received $2.8 million from licensing its brand, and it distributed about $2 million in fixed amounts to six different university departments and programs, including athletics, Chris Cimino, UT's vice chancellor for finance and administration, said last September. Athletics, which receives about $1.3 million of that, requested a bigger cut of the revenue last year. The university ultimately decided not to make any changes to the distribution.
 
U. of Tennessee engineering innovation vying for votes in contest
Cast a vote in a competition for the most popular invention concept. A University of Tennessee project is vying for online votes. Imagine a material that could make most everything around you more energy efficient. Its development is underway at UT. Ramki Kalyanaraman, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Gerd Duscher, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, are designing an ultra-light high-efficiency solar fiber with the aim of creating fabric and clothing that would convert light into energy. Metal filaments within the fibers allow the energy to be sent to batteries or other devices.
 
U. of Florida archaeologists find trove of artifacts at Silver Springs
Glass-bottomed boats, alligator wrestling and snake milking, aided by the lure of some of the purest water on the planet, built Silver Springs' fame as a tourist spot in the middle of the last century. Now, scientists apparently have uncovered a treasure trove of buried materials that indicate -- or perhaps confirm -- the renowned Florida site's crystal clear waters were a draw for visitors long before the first modern tourists arrived. University of Florida archaeologists surveying the property suggest the preliminary findings they have recorded could land Silver Springs on the roster of America's most historically significant venues.
 
Texas A&M System Board of Regents approves budget without proposed cuts
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents reversed course on Tuesday and approved the system's $3.8 billion budget, opting not to pursue a proposed 5 percent cut to the budgets of system institutions. The regents plunged 11 public universities and nine state agencies into fiscal uncertainty late last week, just a few weeks shy of the next fiscal year. Led by Morris Foster, some regents called for increased accessibility and fiscal responsibility and requested that 5 percent of each institution's budget be given to Chancellor John Sharp, who would then decide if or how to administer the funds. Other regents worried about the $190 million impact of the cuts and said they did not want to "blindside" the institutions with a fiscal overhaul about two weeks before the beginning of the next fiscal year on Sept. 1.
 
Texas A&M University officially acquires Texas Wesleyan University
Texas A&M University officially has its law school. Chancellor John Sharp announced Tuesday the complete acquisition of Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, which is now called Texas A&M University School of Law. A&M paid $73.2 million for the acquisition. "In creating the Texas A&M University School of Law, we are finally expanding the Texas A&M brand into the field of law with a focus on new areas of growth like patents and commercialization," Sharp said.
 
U. of Missouri Press announces three finalists for director position
A familiar name is among the finalists for the position of director of the University of Missouri Press. Clair Willcox, associate director and editor-in-chief of UM Press, is one of three finalists. Jim Cogswell, co-chairman of the search committee, said the panel received about two dozen applications. The finalists are Willcox; Leila Salisbury, director of the University Press of Mississippi; and David Rosenbaum, director of product development and project management for the American Heart Association. Salisbury said it was the opportunity to participate in the reinvigoration of the UM Press that made her want to apply for the job. Salisbury will have a campus interview Aug. 20-22.
 
AAUP Names Veteran Labor Organizer as Executive Director
The American Association of University Professors has named as its executive director Julie M. Schmid, a seasoned union organizer and veteran of the recent battles over the labor rights of faculty members at Wisconsin's public colleges. Ms. Schmid, now chief of staff for the Wisconsin affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, will take over her new position overseeing the AAUP's national office in October. She had previously worked in the AAUP's department of organizing and services, as a senior program associate, for six years before joining the Wisconsin AFT in 2008. The AAUP's appointment of Ms. Schmid is in keeping with the association's greater emphasis on organizing activities following a change in its elected leadership last year.
 
Sewanee's interdisciplinary first-year program goes beyond orientation
It begins for freshmen two weeks before classes start at the University of the South, with two orientation programs in between – but faculty members who teach the new first-year program at Sewanee call it the "anti-first-year program." Really, it's more like an enhanced first-year program. It involves lectures and student bonding and campus activities and study skill acquisition. But it also involves field trips to impoverished areas and hikes and an interdisciplinary elective course and capstone projects. While some colleges are trying to integrate their various seminars, orientations and bridge programs, Sewanee's seems to be an "intentional evolution" of the first-year experience, said Jennifer R. Keup, director of the University of South Carolina's National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
 
BRIAN PERRY: Cotton could help Cochran
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "There has been lots of speculation (including this column) on the future of Senator Thad Cochran in the 2014 election cycle. Whether he runs for reelection or not, Mississippi appears likely to send a Republican back to the Senate. Republicans are positioned well in the U.S. Senate for 2014 and require a net gain of six seats to reach a 51 seat majority. They don't have to play much defense; the Democrats only hope to take a Republican seat appears to be Kentucky or Georgia, both of which are unlikely flips in 'red states.' The GOP will look to make pickups in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia where Democrats have retired and not yet recruited strong replacement candidates. Republicans will also need to knock off at least one Democratic incumbent in Alaska, Iowa, or North Carolina. But necessary to any Republican controlled Senate in 2014 will be the Republican defeat of Democratic incumbents in two states neighboring Mississippi: Louisiana's Mary Landrieu or Arkansas's Mark Pryor."
 
BOBBY HARRISON: Hood's move stirs objection, raises questions | Bobby Harrison (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Politics did not seem to be a concern for Attorney General Jim Hood when he announced late last month he was moving his family home to Chickasaw County and would make a relatively small office on the Houston square his base of operation as the state's top attorney. Hood acknowledged that his political enemies might try to make hay out of the fact that he would be working primarily out of an office in Houston in a building owned by his father. ...It could be argued that Hood's decision to move back to Chickasaw County will help him with voters in Northeast Mississippi -- a region that is crucial for a Democrat to do well to succeed on a statewide level. Thus far Hood has proven amazingly resilient as a politician."


SPORTS
 
Tyler Russell running the show for Bulldogs
Tyler Russell led the offense last year. Now, he's in charge of it. As Mississippi State's preseason camp has rolled on, players and coaches alike have praised the way Russell, a fifth-year senior quarterback, has put on the general's hat. This will be his second season as the full-time starter, but his first as full-time commander. Speaking at MSU's preseason media day Tuesday, Russell said there is a variety of reasons for his ability to take on more of a leadership burden. One of those reasons is simple enough: He's a senior.
 
Mullen: MSU not distracted by Jones, NCAA talk
Dan Mullen answered questions for about 20 minutes before his final responses dealt with a CBSSports.com report involving the NCAA's interest in standout freshman Chris Jones. The website reported that the governing body has begun a probe into Ole Miss' recruitment of the five-star defensive end out of Houston. "I'll be honest, I don't think (freshmen) have much time to think about anything else at this point. The distraction is just trying to survive for them," Mullen said Tuesday. "Overall, generally speaking with distractions that come with all freshman for us ...all these guys sign in the SEC in February. On that day they are celebrities. They are the front cover of every news story out there and now they're just trying to breathe at practice." That concluded his comments at Mississippi State's Media Day.
 
Mississippi State Media Day: Who's next at cornerback?
Who's next? It would be easy for the Mississippi State University defensive backs to try to be asking that question and trying to be the next Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay. It's what the fans will ask and eventually expect. MSU fans have already come up and pointed to junior Jamerson Love and seen him lined up in fall camp open practices where Banks was on the first-team defense for the last three years. Love, a former three-star recruit from Aberdeen High School, isn't even the same body type of Banks, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as he weighed about 10 pounds more (185 to 175) but is also four inches taller.
 
The heart of practice: Mississippi State's Mullen sees players are anxious
Mississippi State is in the heart of preseason practice. The Bulldogs have been on the practice fields since Aug. 1. The first few practices were light and were more of revamp for the older guys and a transition for the younger guys. Summer school is over and the fall semester is close to getting started. Coach Dan Mullen's squad is right in the thick of things as two-a-days have hit.
 
So far, so good on the injury front at Mississippi State camp
Mississippi State University hasn't been a victim of serious injuries throughout the first weeks of fall camp. The only possible season-ending setback was freshman tight end Gus Walley needing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow this week but the second-year player was likely to not see much playing time anyway. "He's not a pitcher so he has a chance to still come back," MSU coach Dan Mullen said jokingly on Aug. 11. "We don't need his fastball to be great to be a tight end for us."
 
Bulldogs' backup RBs growing in confidence
Derrick Milton finally has his brain on autopilot. Last season, it often got in his way. Milton was a redshirt freshman getting his first taste of college football. And while he showed some promise, rushing for 165 yards and two touchdowns, the Mississippi State tailback was doing too much thinking. "Every time I was in, it was like, please don't make a mistake, please don't make a mistake," Milton said Monday. "But now it's just like a reaction. Just go out and have fun now." Milton, who's part of a very deep group at running back, said things started clicking into place during spring practices this year.
 
Sleepy Robinson boosts Mississippi State recruiting
Sleepy Robinson knows all about high school football players, and he's bringing that expertise to his alma mater. Robinson, who quarterbacked at Mississippi State from 1990-92, was recently hired as a recruiting specialist. It's part of an effort by coach Dan Mullen to beef up his support staff, especially on the recruiting side. In Robinson, he hired a man with 16 years of high school coaching experience, including eight as a head coach. He was most recently at Durant. He's lived in Starkville for the past 12 years, and his ties to the university should be a plus.
 
Robinson returns to the Bulldogs, lends perspective
Sometimes the path for athletes when they graduate from Mississippi State leads them right back to the Bulldogs. John Cohen played baseball at Mississippi State, and now he is the head man on the diamond. Rocky Felker quarterbacked the football team. He returned as a head coach of the Bulldogs in the 1980s and is still on the football staff to this day. For Sleepy Robinson, his return to the MSU campus is a dream come true. Robinson was hired as a recruiting specialist.
 
No pain, no gain for Mississippi State runners
The athletes who make up the cross country team at Mississippi State understand up front that if there is no pain, there is no gain. MSU cross country coach Houston Franks said when it comes to distance runner, it comes down to two aspects. "Within those aspects, there's a lot that goes into it, but it comes down to who is the fittest and who can endure the most pain," Franks said on Monday. "You can be pretty fit, but if you are not tough, you are not going to be any good at this sport. You have to put the work in and you have to put the miles in. It takes a special individual to like to do this. These kids are tough. You are not going to get hit by a 250-pound linebacker like in football, but instead you are going 30 minutes at a time in excruciating pain five minutes into it."
 
Mississippi State's Sullivan poised to continue scoring exploits
At 5-foot-5, Elisabeth Sullivan easily could have gone unnoticed, but her speed didn't allow it. Instead of blending in as just another freshman on the 2010 Mississippi State University women's soccer team, Sullivan made her presence felt immediately by scoring a team-high six goals and leading the squad with 17 points. Sullivan's success made her a marked woman. Sullivan and MSU enter week two of the Aaron Gordon era looking to come together in preparation for their first test of the season, an exhibition match at 7 p.m. Friday against the University of South Florida at the MSU Soccer Stadium.
 
Bulldogs look to youth to help rebuild volleyball program
The rebuilding project for Mississippi State University volleyball coach Jenny Hazelwood continues to just get harder. The 2012 season was forgettable in every mental sense and historical sense as the Bulldogs finished with the program's first winless season in Southeastern Conference play in 20 years -- two years before Hazelwood arrived on campus as a player. MSU's roster has done a complete remake as well as the Bulldogs have only one player that has ever experienced a victory in SEC play -- senior outside hitter Dani McCree.
 
JOHN L. PITTS: Rooting for rivals to fail | John L. Pitts (Opinion)
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's John L. Pitts writes: "Talking with Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans over the past few days, I see they're all looking forward to the start of the season for their biggest rivals. ...It's always possible that both fan bases will get half of what they want. A loss in Nashville, a loss in Houston -- and maybe Southern Miss fans are the only ones eager to pick up that Sunday paper."
 
Cover Boy: Johnny Manziel a popular subject for magazines
Johnny Football or Johnny Superman? They may be one and the same. That's according to the cover of the upcoming issue of Texas Monthly -- "the national magazine of Texas" -- in which Johnny Manziel rockets off into the sky from Kyle Field. Photographed by A&M alum Randal Ford, the cover is just one of eight national and regional magazines the Heisman Trophy winner will have graced this summer. National attention is what the university was aiming for when it joined the Southeastern Conference. "When we made the move to the SEC, we wanted to increase the visibility of Texas A&M and what we've seen over the past year has truly been a perfect storm - with Coach Sumlin, with having success in the SEC, having Johnny Manziel come into the picture and really a tremendous team around him -- has really sparked a lot of conversation about the Aggies," said Jason Cook, A&M senior associate athletic director.
 
GAIL KERR: Victim's well-being comes first in any rape case | Gail Kerr (Opinion)
Columnist Gail Kerr writes in The Tennessean: "The most important thing about the recent criminal charges involving four dismissed Vanderbilt football players is not what it means for Vanderbilt football. The most important thing is caring for the rape victim, both physically and mentally. Hers is certainly a high-profile case, but she is not even close to alone. Nashville's sexual assault agency says 600 victims come to it for help every year. One in four college-age women will be raped or face someone's attempt to rape her, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Despite the flood of headlines, we should never forget those things. ...The Vanderbilt case will be in the news for quite some time. Of course we're all curious, shocked and outraged, because it happened in a squeaky-clean football program at a renowned university. But let us never, ever forget the most important thing: the victim."
 
The O'Bannon Case: The NCAA Worst-Case Scenario Barely Bruises Ohio State While Flattening Iowa State
To hear it from doomsayers in the NCAA, college sports faces a potentially devastating threat. The alleged danger: a lawsuit brought by former and current college athletes, seeking a share of NCAA revenues. But a Wall Street Journal examination finds that even if the plaintiffs got everything they are seeking, most Division I athletic departments would avoid catastrophe. "It won't be a tobacco case, destroy the industry, because nobody wants to see that happen," said Rodney Fort, a professor of sport management at the University of Michigan. Still, a sense of alarm may be warranted on some campuses, particularly smaller athletic departments in large conferences. Think Iowa State. Washington State. Maybe even the Indiana Hoosiers. Matt Mitten, professor of law and director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, said the likely effect of a plaintiffs' victory would be for athletic departments to reduce expenses like escalating coaching salaries but that they would otherwise continue to operate much as they do now.



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