Tuesday, November 24, 2015  SUBSCRIBE   
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush in Starkville for Egg Bowl
Presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush plans to be in Starkville on Saturday for the Egg Bowl between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Austin Barbour of Mississippi, a senior adviser to the Bush campaign, said Bush plans to do some tailgating and "work The Junction" before the game. Barbour said Bush will return to Mississippi on Dec. 7 for a Jackson fundraiser. "It's an opportunity to spent time with tens of thousands of supporters and potential supporters," Barbour said. Mississippi's primary for the 2016 presidential race is March 8.
Egg Bowl run made by Mississippi State, U. of Mississippi ROTC cadets
For more than 100 years, both the Rebels and Bulldogs have been running up and down the field of play competing for the Egg Bowl trophy. But before they can compete again this year, the ROTC cadets had a little running to do of their own. From Oxford on Monday came the Rebel cadets with a game ball to hand off to the Bulldog cadets in Calhoun City. It's a nice friendly gesture. But don't get it twisted, this is still State vs. Ole Miss. "In the midst of all of that, State will win the Egg Bowl," said Michael Warren, an MSU cadet.
Mississippi State drone center has new associate director
Stephen "Lux" Luxion, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, has been named associate director of the Alliance for System Safety of Unmanned Aerial Systems through Research Excellence center, according to a Mississippi State University news release. The ASSURE center is based at MSU, but involves numerous universities, government agencies and private firms. "We are very pleased to have someone with Lux's knowledge and leadership ability join us," ASSURE Director James Poss said in the news release. "He understands that ASSURE is uniquely positioned to take advanced research and turn it into FAA rules that work for the agency and industry."
Mississippi State alums promoted at Engineering Research and Development Center
The U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center has announced the promotion of two employees and the appointment of a third to participate in a Department of Defense management and leadership training program. According to information from ERDC, Bartley P. Durst has been named director of the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory at the Vicksburg campus, and Lucy P. Priddy was named associate technical director for the Military Engineering branch at the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory. Durst has bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Mississippi State. Priddy has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Mississippi, a master's in civil engineering from Mississippi State, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.
Mississippi State alum Travis Moore named Leader in Finance by MBJ
Travis Moore, Regional President of The Citizens Bank, Hattiesburg, has been named among the 2015 Leaders In Finance by the Mississippi Business Journal. The leadership program was established in 2012 to recognize individuals in the financial industry whose accomplishments within the industry and their active citizenship in the community are exceptional. Moore maintains offices in both the Hattiesburg and Biloxi locations of The Citizens Bank. Moore holds three degrees from Mississippi State University.
Starkville sales tax figures continue setting records
Starkville's sales tax collections continued an upward historical trend in Fiscal Year 2014-2015, averaging more than $500,000 per month for the first time in the city's history. Sales tax records released by the city show Starkville collected about $6.16 million in general sales taxes -- the largest amount on record -- from October 2014 to September 2015, or FY 2014-2015, exceeding FY 2013-2014's $5.96 million. Its monthly average, approximately $513,102, also eclipsed last fiscal year's monthly average of $496,154.12. Officials say Starkville's growing economy -- evident in continued commercial and residential developments -- and a successful 2014 Mississippi State football season helped push tax collections into record territory.
Mississippi Highway Patrol sets enforcement plan for holiday travel
The Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin the 2015 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Enforcement Period at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Thanksgiving period will conclude Sunday at midnight. During the highly traveled period, troopers will be assigned to interstate and highway systems in order to combat careless and reckless driving along with speeding and distracted driving issues, according to a press release from the MHP.
River's rising, so plan Thanksgiving dressing sans Mississippi oysters
Thanksgiving means oyster dressing on Coast tables, but the oysters won't be from Mississippi if they're fresh. Oystermen had only two brief days on the water before the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources closed the oyster reefs the afternoon of Nov. 12. The reefs closed because projections were the Pearl River would reach 12.5 feet. At that height, Mississippi's management plan calls for the reefs to close because bacteria could infiltrate the water. Meanwhile, they're fishing away for oysters over in Louisiana. It's frustrating for Mississippi oystermen, but good news for people whose Thanksgiving grocery lists include fresh oysters.
Gov. Phil Bryant holding firm on opposition to refugee resettlement
Gov. Phil Bryant and other governors said Monday they continue to oppose resettling Syrian refugees in their states, despite repeated assurances from the Obama administration that the resettlement program can be trusted. "Gov. Bryant's position hasn't changed on not accepting Syrian refugees," said Knox Graham, a spokesman for Bryant. "He sent his own letter to President Obama last week expressing his concern over the matter and his position is well known." Bryant and more than two-dozen other governors, mostly Republicans, have vowed to fight the administration's efforts to resettle up to 10,000 Syrian refugees in the country this fiscal year. In the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, the governors and some lawmakers have cited concerns the refugees may include Islamic radicals.
Affidavits, brother's residency questioned in House District 79 race
Republican challenger Mark Tullos has appealed to the state House his loss to incumbent state Rep. Bo Eaton --- which came via drawing of straws to break a tie. Tullos said there were irregularities with Smith County election officials meeting in secret and counting nine affidavit ballots they had previously rejected that brought the tie. But a political blog has also raised questions about Tullos' brother voting in the race in Smith County when he lives in Rankin County. And state Democratic leaders have questioned whether the majority-Republican House would be a fair arbiter of the race and said Tullos should accept drawing the short straw and let it go.
Amid Terror Scare, State Department Issues World-Wide Travel Alert
The State Department on Monday issued a world-wide travel alert following a month of deadly terrorist attacks on three continents that have killed hundreds of people, including Americans. The alert, the first in nearly a year, expires on Feb. 24. It comes during the busiest U.S. travel week of the year, with millions of Americans hitting the roads and airways for the Thanksgiving holiday. The State Department, in its warning, said terror groups including Islamic State and Boko Haram "continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and nonconventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests."
Why Iowa clings to the top of the campaign calendar, despite a spotty record of picking candidates
Ted Cruz discussed the pain of his parents' divorce. Ben Carson recalled losing a young patient in surgery. Mike Huckabee described the anguish of administering the death penalty. "If that doesn't sober you up to reality," the former Arkansas governor said to pin-drop silence from a crowd of hundreds of Christian conservatives, "nothing will." It's hard to imagine such a raw, confessional conversation taking place almost anywhere but Iowa, where every four years White House hopefuls descend to bare their ambitions, present their visions and reveal a bit of their souls in pursuit of the nation's highest office. They come and endure the relentless scrutiny, even though Iowans have -- at best -- a middling record when it comes to picking presidents, especially on the Republican side. There are many reasons the candidates keep coming.
NOAA chief tells lawmaker: No one will 'coerce the scientists who work for me'
The Obama administration is continuing to resist efforts by a top House Republican to gain access to the internal deliberations of federal scientists who authored a groundbreaking global warming study the lawmaker is investigating. In response to a threat from House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) to subpoena Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told Smith in a letter Friday that her staff will not be influenced by political interference. "I have not or will not allow anyone to manipulate the science or coerce the scientists who work for me," Sullivan wrote. "If the committee doubts the integrity of the study," Administrator Kathryn Sullivan wrote, "it has the tools it needs to commission a competing scientific assessment."
Pesticide-makers point to other culprits in bee die-offs
In a Nordic-inspired building tucked in a corner of the Bayer CropScience North American headquarters, high school students wander through 6,000 square feet dedicated entirely to the specialness of bees. The pesticide maker highlights its work to foster the insects around the world. Amid the displays are bottles of Bayer pesticides. That display in that building captures Bayer's multi-billion-dollar balancing act. Some of those pesticides contain tobacco-derived chemicals called neonicotinoids that many researchers say play a role in declining bee populations. Bayer spent $12 million last year, when it earned profits of more than $3.6 billion, promoting bee health as the world's top neonic maker and No. 2 Syngenta fend off suggestions the chemicals are bee-killers. Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto -- which coats its seeds with neonics -- are encouraging nonprofits, landowners and governments to plant more flowers and other plants bees need to feed. Their representatives are speaking at beekeepers' conferences and visiting agricultural research universities.
Mississippi University for Women gives 53 Thanksgiving baskets to families
Several families in Columbus will have a Thanksgiving meal this holiday thanks to the Student Council at the Mississippi University for Women. Students packed 53 baskets with donated food and other items. They presented the families with the baskets Monday evening. MUW worked with the Columbus Housing Authority to help identify families in need. "It's a blessing when someone is able to give you something, and my boy, Amos, they always take care of me from the W," said Delinda Boler.
FBI Investigates Violent Arrest of Fan at Ole Miss Football Game
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the violent arrest of a fan at University of Mississippi football game after a video showed a security officer punching the man in the face during the arrest, school officials said Monday. The video, which went viral over the weekend, shows two security officers confronting a man in the stands at Saturday's matchup between Ole Miss and Louisiana State University at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. "We do not tolerate violent behavior on our campus, and our request for an independent FBI investigation should make it clear that we are taking this situation very seriously," said University Police Department Chief Tim Potts in a news release. The release said the FBI arrived on campus on Monday to begin their inquiry.
Ole Miss grad to head WAPT in Jackson
Michael L. Neelly, who worked as a photojournalist and producer at WAPT-Channel 16 in Jackson in the early 1990s, is replacing the retiring general manager Stuart Kellogg. Neelly, an Ole Miss graduate and longtime Hearst Television news executive most recently serving as a news director in Cincinnati and Louisville, will become president and general manager on Jan. 1. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mississippi, and began his television journalism career in 1989 as a freelance photographer for ESPN, CBS and WTBS Sports before moving to Jackson and becoming a producer.
New rule expands limited law practice for law students
The Mississippi Supreme Court has approved a new rule expected to give law students more of an opportunity to practice law on a limited basis. "The new rule will expand the limited practice opportunities of law students by allowing them to provide limited legal services as part of a clinical legal education course, law school legal internship program or through a volunteer legal services program under the supervision of licensed attorneys," said Tiffany Graves, the executive director of the Access to Justice Commission. Court officials say their hope is the new rule will give the less fortunate more access to legal assistance.
USM students winners at merchandising competition
University of Southern Mississippi business students captured four of eight awards presented at the Mississippi Cotton Merchandising Competition on Nov. 20 at Mississippi State University in Starkville. These students were all enrolled in merchandising courses and entered the competition as part of class projects for Textiles Industrial Complex, a junior level Merchandising course, and International Policy and Retail Strategy, a senior level Merchandising course. The competition was made possible by a grant from the Importer Support Program of the Cotton Board and Cotton Inc., and was a joint partnership between the three Mississippi universities, which offer fashion merchandising programs: the USM, Delta State and Mississippi State..
Student-run Fighting Okra Records to finalize artist search
Fighting Okra Records, a student-run record label at Delta State University, continued its search to find a new artist for the 2015-16 academic year by holding a performance showcase on Nov. 3 at the Delta Music Institute. The event was held to review the five finalists competing to sign with FOR. The showcase was closed to the public, and the live performances were viewed by label members in order to give the artists a more realistic experience in dealing with record label executives. An announcement of this year's winner will be made following Thanksgiving break. FOR is the driving component of the DMI's Record Label Practicum course.
Jackson State University Students Stand Up to Sexual Violence
During her freshman year at Jackson State University in 2011, a close friend of Arekia S. Bennett was gang-raped on campus. As a result, Bennett started looking around and realized no students were actively advocating against campus sexual assault and starting conversations about solutions and ways to prevent it moving forward. "It's about starting a dialogue about the situation," Bennett told the Jackson Free Press. "It's about accountability." Now a senior, Bennett decided to raise that awareness herself, starting a group called GIRL, the JSU Feminist Majority chapter that is taking to the streets on campus, demanding more safety and awareness about risk female students face.
Lloyd Gray highlights service to others to Meridian Community College Honors College students
Emphasizing community service, Phil Hardin Foundation Executive Director Lloyd Gray told students of Meridian Community College's Phil Hardin Foundation Honors College this generation has been involved in more community service than the previous generations. Gray was guest speaker at the Honors College's recent forum and stressed the importance of giving back, and how great it was to see that students have already been committed to a cause so humble and compassionate. "Many people do not want to give back until they make it in life, however I have found that in order to receive you must first give back," Gray told the students. Community service is what makes or breaks a town as it can build trust and form a peaceful coexistence among people of various backgrounds.
U. of Kentucky will cover up, relocate mural whose depiction of black people has upset many
n 1934, Ann Rice O'Hanlon painted a fresco -- then the largest one ever painted by a woman -- in the University of Kentucky's Memorial Hall. Ever since, thousands of students have walked past it on their way to and from various events each semester. Some have been oblivious to the work, which depicts Kentucky's history, while others have admired it and considered it an outstanding example of the Depression-era Public Works of Art program, which paid for the fresco. As campus protests over issues of race have spread in recent weeks, black students at Kentucky held a meeting with President Eli Capilouto and talked about how the fresco hurt them by relegating black people to roles as slaves or servants, without portraying the cruelty of slavery and Jim Crow. On Monday, Capilouto announced his agreement that the mural's location is inappropriate.
U. of Tennessee accidentally sends out acceptance letters to 22
Twenty-two acceptance letters to the University of Tennessee were accidentally sent last week, the university confirmed Monday. "Our admissions office deeply regrets it," Margie Nichols, a UT spokeswoman, said. "It was a mistake, they should not have been sent." She said the applicants who received acceptance letters by accident were not all from the same town or school or grouped together for a particular reason. It was human error, Nichols said. She said some students in that group were going to be granted admission, but others were not. Nichols declined to say how many of the 22 student applicants would be accepted. On Monday, members of admissions staff were in the process of notifying -- with "care and sensitivity" -- the students who received the letters accidentally, Nichols said.
UGA food scientist says additives aren't as scary as you think
A group of food scientists have something they think most people need to hear: just because you can't pronounce an ingredient doesn't mean it's bad for you. About 10 graduate students attending schools across the country joined together to educate people about food. Erica Kenney, a University of Georgia student and member of the group, said many people's opinions about food come from myths and fallacies. The group attributes failed fad diets and fallacies about food to a lack of trustworthy sources to learn about the science behind food. So, the students created Don't Eat the Pseudoscience, with a Facebook page and YouTube videos, to persuade people not to trust unverified information propagated on blogs and websites.
Promise program sharply lifts Tennessee college freshman enrollment
In Tennessee, officials now have a clearer picture of the impact of the country's first statewide, free two-year college program. For more than a year state officials, with money and rhetoric, have been encouraging high school seniors to help increase Tennessee's population of adults with a college degree or certificate. And as of last week, new enrollment data show 16,291 of them have enrolled in the state's community, technical and private colleges this fall because of the new Tennessee Promise program. The Promise is one of the initiatives Governor Bill Haslam implemented to make sure at least 55 percent of the state's populace has a degree by 2025.
U. of Florida faculty spouse recommends state buy bullet-proof lecterns
A Gainesville resident whose wife is a professor at University of Florida, and whose children attended the Baby Gator nursery on campus has a suggestion for Florida lawmakers who want to allow people to carry guns on campus: buy bullet-proof lecterns. "Naturally, most of the families we know in town also have at least one member in a faculty or graduate teaching assistant role at UF or Santa Fe," Wes Jones wrote in a letter to State Sen. Rob Bradley, whose district includes the University of Florida. "Most of them are also mothers or fathers of young children." Jones pointed out that 73 percent of Floridians in a recent survey are against allowing guns on campus, as are university administrators and campus police chiefs. As an example, he referred to "ballistic-resistant" podiums.
Texas A&M's stem cell research could lead to better bone repair
Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers are experimenting with stem cell therapy as a method to repair and regrow bones more effectively than traditional procedures. According to Dr. Carl Gregory, associate professor in the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at A&M's College of Medicine, research using a type of adult stem cells -- called mesenchymal -- has proven successful in the lab. Although certain stem cell research is a source of controversy, Gregory said adult stem cells differ from embryonic stem cells, which are extracted from and destroy embryos, because they are taken from "stem cell niches" within certain tissues in a body without harming the subject. Cultured in a laboratory, these cells can differentiate into various types of other cells, essentially forming new tissue, he said.
U. of Missouri explores degree program to blend science with business, marketing
The University of Missouri is considering a new degree program that would combine science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, courses with other disciplines on campus. Leszek Vincent, an adjunct assistant professor in plant sciences at MU, is leading the degree initiative. Vincent said the program aims to fill a gap between traditional academic training and practical experience in the science workforce. "We need scientifically trained graduate students," he said. "The country needs them from the government level through business and industry." The earliest MU could offer the degree is spring 2017. Vincent said students would pay about $35,000 for the 18-month degree program.
Black leaders see disconnect between activism at U. of Missouri, city at large
The protests of black University of Missouri students have thrust Columbia into the national conversation on race relations and systemic oppression, but black residents outside campus, removed from the spotlight, endure similar inequalities. The black unemployment rate, gentrification and policing remain the focus of local social organizations and activist groups. The events that led to UM System President Tim Wolfe's resignation have highlighted certain aspects of the black experience in Columbia, but beyond campus boundaries, a disproportionate number of black residents continue to struggle to find work and economic equality.
Documentary About Rape at Colleges Draws Viewers in Key Demographic
"The Hunting Ground," a documentary about rape on college campuses, attracted an average of 179,000 live and same-day viewers Sunday night in the 25-to-54 age group, the highest average for cable news networks during the nearly two-hour period that began at 8 p.m. Eastern. The documentary, which was broadcast on CNN, provided a 10 percent boost in that critical demographic compared with the four Sundays ending Nov. 8. (The next Sunday featured coverage of the Paris terror attacks.) Over all, "The Hunting Ground" attracted an average of 457,000 viewers, second in cable news to Fox News's 970,000. The documentary was shown in full despite legal action threatened by John A. Boudet, a lawyer for the football star Jameis Winston. Winston was accused of rape in 2012 while attending Florida State and is the focus of an extended segment in the film.
Rhodes College offers new major focusing on urban education
After less than two years at Rhodes College, California native and sophomore Jeremy Breddan already catches himself occasionally referring to Memphis as home. Thanks to a new educational studies major at Rhodes that will license him to teach in Tennessee, Breddan could have a chance to stay in Memphis to fulfill his dream of teaching and coaching football. Natalie Person, department chair and professor in the departments of psychology and educational studies, said the hope is to add quality, well-rounded teachers with foundations in the liberal arts, even in small numbers due to Rhodes' small enrollment of about 2,000 students, to the local teacher talent pipeline.
Underperforming state economy thumps state budget
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Uh oh. Money to fund Mississippi government is below target this year and will be less than expected next year. So much for fully funding MAEP next year, or big tax cuts, or big funding increases for colleges, universities or other state agencies. And this is a surprise? Given all the tax cuts, rebates, and credits passed by the Republican controlled Legislature in the past few years, economic growth would have had to soar to produce significant gains for state coffers. Indeed, we were told these tax breaks would spur the economy, but that has not happened. ...An effective pro-growth strategy is urgently needed for Mississippi's economy, not more pro-politics stratagems."

Dak Prescott on how Mississippi State shaped him into the man he is
Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott writes for Sports Illustrated: "Back when I was a senior in high school in Haughton, La., I had a chance to go to LSU. Everyone I grew up with adored LSU, including my mom. But I chose to come to Mississippi State because I wanted to start a new tradition instead of perpetuating an established one. Since I came here, my teammates and I have had a lot of success on the field, and that has given us a chance to uplift the school and the university. In the past few years here, we've been able to transform the expectations around Mississippi State. And while people have given me credit for helping change the football culture, what they don't understand is how appreciative I am of my teammates, coaches, the university and the city of Starkville for the role they've played in changing me."
Mississippi State seniors leaving legacy
No. 23 Mississippi State will bid farewell to 15 seniors that will suit up for the final time at Davis Wade Stadium during Saturday's Egg Bowl against Ole Miss. However, the legacy that group of seniors leave behind will live on well after the 2015 season comes to a close. "They've put a lot into this program," said MSU coach Dan Mullen. "They'll leave as one of the winningest senior classes in school history. (Senior night) is always emotional for them, their families and us as coaches. It's one last chance for everybody to say goodbye to guys that have done so much for our program."
Mississippi State builds momentum for Ole Miss game
The Mississippi State football team didn't want to enter rivalry week on a two-game losing streak. Coming off a 31-6 loss to Alabama on Nov. 14 at Davis Wade Stadium, MSU hoped to get back on track against an Arkansas team that entered the game riding a four-game winning streak. Thanks to a record-breaking performance by Dak Prescott and a game-saving blocked field goal in the final minute by Beniquez Brown, MSU escaped Fayetteville, Arkansas, with a 51-50 victory. "It's a lot better going in the other way," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "This week's always different. We always know this week's a big, big, big week for us. Rivalry games always are. We've got to go and try and finish the season the right way next week, getting that Egg Bowl trophy."
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen on job rumors: 'I love the one that I have'
It's become tradition. The media picks Mississippi State to finish last in the Southeastern Conference West before the season. Toward the end of the year, the same people tie Dan Mullen's name to programs with job openings. Mississippi State's seventh-year coach then calms the Bulldogs' fan base. "I don't like commenting on other jobs just because it's a waste of time," Mullen said. "I love the one that I have. Not much else on it besides that."
Dak Prescott, rest of Mississippi State seniors prep for final home game
This year's edition of the Egg Bowl again carries high stakes for both squads. Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in a game that will likely affect each team's postseason fate. A win Saturday for No. 19 Ole Miss and the Rebels (8-3, 5-2) will have wins over three of their most hated rivals, including LSU and Alabama. A win Saturday for No. 23 Mississippi State will hand senior quarterback Dak Prescott his second career victory over the Rebels in his final home game. The Bulldogs (8-3, 4-3) can also improve their odds of receiving one of the SEC's more coveted bowl bids. Prescott enters the game coming off likely the best performance of his career in a 51-50 win at Arkansas on Saturday.
Mississippi State's Taveze Calhoun set for an emotional, physical finale
Mississippi State started the season with three seniors in its secondary. It ends the season against the top-ranked offense in the Southeastern Conference with one remaining on the field. Cornerback Will Redmond and safety Kendrick Market went down earlier in the season with torn anterior cruciate ligaments. Corner Taveze Calhoun has started 34 of MSU's last 36 games. The final regular-season start of his career (on Saturday (6:15 p.m., ESPN2) against Ole Miss) will feature a square off against one of the top wide receivers in the country, Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell. "He's a complete receiver, a big guy who can run," Calhoun said. "He can catch the ball and run good routes. I think the thing that sets him apart from a lot receivers is he's willing to block."
Mississippi State Notebook: Dan Mullen skeptical about Egg Bowl impact on recruiting
Each February, Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans are glued to their computers and phones awaiting the college decisions of prospects that are choosing between the two. But Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen, who holds a 4-2 record against the Rebels, does not feel the winner of the annual Egg Bowl game has an advantage in recruiting. "I've never seen the outcome of the game really have an impact on recruiting," Mullen said. "I think a lot of guys know what they want. The programs and the schools are very different and guys either want our program or their program. There may be a couple of guys here and there but the majority of guys fall into those categories."
SEC honors Mississippi State's Dak Prescott for historic performance
Dak Prescott became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to account for at least 550 yards and seven touchdowns last Saturday. The league honored the quarterback for his accomplishment on Monday. Prescott received SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his numbers in a 51-50 win against Arkansas. The fifth-year senior threw for 508 yards and five touchdowns. He rushed for two more to go with 46 yards on the ground. It's the second time this year Prescott won the award.
More cowbells: Chad Kelly, Rebels prepare for trip to Starkville
College life is often about new experiences. Chad Kelly is about to have a big one. The Ole Miss quarterback says he'd never seen a cowbell before watching Mississippi State games on TV. "I'd never been around a cowbell or seen really a cowbell until watching the games," said Kelly, laughing, at the Ole Miss press day on Monday. "I'm just a kid from Buffalo who never heard a cowbell in Buffalo." It will be a clash of cultures when Kelly visits Starkville on Saturday for his first Egg Bowl. Bells aside, Saturday's Egg Bowl will match the top two passing offenses in the SEC.
No. 8 ranking highest ever for Mississippi State women
Mississippi State has achieved its highest ever ranking, moving up two spots to No. 8 this week in The Associated Press women's basketball poll. The Bulldogs are tied with Texas for the eighth spot. MSU (2-0) is coming off a 103-47 win over Grambling State on Saturday. Up next is a home game against Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday.
Mississippi State women's hoops owns best ranking in school history
Mississippi State women's basketball reached its highest ranking in school history on Monday. The Bulldogs ranked eighth in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. MSU moved up two spots from No. 10, which was previously the highest mark for the program. "I'm extremely proud," MSU coach Vic Schaefer said in a release. "Not only is our team being recognized, but people across the country are starting to recognize the program we have been able to build here." Mississippi State (2-0) received 527 votes along with Texas to share the eighth spot.
William Carey University to expand gym, add volleyball, track facilities
William Carey University is growing fast. And the school's current room to grow, in turn, is quickly shrinking. A new, 3,000-seat gymnasium adjacent to the main campus, originally planned to open for use by the school's athletic teams this year, would have helped alleviate some of William Carey's growing pains. But two years of delays in getting approval for the construction project from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Quality have derailed those plans. "Had we not had the issue with wetlands where we were going to put the new gym, the plans were to have it ready for this year," said William Carey athletic director Steve Knight.
Report: LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron 'very interested' in Syracuse head coaching job
LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is "very interested" in the head coaching opening at Syracuse, he told Syracuse.com on Monday. "I have a lot of respect for Syracuse," Orgeron told the website for a story published Monday. "Great private school, great education, great tradition. So, obviously, my interest would be very high. I'd be highly interested in getting that job. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to go back there." Syracuse fired coach Scott Shafer on Monday. Orgeron, 54, served as an assistant coach at Syracuse in 1995-97 under coach Paul Pasqualoni. He's in his first year of a two-year contract with LSU that pays him $450,000 a year. Shafer made $1.4 million a year.
Alternate Aggie football uniforms a treat for Texas A&M players, fans
The surprise debut of Texas A&M's "Aggie Ice" uniforms against Vanderbilt Saturday night was more than flash on the field. For athletics officials and equipment managers, alternate uniforms have given a school and football program known for its staunch commitment to tradition an opportunity to bolster its brand and do something special for the players. Associate Athletic Director Jason Cook said A&M's partnership with Adidas has generated buzz by switching things up from the maroon and white that's been standard since 2012. A&M's seven-year-deal with Adidas includes two "strategy" uniforms for football, which the Aggies have used for one uniform that comes with a retail component and another as a surprise to the players.
U. of Tennessee's Butch Jones: SEC coaching takes years off life
Recently, Butch Jones' wife showed a photograph of him, taken approximately three years ago. The difference in appearance was very apparent, according to Jones. Three years of coaching in the SEC can have that effect, he said. "It puts years on your life," Jones said of coaching in what he called college football's toughest conference. This season has been especially taxing. All four of the Vols' losses have been decided by a single possession. Tennessee blew double-digit leads against Oklahoma and Florida. Jones credited friends who have coached in the conference before with getting him ready for what it would be like. But the pressures of the SEC can be hard to prepare for.
College athletic departments taking in more money than ever... and spending it just as fast
Big-time college sports departments are making more money than ever before, thanks to skyrocketing television contracts, endorsement and licensing deals, and big-spending donors. But many departments also are losing more money than ever, as athletic directors choose to outspend rising income to compete in an arms race that is costing many of the nation's largest publicly funded universities and students millions of dollars. Rich departments such as Auburn have built lavish facilities, invented dozens of new administrative positions and bought new jets, while poorer departments such as Rutgers have taken millions in mandatory fees from students and siphoned money away from academic budgets to try to keep up.

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