Friday, February 3, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State sees strong turnout for career fair
Mississippi State University students had a chance to make some connections for their futures this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 160 corporations and organizations set up booths in the Humphrey Coliseum for a job fair. Tuesday was for students in all majors, while Wednesday centered on engineering and other STEM fields, as well as architecture and design. Richie Coker, a general manager for DHL said he had seen considerable talent among the students. "They have a very strong supply chain and logistics program," Coker said. "We have several candidates that are being vetted for DHL opportunities." Coker added that DHL had begun attending the MSU career fairs in fall of 2016 and planned to continue.
MSU-Meridian adds new bachelor's degree program
Mississippi State University in Meridian is adding a new bachelor's degree program to its Division of Business. "The bachelor's of accountancy is seamless with Starkville, meaning we have the same curriculum, courses and course titles, along with number of classes and everything," said Kevin Ennis, associate professor of accounting. The bachelor's of accountancy degree is now offered to students with classes being held in the Deen Building on the Riley campus in downtown Meridian. Students previously obtained a bachelor's of business administration degree with a concentration in accounting. But this new degree can open a lot of doors for people looking advance their career choice, such as applying to law school or other accounting opportunities. Leaders with MSU-Meridian explain that enrollment is up 7% this semester from the spring of 2016. Adding this new degree can help foster more growth in education within the community.
Jenny Turner leaving Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees in March
Starkville aldermen will now make two school board appointments this year after Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees President Jenny Turner confirmed she won't seek a second term and will step away from her leadership position in March. "My daughter graduated from Starkville High School in 2014, and my son is a senior this year, so it is an appropriate time for me to complete my service to the board of trustees," she wrote. Turner's departure means the school board will have three new members this year. SOCSD Trustee Anne Stricklin is expected to vacate her seat by the end of the academic year since the University of Florida hired her husband, Scott, as its athletic director last year, and the board's newest trustee, John Brown, took over his seat after winning his 2016 election bid.
Golden Triangle schools monitoring EdBuild report for funding changes
At least two Golden Triangle public school districts are voicing some concerns about potential revenue loses if EdBuild's recommended school funding changes are enacted. EdBuild, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, crafted a proposal for state lawmakers that frees additional state funds for some school districts and increases the burden on local taxpayers in others. The proposal includes estimated state funding changes, ranked by districts that would have to contribute the most in local funds if lawmakers approve the proposed formula. Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District is bracing for a $1.9 million loss in state funding, or $410 per student. The AP's analysis shows Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District could gain about $1 million in state funding, though. That would equate to a gain of $200 per student.
Another state budget cut looming
Another mid-year budget cut may be needed after Mississippi missed its projected revenue collection total for the eighth straight month in January. Legislative spending chairmen Rep. John Read, R-Gautier, and Sen. Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, said on a radio show Thursday morning the cuts may be necessary after January collection reports show an $18 million shortfall. That $18 million shortfall, added to the other six months of this fiscal year means the state has missed original projections by $107.5 million this fiscal year. "Yeah, it looks that way," Clarke said when asked by Supertalk radio host Paul Gallo if the governor might have to make cuts again. "When the January numbers came in, that was really disappointing. We had our fingers crossed we wouldn't have to cut again."
MDOT presses for more highway spending
The Mississippi Department of Transportation believes than an annual infusion of $400 million in additional funding is needed to ensure the continued viability of the state's highways, roads and bridges. On Thursday, MDOT unveiled an eight-year plan that details a raft of resurfacing projects and infrastructure upgrades statewide. Mike Tagert, MDOT commissioner for the state's Northern District, held a Thursday morning press conference to discuss this plan in detail. "We've got to invest in our roads and bridges if we expect a road and bridge system that is adequate and safe," Tagert said. Tagert repeatedly emphasized that a well-maintained transportation network is an economic development issue as well as a public safety matter.
Transportation Commissioner Tom King: Mississippi roads, bridges 'in crisis mode'
Mississippi's roads and bridges have reached crisis level, and Transportation Commissioner Tom King wants the Legislature's help to fix them. King said the Legislature is looking at cutting the transportation budget by about $50 million, but it needs about $400 million this year and in the coming years to be able to complete the projects in the pipeline. All told, the department needs an additional $3.2 billion over the next eight years. At risk, King said, is the safety of motorists who travel within the state. King said 677 people were killed on state roads in 2016, and he is concerned that number will increase if road conditions aren't improved. "Safety is MDOT's No. 1 priority," he said. "This is no longer affecting only MDOT, it is now affecting economic development and community growth."
MDOT proposes 8-year highway plan
The Mississippi Department of Transportation unveiled an 8-year plan to address the state's crumbling infrastructure -- but will need $400 million more in funding to accomplish it. Central District Commissioner Dick Hall, speaking at a press conference in Jackson called to announce the plan, said that at current funding levels, the state is struggling to maintain the infrastructure it has. "I'm here today to announce an 8-year plan to replace the deficient bridges, repave the fractured highways, add the needed additional lanes and provide up to date safety features for the system," Hall said.
Change of mind in House could put internet tax bill in jeopardy
A bill that would mandate internet companies to collect and remit to the state revenue from Mississippi's 7 percent tax on most retail items could be in jeopardy. The Mississippi House reversed course Thursday and refused to table a motion to reconsider to allow the bill to be transferred to the Senate. The House approved the legislation Wednesday by a comfortable 79-38 margin. But it was held on a motion to reconsider, which must be tabled before the bill can be released. The effort to table the motion to reconsider Thursday by the legislative leadership was surprisingly defeated with 45 members voting to table the motion and 68 voting not to. Those voting not to release the bill included both conservative Republicans and many Democrats.
State workers may lose civil service protection
The House narrowly passed a bill Thursday that would remove most state employees from civil service protection for three years, allowing agency heads to more easily fire them or shift their positions to save money as the state budget crunch persists. "We just got January numbers," said House Appropriations Chairman John Read, R-Gautier, who authored House Bill 974 to remove most state agencies from State Personnel Board protection. "We are $18 million shy, below projected revenue. There could be more cuts coming ... In a Pollyanna world, I could print money and we'd all be happy." He said agency directors need flexibility to deal with budget cuts past and forthcoming. Brenda Scott, president of the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees, views the move as a long-range plan for more privatization by GOP leaders, to cut agencies and staffing to the bone, then push for private industry to take over when agencies start failing to provide needed services to the public.
State could lift civil-service protection for most agencies
Legislators are debating whether to remove civil-service protection for most Mississippi state government employees for three years. The proposal is in House Bill 974 , which passed the House on a split vote Thursday. Opponents held it for the possibility of another debate on another day. Supporters say removing Personnel Board supervision from most state-service jobs would give directors the flexibility to reorganize agencies and save money in tight budget times. The bill would remove Personnel Board supervision from July 2017 through June 2020. Some employees, including Highway Patrol officers, would keep the civil-service protection.
State employees could lose civil service protection
he Mississippi House passed sweeping legislation Thursday by a narrow 62-57 margin that would remove civil service protection for most state employees. The Republican leadership of the Legislature and Gov. Phil Bryant have argued for sometime that state employees should be removed from civil service protection to give state agency directors more "flexibility" to reorganize to deal with budget cuts being made because of sluggish revenue collections. House Appropriations Chair John Read, R-Gautier, argued that removing the civil service protection that is provided through the state Personnel Board might, in reality, prevent agency directors from having to dismiss employees. "We have made cuts, severe cuts to all agencies," Read said on the House floor. "There will be more cuts coming."
Senate oks 'go cup' expansion for Livingston, others
Lawmakers are giving municipalities not included in Mississippi's "go cup" law a second shot. Thursday the Senate passed a bill that would allow "go cup" zones to be established in Madison County's the Town of Livingston, along with other locations. Natchez, Laurel, Clinton, Cleveland, Vicksburg and Ridgeland are also included in the bill. Last year the Legislature enacted a law designating leisure and recreation districts where open containers sold by approved venues are permitted off site. More simply, people can leave a bar with their drink as long as they stay within the district's boundaries. Because the districts can only be designated by lawmakers, municipalities that are not currently listed in state statue can only be zoned in through a new law.
$33.6M aquatic center at Ridgeland proposed, would need bond issue from state
Mississippi isn't necessarily known as a "swimming" state. But a plan has been floated to change that. An 88,700-square-foot facility at an estimated cost of $33.6 million has been proposed for land to be donated by the city of Ridgeland for the Mississippi Aquatic Center. The facility would rely on corporate sponsorships -- including the possibility of naming rights for big participants -- and fees. It also would need a bond issue from the state. A commitment from the local government and private sector would be essential to show the Legislature, said state Rep. Cory Wilson, Republican, for District 73. Wilson acknowledged there will be competition for a bond issue, given the state's needs -- roads and bridges improvements and maintenance being high on the list -- and its deficit budget.
Campaign finance reports go digital on Mississippi Secretary of State's website
Searchable annual campaign finance reports for statewide officials became accessible online to the public for the first time at 5 p.m. Thursday on the Mississippi Secretary of State's website. The portal has been one of the election reform projects that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has been working to implement. Hosemann explained that though 73 candidates signed up to use the online filing system, candidates can use any method -- including paper filing -- to report because there is no requirement at this time for digital filing. He noted that learning the digital system requires some training. Candidates previously filed their campaign finance reports using a printed form. Those forms were then uploaded to the Secretary of State's website.
NAFTA redo could cost U.S. energy companies, farmers big time
Smaller and poorer, Mexico can still make the U.S. economy feel significant pain should Donald Trump choose to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, have traded barbs on NAFTA, immigration and who pays for a border wall Trump wants to build. They have set a loose May date to begin discussions about a revised NAFTA, and both sides have threatened to walk away from the pact. f NAFTA rules go away, Mexico would have the right under World Trade Organization rules to instantly slap a tax of up to 50 percent on some U.S. farm products. The United States, by design of its trade laws, has limited room to hit imported products. Mexico can also turn elsewhere for some key imports it gets from U.S. farms. Think corn, poultry and pork products, which all flow south in large volumes; Mexico is the second largest market for U.S. exports.
Catfish industry sees Trump veto of TPP as victory
The U.S. catfish industry has fought Asian exporters long and hard for years. Now with President Donald Trump issuing an order in his first week in the White House to block America's membership in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, another victory has been achieved, as the U.S. industry sees it. "We just felt that the TPP would weaken [inspections of the imports]," said Roger Barlow, executive vice president of the Catfish Farmers of America and president of the Catfish Institute. The free-trade pact would afford exporters the opportunity to challenge findings by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on chemicals banned in this country, Barlow said. Dr. Jimmy Avery, aquaculture professor for the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said he did not think the pact would have had a major impact on the domestic catfish industry. He also said the switchover from Food and Drug Administration inspection of seafood imports to the USDA has become "more and more effective" at detecting unacceptable imports.
Farm bill crystal ball: Expect cuts in 2018 version
The overall cost of the 2014 farm bill is expected to be lower than originally projected largely due to declining participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but there will still be a variety of proposals to cut costs during the next round of negotiations, predicts Ferd Hoefner, senior strategic adviser at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Hoefner also noted that employees at the Heritage Foundation are part of President Donald Trump's transition team at the Office of Management and Budget and have exerted much influence over his efforts to stand up his administration. Policies laid out by the conservative think tank -- which advocates for completely eliminating commodity subsidy programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage and crop insurance policies that protect against revenue losses -- are expected to show up in Trump's first budget, which he could send to Congress in a few weeks.
Sen. Thad Cochran cosponsors bill to expand agriculture exports to Cuba
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today threw his support behind a new effort to help create more export opportunities to Mississippi famers by lifting a U.S. restriction on private financing for American agricultural exports to Cuba. Cochran is an original cosponsor on the Agricultural Export Expansion Act, which would eliminate the prohibition against providing private credit to finance agriculture sales to Cuba. Current law only allows upfront cash payments to finance such exports, effectively blocking American farmers from the Cuban market. "Lifting the private financing restriction on agriculture exports is a step in the process to normalize U.S. agricultural ties with Cuba. Removing this barrier would help open the door for more Mississippi rice and other agriculture exports," Cochran said. Agriculture is a $7.6 billion industry in Mississippi and supports approximately 29 percent of the state's workforce.
Federal judge halts enforcement of Trump immigration ban
A federal judge in Detroit has ordered the administration to stop enforcement President Trump's executive order barring citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S, CBS Detroit reported Friday. The executive order bans people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and temporarily halts the country's refugee resettlement program. The order, issued last Friday, immediately stirred controversy when travelers who were en route to the U.S. when it was signed were detained at airports.
Surge in young women planning to run for office
Brittany Shearer has always been interested in politics. But something changed when Donald Trump won the GOP presidential nomination last summer: She decided to run for office herself, and aims to get elected to the state Senate in Virginia within the next five years. Shearer is not alone. Since President Trump's election, young progressive women are flooding political training programs. They are energized by a fear of what a Trump presidency might bring on issues from reproductive rights and climate change to immigration policy and education funding. Ironically, some are also inspired by Trump, a first-time candidate who won the presidency despite a lack of political experience.
U.S. Added 227,000 Jobs In January, Outpacing Expectations
The U.S. added 227,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate rose just slightly, ticking up a tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent, according to the monthly report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The robust jobs number beat most predictions from economists, who had pegged the payroll increase at 175,000. Several different sectors showed modest gains or stable numbers. Among other areas, construction, food services and health care all continued an upward trend in employment. Meanwhile, average hourly wages showed a slight increase, rising by 3 cents, to $26, and adding to December's 6-cent bump. Friday's report is the first to be released in Donald Trump's presidency, though the bulk of the data was recorded before he took office two weeks ago.
Don Dyer promoted to Ole Miss Associate Dean of Liberal Arts
Donald L. Dyer, longtime University of Mississippi professor and chair of modern languages, has been promoted to associate dean for faculty and academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts. Dyer, who began teaching at UM in 1988, assumed his new role at the beginning of the spring semester. He has been a professor of Russian and linguistics, as well as honors classes, while leading the Department of Modern Languages. He has a bachelor's degree in Russian from the University of North Carolina, as well as master's and doctoral degrees in Slavic languages from the University of Chicago.
Five Southern Miss SAE members expelled from fraternity
Five members of the University of Southern Mississippi's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity have been expelled from the organization and 20 others have been disciplined individually in connection with a homecoming party Oct. 29 at the frat house. An investigation into the fraternity's activities that night did not uncover any use of medical substances other than alcohol by the chapter, despite incident reports from campus police that noted some attendees at the party suspected they had been drugged. Tom Burke, vice provost and vice president for student affairs, said the university's review of the approximately 30-member Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter is complete.
U. of Alabama trustees discuss construction projects
The University of Alabama System board of trustees will consider plans for a new connector road on the UA campus, a new retail center and a new alumni building when it meets Friday. The new projects were part of a lengthy agenda approved by the board's physical properties committee on Thursday. The new connector road, which would link University Boulevard and Johnny Stallings Drive by the College of Nursing, was part of a revised scope for the second phase of the University Boulevard improvements project. The trustees approved increasing the budget from $11.3 million to $13.7 million.
Nearly 200 Auburn students, faculty march to protest immigration ban
Approximately 190 Auburn University students and professors assembled to march on campus Thursday, protesting President Donald Trump's ban on immigrants and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. The protesters, many carrying pro-immigration signs, started the organized event at 11:30 a.m. on the Auburn University campus, marching up and down the Haley Concourse. During the lunch hour, the crowd grew to about 190 in number. By 2:30 p.m., approximately 35 protesters continued to demonstrate. Christine Cameron said she organized the march through a Facebook event page after her friend, an Auburn student from Iran, told her his father would not be able to see him graduate.
New directors, officers appointed to Auburn University Foundation Board
he Auburn University Foundation recently appointed four new directors to its board: Leslee Belluchie of Great Falls, Va., Kerry Bradley of Auburn, Bruce Donnellan of Birmingham and Javier Goizueta of Atlanta. The board also named Mike McLain '72 of Atlanta as its new chair and Benny LaRussa '82 of Birmingham as vice chair. "Through their work to foster philanthropic relationships with our alumni and friends, our directors help ensure that Auburn maintains a high level of performance, effectiveness and accountability in its fundraising efforts," said Jane DiFolco Parker, vice president for development and president of the Auburn University Foundation. "Our foundation directors are important partners with the professional fundraising staff in Auburn's Office of Development."
UGA committee divided on support statement for students, faculty affected by Trump travel ban
The University of Georgia's University Council might adopt a statement of support for faculty, staff and students affected by President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, but a brief discussion in the council's executive committee was inconclusive on Wednesday. The council is a legislative body of faculty, staff, administrators and students, most of them elected, that advises the UGA president on campus-wide academic and other matters. Its next scheduled meeting is Wednesday. Many faculty and students perceived UGA President Jere Morehead's statement of support for UGA workers and students from the affected countries on Monday as weak. Some members of the committee thought that the council was supposed to be non-political and should shy away.
Florida Senate looks at 'block tuition' for universities
The Florida Senate will move forward next week with a proposal that would require all 12 state universities to adopt a "block" tuition policy by the fall of 2018. The move to require undergraduates to pay a flat tuition rate per semester, rather than be billed on the current credit-hour basis, could be controversial. The state has had a block-tuition option for a number of years, yet none of the universities has adopted a plan. The dilemma: how to move to a block-tuition system without financially penalizing students while at the same time providing incentives for them to take enough courses per semester to graduate in four years. Additionally, university leaders, who have held the line on tuition increases in recent years, don't want to see a plan that would reduce their tuition revenues.
U. of Tennessee women wear hijab in show of solidarity for Muslims
As students made their way to classes at the University of Tennessee early Wednesday morning, a cheery young woman wearing a blue and yellow hijab offered them candy and called on them to stop and talk. "Come support World Hijab Day! We have candy!" said 20-year-old Hoor Temuri, extending her hand with candy to passersby on UT's pedestrian walkway. Many of them took her up on the offer, pausing to stop at the table Temuri and other students from UT's Muslim Student Association had set up and lined with colorful scarves for other students to try on or take with them and wear for the day. Started by a New York woman, Nazma Khan, in 2013, World Hijab Day is meant to foster religious tolerance and understanding of the Muslim faith, particularly as it is practiced by women.
Stephenson retiring after decades of service during most transformative period at Texas A&M
With a memorial dedicated to the man who hired him located near the center of the Texas A&M University campus, it's safe to say Lane Stephenson has borne witness to the most transformative period of the institution's 140-year history. "I probably know half of the people whose names are on the buildings here on campus and most of the people who have statues," said Stephenson with a chuckle, citing names such as J. Wayne Stark, John David Crow, Jack K. Williams and Gen. James Earl Rudder. Atop of the steps at the YMCA Building, the 81-year-old Stephenson described the way things were in a different era, back when he began his career in the Department of Marketing and Communications in 1966.
Higher education hit with biggest cuts under Missouri governor's proposed budget
The budget for fiscal year 2018 proposed by Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday cuts higher education by about $159 million. The University of Missouri System's state funding would be cut by about $40 million in Greitens' budget, compared to the amount appropriated last year. Dan Haug, the state's acting budget director, said higher education takes the single biggest financial hit in the proposed budget. MU officials said that they are creating three committees to find ways to generate additional revenue, looking at allocation of resources, capital finance, and tuition and fees. Greitens, speaking at a press conference in Nixa, Missouri, said there will be "less money for professors, colleges and universities than they expected" and said higher education institutions "can tighten their belts" and work on greater efficiency.
Trump Can't Cut Off Berkeley's Funds by Himself; His Threat Still Raised Alarm
Back in October, when President Trump vowed to "end" political correctness on college campuses, it was unclear how the then-presidential candidate planned to go about doing that. On Thursday, he dropped a hint: He threatened to cut off federal funding to the University of California at Berkeley after violent protests there there prompted campus leaders to call off a talk by a far-right provocateur. Could Mr. Trump take away a university's federal funding for what he sees as a violation of the First Amendment? Not on his own, and not entirely, some scholars say, though there are ways he could advocate for cutting some of it. Regardless, Mr. Trump's singling out of Berkeley is worth paying attention to, they say, because it serves as a message to other campus officials that they may soon be put in the position of responding to the president's social-media whims.
U. of California would lose $9 billion for research, healthcare, education if Trump cut federal funds
New treatments for genetic diseases. Advances in solar-based sustainable energy. Financial aid for needy students and medical assistance for the elderly. All of that -- and much more -- is supported by the $9 billion in federal funds given annually to the University of California for research, education and healthcare. Those funds drew widespread public attention Thursday, when President Trump tweeted that UC Berkeley's federal funds might be at risk after campus officials cancelled an appearance by conservative firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos to safeguard the public from violent protesters. Legal experts say presidents have no authority to cut off federal funds for alleged violations of the 1st Amendment. Even if they did, pulling funding from UC -- the nation's premier public research university system -- would cripple myriad projects that richly benefit the nation, said Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at UC Berkeley and founding director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI.
Will You Graduate? Ask Big Data
At Georgia State's nursing school, the faculty used to believe that students who got a poor grade in "Conceptual Foundations of Nursing" probably wouldn't go on to graduation. So they were surprised, after an analysis of student records stretching back a decade, to discover what really made a difference for nursing students: their performance in introductory math. Georgia State is one of a growing number of colleges and universities using what is known as predictive analytics to spot students in danger of dropping out. Crunching hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of student academic and personal records, past and present, they are coming up with courses that signal a need for intervention.
Experts say Rehabilitation Act refresh sets new baseline for accessibility standards
A long-awaited update to a federal rule ups the pressure on colleges and universities to ensure that their information and communication technology services are accessible to students with disabilities, experts say. The federal government last month finished work on updating section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which details the accessibility standards federal agencies, contractors and employers must meet both online -- like on a public-facing website -- and in person, like an information kiosk at the DMV. Section 508 is now almost two decades old -- an eternity in the world of information technology. An advisory committee in 2006 recommended that section 508 be refreshed, and work on updating the rule continued throughout the Obama administration. The rule goes into effect Jan. 18, 2018, giving federal agencies a year to prepare. Section 508 doesn't directly address accessible technology in higher education, but it still affects colleges and universities.

Mississippi State women beat Auburn for 10th road win of season
A lot can happen in 4 minutes, 17 seconds. Still, it's not often a Southeastern Conference game can turn as quickly as it Thursday night at Auburn Arena. Buoyed by a 17-0 run that started at the end of the third quarter and stretched into the fourth quarter, the No. 5 Mississippi State women's basketball team defeated Auburn 77-47 before a crowd of 1,969. Victoria Vivians tied for game-high scoring honors with 17 points. Chinwe Okorie scored all of her 16 points in the first half, while Teaira McCowan had 13 of her 15 in the second half for the Bulldogs (22-1, 8-1 SEC). MSU will play host to Missouri at 1:30 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU).
Vivians, Chinwe, McCowan Power No. 5 Mississippi State Past Auburn, 77-47
Mississippi State was dominant early and downright overpowering late. In between, Auburn closed the gap, but it wasn't nearly enough against the deeper, bigger Bulldogs. Victoria Vivians scored 17 points and Chinwe Okorie added 16 to lead the fifth-ranked Bulldogs to a 77-47 win over the Tigers on Thursday night that was dominant everywhere but in the middle. Mississippi State (22-1, 8-1 Southeastern Conference) built a big lead early, lost most of it and then muscled its way back into control with a 17-0 stretch extending into the fourth quarter. The Tigers (15-8, 5-4) went 5:32 without scoring after cutting the margin to six points.
Bulldogs hire Ron English as safeties coach
Mississippi State hired Ron English as its safeties coaches on Thursday. English comes to Starkville after serving as the defensive coordinator at San Jose State this past season. "I am grateful for this opportunity to join Coach Mullen's staff and be a part of the MSU family," English said. "Bowl games have become the norm in Starkville, and the opportunity to coach in the Southeastern Conference with Dan and Todd Grantham is exciting. I look forward to helping our players develop and teaching the game I love." The 48-year old native of Pomona, California brings almost two decades of coaching experience at the Division I level with stops at San Diego State and Arizona State before becoming defensive coordinator at Michigan and Louisville and head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2009-13.
SEC generated over $639 million in 2015-16, distributed $40.4M per school
The SEC generated over $639 million in total revenue for the 2015-16 fiscal year, an increase of more than 21 percent from the previous year. The conference announced its revenue and distribution figures for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, 2016, on Thursday. The total revenue includes $584.2 million divided among the 14 member schools, of which $565.9 million was distributed from the conference office and $18.3 million was retained by schools that participated in 2015-16 football bowl games to offset travel and other related bowl expenses. Each SEC school received over $40.4 million from the conference, up from $32.7 million in 2014-15.

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