Wednesday, May 7, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Mississippi State students present video game creations in public forum
This week, many students on campus are too busy studying for finals to play video games. But for one class of students at Mississippi State University, video games are their final exam. T.J. Jankun-Kelly, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, teaches a course on video game design at MSU. He said teams of students design progressively larger games throughout the semester, presenting their final games to the public just like the professionals do -- because if all goes as planned, the students will one day be game industry professionals.
 
Game Night at MSU Showcases Students' Work
This game night didn't include a round of Monopoly or dominoes. After a semester of concept, design, coding and execution, Mississippi State students revealed the latest video game creations on campus Tuesday night. The computer science and engineering demo night included musical battles involving a Viking and a warlord. Another game challenged the player to save cities from a dragon on a destructive mission.
 
MSU-Meridian celebrates educators
Recognizing outstanding educators and promoting positive educational programs in the area is the goal of the Division of Education at MSU-Meridian. For the seventh year, the division hosted the Excellence in Education banquet and Phi Delta Kappa Initiation program in the Kahlmus auditorium. Guest speaker for the evening was Beth Clay, who shared her insight concerning legislative education issues. Clay is founder of The Clay Firm specializing in Mississippi-focused legislative, government relations and public affairs consulting.
 
White, Aiken Being Honored for Long Student Affairs Service at MSU
Two former Mississippi State student affairs administrators are the latest being recognized for years of leadership that helped significantly advance the university's service to students. At a 6 p.m. May 7 ceremony at the Colvard Student Union Foster Ballroom, Mike White of Starkville and the late Durward W. Aiken Sr. of Meridian formally will be inducted into the Robert L. Jones Student Affairs Hall of Honor. Named for Aiken's successor as vice president for student affairs, the recognition program was created last year to "pay tribute of those who provided sustained and distinguished service to the Division of Student Affairs and the students of Mississippi State University."
 
Sparkplugs present project ideas to investors
In less than two days, volunteers from communities like Walnut, Ashland and Belmont created and mapped out an action plan for community projects. Representatives, or "Sparkplugs," from 12 different Northeast Mississippi communities participated in the workshop. Organizers say the goal is not only for participants to learn how to successfully execute the project at hand, but other community projects in the future. The workshop was a partnership with Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, TRI, and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
 
Extension Service to celebrate 100 years
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is turning 100 and to celebrate its centennial birthday, Bolivar County Extension Office is hosting an open house. The event is set to take place Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. "We want the public to come out and join us. We are going to have various displays setup to showcase the different programs that we have at our office," said Bolivar County Extension Coordinator Laura J. Giaccaglia. "We want to invite the public to come out and engage in a learning experience while they also learn the purpose of the Extension Service," she added.
 
Extension celebrates 100 years of service in Mississippi
To celebrate 100 years of the Extension Service in Mississippi, the Neshoba County Extension office is hosting a birthday celebration in conjunction with the Conservation: Pass It Down event. The event will be May 15 from 5-8 p.m. at the Neshoba County Coliseum. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is committed to providing research-based learning opportunities designed to help Mississippians solve problems, develop skills and build a better future," said Gary Jackson, director of the MSU Extension Service.
 
MSU Extension specialists, researcher have advice to help farmers early in season
Mississippi farmers have returned to their fields in force this week with a nice string of rainless warm days. Early-planted fields have begun to emerge and farmers are working to catch up in unplanted fields. In their latest crop situation report, Mississippi State University Extension specialists and researchers discuss questions from farmers and things they should be preparing for in their fields.
 
Ask The Experts: The First Tee & Financial Literacy
Along with an abundance of showers, April brought with it two very important events: National Financial Literacy Month and, of course, The Masters golf tournament. They might seem like an odd pair -- golf and financial know-how -- but if you've ever watched a golf tournament, the commercials alone illustrate just how closely tied golf and financial services happen to be. WalletHub turns its attention to how The First Tee teaches young people to live a fiscally responsible life. "While the life lessons taught by the First Tee are delivered through the game of golf itself, the lessons can be transferable to many aspects of one's life. Two of the life lessons that could carry into financial lessons are responsibility and discipline," says Jeff Adkerson, director of the professional golf management program at Mississippi State University.
 
Laurel High School Senior featured in college magazine
Laurel High School senior Jaelyn Taylor was recently featured on the spring cover of Connections magazine, a publication of the Mississippi State University Research and Curriculum Unit. Taylor is one of the first Mississippi Scholars Tech Master students in the state. The Laurel High School Career and Technical Center participated in the Tech Master pilot program for the 2013-14 school year, which is being piloted in seven counties throughout the state.
 
Residents: Safety issues abound on Blackjack Road
About 20 Blackjack residents say they, along with commuters who use the widely traveled thoroughfare near Mississippi State University, are forced to endure dangerous conditions on Blackjack Road as heavy construction equipment associated with housing developments block and damage the street. Construction efforts have begun on at least one of three apartment complexes in the area, and residents say trucks hauling material sometimes block a portion of they roadway as they unload. Residents also reported some truckers block a portion of the road while sleeping in their rigs.
 
Four Jackson museums form LeFleur district
Four Jackson museums within about a quarter-mile of each other off Lakeland and Riverside drives are joining forces to form the LeFleur Museum District. The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and Mississippi Children's Museum form the new LeFleur Museum District. All are located within or neighboring LeFleur's Bluff State Park, which could be considered a fifth entity in the district. "It's a no-brainer," Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland said.
 
Bryant calls session to handle tornado costs
Gov. Phil Bryant is calling the Legislature into special session Thursday to consider providing up to $20 million to deal with the aftermath of the April 28 tornado outbreak that slammed much of Mississippi, including Tupelo, Lee County and Itawamba County. According to a news release from Bryant's office, the estimated cost to the state to deal with the April 28 outbreak, which consisted of a reported 15 tornadoes, resulting in 14 deaths, is $13.5 million, but could eventually exceed that figure. Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said he supported the governor's special session. "I am going to support anything enriching the lives of people impacted by natural disasters," said Holland.
 
Bryant calls special session to authorize tornado spending
Gov. Phil Bryant is calling lawmakers into special session on Thursday to approve response and recovery spending for the April 28 tornadoes. Bryant said he also hopes lawmakers "will provide a sustainable method for satisfying responsibilities for ongoing work from other disasters ...and be prepared for the possibility of additional emergencies," particularly with hurricane season approaching. The cost for a special session of the Legislature is about $64,000 for the first day, to pay, house and feed lawmakers and reimburse travel, then $43,000 for subsequent days.
 
Bryant convenes special session Thursday on tornado costs
Gov. Phil Bryant has called the Mississippi Legislature into special session starting Thursday to help pay state government's share of recovery costs after the deadly April 28 tornadoes. The governor said Tuesday that lawmakers will be asked to provide up to $20 million for disaster response and recovery costs through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Initial estimates of state costs exceed $13.5 million but damage assessments continue, according to Bryant's office. The governor thanked Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn for working with him on the special session call.
 
Mississippi GOP Chairman discusses elections
Chairman Joe Nosef repeatedly made one thing clear as he sat around the table at the GOP headquarters with reporters. He's gearing up to go to the Republican National Committee's spring meeting in Memphis that starts Wednesday. "Y'all know that I disagree very much with the national narrative that is being painted," Nosef said. That narrative is one of the Tea Party versus the establishment. "It's something that I think is not the case in Mississippi," Nosef explained. "And it also frustrates me because it's hurtful to the Republican Party. The fact is, out of those two groups, we need to include both of them in order to be successful." Still, Chris McDaniel and Thad Cochran are being filed into those categories.
 
No joy for tea party in early round of GOP primaries, including North Carolina
The Republican establishment is breathing a collective sigh of relief after Tuesday's victory by Thom Tillis -- speaker of the House in North Carolina -- in the state's GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Tillis won 46 percent of the vote, beating seven other competitors, including two insurgent candidates with high-profile support. "Tillis is definitely the most electable among the field," says Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "But it's not time to pop the champagne. Kentucky and Georgia are next." North Carolina also became a surrogate battleground for possible presidential contenders in 2016.
 
Tea Party takes hit in primary test
The GOP establishment notched big wins on Tuesday night's unofficial primary season launch, dealing an early blow to Tea Party hopes. But more than signaling a change in direction of the party, the establishment's willingness to finally engage in contests shows Republicans are more serious and energized than ever to finally take back a prize that's eluded them for two cycles: Senate control. The Mississippi Senate primary on June 3 might be the Tea Party's best chance to knock off a GOP Senate incumbent, but beating Sen. Thad Cochran (R) won't be as easy as it once hoped. He's also had help from the Chamber of Commerce, plus Chris McDaniel has been put on the defensive by having to explain past controversial comments he made on his radio show.
 
U.S. businesses are being destroyed faster than they're being created
The American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. That's the conclusion of a new study out from the Brookings Institution, which looks at the rates of new business creation and destruction since 1978. Not only that, but during the most recent three years of the study -- 2009, 2010 and 2011 -- businesses were collapsing faster than they were being formed, a first. Overall, new businesses creation (measured as the share of all businesses less than one year old) declined by about half from 1978 to 2011.
 
Alabama agricultural census for 2012 reveals strong, growing farm economy
Alabama's farm economy appears to be on an upswing, setting a $5.57 billion record for agricultural goods produced by Alabama farm operators in 2012. "The new census confirms our own economic impact survey published last year," said John McMillan, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. That report, compiled by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Auburn University based on 2010 farm data and released in February 2013, revealed agriculture, forestry and related industries have a $70.4 billion economic impact on Alabama and provide more than 580,000 jobs.
 
Drone bill dies in Louisiana House committee
After attracting controversy with legislation that would restrict the use of unmanned aircraft in Louisiana, state Sen. Dan Claitor went to the mall and put down less than $400 for a drone. Claitor showed the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice the results Tuesday, streaming shaky video of the State Capitol's front lawn, LSU's practice field and a lobbyist's backyard. "It's an easy-to-do thing. It's not made up science fiction," Claitor told legislators. His pricey show-and-tell display failed to convince committee members that it should be illegal to use drones for surveillance on private property without the owner's consent. The committee rejected Senate Bill 330, with six members voting for it and seven voting against it. SB330 drew fierce opposition Tuesday from media interests.
 
Researchers warn Oklahoma quakes linked to fracking boom could get stronger
Seismologists are warning that Oklahoma's skyrocketing earthquakes linked to oil and gas activity are liable to get stronger and more dangerous. Oklahoma has seen a 50 percent rise in earthquakes since October of last year. Since 2009, after the nation's fracking boom began, the earthquake activity in Oklahoma has been approximately 40 times higher than in the 30 previous years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The recent surge in the rate of the quakes has prompted the USGS and the Oklahoma Geological Survey to issue a warning that the earthquakes could get stronger.
 
Universities rethink fight songs to ban lyrics
The University of Utah is seeking input on updating its fight song, "I'm a Utah Man." Some say the lyrics, which include phrases like "our coeds are the fairest," are sexist, while others want to stick with tradition. Universities, students and alumni across the country have wrestled with new views and attitudes vs. sentiment and tradition. Some have led to change, while others have stayed the same. In 2009, the University of Mississippi trimmed one of its fight songs to discourage football fans from chanting "the South will rise again" after critics said it was an offensive reminder of the region's intolerant past. But some fans continued chanting at the end of the song, "From Dixie With Love" during Ole Miss band performances of the medley before and after games.
 
East Central Community College establishes three new scholarships
Each year, alumni and friends of East Central Community College in Decatur provide much-needed financial support for students in the five-county district through various annual and endowed scholarships. Three new scholarships were recently approved by the College's Board of Trustees and include the Etheridge Family Scholarship, Square County Auctions Scholarship and the Eastside Pawn and Gun Scholarship. "The ECCC Foundation would like to thank our donors who continue to support the scholarship program," said Dr. Hollingsworth. "We also encourage others to establish scholarships and help meet the financial needs of students." During 2013, the ECCC Foundation awarded approximately 130 scholarships valued at $71,340.
 
College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn now accredited
The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn is officially recruiting students for 2015. VCOM currently has campuses in Blacksburg, Va. with Virginia Tech and in Spartanburg, S.C. with Wofford College. The Auburn campus will be its third. John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development, said in a release that Auburn and VCOM hope to provide a collaborative academic environment. "Auburn's collaboration with VCOM will have a significant and positive impact on health sciences research on our campus," Mason said. "We are pleased to work with them to advance healthcare in Alabama and the Southeast."
 
High-tech drone gives U. of Florida researchers a bird's-eye view of nests off Cedar Key
About 300 feet above Seahorse Key, the 9-foot-long wings of an unmanned aircraft wink in and out of view as the drone flies back and forth over the brown pelicans, white ibises, great blue herons and other birds nesting in the black mangroves on the northwest point of the island. Its electric motor buzzes in and out of earshot, occasionally blending with the chittering of the roosting birds, which are undisturbed by the passes the drone makes as researchers with the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit monitor it via computer on a skiff rocking in the gentle chop of the Gulf of Mexico. The 14-pound aircraft designed and built by University of Florida mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate students is photographing the nests with pinpoint accuracy for wildlife officials to study.
 
Military vets get crash course on business at U. of Florida boot camp
The University of Florida's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is hosting 32 disabled veterans from across the U.S. this week in an entrepreneurship boot camp with a full schedule of lectures from UF and guest professors and entrepreneurs covering such topics as contracts, legal issues, business plans, accounting, negotiations, financing, logistics, human resources and marketing. The program -- which ends Saturday -- is free to veterans, funded by $100,000 in donations from UF business alumni and supporters who also serve as mentors. Local businesses donated meals.
 
Capilouto proposes raising U. of Kentucky tuition 5 percent for in-state students
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto will propose a five percent tuition increase for in-state students this fall to offset continued budget cuts from the General Assembly. In a campus-wide email message sent Monday night, Capilouto called the increase "modest," although UK's tuition has more than doubled in the past decade. Tuition for out-of-state students will go up eight percent. Capilouto said next year's budget will also include a two percent merit pool raise for faculty and staff, and an $11.7 million increase in financial aid.
 
Thousands sets to walk stage at Texas A&M graduation ceremonies this weekend
The diplomas have been hand-rolled and placed inside their tubes since last week, but commencement preparations could mean an all-nighter for staff at the Texas A&M Office of the Registrar. While many universities mail graduates their diplomas after graduation, Texas A&M University is not one of them. All graduating students who have met their academic requirements and fulfilled financial obligations will receive their diplomas when they take the Reed Arena stage during commencement later this week, Registrar Venesa Heidick said. o make that possible, Heidick and her staff plan to run degree audits and put diplomas in order as late as 3 a.m. Friday, less than six hours before they reassemble at Reed Arena as the College of Liberal Arts graduates its class of 2014.
 
U. of Missouri rents former furniture showroom as moldy books cleanup begins
The process of cleaning some 600,000 moldy books in the University of Missouri Libraries collection has started as MU prepares to move the books to a new location. Professor Dan Hooley, an MU Faculty Council member who was part of a committee that provided input on what to do with the books, said Belfor, the restoration company hired by the university, is in the process of moving half of the books to a Texas location to be cleaned. MU has leased the former Rust & Martin design showroom at the Midway exit to store the affected books. The lease started Thursday and costs $16,965 per month, said Shannon Cary, MU Libraries communications officer.
 
Campus drinking culture adds challenge to sexual-assault prevention
Alcohol plays a role in at least half of all sexual assaults involving college students, according to Wayne State University research. The challenge facing campus sexual assault initiatives is how to overcome the student culture of drinking and the belief that drinking leads to sex, according to the research. The basis of Green Dot Mizzou is that any power-based personal violence -- partner violence, sexual violence or stalking -- leaves a metaphorical "red dot" on the campus map. The program emphasizes students' need to intervene before "red dots" are created, making those sites "green dots" instead. "Ultimately, the goal of Green Dot Mizzou is to prevent violence from happening on our campus and in our community," said Danica Wolf, MU Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center coordinator.
 
Amherst Bans All Fraternities
Even though fraternities are banned at Amherst College, it's common for students around campus to see guys wearing sweaters with Greek letters or posters advertising parties in one of the off-campus fraternity houses. The college announced Tuesday that it plans to squelch that tacit fraternity presence. The Board of Trustees declared that students caught as members of underground fraternities, or in "fraternity-like organizations," could be suspended or expelled. "We've now freed ourselves of underground fraternities," Suzanne Coffey, the chief student affairs officer, said in an interview. The statement issued by trustees Tuesday stated that the college would no longer look the other way.
 
Stanford to Purge $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock
Stanford University announced Tuesday that it would divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal-mining companies, becoming the first major university to lend support to a nationwide campaign to purge endowments and pension funds of fossil fuel investments. Stanford's associate vice president for communications, Lisa Lapin, said the decision covers about 100 companies worldwide that derive the majority of their revenue from coal extraction. Not all of those companies are in the university's investment portfolio, whose structure is private, she said. Over all, the university's coal holdings are a small fraction of its endowment. The trustees' decision carries more symbolic than financial weight, but it is a major victory for a rapidly growing student-led divestment movement that is now active at roughly 300 universities.
 
English at universities: Not just studying English, but in English
The world's elite speaks English, so universities around the world are not only teaching English, but increasingly, teaching in English. A new report from the British Council and Oxford University's department of education highlights the trend and unsurprisingly finds that English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) is on the rise at all levels of education. But it is most pronounced at the post-secondary level. Even traditional institutions are increasingly teaching in English, especially at the graduate level. Students are particularly keen on English in inherently global subjects, including science and business. But not everyone is keen on the idea.
 
BRIAN PERRY (OPINION): Bennie Thompson's 'Uncle Tom' rhetoric
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "Sometimes we excuse bitterness. Someone gets a raw deal in life. As the years go by, they remain trapped in the past. Perhaps it is the horrors of war, the death of a child or some individual traumatic experience. When we know the cause of bitterness, we understand. They're only human. But when someone overcomes those experiences, we praise them. ...It would seem (Bennie) Thompson was on the track for praise. He didn't let the weight of segregation prevent his rise to power. He took on missions to prevent the same injustice done to him. He seemed to engage in reconciliation. But in truth, it appears, he is still bitter. I understand; he's only human. But excusing the bitterness does not excuse or justify his recent rhetoric."
 
BOBBY HARRISON (OPINION): What happens to 61,500 in state if ACA is repealed?
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Almost 61,500 Mississippians have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, according to the numbers released last week by federal officials. If all those people who signed up for health insurance on the exchange offered through the Affordable Care Act , or Obamacare as it is known, lived in one Mississippi city, it would be the state's third largest municipality. If they all lived in one county, it would be the 13th largest in Mississippi. In Mississippi, 60,000 people are a lot of people. Nationwide more than 8 million have signed up, according to federal officials. ...U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, Thad Cochran and U.S. Reps. Alan Nunnelee, Gregg Harper and Steven Palazzo all want to repeal it. Are they saying getting insurance through the exchange is a bad thing?"


SPORTS
 
Baseball Bulldogs hope focus leads to successful stretch run
Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has normally had a one-word theme for his team. Coming into the stretch run of the 2014 season that word now is focus. Cohen admitted after the 12-1 victory Sunday to complete the three-game sweep at Auburn that his team might not have been mentally focused during series losses against Ole Miss, LSU and Texas A&M this season. "Honestly, that was not the case all year and that is my fault. But I really love where we are right now," Cohen said Sunday. When given the opportunity to assess his MSU club, which appeared back in every national Top 25 poll Monday, Cohen said the mental focus is back to where it normally is during the final month of the season.
 
Seitz, Bulldogs get set for SEC Softball Tournament
Mississippi State softball coach Vann Stuedeman says freshman third baseman Carolin Seitz has some freak in her. Stuedeman quickly adds "that is freak in a good kind of way." Seitz calls her freakish nature as one built upon being an intense competitor. In her mind, "it is never fun to lose." Chosen as one of 14 members of the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team, Seitz has made an immediate impact at both third base and in the offensive lineup for the surging Bulldogs. No. 10 seed MSU (38-18) faces No. 7 seed Kentucky (41-14) at 3 p.m. today in the opening round of the SEC tournament being played at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C. This contest opens the nine-game, single-elimination event and will be televised nationally by ESPNU.
 
Back in business: Resurgent Bulldogs return to SEC Tournament
After missing the 2013 SEC Tournament altogether, Mississippi State hopes to stick around a while this year. The Bulldogs are in Columbia, S.C., today as the No. 10 seed to take on seventh-seeded Kentucky in a 3 p.m. game that will be seen on ESPNU. "We were disappointed finishing a game out last year and making it back is huge," said MSU coach Vann Studeman. "It just feels great to be there and it's an honor. It says that what you did all year matters and it's a reward. I feel like the girls are excited about the opportunity to go and I'm really proud for the seniors."
 
Two Bulldogs named to SEC All-Freshman team
Following two of the most successful rookie seasons in Mississippi State softball history, Caroline Seitz and Alexis Silkwood were named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team, according to an announcement from the league office on Tuesday. The pair of selections are tied for the most in a year in Bulldog history. MSU also had two SEC All-Freshman honorees in 2007 and 2011.
 
Mississippi State men's golf granted wishes with regional berth
Mississippi State men's golf coach Clay Homan came to the NCAA Regional selection party Monday morning with a clipboard, pen, and a wish list. By the end of the selection show, Homan and his players received everything they wanted: a second-straight postseason berth and a destination that kept them away from defending national champion Alabama and a site without a home-course advantage for the host. MSU will be the No. 9 seed at the NCAA Illinois Regional at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois, which is an hour west of Chicago. "You always want to avoid playing somebody in a NCAA Regional on their home course because you assume they'll play well and get one of the spots to advance because of their comfort," Homan said. "By not having a lot of local teams in this regional situation, we're on the equal playing field as everybody else."
 
Mississippi State women's golf gearing up for regional
Being a counselor is part of the job description of any coach. Nobody knows that better than Mississippi State women's golf coach Ginger Brown-Lemm, who had to make sure her team forgot about the Southeastern Conference Championships. Brown-Lemm will try to help her players remember the good feelings they had last season when Ally McDonald won the NCAA Central Regional title and the team advanced to the NCAA Championships. That's quite a whirlwind of emotions for any coach to navigate, but Brown-Lemm feels she and the Bulldogs are up for the challenge as they continue to prepare to play in the NCAA Central Regional at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. It will be the program's first consecutive regional appearances since the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
 
Bulldogs to play Oregon State on hardwood
Mississippi State coach Rick Ray says the school has signed a contract to play Oregon State during the next two seasons. Ray announced the series on Twitter Tuesday morning. He said the Bulldogs will travel to play Oregon State on Dec. 13 and the Beavers will make the return trip to Mississippi State in 2015. Oregon State fired coach Craig Robinson on Monday.
 
Road Dawgs Tour coming to county coliseum
The Road Dawgs Tour 2014, featuring head football coach Dan Mullen and the Egg Bowl trophy, is coming to the Neshoba County Coliseum Thursday. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with autographs followed by the program at 7 p.m. Head women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer and Jeff Davis, executive director of the Alumni Association, will also be part of the tour. The event is hosted locally by the Neshoba County Chapter of the MSU Alumni Association.
 
Siddoway's draft status uncertain as NFL draft begins Thursday
Without a legal decision rendered yet, franchises will likely know their professional answer to even having Charles Siddoway on their draft boards. The former Mississippi State offensive lineman was arrested April 23 on multiple felony charges including residential burglary and robbery by threats and that action may leave the decision strictly in the hands of a team's security department. "When something like that happens, teams immediately leave the answering of the legal and criminal questions to its security department," said Bill Polian, a former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst. An arrest report confirms Siddoway and currently suspended MSU defensive lineman Jordan Washington were arrested last momth by investigators with the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department and MSU officials are aware of the incident.
 
JSU gets assistance from Ole Miss, Mississippi State after bus fire
Ole Miss and Mississippi State have volunteered to help the Jackson State baseball team prepare for its Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament next week after much of the Tigers' equipment was destroyed in a bus fire on Monday. The schools have pledged to donate equipment, such as balls and bats. JSU officials said most of the team's equipment was destroyed in Monday's blaze along Interstate 20 near Birmingham.
 
Mississippi State, Ole Miss Pledge Help to Jackson State Baseball
The Jackson State University baseball team returned safely to campus Monday night after the bus they were traveling in caught fire earlier in the day outside of Birmingham, Ala. No injuries were reported. The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University have volunteered to assist JSU in any way possible to help the Tigers practice and get ready for the SWAC Tournament scheduled for May 13-18 in New Orleans.
 
Senate Committee Plans Hearing on Welfare of NCAA Athletes
Some of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's toughest critics have been invited to testify next week before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, The Chronicle has learned. Aides to the committee's chairman, John D. Rockefeller IV, a Democrat from West Virginia, have extended invitations to Ed O'Bannon, a former University of California at Los Angeles basketball star and the lead plaintiff in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, and Mary C. Willingham, a former reading specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who stepped down this week amid a long-running scandal over academic problems in the athletic department. Both have agreed to testify at the hearing, which they said was scheduled for May 14.



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