Monday, June 19, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Community remembers Hank Flick's impact
Family, friends, colleagues and former students gathered at St. Joseph Catholic Church Friday afternoon to pay their respects to Harry Albert "Hank" Flick II. Flick's career teaching in the Mississippi State University Department of Communication spanned 45 years, and he also served as the public address announcer at Bulldog football and basketball games. His death was announced on the Mississippi State University website on June 8. Former MSU Communication Chair Mark Hickson, MSU Communication Chair John Forde and Former MSU Alumni Association President Jimmy Abraham gave eulogies for Flick, and St. Joseph Pastor Lenin Vargas led the service. Flick's son, Harrison Flick said it meant a lot to him to see the impact his father had on so many people.
 
Mississippi State program earns national accreditation
Now in its third year, Mississippi State's clinical psychology doctoral program has been granted a five-year term of accreditation from the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation. The program is offered by the Department of Psychology, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU's largest academic unit. Michael R. Nadorff, MSU assistant professor of psychology and director of clinical training, said gaining accreditation is "a tremendous outcome for this new program and is extremely important for our students for multiple reasons. "A student's accreditation status is set at the time of graduation and our first cohort will graduate this August, so this accomplishment is significant because it ensures that all of our students graduate from an accredited program," Nadorff said.
 
Mississippi State experts discourage canning in multi-cookers
Electric pressure cookers can help home chefs get meals on the table in just minutes, but food science experts said preserving fruits and vegetables in these appliances can be risky. "We cannot recommend using electric pressure cookers for canning," said Courtney Crist, an assistant professor of food science with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Although some manufacturers have included recipes and a canning and preserving function on their digital cookers, these appliances have not been tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure canned foods reach the correct temperatures to kill dangerous bacteria." Extension recommends that cooks follow the instructions provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation for preserving any food items at home to reduce microorganisms that can cause food-borne illnesses.
 
Summer institute for teachers at MSU-Meridian
Photo: Four Clarkdale middle and high school teachers, Fonya Scott, Julie Rawson, Penny Walton and Leann Smith practice their parts for a short film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird as part of a Summer Institute sponsored by the division of Education at MSU-Meridian. Twenty-one middle and high school teachers from Meridian, Lauderdale County, Union, Louisville, Philadelphia, Enterprise, Forest and Quitman school districts spent the month of June at the university to learn how to use literacy to integrate Mississippi College and Career Readiness standards across Core Subject areas. The Summer Institute is funded by a grant from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning No Child Left Behind: Improving Teacher Quality Program.
 
Lynn Spruill seeks an end to court challenge of Starkville mayor's race
Lynn Spruill has filed a motion seeking to end Johnny Moore's court challenge to her victory in the Starkville mayor's race. Moore narrowly lost to Spruill in the May Democratic primary and wants a judge to order a new election, saying there were voting irregularities. Spruill, however, says in Friday's filing that the Starkville Democratic Municipal Executive Committee has the final say concerning who won the election, not the courts. That committee unanimously voted earlier this week to declare Spruill the winner. There's no word when there will be a hearing on Spruill's request.
 
Outgoing Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman reflects on time in office
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman is ending his term this month -- but the young community leader hopes this is far from the last step in his political journey. Wiseman began his two-term stint as mayor in July of 2009, and is spending his last days in office this month. The mayor grew up in Starkville, but neither of his parents were natives to Bulldog country. His parents attended school at Mississippi State University and the city became home to Wiseman and his sister. Wiseman said he was always involved in student politics growing up. He was president of the student body in high school and while attending MSU. Of all the projects Wiseman worked on during his time in office, the mayor said he is most proud of getting city facilities up to modern standards.
 
Starkville's billboard ordinance to be discussed Tuesday
Aldermen will consider changes to the city ordinance regulating billboards on Tuesday, but at least one local billboard company manager says the proposal goes too far. The ordinance, proposed by Ward 3 Alderman David Little, would cap the number of billboards allowed in the city limits at 13 and require all existing and new billboards to meet certain design standards by 2021. Those specific design standards require brick billboard bases and hunter green paint on any exposed metal. The new ordinance would uphold two key standards of the existing regulation -- billboards must be placed no closer than a half-mile apart and can only be placed in C-2 (moderate to heavy commercial) or M-1 (manufacturing) zones. However, the new ordinance would not allow them within 288 feet of any residential area.
 
Starkville Police to open new offices June 30
The Starkville Police Department is set to move from City Hall into its renovated police headquarters at 101 E. Lampkin St. and will host a ribbon cutting to celebrate their new station Jun. 30. Staff and furniture will be phased in during the following weeks, according to SPD public information officer Brandon Lovelady. The renovated building has 42 office spaces, a booking and evidence suite, an emergency operations center, a public community space, as well as maintenance and storage. "It is designed to be somewhat flexible for office space, as personnel within the SPD tend to move around, advance, and change roles over time," said Sally Zahner, the architect on the project.
 
Mississippi Shipyard Wins $3B Contract for Assault Ship
The U.S. Navy will pay Huntington Ingalls Industries $3 billion to design and build an amphibious assault ship at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi. Construction is set to begin in late 2018 on the Bougainville, which will be capable of launching Marine Corps landing craft at water level, and accommodating helicopters and fighter planes on its flight deck. The ship is scheduled to be completed in 2024. Seventy percent of the work will be done at the 11,000-worker shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
 
Internet tax collections not providing expected boost for state
The voluntary collection of the 7 percent tax on retail items sold to Mississippians by Amazon and other online retailers is not providing the boost to the state general fund that many had hoped it would. Instead of being a boost to the beleaguered state general fund, the use tax, like other state taxes, is underperforming in terms of collection. Through the month of May, the state's use tax revenue is actually down -- albeit only slightly -- from the previous year by $901,491 or 0.44 percent. "Use Tax is difficult to predict because you don't know when people/businesses are going to purchase and report taxable items," said Kathy Waterbury, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue in an emailed response. "Looking back, we had a number of large payments in spring 2016 that didn't repeat this year. In addition, we paid $2.8 million in use tax refunds in May 2017."
 
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton, former Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick file for divorce
Just over a year after their marriage, Mayor Jason Shelton and his wife Chelsea Rick have filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair filed for an uncontested divorce on June 2 in Lee County Chancery Court. These filings included an agreement over division of property. In a statement released Friday afternoon, the mayor said expressed sadness over this personal turn of events. Rick, a native of Fulton, was crowned Miss Mississippi in 2013. The pair met professionally during her tenure as the state pageant queen. Shelton and Rick became engaged in May of 2015 at Fairpark near City Hall and married on May 28, 2016 at a large ceremony in Tupelo. The couple have no children together. According to divorce filings accessed on Friday by the Daily Journal, Shelton and Rick have been separated since about May 13.
 
Mississippi agencies approved for layoffs after budget cuts
Two state agencies have been approved to move ahead with layoffs as the Mississippi government sheds employees following budget cuts. The Mississippi State Personnel Board on Thursday approved plans for the Department of Mental Health to lay off 125 workers at four facilities, part of an overall plan by the agency to trim employment by 650. The Personnel Board also approved plans for the Public Service Commission to lay off three employees. In both instances, the agencies cited lack of funds as the reason for layoffs. The Personnel Board last month approved plans by the Forestry Commission to reorganize and lay off 75 workers.
 
Low-performing, high-poverty schools targeted in new state plan
The state is setting ambitious goals in a new plan required by federal law, including more than doubling the percentage of students scoring proficient on statewide tests in 2025. Currently, 32.6 percent of Mississippi students scored proficient on the English Language Arts test while 31.1 percent scored proficient on the math test. The state is setting a goal of raising that rate to 70 percent in the next eight years. The plan, which all states must develop under the new federal law replacing the No Child Left Behind Act, also calls for eliminating the achievement gap between all students and African-Americans and reducing the gap in graduation rates of special education students and other students. In addition, the state aims to see an overall graduation rate of 90 percent by 2025, up from 82.3 percent last school year.
 
Analysis puts Mississippi among hardest hit by potential Medicaid changes
Even though Mississippi didn't expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the state is in line to be among the hardest hit by proposed federal funding changes. An analysis done by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation lists Mississippi among the 11 states who are the most likely to have trouble adapting to the changes in Medicaid funding proposed in the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to repealing parts of Obamacare, the bill proposes changing the way Medicaid is funded, shifting to block grants or a per capita cap. The Congressional Budget Office estimated it would reduce federal Medicaid spending by $834 billion through 2026. The U.S. Senate is still drafting its version of the legislation and it's not clear how it will approach changes to Medicaid funding. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, has said previously he feels federal Medicaid spending is unsustainable.
 
Analysis: Unclear path for revamp of Mississippi student aid
As tuition grows more expensive at Mississippi's universities and community colleges, more students are seeking aid to help them pay. But the state's financial aid programs have problems of their own. And while aid might be revamped, competing interests might preserve the status quo. Mississippi has three major undergraduate grant programs: the Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG), the Eminent Scholars Grant, and the Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students (HELP). The three traditionally have had different goals. The Education Commission of the States, in a 2016 report on Mississippi's situation, suggests that the state should put more of its effort into making sure students from families earning less than $50,000 a year go to college to increase skill levels across the state.
 
Lease approved for lodge housing Mississippi cancer patients
The University of Mississippi Medical Center is moving ahead with plans to lease land for cancer patient housing. The American Cancer Society plans to build a $10 million Hope Lodge on the site, across the street from the medical center's main hospital, near Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium The medical center will lease the parcel for up to 60 years at $50 a year, under an agreement approved Thursday by College Board trustees.
 
Southern Miss students graduate from first course in underwater drones
As a meteorological and oceanographic expert for the U.S Navy, Loren Springer, 29, jumped at the chance to take a University of Southern Mississippi class in underwater drones. On June 1, he became one of 15 students to graduate from the class -- the first course of its kind in the nation. "I've gone from me zero experience (with the drones) before the class to now --- give me a manual and I can roll with it," Springer said. "I learned a lot more about the systems than I knew before. It set me up for operating, deploying and recovering the systems, as well as troubleshooting issues and performing maintenance on the instruments if they happen to malfunction." "Usually people associate drones with the ones that fly in the air," said Monty Graham, director of Southern Miss' School of Ocean Science and Technology at Stennis Space Center, where the class was held.
 
Some of state's brightest return to Governor's School to invest in Mississippi's future
Some of Mississippi's most gifted high school students threw cardboard rafts in a pool on Saturday and tried to race them. The seemingly futile attempt to ride in a cardboard boat is just one of many unconventional activities and courses 74 students from across the state are participating in at Mississippi Governor's School this month. MGS is a residential honors program for rising high school juniors and seniors. The program, hosted by Mississippi University for Women, was established in 1981 by the university and Gov. William Winter. It receives funding from the state and MUW. "Of course, we want it to be free so the population that comes truly represents the state of Mississippi and isn't only for those who can afford it," said MGS director Royal Toy.
 
Community college budget cuts: 'It's all over the place'
Budgets for Mississippi's 15 community colleges have been reduced $28 million dollars by the Legislature during the past fiscal year. Their recovery plans: raise tuition by 13 percent, cut 250 jobs and drop at least one intercollegiate sport at several schools. "It's all over the place," said Deborah Gilbert, finance and administration officer for the Mississippi Community College Board. On Friday, the board requested $37 million in restoration funds for community colleges as well as $25 million for salary increases from the Legislature in the 2018 session.
 
East Mississippi Community College premieres new student union
Students at the East Mississippi Community College's Mayhew campus now have a new resource. The new student union opened its doors on campus in January, and houses several offerings for students on the campus. Amenities in the $17 million facility include lounge areas, a cafeteria, a coffee shop, the campus bookstore, a computer lab and an art gallery. The building also houses classrooms and administrative offices. A small fitness center is scheduled to be in place by the upcoming fall semester. Vice President for Administration Paul Miller said the building was part of a larger 25-year master plan approved for both the Mayhew and Scooba campuses in 2007. "It's very spacious, very inviting," said Dean of Students Cathy Kemp.
 
EMCC first community college in state to offer E-Commerce program
East Mississippi Community College is the first college in Mississippi to offer an E-Commerce Technology program tailored to meet a growing need for employees in the online business sector. "One of our goals at EMCC is to ensure that our course offerings reflect marketplace demands," EMCC Associate Dean of Instruction Dr. Melanie Sanders said. "Given that the impact of E-Commerce is being felt across the global economy, we felt that the time was right to offer a program that would help our students capitalize on this growing industry." The Mississippi Community College Board approved EMCC's application for the new program at the Golden Triangle campus and classes will be available in the fall term that begins in August. Registration is under way now.
 
One-on-one with Steven Leath: Incoming Auburn president talks past, future
If you're walking around the Auburn campus any time in the near future, don't be surprised to bump into incoming president Steven Leath. Leath, who officially begins his term as the university's 19th president on Monday, said he prefers the "walkaround" style of leadership. "I appeared the other day in the foundation office without calling, just to see what's going on in the alumni center," Leath said Thursday in his first sit-down interview with the Opelika-Auburn News. "I did an impromptu tour of our IT facility the other day, because I was over there getting my ID and thought, 'I might as well do a tour while I'm here.' I'll try to carve out enough time in my schedule so when I'm out somewhere, I get a chance to meet people and see what's going on." The new president said being out and about, taking a hands-on approach to operating the university, is beneficial to the entire Auburn family.
 
U. of Tennessee releases report critiquing sexual assault policies
Nearly a year after settling a $2.48 million lawsuit that brought intense national scrutiny to sexual assaults at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, campus officials on Saturday released a long-promised special review of its sexual assault policies. The 28-page report, written by a committee of four independent experts hired by UT president Joe DiPietro, outlines a series of concerns and recommendations drawn from interviews with leaders and students across the college system. DiPietro said he would move forward with the experts' recommendation to hire a statewide coordinator for policies related to Title IX, the federal law that guides campuses on sexual discrimination and violence responses. He said he hoped to have that position filled by the end of the year.
 
Texas A&M creates prayer room for students seeking quiet space between classes
Equipped with chairs, tables, prayer rugs and religious texts, a room on the fifth floor of the Sterling C. Evans Library and Annex is now available for Texas A&M students of all faiths to have a quiet place to pray and meditate between classes. Recent Texas A&M graduate Nimrah Riaz, who is a Muslim, explained that the creation of the room came from faculty members taking notice of her and some of her friends. For the past several years, Muslim students at Texas A&M have had difficulty in between classes finding a good spot to stop and pray. As one of Islam's Five Pillars, praying five times a day is one of the most important tenants of the faith. The most popular place for them to pray, Riaz said, was underneath a secluded stairwell at Evans Library near some garbage cans. "It was just in the middle of campus and had easy access," she said. At the beginning of the spring semester, David Carson, dean of libraries, worked with Faculty Assistant Dean Jan Pfamnstiel to approach students and local ministries about creating a prayer space on campus.
 
U. of Missouri to add more police officer positions in next budget year
As the University of Missouri System continues budget reductions at all four campuses and in various departments, some divisions have been chosen for strategic investments, one of them being the flagship campus police department. Following through on former interim Chancellor Hank Foley's plan to beef up the police force at the university's Columbia campus, there will be five additional officer positions in the fiscal year 2018 budget, which begins July 1. Maj. Brian Weimer said the department will have 50 sworn officer positions starting then, and will have to fill nine of them. Three dispatcher positions also will be added, he said. Despite a projected enrollment decline of almost 5,000, to about 30,800, Weimer said adding more officers is necessary. "The community has to feel safe to teach and also to live and learn here," Weimer said. "We have a strong commitment to do that."
 
Trump Keeps DACA in Place -- for Now
In a reversal from President Trump's campaign promise to "immediately terminate" a program that grants certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children protection from deportation and the right to work legally, his administration said Thursday it is keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in place -- for now -- but clarified that the program remains under review. In an FAQ on the Department of Homeland Security's website, the agency said that current beneficiaries of DACA will continue to be eligible to seek a two-year extension of their status upon expiration and that "no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates." More than 700,000 young people, many of whom are college students, benefit from the DACA program, and many college leaders have called for it to be continued.
 
Experiential learning can lead to great achievements
Angela Farmer, an assistant professor of educational leadership at Mississippi State, writes: "Watch and learn, listen and learn or act and learn. While each set of directives has, in its intent, a focus on student mastery, only one truly facilitates learning. While there will likely always be a need for students to watch and listen, true comprehension requires that they also participate in the process. Experiential learning affords students the opportunity to actively engage their unique learning styles for maximum retention."
 
Will Mississippi tax cuts have results like Kansas?
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "Is Kansas a lesson for Mississippi? Conservative Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican controlled Kansas Legislature enacted massive state tax cuts five years ago, making Kansas the national poster child for anti-tax advocates. Earlier this month, the Kansas Legislature, led by newly elected moderate Republicans, reversed those deep tax cuts following huge budget shortfalls and limited economic growth. The Legislature overrode a veto by Brownback to resurrect $1.2 billion in taxes. They removed personal income tax cuts and repealed a major tax exemption for small-business owners, basically restoring tax rates to where they were when Brownback took office. ...Brownback touted his 2012 and 2013 tax cuts as 'pro-growth' policies, similar to the comments we hear from Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and House Speaker Philip Gunn. But the limited growth following the tax cuts did not come close to offsetting declining state revenues."
 
The scourge of cell-phone telemarketing
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "Antony, foreseeing chaos in the aftermath of the murder of Julius Caesar, intoned, 'Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the dogs of war.' In more contemporary artistry with words, the Baha Men gave us, 'Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who? Who?' There's every reason to believe this summer will go down in Mississippi history, perhaps world history, as the Summer of Telemarketing. The dogs of auto-dialing have been set free."
 
Who's (maybe) running in 2019... part deux
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "As I said in my column last week, I intended to lay out the buzz on potential candidates for several top statewide seats in 2019, but talking about potential gubernatorial candidates ate up the whole column. So here's another installment. Let's look at lieutenant governor '19..."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State chooses Neil Price as new broadcaster for football, men's basketball
Jason Crowder's best story regarding Neil Price has nothing to do with Price's on-air talents. Crowder, the voice of Mississippi State women's basketball, was in Greenville, South Carolina, in March calling the Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. When equipment struggles struck the crew leading up to a game, Price, then the voice of Kentucky women's basketball, offered to loan Crowder his equipment. "Neil is one of the most professional guys in the SEC," Crowder said. "Not only does he have excellent, soothing broadcast voice, but he's very articulate and does a great job. He's been likened to, from some people I've read, a Vin Scully kind of delivery." Now Crowder and Price can share equipment more easily, they work together. Friday morning, MSU announced Price will replace Jim Ellis as the voice of MSU football and men's basketball.
 
Mississippi State names new broadcaster for football, basketball
Mississippi State has a new voice for football and basketball. Mississippi State announced Friday morning that Neil Price is the university's new play-by-play person for football and men's basketball as Jim Ellis' replacement. Price was a member of the Kentucky Wildcats' UK Sports Network broadcast team for 12 years and served as the voice for Kentucky baseball and women's basketball. At MSU, Price will also host the football and men's basketball coaches' shows and oversee various digital responsibilities, the school said. He will take over for Ellis, who announced his semi-retirement on March 2. Ellis, a native of West Point and a 1969 graduate of Mississippi State, assumed the play-by-play role for football and men's basketball at the start of the 2011-12 athletic season following the retirement of legendary voice Jack Cristil.
 
New play-by-play broadcaster hired at Mississippi State
Mississippi State men's basketball and football now have a new soundtrack. After a nationwide search, Neil Price was named as the Bulldogs' new radio play-by-play announcer for those sports. Price replaces Jim Ellis, who retired from calling football and men's basketball in March. "I'm committed to using the skills and talents I've been given to produce a product the Mississippi State family will be proud of and one that will honor the high broadcasting standards set by legends Jack Cristil and Jim Ellis," Price said.
 
UK Sports Network's Neil Price leaving for play-by-play job at Mississippi State
Neil Price, the radio voice for University of Kentucky baseball and women's basketball, is leaving the UK Sports Network broadcast team to become the new football and men's basketball play-by-play announcer for Mississippi State University. Mississippi State made the announcement Friday, ending Price's 12-year run on the UK Sports Network. "We are privileged to have one of the great broadcasting talents in the country join the MSU family," said Mississippi State Athletics Director John Cohen, formerly the baseball head coach at Kentucky. "Neil has 12 years of Southeastern Conference experience and a contagious enthusiasm that will extend our legacy of outstanding Mississippi State broadcasters."
 
What lies ahead for Mississippi State baseball?
Andy Cannizaro didn't use hypotheticals when he spoke on June 11, the night Mississippi State's season ended. The Bulldogs would be back in a super regional next season, he said. And the Bulldogs, Cannizaro added, will benefit next season from having had perennial powerhouse LSU eliminate them. But hypotheticals are necessary bits of context when referring to a program that will not play its next game until February.
 
Mississippi State's Brent Rooker claims sixth All-American honor
Brent Rooker may have already moved on to professional baseball but is still reaping awards from his stellar season at Mississippi State. Rooker received his sixth first team All-American honor from the American Baseball Coaches Association over the weekend. The junior first baseman also earned the honor from D1Baseball.com, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Rooker led the Southeastern Conferenec in eight offensive categories and is still in line to be the league's second ever triple crown winner.
 
Another memorable year in the books for Mississippi State
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery writes: "The 2016-17 sports season came to an end for me in the early morning hours last Monday, marking the end of my ninth year covering Mississippi State full time. It was certainly a memorable year filled with highs and lows which took me from St. Petersburg to Provo, with plenty of stops in between. ...SEC Media Days are in four weeks so it won't be long before another sports year begins. I'm already gearing up for another exciting year."
 
Dak Prescott camp set for Tuesday at Mississippi State
Anthony Colom takes youth football very seriously. When you have been around the sport as long as Colom, you understand the importance of opportunities for players and the roles coaches can play in helping boys and girls find something to connect to. That's why Colom, the public relations and education officer for the city of Columbus Fire Department, is so excited about his chance to be a part of the adidas Dak Prescott Football ProCamp. The Tuesday camp, which is sold out, is for students in grades 1-8 and will have two sessions. The first will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The second will run from 2-5:30 p.m. More than 700 students are expected to attend the event.
 
Budget cuts lead East Mississippi Community Collegeto drop men's golf, delay restart of women's soccer
Thomas Huebner has faced a lot of challenges as a college administrator. But Huebner realized things were a lot worse than anticipated when he and the other community college presidents in the state of Mississippi received the final budget numbers for the upcoming year. After further discussion, Huebner decided cuts across the board had to be made at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba following a decrease in funding from the state that will force the school to make up for a 11- to 12-percent shortfall from the previous year. As a result, EMCC has decided to cut its men's golf program and to delay plans to re-start a women's soccer program.
 
EMCC assistant, former Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace arrested for DUI
East Mississippi Community College quarterbacks coach and former Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was arrested and charged with a DUI Saturday night. The arrest took place at 11:06 p.m. in Clay County and was made by the West Point police department. Wallace was released at 1:16 a.m. Sunday after he was bonded out. Bond was set at $813.50, according to the Clay County Sheriff's office. The Clay County Sheriff's office said it wouldn't be able to provide additional information until Monday morning. According to EMCC coach Buddy Stephens, Wallace took prescription medication during the day, fell asleep at the wheel while driving after working a youth camp, got into a wreck and was arrested after the accident. Stephens said he would continue to gather information on the matter.
 
New NCAA rule will block Auburn from signing Opelika High football players for 2 years
Opelika High School has a history of sending football players down the road to Auburn University. T.J. Jackson, Matthew Motley, Tez Doolittle, Will Herring, Corey Grant and the late Jakell Mitchell are among the former Bulldogs who played for the Tigers over the past 15 years. Opelika alum Stephen Roberts is in line to start at safety for Auburn as a senior in 2017, and James Owens Moss and Devin Guice are both redshirt freshman walk-ons. But that relationship will be put on hold for at least the next two years. One of the new rules passed by the NCAA's Division I football council in April prevents schools from "hiring people close to a prospective student-athlete for a two-year period before and after the student's anticipated and actual enrollment at the school."
 
NCAA taking aim at football staff sizes
Should the NCAA have the ability to regulate football staff sizes? Perhaps that's the question that should be asked instead of the now nearly ubiquitous query of "Will the NCAA limit staff sizes?" The NCAA has dabbled in the restriction of the free market economy in relations to football programs in the past. In 1991 it attempted to limit the amount of money coaches could make by instituting "restricted earnings coaches" that sought to regulate big schools from loading up on off-the-field coaches to fill staffs. Restricted earnings coaches were paid no more than $16,000 per season. The move was met with pushback, a legal challenge and subsequent loss in federal court. Now the NCAA is setting its sights on staff sizes, and the general consensus is that it's using the University of Alabama as its portrait of staff sizes that have ballooned.



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