Friday, September 21, 2018  SUBSCRIBE   
Extension nets $5.5 million grant to combat obesity
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will soon be involved in some comprehensive work combating obesity with a recently-awarded $5.5 million grant. The five-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant was awarded last week, and will be used by the extension in conjunction with University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Mississippi Public Health Institute. The grant will fund comprehensive programs to help curtail obesity in a dozen Mississippi counties where at least 40 percent of citizens are classified as obese. The first phase will target Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena and Sharkey counties, which already have a UMMC presence. The name of the program is Advancing, Inspiring, Motivating for Community Health Through Extension (AIM for CHangE).
Astronaut Jerry Ross speaks at MSU to commemorate university's first Astronaut Scholar
Jerry Ross can still remember well his first flight on a space shuttle. It was Nov. 26, 1985. Ross flew on STS-61B, the 23rd flight of the Space Shuttle program and the second flight ever of shuttle Atlantis. As he spoke in the Grisham Room Wednesday at Mississippi State University's Mitchell Memorial Library with an image of the shuttle blasting off behind him, Ross described the experience. "By the time we had cleared the launch pad we were already going 100 miles per hour," Ross said. He visited MSU on Wednesday to speak during a ceremony honoring the university's first Astronaut Scholar, Phong Ly, a senior from Brandon studying civil and environmental engineering. As an Astronaut Scholar, Ly is one of 50 students nationwide to receive a $10,000 scholarship for his work and research. MSU was the first university in the state to partner with the program in 2017 and is one of 40 universities affiliated with ASF nationwide.
MSU Complete To Compete Program
Once you leave college early, it can be hard to go back to complete the courses for your degree. Now, there's a new avenue to the graduation stage with plenty of support along the way. "There are a lot of benefits to obtaining your degree no matter what age. OK, I was 48," said Starkville-Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District Transportation Director Kelvin Gibson. Gibson took classes on and off over 30 years, but once he learned about the Complete to Compete program he got on board. Lynda Moore is the director of the Mississippi State University Academic Advising Center and a Coach in the C2C program. She says the program is designed for folks like Gibson, who want to further their education. "The purpose is to encourage you to come back to school. If you maybe left school three years and four years in and didn't finish your degree. The purpose is to get you to come back and at least talk to someone and see how close you are and what's the best path to graduate," Moore said.
County Road 11: Famous Types exhibit at Mississippi State
Long before there were laptops and computers, typewriters provided a means for many to put thoughts to paper. We venture to Mississippi State's Starkville campus to see a traveling exhibit of these old typing machines on this week's County Road 11. It's not the biggest exhibit in the world, but who worked on these typewriters and what was produced, were some of the greatest pieces of written work the world has ever known. "These typewriters belong to Steve Soboroff from Los Angeles who's amassed an extraordinary collection of typewriters belonging to cultural icons," said Sarah McCullough, the coordinator of cultural heritage projects for MSU libraries. "We have nine on display here." The "Famous Types" exhibit is at MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library. The exhibit's last day is Monday, September 24th.
Early results from Delta water conservation project said positive
Preliminary results from a water conservation experiment in the Mississippi Delta are encouraging, according to partners in the field trial. A collaboration by PrecisionKing, C Spire and the JF Phillips Farm shows water usage already has been reduced by up to 53 percent for corn fields and from 50 to 65 percent for soybean plots since the beginning of the 2018 growing season, according to a news release. "We're optimistic this approach will save water and improve overall productivity and crop yields," Nick King, president of the Yazoo City-based PrecisionKing, said in the press release. PrecisionKing makes remote monitors to measure water distribution and absorption.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith visits Oxford, discusses college students
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith spoke to supporters at her Oxford campaign office and campaigned in the Grove this past weekend. She spoke with The Daily Mississippian at her Oxford campaign office about her plans to improve life in Mississippi if she is elected. Hyde-Smith, the first female U.S. senator from Mississippi, is the incumbent senator who was appointed last year by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the seat of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who resigned because of his poor health. She is a native of Brookhaven and was formerly the Mississippi commissioner of agriculture and commerce. She said one of the strategies her office could employ to prevent college students from leaving the state once they graduate -- a phenomenon commonly known as "brain drain" -- is making the state more economically friendly so that recent graduates have more job opportunities.
'It Only Matters What You Answer To': The JFP Interview with Mike Espy
On every wall of U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy's office in Jackson hangs a photo or a painting that means something to the Yazoo City native. On a Friday afternoon in August, he points to a painting of Mississippi civil-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. In 1994, when Espy was President Clinton's secretary of agriculture, the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation amid accusations that he had illegally accepted gifts from companies he was in charge of regulating. Espy resigned that December, but insisted he was innocent, refusing a plea deal that would have reduced 36 felony charges to a misdemeanor and risking years in prison. In 1998, a jury found him not guilty on all counts; a sketch artist's image of the moment the verdict was read now hangs in his office. Espy has neither sought nor served in public office since that time; this year's U.S. Senate special election marks Espy's re-entry into politics.
McDaniel stands behind controversial MSNBC comments
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel is standing behind a controversial comment he made on MSNBC. During a broadcast of "Morning Joe" on Friday, Sept. 14, McDaniel asked where African-Americans are after, "a hundred years of begging for federal government scraps." McDaniel said Thursday he isn't worried about any outrage caused by the comments and says he was serious about what he said. "Our state cannot be economically prosperous if we're depending on the federal government to prop us up," McDaniel said. "Our people can't be economically prosperous if we don't have jobs. Put simply, we want jobs, not welfare. We want jobs, not corporate handouts. Now is the time for us to make our way in Mississippi without the same old economic system. No, I stand by every word. I'm not backing down, not a chance. I'm here to fight for what I believe in. I'm not backing down." McDaniel represents Forrest and Jones counties in the Mississippi Senate.
Deval Patrick to Join Mike Espy in Hattiesburg Saturday
Former Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will campaign with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy on Saturday, Sept. 22, in downtown Hattiesburg. Forrest County Democrats chairwoman Sherry Dryden mentioned the appearance in an email Wednesday. The campaign confirmed Patrick will attend. After a walkthrough of small businesses in downtown Hattiesburg starting at 1:30 p.m., Patrick and Espy will speak at a roundtable with local business leaders at the downtown train depot. In 2007, Patrick became Massachusetts' first African American governor, succeeding Republican Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2008 and 2012. Some Republican donors have pushed Patrick to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, and he has admitted that a White House run is "on my radar screen." Last month, Patrick announced his Reason to Believe PAC, which he said he will use to help Democrats who share his vision in this November's midterms---a sign he may be gearing up for a run.
Prepare to Be Disappointed on Election Night
After two years of campaigning in the latest most consequential election of our lifetimes, election night could be a huge letdown. The disappointment is not about which party prevails Nov. 6, but the reality that a combination of close races and West Coast contests could prevent enough races from being called to determine majorities in Congress until days later. In the Senate, more than 10 races could finish within single digits, and a handful of those contests look like they're neck and neck. The close margins could make it difficult for media outlets to project a winner on election night. Even if all the races are called, the special election in Mississippi is likely to go to overtime. Neither former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy nor appointed-GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith is likely to receive a majority of the vote on Nov. 6 since candidates from both parties appear on the same ballot, which will include Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel. So the race will move to a Nov. 27 runoff. That means the Senate majority may not be known until after Thanksgiving, which could affect the urgency and importance of a lame-duck session if Democrats take control.
Mississippi candidates' views of Kavanaugh confirmation break on partisan lines
Not surprisingly, the views on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh by the candidates in Mississippi's two U.S. Senate races break down along partisan lines. Kavanaugh appears to still have the support of the state's two incumbent Republican senators -- Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Brookhaven -- amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a girl while a high school student in Maryland in the 1980s. Before the sexual assault allegation surfaced, Wicker and Hyde-Smith indicated they would vote to confirm the Donald Trump nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Nothing I have learned so far has changed my opinion of Judge Kavanaugh," Wicker said earlier this week. Wicker's opponent in the Nov. 6 general election, state Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, had contended the Senate confirmation process should be slowed even before the Ford allegation was made.
Trump Questions Kavanaugh Accuser's Account as Senators Continue Negotiations
President Trump Friday challenged Christine Blasey Ford's account of an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when they were teenagers, taking a more confrontational tone even as Republicans were talking with Dr. Ford's team about having her potentially testify next week. "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," Mr. Trump tweeted. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!" The president had previously confined his comments to praising Judge Kavanaugh, saying Dr. Ford should be heard, and urging that any delay in the confirmation process be limited.
'You can't live large,' a judge warned Bill Walker; new details show he didn't listen
Bill Walker of Ocean Springs, the former Mississippi Department of Marine Resources director who defrauded the government, started collecting a substantial retirement check from the state before he and his son, Scott Walker, went to prison in 2014. As part of his sentence, Walker was ordered to pay $572,689.14 in restitution and a $125,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett in February refused Walker's request to reduce restitution payments of $5,000 per month. Starrett sent Walker to jail Wednesday for continued failure to make the payments or document his expenses. The Sun Herald covered Wednesday's hearing, but no media was at the February hearing. A recently released transcript from February's hearing reveals new details about Walker and his finances.
Stacey Abrams, Georgia candidate for governor, has strong Mississippi roots
Stacey Abrams may be Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate --- and possibly an election away from becoming that state's first African-American governor --- but her Mississippi roots run deep. Her parents, the Revs. Carolyn and Robert Abrams, both 69, were high school sweethearts who grew up in the segregated South. The Hattiesburg natives attended the all-black Rowan High School before leaving for Jackson to attend Tougaloo College, where both earned bachelor's degrees. Hattiesburg Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado said Stacey didn't fall far from the family tree. "Her mother, when I was growing up, was somewhat of a role model for me," she said. "She was smart. She carried herself in a certain way. She was always No. 1 in anything academic. I wanted to be just like her."
Students featured in Ole Miss donor's post speak out
Two Ole Miss seniors who were featured in a Facebook post by alumnus and donor, Ed Meek, want his name removed from the university's journalism school. "It was disrespectful. He has so much knowledge in public relations," Mahoghany Jordan, an Ole Miss senior featured in the post, said. "Your name is on the School of Journalism, yet you made such a disheartening post about us." In a Facebook post, Meek wrote that he was concerned about what was happening on The Square late at night after a football game. However, the criticism is over two separate pictures attached to the post of two black women, Jordan and Kiyona Crawford. "We should be able to go out and wear what we want to wear without being judged or portrayed in a negative light," Crawford added. "This should not have happened. He portrayed us as if we were prostitutes."
Administrators, students address Meek's controversial Facebook post at public forum
Hundreds of students and members of the Ole Miss community gathered in the David H. Nutt Auditorium on Thursday night for a school-wide forum regarding the offensive comments made by Ed Meek. Senior biology major Ki'yona Crawford and senior general studies major Mahoghany Jordan, the two women pictured in Meek's post, were among the many students who took to the microphone to address the crowd. A wide range of people -- including administrators, student leaders and the women pictured in Meek's post -- took the microphone and spoke about Meek's comments throughout the two-part forum. During the last few minutes of the student portion, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter quietly entered the room, donning a pinstripe suit and a tie emblazoned with piano keys. "We love this university, and we always want to see it get better," Vitter said during a brief statement at the end of the forum, after assuring the audience that administration "will be following up" to respond to concerns voiced by students.
Big Donor's Facebook Photos of 2 Black Students Unsettle Ole Miss
Mahoghany Jordan, a senior at the University of Mississippi, said her Saturday night out in Oxford, Miss., "went exactly as planned." But by Wednesday night, social-media notifications were rolling in: She and another woman were the unwitting subjects of a Facebook post by Ed Meek, a former longtime administrator whose name tops the university's Meek School of Journalism and New Media. The university's response was swift. Within the night, Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter replied to the post online, amid hundreds of comments and shares. After a meeting of senior leaders, the university announced that a "listening session for the UM community" would be held Thursday night. "This social media post was deeply hurtful because of the sentiment conveyed about the presence of African-Americans in Oxford and at Ole Miss," the university said in a statement.
Ed Meek was 'big man on campus' in college for taking 'revealing,' 'racy' photos of women
A controversial Facebook post by Ed Meek is not the first time he published something this year that focused on women photographed in "revealing" or "sexy" clothing, but there is a noticeable difference between the two pieces. Meek -- whose name adorns the University of Mississippi journalism school -- published a Facebook post Wednesday that resembled a call to arms to the people of Oxford. In it, he said he believed enrollment at Ole Miss was declining and property values and tax revenue would soon follow due to the activity taking place at 2 a.m. on the Oxford Square. The response was swift. Within hours, the post had over 600 comments, many of them calling the post racist and the internet version of a dog whistle. But in January, published a column in which Meek talked about how much he enjoyed taking "cheesecake" photos, which during the time referred to photos of "a great-looking woman." The photos were part of a regular Ole Miss student newspaper series called "Campus Cuties."
Ole Miss could distance itself from donor over racist post
The namesake of the University of Mississippi's journalism school apologized Thursday for his Facebook that had photos of two black women in short dresses and suggested that the women exemplify problems that cause real estate values to fall. University officials said they were considering removing Ed Meek's name from the journalism school. And, one of the women who was put in Meek's post without her knowledge said the post "reeks of racist ideology as well as misogyny." The university has struggled for decades to deal with its own history of troubled race relations. White mobs rioted on campus in the autumn of 1962 as James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at Ole Miss; military troops were called in and Meredith was escorted by federal marshals.
State education board delays release of schools' A-F ratings
A state Board of Education meeting took an unexpected turn Thursday when members voted to delay the approval of accountability grades for the state's public schools and districts until next October. Pending the board's approval grades were set to be released on Thursday with embargoed copies of the result provided to members of the media as well as superintendents. At the start of Thursday's meeting, Board member Johnny Franklin, citing concerns raised by school districts, requested that board members delay the vote until next month. Approached during the board's break, Franklin would not discuss his decision with reporters. The move means schools will have to wait to find out what the official grades are. It also resulted in the delay of the new Mississippi Succeeds Report Card, which was set to go live Thursday.
U. of Alabama trustees to vote on budgets for upcoming fiscal year
The University of Alabama System board of trustees will consider the fiscal budget for the system's three campuses when it meets Friday. The budgets for the system office, three campuses and UAB Hospital were approved by the Finance Committee on Thursday. The new budgets totaling more than $4.3 billion would take effect on Oct 1. The UA operating budget would increase from $1.03 billion at the end of fiscal year 2018 to $1.05 billion in fiscal year 2019. At UA, expenses are projected to increase by 4.4 percent while revenues are projected to grow by 3.7 percent. The budget includes $15 million for scholarships, $10.4 million for merit increases, promotions and related costs; $4.6 million for graduate stipends, $2.1 million for state retirement and benefits and insurance increases, and $3.2 million for new staff and faculty positions and benefits. After remaining level for two years, state appropriations increased $5.8 million.
Philanthropist Hugh Culverhouse Jr. donates millions to U. of Alabama law school
The University of Alabama announced the largest gift in its history on Thursday -- a $25 million donation to the UA School of Law from Hugh Culverhouse Jr. Culverhouse Jr., a Florida businessman and attorney, and his wife, Eliza, have donated nearly $40 million to UA during the last decade. In recognition of the gift, UA President Stuart Bell said the university is naming the law school after Culverhouse. The university made the announcement as it praised the Culverhouses for their latest gift of $26.5 million in gifts to the law school in the last year. "I could not be more pleased or more humbled to announce Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. of Coral Gables, Florida, has made the monumental donation of $26.5 million to support the law school," Bell said.
Survey: U. of Florida professors get state's highest pay bumps
The University of Florida is ahead of the rest of the state when it comes to bumping up pay for its full and associate professors. Florida full professors received an average 8.8 percent salary increase in 2017-18, according to an American Association of University Professors faculty compensation survey. Associate professors received an 8.3 percent salary bump. Both figures were the highest increases among 23 Florida colleges and universities listed in the survey. UF president Kent Fuchs said he takes into account two factors -- market and merit -- when it comes to faculty salaries and salary increases. "We work hard at tracking what the faculty in each of our departments get paid here and what their peers are getting," Fuchs said.
Students protest U. of Florida's commencement changes
A small group of students and student leaders gathered on the steps on Tigert Hall Thursday to protest commencement changes at the University of Florida. "The last memory at the University of Florida should be your best memory," said Anthony Rojas, a UF political science graduate student who organized the event in front of UF's administrative building. Afterward, Rojas and UF NAACP student president Ashley Marceus were among a group of student leaders who met with UF president Kent Fuchs to discuss the changes. Fuchs told The Sun on Tuesday he's committed to the changes, in which a university-wide commencement will be held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in December and May without individual recognition. Students will be recognized individually at their college ceremonies, with some held at the O'Connell Center and others at the Reitz Union ballroom, Florida Gym and University Auditorium.
Texas A&M Research Foundation to pay $750,000 to settle claims
A foundation associated with the Texas A&M University System will pay $750,000 to settle federal claims that it overinflated expenses and overcharged the federal government to cover salaries. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston said in a statement Thursday that the Texas A&M Research Foundation submitted improper charges from 2007 to 2016. The foundation is an independent nonprofit that facilitates research and development within the A&M System. It receives federal grants and contracts through various federal agencies. "While the Research Foundation denies any violation of the federal False Claims Act, there were a few instances where mistakes were made. The settlement is about [1 percent] of the total value of the grants and contracts in question, and Foundation officials believe the actual error rate is much lower," a Texas A&M University System statement read.
NSF moves forward with plan to link funding to appropriate conduct
The National Science Foundation will exercise the power of the purse -- or, more appropriately, the grant -- in deterring and combating harassment in academic science. The foundation previously announced its intention to do so, but plans revealed this week show just how the policy will work. Starting 30 days from today, the NSF will require awardee organizations -- meaning institutions, not individual grantees -- to notify it within 10 days of any findings or determinations that any NSF-funded principal or co-principal investigator committed harassment, including sexual harassment or assault, as well as any related administrative actions or sanctions. Institutions also must notify the NSF when it places a PI or co-PI on administrative leave. Following notification, the NSF will consult with the institution to determine what action is necessary. Possible actions include substituting or removing PIs from grants and reducing, suspending or eliminating funding.

No. 14 Mississippi State faces Kentucky amid a bit of bad blood
There shouldn't be any need for extra motivation when the No. 14 Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-0) travel to take on Kentucky at 6 p.m. CT this weekend. It's the first conference game of the year for MSU, and the Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 SEC East) are looking to extend their hot start on home turf. Kentucky's junior running back Benny Snell Jr., though, gave the Dogs a reason to want this one a little more. After UK beat Murray State 48-10 last week, Snell said he feels like he can "run on any team." He added that he doesn't fear any opposing defenses. Enter Mississippi State's vaunted front seven, regarded as arguably the best defensive front in the nation. The Dogs' defense has only allowed 85 rushing yards per game this season, sparking MSU's own sophomore running back Kylin Hill to respond to Snell's comments on Twitter with 41 consecutive 'crying-laughing' emojis.
Bob Stoops expects big crowd, physical game from Mississippi State
Two weeks ago, Kentucky ended a 31-game drought against Florida with a 27-16 win in Gainesville. It was the Wildcats' first victory against the Gators since 1986 and first in the Swamp since 1979. This weekend, Mark Stoops' team will try to accomplish another feat that Big Blue Nation hasn't experienced in quite some time – starting Southeastern Conference play with two straight wins. Kentucky hasn't been 2-0 in league play since 1977 but has a tall task ahead hosting 14th-ranked Mississippi State at Kroger Field on Saturday at 6 p.m. I just hope and expect to have a great crowd," Stoops said. Stoops understands in order to upset the Bulldogs, Kentucky will have to be physical in the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Blowouts have given No. 14 Mississippi State chance to build depth on defense
The No. 14 Mississippi State football team has had plenty of time to gain experience in its first three games. Winning those games by a combined 124 points has helped coach Joe Moorhead's team use numerous players in a variety of roles late in those blowouts. MSU will need that experience at a critical position when it takes on Kentucky at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in its Southeastern Conference opener in Lexington, Kentucky. MSU defensive coordinator Bob Shoop knows who will start, but he said it hasn't been determined how each player will be used. "I can't say they're all going to play, but we're likely to have a rotation," Shoop said. Shoop said all of the players have earned his trust.
No. 14 Mississippi State, Kentucky run into SEC matchup
No. 14 Mississippi State and Kentucky boast two of the Southeastern Conference's top three rushing offenses, and the similarities don't stop there. The Bulldogs (3-0, 0-0 SEC) and Wildcats (3-0, 1-0) also boast mobile quarterbacks in Mississippi State senior Nick Fitzgerald and Kentucky sophomore Terry Wilson, creating the potential for a fast pace in Saturday night's showdown between the unbeaten schools. "They really put a lot of pressure on you in rushing for 310, 311 yards a game with the ability to throw the ball," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said of MSU, which leads the SEC with 311.7 yards rushing per game. "Their total offense is off the charts as well as their scoring offense, so they've been extremely explosive."
Bulldogs have a blast on Mississippi State's special teams
Mississippi State special teams coach Joey Jones had a specific -- yet maybe immeasurable -- goal heading into the season. He wanted the Bulldogs to be the best special teams squad in the country. Special teams encompasses a wide range of duties: kickoffs and kick returns, punts and punt returns, field goals and field goal blocks. To define a team as the best at special teams across the nation probably isn't feasible. Jones' units have been solid nonetheless, regardless of what rankings in each category say. The success of Mississippi State's special teams stems from the excitement level both starters and bench players have when given opportunities in the third phase of the game. "When you have a seasoned coach like coach Jones with his track record, his preparation, his ability to put kids in position to be successful and the way he teaches, I think it makes kids excited to be on teams," head coach Joe Moorhead said.
Kentucky football: Third quarter has been defense's quarter in first three games
Josh Allen joked that his feet were burning up out on the Kroger Field turf, so he told his Kentucky teammates to initiate three quick three-and-outs coming out of halftime last Saturday. That's one amusing explanation for how Kentucky hasn't allowed a third-quarter score yet this season. Mark Stoops had a few more plausible ones. "The experience of our group helps, and the group being intentional about going in the locker room," the coach said. "It's a sign of maturity, our team getting with their groups, the leaders within the groups discussing things before the coaches get in there." It's a sign of a mature, player-led team, he said of Kentucky, whose opponents are averaging 26.7 yards in that quarter against the Cats' defense. The Cats' next opponent, No. 14 Mississippi State, is outscoring opponents 35-10 in third quarters, so a fast start out of the half couldn't hurt.
Coach Stoops, UK football team to be honorary pallbearers for 4-year-old hit near stadium
The University of Kentucky football team and Coach Mark Stoops will be honorary pallbearers at the funeral of a 4-year-old boy who was hit by a car during a football game last weekend, according to the boy's obituary. Marco Shemwell died Monday after being struck by a car Saturday on Cooper Drive. The alleged driver of the car, Jacob Heil, 18, was charged with driving under the influence, according to police. Members of the UK Police Department, UK Healthcare and the pediatric intensive care unit were also listed as honorary pallbearers in the obituary for Marco. Marco's obituary went on to say that he liked Legos, Batman, dance parties in the kitchen and Kentucky Football.
Vanderbilt chancellor wants fans' feedback in athletics director search
Vanderbilt University and Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos are seeking help from alumni and fans in the search for a new athletics director. In his regular blog, Zeppos announced the launching of a website "designed to collect feedback from our broad and diverse community, where I hope you'll add your voice." Athletics director David Williams announced his upcoming resignation last week. He will stay on the job until his replacement is found, a process that Zeppos wrote will take "the next several weeks." The initial post on the new website includes a questionnaire available to the public. Zeppos wrote that he will begin conversations with coaches, students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans for feedback on Vanderbilt athletics.
Georgia reports five NCAA violations, two in football
Georgia reported five violations of NCAA rules in a period of about five weeks in April and May including two involving the football program. All were listed as Level III violations, which is considered isolated or limited in nature and provides only a minimal recruiting or competitive advantage. One violation related to paying for flight expenses to the school for "a long-time friend and player" of a Georgia football coach for professional development for a newly hired UGA staff member. That player was coached by the Georgia coach on another team and was to discuss football technique and scheme. The violation -- impermissible employment -- came into play because the person was considered an individual associated with a prospect because he started volunteering with his ninth grade son's high school team.
Arkansas Extends Dave Van Horn's Contract Through 2023
Arkansas has extended its contract with baseball coach Dave Van Horn, three months after he led the Razorbacks to the finals of the College World Series. The university announced Wednesday that Van Horn's contract has been extended two years through the 2023 season. The contract calls for annual salary and compensation of $925,000, plus incentives based on the team's performance, coaching honors and academic scores. Van Horn is entering his 17th season at Arkansas, where he's amassed a 643-364 record.
Chair of Honor, 'Volunteer of the Game' seats added at Neyland Stadium
The University of Tennessee athletics department installed a seat in Neyland Stadium to honor the country's prisoners of wars and service members missing in action. The chair will remain vacant during games and two nearby seats will be reserved for a "Volunteer of the Game" beginning with Saturday's game against Florida. The POW/MIA Chair of Honor is located in section ZZ12 in the upper level of the stadium's northeast corner and overlooks the names and numbers of the university's four football lettermen who died during World War II; Clyde "Ig" Fuson, Rudy Klarer, Bill Nowling and Willis Tucker. n addition to the newly installed chair and plaque, the stadium will now also fly the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.
Experts: Ohio State's response in Urban Meyer case shows value for athletics above all else
During a press conference in 2011, then Ohio State University president E. Gordon Gee infamously fumbled a quip about the head football coach, who at the time was being publicly punished for concealing his players' illicit trading of memorabilia. Asked if Gee had considered firing Jim Tressel, Gee paused and stumbled: "Let me just be very clear: I'm just hopeful the coach doesn't dismiss me." Silence. Perhaps it's because the joke illustrated a sensitive point about a dynamic in college athletics, one seldom acknowledged among university leaders: that a winning and powerful coach can sometimes eclipse the influence of the rest of a university's operation, namely the president. A coach who brings in revenue for an institution can dodge the harshest consequences, which would likely be applied without question to any other official, say some commentators and college sports experts. The public saw another example of this power imbalance at Ohio State last month.

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