Monday, June 30, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
College Board to ask lawmakers for 10-plus percent budget increase
The College Board has voted to seek an additional $76.3 million in state funding for Mississippi's eight public universities when the Legislature gathers next year to write the 2016 budget. That's a 10.2 percent increase over the funding they will receive in the 2015 budget year. This year, universities decided to ask lawmakers for much more money, highlighting the desire to boost faculty salaries, shore up research units that suffered during the recession, cover increases in financial aid and expand the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The board sought 8 percent increases for the agricultural research units of Mississippi State University and Alcorn State University, which had proposed 12 percent hikes. Because those units don't have students on whom to impose tuition increases, they have been hard-pressed by lagging state funding.
 
Cochran Research Park at MSU gets Sidewalk Improvements
Construction is underway on sidewalks through Mississippi State University's Thad Cochran Research Park. University officials say construction on the project started earlier this month. Research Boulevard is a popular one-mile loop through the research park. Park tenants and local community members often use it for running, walking or biking. The new sidewalk will connect with Highway 182 at George Perry Street, as well as the new park roadway, Technology Boulevard. It should be ready for use in early fall. A grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce is funding the project.
 
MSU Faculty Complete Institute, Prep Syllabi for 'Writing-to-Learn'
After becoming students once again at Mississippi State's recent Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence, the new faculty-member graduates are ready to incorporate what they've learned in courses not traditionally associated with writing. Now in its second year, the annual summer institute trains teachers to modify course syllabi to incorporate more writing-to-learn strategies in class assignments. Known as "Maroon & Write," the overall initiative is the university's quality enhancement plan to improve undergraduate learning at all class levels. "We are very excited about the QEP and Maroon & Write," said Jerry Gilbert, provost and executive vice president, at the graduation celebration.
 
MSU Farm Bill Simulation Gives Soybean Crop Advice
Mississippi State University scientists analyzed risk-management programs in the Agricultural Act of 2014 and have a recommendation to help soybean producers make informed decisions. In the new farm bill, soybean producers must decide which of two types of coverage -- Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage -- will best protect their profit margins. "When you consider all of the options for producers, it can get a little confusing," said Keith Coble, a professor in the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics. "We have analyzed the different alternatives by constructing a representative farm for each of the major soybean-producing counties in Mississippi to simulate future payments and determine the most beneficial program."
 
Turnover, turmoil mark Starkville aldermen's first year of leadership
While Starkville aldermen's first year in office was mired by numerous instances of public backlash, the departure of key employees and claims of shady dealings, the city has quietly positioned itself for industrial expansion and enjoyed seeing in excess of $100 million in projects enter planning and development stages. July 1 marks the one-year anniversary of the board of aldermen's and Mayor Parker Wiseman's ascension into office. Last year, Wiseman defeated then GOP nominee Dan Moreland after contentious, year-long campaigns that focused on the city's business climate. One year later, the city finds itself at the center of an Open Meetings Act complaint that alleges aldermen have established a pattern of tending to business beyond the public's purview.
 
Cotton District, downtown qualify for new Internet service
Starkville's Cotton District/Downtown/Historic Central "fiberhood" has qualified for C Spire's high-speed, fiber optic Internet service that promises a 1 gigabit up-and-down connection for residential users, the company announced Thursday. The neighborhood exceeded its company-mandated 45 percent pre-registration mark for Fiber to the Home on Wednesday, joining South Montgomery and Timbercove/College Station/Polos "fiberhoods" as the only areas qualified for engineering and construction efforts in Starkville. The area includes Starkville's central business district and a large concentration of student apartments.
 
The new promised land: Big plans for GTR park
The transformation of the prairie into a sprawling industrial haven continues. In the last three years, Lowndes County has borrowed $14 million from the Rural Development Authority to purchase 2,500 acres of land west of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport for future development. The 1-million gallon water tower logo installed on the new land informs passers by that it is known as Golden Triangle Regional Global Industrial Aerospace Park. Truly, it's an extension and rebranding of the existing Golden Triangle Industrial Park on the east side of the airport. The only difference between the two groups of land is where they are. Their purposes are the same: Bring high-paying jobs in the automotive and aerospace industries to the Golden Triangle.
 
Barbour's education push helped boost turnout
About 24 hours after it was determined that challenger Chris McDaniel had garnered more votes than six-term incumbent Thad Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, former governor and legendary political operative Haley Barbour began talking about "expanding the electorate" for the upcoming runoff. And Barbour, a Cochran supporter who helped form a political action committee to support him, latched on to an April Associated Press article as the key to expanding the electorate. In that article, McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite, questioned the constitutionality of spending federal dollars for education. Various education leaders who normally would not get publicly involved in a political campaign were stepped out to voice support for Cochran in the runoff.
 
Childers faces long odds in quest to topple Cochran
Travis Childers traveled to southern Mississippi recently after a campaign poll showed his name recognition there was distressingly low. "It was low enough that it hurt my feelings,'' the former congressman said. "So I went down there and started shaking hands and kissing babies. I told the folks in South Mississippi, 'Please don't be afraid of me because I live up there in that little northeastern corner of Mississippi. I want to represent y'all too... I'll be back.''' Now that Sen. Thad Cochran has won this year's GOP nomination in his bid for a seventh term, Childers, the Democratic nominee, is fine-tuning his battle plan for the November election.
 
Is Thad Cochran's win a win for earmarks?
From 2008 to 2010, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran (R) sponsored or co-sponsored 757 earmarks. He sponsored more earmarks than any other senator those three years, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. Those earmarks cost $2.6 billion -- and he got a close reelection victory thrown in for free. Not quite free -- the recently concluded Republican Senate primary in Mississippi was an expensive one -- but there's little doubt that Cochran's campaign-long defense of sending spending home helped him squeak out a win last night. In the Republican primary in Mississippi, earmarks were always going to be Cochran's secret weapon ... or his worst enemy.
 
Blacks to Thad Cochran: You owe us
Thad Cochran won a primary runoff by turning out the black vote. Now they are asking -- what are you going to do for us? Already the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are talking about what they want Cochran to do. The wish list is fulling up with ideas like maintaining funding for food stamps, beefing up programs that help poor blacks in Mississippi and even supporting the Voting Rights Act. And while Cochran beat back a tea party challenger by reminding voters, particularly black voters, that he brings home the federal bucks, the policy asks are far more liberal than much of what the moderate Republican has championed in his four decades in office. But that's the Washington game.
 
Funeral arrangements announced for tea party leader Mark Mayfield
Funeral arrangements have been released for attorney Mark Mayfield was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Friday at his Ridgeland home. Mayfield, vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, was one of three men charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home to use in a political video against Cochran in the Republican Senate primary against state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
 
Analysis: Mississippi GOP scarred after Senate primary
The Mississippi Republican Party will need to mend rifts within its own ranks after a bitter primary between six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and a tea party-backed challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Cochran won a primary runoff last week, but McDaniel's ability to collect 49 percent against a longtime incumbent could embolden other tea party Republicans hoping to pull off an upset in the 2015 elections for governor and other statewide offices. Every statewide GOP elected official endorsed Cochran. Now, they'll have to make nice with voters who are energized by their distrust of government.
 
Tea party, GOP unity not soon likely
Mississippi's Republican Party leadership has been calling for "unity" between its establishment and tea party factions since the start of the U.S. Senate primary that has ripped the party apart. But unity doesn't appear to be in the offing. The tea party leadership's message to the GOP leadership is: Join or die. And some are vowing to either sit out November's general election or actively help Democratic candidate Travis Childers defeat incumbent Republican Thad Cochran, should Cochran's win in Tuesday's runoff stand. The struggle for the Mississippi Republican Party in the near term is likely to be one for control, not unity.
 
Hinds County GOP chairman Pete Perry charged with DUI
Carthage police arrested Hinds County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Pete Perry on Saturday night and charged him with DUI, authorities said Sunday. Perry was arrested at 8:25 p.m. and held by the Leake County Sheriff's Department until he made bail at 10:59 p.m. A Leake County jailer confirmed Perry's birth date and address. Perry, who lives in Jackson, is from Leake County and was thought to have been returning from his fair cabin in Neshoba County. Cabin owners are starting to prepare for the Neshoba County Fair, which begins July 25.
 
No place like home: Romney scapegoat wins in Mississippi
The novel's plot is now almost eerily prescient: A cynical Republican consultant returns to his native Mississippi to run a slash-and-burn campaign, grappling with cartoonish scandals and echoes of his childhood in the civil rights era. In the end, an aging political throwback --- a genteel ex-governor --- lands a place in the U.S. Senate. Stuart Stevens wrote the satirical book, "Scorched Earth," in 1994. In 2014, he practically lived it. The former senior strategist for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Stevens decamped this spring to Mississippi to help steer Sen. Thad Cochran through a trying reelection fight. In an hourlong phone interview, Stevens said he grew passionately invested in the Cochran-McDaniel race as a contest between Mississippi's past and its future.
 
Justices: Can't make employers cover contraception
The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. The justices' 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies' health insurance plans. Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.
 
Court: Public union can't make nonmembers pay fees
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining. In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take. The ruling is a setback for labor unions that have bolstered their ranks -- and bank accounts -- in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of in-home care workers. It could lead to an exodus of members who will have little incentive to pay dues if nonmembers don't have to share the burden of union costs. But the ruling was limited to this particular segment of workers -- not private sector unions.
 
New N.S.A. Chief Calls Damage From Snowden Leaks Manageable
The newly installed director of the National Security Agency says that while he has seen some terrorist groups alter their communications to avoid surveillance techniques revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the damage done over all by a year of revelations does not lead him to the conclusion that "the sky is falling." In an hourlong interview Friday in his office here at the heart of the country's electronic eavesdropping and cyberoperations, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who has now run the beleaguered spy agency and the military's Cyber Command for just short of three months, described the series of steps he was taking to ensure that no one could download the trove of data that Mr. Snowden gathered -- more than a million documents. But he cautioned that there was no perfect protection against a dedicated insider with access to the agency's networks.
 
Facebook tinkered with users' emotions in experiment
Facebook has been playing with its users' emotions, and now a lot of people are upset. For one week in 2012, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users were unknowingly subjected to an experiment in which their news feed was altered to see whether certain kinds of content made users happy or sad. The research that resulted from that experiment, which was published in an academic journal this month, said emotions appeared to be contagious: If users saw happier posts from friends in their Facebook news feed, they were more likely to post their own happy updates. Sad updates appeared to have a comparable effect. In other words, the study seems to show you are what you eat, as the saying goes -- except in that metaphor, you usually get to choose what you put in your mouth.
 
Buchanan continues career in education with Generation Ready
Former Petal School District Superintendent John Buchanan is continuing to play a role in helping Mississippi students receive quality educations. Buchanan recently was named south region general manager of Generation Ready, "a provider of leader and teacher professional learning services" that focuses on improving instructional practices in classrooms to "educate a stronger more vibrant generation of students." After five years with Petal schools, Buchanan will be working with education leaders in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri.
 
Caledonia native named MUW Dean of Students
A Caledonia native has been named the new Dean of Students at Mississippi University for Women. Sirena Cantrell will become the new dean of students July 1, according to a press release issued by the college. Cantrell was selected for the position following a nationwide search. According to the release, as dean of students, Cantrell will report to the vice president for student affairs. She will lead the offices of dean of students, international student services, housing and residence life, campus recreation and student conduct. Cantrell also will serve as coordinator of the university's Behavioral Intervention Team. Cantrell is expected to complete her doctorate of philosophy in counselor education with an emphasis in student affairs from Mississippi State University in August 2015.
 
UMMC turns to Hood for opinion on moving unmarked graves
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is seeking an attorney general's opinion on whether the state Department of Archives and History has authority over the medical center's ability to relocate unmarked graves on its Jackson property. Officials with that agency say they can already answer that question -- they don't have any authority. The medical center found the graves last year while it was building roads. Mississippi State University archaeology faculty and students working with an outside archaeology firm exhumed 66 sets of remains. Another 40 graves were located in the 1990s.
 
USM preserving oral histories from civil rights movement
Voting rights. Jim Crow. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The murders of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner in Philadelphia. The 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer has focused the nation's attention on the civil rights movement in the state, and the University of Southern Mississippi is leading the way in preserving the divisive era's history. A new two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will make it possible for the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at Southern Miss to bring the oral history of the civil rights movement to the public.
 
Case named a vice president at East Central Community College
David Case has been selected vice president for Institutional Research and Effectiveness at East Central Community College in Decatur. Case previously was director of monitoring at the Mississippi Community College Board in Jackson. Case has more than 21 years of experience in higher education, including 18 years at ECCC, where he first served as director of technology management and later as dean of admissions, records and research.
 
Auburn Board of Trustees selects Rane for second term as president pro tempore
Businessman Jimmy Rane was elected to a second term as the president pro tempore of the Auburn University Board of Trustees during their quarterly meeting Friday. Rane, who was first selected to the position in June 2013, was unanimously selected to serve again on the board. Rane has served on the board since 1999 and is the chief executive officer of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc., an Abbeville-based company that sells lumber products. In addition, the board also nominated at-large Charles McCrary to vice president pro tempore. McCrary recently retired from his duties as chief executive at Alabama Power Company, where he had served for 13 years.
 
Wanta stepping down as U. of Florida journalism department chair
Wayne Wanta, University of Florida's journalism department chair for the past three years, will step down in the fall and return to teaching full time. "There are a million reasons for my resignation," Wanta said in an email to The Gainesville Sun. "The job has gotten increasingly demanding. I have two books coming out this year. I advise a huge number of graduate students. ...In other words, I'm being pulled in too many directions. I feel overworked and under-appreciated." Diane McFarlin, dean of the College of Journalism and Communications, told faculty and staff that Wanta informed her of his resignation this week.
 
UF students travel to interview veterans of 1964 Freedom Summer
A cadre of students and staff from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida traveled to the heart of the Mississippi Delta this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer, the historic voter registration project. They went to interview veterans of the civil rights movement who still live in the Deep South, in Hinds County, Sunflower County, Bolivar County and Adams County -- places where their previous interviews took place. "The reception by local people throughout the Delta has been amazing," said Paul Ortiz, director of the oral history program and a history professor at UF.
 
UGA College of Veterinary Medicine performs second successful kidney transplant on cat
Third time was the charm for Arthur, a cat from Virginia that recently received a kidney transplant with the assistance of feline adult stem cells at the University of Georgia's Veterinary Teaching Hospital. UGA is one of three veterinary hospitals in the U.S. equipped to perform kidney transplantation surgeries. After learning that their now 4-year-old flame point Siamese male was suffering from chronic renal failure, pet owners Tony Lacaria and Frederick Petrick Jr. brought Arthur to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin's veterinary hospitals. Arthur was denied access to both kidney transplant programs due to possible complications.
 
U. of Arkansas Spends Millions On Adjacent Properties
The University of Arkansas had a busy few weeks buying up properties on the borders of its campus. The university paid $7.8 million to acquire about 10.95 acres on West Cato Springs Road from Biobased Realty LLC of Fayetteville in a deal that closed May 22. University officials plan to use the property for intramural fields. The university paid Charlie's Chicken of Fayetteville Inc. $600,000 for the restaurant building and lots at 1542 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Jeff Parker, the owner of Charlie's Chicken, died of cancer May 28 during negotiations on the deal, which closed June 3. The university had been trying to buy Charlie's Chicken for years because it was a prominent piece of real estate that the school did not own between Razorback Road and Eastern Avenue.
 
U. of Missouri linguist, team to research threatened African languages
Although Michael Marlo is not fluent in African languages, he certainly can say hello. It's "Mulembe!" in Luyia, and that means "peace." Or "Oli mulamu?" which means, "Are you healthy?" "Ndina?" means "How are you?" in Tiriki. In Bukusu, another common greeting is "Nono?" It can be translated to mean, "So, what's up?" Marlo's vocabulary is about to get a lot bigger thanks to a grant he and six colleagues from across the country were awarded in May to study four of the many Luyia languages. With the four-year, $330,000 National Science Foundation grant, Marlo and his fellow grantees will study Bukusu, Logoori, Tiriki and Wanga to write a series of books on each of the languages.
 
Summer doesn't slow down Kappa Delta sorority sisters at U. of Missouri
The 92 beds at the University of Missouri's Kappa Delta sorority are empty during the summer, but the house was far from quiet Saturday when about 15 sisters returned to campus for marathon weekend. During marathon weekend, sisters cleaned and decorated the house to get ready for recruitment week, happening this year from Aug. 17-24. "Basically, it's a weekend where everyone can come back to school," Kappa Delta Vice President of Membership Becca Jones said. "It's nice 'cause we get to see each other. We haven't really seen each other all summer." Although the 17,827-square-foot house is largely vacant during the summer, its sisters stay busy with chapter duties even when not living there.
 
At Mellon, Signs of Change
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has a reputation for moving in mysterious ways. For 45 years, it has steadily handed out money -- lots of it -- to sustain the humanities and the performing arts. As times have gotten tougher, Mellon's deep pockets have become increasingly important. The foundation tends to attract an unusual level of anxiety and interest, like a rich uncle whose quirks and whims keep poorer relations on their toes. Unlike many other grant makers, it rarely promotes its activities, preferring to stay out of the spotlight. Critics say---usually off the record---that its circle of grantees is too small and that it has disproportionately favored elite colleges and universities. Still, the foundation is widely admired for using its money and clout to reinforce the idea that, in an age of "disruption" and the veneration of science and technology, "the humanities and the arts are central to any life that one should want to live."
 
SAM R. HALL (OPINION): New perspective needed in Senate primary contest
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "Following the Republican primary runoff, where incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran won the party's nomination, the level of angry rhetoric rocketed to new heights. Challenger Chris McDaniel set the tone with a defiant speech on election night, never once mentioning his opponent's name and never once speaking of unity. Of course, McDaniel was in shock, never thinking he would lose. He was not alone. Few people thought Cochran could come from behind and win. McDaniel is well within his right to review voting records and eventually make an official challenge, if he sees fit. But as McDaniel's team has gone about reviewing voting records, the rhetoric used by his team and his supporters has grown more and more irresponsible with every passing hour."
 
SID SALTER (OPINION): State law still allows 'crossover'
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "In the wake of the hotly contested Republican U.S. Senate second primary in Mississippi, it's important to understand that state law continues to allow limited 'crossover' voting. So far, the latest federal court ruling on Mississippi's current primary election laws is that crossover voting is allowed unless the voter "crossing over" makes a declaration to the poll workers of his intention not to support the nominee of the party primary in which he or she is voting. How does a poll worker establish a voter's intent without the voter's assent or cooperation? How does one legally compel voters to statements of intent? It's a misnomer to claim that Mississippi has either an 'open' or 'closed' primary system. It doesn't. What we have is a mixed primary system under state law."


SPORTS
 
Roberts chosen to take over Mississippi State men's tennis program
Matt Roberts has been named Mississippi State's new head men's tennis coach, as announced by athletic director Scott Stricklin Saturday. The hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning. Roberts steps into the head coaching role after two seasons as MSU's assistant under Per Nilsson, who accepted the head women's tennis coaching position at Pepperdine recently. During those two years, Roberts has been highly instrumental in the continued resurgence of MSU men's tennis into the national spotlight, helping to guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Championship appearances, including the NCAA Round of 16 in 2013.
 
Basketball Bulldogs continue growth in Ray's third season
With the core of the Mississippi State basketball team set to enter its junior year together, coach Rick Ray is eager to watch the Bulldogs turn the corner. Gavin Ware, Fred Thomas and Craig Sword came in as freshmen in the same season that Ray made his senior college head coaching debut. The results have been predictable as the Bulldogs have suffered through growing pains and back-to-back losing seasons. Ray feels like his third squad will be his best yet, however, with much needed depth finally being added to the program. "We are only allowed two hours per week for eight weeks during the summer," Ray said. "So really for our guys to get better, they have to be dedicated. They have to be willing to pay the price on their own."
 
Bulldogs' Ware drops weight
Gavin Ware has been Mississippi State's primary and often times only big man for the past two years. But with competition coming in the low post, Ware entered the Bulldogs summer workouts with a rejuvenated purpose. "Ware has done a phenomenal job in the weight room," said MSU coach Rick Ray. "He looks as good as I've ever seen him. He's down to about 260 pounds and his body fat has greatly decreased." Ware, a Starkville native, took advantage of his proximity to the MSU facilities in May to get in three weeks worth of voluntary workouts while school was not in session.
 
Mississippi State releases 2014 soccer schedule
Eleven home dates and eight games against NCAA Tournament teams highlight Mississippi State's 2014 soccer schedule. State meets two NCAA Tournament teams -- South Alabama and Furman -- in the non-conference, while SEC foes Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Texas A&M advanced to the 64-team field. "Being in the SEC will provide us with maximum competition in terms of quality opponents, but we will also face some good non-conference teams, including South Alabama and Furman squads that went to the NCAA Tournament last season," second-year coach Aaron Gordon said. "This year's schedule gives us a nice balance.
 
Mississippi State volleyball announces 2014 schedule
Seventeen home matches, eight nationally televised contests, two tournaments in Starkville and 11 contests against 2013 NCAA Tournament participants highlight Mississippi State's 2014 volleyball schedule, announced Saturday afternoon by head coach Jenny Hazelwood. The Bulldogs will play 18 matches in the perennially tough Southeastern Conference, which had eight programs advance to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, in addition to 15 non-conference matches. Mississippi State begins the season with two road non-league tournaments before hosting two in Starkville prior to the SEC campaign beginning.
 
Cosmic Putt-Putt at Mississippi State presents different aspect of game
The Mississippi State Institute of Golf is bringing a different aspect of the game to the public this summer. Each weekend the MSU Golf Course presents Cosmic Putt-Putt, which combines miniature golf with a black light effect. "It reflects off the black lights," MSU Institute of Golf business coordinator Anna Powell said. "We set up black lights everywhere out on the front putting green and the practice putting green. Every night we do it, we have a different layout. We do different hole distributions and do obstacles in the middle of it. We have loop-de-loops we go through, and bridges you try to bounce off of."
 
Liberty Bowl moving up to Dec. 29 this season
The Liberty Bowl is moving to Dec. 29 this season after having been played on Dec. 31 the last four years. Bowl officials say this year's game will start at 1 p.m. local time. The last time the Liberty Bowl was on Dec. 29 was 2007, when Mississippi State beat Central Florida 10-3 before a crowd of 63,816, the largest in the bowl's history. The Liberty Bowl this year will match teams from the Southeastern and Big 12 conferences. Previously, an SEC school played the Conference USA champion.
 
Friends, Auburn fans remember Philip Lutzenkirchen at Toomer's Corner
As more than 50 Auburn fans gathered Sunday afternoon to roll a tree and silently remember and celebrate Philip Lutzenkirchen's life, one of his close friends stood silently in the background. "It's nice to see all the support from the people," said Jorrell Bostrom, a former offensive lineman at Auburn. "At first I really didn't want to come out here, but it was good for us to come out." Lutzenkirchen, a former Auburn tight end known for his kindness and generosity off the field as much as he was celebrated by fans for his big plays on the field, died at the scene of a single-car accident early Sunday in LaGrange, Georgia.
 
What's next for former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron? He wants to coach again
A familiar face -- to most football fans -- made an appearance at Trione Park in Daphne, Alabama, on Saturday. And he was only there to watch. Former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron attended the 18-team Jubilee City 7-on-7 Championship to cheer his son, Parker, a receiver at Mandeville (La.). "Right now, I'm just being a parent," he said. "It's been awesome. I decided to take the year off, and spend the time with my family. We'll see my son (Parker) today, and I've got a son that plays tennis and another son that is a senior at LSU, and I plan on getting back into coaching soon."
 
U. of Missouri races to be ready as SEC Network draws nigh
Missouri's SEC Network headquarters resides under the student section at Mizzou Arena. It stretches four rooms and has all the audiovisual and fiber-optic capabilities to feed live broadcasts from nearly all of Missouri's athletic venues to the central hub then out again to -- if need be -- the network's headquarters in Charlotte or ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. And basically none of it was there three months ago. "Everything has been done, more or less, from April until now in terms of construction," said Stan Silvey, the director of Mizzou Network who is overseeing the school's transition to being SEC Network-compliant. "We didn't have anything. Zero. So we started from nothing." The Southeastern Conference's new channel launches Aug. 14.
 
Evidence battle to be heard in Vandy rape case today
The grandstanding, allegations of legal misconduct, accusations of broken laws and acrimonious arguments over evidence in a rape case involving four former Vanderbilt football players have all led up to today. Attorneys for one of the suspects, Brandon Vandenburg, have been in a bitter war of words with prosecutors over whether evidence has been withheld or destroyed in the case. They've demanded large number of records from Vanderbilt University about the victim, who police say was raped while unconscious June 23, 2013, in Vandenburg's dorm room. And they're demanding that the case be dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct. Today, Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins is expected to start sorting through some of the charges and counter-charges.
 
Has conference realignment finally hit a lull?
The latest wave of major conference realignment lands ashore this week, bringing with it geographical contradictions, upended traditions and financial gains. Welcome to the Atlantic coast, Louisville. Time to get to know the Great Lakes, Maryland and Rutgers. Meet your new neighbors, schools of the American Athletic Conference. The footprint of the former Big East now covers nine states, from Connecticut to Texas. The change in league memberships has dominated college sports the last decade as much as the chase for national championships, with power conferences competing for multimedia revenue and recruiting exposure and the dominoes that fall in line behind them. "Hopefully, we're starting one of those periods where we're all intact and can reach our full potential," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. Legal and practical reasons point to a lull.



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