Wednesday, May 25, 2016  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Nashville couple supports Mississippi State with communication scholarship
A Mississippi State graduate and her husband are establishing a scholarship to benefit future majors in one of the College of Arts and Sciences' largest departments. Anna Minor Grizzle is a 1994 communication department graduate. In endowing the academic award, she and husband Steven have designated that enrolling out-of-state students be given priority in the selection process. "The communication department provided me with many opportunities that established the foundation for my success today," she said. "The scholarships offered by the department and MSU allowed me to capitalize on these opportunities without the worry of how to pay for college. Steven and I are thrilled to provide these same opportunities to other students through the scholarship."
 
Mississippi State student from Eupora wins New Orleans Fashion Week competition
A Mississippi State rising senior from Eupora is the first-place winner in the 2016 New Orleans Fashion Week student designer competition. Jesse D. Newton, a fashion design and merchandising major in the university's School of Human Sciences, had entered a silver and white outfit pairing an asymmetrical jacket and skinny-leg pants. Taking place recently at the New Orleans Board of Trade on Magazine Street, the sixth-annual event showcased talents and collections of established and emerging fashion designers, brand houses, boutiques, retailers, models, and hair and makeup artists in a series of runway shows, fashion events and exhibitions. Charles Freeman, an assistant professor in human sciences, said that it is important for MSU majors to learn from and connect with fashion industry professionals. He also proudly noted that MSU's fashion design and merchandising academic program has a 93 percent job placement rate for graduates.
 
MSU-Meridian hosts induction ceremonies for Alpha Phi Sigma honor society
Photo: MSU-Meridian recently held induction ceremonies for the Phi Mu chapter of the Alpha Phi Sigma honor society. Pictured from left, Reagan Smith, Kavondra McCauley, Hannah Harlan, Reagan Smith, Lewis, Dr. Amanda Cook (advisor), Timothy Hester, Adam Wade and Cornesha Lewis. The chapter was chartered in June 2014 by MSU Meridian criminology students. Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society accredited by the Association of College Honor Societies. Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate students of criminology and criminal justice. Students must maintain a 3.2 GPA in their cumulative and criminology classes and rank in the top 35 percent of their class.
 
MSU-Meridian hosts induction ceremonies for Alpha Chi honor society
Photo: MSU-Meridian recently held induction ceremonies for Alpha Chi, a national honor society of more than 300,000 members from some 300 college and university chapters, and member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Inductees pictured are, front row, Tyler Spence, Rayanne Craven and Hunter Anthony; back row, Dr. Greg Johnson (advisor) and Sarah Hagwood. Not pictured: Elizabeth Barncastle, Barbara Bosarge and William Campbell. Members of Alpha Chi are ranked in the Top 10 percent of juniors, seniors and graduate students.
 
Input sessions set for Starkville's comprehensive plan
City staff could begin rewriting Starkville's development codes as soon as mid-June if aldermen adopt a proposed comprehensive plan at their next meeting. Starkville is wrapping up its comprehensive planning exercise and will hold two public input sessions Thursday on the document that will help guide future development. A copy of the draft can be found on the city's website, CityofStarkville.org. Work sessions will be held at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. in City Hall's second floor conference room on Thursday. Early versions of the plan identify future growth opportunities to the east, around Mississippi State University's campus, and discourages growth in other directions since it will encourage an overall spatial imbalance in the city. It suggests the city possibly annex those areas near MSU in the next few years.
 
CEO Richard Hilton: I'm not afraid of an OCH analysis
While Oktibbeha County supervisors and OCH Regional Medical Center trustees debated the need for a strategic financial assessment of the county-owned hospital Tuesday, both sides agreed the issue of whether or not to sell the facility needs to be settled for good soon. With consultant Frederick Woodrell in tow, District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer pushed for OCH's cooperation with a possible financial analysis, the first step required by state law before a county or municipality can explore selling a government-owned hospital. Tense debate between Trainer, hospital trustees and OCH Chief Executive Officer Richard Hilton filled most of the hour-long meeting, with hospital representatives questioning Trainer's motives, vouching for their own yearly audits and saying continued uncertainty of the hospital's future affects recruitment and retention efforts for medical staff.
 
State Gets EPA Approval to Use Unauthorized Pesticide to Save Grain Sorghum Crop
The Environmental Protection Agency is granting the state Department of Agriculture and Commerce a federal emergency exemption to use Sulfoxaflor on grain sorghum. Grain sorghum is mostly used as feed for livestock. The crop contributed $39 million to Mississippi's agriculture economy last year. The pesticide is used to protect against the destructive sugarcane aphid. "If the farmers can't use chemicals, most of them are going to go out of business, and so there's going to be no crops to go to," says Johnny Thompson, vice president of the Mississippi Beekeepers Association. Beekeepers produced $3.2 million worth of honey in Mississippi last year. Jeff Harris is the honeybee expert at Mississippi State University Extension Service. "I think our beekeepers have decided the risk to their bees from this particular compound is relatively low, compared to what they're already exposed to in their environments already. They're actually in support of the farmers having the tools to protect their crops," says Harris.
 
Mississippi Highway Patrol plans holiday enforcement period
The Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin the 2016 Memorial Day Travel Enforcement Period on Friday at 6 p.m. and conclude Monday at midnight. During this highly traveled period, Captain Johnny Poulos said in a news release Tuesday all available troopers will be assigned saturation patrols in an effort to maximize visibility and reduce traffic crashes. Poulos says safety checkpoints will also be established to prevent impaired driving and promote seatbelt usage in conjunction with the Click It or Ticket campaign.
 
Chief of Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration retiring
Kevin Upchurch, state fiscal officer and executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, is retiring after more than 32 years in state government. He plans to depart at the end of June. Upchurch is a minister of building and grounds of sorts for the state. But the 400-employee department he oversees has a host of other responsibilities, including management of the state's $20 billion annual budget. Upchurch said he wants to spend more time with family, especially his two new grandchildren.
 
Ed board votes to follow leadership on transgender bathroom policy
The state Board of Education opted Tuesday to follow the lead of Mississippi's Republican elected leadership and disregard federal government guidelines that say transgender students should be allowed to use the bathrooms of the sex which they identify. The decision, which was described as unanimous, is a reversal of the original decision of state Superintendent Carey Wright, who originally said the state Department of Education would adhere to the federal guidelines, which were handed down earlier this month. The nine-member board met behind closed doors for about two-and-a-half hours in a special called meeting before announcing the decision. The board said the meeting was in executive session because it dealt with "a discrete personnel issues" and the possibility of litigation.
 
Ed board to 'follow state lead' on transgender policy
After meeting behind closed doors for two-and-a-half hours, the state Board of Education voted unanimously to "support the position of the state leadership" and ignore a federal directive to allow transgender students to use the school restrooms and locker rooms with which they identify sexually. "We had a long discussion and the issue was well vetted," said board Chairman John Kelly of Gulfport. "... School districts have dealt with that effectively. There's no reason to believe that school districts won't continue to handle those issues." The board vote comes after state School Superintendent Carey Wright made an about-face on the issue under pressure from Gov. Phil Bryant and state lawmakers.
 
State lawmakers disagree on impact of budget cuts
The legislative session has ended, but the legislative back and forth between the two parties is still ongoing. The focus, the tax cuts passed during the 2016 session and how they'll affect one state agency. Democratic leaders in the legislature are highlighting cuts being made to spending in their state health department and are calling for a special session to address the matter. Democratic State Representative Steve Holland said the Mississippi Department of Health will have to lay-off more than 70 workers by the first of July. But Republican State Senator Chad McMahan of Guntown says employees did not have to lose their jobs in this instance.
 
Senate advances bill to move catfish inspections
Over objections from Mississippi's Republican senators, the Senate voted Tuesday to begin debate on a measure to end catfish inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker were scrambling early this week for support to kill the resolution -- proposed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- to remove a catfish inspection program from the USDA's jurisdiction. The tally was 57-40 to advance the bill. Cochran and Wicker won their earlier fight to move the inspection program from the Food and Drug Administration to the USDA, which they said does a better job protecting consumers against contaminated catfish. "The USDA is the most experienced, well-equipped agency to ensure farm-raised meat products, including catfish, are as safe as possible," Cochran said on the Senate floor Tuesday before the vote.
 
Mississippi's Democrats, Republicans select convention delegates
After the state Democratic convention last weekend, the Mississippi delegates who will cast votes at the national conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties are set. Forty Republican delegates will travel to Cleveland July 18-21. U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and U.S. Reps. Trent Kelly, Gregg Harper and Steven Palazzo are among the Mississippi delegation, along with Gov. Phil Bryant, Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn. Forty-one Mississippi Democrats will head to Philadelphia July 25-28 to cast votes for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. Clinton will likely receive 34 of those votes, including those from U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, Attorney General Jim Hood and House minority leader David Baria. Clinton won the primary in March.
 
State Treasurer Visits Mississippi University for Women
The woman in charge of state finances makes a stop at Mississippi University for Women Tuesday night. State Treasurer Lynn Fitch was the keynote speaker at Tuesday's National Education for Women Leadership Program event. Fitch talked to students about how she got started in finance, and encouraged them to follow their dreams.
 
Ole Miss looks to expand on campus
As the University of Mississippi continues to get too big for its britches, university officials are looking to let out the seams a bit and purchase additional land to give the campus some breathing room. Last Thursday, the Institutions for Higher Learning of Mississippi approved the university's request to purchase 12 acres of land on Davidson Lane, commonly known as the Dunbar property. UM officials said the property, currently owned by John and Martha Dunbar, is "critical to the long-range plans of the university due to its location to campus," according to the minutes from the May 16 IHL meeting.
 
UMMC sets $36M contract to outsource hospitals' food service
The University of Mississippi Medical Center plans to hire an outside vendor to handle food services at its three hospitals. The College Board approved the 5-year, projected $36 million contract with Atlanta-based Morrison Management Specialists last Thursday. UMMC has been running its own food service on its Jackson campus since 2013, but the medical center says it failed to achieve its goal to improve patient satisfaction. Vendors were providing food at the smaller Grenada and Holmes County hospitals.
 
USM celebrates groundbreaking of Gulf Park building
The University of Southern Mississippi celebrated the groundbreaking for the future Gulf Park Business and Health Building Monday on the University's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. The new project will provide a two-story, 25,000-square-foot academic facility that will house the University's Gulf Park operations for the colleges of Business and Health. "The University of Southern Mississippi remains committed to providing high-quality education and research programs for our coastal community," said University President Rodney Bennett. A $7 million project, the Gulf Park Business and Health building is being funded from $3.5 million appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature specifically for the project and an additional $3.5 million appropriated by the Legislature for general repairs to and restoration of Southern Miss facilities.
 
Southern Miss students can watch TV anywhere they want
The University of Southern Mississippi now has one more perk to offer students. In addition to benefits like the Payne Center, Lake Thoreau and several popular fast food outlets, students can now watch cable television anywhere on campus on their personal electronic devices. Southern Miss has teamed with Comcast to become the first Mississippi university to offer Xfinity On Campus, enabling students who live on the Hattiesburg campus to watch live TV and On Demand cable services on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. "They've always had cable TV capabilities in their residence hall rooms," said Scott Blackwell, director of residence life. "What's different is Xfinity On Campus is specifically intended for college students. If they have a laptop, tablet or smartphone, they'll be able to enjoy cable TV on those devices."
 
USM police seek burglary suspect
The University of Southern Mississippi Police Department requests the public's assistance in locating Floyd Keyes, 50, of Hattiesburg in connection with a burglary that occurred May 14 at the Eagle Dining facility in the University's Thad Cochran Center. If anyone has information about Keyes, contact University Police at (601) 266-4986 or Crime Stoppers at (601) 582-STOP (7867).
 
Jackson State will spend $1M to lease hotel for at least one more year
Jackson State University has agreed to continue renting a hotel for student housing for at least one more year. The College Board, meeting Thursday in Starkville, approved a plan for JSU to lease the former Travelodge hotel near the Mississippi State Fairgrounds through May 2017. The university will pay Bapu Hotels just over $1 million to lease the 244-bed hotel. The university has been housing students there since 2013, calling it Tiger Plaza. The agreement includes options for two more years.
 
New student union provides room to grow at EMCC's Golden Triangle campus
The opening later this fall of a two-story, 76,000-square-foot student union and multi-purpose building at East Mississippi Community College's Golden Triangle campus will help alleviate growing pains at the college and provide additional classroom space. The student union is also expected to become a focal point for students looking to grab a bite to eat, visit with friends or prepare for their next class. "We are incredibly excited about having this new facility at our Golden Triangle campus," EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said. The roughly $16 million building includes 12 multi-purpose classrooms, a large lecture hall and a computer lab with about 100 work stations.
 
U. of Florida, Elsevier explore interoperability in the publishing space
The University of Florida and Elsevier are unveiling a project to connect the institution's repository of scholarly works to the larger network of publishing platforms, giving users a portal through which they can explore tens of thousands of articles by the university's authors. Researchers at UF publish around 8,000 scholarly articles a year, and about a quarter of them appear in the top 10 percent of the most cited journals. Elsevier's journals are the most popular destination; about 1,100 articles appear in the publisher's journals, and they generate more citations than articles published elsewhere, on average. Yet with all that research output, UF hasn't had a culture of authors depositing their articles in its institutional repository, said Judith C. Russell, dean of university libraries at UF.
 
Documents: U. of South Carolina trustee baited, shot trapped hawks
University of South Carolina board of trustees member Charles Williams orchestrated an illegal scheme to bait and trap rare red-tailed wild hawks with pigeons and then execute the hawks with a pistol, according to new legal documents. Williams, 65, killed the hawks so they wouldn't prey on the "pen-raised quail" he had on his 1,790-acre Orangeburg County plantation, where he had quail-hunting parties, according to the documents. The documents, called a sentencing memorandum, were filed in U.S. District Court as part of the government's case against Williams and three associates, who have agreed to plead guilty to wildlife-related charges during a June 6 federal hearing in Charleston before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges.
 
A&M System part of five-member team hoping to secure managing nuclear lab
A powerhouse coalition made up of two major industry partners and three university systems, including Texas A&M, is making a bid to take over running a $3 billion lab responsible for the United States' nuclear arsenal. At a press conference on the University of New Mexico campus late Tuesday morning, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp joined with leaders from the University of Texas System, Boeing, Battelle and the host campus to announce a joint bid being made to the U.S. Department of Energy to take over management Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. The five partners -- dubbed Together Sandia -- make each other stronger, resulting in a team Sharp described as "more than the sum of its parts."
 
Following domestic abuse conviction, Texas A&M prof plans to resume teaching in fall
A Texas A&M professor who was convicted at the end of March of assaulting his wife will return to the school in the fall to teach, an A&M spokesman said. Following a review that began after his conviction, university officials decided Yong Chen, a 40-year-old finance professor at the Mays Business School, would not lose his job because of a Class A misdemeanor conviction and subsequent jail sentence for assaulting his wife. University spokesman Shane Hinckley declined to discuss the internal proceedings, citing university policy, but did confirm that Chen would be returning to teach. Chen was the holder of the Gina and William H. Flores '76 Professorship in Finance. The university took the professorship away from him after U.S. Rep. Flores released a statement condemning Chen's actions.
 
U. of Missouri audits diversity, inclusion policies
The University of Missouri System on Monday launched an audit of diversity and inclusion policies, practices and procedures, according to a news release. The audit is one of several initiatives the UM Board of Curators approved in November after protests over race relations on campus that prompted the system president, Tim Wolfe, to resign. It is expected to be complete by the end of the calendar year, the release said. The initiatives will cost $2 million, with $1.1 million paying for the audit. The audit will include focus groups, surveys and individual interviews of students, faculty, staff and leadership at the four UM campuses, the release said.
 
U. of Missouri's Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources dean to retire in December
Tom Payne, dean of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and vice chancellor for agriculture, announced Tuesday in a letter addressed to the "CAFNR family" that he will retire at the end of December. Payne, 74, said in the letter he is retiring to spend time with his family. Payne said he had been planning to retire last winter but waited until after things settled down from the events on the MU campus last fall. "I had planned to step down this past December but was encouraged by some to hang in through the turbulent times and transitions," Payne said. Payne has served as vice chancellor for agriculture and dean of CAFNR since Jan. 1, 1999.
 
Questions Swirl Amid Reports of Baylor President's Firing
Baylor University is not confirming reports that emerged on Tuesday that Kenneth W. Starr had been fired as president. But the furor and speculation that swirled around Mr. Starr's status are the latest signs that the university's problems with handling sexual assaults go far beyond concerns about the conduct of athletes who have been accused of rape. Since 2013, the university has been mired in controversy as a growing number of students have come out alleging that they were raped and that Baylor did little to respond to those incidents or punish their assailants. Some of the incidents involved charges of rape against two football players who were eventually found guilty in criminal proceedings. Mr. Starr's alleged dismissal by the Board of Regents was first reported on Tuesday morning by Horns Digest.
 
Baylor University prepares to fire president over handling of assaults
Sitting in his office last November, surrounded by football regalia and ornaments featuring Bible passages, Kenneth Starr, the president of Baylor University, defended his institution's handling of sexual assault and domestic violence. "If you look at the way we approach the issue of interpersonal violence," Starr said, "I believe a fair-minded judge would say, 'You're doing everything that you can.'" Baylor's Board of Regents seemingly would disagree. After months of allegations that the world's largest Baptist university has continuously mishandled -- and sought to suppress public discourse about -- sexual assaults committed by its football players, the board reportedly was moving this week to fire Starr, and his resignation is now expected.
 
Job outlook for newest grads: be positive, but be prepared
In her earnest approach to college and career, Liliana Sedano demonstrates a sense of practical optimism emerging among younger Millennials and the next generation, known as Generation Z. Having watched older Millennials struggle with the challenges brought on by the Great Recession, the cohort next in line is coming of age with the notion that they need to come prepared to face an unforgiving job market -- even though 2016 graduates are entering the strongest job market since the downturn. The shift speaks to how factors at play during the formative years have a profound influence on generational attitudes.
 
School desegregation: It's not just a Mississippi problem
Michael Copperman works in diversity-retention and writing instruction at the University of Oregon. His memoir of teaching in the rural black public schools of the Mississippi Delta, TEACHER, is forthcoming from University Press of Mississippi in September. He writes in The Hill: "62 years after Brown vs. Board, the Supreme court has decided that perhaps outstanding consent decrees from the 70s should be enforced in Cleveland, MS. I have a memoir, TEACHER, forthcoming this fall about the rural black public schools of the Delta , and so I already knew that the order was no victory. National coverage has reduced the issue to a narrative about 'backwards, still-segregated Mississippi' -- as if issues of race and class and achievement don't exist throughout the nation. ...This ruling says less about the Delta than it does about how far America still has to go to make our education system just."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs next for Crimson Tide
Despite winning the Southeastern Conference regular season championship and being projected as a lock for a national seed, Mississippi State's John Cohen is leaving nothing to chance. Cohen and the third-ranked Bulldogs are headed to the SEC Tournament with their sights set on claiming that title as well to remove any doubt for the NCAA Tournament selection committee on Monday. "Some crazy things can happen in that room," Cohen said. "I know our RPI isn't as good as some others and there's a lot of things that can go on in that room. Things can happen around the country so the easy thing to do is just to take care of our own business, do everything we can to win our games and let the chips fall." After receiving a first round bye as the tournament's top seed, MSU will take on No. 9 seed Alabama in the second round at 4:30 p.m. on SEC Network. The Crimson Tide advanced by beating eighth-seeded Kentucky 5-2 on Tuesday.
 
Mississippi State not taking any chances ahead of SEC Tournament
Last Saturday was a surreal moment for No. 1 Mississippi State and their head coach John Cohen. For the first time since 1989, a year where Cohen started in the outfield for the Bulldogs, the Southeastern Conference Championship resides in Starkville. As that moment has worn off, more accolades poured in for MSU this week. Freshman leadoff man extraordinaire earned the Ferris Trophy on Monday as the state's top baseball player, becoming the first freshman to win the award in the process. He followed that up with first-team All-SEC honors, SEC Freshman of the Year. None of that worries the youngster from Jackson Prep. Currently leading the SEC in batting average at .427, Mangum is more worried about the upcoming SEC Tournament that starts Wednesday for the No. 1 seed MSU against Alabama.
 
Mississippi State needs SEC tournament to align rotation for regionals
Mississippi State opens its SEC tournament with a game against Alabama on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The Crimson Tide advanced to play MSU after beating Wildcats on Tuesday. The Bulldogs took two of three at Alabama at the end of April. More than any opponent, top-seeded MSU can use its stay in Hoover, Alabama to fine tune its pitchers for the NCAA Tournament. "There's two extremes, if you lose two you have that taste of not playing well," coach John Cohen said. "The opposite extreme of that is if you win five or whatever and your team can be a little tired and exhausted and you need to refresh." Mississippi State will pitch Zac Houston on Wednesday. Dakota Hudson will pitch Thursday.
 
Mississippi State's Cole Gordon wins SEC on anniversary of grandfather's no-hitter
Cole Gordon added an aspect to his usual pregame routine last weekend. The redshirt freshman tied an American flag bandana around his head. He prepared to jerk his head side-to-side to Eli Marrero's walk-up song. But he also paused and thought of his grandfather, Charles. The eldest Gordon died last Monday at the age of 86. "He loved baseball. He loved talking about it," Gordon said. "We'd always try to get him to brag but he'd never do it. He was always at every game when I was in high school." Mississippi State (40-14-1) won its first two games against Arkansas, which set the program in line for a chance to win an SEC championship with another victory. But even before the title opportunity, May 21 held special significance to Gordon. It marked the anniversary of when his grandfather pitched a no-hitter in the Kansas high school state championship.
 
Attaboys & Oh Boys for May 25: Attaboy! to Mississippi State baseball
The Clarion-Ledger gives Mississippi State an "Attaboy" this week: "Attaboys! To the Mississippi State University baseball team for clinching the 2016 SEC championship title this year. It's the program's first title since 1989, and it's one that was well-earned by the Bulldogs. They swept the final three SEC series and won nine of 10 conference series for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs also became the first team in league history to win the SEC title outright after finishing last the year before, yet another testament to the hard work and non-stop 'grinding' displayed by the team. This win marks the 11th in the program's history, and each one is a sweet as the others. Congrats to the Bulldogs for such a great season and for once again showcasing Mississippi as a state to be reckoned with when it comes to athletics."
 
Rivalry between Bulldogs, Rebels going strong
Mississippi syndicated sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "This college baseball season in Mississippi has given us so much to cheer: conference championships, nationally ranked teams, splendid players and so much more. But did you ever think you would see what we saw Saturday? Mississippi State fans openly cheered an Ole Miss victory. The SEC Network showed it perfectly on split screen TV: State fans, in Starkville watching their Bulldogs on the field and the Rebels on their cellphones and portable TVs. Of course, State fans were cheering for their Diamond Dogs. But when Ole Miss got the last out to defeat Texas A & M, State fans cheered wildly. I saw them, heard them. I swear I did. They rang their cowbells -- for an Ole Miss victory... Says author Neely Tucker, a lifelong Mississippi State fan (who graduated from Ole Miss), 'For me it was the definition of a moral quandary.'"
 
U. of Missouri's Title IX Office involved in review of softball coach Ehren Earleywine
Missouri's Title IX Office has become involved in the ongoing investigation of Missouri softball Coach Ehren Earleywine and his program, a source confirmed to the Tribune on Tuesday. Earleywine was interviewed Monday as part of the Title IX review, according to the source. University spokesman Christian Basi wrote in a May 10 email to the Tribune that the university does not comment on, nor confirm, that any investigations through the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights and Title IX are taking place. The Kansas City Star, citing sources, first reported on Tuesday that the Title IX Office had become involved in the investigation.
 
U.C.L.A. and Under Armour in Record Sponsorship Deal
U.C.L.A. and Under Armour on Tuesday announced the largest college sponsorship deal ever, a contract that will pay the university's athletic department $280 million in cash and apparel over 15 years. The deal extends a trend of rapidly escalating contracts as three sportswear companies -- Under Armour, Nike and Adidas -- seek greater footholds in the lucrative college sports industry. Since 2014 alone, the unofficial sponsorship record has changed hands five times as prominent programs have signed new agreements. U.C.L.A.'s previous deal, with Adidas, paid it $7.5 million per year. (Deals typically combine cash and a certain value of apparel.) By many measures, college sports have never been more popular, with football dominating autumn Saturdays and the N.C.A.A.'s Division I men's basketball tournament still one of the tent poles of the sports calendar.



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