Tuesday, May 30, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
Faculty graduates honored at Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence
The Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence recently saw more than a dozen Mississippi State faculty members graduate from the three-week program. The program -- which is part of the university's quality enhancement plant -- is now in its fifth year and provides intensive training to teachers from a variety of university departments to modify course syllabi to incorporate more writing-to-learn strategies into class assignments. "We ask a lot of our faculty participants. They learn new strategies for incorporating writing in their classes and they challenge their pre-existing ideas about how writing assignments and student engagement can and should work in their classes," said Deborah Lee, co-director of the Maroon & Write QEP. "The faculty who are chosen for participation in the MIWE are committed to enhancing their skills as a teacher and care passionately about their students' success." English Instructor Ann Spurlock serves as the other co-director.
Mississippi State ACCESS program students now eligible for federal financial aid
The U.S. Department of Education has designated Mississippi's only post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities as a comprehensive transition program, a designation held by only 25 percent of similar programs throughout the country. Mississippi State University ACCESS program students are now eligible for federal financial aid programs as part of the new designation. The program provides a complete college experience, with a curriculum that encompasses independent living skills, enhancing self-advocacy and adaptive skills. Eligible students now can receive Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and participate in Work-Study programs. "Financial aid can make ACCESS available to students who otherwise could not afford the program, opening it to a more diverse student population," MSU Director of Student Support Services Julie Capella said.
Mississippi State ACCESS students now eligible for financial aid
Students in Mississippi State University's ACCESS program, the state's only post-secondary program for students with intellectual disabilities, are now eligible to receive federal financial aid. The United States Department of Education has designated ACCESS a comprehensive transition program, a designation held by only 25 percent of similar programs throughout the country. Julie Capella, MSU director of student support services, said more students will now have the opportunity to be part of ACCESS with the help of federal aid. ACCESS is one of approximately 50 programs in the country and the only one in Mississippi to hold the comprehensive transition program designation. ACCESS aims to provide students with increased employment opportunities, societal involvement and autonomy after they leave MSU.
MSU-Meridian students gain career training through internships
Anna Kathryn Russell of Lauderdale, a recent graduate of Mississippi State University-Meridian, said first-hand work experiences gained through internships help students know if they are making the right career decision. While working toward her bachelor's degree in kinesiology, Russell spent at least five hours a day at Total Rehab, an outpatient physical therapy clinic owned and operated since 2016 by licensed physical therapist Stephen Kay. According to Laura Hilton, MSU-Meridian instructor of kinesiology and clinical lab director, students enrolled in the clinical exercise physiology concentration in the kinesiology program are required to complete a 240-hour internship before they graduate. Russell was one of 11 MSU students this spring doing internships in clinics and hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama.
Bob Fuller to assume new role in Mississippi State's College of Education
Bobby D. "Bob" Fuller, a longtime Starkville public school educator and administrator, has been named College of Education coordinator for the new Starkville Oktibbeha School District Partnership School at Mississippi State University, beginning July 1. Fuller's bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees all were completed at MSU. A native of north Winston County, he is president of the Friends of Noxubee Refugee volunteer organization. First announced in 2015, the Partnership School will become the keystone of a research center for rural teaching at the 139-year-old land-grant institution. It is being designed to serve an estimated 1,000 sixth- and seventh-grade students.
Mississippi State researchers monitoring crazy creatures
Mississippi State University researchers are studying a "crazy" creature found in the state's coastal counties that are difficult to control because of their massive scale and cause disruption in electrical systems. The tawny crazy ant, also known as Nylanderia fulva, is a non-native ant species that has been found in the southern United States, including Hancock, Jackson and Harrison counties. While not widely distributed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, their presence can be overwhelming in areas that contain a crazy ant population, according to MSU researchers who study and monitor the ants. Blake Layton, an extension professor in MSU's Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, has been developing guidelines to help homeowners deal with heavily infested areas, which can contain millions of ants, and prevent new populations from forming.
Mississippi State borrowing to build $9M parking garage
Mississippi State University is planning a 500-space parking garage projected to cost $9 million. College Board trustees earlier this month gave approval for plans to be drawn up and for Mississippi State to borrow the money by selling bonds for up to 30 years. The university plans to increase prices for parking on campus to finance the $660,000 in projected yearly debt payments. Mississippi State, in documents submitted to trustees, says a 2015 parking study show that the campus will have a parking space shortage by 2020 if the university doesn't act.
Farmer trust key to big data's future
The marketplace for precision agriculture technology is sorting itself out, but it still has a way to go before it will be mature and have predictable uses for farmers, says a U.S. agriculture economist. Dr. Keith Coble, chair of the Mississippi State University's department of agricultural economics, says we're in the "overexuberance" phase of technology development, driven significant venture capital injections and moves by big companies that drove everyone else in the industry to jump into precision agriculture. Coble, who spoke to the Big Data, Changing Climate and Agriculture conference put on recently by the department of food, agriculture and resource economics at the University of Guelph, said the deal that saw Monsanto buy Climate Corp., a leader in agriculture data, sent other companies scrambling.
Starkville among 12 host communities for statewide exhibits
To celebrate Mississippi's bicentennial year, the Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum) in Jackson is curating exhibitions from its collection for 12 host venues across the state. These exhibitions feature artworks by regionally acclaimed artists -- past and present -- including Walter Anderson, William Dunlap, William Ferris, Ke Francis, Marie Hull, Hystercine Rankin and Sulton Rogers, among many others. Art Across Mississippi: Twelve Exhibitions, Twelve Communities provides residents throughout the state with an opportunity to enjoy high-quality exhibitions from the Museum's permanent collection in their own communities, to reflect on the rich heritage of Mississippi's visual arts, and to contemplate the meaning of the bicentennial moment. The exhibit scheduled in Starkville is Narratives of the Land Sept. 1 through Oct. 14 at the McComas Hall Art Gallery at Mississippi State University.
Starkville's new police headquarters delayed one month
The Starkville Police Department hoped to take possession of its first stand-alone headquarters in mid-May. Delays pushed back the May 20 completion date, but officials still plan on being in the building in June. "Right now, they are saying it will be done the 20th of next month," said Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols, who noted that several small things added up to create the delay. "It's not really anything in particular causing the delay." One of the hold-ups was a 23-day extension to allow for the installation of information technology cabling and furniture. But that shouldn't cause too much of a difference in the eventual move-in date.
Oktibbeha County's chancery candidates preparing for nonpartisan race
Oktibbeha County's six chancery clerk candidates are now preparing for a nonpartisan race in November since election law changes effective July 1 will repeal statutes on party primaries ahead of special elections. Cheryl Elmore, Oktibbeha County's deputy elections clerk, began alerting the local Democratic and Republican parties' leadership this week after it was learned House Bill 647, as signed by Gov. Phil Bryant, repeals a portion a state law - Mississippi Code Ann. 23-15-841 -- that provides for the holding of party primaries ahead of special elections for county positions. That change, she said, means Oktibbeha County has no legal authority to hold the Aug. 8 primaries. The county's six chancery clerk candidates, who declared their party affiliations before March's qualification deadline, will now have to gather 50 signatures from verified residents and pay $100 to register before Sept. 8's qualification deadline for independents.
Hire Mississippi could help local contractors
There are likely few state officials who spend more time on the road than Brandon Presley, the Northern District commissioner for the Mississippi Public Service Commission. "I've been to more than 160 town hall meetings in the past year," Presley said. As he traveled, something began to catch his attention. "What I kept seeing was all these big, taxpayer funded projects -- power plants, substations, transmission lines -- and it made me sick to see out-of-state trucks with out-of-state tags and out-of-state workers when I knew darn well there were Mississippians who could do that work," Presley said. "Why should it be that way?" In answering that question, Presley, with the consent of the three-member PSC, intends to amend its rules to implement what he calls a Hire Mississippi rule. It would apply to all entities -- primarily public utilities -- under PSC's jurisdiction.
Lincoln County deputy, seven others killed in shooting spree; suspect in custody
A Bogue Chitto man accused of fatally shooting a Lincoln County deputy and seven other people including two juveniles late Saturday night and early Sunday morning will likely be charged with one count of capital murder and seven counts of first degree murder, said Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain. The deputy has been identified as 36-year-old William Durr. Durr was a two-year veteran of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and a four-year veteran of the Brookhaven Police Department, Strain said. Durr is the first Lincoln County officer killed in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. The shooting spree began at approximately 11:30 p.m. with a domestic call at 2871 Lee Drive in Bogue Chitto, Strain said. Four bodies, three females and the deputy, were recovered there, he said.
MAEP rewrite likely pushed back to 2018
House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, indicated during a recent speech that it is not likely that there will be an attempt this year to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program school funding formula. After the speech, though, Gunn said there is a remote possibility that, if an agreement is worked out by the House and Senate leadership on a rewrite, it still could be taken up during a special session later this year. There is no plan, though, by Gov. Phil Bryant to include the proposed rewrite in the special session he is calling for June 5 to take up budget issues. "We worked hard on that (rewrite) and I have said repeatedly we want to get it right. We don't want to get it rushed," Gunn said. "We spent a lot of time working on that. We will continue to work... Just because we did not get it done (during the 2017) session does not mean we are not going to continue to work on it."
Mississippi law prohibits removal of historical markers
When Mississippi Rep. Karl Oliver made his controversial Facebook comments earlier this month advocating "lynching" for Louisiana politicians removing Civil War monuments, he added "I will do all in my power to prevent this form happening in our state." In reality, the 2004 Legislature already has taken steps to ensure what is occurring in Louisiana does not happen in Mississippi. That year the Legislature passed and then-Gov. Haley Barbour signed into law legislation that would prohibit the removal or alteration of statues and other monuments associated with military endeavors, including what the bill referred to as "the War Between the States" or the Civil War. The bill also prohibits the renaming of governmental entities, such as street and schools, that are named after "historical military figures" and "historical events."
Trump's White House communications director resigns
Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, he confirmed to The Hill early Tuesday, in what could be the beginning of a major staff overhaul amid the growing Russia controversy. Dubke had only been on the job for three months before tendering his resignation on May 18. He offered to remain in his post to help manage communications during President Trump's overseas trip, and Trump accepted. The veteran Republican operative was hired in February to help restructure a White House communications shop that struggled to deal with a number of controversies that consumed Trump's presidency. His exit comes amid talk that Trump might bring back familiar faces from the 2016 campaign to stop the bleeding from the Russia probe.
Jackson State alumni: Reopen the search
Jackson State University alumni and constituency groups have been meeting daily to discuss strategies they hope will delay the expected appointment of Dr. William B. Bynum as the next JSU president. "We will make sure that JSU is protected, (JSU) determines its own destiny and IHL does not arbitrarily cause the demise of JSU by appointing inferior leaders to Jackson State," said McKinley Alexander, a JSU alumnus and organizer of an ad hoc committee of concerned alumni. Immediately after the announcement at IHL headquarters in Jackson on Monday, Jackson State alumni and other constituents who have been critical of the selection process walked out in protest. Many of these groups are urging JSU alumni to bring at least 20 other persons to join them on May 31 to challenge the IHL board during Bynum's full day of meetings with constituents at the JSU Student Center.
4 Mississippi nursing programs told to make improvements
Four Mississippi universities and community colleges have been told to make improvements to their nursing programs. The College Board earlier this month granted accreditation renewals in nursing instruction at 23 universities and community colleges. Alcorn State University was placed on warning. The University of Southern Mississippi was told to develop an improvement for its doctoral program in nursing practice because not all faculty members have a clear nursing license in Mississippi. East Mississippi Community College must develop an improvement plan because its three-year pass rate was just below the 80 percent standard. Meridian Community College must develop an improvement plan because less than 59 percent of students completed two-year degrees in a three year period, below the 63 percent required.
Kendall Dunkelberg earns MUW's highest faculty award recognition
Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, professor of English and director of the master's of fine arts creative writing program at Mississippi University for Women, was named the recipient of this year's Kossen Faculty Excellence Award. The award, which includes a $5,000 stipend, recognizes the role of faculty as the heart of the university. It was established in 2004 by Connie Kossen, a 1964 alumna of MUW, and her husband Tom. Based on three fundamentals, the award focuses on excellence in teaching, excellence in scholarly or artistic achievement and excellence in service, preferably both on campus and in communities throughout MUW's service area.
Delta State moves forward with new president's house
Delta State University is moving ahead with plans to design a new president's house. College Board trustees approved plans earlier this month to pay $85,000 to Eley Barkley Engineering & Architecture for the design work. The new house is planned for the site where the previous 1956 structure was demolished. Delta State President William LaForge has said the previous house had mold and structural problems. A replacement is expected to cost about $1.7 million. Public university presidents are typically required to live on campus.
U. of Alabama professors' book documents evolution education
A new book has been published about the challenges of teaching evolution in Alabama. The work by three University of Alabama professors and an associate is called "Evolution Education in the American South: Culture, Politics, and Resources in Alabama." Many fundamentalist Christians oppose evolution education, and conservative, evangelical churches are a strong force in Alabama. While the state has developed some state standards for teaching evolution in recent years, co-author Christopher Lynn says in a university statement that Alabama needs to make additional improvements.
Busy summer: A look at ongoing, upcoming Auburn University construction
Auburn University is gearing up for a summer packed with construction projects. Larger projects, like the Mell Classroom Building, are scheduled to finish by the close of summer, while others are just getting started. More projects than usual, exactly 116, will be underway or begin this summer on campus, according to Jim Carroll, university architect. Though summer is typically a busier construction time to avoid interrupting those on campus during the academic year, Carroll said the number of capital projects combined with smaller related projects and maintenance projects is more than in the last few years. Here's an update on what projects will be wrapping up and which are slated to begin this summer.
U. of South Carolina cuts budget 3 percent to create academic excellence fund
The University of South Carolina's long-term effort to position itself as a world-class university will come with some short-term pain. The state's flagship university has told each of its departments -- from academic colleges to janitorial services -- to trim their upcoming budgets by 3 percent. The savings -- about $17 million -- would flow to a so-called "excellence fund" to recruit top-tier faculty members and to invest in new and existing academic programs and research opportunities. The approach is unprecedented under USC's current administration, in place since 2008. But USC leaders say the GOP-controlled S.C. Legislature's refusal to spend more state money on higher education has forced the school to get creative in its push to improve. The cuts have not been fun, several college deans told The State this week. But deans say they have found the savings without hurting academic efforts, and that they have faith in the excellence fund.
U. of Tennessee dean of students to leave for job at Iowa
Melissa Shivers, associate vice chancellor for student life and dean of students for the University of Tennessee Knoxville, will leave the university next month to become the University of Iowa's next vice president of student life. The University of Iowa posted the news in a release on its website Thursday, saying that Shivers is scheduled to start in the new role June 30 and will earn a salary of $280,000. She will replace Tom Rocklin, who is retiring after more than 30 years at UI. "Dr. Shivers has a long history making sure everything she and her team does is focused on having a positive impact on students and their success," said UI President Bruce Harreld in the release. "She will be an immediate and tremendous asset for the university." Shivers, who has been at UT since 2010 and served in her current role since 2014, currently earns a salary of $165,000, according to a database of 2016 UT salaries.
Scholars honor UGA's Keith Poole, who tracked the rise of political polarization
Some of the country's top political scientists gathered at the University of Georgia's Center for Continuing Education last week to honor UGA political science professor Keith Poole on his 70th birthday and to talk about how political polarization has reached unprecedented levels in the United States. Poole invented a revolutionary, and now widely accepted, method of measuring polarization in Congress, said Tom Lauth, retired former dean of UGA's School of Public and International Affairs. "He's been one of the real innovators in political science with regard to how we study ideology in American politics," Lauth said of Poole, a member of the elite American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Police dogs join Texas A&M University Police Department
Two police dogs have joined the Texas A&M police force, the first in University Police Department history. Jackie, a Belgian malinois, and Tyson, a German shepherd, were bred in Europe for the traits conducive to the detection of explosives. The dogs joined Officers Eric Walker and Jonathan Blythe early last year and all four attended the Alderhorst International Police K-9 Academy in Jurupa Valley, California between June and December of 2016. With their dogs, they became certified as Mobile Dog Detection teams and passed the National Odor Recognition Test. Jackie and Tyson were given to the University Police Department by Texas A&M Regent Tony Buzbee, '90, 12th Man Foundation Board Trustee John D. Schiller Jr., '81, and K9s4COPs, a nonprofit dedicated to placing police dogs in the community and in schools.
As Computer Coding Classes Swell, So Does Cheating
College students have flooded into computer science courses across the country, recognizing them as an entree to coveted jobs at companies like Facebook and Google, not to mention the big prize: a start-up worth millions. The exploding interest in these courses, though, has coincided with an undesirable side effect: a spate of high-tech collegiate plagiarism. Students have been caught borrowing computer code from their friends or cribbing it from the internet. "There's a lot of discussion about it, both inside a department as well as across the field," said Randy H. Katz, a professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department at the University of California, Berkeley, who discovered in one year that about 100 of his roughly 700 students in one class had violated the course policy on collaborating or copying code.
LGBTQ group causes friction on Samford campus
Last month, the president of Samford University gave remarks just before professors voted on a controversial new student group. It's one centered on discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity, from a sympathetic perspective rather than a critical one, which would seemingly prompt friction among the constituents of the private, Baptist institution. The full faculty of Samford ultimately green-lighted the group, Samford Together, which still must receive approvals by administrators and the Board of Trustees before being granted official university affiliation. But the vote -- a progressive step for such an institution such as Samford -- also drew the attention of Alabama Baptist leaders, who publicly insinuated that this would jeopardize the relationship between the Alabama Baptist State Convention and the university. This leaves the institution's leadership with the choice of approving the group and following the will of the students and faculty, or risking its rapport with the convention.
For Wellesley Graduates, Hillary Clinton's Return Highlights the Challenges Ahead
Hillary Clinton returned to her alma mater on Friday to deliver encouragement and a call to action to 570 young women about to enter an America that for many of them feels very different than it did just six months ago. In her first major speech since she lost the presidential election, in November, Mrs. Clinton told Wellesley College's graduates to insist on truth and integrity from their political leaders, to fight for the academic ideals of free speech and open debate, and to never let anyone tell them to "sit down and shut up." "If you feel powerless, don't," she said. "Don't let anyone tell you your voice doesn't matter." Still, she didn't play down the challenges that the students will confront as they enter a world where it's "easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers" and where "extreme views are given powerful microphones."
Mississippi back on bottom in senior health rankings
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Mississippi is getting older. No, this is not about our Bicentennial, but our people. Since 1980 Mississippi's total population increased 18.5 percent but the population of residents aged 65 and older jumped 43.3 percent. This pushed the median age up from 27.6 years in 1980 to 36.5 years in 2015. Over that time, the percentage of population aged 65 and older moved from 11.5 percent to 14 percent. Guess what, health rankings rate Mississippi the worst place to be old. The United Health Foundation just released its latest America's Health Rankings - Senior Report. This is the fifth annual report. In the first two reports, Mississippi ranked 50th. We got off the bottom for two years. Now, we're back again, dead last in senior health."
Two on Facebook: One says 'lynch;' the other says 'serve'
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "Morgan Freeman, celebrated actor and thoughtful person, says forget about it. Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, says if there are no markers where lynching took place there should be no monuments to those who fought to preserve slavery and injustice. Mississippi Rep. Karl Oliver, before he apologized for it, said lynching is exactly right for Landrieu and others who 'destroy historical monuments of our history.' Who's right? Or is it better, as some have chosen, to "contextualize," meaning leaving Old South statues and place names intact and explaining them on carefully worded plaques?"
Monuments, lawsuits and Chris McDaniel's future
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "Normally this time of year -- in an off year for statewide elections and a week leading to a Memorial Day weekend -- would be the doldrums for state politics. But a state lawmaker who's all ate-up with ...something, plaintiffs' lawyers, prosecutors, the courts and other politicians all stepped up to make last week -- er -- interesting, if not special. ...In my last column, I questioned whether state Sen. Chris McDaniel's star had faded, or political momentum died, and whether (and why) he had waited too long since his near toppling of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in 2014 to make a move for higher office. ... I also talked briefly to McDaniel, who dropped this on me: He's considering a run for lieutenant governor. 'All options are on the table, but as of today, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate are the races we're looking at closely,' McDaniel said."

Bulldogs will face familiar foes in Hattiesburg
Andy Cannizaro and his staff may not have to do as much research as most coaches will during the coming days. Mississippi State was selected as a No. 2 seed in a Hattiesburg Regional that features two teams that the Bulldogs have played four times already this season. MSU went 2-1 against No. 3 seed South Alabama and also lost 7-5 to host Southern Miss in Pearl on March 21. The Diamond Dogs' first game is scheduled against the Jaguars on Friday at 6 p.m. Southern Miss will start the regional against fourth-seeded Illinois-Chicago on Friday at 1 p.m. There's no over-the-air TV for the regional, but all games will be seen on ESPN3. "We certainly have a really good understanding of Southern Mississippi and South Alabama," Cannizaro said. "Illinois-Chicago has had a tremendous season. Everybody is good this time of year and you have to take everybody as serious as you possibly can."
Mississippi State's NCAA regional destination revealed
In what was expected to be a rebuilding year, Mississippi State, led by Ferriss Trophy winner Brent Rooker, advanced to the NCAA Tournament under first-year head coach Andy Cannizaro. As a No. 2 seed, the Bulldogs (36-24) will travel to the Hattiesburg regional, the NCAA announced on Monday. Mississippi State will play South Alabama (39-19) at 6 p.m. Friday in the double-elimination format. Southern Miss will play Illinois-Chicago at 1 p.m. on Friday. "I think we are extremely excited to stay in the state of Mississippi," Cannizaro said. "We want to turn Hattiesburg into Starkville-South." The regional features some familiarity for MSU.
Mississippi State, South Alabama among field at Hattiesburg regional
The Hattiesburg regional will, if nothing else, be a hot ticket. Less than 24 hours after being announced as one of the NCAA tournament's 16 host sites, Southern Miss learned Mississippi State, South Alabama and Illinois-Chicago will be part of the field. The Golden Eagles are tentatively slated to open the regional at 1 p.m. against fourth-seeded UIC at Pete Taylor Park, with No. 2 seed MSU and third-seeded South Alabama squaring off at 6 p.m. Friday. Each game throughout the tournament will be broadcast by ESPN3. This season marks the first since 2003 that Southern Miss will host a regional, and only the second time in program history. It was also announced Monday that the Hattiesburg regional is paired with the Baton Rouge regional -- meaning if Southern Miss and LSU advance, the Tigers will host the super regional.
Southern Miss to host Mississippi State in Hattiesburg Regional
The field is set for the Hattiesburg Regional and it should be a good one. Southern Miss, which is the No. 1 seed, will play host to No. 2 Mississippi State (36-24), No. 3 South Alabama (39-19) and No. 4 Illinois Chicago. The Hattiesburg Regional will be matched up with the Baton Rouge Regional, which features No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Southeastern Louisiana, No. 3 Rice and No. 4 Texas Southern. Competition in the Hattiesburg Regional will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday with USM playing Illinois-Chicago at Pete Taylor Park. MSU and South Alabama will follow at 6 p.m. on Friday. Ole Miss was left out of the 64-team field.
Mississippi State's Nuno Borges caps historic run at NCAA Singles Championship
An amazing season for Mississippi State men's tennis sophomore Nuno Borges came to a close on Sunday, after the Bulldog fell to North Carolina's William Blumberg in the NCAA Singles Championship Semifinals. On Saturday, Borges became the first Bulldog in program history to reach the semifinals in singles action after his defeat of Wake Forest's Skander Mansouri. "What an incredible year it was for Nuno," head coach Matt Roberts said. "To do what he did as a sophomore is truly special and it's been fun to watch. I know he wanted to go even further, but he should be very proud of his performance here this week. Nuno won four matches over the best competition that college tennis has to offer and results like this only make you excited for the future."
Ole Miss' Braden Thornberry wins NCAA men's golf championship
Braden Thornberry made history rather easily Monday. Thornberry, a sophomore at Ole Miss, came from behind with a 1-under 71 in his final round to cruise to the NCAA men's individual championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois. The title is the first individual or team NCAA championship in program history. The first Southeastern Conference player to win the men's individual title since LSU's John Peterson in 2011, Thornberry trailed Texas' Scottie Scheffler by two shots entering the day, but Thornberry surged as Scheffler struggled in the final round. A native of Olive Branch, Thornberry capped his final round with a birdie on the par-5 18th, just his second birdie of the day.
Ole Miss baseball's season ends without NCAA Tournament bid
Ole Miss' season is over. For just the third time in 17 seasons under head coach Mike Bianco, Ole Miss failed to make the NCAA Tournament. The field of 64 was announced during a selection show Monday morning. It's the first time since 2011 the Rebels haven't made the field. Ole Miss will begin the 2018 season with its last tournament win coming in the 2014 College World Series. The Rebels lost four of their last five games and didn't help themselves with a short stay in the SEC Tournament following a 5-4 loss to Auburn in the first round, dropping Ole Miss' RPI to the mid-30s. No SEC team in the last six years has made the field with a losing conference record and a sub-30 RPI.
Delta State stays alive at D-II College World Series
Tre Hobbs dealt an absolute gem and Delta State stayed alive with a 4-0 win over North Georgia Monday at the NCAA Division II World Series at Grand Prairie, Texas. The left-handed junior from Greenville gave up just three hits in the complete-game shutout, striking out nine batters and walking just two. Hobbs is now 9-4 in 15 starts. It was exactly the response the Statesmen (45-12) were looking for coming off their 4-0 opening-round loss to Lindenwood Saturday. Delta State will face either West Chester or Lindenwood in another elimination game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
AD Greg Byrne ready for first SEC meetings with Tide
Greg Byrne fondly remembers his first experience at the Southeastern Conference spring meetings in Destin, Florida, when he was just two months on the job as Mississippi State's 36-year-old athletic director. And much like how he handled the meetings as the conference's youngest AD in 2008, Byrne -- now 45 -- anticipates taking a more measured sit-back-and-listen approach in his return this week as Alabama's athletic director. "Obviously we have a lot of really smart ADs and smart people from the SEC, and I have history here, which helps," Byrne said Friday in a sit-down with the Decatur Daily/TimesDaily, "but I also want to be respectful, especially as I reconnect with the SEC." Byrne is one of six SEC athletic directors with a year or less on the job, joining Mississippi State's John Cohen, Tennessee's John Currie, Missouri's Jim Sterk, Florida's Scott Stricklin and Texas A&M's Scott Woodward.
South Carolina baseball: Tanner has tough decision to make on Holbrook
Let's be honest. Most days South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner's job is a gravy train with biscuit wheels. His job is what many people dream their retirement might be for most weeks of the year. This is not one of those weeks, though. Soon, Tanner must make a difficult decision. South Carolina's baseball program is on shaky soil. After starting the year ranked in the preseason top five nationally, they finished 35-25 overall and were left out of the NCAA Tournament. It is the second time in three years that coach Chad Holbrook's team failed to make the national postseason. For a program that measures itself by College World Series appearances and results, not making the 64-team field is unacceptable. So Tanner has to decide whether he is going to make what should be the toughest call any athletics director has to make: firing a coach.
7 people who threatened NCAA referee after Kentucky loss ID'd
Seven people who threatened basketball referee John Higgins after an NCAA Tournament game in March have been identified. Information on them will be referred to authorities in their jurisdictions and to the FBI's Omaha field office, a Nebraska prosecutor said Friday. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said the identities were ascertained after a lengthy investigation following Kentucky's 75-73 loss to North Carolina in the South Region final in Memphis on March 26. Polikov did not release the names. Kentucky Coach John Calipari criticized the officiating during his postgame news conference. Higgins, of Omaha, saw his La Vista-based roofing company inundated with harassing emails, phone calls and voice mails, including death threats against Higgins and his family.

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 30, 2017Facebook Twitter