Tuesday, February 7, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Former governor to speak at Mississippi State
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is scheduled to give the Lamar Conerly Governance Lecture at Mississippi State University on Monday, Feb. 13. According to an MSU news release, Barbour's lecture will center on leadership and be held in the Bill R. Foster Ballroom in the Colvard Student Union at 1 p.m. The lecture will be free and open to the public. Barbour is a Yazoo City native, and served as governor from 2004 to 2012. He has also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as White House political affairs director. He is a founder of the BGR Group, a lobbying firm. The lecture is made possible by a donation from Lamar Conerly, a 1971 MSU alumnus.
 
Students Sample Apples And Learn Healthy Habits with Help from MSU Extension Service
Students at West Oktibbeha Elementary School are learning about the health benefits of apples. To kick off the school's "Smarter Lunchroom Movement," students sampled three varieties of apples Monday and talked about how they benefit the body. West Elementary was selected as the pilot school for the district to participate in the program. The school district is partnering with the Mississippi State Extension Service for the "Smarter Lunchroom Movement."
 
Board of Supervisors approve hire of Butler Snow regarding OCH future
In a 3-2 vote on Monday morning, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors approved to hire the law firm of Butler Snow as an advisor on the prospect of selling the Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Medical Center. "Everything turned out fine," said Board president Orlando Trainer. "The board passed on a 3-2 vote to hire Butler Snow to help us develop an RFP as relation to lease, sale, possible transaction or affiliation of some type of change with the hospital." Whether or not the hospital will be sold has yet to be voted on, and the board hopes that hiring Butler Snow will help them with the decision-making process. Trainer also said Butler Snow will serve as a bond counsel during the process. Oktibbeha County Hospital CEO Richard Hilton told the SDN on Monday that the topic of employee retention came up at Monday's board meeting and is a concern that is already impacting hospital staffing.
 
Lynn Spruill, Sandra Sistrunk begin campaigns with 2016 donations
Only two candidates running for elected Starkville offices reported raising campaign funds in 2016 in anticipation of this year's municipal election. Tuesday was the deadline for office seekers who accepted contributions or made expenditures "in furtherance of a campaign" last year -- not specifically for 2017's municipal cycle -- and only mayoral candidate Lynn Spruill and Ward 2 alderman candidate Sandra Sistrunk filed reports with City Hall. The first official campaign finance report -- which reflects pre-primary receipts and expenditures from Jan. 1 through April 22 -- is due from all candidates on April 25. Spruill starts her mayoral campaign with about $4,500 in her war chest, her campaign finance report shows. Sistrunk has $2,049 in her campaign coffer ready to spend on the Ward 2 race.
 
State's adjutant general speaks of dedication of National Guard
Mississippi's new adjutant general, Janson "Durr" Boyles, said when he enlisted in the National Guard in the 1980s at Mississippi State University, he was doing so to earn money to help pay for his schooling. At the time, there was little talk of National Guard members being deployed to war zones to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with active-duty soldiers. Boyles said people joining the National Guard today know they might be going to places like Iraq or Afghanistan and "they still sign on the dotted line. To do that is pretty special ... I get to lead special people, and I am very privileged to do so." Boyles made his comments Monday at the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government/capitol press corps luncheon.
 
House passes Internet sales tax
The question of whether Mississippians will be required to start paying sales tax on online purchases moved forward Monday when the House of Representatives passed a bill on to the Senate. House Bill 480 originally passed the House last Wednesday on a 77 to 40 vote, but the bill was held on a motion to reconsider. Representatives tried to get it off that calendar the next day, but failed. On Monday, the motion to reconsider was tabled on a 67-48 vote, and the bill passed out of the House, which gives it a chance to be taken up in the Senate. In floor debate last week, Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, defending the bill, called it a user fee on out-out-state Internet businesses and not a tax increase.
 
Internet tax bill passes House
The Mississippi House changed its mind again on legislation designed to force retailers to collect for the state a 7 percent tax on items purchased online. On Monday, the House voted 69-46 to pass a motion that would send the internet sales tax bill to the Senate. The House passed the proposal last week but it was held on a motion to reconsider. A day after passing the bill, the House voted not to table the motion to reconsider. If that motion to reconsider was not disposed on by Feb. 13, the bill would have died. House Ways and Means Chair Jeff Smith, R- Columbus, made the motion to table Monday and it passed with no debate.
 
Senate bill would reserve BP millions for Coast
After months of debate over the issue, just one bill regarding how to spend millions in settlement funds from the 2010 BP oil spill made it through committee this session. Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula, and three other Coast senators sponsored the bill, which would create a new, separate reserve fund for the BP money. The bill states that the only funds that could be drawn from it "shall be used for projects that will benefit the Mississippi Gulf Coast." The bill, which faces a Friday deadline for Senate passage, passed unanimously through the Senate Appropriations committee last week in 33 seconds with no debate. The question of how to spend BP money has stoked tempers and spurred debate over the past several months.
 
House strips 'red tape' for A, B districts
A Mississippi Delta lawmaker protested that a bill that passed the state's House of Representatives Monday allowing districts rated A and B to offer teacher incentives such as assisted housing, saying it would draw educators away from struggling school systems. House Bill 1224 exempts top-performing districts in the state from several requirements including reporting student grades to the state Department of Education and having discipline plans and code of student conducts annually audited. Rep. Brad Touchstone, R-Hattiesburg, sponsored the bill, which was authored by House Speaker Philip Gunn, for floor passage. Touchstone told lawmakers the purpose of the bill was to remove bureaucratic red tape. The legislation saw a near 90-minute debate with much of the opposition coming from those representing lower-rated districts.
 
House approves removing top districts from regulations
A bill that would exempt top-performing school districts from state regulations such as continuing education for teachers passed the House of Representatives on Monday. House Bill 1224, authored by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, would allow school districts rated as A and B by the state education department to no longer be required to report student grades to the Mississippi Department of Education and complete surveys from the department, among other requirements. Several Democrats, in more than an hour of debate, expressed concern the bill would pull much-needed teachers away from struggling school districts and into successful school districts. They also questioned the fairness of awarding privileges to high-performing school districts and not C, D and F-rated school districts.
 
Top school districts could become exempt on reports to state
The Mississippi House voted Monday to exempt top-rated school districts from having to report information about curriculum and some other matters to the state Department of Education. House Bill 1224 also would allow A- and B-rated districts to offer financial incentives to teachers. Some lower-rated school districts have difficulty attracting teachers, and current state law lets them forgive student loans and provide housing assistance and moving expenses. The bill would allow higher-rated districts to offer the same types of incentives. Rep. John Hines, D-Greenville, said that would let top teachers move away from districts that are rated C, D or F. "This is free agency gone buck wild," Hines said.
 
Treasurer Lynn Fitch: No offer from Trump for administration post
A political blog is reporting state Treasurer Lynn Fitch is a shoo-in for a sub-cabinet position by the Trump Administration, pending Andy Puzder is confirmed as secretary of labor. Fitch says no offer has been made, but she doesn't say she'd turn down such an offer. Talk of a Fitch appointment in the Trump Administration began soon after his election, in large part because of her role as director of Mississippi Women for Trump during his campaign. There was also talk of same for state Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, who also was a big Trump campaign supporter.
 
Flurry of legal arguments as appeals court decides whether Trump's immigration ban will be enforced
As a federal appeals court prepared to hear arguments Tuesday on whether to continue blocking enforcement of President Trump's moratorium on admissions from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa, a broad coalition of states, business leaders and former cabinet members joined Monday in urging the judges to keep the ban on hold. In a torrent of court filings over the last 48 hours, representatives of 15 states and the District of Columbia, law professors, civil rights groups and industry leaders implored a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to continue blocking the ban until the constitutional issues can be resolved. Legal experts said the issues and the breadth of Trump's order made it difficult to predict how the 9th Circuit would rule, though most expected at least a partial victory for the challengers of the travel ban.
 
What Steve Bannon Wants You to Read
The first weeks of the Trump presidency have brought as much focus on the White House's chief strategist, Steven Bannon, as on the new president himself. But if Bannon has been the driving force behind the frenzy of activity in the White House, less attention has been paid to the network of political philosophers who have shaped his thinking and who now enjoy a direct line to the White House. They are not mainstream thinkers, but their writings help to explain the commotion that has defined the Trump administration's early days. Bannon, described by one associate as "the most well-read person in Washington," is known for recommending books to colleagues and friends, according to multiple people who have worked alongside him. Bannon's readings tend to have one thing in common: the view that technocrats have put Western civilization on a downward trajectory, and that only a shock to the system can reverse its decline.
 
Under the immigration ban: Executive order keeps UM student's family a world away
Last week, engineering graduate student Moones Alamooti was counting down the days until she would see her parents. It's been months since she's felt her mother's embrace or seen her father's smile peeking out from behind his white mustache. Just six days before her parents could board their plane, they realized their trip wouldn't happen... at least not within the next 90 days. On Jan. 27, newly inaugurated President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for at least 90 days. Among that list was Iran, Alamooti's native country. Alamooti first arrived on the Ole Miss campus August 2013. She laughs thinking of how long it has been since she first made a home in Oxford. She had studied at Iran's most prestigious university, the University of Tehran, which is large. Alamooti said she wasn't intimidated by Ole Miss' size or the amount of people on campus. The culture shock and homesickness hit her hardest.
 
Overby Center at Ole Miss to salute Mississippi's 200th anniversary
In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Mississippi's statehood the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at Ole Miss will put special emphasis on Mississippi programs during the spring semester. "The people and events in Mississippi's past provide an interesting glimpse into our state's future," explained Charles Overby, chairman of the center, in announcing the line-up. The first of six events -- "How Deep is Mississippi's Commitment to Education?" -- will concentrate on one of the most controversial issues in the state. Rep. Jay Hughes, an Oxford Democrat who has been outspoken in his criticism of the administration and the legislature's approach to education, will be joined by Bracey Harris, an education reporter for The Clarion-Ledger, in a conversation at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.
 
USM Online Sport Management Degree Programs Receive Lofty Rankings
The Sport Management undergraduate and master's degree programs at The University of Southern Mississippi have been recognized among the nation's best in rankings released recently by two online publications. The Sports Management Degree Guide ranks the Southern Miss online undergraduate program at No. 8 nationally, while Bestcolleges.com places the University's online master's program as the country's 16th best. "We are pleased to be acknowledged as one of the top online programs in the country," said Dr. Stacey Hall, Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Economic Development, Tourism, & Sport Management.
 
Jackson State asks alumni to give to offset cash crunch
Jackson State University's temporary leader Monday asked alumni to dig into their pockets to overcome the school's financial challenges. Interim President Rod Paige stated in a letter to graduates that the 10,000-student university's expenses are exceeding income. He asked graduates to each contribute $100 to an "urgent fundraising campaign" that seeks to raise $5 million. Giving levels to historically black colleges such as JSU are often lower than to other institutions. Tax filings show JSU's foundation has collected about $3.7 million annually in recent years. The University of Southern Mississippi, about half again as large as JSU, typically collects almost three times as much. JSU's foundation had only $25 million in assets in mid-2015, while USM had $112 million. Spokesman Danny Blanton said the fundraising campaign is part of an effort to raise revenue, attacking the cash crunch from both sides.
 
JSU president launches 'urgent campaign' to raise millions
"As a student at Jackson State University, I learned the importance of leading by example ...so I want to be the first to step forward with a contribution of $10,000," Dr. Rod Paige, interim president of Jackson State University, wrote to JSU alumni on Monday. The three-page letter, sent to over 40,000 recipients who "have the most invested interest in the university," is part of what Paige called an "urgent fundraising campaign" to raise $5 million in 30 days for the financially beleaguered university. The fundraising plea comes a week after JSU announced an agreement to pay the federal government $1.17 million dollars to settle allegations that the school mismanaged National Science Foundation grants from June 2006 to September 2011. In the fundraising letter, Paige said JSU did not mismanage federal grant funds, but that the actual problem came in lack of time and effort reporting, including employees' completing of time cards while working on grant projects, he said.
 
Delta State students speak on Trump's travel ban
It has been only a few weeks since President Donald Trump has been in office and a lot of changes are already being brought into fruition. Recently, Trump issued a 90-day travel ban for many citizens of Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Delta State University has students from 50 countries with a total on 129 enrolled at the university. Director of Student Success Center at DSU Christy Riddle said no students at DSU have been affected by the travel ban. Student Nanya Okorie said she doesn't know if there are some students who have been affected at the university, but she knows that many have been affected by the ban in other parts of the states. Okorie said, "I feel as though all of the international students are affected because it's like you never know what can happen next."
 
William Carey to demolish five buildings after Jan. 21 tornado
William Carey University says it will have to demolish five tornado-damaged buildings including the oldest structure on campus -- Tatum Court. The Jan. 21 storm killed four and injured dozens across Lamar, Forrest and Perry counties. Two buildings have already been demolished, and three more will be. Spokeswoman Mia Overton said Monday that the Baptist university still plans to start its spring trimester on Feb. 20. By then, officials say, eight dormitories housing 739 students will be open. They also say a number of classroom and administrative buildings will be open, including the school's library.
 
GTECHS students report good grades, lots of college credit
The first time Columbus sophomore Alexis Turner got straight As was after she started high school at the Golden Triangle Early College High School on East Mississippi Community College's Mayhew campus. "There was always a B or a C (that) would pop up somewhere (before)," she said. "Here my grades have improved. ... I have kept a 4.0, and I think the environment is what helped me keep my 4.0 up." Turner is one of 61 students who made up GTECHS's first ever class when the school began in the 2015-16 school year as part of the Lowndes County School District. The school -- Mississippi's first early college high school -- accepts incoming freshmen from Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee counties. Eighth graders from any Golden Triangle county are eligible to apply for GTECHS.
 
President Mike Eaton Plans Exit At Itawamba Community College
Itawamba Community College President Mike Eaton has announced that he plans to retire June 30, ending a 43-year career that has included several leadership positions. He notified the college's Board of Trustees at its January meeting. Eaton became the sixth President of ICC on July 1, 2013. He is credited with providing the leadership for every major initiative the college has undertaken in the last few years including chairman of the Institutional Effectiveness task force, which focused on student persistence, the improvement of retention and an increase in the graduation rate. Eaton's 43-year career at ICC encompasses serving as assistant to the president, vice president of student services, dean of students, director of student activities, head football coach, assistant football coach and health instructor.
 
$8.7-million aviation education facility coming to Auburn University airport
Construction on a new education facility will soon begin at the Auburn University Regional Airport, creating additional space for instruction and training for the university's aviation programs. The Auburn University board of trustees approved the new Airport Aviation Education Facility at its meeting Friday, allowing plans to move forward on what has been "a long time in the making," according to Bill Hutto, airport and aviation center director. The board also approved moving the university's two undergraduate aviation degrees, Aviation Management and Professional Flight, from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business to the University College. Construction is slated to begin in May and finish by July 2018. The $8.7 million cost of the project will be funded through a combination of state, gifts and university general funds, according to board documents.
 
Auburn agriculture alumna receives international award
Auburn University agriculture alumna and Kenya native Esther Ngumbi recently received the Emerging Sustainability Leader Award at the sixth World Sustainability Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Ngumbi, along with a fellow recipient, split a $10,000 award sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute's Sustainability Journal, an international scholarly publication covering environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability. The award encourages new initiatives in sustainability with the ultimate aim of transferring research to sustainable practices and societies. This goal aligns with Ngumbi's research efforts in developing sustainable farming practices through her work as an Auburn doctoral student and postdoctoral plant pathologist.
 
LSU student leader blasts Regents' proposed TOPS cuts as 'brain tax' for top students
A draft proposal by education leaders to trim TOPS aid would be a reason for students to avoid state schools, LSU Student Government President Zachary Faircloth said Monday. "The Regents' proposals on TOPS create a disincentive to attend Louisiana universities and opens the door for the poaching of our students to rival states," Faircloth said in a two-page letter to Higher Education Commissioner Joseph Rallo. On Jan. 9 the state Board of Regents issued a tentative plan that would make college freshmen eligible for 80 percent of what students traditionally collect when they qualify for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS. TOPS is under scrutiny amid recurring state budget problems, and the steady rise in costs for the college assistance.
 
Florida senators move forward with state college changes
A bill that would create a new governance board for state colleges and limit their ability to expand baccalaureate degrees cleared its first Senate committee Monday, although the measure drew plenty of questions. The most controversial aspect is a provision that would set limits on the ability of the 28 state colleges to offer four-year or baccalaureate degrees. The bill, which cleared the Senate Education Committee in a unanimous vote, also would create a new State Board of Community Colleges, which would oversee the 28-school system. The measure (SB 374) would also increase the time it would take for colleges to win approval for new baccalaureate programs, including a one-year prior notification to the new State Board of Community Colleges and allowing a 180-day period for state universities to react to the baccalaureate proposals.
 
Texas A&M's Cushing Library offers exhibit of fantasy maps
A new exhibit at Texas A&M University's Cushing Memorial Library is preparing to give visitors the opportunity to explore a multitude of imaginary worlds. Opening Friday, the "Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places Collection" exhibit will feature the fantasy maps of a number of well-known fictional worlds from literature, TV, movies and video games, including The Wizard of Oz, The Legend of Zelda, Star Trek, the Game of Thrones series and more. "There's something really appealing about a map, you get to see places you've never visited, and it's very visual and easy to understand," said Sierra Laddusaw, map librarian at Texas A&M's maps and geographic information system library. "I like where the art and science blurs. Some of these maps are drawn by a person with very clear cartography skills. ... This kind of takes it out of the scientific, travel realm and transports it into art."
 
Bill seeks to end tenure system for Missouri's public colleges and universities
A Missouri lawmaker who is proposing eliminating tenure for professors at all of the state's two- and four-year public colleges and universities says tenure is an outdated system that is no longer needed to protect teachers from being unjustly fired. Rep. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican, said eliminating tenure would save public money, give schools more flexibility and bring higher education in line with other industries, The Kansas City Star reported. Brattin, a military veteran who owns a Cass County construction company, said his bill would end tenure-track hiring in 2018 but would not take tenure from those who have already earned it. Opponents contend ending tenure would cause teachers to leave Missouri and put the state at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting professors and researchers.
 
Decline in Giving by Individuals Last Year Kept College Fundraising Flat
U.S. universities raised $41 billion, barely more than the previous year. Harvard led the way with nearly $1.2 billion.America's colleges raised $41 billion in 2016, a scant 1.7 percent more than in 2015 and barely enough to surpass inflation, according to data released today. Harvard University, which is in a campaign to raise $6.5 billion, topped the list, attracting $1.19 billion from private sources. Colleges fared worse than nonprofits as a whole, which saw an increase in giving last year of 4 percent after inflation, according to "Giving USA." Behind the lackluster year was a sharp drop in gifts from alumni, which fell 8.5 percent. Such donations accounted for a quarter of all giving to colleges last year. Contributions from other individuals fell 6 percent.'
 
Growth in charitable contributions to colleges slows in 2016
Growth in charitable giving to colleges and universities slowed markedly in 2016 as increased giving from corporations, foundations and other organizations counterbalanced a slowdown in personal gifts and a drop in giving to the country's largest fund-raising institutions. Colleges and universities drew $41 billion in giving in the fiscal year ending in June 2016, up slightly from $40.3 billion the year before, according to results from the Council for Aid to Education's annual Voluntary Support of Education survey released today. That's a growth rate of 1.7 percent, sharply lower than the 7.6 percent growth rate recorded from 2014 to 2015. The year-over-year decline in individual giving came as the stock market struggled -- large personal gifts generally fluctuate along with market performance as wealthy donors find their funds drying up or multiplying.
 
70 professors pack heat at Memphis colleges
A Tennessee law, passed in 2016, gives professors at public universities the right to carry handguns in the classroom. Dozens of Mid-South professors have already signed up, unbeknownst to students and their colleagues. The law allows full-time faculty, staff, and other employees at public colleges and universities to carry guns on campus if they have a carry permit and register with campus security. In the six months since the law passed, 11 employees registered to carry at Southwest Tennessee Community College, 22 registered at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and 37 registered at University of Memphis. The law is geared toward promoting campus safety, but the feeling among students is mixed.
 
Clemson professors fast to pressure university to take stand against entry ban
Three Clemson University professors are fasting for six days to put pressure on the administration to oppose President Trump's executive order temporarily barring admission of refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. Enforcement of the executive order, which bars nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, has been temporarily halted by a federal judge. "What we want to do is put pressure on the university to join numerous other universities to issue a statement opposing the Muslim ban," said Todd May, the Class of 1941 Memorial Professor of the Humanities at Clemson and one of three professors undertaking what they're calling the Fast Against Silence.
 
Perhaps it's time to think about what motivates bullies
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "The whole world keeps trying to figure out what makes this Trump person tick. Fans and foes alike probe this person's every word -- his decisions, his orders, his announcements, his tweets -- on the sincere belief there must be more than meets the eye. ... The better question may be, 'Does he have a plan?' Bullies, as a rule, don't. Bullies become bullies as a mask to cope with their inferiority, their shortcomings. In psychobabble, bullying is a 'coping mechanism.' ...Could it be that President Trump targets the media -- which clearly has longstanding doubts about his authenticity -- because he doesn't have answers?"


SPORTS
 
Can Bulldogs play 'RPI killer' at Auburn?
In its last outing, Mississippi State managed to overcome the second-largest deficit in school history and still win. The Bulldogs rallied from 19 points down to take down Tennessee 64-59 and ended a slide that had seen MSU lose four of its last five. Now the Bulldogs (14-8, 5-5 SEC) hope to build off the momentum from that victory as they travel to Auburn tonight for a game with an 8 p.m. tipoff. It's on ESPNU. "We talked after the game that the lesson to learn is never to quit and never give up when things are going bad and the wrong way," said MSU coach Ben Howland. "When you face adversity you always keep fighting."
 
Three things to look for when Mississippi State plays Auburn
Mississippi State's next opponent is one that resembles the Bulldogs because Auburn is young and inexperienced yet talented and competitive. After snapping a two-game skid with a come-from-behind win against Tennessee, Mississippi State will visit Auburn on Tuesday (8 p.m., ESPNU). Auburn, which has five freshmen seeing significant minutes, is coming off an upset win over Alabama, a team that has beat MSU twice. Here are three things to look for when MSU (14-8, 5-5 SEC) takes on Auburn (15-8, 4-6).
 
Lose at home? Win on the road? Auburn 'like a box of chocolates' entering Mississippi State game
Conventional wisdom -- and probably most metrics -- would tell you that winning at home is much easier than winning on the road. Players get to wake up in their own beds, warm up on their own court, get ready in their own locker room and play in front of their own fans. But that hasn't been the case for the Auburn's men's basketball team entering Tuesday's home contest against Mississippi State. Since winning their sixth consecutive home game to open the season on Dec. 18 against Mercer, the Tigers have lost three of five games inside Auburn Arena. During that same stretch, they've won five of eight games away from home -- one at a neutral site (over Oklahoma) and four more at UConn, Missouri, TCU and, most recently, Alabama on Saturday. The Tigers are hoping for better luck in that endeavor Tuesday against the Bulldogs, a game coach Bruce Pearl described as "crucial."
 
Mississippi State's Ben Howland previews Auburn
Video: Mississippi State coach Ben Howland held his weekly press conference on Monday to preview the Bulldogs' road trip to Auburn. Howland updated the status of point guard I.J. Ready and talked about what he expects to see from the Tigers.
 
Bulldogs back to No. 4 in AP poll
Mississippi State's women are back at No. 4 in The Associated Press poll released Monday. The Bulldogs (23-1, 9-1 SEC) moved up one spot this week thanks to two wins over Auburn and Missouri, plus a loss by South Carolina. The Gamecocks fell two spots to No. 6 after falling to Tennessee one week ago. South Carolina (20-2, 10-1) handed MSU its only loss of the season on Jan. 23 and remains in first place in the SEC standings by a half-game. That loss bumped State from fourth to fifth at the time. The Bulldogs are back in action Thursday when they host Vanderbilt.
 
Mississippi State's Jake Mangum claims fourth All-American honor
Mississippi State's Jake Mangum received his fourth All-American honor of the preseason on Monday as he was selected to D1Baseball.com's first team. The sophomore outfielder was also picked to the first team by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a second team selection by Perfect Game and Baseball America. Mangum led the SEC with a .408 batting average last season and finished with 84 hits, 40 runs, one homer, 28 RBIs and six steals.
 
Duke, NC State Might Host Women's Tourney Despite LGBT Law
Duke and North Carolina State were among the top 16 projected seeds the NCAA revealed Monday for the women's basketball tournament in March, making them potential hosts in a state that's lost several sports events because of a divisive law. The NCAA pulled seven championships from North Carolina in September, including the first two rounds of the 2017 men's basketball tournament, because of the law that limits protections for LGBT people. But the NCAA allows games to be played when teams earn the right to host -- those aren't predetermined sites, meaning Duke and N.C. State could hold women's tournament games on their campuses. This was the second time this season the NCAA revealed its top 16 teams. UConn, Baylor, South Carolina and Mississippi State remained the projected No. 1 seeds. The four schools were also the top teams when the women's committee did its first reveal last month.



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