Monday, May 1, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
What happens if a drone hits you in the head?
What happens if a drone hits you in the head? The Federal Aviation Administration wants to know, so they conducted a study to understand and mitigate the risks of drones flying over people, and what happens if a drone loses connection to its pilot or just crashes to the ground. It turns out that small drones are safer near people than was thought. "The results of this work are critical to the successful commercial operations of flying unmanned aircraft over people and beyond the pilot's visual line of sight," said Mississippi State University's Marty Rogers, director of the FAA's Alliance for System Safety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems through Research Excellence. The next phase of the research will begin in June, and will verify the findings of this study, as well as develop tests that manufacturers can use to certify their drones for flights over people.
 
ASSURE UAS Ground Collision Severity Evaluation Final Report
What could happen if a drone hit a person on the ground? What's the risk of serious injury? Can those risks be reduced? Although the Federal Aviation Administration can't yet definitively answer those questions, studies by a consortium of leading universities through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence, have begun to better understanding the risks associated with flying small unmanned aircraft -- or drones -- over people and things on the ground. "The results of this work are critical to the successful commercial operations of flying unmanned aircraft over people and beyond the pilot's visual line of sight," said Mississippi State University's, Marty Rogers, director of ASSURE.
 
Mississippi State offers nationally renowned weather program to aspiring meteorologists
For as long as he can remember, Griffin Hardy has wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist. By word of mouth, Hardy heard about the meteorology program in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University and decided to travel from his hometown of Atlanta to check it out. He enrolled at the school, and four years later accepted a job as a noon meteorologist and multi-media journalist at WJTV-12, a CBS affiliate in Jackson. "This is something I've always known that I have wanted to do," Hardy said. "Who knows where I will be five or 10 years from now, but I see myself doing this for a really long time." This year, the Department of Geosciences celebrates its 100th year. The department started out as a geology and geography department, but then switched names to geosciences when university officials asked the program to evolve in order to increase enrollment.
 
Mississippi State's TK Martin Center wins 2017 Starkville Restaurant Week grand prize
Mississippi State University's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability became the first local charity to win Starkville Restaurant Week's $5,000 grand prize donation twice, securing first place in this year's event with 4,741 votes. Children's of Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center umbrella that includes Batson Children's Hospital, won $1,000 for second place, while Young Life's Starkville chapter placed third and received a $500 donation. In 2014, T.K. Martin Center Director Janie Cirlot-New accepted the $5,000 donation from Cadence Bank and put the money together with other outside donations to buy a van to service the community. This year's donation, she said, will support the agency as it faces funding issues because of state-level budget cuts. An emotional Cirlot-New thanked supporters during the check presentations Friday for helping support the T.K. Martin Center.
 
Clyde Muse endows education scholarship at Mississippi State
Longtime Hinds Community College President Clyde Muse of Raymond has established an endowed scholarship in Mississippi State University's College of Education for students aspiring to pursue careers in teaching. The scholarship bears the name of Muse and his late wife and fellow MSU graduate, Vashti U. Muse. After earning his bachelor's degree in 1952 from Delta State University, Clyde Muse began teaching and coaching at Canton High School. In 1957, Muse moved to Starkville to attend MSU, where he completed his master's degree in 1959 and doctoral degree in 1968, both in education. Before leading HCC, Muse served as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent for the Starkville School District and as superintendent in both Hinds County and Meridian public schools. He has been president at Hinds since 1978.
 
Local employment numbers remain stable
Fewer Mississippians are looking for work than at any point since 1999, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The MDES monthly unemployment report, released Wednesday, shows the number of eligible workers with jobs increased by 7,100 in March. Since March 2016, the ranks of working Mississippians have increased by 30,900. As a result, there are currently 65,700 people who are actively looking for work, the fewest in Mississippi in 18 years, according to the data. Locally, jobless rates remained relatively stable compared to February. Oktibbeha County's rate ticked up to 4.2 percent compared to 3.8 percent last month. The jobless rate in Lowndes County is 4.8 percent. Clay County's unemployment rate for March was 6.0 while Noxubee County's rate was 6.3.
 
Butler Snow, Woodrell bringing OCH RFP draft to supervisors Monday
Oktibbeha County supervisors will get their first look at a request for proposals for the sale or lease of OCH Regional Medical Center at 9 a.m. Monday when attorneys from Butler Snow and hospital consultant Ted Woodrell reveal a draft of the document to the board. Woodrell declined to comment on the specific language of the RFP Friday, since supervisors have yet to see the document, but said the draft contains language meant to provide certain safeguards if a transaction agreement is reached, including requirements for short-term staffing numbers and commitments to capital improvement. "Those are specific issues the board wanted addressed. In transactions, staffing is always addressed and so are strategic planning issues," Woodrell said. "I don't want to speculate on the final version (of the RFP) since that is at the board's discretion."
 
Two dead in Sunday severe weather
Two people are dead after severe weather surged through the state on Sunday. Carlton Hurt of Durant, the first confirmed fatality of the storm system, was killed when a tree fell on his home, according to Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard. He said the call came in around 10:30 a.m. Meanwhile, an unidentified 7-year-old died at a hospital after he was electrocuted while trying to unplug a charger from a golf cart, Rankin County Undersheriff Raymond Duke said. National Weather Service meteorologist Thomas Winesett said surveyors were in the field already on Sunday afternoon, but that the process would be ongoing for several days. Meanwhile, Hattiesburg and Vicksburg probably had the biggest flooding problems, Winesett said. The Hub City took on 3.37 inches of rain Sunday while Vicksburg logged 1.75 inches.
 
State port snares tenant expected to pay millions a year in fees
The state port has landed its biggest tenant in terms of space leased and projected tonnage exported, with a potential to collect millions a year in fees. SeaOne Gulfport would receive gas and gas liquids at the port and use patented compressed gas liquid technology to prepare a single liquid product for delivery to the Caribbean. Plans are to expand for delivery to Central America as well. The port's board approved a 40-year lease Thursday for 36 acres at the south end of the expanded West Pier. Lease approval allows SeaOne to secure financing. The first production facility would sit on about 7 acres. After the port prepares the site, executive director Jonathan Daniels said, SeaOne will have 180 days to show financing is in place or the lease terminates.
 
Coast lawmakers worry BP money will get frittered away by Legislature
No one, perhaps not even Gov. Phil Bryant, knows whether the BP economic damages settlement will be part of the June 5 special session agenda. But Coast lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, agree that the $100 million remaining from the first installment is at risk as long as it stays where it is -- in the state's contingency fund. And for one, State Sen. Deborah Dawkins, D-Pass Christian, that's a rosy assessment of the situation. "Have you and I not had this conversation before?" she asked. "About how we're not getting all that money? I hate to be so cynical but after 18 years I kind of know how this stuff works. And to think that everything is going to go our way for the Coast is just ignoring history." The fear among Coast lawmakers is the money might not make it to a trust fund before it is diverted to other parts of the state.
 
Analysis: Annual report dives deep into Mississippi finances
The new Mississippi Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has a chart that shows who is in charge of state government. The top of the chart on page 9? Not the governor, or legislators, or judges. It is the citizens of Mississippi. That means that the 170-page document is a report of how elected officials, state agency directors and government employees are spending and managing your money if you live in the state. The report was published April 21 by the Department of Finance and Administration and is on the state auditor's website. It gives a big-picture look at the state's budget and its other financial obligations, such as bond debt and government pensions, through fiscal 2016, which ended last June 30.
 
Health Department looking to streamline
Public Health districts will be reduced from nine to three to deal with budget cuts, state Health Officer Mary Currier explains in a YouTube video. The YouTube video, directed to the about 1,800 employees of the Department of Health, outlines a pending reorganization, and a yet-to-be determined number of layoffs. "We have to change our structure to continue to be able to efficiently do our core public health services," Currier said in the video. "The entire agency will be impacted in one way or another." The office for Public Health District 2 is located in Tupelo and serves 11 Northeast Mississippi counties. District 4, based in Starkville, serves the rest of Northeast Mississippi. Currier said in the video she hopes the reorganization is complete by the time the new fiscal year begins July 1.
 
Mental Health to lay off 650 workers by June 30, 2018
The Department of Mental Health announced plans this week to eliminate 146 jobs at two state facilities as the agency struggles to close a $19.7 million budget gap in 2018. These cuts are the first wave in a total of 650 layoffs the agency said it will need to make by June 30, 2018. Central Mississippi Residential Center in Newton and East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian will cut 72 positions and 74 positions, respectively. In addition, Central Mississippi will close its Footprints Adult Day Services program and its crisis stabilization unit while East Mississippi plans to consolidate its adolescent psychiatric services program with one at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield. Rep. Tom Miles, D-Forest, said he was concerned about the impact the cuts would have on the department and on the workers themselves.
 
Congress reaches deal to keep government open through September
Congressional negotiators reached an agreement late Sunday on a broad spending package to fund the government through the end of September, alleviating fears of a government shutdown later this week, several congressional aides said. Congress is expected to vote on the roughly $1 trillion package early this week. The bipartisan agreement includes policy victories for Democrats, whose votes will be necessary to pass the measure in the Senate, as well as $12.5 billion in new military spending and $1.5 billion more for border security requested by Republican leaders in Congress. The agreement follows weeks of tense negotiations between Democrats and GOP leaders after President Trump insisted that the deal include funding to begin building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump eventually dropped that demand, leaving Congress to resolve lingering issues over several unrelated policy measures.
 
MUW teacher internships prepare future educators
Mississippi University for Women teacher internship (formerly referred to as student teaching) is the major phase of a developing cumulative series of academic and professional courses and laboratory experiences designed to prepare the prospective teacher for full teaching responsibilities with competence and confidence. The professional experiences of the teacher intern at The W begin during the sophomore year with application for admission to teacher education. A process of screening and assessment is initiated which continues through application and acceptance into teacher internship.
 
Ole Miss' yearbook team becomes interactive
Yearbooks are generally made to revisit the past, but now Ole Miss' yearbook team is looking to make their latest project futuristic. For their 2017 edition, the Ole Miss yearbook will feature augmented reality technology to make certain pictures come alive. Ole Miss senior and editor-in-chief of the yearbook, Cady Herring, believes the future of journalism and storytelling "needs to be interactive." "I wanted to do something with the yearbook that would bring it into the 21st century and hasn't been done before," she said. "When I saw that Ole Miss Athletics started using virtual reality with their posters on campus, I thought it would be just as easy to do with the yearbook and would be a great way to expand the number of stories into multimedia pieces that could be linked to our website."
 
Jackson State to Award Degrees to Nearly 1,000 Students
CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy will speak to Jackson State University graduates. Espy, the first African-American to represent Mississippi in Congress in the 20th century, will speak Friday night to students receiving master's and doctoral degrees at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Morgan, a 2001 JSU graduate, will speak to students receiving bachelor's degrees Saturday at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. At that event, the university will award honorary degrees to Winston and Alma Pittman. Winston Pittman, a JSU alumnus, is a Kentucky auto dealer who has given more than $250,000 to JSU's business school. The university named an auditorium in their honor in 2012.
 
Governor will be part of pharmacy school groundbreaking at William Carey
William Carey University's pharmacy school will go from the concept stage to the construction phase Monday when Gov. Phil Bryant and local leaders hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the Tradition campus. University officials announced their plans to open a pharmacy school last summer. It will be only the second pharmacy program in the state. Ole Miss one on its Oxford campus. Officials called the school "a dream come true for the university" and one that makes sense on the Coast due to the number of hospitals and clinics in the area. The school has the potential to bring in students from all over the world, officials said. The approximately 33,000-square-foot school will be on the southeast side of the administration building. It is expected to open in July 2018.
 
U. of Alabama adds third day for graduation ceremonies
The University of Alabama is adding a third day for spring graduation ceremonies because of the number of graduates. The university is preparing for about 5,300 students to graduate in the spring with about 4,400 planning to walk, bringing the total graduates for the year to 8,000, UA President Stuart Bell said. The ceremonies will be held this weekend in Coleman Coliseum. The university also expects to continue steady growth, Bell said. As of mid-April, it has received more than 38,000 applications for next fall, with 7,200 having paid housing deposits. Enrollment was 37,665 in the fall with a freshman class of 7,559.
 
How much tuition has increased at Alabama and Auburn in the last 10 years
College is expensive. And, as a recent analysis shows, it's not getting any cheaper. StartClass recently used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to identify the 100 American universities that have experienced the largest tuition hikes in the last decade. To do this, they used tuition and fee costs for the 2005-2006 school year and compared them to the 2015-2016 school year, adjusting numbers for inflation. Only schools with at least 5,000 students were included in the rankings. Alabama's two largest universities both made the list of schools with the highest price increases.
 
Dip in U. of Florida international-student applicants causes worry
International students, whose numbers at the University of Florida have grown steadily in recent years, appear suddenly to be less inclined to join the Gator nation. Among the 8,748 students graduating from UF this weekend are 980 who came from other countries -- the majority of them graduate students who will move to skilled jobs in the United States or return home with knowledge and values acquired here. What's less certain is how many new international students will step onto campus in August. Applications from abroad are down 18 percent at UF, compared to last fall. The deadline for applications is still more than a month away but, for students coming from abroad, the timeline for visas and other logistics mean the numbers won't change much, according to Leonardo Villalon, dean of the UF International Center.
 
U. of Florida top execs' perks are cherry atop already-healthy salaries
A job as a top administrator at the University of Florida can be lucrative, and the salaries of the president, provost, general counsel and others are only the most visible part of it. Some get extra money to send their kids to private K-12 schools. Several get car allowances, despite the money not being tied to work-related car rentals, leasing or mileage. The increasingly high salaries and benefits for presidents and top staff of public universities are part of what critics see as the corporatization of higher education. Public records obtained by The Sun show UF executives routinely got raises in percentages above what faculty were given, and far above the public in general during lean economic times from the start of the mid-2000s through today. The pay and benefit packages are in line with those of the top-flight public universities to which UF aspires.
 
Ryan Robinson named U. of Tennessee vice chancellor for communications
The University of Tennessee Knoxville has named Ryan Robinson, currently a senior official in the university's athletic department, to the post of vice chancellor for communications. Robinson, who is currently the senior associate athletic director for communications at UT, will take over as the university's chief marketing and information officer on May 17, according to the university. A salary figure was not immediately available Friday morning. The appointment is the second major hire to be made by Chancellor Beverly Davenport, who in early March named John Currie as athletic director. A search is also underway for a third position in Davenport's Cabinet, vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs. Robinson, who is from Ashland, Ky., earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky.
 
UGA convenes meetings on education, economic development in Athens
The University of Georgia convened two special meetings last week to talk about issues in economic development and education in Athens-Clarke County. UGA President Jere Morehead announced in a press conference this week that the two meetings had been held April 20-21, each conducted by professional meeting facilitators from the University's J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Morehead didn't discuss the substance of the meetings, but said more discussions will follow. "We plan more targeted discussions in the near future," he said. UGA did release a list of those invited to the meetings, mainly government and education administrators and representatives of area businesses.
 
Texas A&M Veterinary Innovation Summit brings experts together
Leaders of Texas A&M's veterinary college have had a desire to bring together animal caretakers and professionals of other industries to collaborate on the future of veterinary care. The brain child of these educators and the North American Veterinary Community is the Veterinary Innovation Summit at Texas A&M, a weekend-long program that hosted 350 people from across the world. "We wanted to figure out how to invite people on the periphery [of veterinary science] who have an outside perspective," said Adam Littles, director of Veterinary Innovative Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M. "One of the ways we did that was to invite people in to share their ideas and have companies envision what veterinary medicine can be. That's often challenging to do. How do we bridge the gap between people who are not comfortable with change and want to keep things the same with people who push things forward?"
 
U. of Missouri braces for small class of first-time freshmen
The 2017 class of first-time freshmen at the University of Missouri will be the smallest in almost 20 years as the Columbia campus endures another precipitous drop in enrollment. Speaking on condition of anonymity, an MU official said between 3,900 and 4,000 first-time students will pay the $300 enrollment fee due Monday. The incoming class of 4,780 for the fall 2016 semester was 23 percent smaller than 2015. The 2017 incoming class would be 40 percent smaller than the record first-time class that enrolled in 2014, a cohort that will begin graduating in May 2018. On the record, MU officials have repeatedly said they could not make estimates for the fall because the past is not a reliable guide this year. The university has invested more in out-of-state recruiting while uncertainty about federal visa policies is cutting international interest.
 
U. of Missouri alumni donate $1.5 million to Honors College
Two University of Missouri restaurateur alumni have given $1.5 million to the MU Honors College. The donation came from Andrew and Peggy Cherng, MU alumni and founders of the Panda Restaurant Group which includes the Panda Express restaurants, said Catherine Allen, a chairwoman of the "Mizzou: Our Time To Lead Campaign," in a Friday morning news conference. The money will support scholarships, academic programs and study abroad opportunities for Honors College students. "The education we received from Mizzou was instrumental in preparing us for (our) future," the Cherngs said in the release. "We hope this gift will give the Honors College additional tools to recruit the best students in the state and nation, and provide educational and career opportunities for MU's best and brightest students."
 
Report indicates first-year students are more politically polarized than ever
Fewer freshmen than ever identify as politically centrist, reflecting the overall partisan polarization of the country, a new survey shows. A little more than 42 percent of first-year students who participated in the annual American Freshman Survey indicated they were "middle-of-the-road" on political issues. This is the lowest percentage of moderate students the survey -- a product of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California, Los Angeles -- has identified since it launched more than 50 years ago. In the late 1990s, the proportion of moderate students hovered above 50 percent. The study calls the cohort of incoming freshmen in 2016 "the most politically polarized" in its history. Authors of the report gathered responses from more than 137,400 full-time freshmen at 184 four-year colleges and universities.
 
Study on faculty job market finds some gender gaps shrinking and others remaining
To what degree does gender impact one's career trajectory in the 10 years after earning a Ph.D.? While the majority of recent studies on the issue have found that women have a harder time earning tenure-track professorships and tenure than do their male counterparts, some studies also suggest that women are now playing on a level field with men -- or even possess some advantage. A paper presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association examining the career paths of recent Ph.D.s finds there's no strong, comprehensive evidence of gendered paths to tenure during the first decade after degree completion. Scholarly publications and activities, such as research, and a postdoctoral appointment in the years following degree completion were the most important factors in getting an tenure-track job for both men and women.
 
Want Happier Professors? Try Being Nice
When it comes to keeping tenured professors content in their jobs, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with big faculty-focused strategic initiatives, a new study suggests. The study, based on survey data from more than 3,600 recently tenured associate professors at doctoral universities, found that their organizational commitment hinged far more on whether they believed they worked in a caring, supportive environment than on their sense that administrators had undertaken broad efforts to support the faculty. "Organizations that cultivate a climate of support will, on average, exhibit higher levels of commitment than those that focus on external policies and procedures," says a paper summarizing the study's results. Among its more striking conclusions, the study found that race- and ethnicity-linked gaps in organizational commitment disappeared when the study examined only associate professors who felt equally that their immediate work environment was supportive.
 
The Path to Higher Education With an Intellectual Disability
Like many college students pestered by nosy relatives, Sydney Davis, a sophomore, is not exactly forthcoming when her boyfriend comes up in conversation. The couple has been together two years, Davis says with the exasperated tone of a young adult clearly trying to change the subject. Davis's friend, Annsley James, a sophomore wearing a windbreaker with her sorority's letters on it, sits on the opposite side of the room giggling. But unlike the majority of young adults pursuing higher education in the United States, James, Davis, and their classmates are doing so with intellectual disabilities. The women are two students in the ClemsonLIFE program, which offers two- and four-year certificates to young adults with developmental disabilities who may not otherwise have a path to higher education. Students -- whose IQs range from the 40s to 70, according to Erica Walters, the program's coordinator -- will hopefully leave the rural, hilly South Carolina campus with the ability to live on their own. The number of programs is growing, experts say, but they are hardly keeping up with demand.
 
Are Too Many Students Taking AP Exams?
This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams. Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative. Recently the AP has boomed. Participation doubled in the last 10 years, and also doubled in the decade before that. The U.S. Education Department's Office of Civil Rights even collects data on who has access to, and enrolls in, AP courses, using it as a measure of educational equity. But (and you knew there was a 'but' coming), "remarkably little independent research has been conducted on the academic benefits of AP.
 
Thousands of children sexually assaulted at school, AP finds
Across the U.S., thousands of students have been sexually assaulted, by other students, in high schools, junior highs and even elementary schools -- a hidden horror educators have long been warned not to ignore. Relying on state education records, supplemented by federal crime data, a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press uncovered roughly 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students over a four-year period, from fall 2011 to spring 2015. That figure represents the most complete tally yet of sexual assault among the nation's 50 million students in grades K-12. But it also does not fully capture the problem: Such attacks are greatly under-reported, some states don't track them and those that do vary widely in how they classify and catalog sexual violence.
 
Controlling the kudzu of state spending
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "One of my many anonymous critics on a local blog zapped me last week over my column 'A Peek behind Legislative Leaders' Rhetoric.' In particular, he/she said I lack 'a coherent alternate plan' of my own. Well, I never guessed it might be a columnist's job to propose a whole budget plan. But, an avid reader could find elements of such a plan already published. Let's take a peek. Last month I suggested rightsizing the Legislature by cutting it in half. That step alone would signify legislators are serious about cutting non-essential programs. ...Experts say control of kudzu requires a process to kill or remove the kudzu 'root crown' and all 'rooting runners.' That's legislators' great dilemma. Every agency has a 'root crown' -- a powerful legislator, state official, or business group."
 
State should consider additional Corrections reforms
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "During his two terms as governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour usually couched his public ruminations over proposals to reform Mississippi's prison system and past 'get tough on crime' mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines by observing: 'Mississippi needs to decide who we're afraid of and who we're just mad at.' ...What prison shouldn't be is an albatross around the necks of the taxpayers who are forced by archaic laws that don't consider modern technologies to stack and warehouse prisoner in a manner that punishes taxpayers to a greater degree than prisoners. Mississippi has made some important strides in bringing common sense and fiscal prudence to the operation of the state's corrections function in recent years -- and that despite a bribery and corruption scandal in the Mississippi Department of Corrections that still languishes in the federal courts."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs must regroup quickly before facing Aggies
"It's just one day." Therein lies Mississippi State baseball coach Andy Cannizaro's simplistic approach to leaving the Auburn series behind him and his Bulldogs (30-16, 14-7 Southeastern Conference). Cannizaro was referencing Auburn sweeping a Saturday doubleheader, 17-8 and 5-3, to take the series, MSU's first conference series loss being swept in the conference debut at Arkansas. Auburn used the series win in Starkville to get into that tie with MSU atop the conference, which Kentucky joined by beating South Carolina on Sunday. The margin of error for that trio at the top is slim: Arkansas, LSU and Florida are all just a game back at 13-8. Texas A&M, MSU's next opponent, could join that group at 13-8 and one game back of MSU with a Sunday win over Missouri. Cannizaro knows it's both a series and a standing MSU cannot win and retain without changes from Saturday.
 
Seahawks draft Mississippi State's Justin Senior
A former staple of Mississippi State's offensive line is now a pro. The Seahawks drafted Justin Senior Saturday with the 26th pick of the sixth round. Senior started nearly every game at right tackle the past three seasons for Mississippi State. The native of Montreal also appeared in 11 games as a redshirt freshman. Senior was the recipient of the Kent Hull Trophy as a senior, the award given to the state of Mississippi's top offensive lineman. With Senior as an anchor on the line, the Bulldogs gave up the second-fewest sacks in the SEC last year. "Seattle is a running team and I love running the ball," Senior said.
 
Mississippi State's Fred Ross signs with Panthers as undrafted free agent
Mississippi State's all-time leading receiver has a deal with an NFL team. Fred Ross signed with the Panthers Saturday as an undrafted free agent, Mississippi State confirmed. Ross holds the MSU records with 199 receptions and 2,528 receiving yards. The former four-star high school recruit also had 22 receiving touchdowns in his career with the Bulldogs. The Panthers, led by quarterback Cam Newton, seem like a good fit for Ross and he could make the team as a guy who provides depth at receiver and as someone who could provide help on special teams. At Mississippi State, he was a two-time all-SEC selection, and one of Dak Prescott's favorite targets. Ross also had success last year without Prescott, making 72 catches for 917 yards and 12 touchdowns while quickly forming chemistry with Nick Fitzgerald.
 
Six Bulldogs sign free agent deals
Justin Senior may have been the only Mississippi State player drafted this year but sixsiS other Bulldogs will have the opportunity to join him in the NFL. Wide receivers Fred Ross and Fred Brown, linebacker Richie Brown, defensive end Johnathan Calvin defensive tackles Nelson Adams and Nick James all signed free agent deals immediately after the draft.
 
Long Beach native Richie Brown to start NFL career in Sunshine state
Former Mississippi State linebacker Richie Brown will start his NFL career in the NFC South The Long Beach native agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday. In Tampa, he joins Wiggins' Justin Evans, Tampa's second-round pick. Brown wasn't selected in the three-day, seven-round draft. "I'm just ready to play some football and kind of start preparing," Brown told The Sun Herald this week. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen believes Brown can make an NFL roster next season. Mullen spoke at the Road Dawgs' tour on Wednesday at the Biloxi's Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. "He's a guy who knows it's all about what he does when he gets there," Mullen said.
 
Mississippi State's Nick James headed to Detroit
Mississippi State nosetackle Nick James has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions on Saturday. James wasn't selected in the seven-round, three-day draft. In five seasons at MSU, James played in 46 games and made 15 starts. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound defensive lineman finished his collegiate career with 62 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one blocked kick and a forced fumble.
 
Bulldogs fall in SEC tennis final
Mississippi State's 18th-ranked men's tennis team lost 4-3 to No. 13 Georgia in the SEC championship match on Sunday afternoon. MSU (20-8) lost at Georgia 4-0 during the regular season. "These are the kind of moments that make you feel alive," MSU coach Matt Roberts said. "We live for these situations and love competition. Even though the final result didn't go our way, I'm proud of how hard we fought and didn't give Georgia anything easily." Fifth-seeded MSU won the doubles point and No.1 singles behind third-ranked Nuno Borges. The match came down to No. 3 singles, where Georgia's Emil Reinberg defeated Strahinja Rakic 7-6, 7-6 (6).
 
Suspensions lifted: Haley Fagan, Makayla Martin start for Auburn softball vs. Mississippi State
The suspensions have lifted. For the first time since they were arrested in the early morning hours on April 20 for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, Haley Fagan and Makayla Martin were back in the lineup for the Auburn softball team. Fagan started at shortstop and batted fifth in the series finale against Mississippi State. Pitcher Makayla Martin started in the circle. Both played a role in Auburn's 6-3 victory over Mississippi State. "We're back to a full team," coach Clint Myers said. Fagan went 0 for 3 at the plate, but did bring a run home on a double play while turning two in the field, including Auburn's single-season program-record 43rd in the sixth inning. "It's always nice to have Haley in the lineup," Myers said.



The Office of Public Affairs provides the Daily News Digest as a general information resource for Mississippi State University stakeholders.
Web links are subject to change. Submit news, questions or comments to Jim Laird.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: May 1, 2017Facebook Twitter