Tuesday, May 27, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
American Legion Boys State Conference Hosted at Mississippi State
Some of Mississippi's best and brightest young men are in Starkville this week learning about the political process on the Mississippi State University campus. The Mississippi American Legion Boys State has been teaching young men about the electoral process since 1939. The boys will attend several breakout sessions to discuss the role of government. There will also be a variety of speakers including Governor Phil Bryant, Attorney General Jim Hood and State Treasurer Lynn Fitch. The goal is to leave the boys more educated and informed about the democratic process.
 
Former SHS, MSU QB Buckner's impact felt as state's FCA leader
Former Mississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes statewide director and Starkville native William "Bill" Buckner died Friday from complications associated with leukemia. He was 69. The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inductee played high school football at Starkville High School before joining East Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and Delta State University. Mississippi FCA experienced significant growth under his leadership. He joined as state director in 1987. "He had a tremendous impact on the lives of a lot of Mississippi's young people through FCA. In his hometown, Buckner is fondly remembered and well respected," said MSU Communications Director Sid Salter. "The university joins with the people of Starkville and the rest of Mississippi in mourning his passing."
 
Starkville, C Spire tech relationship continues to bloom
Starkville and C Spire officials continued building upon a dynamic partnership Tuesday when aldermen approved a telecommunications contract for Internet services at the new city hall under construction at the end of Main Street. Tuesday's contract approval marks another C Spire in-road with the city. In September, Starkville became one of the first Mississippi cities to enter the company's Fiber to the Home competition. C Spire announced a month later it would construct a $23 million data-processing center at Mississippi State University's Thad Cochran Research Park. "C Spire is a strong Mississippi company with a history of providing unique opportunities to Mississippians," Mayor Parker Wiseman said.
 
WILLOUGHBY (OPINION): David Shaw leads research
Contributing columnist and business consultant Martin Willoughby writes in the Mississippi Business Journal: "My interview this week, Dr. David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University, has done a great job of keeping perspective on what is truly important and has had a very positive impact on the university and the state."
 
Country legend Haggard to open Mississippi State's Lyceum Series
Country music legend Merle Haggard will open Mississippi State University's 2014-2015 Lyceum Series performance season with an Aug. 20 show at Lee Hall, the university announced Wednesday. The Bakersfield, California, native, along with his backing band, The Strangers, began developing a raw form of country music in the 1960s and amassed 40 No. 1 songs, cementing his influence on the genre for generations of musicians. Haggard was inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame in 1994. The full 2014-2015 Lyceum Series performance list will be released June 9 at lyceum.msstate.edu.
 
Mississippi State employee reappointed to USDA board
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reappointed a Mississippi State University employee to one of its policy-making boards. Officials say Rita Green, an assistant professor of consumer economics in the School of Human Sciences, was reappointed to represent the nation's consumer interests on the National Agricultural Research Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board. The board advises officials and land-grant schools on national priorities and policies in the agricultural field.
 
History and genealogy fair planned at MSU Libraries
History and genealogy enthusiasts are invited to attend an all-day event hosted by Mississippi State's Mitchell Memorial Library next month. The E.O. Templeton History and Genealogy Fair will be held Saturday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature a variety of sessions, workshops and research opportunities. This year's fair also will include the naming of the genealogical collection in memory of E.O Templeton and his dedicated support of genealogy and history.
 
Peanut planting delayed by weather, but in 'pretty good shape'
Most peanut growers are on schedule despite the cool, wet weather that hit Mississippi at the beginning of May. "We are in pretty good shape all over the state," said Jason Sarver, peanut specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. "The cool, wet spell we had set some folks back, but only by a week or so. Depending on this summer's conditions, their harvest might be pushed a little later, but nothing extreme." John Michael Riley, Extension agricultural economist, said current wholesale cash prices for peanuts are around $400 per ton but could change as the growing season progresses.
 
Crape myrtles help beautify Cleveland
Cleveland is becoming a little more attractive, thanks to the crape myrtle trees planted along U.S. 61 and Mississippi 8. "Getting the state to approve this was almost like an act of Congress. It just about took the help and support of the entire town to get this project going," said Wilma Wilbanks of Cleveland, who was instrumental in the process. Wilbanks said the Delta Home and Garden Club was prompted to plant the trees after an evaluation of Cleveland. "The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce had a team to come from Mississippi State University to do an evaluation and study of the city of Cleveland," she said.
 
Hancock Youth Leadership students learn about government
The Hancock Youth Leadership Academy High School Program class of 2014 spent a session learning about local governments and visiting with elected officials in Hancock County and its three municipalities. HYLA students then participated in an active learning process conducted by Tyson Elbert, research associate at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University. Elbert led the students in a simulation of the congressional election process.
 
Mississippi treasurer brings attention to education programs
Lynn Fitch is not the head of Mississippi's Department of Education. She just sounds like it these days. Fitch, whose real title is State Treasurer, is making the rounds across the state to call attention to programs focused on education. "Education means jobs," Fitch said during a visit to The Dispatch Friday. "Jobs mean revenue. So yes, I would say this is very much related to what we do in our department." Most notable of the programs Fitch hopes to bring attention to is the re-establishment of a college savings fund, which the state suspended because of fears that the program would be underfunded and, therefore, not viable.
 
State ag leaders tour South Texas border
Agricultural leaders from Mississippi and other states far from the U.S.-Mexico border visited Texas last week and generally said they are more convinced than ever of the need for immigration reform after a tour of border security operations in the Rio Grande Valley. "It was an eye-opener," said Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith. "(Staples) wanted folks from other states to see how serious the problem is." The bipartisan delegation said a new guest worker program would provide American farms and businesses the legal workers they need and also improve border security. Hyde-Smith stopped short of offering potential ways forward in the politically charged issue but acknowledged the undocumented immigration problem is serious.
 
Scandal could boost turnout for GOP primary
The scandal involving a conservative blogger who allegedly photographed Sen. Thad Cochran's ailing, bed-ridden wife could boost turnout at Mississippi's June 3 primary, political experts say. News coverage of arrests in the case likely will draw attention to the GOP primary, which otherwise would be expected to see low turnout, like most midterm elections. John Bruce, chairman of the political science department at Ole Miss, said it's too early to tell how the scandal will affect the race. "There's still too many balls in the air," Bruce said.
 
Cochran says his record reflects credit on Mississippi
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran says he wants to continue using his status as a top member of the Appropriations Committee to support federal projects such as military bases, university research and agriculture projects in Mississippi. Cochran, who was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House, is being challenged by second-term state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the June 3 Republican primary. The contest has been dominated recently with news about a Mississippi blogger photographing Cochran's wife in the nursing home where she has lived the past 13 years with dementia. However, both candidates have said repeatedly that they want to discuss issues. The Associated Press recently interviewed both candidates.
 
McDaniel says he wants to curb federal spending
State Sen. Chris McDaniel says if he's elected to the U.S. Senate, he wants to reduce federal spending and work with Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who were elected with the help of tea party voters. McDaniel, who was first elected to the state Legislature in 2007, is challenging longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary. The contest has been dominated recently with news about a Mississippi blogger photographing Cochran's wife in the nursing home where she has lived the past 13 years with dementia. However, both candidates have said repeatedly that they want to discuss issues. The Associated Press recently interviewed both candidates.
 
Who knew what/when? Time line of Kelly events
On Easter Sunday, April 20, Clayton Thomas Kelly of Pearl allegedly took photos that will go down in Mississippi history -- even nationally -- as one of the most bizarre and despicable political tricks in history. According to law enforcement, Kelly somehow got a pass to enter St. Catherine's Village in Madison, made his way to the Alzheimer's unit in the nursing home and took photos of Rose Cochran, wife of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. She's been there for years and is bedridden, suffering dementia and unaware of her surroundings. According to police, this was Kelly's third try. He wanted the photos to use in a political video to help Cochran's GOP primary opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel and to help with Kelly's ambition to become a noted politico. Police say Kelly had help in his efforts, including an attorney who's a top state tea party leader and McDaniel supporter.
 
McDaniel/Cochran continue to spar over scandal
The McDaniel-Cochran ad and press release wars continue. The Chris McDaniel campaign this morning released a new ad, titled "Shameless," in response to a Thad Cochran ad last week hitting McDaniel on the Clayton Kelly photo scandal. Meanwhile, the Central Mississippi Tea Party issued a scathing release, sans any apology for one of its members allegedly being involved in a conspiracy to photograph Cochran's wife in her nursing home bed.
 
Why Mississippi video scandal could be devastating to tea party
The tea party's honest efforts to be a more effective and calculating force in conservative American politics might be about to blow up in its face. Chris McDaniel, a Republican candidate for US Senate from Mississippi, was supposed to be this year's standard-bearer for a new and smarter tea party movement – a movement that would no longer nominate candidates who excited the conservative base in primaries but imploded in the general election. He was experienced as a state senator, and he was a smooth speaker and politician. Yet less than two weeks from his June 3 primary, his campaign is danger of confirming all the old stereotypes.
 
McDaniel touts Constitutional rights in Cleveland
Mississippi Sen. Chris McDaniel was the guest speaker for the Noon Lion's Club of Cleveland Friday. He opened by using an analogy about Benjamin Franklin to explain his philosophy of the government. According to McDaniel, the American culture is being degraded which in turn has caused character to be degraded and the role of Americans in the government to be degraded. McDaniel is running for U.S. Senator against senior Sen. Thad Cochran. The Mississippi primary will be held on June 3.
 
Cochran brings campaign to Railroad Park picnic in Brookhaven
During a statewide campaign tour, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) stopped in Brookhaven Friday for a picnic in Railroad Park. The incumbent U.S. senator faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel and Thomas L. Carey in the Republican primary June 3. U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) introduced his fellow Republicans to the gathering at the park Friday. "What an honor to get to travel around the state with Sen. Thad Cochran, who has done more for this state than anyone else I know," Harper said.
 
McDaniel tries to rebound from dirty political scandal
The Rose Cochran photo scandal has been quicksand for the Chris McDaniel Senate campaign since the first news of it broke a little over a week ago. And as the clock ticks down to the June 3 Republican U.S. Senate primary, the question is whether McDaniel can pull out of it. At first the quicksand was partially McDaniel's own doing: He and his campaign folk couldn't get their stories straight.
 
Democrat Childers wants to return bipartisanship to Senate
Moderation and the willingness to reach across the political aisle is the message from a Mississippi Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. Travis Childers, a former congressman, is among four candidates who will square off in the June 3 Democratic party primary. During a recent visit to Meridian, Childers said he believes the state is ready for a change, noting that it has been 25 years since Sen. John Stennis, one of the longest-serving senators in U.S. history, left office. The seat has been held by Republicans since. Of the race between Cochran and Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel that has garnered so much attention, Childers said it indicates the current climate of the GOP. "I'm not blind to the fact that they do seem fractured and they seem to be two different factions -- one as they call them, more established and the other, the Tea Party," Childers said. "That's why I'm running. I think I'm the better alternative."
 
Childers mines Democratic votes as GOP feuds
While the campaigns of longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and his challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, have been engaged in a political slugfest as they vie to win the June 3 Republican primary, Travis Childers is almost like the forgotten man. But Childers, who previously served in the U.S. House representing the 1st District and before then was elected chancery clerk of Prentiss County five times, says he is not concerned about that right now. The Prentiss County businessman says he is moving about the state, talking with different groups and lining up support for the much more subdued June 3 Democratic primary. "We are concentrating in areas where there are Democratic votes," said Childers, who conceded that outside of his native north Mississippi his name identification is low. "As I have said many times, you can't touch second base until you put your foot on first. I consider winning the Democratic primary first base."
 
Girls at the center of Obama's science push
President Obama will announce a new $35 million Department of Education competition to help create more math and science teachers on Tuesday. The funding effort is part of the annual White House science fair, which this year will place a specific focus on girls and women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The money will contribute to the president's goal of training more than 100,000 teachers in the sector. The White House is framing the special focus on girls as part of the administration's effort to ensure the sciences are accessible to all students. "Since day one, the president has been committed to getting more underrepresented groups, including women and girls, excited to excel at STEM subjects," it said.
 
States Consider Bills To Crack Down On Workplace Bullies
Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to a recent Zogby poll, more than a quarter of American workers say they've experienced abusive conduct at work. Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse. Michael Aitken, vice president of government affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management, says the problem can't be addressed by a law. "It's tough, if not impossible, to legislate against somebody being a jerk," Aitken says. Bad behavior can be subjective. It might boil down to a he-said, she-said. And Aitken says, unlike racial or gender discrimination, bullying is hard to define and therefore hard to regulate. But, he says, employers are trying.
 
Record Number of Graduates At UMMC, But Will They Stay?
More than 850 Mississippians received degrees from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health related fields last Friday. The graduating class marked the largest in school history. Despite the increase in graduates, Mississippi still has the lowest doctor to patient ratio in the nation. And when coupled with the fact that it also has some of the highest levels of obesity and diabetes in the country, many are concerned that the doctor shortage is becoming critical.
 
Man wanted in killing of JSU chair considered 'armed and dangerous'
Police have issued a warrant for a man believed to have killed Jackson State University department chair Dr. Garrick Shelton. Melvin Potts is wanted for the crime. Police say he should be considered "armed and dangerous." The JSU department chair was found stabbed to death in his home, on Harris Lane in Madison on May 21. The murder weapon was recovered at the scene.
 
Once more, with feeling: Student finds passion for school after age 55
Louie Dearman had tried higher education before, attending Itawamba Community College and Northeast Mississippi Community College in his younger years, but he never got far. "I was working full time, as well as going to school," Dearman said, "so in my teenage years, I took my time off and enjoyed it, instead of using it to study." The Tupelo resident was 55 when he got a piece of mail that he didn't think was meant for him. "It started out as a big joke," he said. "I got a card: Come to Ole Miss day for students. I thought I'd go check it out just for something to do, next thing I know, I was making plans to go back to school." That was 2009, and by 2010 he'd earned an associate's degree in social work from ICC's Tupelo campus, but it wasn't easy. After getting his degree from ICC and while still working at the ICC Resource Center, Dearman joined an online program at Mississippi University for Women. It had its challenges, too.
 
Trustees adjust criteria for U. of Florida presidential search
A distinguished academic career is the first and foremost quality the University of Florida board of trustees is looking for in its next president. The board voted unanimously Friday to adopt an amended set of search criteria for the 12th president of the state's flagship university. "Distinguished academic career" is right up there in the preamble, underscoring the board's commitment to finding someone who can lead UF into the top 10 of public research universities in the nation. The adoption of the criteria also shows that UF is committed to a nationwide and international search to find the best candidate possible, trustees and UF officials said.
 
Electric vehicle charger open to public at UGA
Athens area motorists with electric vehicles can now get a recharge on the University of Georgia campus. Workers installed a new charging station this month beside two prime parking spots on the Jackson Street side of UGA's North Campus Parking Deck. UGA officials say it's the first public charging station in Athens. It's too soon to gauge use for the charging station, which can charge a vehicle in a couple of hours, according to a UGA announcement. The company that manages the software for the university, Chargepoint Inc., will track use, but the station is too new to yield much useful data, said Don Walter, manager of UGA Parking Services.
 
University System of Georgia announces new vice chancellor for extended education
The University System of Georgia has named a new vice chancellor for extended education. Officials said in a statement that Cecil Staton will begin serving as vice chancellor for extended education June 1. Staton is tasked with leading strategic and long-term initiatives in the areas of extended and continuing education, military affairs, entrepreneurship and international education. Officials say Staton will serve as a liaison between the Board of Regents, system institutions and partners in the government and business fields.
 
U. of Kentucky spending $4 million to demolish eight buildings this summer
The University of Kentucky campus will boom this summer -- literally -- as eight buildings are torn down to make way for new construction. It will cost UK $4 million to demolish the dorms and classroom buildings. Some of them are historic, some iconic, including the oval-shaped Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory, which housed UK's early aeronautic research, and Hamilton House, which was built in 1880. The demolition has been a controversial subject between UK and Lexington preservationists, with numerous pleas from the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation for UK to recognize the architectural heritage of many of the marked buildings. Bob Wiseman, UK's vice president for facilities, said the school does its best to save historic buildings when possible, but aging and defunct dorms hurt student recruitment and retention.
 
Missouri College Advising Corps grows with grant funding
Missouri College Advising Corps, a group that embeds recent college graduates into Missouri schools to help at-risk students realize their college potential, is expanding its base in the coming academic year. Although $500,000 of funding from the state didn't make it through the budget process this year, the organization is able to expand from 25 to 41 advisers with the help from a grant from AmeriCorps, Executive Director Beth Tankersley-Bankhead said. Tankersley-Bankhead said the corps will try to secure funding for the coming years the same way she and other coordinators did this year: by continuing to lobby the General Assembly and applying for grants and reach out to corporations and organizations for additional funding.
 
Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say
Some newly minted college graduates struggle to find work. Others accept jobs for which they feel overqualified. Student debt, meanwhile, has topped $1 trillion. It's enough to create a wave of questions about whether a college education is still worth it. A new set of income statistics answers those questions quite clearly: Yes, college is worth it, and it's not even close. For all the struggles that many young college graduates face, a four-year degree has probably never been more valuable.
 
Door by Door, Colleges Install Systems for Online Control of Building Access
purred by a desire to better control who is moving in and out of campus facilities, colleges are adopting sophisticated online access systems at a steady clip. The systems, which support arrays of hard-wired and wireless locks, are being applied to interior doors, such as those in residence halls and labs, in addition to exterior doors. In some places they are being installed in concert with other security features, like video surveillance technology. The migration is such that traditional keys on college campuses could soon become as quaint as typewriters.
 
Colleges Rattled as Obama Seeks Rating System
The college presidents were appalled. Not only had President Obama called for a government rating system for their schools, but now one of his top education officials was actually suggesting it would be as easy as evaluating a kitchen appliance. "It's like rating a blender," Jamienne Studley, a deputy under secretary at the Education Department, said to the college presidents after a meeting in the department's Washington headquarters in November, according to several who were present. "This is not so hard to get your mind around." The rating system is in fact a radical new effort by the federal government to hold America's 7,000 colleges and universities accountable by injecting the executive branch into the business of helping prospective students weigh collegiate pros and cons. The idea that the government would try to rate the schools has rattled the entire higher education system, from elite private institutions to large state universities to community colleges.
 
BILL CRAWFORD (OPINION): Primary intensifies GOP/Tea Party division
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Let's embalm Wednesday, June 4, as O Day. Because it will be Over, it being the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The back to back to back TV ads will be Over. The incessant emails, social media messages, and robo-calls will be Over. The persistent, pernicious blogs will be Over. At least for most of us, it will be Over. For the battle-scarred activists of the Mississippi Republican/Tea Party, it will continue. The scars are real. The division is intense. The consequences will be significant."
 
PAUL HAMPTON (OPINION): Up to our necks in mud -- and sinking in the Mississippi Senate race
The Sun Herald's Paul Hampton writes: "You could say the battle for the U.S. Senate from Mississippi has taken a turn for the worse. But then someone would have to ask, Which turn? The campaign was in the gutter last week. It has now careened over the cliff and is speeding toward the ground. Makes me long for those halcyon days when candidate Chris McDaniel spoke to the press and my only worry was whether I could get a seat on a campaign bus. Then the whispering campaign started -- or at least the digital age's version of one -- with direct messages on Twitter urging me to investigate the woman in a photograph of Sen. Thad Cochran. It was April 26. And am I glad I didn't."
 
LLOYD GRAY (OPINION): Politics as personal destruction
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Lloyd Gray writes: "It's hard to imagine how a campaign could get any nastier than Mississippi's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. It can't get over fast enough for most people. Of course it won't be over when it's over. The scars within the Republican Party will not heal quickly, and the scars on the larger political landscape in Mississippi will be around for a long time as well. What we are seeing in this campaign is the culmination of a steady rise in Mississippi, as elsewhere, of the politics of personal destruction. It is not new, but it has reached a level that threatens to undermine our entire political system."
 
SAM R. HALL (OPINION): Hypocrisy abounds as whisper campaign backfires
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "When state Sen. Chris McDaniel started making noise about running for U.S. Senate, conventional wisdom said the race would get ugly. It wasn't that anyone thought McDaniel or incumbent Thad Cochran were themselves brawlers, but everyone knew third-party groups would flood airwaves, social media outlets and mailboxes with a steady diet of political dirt. McDaniel, after all, was Cochran's first serious threat. To be so right, conventional wisdom got a lot of it wrong. ...Negative advertising is one thing, but whisper campaigns about unproven personal accusations are something all together different. This attempt to discredit Cochran blew up, and it's burned a lot of people --- including McDaniel and his campaign, despite any innocence."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State's path back to Omaha begins on road
Perhaps the only people who said "Omaha" more than Peyton Manning last year were Mississippi State fans. It's been almost a year since the Bulldogs left the Nebraska city as the national runners up in the College World Series. Monday marked the official start of the opportunity to return. Mississippi State received the No. 2 seed in the Lafayette regional of the NCAA tournament. "We've got to win in the postseason," MSU coach John Cohen said. "At some point in time when you're trying to turn a corner, you say getting there is nice, but I think our kids are really focused on winning." MSU kicks off the regional Friday against three-seeded San Diego State at 1 p.m. The top seed and host Louisiana-Lafayette plays No. 4 Jackson State.
 
Bulldogs make fourth straight baseball regional appearance
Been there, done that. This is the attitude of the Mississippi State players when they saw their name pop up during the NCAA baseball tournament selection show Monday. MSU is now under the attitude of head coach John Cohen that regional trips are expected and anything less is seen as a complete failure. "I think certainly that's our expectation level but you have to win it," Cohen said Monday. "I think at some point and time you turn a corner and say getting there is nice. Our kids are really focused on winning (on a consistent basis). That's the next step." MSU will be going to a new destination for its 34th NCAA tournament appearance.
 
Mississippi State draws Lafayette, date with Aztecs
Mississippi State's road to Omaha and the College World Series will travel through Lafayette, La. The Bulldogs will make their 34th NCAA Regional appearance in the Lafayette Regional which begins Friday. MSU will be the No. 2 seed taking on third-seeded San Diego State at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.com. "At one point in time getting here was nice, but now I think our kids are focused on winning and getting to the next step," said MSU coach John Cohen.
 
Bulldogs to learn quickly about Aztecs
Mississippi State coach John Cohen described the theme of the Lafayette Regional in the first eight words he spoke Monday. "I don't know anything about San Diego State," Cohen said with a chuckle. Minutes after seeing their name reveled on ESPNU's NCAA selection show Monday morning, Cohen knew what the other three programs about the four-team tournament. Or more accurately, what they didn't know. None of the four programs have seen each other on the baseball diamond during the 2014 season. This unknown quality to the selections resulted in the scene of non-stop research on Memorial Day in the offices of the MSU Hall of Champions building.
 
Mississippi State fans will have trouble getting tickets in Lafayette
More than 11,000 fans were on hand last year to watch Mississippi State's opening game of the NCAA tournament. That number will be much less this year. M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field holds 3,755. Those seats may already be gone if Mississippi State fans are looking to attend. The Louisiana-Lafayette ticket office is providing its season ticket holders first. Ragin Cajun Foundations members will have second priority. General admission requests will be fulfilled after.
 
Host of Bulldogs honored by all-SEC selections
Mississippi State will travel to its regional in Lafayette with a few more accolades after the Southeastern Conference announced its regular season awards on Tuesday. Jacob Lindgren was named first-team All-SEC as a relief pitcher. Second baseman Brett Pirtle and starting pitcher Ross Mitchell both earned second-team honors. Catcher Gavin Collins took a spot on the all-freshman team. Pirtle and shortstop Seth Heck were both named to the conference's all-defensive team.
 
MSU baseball players seek medical redshirts | Daily Journal
Mississippi State baseball will seek medical redshirts from the NCAA for its two Canadian born players. Sophomores Kyle Hann and Jacob Robson were limited to 30 combined games due to arm injuries, with both being out of action since March. Both players are expected back on the Bulldogs' roster in the fall. If medical redshirts are granted it would give both players three years of eligibility remaining.
 
Mississippi State women's golf completes banner season with top 10 finish at NCAA Championship
Making only its second appearance, the Mississippi State women's golf team capped off a record-setting season by securing its first ever top-10 scorecard at the NCAA Championship on Friday, with Ally McDonald placing in the top five. "We set goals at the beginning of the season, and we very meticulously go through what it takes on a daily basis to attain them," MSU head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "We give our effort to the daily dedication to excellence, and it has paid off for us here with a sixth-place finish at the National Championship." Brown-Lemm's squad finishes as the highest Southeastern Conference school, while also beating four top-10 and 13 top-25 schools.
 
SEC meetings kick off today in Destin
The SEC's annual business meetings begin today at the Hilton Sandestin. One of the biggest topics for the last several years -- football scheduling -- concluded late last month, when the league announced it would continue to play eight conference games. There's still plenty to discuss, beginning with the launch of the SEC Network in August. While some have signed on -- most notably Dish network and ATT's U-verse -- talks are on-going with the other big names among TV providers. Television revenue and other sources helped the league distribute a record $289.4 million to its 14 members last year. The meetings won't be only about television.
 
Alexander discusses issues facing LSU, SEC
LSU System President F. (Fieldon) King Alexander has been on the job for nearly a year now, presiding over nine campuses with a collective 43,000 students and an annual budget of $3.3 billion. But this week, he heads to his first Southeastern Conference Spring Meeting in Destin, Florida, as LSU's top administrator. The son of Kern Alexander, former Murray State and Western Kentucky university president, and Ruth Alexander, the first women's athletic director at Florida. He recently sat down with The Advocate at his office at the LSU System Building to discuss issues facing college athletics and his constant search for a challenging pickup basketball game:
 
Athletic director Jay Jacobs among many in SEC seeking autonomy for Big Five
Jay Jacobs, much like his Southeastern Conference brethren, believes the landscape in college athletics is shifting, and the best way to handle that massive change is autonomy -- at least for the top-five power conferences. "The thing that me and the other ADs in the SEC focus on is what's best for the student-athletes," Jacobs, Auburn's athletic director, told the Opelika-Auburn News during a sit-down two weeks ago. "And for us to get that autonomy, so that we can respond to issues that go on with our student-athletes, is the best way to do it." With a stated directive toward doing what is best for their student-athletes, SEC athletic directors, presidents and chancellors, and head men's and women's basketball and football coaches from across the conference will converge on the Sandestin Beach Hilton from Tuesday to Friday for the annual SEC Spring Meetings.



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