Friday, June 20, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
College Board delays budget request
College Board members are delaying a decision on how large a budget increase to seek from Mississippi lawmakers. The board voted Thursday to delay the decisions until June 27, saying they wanted to learn more about the large increases universities were seeking for some research units. Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University proposed a 12 percent increase for their agricultural research units. MSU officials said that university is considering a 5 percent pay increase next year, and because federal and county funds might not increase as much as the state money, the units could have to make cuts to be able to match that.
 
Having fun with food at Mississippi State
There's a lot of slicing and dicing going on at Mississippi State University's Fun with Food summer camp. Around 20 students who will be entering grades three through six are here this week learning all about food from chefs and undergraduate students who are their guides. It's a chance for the students to not only prepare a wide variety of foods but also learn about how they're grown and what it takes to get them to the table. "Chicken spaghetti is a favorite. It has this good sauce on it and chicken on it. That's one of my favorite foods," said camper Samuel Matthews.
 
Investiture for Judge Debra Brown today
The first black woman to serve as a federal judge in Mississippi will be invested today in Greenville. U.S. District Judge Debra M. Brown, 50, will serve as the sole Article III U.S. District Court Judge in the U.S. Courthouse in Greenville, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Brown was appointed to the federal bench in May 2013 by President Barack Obama and then confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in November. Brown earned a degree in architecture from Mississippi State University.
 
Tupelo students selected for Mississippi State medical program
Two Tupelo High School students were selected to Mississippi State University's Rural Medical Scholars program. School officials say Katy Franks and Meri Hollis West were two of 23 students selected statewide. The Rural Medical Scholars Program focuses on giving insight to necessary academic requirements for students wanting to become physicians and a look at day-to-day work in the medical field.
 
LINK seeks $10M to jumpstart new Oktibbeha industrial site
Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins has a plan to kick start economic development in Oktibbeha County: open a new 300-plus-acre industrial park that will become the local focal point for manufacturing jobs and erase years of failed industrial enticement. The LINK has 326 acres of combined parcels near the Highway 25 and Highway 182 bypass under option until November 2015 and would need about $10 million to acquire the properties, perform due diligence studies and provide road and infrastructure improvements to get the entire site ready for tenants. Oktibbeha County has seen few large-scale manufacturers invest in the community.
 
LINK unveils plans for 'communiversity'
Golden Triangle Development LINK officials on Wednesday unveiled plans for a $38 million facility that will increase East Mississippi Community College's workforce development capabilities and help position the area as a manufacturing powerhouse. Billed as a "Communiversity" by LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins, the 133,690-square-foot, three-story structure will house 15 manufacturing, technology and engineering educational bays -- triple the amount currently offered at EMCC -- on a 12-acre site near the Golden Triangle Regional Airport previously donated to the school. EMCC officials said the project, if fully funded, could enter its construction phase in August 2015 and take two years at the most to complete.
 
Sales tax up in all three Golden Triangle cities
For the second straight month, sales tax revenue is up in all three Golden Triangle cities. Starkville saw an increase of nearly $10,000 from June 2013. Revenue returned to the city this month amounted to $498,692. Last June, the city received $489,209 from taxes collected in April 2013. Starkville's two percent tax was nearly double that of June 2013. It showed a collection of $22,250 from June.
 
Starkville alderman Vaughn arrested for DUI
Starkville Ward 7 Alderman Henry N. Vaughn, 61, of 105 Henderson St., was charged with DUI first, no insurance and careless driving Thursday, Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department confirmed. The sheriff's office confirmed the arrest occurred about 1:56 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 182 and Reed Road. The Ward 7 alderman would go on to post a $1,640 bond and be released about 2:59 a.m., OCSD confirmed. Deputies would not confirm any details stemming from the arrest, including if law enforcement agents performed a field sobriety test or if Vaughn tested positive for alcohol in the field. Vaughn is at the center of one of two ethics complaints pending against Starkville after the alderman failed to recuse himself from a February school board appointment.
 
Area Main Street associations recognized
Several Northeast Mississippi Main Street associations won awards Thursday at the 25th annual Mississippi Main Street luncheon. Seven cities in the region were recognized with awards, including the Greater Starkville Development Partnership for "Best New Signage" for its Starkville wayfaring signage; and "Best New Development Project" for Renasant Bank.
 
Restaurant moving into old State Theatre in Starkville
For roughly two months the building at 217 East Main St. in downtown Starkville has been undergoing renovations. That's the 17,000 square foot spot that once housed the old State Theatre. It's about to be a new restaurant. The Dawg House Sports Grill will open July 1, according to Britney Ditzig, a marketing coordinator for the restaurant. A grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 22. When MSU students come back to Starkville, they will have more food options than they did at the end of the spring semester. Wingstop is tentatively scheduled to open on Highway 12, in the old Krystal location, on July 2. Two Brothers Bar, a barbecue restaurant and bar, is slated to open in the Cotton District in late July.
 
Starkville icon Carole McReynolds Davis dead at 72
Local artist Carole Elizabeth McReynolds Davis, 72, a well-known figure known for her paintings of local figures, her iconic Louisville Street home, her boisterous style of dress and exuberant support of her lifelong home of Starkville, died of natural causes Wednesday. Davis, a 1964 graduate of Mississippi State University, was also a columnist with Starkville Daily News. There, she wrote about the individuals and scenes whom she had painted across the years, ensuring local folklore would continue to be a topic within the community. "Carole was a Starkville icon. She touched the lives of many people with her warm, good-hearted spirit and her beautiful works of art that described our community in a way that no one else could," said mayor Parker Wiseman.
 
Study ranks Mississippi last in building 'new economy'
A nonpartisan think tank has again ranked Mississippi last among all U.S. states in achieving the organization's concept of a "new economy" built around innovation, globalization and technology. Mississippi finished last in the 2014 State New Economy Index, currently published every two years by the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Tony Jeff, CEO of Innovate Mississippi, says the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through Business Act, enacted last year, could create a more innovative homegrown economy. The law seeks to boost research and development through partnerships between companies and the state's four research universities.
 
Mississippi Marine who threw himself at grenade receives Medal of Honor
Cpl. William "Kyle" Carpenter took the brunt of a live grenade lobbed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010, saving a fellow Marine's life and nearly losing his own. On Thursday, the 24-year-old stood beaming and very much alive as President Barack Obama bestowed upon him the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award. Carpenter has no memory of what happened, but fellow Marines say he lunged toward the grenade and "disappeared into the blast."
 
Delta Regional Authority Investing $1.7 Million In Region's Workforce
The Delta Regional Authority is investing nearly $2 million to improve workforce development in the Mississippi Delta. The goal of the money is to improve the training of workers, coordinate employment groups and connect employers with the right employee. Researcher Ted Abernathy says jobs are available but employers say they have a hard time finding the right employee.
 
Judge tosses MDA's offshore drilling plans for South Mississippi
A chancery judge jettisoned regulations for offshore drilling in state waters, finding the Mississippi Development Authority failed to complete any meaningful study of the economic impact. Chancery Judge William H. Singletary ordered MDA to prepare a study resolving the deficiencies he outlined, which means offshore drilling will at the least be delayed. He issued the ruling in a 2012 lawsuit the Sierra Club and Gulf Restoration Network filed against MDA. Singletary said MDA violated state law by failing to complete the study on permitting oil and gas exploration in the Mississippi Sound.
 
Bryant could join Jindal in calling for Common Core's end
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made it known Wednesday that he wants Common Core out of his state. Gov. Phil Bryant, who mirrors Jindal ideologically, said Thursday the set of standards could be in similar danger here. Bryant issued an executive order last year that decreed Common Core could stay, as long as the state accepted no federal money for its implementation. "I think Common Core is a failed program, and the United States is beginning to realize that," Bryant said Thursday. "Governors all across America are realizing states can do it better." The standards enjoy broad support from the state's business community.
 
McDaniel Drawn Into a Shouting Match at Campaign Event
State Senator Chris McDaniel, who is in a runoff with Senator Thad Cochran for the Republican nomination in Mississippi, was drawn into a shouting match with a critic on Thursday as he met with a dozen retirees over cranberry and carrot cakes at a grocery store. The meet-and-greet turned raucous when John Davis, 77, interrupted the gathering in a corner of the supermarket as Mr. McDaniel opened up the discussion for questions. "Mr. McDaniel, can I please ask a question?" Mr. Davis said. "How, with no seniority and a promise not to get along with anybody, will you accomplish any of the things you want to accomplish?" Mr. McDaniel responded with criticism of Congress: "What have they accomplished lately but putting us in debt?" "Oh, I beg your pardon?" Mr. Davis said and checked off a list of government projects. McDaniel supporters shouted back, and the candidate joined in as the volume rose.
 
Business leaders in Tupelo rally support for Cochran
General Atomics, the San Diego-based defense contractor, has expanded its facility in Lee County eight times since opening in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South nearly 10 years ago. Scott Forney, the company's senior vice president who also heads its electromagnetic systems division, said that wouldn't have happened without the work of Mississippi's congressional delegation that includes U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, and by the state's senior senator, Thad Cochran. "More than $1 billion has flowed through Tupelo in the last five years because of Cochran's leadership," said Forney, alluding to the value of the contracts, salaries and related work done at General Atomics.
 
Who's best for business? Mississippians see different stakes in GOP Senate runoff
Size really does matter when breaking down how Mississippi's business sector will vote in Tuesday's Republican senatorial primary runoff. The larger the business the more likely the sentiments will fall to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, who has been in Washington longer than 42-year-old tea party challenger and Mississippi Senate member Chris McDaniel has been on the planet. Cochran can pull the levers of government in a way that few other Washington lawmakers can match, his supporters in business say. "Those that have the bigger operations and more of a presence beyond one county and one town have a pretty good understanding that Cochran brings money and projects to the state," says Dr. Marty Wiseman, recently retired executive director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University.
 
Cochran thanks Coast for support; McDaniel campaigns in Jackson, Madison
U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran talked about education with Coast school leaders, then stopped at the Pass Christian Harbor expansion project to ask supporters to vote for him one more time. McDaniel was campaigning in the Jackson area, where he got into a brief shouting match with a retired teacher. Back in Gulfport, there were only supporters at Cochran's events. At the Gulfport School District headquarters, about a dozen Coast superintendents in an education consortium meeting there heaped praise on the 76-year-old candidate. All had stories to tell of crucial Cochran support for their schools.
 
The myth of Reagan: McDaniel glosses over reality
"I am a Reaganite," Chris McDaniel proclaimed with pride. Now vying for the Republican Senate nomination in Tuesday's runoff election in Mississippi, McDaniel is typical of a new generation of conservatives whose gauzy memory of the 40th president blurs out the realities of a 1980s leader to make him the model for a new age. But President Reagan never balanced a budget. He presided over record federal deficits. He signed amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. And he worked tirelessly with Democrats. There's particular irony in Mississippi: McDaniel's opponent is six-term Sen. Thad Cochran, who served during Reagan's presidency and was a loyal supporter. Cochran rarely mentions Reagan on the campaign trail. McDaniel, who was 8 when Reagan took office in 1981, can't get enough of the conservative icon.
 
Cochran Asking Blacks to Rescue Him in Republican Primary
Bishop Ronnie C. Crudup stood before roughly a dozen of his colleagues at a weekly Baptist fellowship meeting last week and asked for their help in a fight that, until now, would have been unthinkable for a black pastor in Mississippi: "Let's send Senator Thad Cochran back to Washington," he urged. That Senator Cochran is a Republican and African-Americans here are overwhelmingly Democratic did not go unmentioned. But, Mr. Crudup noted with a wry smile, "in tough times, you've got to do some unusual things." And if that meant supporting Mr. Cochran against State Senator Chris McDaniel in a Republican runoff on Tuesday, it was worth the risk. Mr. Cochran had helped Mississippi's blacks during his six terms, Mr. Crudup said, and it was now time to repay him with their support in the political fight of his life, especially against an opponent who was known to have made racially insensitive remarks when he was a talk-show host.
 
Celebs pick sides in Senate race
Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre pitches his support for Sen. Thad Cochran in a new TV ad paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's the latest in a string of celebrity endorsements in a hard-fought and often bizarre race in which a tea-party backed candidate, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, is trying to unseat the former Senate Appropriations chairman in a Republican primary runoff next Tuesday. The celebrity endorsements add another twist to a campaign characterized by happenings that have nothing to do with governing.
 
Ex-Secretary of State Clark backing Cochran for Senate reelection
Dr. Eric Clark, former Mississippi secretary of state and current executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, is endorsing Thad Cochran in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate. At a press conference, Clark said: "My message is please vote for Sen. Thad Cochran next Tuesday, especially if you support public education. He has been a strong supporter of education, and education funding, for Mississippi ever since he has been in Congress. ...I ask all Mississippians, and especially those who support education -- K-12, community colleges or universities -- to vote for Sen. Thad Cochran next Tuesday."
 
Gene Taylor joins Steven Palazzo in endorsing Thad Cochran
Gulf Coast Republicans rallied behind U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran today as former U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor joined his former opponent, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, in endorsing Cochran in his re-election bid. "Thad Cochran has always been there when south Mississippi needed him," Taylor said. "In good times, he was there to help build ships for our Navy, improve our military bases and our veterans installations. When the nation's worst natural disaster struck south Mississippi, Thad was there to help rebuild our highways, bridges, and streets." Palazzo endorsed Cochran in December, saying that Mississippi is fortunate to have his leadership and statesmanship.
 
Mississippi carnival: Sarah Palin vs. Brett Favre
Ladies and gentlemen, the circus has come to Madison County. As the wild Republican Senate runoff here tumbles to a climax next week, what began as a bare-bones campaign against Sen. Thad Cochran has bloomed into a full-blown political carnival. Insurgent conservative Chris McDaniel, once viewed as a gadfly state legislator propped up by a lonely pair of well-funded national groups, is now at the center of a colorful and unwieldy activist entourage scrambling to grab a piece of his anticipated success. The names and faces crowding around McDaniel would be familiar to voters in any number of political battlegrounds, lending a "Wizard of Oz"-like quality to the race.
 
Kevin McCarthy of Calif. selected majority leader, Steve Scalise of La. whip on busy day
Inside the wood-paneled hearing room of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) turned on the song "Eye of the Tiger." As it blared in the background, Scalise walked out beaming, with a procession of Republicans in suits behind him. "All right," Scalise said. "Let's go win." On Thursday, Scalise was elected to the position of majority whip, becoming the House's third-ranking Republican. He did it by selling himself as a hard-edged conservative, and by employing the low-tech political stagecraft of a college student-council election. Thursday was one of the most dramatic days in the House in years, as Republicans sought to fill the seat occupied by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.). Cantor was unexpectedly beaten in a party primary June 10, setting up a snap election just nine days later. The race to fill Cantor's seat, however, turned out to be the least dramatic of the day. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who was the majority whip, was the clear favorite.
 
Same-sex couples eligible for family leave, administration says
The Obama administration will announce Friday that it plans to make same-sex spouses eligible for emergency family leave to care for their partners regardless of whether the state in which they live recognizes their marriages. The Department of Labor will issue a proposed rule making clear that the right to time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act is valid for all legally married couples, according to a White House official who asked for anonymity because the news was not yet official. The official said the Justice Department will also announce that it has completed its review of the impact on federal laws of last year's Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
 
U.S. could run short on talent to fight cyber-war, study says
Job postings for cyber-security experts are going unfilled in the federal government, a shortfall threatening to undermine U.S. national security by leaving the nation poorly prepared to fight in cyber-space, a new study says. Demand for cyber-security professionals has leaped across the United States in recent years, spurred by events like the 2007 Russian hacker attack on Estonia, cyber-crime against retailers, and pervasive Chinese cyber-espionage targeting U.S. corporations.
 
President of Holmes Community College to step down, move to IHL
The president of Holmes Community College will be stepping down on June 30. Glenn Boyce is leaving to become Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs with the Institutions of Higher Learning. Under his leadership, Holmes reached the highest enrollment in school history and was recognized nationally as one of the country's highest achieving community colleges.
 
State OK clears way for opening of Belhaven nursing school
Belhaven University says it plans an August start for enrolling students in its new School of Nursing after having received approval Thursday from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning for its bachelor of science in nursing degree program. The university said the start up will help to fill an urgent need for nurses in Mississippi. "There are 1,360 projected annual job openings for registered nurses in Mississippi; with just over one-fourth or 360 of the openings in the metropolitan area of Jackson," said Dr. Dennis Watts, associate provost.
 
As studies show young moms struggle in college, MGCCC steps up to help
Nearly one-third of women who are studying at a Mississippi community college have children, according to responses to a survey by the Women's Foundation of Mississippi. In Mississippi, 60 percent of community college students are women, so educators are doing what they can to increase their graduation rates -- and increase the overall graduation rates in the state. "We don't want there to be a young mom out there who wants to go back to school but thinks they can't because they have a small child," said Jonathan Woodward, vice president of MGCCC's Jeff Davis campus in Gulfport. Thus, a child care center strictly for full-time students was born on MGCCC campuses in Jackson County, Perkinston and Gulfport.
 
Auburn student recruiters share campus history with community
Those interested in receiving a tour of Auburn University's campus from some of its most knowledgeable students can do so through Student Recruiters. Student Recruiters is an organization of student volunteers who lead campus tours and represent the Office of University Recruitment. Amy Ware, director of Student Recruiters, said there are 65 student recruiters every school year. Student Recruiters also help with two series of events in the summer for prospective Auburn students: War Eagle Days and TALONS Days.
 
U. of Florida faculty, staff get raises starting July 1
University of Florida faculty and staff will get their second raise in two years --- following five years of salary stagnation. Starting July 1, all eligible faculty will participate in a 3.5 percent merit increase pool, President Bernie Machen said Thursday. In addition, all eligible faculty and staff who earn $50,000 or less will get a $500 bonus, he said. Eligible staff can participate in a 2.5 percent merit pool, Machen added. The raises are being paid for out of a $25.9 million performance bonus the university received from the 2014 Legislature, Machen said. UF led the state university system in meeting the performance criteria established by the Legislature.
 
UF sees progress in potential new treatment for Type 1 diabetes
After several years of studies, University of Florida researchers say they have made progress in developing a potential new treatment for patients with Type 1 diabetes. The treatment, which they have likened to a "cocktail therapy," involves two medications already approved by the Food and Drug Administration for different uses. A recently concluded UF College of Medicine study showed that 17 Type 1 diabetes patients who went through treatment with the two drugs appeared to regain the ability to produce insulin, while eight patients who took a placebo did not.
 
Tech-based job growth in Georgia outpaces U.S., says report
High-technology jobs are growing in Georgia at a faster rate than the U.S. average, according to a report released Thursday by the Technology Association of Georgia. "The increase solidifies technology as the state's highest paying sector ahead of utilities, professional services and finance," the report said. In a survey of Georgia technology executives, 80 percent said having access to skilled labor was the No. 1 key to growing the sector further, ranking above access to capital, the state's research universities, tax incentives and affordable real estate.
 
U. of Missouri Curators add gender identity, expression to non-discrimination policy
The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted to add gender identity and gender expression to the schoolÂ’'s non-discrimination policy Thursday afternoon, making the UM System Missouri's first public university to do so. The curators voted 7-1 in favor of the expansion, an issue that curator John Phillips said students and faculty have advocated for from all four campuses. The vote makes the university the first public school in the state to take such a vote. Shortly after the vote, student body presidents from all four campuses sent out a joint news release lauding the curators for the vote.
 
Missouri curators approve fiscal year 2015 budget
The University of Missouri Board of Curators on Thursday unanimously approved the university's $1.2 billion operating budget for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget includes $21 million in performance funding provided by the state. The performance funding program gives a portion of each school's state appropriations based on achievement in five performance measures, including student retention, graduation and job placement rates. The performance funding legislation, Senate Bill 492, was signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday afternoon. Tom Richards, interim vice president for finance and treasurer of the UM System, said the budget increase for faculty and staff raises will range from 0 to 3 percent, a decision that is part of each campus' strategic planning efforts.
 
U. of Missouri buys Missouri Theatre
The University of Missouri has purchased the Missouri Theatre for $3.7 million from the Missouri Symphony Society, MU administrators announced Thursday morning. The purchase completes an agreement made between MU and the symphony society in 2011. The agreement allowed MU to lease the theater for $12,000 a month for three years, after which the university would have the option to purchase the space for $3.7 million, the amount the symphony society owed in unpaid debt. The Missouri Theatre was built in 1928 and is on the National Register of Historic Places as Missouri's only remaining pre-Depression-era movie palace and vaudeville stage.
 
Senators Start In on Higher Education Act
After months of hearings, the two key lawmakers charged with overseeing the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in the U.S. Senate are beginning to stake out firmer positions on what they want to include in the massive law that governs colleges and universities. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Senate education committee, on Thursday unveiled his plan to drastically simplify the federal student aid system. His announcement comes as Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the panel, is preparing to release a package of Higher Education Act proposals next week.


SPORTS
 
Hard work pays off for Mississippi State's Brandon McBride
Brandon McBride keeps the NCAA Indoor National Championship trophy that he won in March in the 800 meters proudly displayed on a shelf in his home. Now the Mississippi State sophomore must make room for more hardware after claiming another national title in the 800 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week in Eugene, Ore. This means so much to me because I put so much hard work into this," McBride said. "I had to sacrifice a lot. I couldn't go out on the weekends because I'd have to train the next morning." McBride's ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio De Janeiro.
 
Mullins leaves MSU softball to take over at Troy
Three seasons ago, Beth Mullins took an assistant softball coaching position on new coach Vann Stuedeman's staff at Mississippi State. Mullins felt the job would be a great way to help her with her next career opportunity. That chance beckoned Tuesday when Mullins was named the second head softball coach at Troy University. "This is an incredible opportunity for me, one certainly too good to pass up because I have always wanted to be a head coach," Mullins said. "I know this opportunity would not have come along had I not worked the past three seasons for Vann Stuedeman. It will be tough to leave, but this is the chance I have been wanting and working toward."
 
Sylvester Croom reflects on Mississippi State, Alabama and the best RB he's ever coached
Sylvester Croom is excited about the upcoming season as running backs coach with the Tennessee Titans, has no regrets about his time at Mississippi State and remains loyal to his alma mater in Tuscaloosa. Croom, who appeared on The Afternoon Sports Drive on WNSP-FM 105.5 in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday, was promoting the 5th annual Rip the Runway Fashion & Hair Show at the USA Mitchell Center in Mobile on Saturday. The conversation with Croom, however, quickly turned to football. "I really enjoyed it," Croom said of his time in Starkville. He emphasized he had no regrets, and understood the significance of his hiring in Starkville.
 
Ole Miss naming basketball facility for Tuohys
The University of Mississippi will name its basketball practice facility for the family that inspired the movie, "The Blind Side." The College Board voted Thursday to name the practice center for the Tuohy family. Sean Tuohy played basketball for Ole Miss in the early 1980s and was inducted into the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. His wife, Leigh Anne Tuohy, received the Legacy Award from the Ole Miss Women's Council for Philanthropy in 2010. The Memphis, Tennessee, residents' adoption of Michael Oher, who played football at Ole Miss and in the NFL, was profiled in "The Blind Side" book and movie.
 
At Midpoint of O'Bannon Trial, NCAA Struggles to Make Its Case
Midway through a federal antitrust trial that could reshape the future of college sports, two questions are on the minds of many observers: Is the National Collegiate Athletic Association's amateur model in jeopardy? And how might the association's remaining witnesses help bolster its case? Over the first week and a half of testimony, the plaintiffs have poked holes in the NCAA's education defense. The NCAA has tried to rebut those claims, suggesting that the players had had meaningful college experiences that went beyond athletics. But some legal observers say the association has had a difficult time making that case.



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