Tuesday, September 10, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Overall enrollment at public universities down for first time in 20 years
After two decades of growth, Mississippi's eight public universities saw a slight decline in overall enrollment this fall, according to preliminary figures. Those numbers show an estimated 490 fewer students enrolled this fall when compared to fall 2012 numbers, as reported by the state Institutions of Higher Learning. "While the decrease systemwide is small, it does demonstrate that the changes in the Pell Grant program are having an impact on the decisions students are making," said Commissioner of Higher Education Hank Bounds. At Mississippi State University, overall enrollment fell 1 percent. But the school also signed up its largest freshman class. Graduate school enrollment showed a decline, with a key factor being continued reductions in funding at the federal level. "The decision of the federal government to systematically reduce available federal research funding also directly reduces the number of graduate assistantship opportunities," said Keenum. "Despite those challenges, MSU remains Mississippi's premier research university and continues to serve the needs of our state and nation."
 
Mississippi University Enrollment Shows Small Dip
More than 80,000 students are working toward building a successful career and brighter future by pursuing a college degree. Across Mississippi's eight public universities, preliminary fall 2013 enrollment figures show an decrease of 506 students from fall 2012 numbers. This is the first time in 20 years that overall enrollment has shown a decrease. Preliminary enrollment figures are unduplicated and count students one time if enrolled on more than one campus. Freshman students again selected Mississippi State University as their "college of choice" for the fall 2013 semester. First-time freshman enrollment at the state's flagship research university has reached 3,156, an increase of nearly 10 percent over last year's number of 2,894.
 
Overall state university enrollment drops
Enrollment across Mississippi's eight public universities has declined for the first time in 20 years. The system reported an enrollment of 80,532 on Monday. That is down 490 students, or .6 percent, from last fall. Mississippi State University's enrollment was 20,161, a drop of 204 students, or 1 percent. However, the school's freshman class grew by nearly 10 percent to 3,156 students. The group also posted a school-record ACT score of 23.94.
 
Mississippi universities show enrollment decline
Enrollment at Mississippi's public universities declined this fall for the first time in 20 years, with only the University of Mississippi and Jackson State University showing significant gains in students, the state Institutions of Higher Learning said Monday. Dr. Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education, blamed the overall decline on reductions in Pell Grants for poor students and population declines in the economically depressed Delta region. The largest enrollment decline occurred at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, where enrollment dropped from 2,479 to 2,279, an 8.1 percent reduction.
 
Homeward Bound Project receives new transfer vehicle
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Homeward Bound Project of Mississippi has saved more than 3,200 dogs since it began in 2007, transporting puppies and dogs from shelters in the South to shelters in the Northeast where adoption was guaranteed. Recently, the program purchased a van to ease the process of transporting the animals.
 
Gulf Shores church to offer free Sunday afternoon concert
Dr. Michael R. Brown will be featured in a trumpet and piano concert at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the church's sanctuary (1900 Gulf Shores Parkway). The concert is free and open to the public. A love offering will be collected. Dr. Brown serves as the Head of the Music Department and Professor of Music at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss. The concert embraces classical, sacred and jazz music. Other featured artists include Dr. Brown's associate, Lauren Zumwalt (piano), who is employed as fiscal officer of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State.
 
Undercutter tool may improve sweet potato harvest, quality
An implement under development by Mississippi State University engineers could make digging of sweet potatoes more efficient, with an important corollary benefit of improving skin strength of the product prior to harvest. "Better skin strength can be an advantage for both traditional and bulk harvesting producers," says Jason Ward, assistant Extension professor of agricultural and biological engineering at MSU, who discussed the sweet potato undercutter, or razor plow, at a field day held at the Pontotoc Ridge/Flatwoods Experiment Station at Algoma.
 
Corn growers overcome challenges; crop nears record yield
Mississippi growers' determination to plant corn last spring is paying off as harvests approach 2012's record yields of 165 bushels per acre. Persistent rains and low temperatures in the spring delayed planting, slowed emergence and contributed to less than desirable final stands. Cool weather through May also slowed corn growth and maturity by about two weeks throughout the season. Jerry Singleton, area agent in Leflore County with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said he is almost afraid to say how good the yields appear to be. Erick Larson, state Extension corn specialist, said the crop is proving to be more productive than expected.
 
Mississippi Parole Board starts electronic monitoring
The Mississippi Parole Board has started releasing a few inmates on the condition that they wear electronic monitoring devices that can be used to track their location, board chairman Doug Davis said Monday. Davis said that since he became chairman in late July, the board has approved ankle bracelets for about 20 people who'd been convicted of nonviolent crimes. Davis spoke Monday in Jackson at a forum sponsored by the Capitol press corps and Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government.
 
Mississippi lawmakers study wild hog problem
Wild hogs run rampant in parts of Mississippi, and wildlife experts say the state needs to control the destructive beasts. The hogs reproduce often, eat just about anything in their path and can grow to 300 pounds. They're uprooting crops, leaving holes that can destroy farm equipment and tearing up yards. John J. Mayer, manager of the environmental science group at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, S.C., has studied hogs more than 40 years. During a meeting Monday at the Mississippi Capitol, he told lawmakers that the United States has experienced a "pig bomb" since the late 1980s with the rapid expansion of wild hog populations. Wild hogs are found in about half of Mississippi's 82 counties, and their population is estimated at 20,000 to 150,000. That's up from an estimated 2,000 in the state in 1965.
 
Lawmaker: Wild hog problem is reaching epidemic proportions
As many as 150,000 wild hogs are roaming the state, destroying farm land, cemeteries, golf courses and pretty much any other property they come across. On Monday, legislative leaders held a summit on wild hogs, and experts urged them to set goals to reduce the population of the invasive species. But the experts doubt the wild hogs can ever be eradicated. "We're not going solve the wild hog problem today," said Bruce Leopold of Mississippi State University, an expert on wild hogs. "We wanted to help you with knowledge."
 
Supes OK Cumulus tax exemption
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a request to allow Project Cumulus a 10-year tax exemption at a regular meeting on Monday. Joey Deason, Oktibbeha County representative in the Golden Triangle Link, presented the request to the board. "In consideration of that property tax exemption, you're going to get a $20-plus million investment," he said. "You're going to get 100 construction jobs over the next 12 to 15 months. You're also going to receive five permanent jobs."
 
Hood's office weighs guns at schools
All the issues surrounding where Mississippians can carry guns have not been cleared up, even with the recent state Supreme Court ruling upholding a new law that allows people to carry guns in plain sight with no permit. Attorney General Jim Hood said recently his office has been asked by a school board attorney to issue an official opinion regarding whether people with an enhanced carry permit can carry a weapon on school property. "I know our universities are extremely concerned about the possibility of firearms being carried into sporting events," said Hood. House Judiciary B Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, author of legislation recently upheld by the Supreme Court re-enforcing Mississippians' right to carry a gun in plain sight, said he believes the person with an enhanced carry permit can carry a weapon on school property.
 
Lane could lay off 1,400
Lane Furniture Industries could lay off more than 1,400 workers across Northeast Mississippi next month. Lane's parent company, St. Louis-based Furniture Brands International, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which allows the furniture manufacturer and importer to reorganize its finances. As for Lane, Furniture Brands said it was looking at "sale alternatives" for Lane and said it had received interest from potential buyers. At the same time, Furniture Brands also filed notice with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security that it expected to begin 1,451 layoffs at its Lane locations on or before Oct. 14.
 
Bryant on trade mission to Brazil
Gov. Phil Bryant and a group of Mississippi business leaders are in Brazil this week to meet with local trade organizations and officials. Joining Bryant are Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen, Port of Gulfport Director Jonathan Daniels, Port of Pascagoula Director Mark McAndrews and representatives from educational institutions and Mississippi businesses. Brazil is Mississippi's eighth largest export market.
 
Groups want watchdog report released on state port spending
Two Coast legislators and a community coalition hope the Legislature's watchdog agency will vote Tuesday to release a report that analyzes spending on state port expansion. "This is public monies, so it should be public knowledge," District 119 Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes, D-Gulfport, said at a news conference Monday at Jones Park, just east of the state port. The report has been on the agenda of the Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee each month since June. "Whether the report is good or bad, we need to know what it says," State Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, said at the news conference.
 
Ex-senator to speak at anniversary; conservative group also will honor philanthropist
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank, will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Thursday with a dinner that includes an address by Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint. "Our mission is to promote the ideals of limited government, free markets and strong traditional families," said founding MCPP President Forest Thigpen. "We provide information to the Legislature, the media and to the public to help defend our liberty." MCPP has become a strong lobbying force at the Mississippi Capitol. The group was a lead advocate in the passage of a charter schools expansion bill this year and has provided info to parents and communities on how to start charter schools with workshops and on its website.
 
Stabenow Won't Back Another Farm Bill Extension
Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow told attendees at a farm bill rally outside the Capitol that she won't back another short-term extension of farm programs. Stabenow wants House Republican leaders to agree to take the farm bill to conference, even without an answer on what the House will do about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. "The leadership needs to trust and support [the House Agriculture Committee] and just simply go to conference, appoint conferees, quit playing politics with food assistance," the Michigan Democrat said.
 
Mississippi delegation largely opposes action in Syria
Five of the six members of Mississippi's congressional delegation say they'll vote against the U.S. taking military action in Syria. Republican Thad Cochran told The Associated Press on Monday that he's leaning against military action but still considering President Barack Obama's arguments for it. "It's a hard vote to sell. Like to give him the benefit of the doubt," Cochran said of Obama.
 
Obama's Syria speech unlikely to sway a skeptical public
On Tuesday, President Obama plans a nationally televised address from the White House on the use of military force -- a proposed strike against Syria -- but anyone expecting to see a big shift in public opinion probably will be disappointed. White House "speeches are very limited in their ability to sway the public," said Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. "This is not something presidents have had a lot of luck doing."
 
Ole Miss grad pleads guilty to giving abortion drug
A doctor's son pleaded guilty Monday to tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that caused her to have a miscarriage. John Andrew Welden, a University of Mississippi graduate, faces up to 15 years in prison and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced Dec. 5 on charges of tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Welden did not speak to reporters when he walked out of the courthouse and into a black Hummer, flanked by two private security officers. His family was ordered to pay for round-the-clock security as part of his bail conditions.
 
U. of Southern Mississippi enrollment drops; preliminary figures show decline of 1,143 students
Enrollment numbers are down significantly at Southern Miss. President Rodney Bennett believes that the short-term bad news will pay off dividends in the long run. "You have to put in some measures that initially represent a slight dip in enrollment," said Bennett, who is in his first full academic year as president. "To get better quality students who are on track to graduate." According to preliminary State College Board numbers released Monday, enrollment showed a big dip -- down 1,143 students (6.9 percent) for the 2013-14 academic year from the previous year. The school's current student population of 15,325 is its lowest since 2009. The more than 1,000 student decrease was by far the largest of any university in the state, according to the data.
 
USM enrollment drops by nearly 7 percent
The University of Southern Mississippi will see a 6.9 percent drop in enrollment in the fall of 2013, according to a release from the State Institutions of Higher Learning made available on Monday. The drop amounts to 1,143 fewer students compared to fall 2012 numbers "Across Mississippi's eight public universities, preliminary fall 2013 enrollment figures show an decrease of 506 students from fall 2012 numbers," read the release. "This is the first time in 20 years that overall enrollment has shown a decrease."
 
Mississippi Valley State University search committee to meet
The state College Board committee searching for a new president at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena meets Wednesday in Jackson. Mississippi Valley has been without a president since the College Board did not the renew Dr. Donna Oliver's contract when it expired at the end of 2012. Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. has been Mississippi Valley's acting president since last November. He is not eligible to become MVSU's permanent president.
 
Karl Rove to attend Republican fundraiser in October in Tuscaloosa
Former presidential adviser Karl Rove, U.S. Rep. Bob Aderholt of Haleyville and former congressman Jo Bonner will be guests at the Tuscaloosa County Republican Party's eighth annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner fundraiser on Oct. 7. The event will be at the Zone inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Rove served as deputy chief of staff and a senior adviser to President George W. Bush and was known as the architect of Bush's 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. Bonner is the vice chancellor for government relations and economic development at the University of Alabama.
 
Auburn University journalism students benefit from partnership
Auburn University's School of Communication and Journalism and Raycom Media have entered a partnership to train aspiring broadcast journalists. A new facility on South Gay Street will serve as a classroom for the new digital media production class. The university hired Dr. Sally Ann Cruikshank as the instructor for digital media production "Right now we're starting with the basics," Cruikshank said. "This class is meant to be a digital media class that is across news platforms. We're starting with broadcast writing, next we will move to the basics of shooting (film) and putting together packages for the air, then we'll be thinking about reporting news from all different platforms."
 
Judge: LSU board could face jail if search records not released
Saying daily $500 fines have not grabbed its attention, an unyielding state judge warned the LSU Board of Supervisors on Monday that it now faces additional sanctions, including possible jail time, if it does not immediately comply with her more than four-month-old order to make public the records of its secret presidential search. Following a tense open court hearing and private conference, District Judge Janice Clark ordered the board's attorney, Jimmy Faircloth, and lawyers for The Advocate and The Times-Picayune newspapers to return to her 19th Judicial District courtroom Tuesday morning so she can determine whether the board intends to finally comply with her April 30 order. The Advocate sued after the university board refused to release the records, and The Times-Picayune joined the case a week later.
 
LSU, Tulane fall in U.S. News rankings
Louisiana's top two universities each fell one spot in U.S. News and World Report's ranking of the top schools in the country. Tulane University fell to 52nd, while LSU dropped to 135th in the "Best Colleges 2014" list released Tuesday. Louisiana Tech University, also made the top tier for the third time in a row, moving up nine spots to land at 190th, the highest ranking in school history. Among the various lists that come out each year ranking colleges and universities, the U.S. News rankings have risen to the top of the heap. LSU System President and Baton Rouge Chancellor King Alexander, however, said he doesn't think all that highly of the U.S. News rankings because they generally favor smaller schools.
 
U. of Florida closes in on top 10 status in magazine ranking
The University of Florida has jumped into the top 50 universities in the nation --- and the top 15 among public universities, according to the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings of colleges and universities. UF moved from 54th place last year to 49th this year among national universities, tying with Northeastern University and the University of California-Irvine. It moved up three places to 14th among the top public universities, bringing it that much closer to the university administration's goal of becoming a top 10 institution of higher learning. UF Provost Joe Glover lauded the work of the faculty, staff, students and supporters to get UF through the past five years of budget cuts due to a down economy statewide and nationally.
 
About 80 graduate assistants not paid on time at U. of Florida
Kevin Funk, a doctoral candidate in the department of political science and Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, says he has held 20 jobs since starting to work at age 15, but this is the first time he hasn't received his paycheck on time. "I have never been told I would not be paid on time until I got to the University of Florida," Funk said during a news conference Monday morning on the steps of Tigert Hall. He was told emergency paychecks were being issued, "but I haven't seen a dime." Funk and 18 other graduate assistants in the political science department -- half of the grad assistants in the department -- had not received their first paychecks of the semester. Funk said he was told it was caused by a backlog in paperwork and that he might not get paid until October.
 
U. of Florida researchers hope to slow aging, ease "disabled years'
An institute at the University of Florida would likely make legendary broadcast journalist Andy Rooney proud. Rooney quipped that everyone wants to live a long life, but no one wants to get old, and UF's Institute on Aging is dedicated to research on slowing or reversing certain aging processes that can sour the golden years. "If we can slow the process (of aging) it will be a great success ...and expand active life expectancy," said Marco Pahor, the institute's director, at its fourth annual research day on Monday.
 
'The Peabody Decades' screenings dig deep into UGA award archives
The collection of broadcast archives stored in climate-controlled vaults three floors below the entryway to the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library is the coolest. Literally. TV and radio recordings dating back to the 1920s sit in that deep basement in a constant 55-degree temperature as part of the University of Georgia-housed archives of the Peabody Awards, the prestigious and long-running awards that recognize the best in broadcast media each year. Portions of that collection come up for some air and airings in the next few months starting tonight.
 
U.S. News ranks U. of Georgia in top 20 public universities
The University of Georgia landed at No. 20 in the U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2014 edition for public universities and No. 60 among best national universities this year. The university moved up in both categories, from 21st and 63rd on the 2013 list, respectively. "The university is pleased with the continued positive trend in our rankings as reflected in a variety of publications," said UGA President Jere Morehead. "As evidenced by the fall enrollment of the best first-year class in our history, we remain focused on enrolling great students and providing them with a quality educational experience."
 
Top University of Tennessee fundraiser to resign
The president of the University of Tennessee's fundraising arm is retiring after less than two years on the job. The state's flagship public university said in a release Monday that Johnnie Ray, head of the UT Foundation and vice president for deployment and alumni affairs, cited family and other priorities as factors in his decision to leave the school. The foundation in May fired Bruce Downsbrough, its chief operating officer and executive vice president, after his arrest on federal child pornography charges.
 
U. of South Carolian up slightly, Clemson is 21st in new college ranking
The University of South Carolina's ranking rose slightly nationally, while Clemson University reached a new high mark among public schools in U.S. News & World Report's latest annual college report. USC placed 112 among all schools nationally -- public and private -- up three spots in 2012, according to the rankings, released Tuesday. The school ranked 111 in 2011. The state's largest college ranked 55th among national public universities for a second year.
 
Giroir named interim executive vice president at Texas A&M Health Science Center
Texas A&M University System Vice Chancellor Brett Giroir, who orchestrated A&M securing a federal defense contract worth potentially billions of dollars over the next two decades, will step down from his post to lead the Health Science Center. System Chancellor John Sharp made the announcement to university donors in a newsletter Sunday, saying Giroir will assume the role of interim executive vice president for the Texas A&M Health Science Center effective Oct. 1. He will replace E.J. "Jere" Pederson, who was appointed to the interim role less than a year ago when Nancy Dickey unexpectedly resigned after almost 11 years on the job.
 
Wolfe's housing allowance set at $28,800 a year as he leaves Providence Point
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is moving from his university residence at Providence Point to a private residence and will receive a housing allowance of nearly $29,000 a year. Wolfe and his wife, Molly, entered into a credit agreement worth as much as $500,000 with Boone County National Bank, securing the loan with a home at 503 E. Old Hawthorne Drive, according to online records of the Boone County Recorder of Deeds. In November, the 5,359-square-foot home, which has six bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms, was listed by House of Brokers for $735,000. "The president is a native of Columbia, and it was really important for him and his family to put down permanent, stable roots in this community," UM System spokesman John Fougere said. Wolfe expects to move out of Providence Point by the end of the month, he added.
 
U. of Arkansas Ethics Center to Host Veteran Journalist Gene Foreman
The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville recently announced it would host Gene Foreman, professor of journalism and a 41-year veteran of the industry. Foreman will be the first visiting distinguished professor of ethics in journalism at the university's Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism, according to a news release. During his career, Foreman worked at the Arkansas Gazette, Pine Bluff Commercial and Arkansas Democrat. He was also a copy editor for The New York Times. His residency is part of the university's Center for Media Ethics.
 
College rankings reflect change in emphasis
Penn State University and a pair of small liberal arts colleges in California made some of the biggest gains this year in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings. None of them pushed perennially top-ranked schools such as Princeton or Williams out of their top perches, but they fared well under a revised formula that puts less emphasis on who gets admitted and more on whether students graduate. Under the new U.S. News methodology, graduation-related data account for 30% of the rankings, making it the most-heavily weighted factor.
 
Promised $250 million gift to Centre College is withdrawn
A potentially historic $250 million gift to Centre College has been withdrawn after the collapse of a complex financial deal involving the donor. Centre officials said Monday that the Eugene Brockman Trust was unable to make its planned all-stock donation, nixing what Centre had described as the largest gift ever bestowed on a private liberal arts college in the United States. Centre issued a news release Monday morning saying that the gift had been contingent on "a significant capital market event." Stacy Palmer, the editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C., said it was "unusual" for such a high-profile gift to be withdrawn.


SPORTS
 
Familiar SEC opener for Mississippi State
There have been plenty of changes for Dan Mullen during his five years at Mississippi State. But one constant that Mullen has been able to count on so far is a matchup with Auburn to begin conference play. The two Western Division foes meet for the sixth consecutive season to start SEC play on Saturday. "Every year since I've been here we've started with Auburn as our first conference game," Mullen said. "That first game can really give you a big boost. I don't think it defines the whole season for you but it certainly can give you a huge boost and push you on your way."
 
Mississippi State works out kinks
Against Oklahoma State, Mississippi State's offense produced three points. The closest the Bulldogs got to a touchdown came on special teams. A week later, Dan Mullen watched his offense on Saturday celebrate in the endzone seven times. "Game 1, we made some errors, some first game mistakes. ...Though, I thought we played really well and had to over a lot of different injuries in the course of the game," Mullen said. "Game 2, we had injuries, but we had a lot of success. There weren't a lot of speed bumps for us (last) Saturday." The first obstacle in Mississippi State's road in the Southeastern Conference comes Saturday against Auburn.
 
Bulldogs expect starters back for Auburn
Mississippi State's first two games of the season provided one lethargic loss and one blowout victory. Bulldogs' coach Dan Mullen says Mississippi State (1-1) has learned from the good and bad of those performances and is ready for its Southeastern Conference opener at Auburn (2-0) on Saturday. "I think it will be a good test," Mullen said. "I think the team is still kind of developing its personality." Having a healthy roster would certainly help.
 
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen talks Auburn: 'Every year it's been something new with them'
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen says it's tough preparing for Auburn every season. "Every year it's been something new with them," the fifth-year coach told reporters in Starkville, Miss., on Monday. The two teams have opened the SEC season in each of the last 10 seasons, with Auburn holding a 7-2 edge in the series during that time. That will end in 2014 with Auburn hosting Arkansas on Aug. 30, but the Tigers and Bulldogs will get one last SEC-opening battle Saturday before mixing up the schedule next season.
 
Info please? MSU's Mullen has had tough time scouting Auburn in past
Since coach Dan Mullen arrived at Mississippi State, he hasn't had a ton of information available to prepare for Auburn. The Tigers (2-0) have featured a good bit of turnover with coaches and key personnel. Mullen and his Bulldogs (1-1) will get to see those new additions when they travel to Auburn Saturday for a 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPN2. This year the Tigers have a new head coach in Gus Malzahn. He was the offensive coordinator from 2009-11 with Auburn.
 
Mississippi State freshman Wilson learning at wide receiver
Mississippi State University freshman wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson feels like a football player. That may sound like a strange sentiment from a scholarship athlete on a Southeastern Conference football roster, but Wilson said there still are days like Saturday when he "feels like a basketball player in football pads." Even though the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder from Birmingham, Ala., is still learning how to play football, he continues to make progress. Wilson had two catches for 31 yards Saturday in MSU's 51-7 victory against Alcorn State University at Davis Wade Stadium.
 
MSU notebook: Russell gets back to work
Quarterbacks at Mississippi State wear a green jersey at practice to distinguish themselves as off-limits to hits from their defensive counterparts. With that in mind, Tyler Russell returned to practice Monday afternoon but has not been cleared for contact yet by the team trainers. The senior signal caller has been out of action since suffering a second-half concussion in Week 1 against Oklahoma State. "We'll kind of build him back into it," Mullen said.
 
Mississippi State cornerback Cox learns on the fly
Mississippi State added to Justin Cox's learning curve. The Bulldogs took one of the top safeties in the junior college ranks and put him at cornerback. "It's pretty hard for me," Cox said. "Just play the technique right, and you can't roam around and see everything." So far the West Point native adjusted to both his new team and position well. Cox tallied seven tackles -- five unassisted -- in his first two games. The total is tied for fourth on the team.
 
Texas A&M students face penalties for selling Alabama tickets for profit
It's a tempting proposition for some Texas A&M students: Sell your seat at the country's most expensive college football game of the season and get enough cash to pay rent for a month or two. But it'll be a tough lesson for those who get caught: Reselling a student ticket for profit is prohibited and carries penalties ranging from revocation of the ticket and even tickets for the entire season. As of late Monday, at least two students were paying the consequences of trying to turn a profit. Jason Cook,a senior associate athletics director at A&M, said tickets for Saturday's game were voided for two students caught trying to sell designated student section tickets online. Their ticket privileges for the remainder of the season were suspended as well, he said.
 
Special Report on Oklahoma State Football: The Overview
In December 2000, Les Miles addressed the Oklahoma State football team for the first time as its head coach. The players sat in theater-style chairs in the meeting room of the school's athletic complex looking down toward Miles, who spoke from behind a lectern. "We're going to win and we're going to do things my way," Miles told the Cowboys. He then described what he meant. The program would become more disciplined. The talent would be upgraded. And the mediocrity of the past would no longer be tolerated. At the time, any suggestion that Oklahoma State would join the elite verged on laughable. "We are going to win here," he stated flatly. And they did. How does a Division I program make such a large leap in such a short time? SI dispatched senior writers George Dohrmann and Thayer Evans to begin searching for the answer. After receiving information about widespread corruption at Oklahoma State, they spoke with more than a hundred sources with ties to the program.



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