Thursday, August 17, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Homeland Security Announces Kickoff for New sUAS Research Project
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will officially kick off its partnership with Mississippi for the test and evaluation of small unmanned aircraft systems next Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi. DHS, acting under William N. Bryan, secretary for science and technology, will be joined by Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran; Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo; the Adjutant General of Mississippi Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles; Mississippi State University's president, Dr. Mark Keenum; and other Mississippi federal and state representatives to launch the new partnership and observe sUAS demonstrations.
 
Vigil held at MSU honoring Charlottesville victims
Crowds gathered at Mississippi State University Wednesday night for a unity vigil in honor of the victims of Saturday's Protest in Charlottesville. People met in front of the Leo Seal Field house in the Junction. Lights were shone to represent the three people killed during the violence. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill was one of several speakers who stated bigotry and racism are intolerable. "I want people to know that Starkville and Mississippi State University are very inclusive and diverse campus in town. I want them to feel comfortable to be here, and know that we have no intention of ever excluding anyone from being a part of our community. We think inclusion is extremely important and part of what we focus on and part of what makes us who we are," said Mayor Spruill.
 
Debate on Starkville alcohol ordinance moves forward
Starkville leaders took the next necessary step Tuesday toward loosening the city's ordinance restrictions on alcohol sales. Aldermen voted by a 4-3 margin to hold public hearings on proposed ordinance changes that, among other things, would reduce the distance from churches, schools and funeral homes alcohol could be sold as well as extend alcohol sale hours at bars, restaurants and other licensed retail establishments. Ward 3 Aldermen David Little joined Sandra Sistrunk of Ward 2, Jason Walker of Ward 4 and Patrick Miller of Ward 5 to push the matter to public hearings. As expected, Ben Carver, Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins and Henry Vaughn -- of wards 1, 6 and 7, respectively -- opposed the hearings following a failed effort during a Friday city work session to remove the item from Tuesday's agenda.
 
Almost 3-mill increase expected for Oktibbeha operations
Oktibbeha County's recent road bond, its upcoming industrial park pledge, a funding increase for volunteer fire services and other tentative pledges are expected to increase taxes by 2.88 mills in the upcoming fiscal year. Jumping from the current 55.71-mill assessment for general county operations and debt service, the tentative 58.59-mill rate supervisors unveiled during Tuesday's work session for Fiscal Year 2017-18 does not include Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District's forthcoming levy request. The tentative budget adds two tax-specific line items: a 2-mill pledge to service debt associated with the county's $7 million pledge for a Golden Triangle Development LINK-backed industrial park in north Starkville and a 0.48-mill levy to fund the county's portion of construction costs with East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity project in Lowndes County.
 
Mugshots moving from downtown location
A prominent downtown eatery will soon be moving to Russell Street. Mugshots Grill & Bar, located on Main Street, will be moving to 550 Russell Street in March 2018. Mugshots franchise co-owner Tray Gamble said when the restaurant first came to Starkville, the idea of moving locations is one they have always been thinking about. "We've been kind of talking about it for just about as long as we've had the store," Gamble said. "We just couldn't really find the right location or the right developer to work with." Developer Mark Castleberry is overseeing the new Russell Street development. The building will feature an antique atmosphere incorporating memorabilia focusing on Mississippi State's Left Field Lounge, such as bringing in old truck beds as seating for customers. The new location will also have a pickup window and curb side pick up.
 
Uber coming to the Golden Triangle
Uber, a mobile app-based ride-sharing company, will begin service in the Golden Triangle on Friday as a part of its expansion to 23 counties in east Mississippi and the Delta, the company announced on its website Tuesday. Operations in the areas will begin at noon, the company announced. The expansion will offer services in the greater Golden Triangle area, including Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay, Monroe, Webster, Winston and Choctaw counties. Noxubee County was not included on the company's list. Mike Hainsey, executive director of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, hailed the arrival of Uber. "I'm happy to hear this," Hainsey said. "We have a limited taxi service in the Golden Triangle, so to get additional service like this is a plus. I think people are getting used to using alternative transportation like Uber and Lyft, so I think the timing is right."
 
Kickstarter CEO to talk 'good ideas' in Mississippi
Crowdfforunding has increasingly become a viable source of capital for entrepreneurs and artists seeking to see their dreams come to fruition, their creative endeavors accomplished, their unique products widely distributed. One of the most successful platforms for acquiring risk-free startup capital, social media marketing and free advertising is the online crowdfunding company Kickstarter. CEO Yancey Strickler has himself invested in more than 2,000 projects, and Kickstarter has funded more than 200 projects in Mississippi. Strickler will speak in Jackson on Aug. 24 at the Greater Jackson Arts Council's luncheon, "Resist and Thrive: Creativity, The Public Good and Making Good Ideas Happen." A search for Mississippi-based projects on the Kickstarter website will produce a wealth of creative and diverse endeavors.
 
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant won't call special session over state flag
The long-simmering feud over Mississippi's state flag, incorporating the Confederate battle emblem into its design, has taken on new life because of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The state's Legislative Black Caucus asked Gov. Phil Bryant Tuesday to call legislators into special session to consider removing the controversial emblem from the flag, but Bryant's office says through a spokesman that there will no special session over the issue. The governor has been careful, though, to condemn the violence in Charlottesville by white supremacists. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who will be in DeSoto County Thursday to tour a vo-tech center, also has been an advocate of changing the flag. He said in Jackson this week that the current state flag needs to be in a museum.
 
Mississippi holds on to state flag with Confederate symbol
White supremacists waved the Confederate battle flag amid weekend violence in Virginia, prompting critics to say Mississippi should remove the symbol from its state banner. Critics said the same thing two years ago after an avowed white supremacist killed black worshippers in South Carolina, and nothing changed. The same leaders who control Mississippi flag legislation remain in office, with the Republican governor and lieutenant governor still saying flag design should be determined by a statewide election. "Hatred resides in a person's heart, and I doubt the presence of an altered flag makes someone more hateful than they would have been," Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday. "Mississippians voted to keep the state flag in 2001. If voters want to revisit the issue, they can, but a Legislature or governor should not unilaterally override the vote of the people."
 
Rep. Bennie Thompson: Agency battling domestic terrorism has 'no leader, less money'
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson raised concerns Wednesday that a key federal program that fights homegrown violent extremism is without a leader and is on the budget chopping block as the nation tries to cope with violent weekend demonstrations in Virginia. "In a time of heightened domestic incidents, the agency charged with addressing it has no leadership and less money," Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, told Mississippi Today in an interview. Thompson noted that the leadership and funding vacuum comes as the nation reels from last weekend's march led by white nationalists, neo-Nazis and right-wing groups in Charlottesville, Va., that ended in tragedy and reports of similar demonstrations being planned in the coming days.
 
President Trump defends 'beautiful' Confederate statues
President Trump lamented the loss of Confederate statues and monuments on Thursday in a series of tweets likely to fuel the controversy surrounding his handling of violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Trump said it was "sad" that the "history and culture" of the United States is "being ripped apart" by the removal of Confederate statues and monuments after ripping two GOP senators earlier in the morning over their criticism of his remarks this week blaming both sides for last weekend's violence. It was a defiant move by a president who has come under fierce criticism, even from members of his own party, for not placing enough blame on white supremacists who marched through the Virginia college town on Saturday. Yet in defending the Confederate statues, Trump could be seeking to consolidate support within at least a portion of his base, which has looked at the removal of Confederate statues and memorials with anger.
 
MUW, CPD, narcotics officers arrest suspect in carjacking, kidnapping case
A routine traffic stop for a Mississippi University for Women police officer ended with a Columbus man in jail for carjacking and kidnapping late Tuesday. The suspect, Marty Christopher Moore, 26, of 1011 15th St. S., was walking along the side of the road near South Pickensville Road and 15th Street South at about 11:30 p.m. when a driver on the road offered him a ride, according to a press release from the Columbus Police Department. Once Moore got in the car, he allegedly made threats and ordered the driver to take him to an ATM. On the way to the ATM, the driver passed MUW campus on 11th Street South, where an MUW officer pulled the car over for a traffic violation. When the car stopped, Moore opened the passenger door and began running south, the press release said.
 
Confederate Flag Divisive at U. of Southern Mississippi
The day after a woman was killed by a far-right protester who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., the Confederacy's role in public life drew protesters and counterprotesters at the University of Southern Mississippi. The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and on the University of Virginia's campus was organized to protest the planned removal of a Confederate statue, and its crowd included white supremacists and neo-Nazis. In Hattiesburg, Miss., a local group of protesters have been gathering in front of the college, rallying against the removal of the Mississippi flag at USM. The state flag incorporates the Confederate flag in its design, and it was removed from USM's campuses after the racially motivated 2015 church shooting in Charleston, S.C. On Sunday, however, with the Charlottesville rally fresh in their minds, a counterprotest was staged by students and locals, Deep South Daily reported.
 
USM Graduates Receive Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarships
University of Southern Mississippi graduates Justin Dyer, Kelly Hill and Lorenzo Spencer have been awarded the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship valued at $30,000 per year for their medical training at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson. "The Mississippi Legislature celebrates with these Mississippians from across the state in their commitment to improving healthcare for rural Mississippians by becoming rural primary care physicians," said Buck Clarke, Chairman of the State Senate Appropriations. In addition to the legislative support, 5 privately funded scholarships are also awarded this year. Other benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.
 
Copiah-Lincoln Community College needs retirees for new program
The Institute for Learning in Retirement program at Copiah-Lincoln Community College has helped dozens of retirees discover new interests and rekindle old ones, and in a few cases, even find a spouse. The latter is rare, but has happened over the years, said ILR program coordinator Marilyn Brown. "We've had some folks who have made some lifelong friends just being in this group," she said. "We've even had some weddings." Co-Lin will host an open house Tuesday at the Thames Center for the retirement program, which is open to those who are retired or semi-retired and 50 or older. The event begins at 1 p.m. with orientation for new and prospective members. A membership social will begin at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Membership is $65 for the year, which is divided into two semesters. "We follow the college schedule," Brown said.
 
Jones County Junior College gives students the 'EDGE' with new pilot program
Homeless and dependent on government assistance and friends, 37-year old Chris Gannon was losing hope until he applied for government assistance in Jones County. Instead of receiving food stamps, Gannon's financial future was about to change because of a new pilot program he was eligible for called EDGE, or Ethics, Discipline, Goals, and Employment, at Jones County Junior College. "Chris came to us with a few degrees but was unemployed and had difficulty finding work in the field," said Michael Yarbrough, JCJC EDGE program director. "He completed the Career Assessment Program and got the employability skills and assistance he needed to get on track. "Chris landed a part-time job at USM's English Language Institute, and in May he became a full-time employee."
 
Despite upbeat move-in day at LSU dorms, enrollment likely to remain flat for now
LSU President F. King Alexander was upbeat with the incoming students he helped move into their dorm rooms Wednesday, but he thinks enrollment at the state's universities will remain lackluster. "I expect we'll be down about 2 percent," Alexander said. Classes at LSU and most Louisiana campuses begin Monday. Official numbers won't be ready for another few weeks, once administrators can see who actually signed up and is attending class. But his guess is about 640 students fewer than the 32,021 students who enrolled last year at LSU Baton Rouge for the fall 2016 semester, according to the Board of Regents, the oversight agency that collects those numbers. Alexander cited lots of reasons, the economy, for instance. But he put most of the onus on the lack of stability caused by the state, year after year, reducing its contribution towards paying for the daily operations of the state's 14 public universities and 15 community colleges.
 
Debate over new student code put lawmakers back at odds with U. of Tennessee
State lawmakers renewed their feud with the University of Tennessee Wednesday, criticizing an upcoming rule change and suggesting they will once again use legislation to direct day-to-day work at the state's flagship campus. UT Knoxville is significantly revising its student code of conduct for the first time in 40 years in an attempt to develop a system that is less punitive and more educational. The changes have been approved by the UT board, the Tennessee secretary of state and the state attorney general. The General Assembly's Joint Government Operations Committee had to sign off before the rules could go into effect. University leaders seemingly assumed they would get approval -- they had planned a fall roll-out and had already started sharing the new code with incoming students, who start classes next week. But Wednesday's hearing included nearly two hours of unexpectedly tense debate that put UT administrators at odds with vocal critics in the General Assembly --- again. Lawmakers blasted some of the changes as elitist and complicated.
 
U. of South Carolina president Harris Pastides testifies secretly
University of South Carolina Harris Pastides was one of the people who testified this week to the State Grand Jury in a secret session. "He was called as a fact witness," university spokesman Wes Hickman told The State newspaper Thursday morning in answer to a query. Pastides is one of an unknown number of people who have testified in an ongoing public corruption probe involving the public relations firm of Richard A. Quinn. For a number of years, the university had a contract with Quinn's firm for various consulting services during which it paid a monthly fee. Various state agencies, private companies and trade groups had similar arrangements with the Quinn firm.
 
Two Vanderbilt professors cautioning against report on common education practice
A pair of Vanderbilt University professors are warning against reading too closely into a national report that brings into question the common education practice used to identify and support students with learning and behavioral needs. The national study -- conducted in 2015 -- says RTI, or response to intervention, doesn't have an impact on students. And first-grade students that received intervention performed poorly compared to those that didn't receive intervention, the report says. Response to intervention is a tiered approach to identifying and supporting students with learning and behavioral that has been in use since 2003. But Vanderbilt University professors Doug and Lynn Fuchs say within a report studying the there are flaws in the national study, and there are enough anecdotal results to bring into question the national study's findings.
 
New Marching Mizzou director happy to return, ready to leave her mark
Members of Marching Mizzou lined up on a practice field west of Mizzou Arena on Monday morning, ready to perform. Amy Knopps, the new associate director of bands and director of athletic bands, went from row to row, inspecting postures and correcting stances. "Make sure your core is strong," Knopps instructed, her voice magnified by a microphone. "Don't allow your upper body to waver." Moments later, she called out, "Band, ten hut!" Students raised their instruments to their chests and stood at attention. Only Knopps could be heard. Marching Mizzou performs at the University of Missouri's athletic events and is the largest student organization, according to the MU School of Music's webpage. Both MU and Marching Mizzou are deeply familiar to Knopps, a piccolo player and former drum major for the band. Knopps' decision to leave the associate director of bands and director of athletic bands job at Eastern Michigan University to return to her alma mater was a big one, but it feels right.
 
Public universities are on solid ground to cancel Richard Spencer events, legal experts say
When Auburn University said it would block Richard Spencer from speaking on campus in April, the white nationalist sued -- and won. A federal judge in Alabama rejected Auburn's argument that the speech would be unsafe, and it took place. This precedent has not deterred the University of Florida or Texas A&M University, both of which this week have canceled plans for events where Spencer was slated to speak on their campuses, citing the violence at white supremacist events last weekend in Charlottesville, Va. Legal experts say that though public institutions are obligated to preserve campus free expression, the tragedy that played out in Virginia over the weekend likely gives presidents more concrete grounds to bar Spencer and his affiliates -- at least in the short term. They warn, however, that the reasoning the institutions gave for canceling -- ensuring student and locals' safety -- should be applied as judiciously possible.
 
U. of Florida denies white nationalist Richard Spencer a campus platform
Citing "serious concerns for campus safety," the University of Florida has denied a request from white nationalist Richard Spencer to rent space for a Sept. 12 event. In a statement, UF President Kent Fuchs said the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, influenced the decision. "The likelihood of violence and potential injury -- not the words or ideas -- has caused us to take this action," Fuchs said. "Denying this request for university space is the safest and most responsible decision we can make." Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe said he believes the university made the right decision. "This proposed event was more about inciting violence and creating disruption than a free exchange of ideas," Poe said.
 
Ex-student apologizes to U. of Arkansas professor over photo from 'pro-white' rally
The 33-year-old man photographed on Friday wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt at a widely condemned Charlottesville, Va., rally said he never intended to bring shame to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "I'm sorry they suffered because of this," said Andrew Dodson, a former UA graduate student, also apologizing to the UA professor wrongly identified on social media as the man in the photo. Dodson said he agreed to publicly acknowledge participating in the rally "because other people are suffering for what I did," adding, "that's not right." Told of Dodson coming forward, UA spokesman Mark Rushing in a statement said "the individual in question does not represent the values of the College of Engineering or the University of Arkansas," and that UA "will continue to support and promote a diverse, welcoming and inclusive campus and society."
 
After Charlottesville Violence, Colleges Brace for More Clashes
Across the country, college administrators and law enforcement officials are bracing for a wild fall of protests as their campuses become battlegrounds for society's violent fringes. The First Amendment safeguard is a major reason that colleges, especially public ones, have become a favored forum for right-leaning speakers, from mainstream conservatives to racial provocateurs of the so-called alt-right, a movement that embraces white nationalism. Another reason is the colleges' reputations as breeding grounds of left-wing ideology, virtually guaranteeing protests and news media attention. Until recently, most colleges' protest protocols were suited to the relatively peaceful student activism of the 1990s and early 2000s.
 
Charlottesville tragedy and Trump remarks revive focus on statues of Confederates and other racists
he gathering of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend originated -- at least on the surface -- from the groups' opposition to the planned removal of a Confederate monument to Robert E. Lee in the college town. And although the violence in Charlottesville has subsided, Confederate monuments remain on college campuses across the South. President Trump's criticism Tuesday of efforts to remove Confederate monuments from public spaces further inflamed tensions, and many white supremacists reported feeling emboldened afterward. Additionally, Trump spoke of a slippery slope -- that removing Confederate monuments would lead to removing monuments and statues dedicated to Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, since they owned slaves. Perhaps unknowingly, Trump in fact touched on criticisms that have been directed at the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary, among other institutions, for their close association -- and alleged whitewashing -- of Jefferson's past.
 
New data explain Republican loss of confidence in higher education
Not only do Republicans and Democrats have different levels of confidence in higher education, but they are coming at the issue by focusing on different issues, a new poll by Gallup shows. Republicans who distrust higher education focus on campus politics, while the smaller share of Democrats who distrust higher education tend to focus on rising college prices, the pollster found. The data were released a month after a report from the Pew Research Center found that more than half of Republicans say colleges have a negative impact on the direction of the United States. The shift was dramatic. Two years ago, Pew found that 54 percent of Republicans said colleges had a positive impact on the direction of the United States, while this year 58 percent said colleges had a negative effect. Among Democrats, 72 percent this year viewed colleges as having a positive impact on the direction of the country.
 
For One Astronomer, a Solar Eclipse Illuminates Progress for Women in the Field
On August 21, as a total solar eclipse cuts a horizontal stripe across the center of the country, millions of Americans will get a deeply spiritual lesson in humanity's eternal nature. For some university astronomers, it will also be a welcome reminder that important things in their lives can change, if not quite as fast as they might like. Back in 1878, as a previous solar eclipse neared, the U.S. government agreed to fund a few teams of scientists to travel west to the predicted path of totality. But the government only financed trips by men. Professor Maria Mitchell of Vassar College, already a globally recognized astronomer known for an 1847 comet discovery, was turned down. In 2017, it's a much different world for Ms. Mitchell's successors. Debra M. Elmegreen, the astronomy professor holding the Maria Mitchell chair at Vassar, is also chair of Vassar's physics and astronomy department, a vice president of the International Astronomical Union, and a past president of the American Astronomical Society. And across her profession, Ms. Elmegreen says, diversity and inclusion are gradually becoming the norm.
 
All citizens have opportunity to cross educational finish line
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "A highly skilled and educated work force is a key piece of the puzzle to Mississippi's success in a variety of areas ranging from ensuring a substantial quality of life for all its residents to economic development opportunities. ...As part of a statewide initiative titled Complete 2 Compete, Mississippi leaders showcased a new website that provides information and resources to help Mississippi adults who have completed some college, but have not received a degree, to return to college and complete the requirements necessary to earn their degrees. ...Education, especially higher education, has the power to be truly transformative for residents by providing high-level career opportunities for those willing to invest the time and energy on the front end in the classroom. We're glad to see this initiative move forward and encourage all Mississippians to take advantage of what's being offered here to hopefully help move our state forward."
 
Truth and myths about American exceptionalism
The Dispatch's Zack Plair writes: "Every time you flip on a light switch, you are literally unleashing evidence the idea of American exceptionalism, at least in its traditionally accepted form, is false. Thomas Edison, though we still credit him in history books with being the father of modern electricity, actually lost the race to bring reliable electric power to American businesses and households. Despite being innovative, native born and well-funded, Edison surrendered what might well have been his place in American culture to the Croatian immigrant Nikola Tesla. This happened primarily because Edison didn't adapt to new information to build on his idea. ...American exceptionalism is real, but it doesn't belong to a certain race, gender, religion, nativity or socio-economic status. It doesn't have room for a master race, a state religion or any ideology that sets the comfort and traditions of one group over the safety, education and equality of another."
 
Southern heritage is real, but so is hate
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "I say this to explain that I understand the pride in Southern heritage, and of being a defeated people in a nation that has never been defeated. I grew up with that Southern heritage. 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' perfectly defines that pride in Southern heritage, though, written by a Canadian, Robbie Robertson, but with assistance, I believe, from that aforementioned Arkansan, Levon Helm. Perhaps, there were people who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend with pride and heritage in their heart, not hate. But, it was difficult to find those in the midst of all those who were there with hate and bigotry in their hearts, waving not only Confederate battle flags, but Nazi swastikas."


SPORTS
 
Todd Grantham putting pieces of plan together for Mississippi State's defense
The Todd Grantham way taking a foothold in the Mississippi State football program has come with a specific tagline -- fast, physical and aggressive -- among other calling cards. It also comes with a specific, well-rehearsed plan for season preparation. MSU's new defensive coordinator, having held such position at now three schools over the last six seasons, has a very specific plan for how he designs his preseason preparation, first year with a new school included. "I've always broken training camp into three segments," Grantham said. "The first segment is to continue to develop our technique in our craft and evaluate the incoming guys. As you evaluate the new guys coming into your system, you try to see what combination of players give us the best opportunity to win and how the incoming players fit into that."
 
Logan Cooke seeks breakout year for the Bulldogs
Logan Cooke began his collegiate career in one of the biggest games in Mississippi State history. Cooke was forced onto the field as a true freshman against Texas A&M in 2014 as the Bulldogs were on their rise to No. 1. He has served as the team's primary punter, kickoff man and holder ever since and now enters his final season in maroon and white. "It feels like yesterday that I walked out there for the A&M game and feeling all those nerves," Cooke said. "Now it's my last year and it's bittersweet." Cooke is hoping for a bounce back season after back-to-back injury plagued seasons. The 6-foot-5, 228-pounder from Darbun dealt with a back injury in 2015 and a knee injury last year.
 
Mississippi State's Nick Fitzgerald on Manning Award watch list
Mississippi State junior Nick Fitzgerald was named to the preseason watch list for the Manning Award, which is the presented each season to the nation's top quarterback and the only such award that takes bowl games into account. Fitzgerald topped the Southeastern Conference with 3,798 yards last season and totaled 37 touchdowns. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder from Richmond Hill, Georgia completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 2,423 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while also rushing 195 times for 1,375 yards and 16 more scores. A total of 30 signal callers were placed on the preseason Manning Award watch list. The midseason watch list will be announced on Oct. 12 and finalists on Nov. 30. The winner will be selected after the season.
 
Mallory Eubanks will try to take on 'alpha' role for Bulldogs
It all starts with Mallory Eubanks. That might be putting too much pressure on one player when 11 or more are counted on each match, but that's the kind of attitude Mississippi State women's soccer coach Tom Anagnost wants Eubanks to take entering her senior season. "In the end, we want all of our players to pass Mallory the ball," Anagnost said. "We want Mallory to get the ball from all of our players. I think she is an extraordinary facilitator of the game and creator of scoring chances. For our team, we also want her to put herself in more scoring-chance situations and shoot the ball more, etc. I think that has been a focal point of our team. I think she is too unselfish of a player. Everything about her is about our team, but I want her to be even more, as I use the word a lot, alpha and selfish because it actually will make our team better." Eubanks will get her first official chance to take on that role at 7 p.m. Friday when MSU plays host to Stephen F. Austin in its season opener at the MSU Soccer Field.
 
Southern Miss, Liberty agree to football home-and-home
Southern Miss added two more non-conference games to its future football schedules Wednesday. The Golden Eagles have agreed to a home-and-home deal with Liberty. The first game will be played at Lynchburg, Virginia, on Oct. 24, 2020, while the return contest is set for Sept. 3, 2022, in Hattiesburg. Liberty is currently an FCS program as a member of the Big South Conference. However, the Flames are set to begin making the transition to the FBS in 2018. Liberty will be a full-fledged FBS program by 2019. The Flames are 4-21 versus FBS schools all-time. Their most recent win against an FBS program came in 2015, when Liberty defeated Georgia State. Southern Miss currently has three non-conference games scheduled for the 2020 season and two on the books for 2022.
 
Gene Murphy steps down as Hinds CC football coach, Larry Williams takes over
Coach Gene Murphy, who has led the Hinds Community College Eagles in football for 33 years, is stepping down as head coach but will continue as athletic director. "As athletic director, Coach Murphy will continue to provide leadership and support to the athletes, coaches and staff of the athletic department," said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. Effective immediately, Larry Williams will assume the position of head football coach. Williams has served as the defensive coordinator for the last four seasons. He also served in this capacity previously from 2003-2009. A former standout at Mississippi Delta Community College and Mississippi State University, Williams returned to MDCC to begin his coaching career for a six-year stint, serving as the Trojans' defensive coordinator and defensive line coach from 1997 until 2002. He helped guide Delta to a pair of state runner-up finishes (1997 and 2001).
 
Hugh Freeze's Ouster at Ole Miss Linked to Multiple Recruiting Trips
On the morning of Jan. 19, 2016, University of Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze tweeted a quote: "Look not back on yesterday---so full of failure & regret; Look ahead & seek God's way -- all sin confessed u must forget." Later that day, the coach flew to Tampa, Fla., as part of a recruiting trip using the school plane, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A few hours after the plane touched down at 5:30 p.m. in Tampa, his school phone registered a call to a number linked to a female escort service in that city, according to phone records reviewed by the Journal. Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze's travel that the university's investigation uncovered "calls of a similar nature" over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach's use of the school plane.
 
Tiger Stadium's new Skyline Club promises club-level living at a lower price -- and beer
Beer and wine are coming to the top reaches of Tiger Stadium. The university is turning the south end zone upper seating area into a premium space, allowing ticket holders in that section to purchase beer and wine. LSU is dubbing the new section the "Skyline Club," an outdoor-only premium area that opens this season. "That's the unique part about it: You're outdoors, in Tiger Stadium, enjoying the game," said Eddie Nunez, LSU's deputy director of athletics overseeing projects. "It's going to be pretty cool." Prices for Skyline Club tickets will range between $45 and $120, depending on the game. Ticket holders have access to an all-you-can-eat special menu that's included in the price of the ticket. Additional menu items, including beer and wine, will be available at an additional cost.
 
Campus construction will affect gathering areas on Auburn football game days
As preparations continue for the 2017 Auburn football season, a number of campus construction projects are ongoing or about to begin. Fans should note construction affecting the following areas that have been popular football gameday gathering spots in the past.



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