Wednesday, August 9, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
New Maroon camp helps students find 'sense of belonging' at Mississippi State
Mayah Emerson didn't participate in New Maroon Camp at Mississippi State as an incoming freshman, but when she learned how much fun the group was having, she had to get involved. This year, she's the student director leading approximately 900 new students to find their place at MSU as part of the Bulldog family. Tuesday, hundreds began checking into New Maroon Camp to jumpstart their semester. By the time classes start next week, many new friendships and lifelong connections already will be established from an event designed to help incoming students find an almost immediate "sense of belonging" at their university. Students lead, manage and run the camp, Emerson explained, although they do have support from advisers Raymond Brooks, assistant dean of students, and John Blue, assistant director of the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center.
 
Mississippi State private donations top $100 million four years running
For a fourth consecutive fiscal year, the Mississippi State University Foundation has received more than $100 million in private gifts, making 2017 the second-highest year on record. The foundation's fiscal year 2017 contributions came to more than $108.6 million. "It means that our alums and supporters have great faith in not only what Mississippi State is doing for its students, but what it's doing for the state of Mississippi," said MSU Vice President of the Division of Development and Alumni John Rush. Rush, who also serves as president and CEO of the MSU Foundation, said the continued giving represented a positive trend, and that he had faith that donors would continue to come through. "It goes back to the majority of our donors are alums, and they realize what MSU did for them," Rush said. "They want future MSU grads to have the same opportunities they did for success."
 
Mississippi State Strikes Up The Band
With fall just around the corner that means the Mississippi State Famous Maroon Band is busy preparing to hit the gridiron. Band camp is well underway for the largest band Jacob Lanier has ever seen. "I play clarinet and so our clarinet section has grown now to 50. Trumpets -- we have 55 of them," the head drum said. This year the Famous Maroon Band reached an all time high in membership with the number of marchers reaching 394. Band Director Elva Kay Lance says to get to numbers like those a lot of ground work must be done. Lanier says the increase in numbers could be attributed to a sense of family the band provides incoming students.
 
Back to school at MSU-Meridian
Photo: Nicole Smith of Collinsville gets help registering for classes at MSU-Meridian from academic advisor Rachel Snell. Smith, a transfer student from Meridian Community College plans to major in Special Education when fall classes begin August 16. Find out how to attend MSU-Meridian by visiting meridian.msstate.edu or by stopping by the new Advising and Career Services Center at the College Park Campus located at 1000 Hwy 19 North.
 
Get ready for a rare spectacle in the sky
In about two weeks, something will happen in the sky that hasn't happened in decades, the moon will totally eclipse the sun over North America. While an annular eclipse passed over Picayune in 1984, this eclipse will be a bit different. First it will be a total eclipse in various areas of the country. Second, in Pearl River County we will still see a sliver of the sun on Aug. 21, the rest will be covered by the moon. The event is expected to start that day at about noon, and last until just before 3 p.m., according to information from Mississippi State University. MSU is holding a daylong event that will feature free viewing glasses to the first 1,000 visitors and entertainment.
 
xCraft and ASSURE Leaders Featured as Keynotes During UAS Tech Forum
JD Claridge admits he has always had an affinity for things that flew. After all, he was just seven years old and living in northern Idaho when he attempted to build his first aircraft: a glider made out of duct tape and rebar he got out of his barn. Aside from an injured chin and a few other body parts, Claridge said his best friend survived the crash but they both learned something that day. "It's all about the process," Claridge said. That belief has also carried over into his adult life as co-founder of xCraft, a drone company. As one of the keynote speakers for the UAS Tech Forum August 30-31 in Wichita, Kansas, Claridge will share his thoughts on the present state of the UAS industry. Joining Claridge on the keynote stage will be Marty Rogers, executive director of the Mississippi State University-led ASSURE program. ASSURE (Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence) is the Federal Aviation Administration's academic research arm that conducts research on UAS and its safe integration into the National Air Space.
 
Greater Starkville Development Partnership names Jennifer Prather director of tourism
Jennifer Prather has officially been named the new director of tourism for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. The change in position was announced by the GSDP via press release on Tuesday. Prather first joined the Greater Starkville Development Partnership in January 2013 as special events and projects coordinator and has most recently served as interim director of tourism since April 2016. "We are very excited to name Jennifer to this role," said GSDP CEO Scott Maynard. "She has done an excellent job in the interim and we are looking forward to what she will bring in the future. Her experience in this area will be an asset to the community." In her new role, Prather will head the Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Starkville Main Street association.
 
AG opinion: Supervisors should have access to 'necessary' OCH data
A recently issued opinion from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's office states the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors should have access to information "necessary in carrying out the duties" of a potential OCH Regional Medical Center transaction and neither the county nor hospital can spend public funds to influence the outcome of November's planned referendum. The opinion, written by Special Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth S. Bolin July 28, comes after District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer sought guidance on a situation created when the OCH Board of Trustees and hospital Chief Executive Officer Richard Hilton said in May they would delay the release of confidential information to an online data room for potential hospital bidders until after November's countywide referendum decides whether a potential sale or lease of the public facility would move forward.
 
Oktibbeha supervisors OK bids for road resurfacing projects
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved bids for road improvement projects that will cover roads throughout different districts during its meeting on Monday. The road bond project covers 37 miles of resurfacing projects throughout Oktibbeha County. Some projects will start in upcoming months, with a completion date set for the spring. County Engineer Clyde Pritchard said he would like to provide those constructing the roads with a notice that the county accepted the bids, but would like to provide an addendum that would agree to have the project finished around June. For the other projects the board would like to approve, Pritchard would seek bids in the upcoming months and provide a similar addendum to those projects. This would provide a more concrete timeline for completion.
 
Mississippi seen as contender for Toyota-Mazda plant
The same day that workers at the Toyota Motor Corp. plant in Canton voted strongly against unionizing, the Japanese automaker announced it would team up with Mazda Motor Corp. to build another assembly plant in the South. A vote to join the United Auto Workers union would have sent a message to foreign automakers, which have turned to the South for manufacturing facilities and have basically avoided union organizing. Toyota and Mazda announced Friday that they plan to spend $1.6 billion to jointly build the plant and create up to 4,000 jobs. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said Tuesday in an emailed that "we stand ready to grow our existing partnership and strengthen Mississippi's standing as a global leader in automotive manufacturing." The Toyota plant in Blue Springs employs about 1,500.
 
Mississippi in the running for new auto plant
As Toyota and Mazda search for a site to build a joint-venture, $1.6 billion plant in the U.S., Mississippi is expected to be in the hunt, since it already makes Corollas at the Blue Springs Toyota plant. "We stand ready to grow our existing partnership and strengthen Mississippi's standing as a global leader in automotive manufacturing," Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement on Tuesday. But competition is expected to be fierce, particularly among Southeastern states with existing automobile plants and related suppliers. "Typically, you don't even publicly hear about a project until it's down to the last one or two sites," said Mississippi Economic Council President Scott Waller. "This one sounds like they are saying, 'We're coming. What are you going to do for us?'"
 
David Chandler steps down from overseeing foster care system, replaced by another judge
Former Northern District Supreme Court Justice David Chandler is stepping down from the post as commissioner of the newly created Department of Child Protection Services. Gov. Phil Bryant announced Tuesday afternoon he will fill the vacancy with another Supreme Court justice -- Jess Dickinson of the Southern District. Dickinson, a former Forrest Court Circuit Court judge, has been a member of the nine-member Supreme Court since 2004. Bryant will name a replacement for Dickinson. Dickinson will assume his new role on Sept. 18. Bryant will have had the opportunity to make four appointments to the nine-member Supreme Court in the past two years. When judges retire, the governor appoints a replacement to finish out the term. Dickinson's term ends in January 2019.
 
Gov. Phil Bryant appointing Justice Jess Dickinson to child services with David Chandler retirement
After being credited with a major turnaround for Mississippi's troubled foster care system in a little over a year, former state Supreme Court Justice David A. Chandler is retiring as commissioner of Child Protection Services. Gov. Phil Bryant announced Tuesday that state Supreme Court Justice Jess H. Dickinson will leave his post as presiding justice on the high court to take over child services from Chandler. Chandler's retirement will be effective Sept. 15. Dickinson's appointment will be Sept. 18. Bryant will appoint a replacement for Dickinson who will serve the remainder of the justice's term through January 2020. Chandler at Bryant's urging in December 2015 left the state Supreme Court to oversee federally mandated reform of Mississippi's foster care system. He has received praise from reform advocates and recently a national award from the National Council for Adoption.
 
David Chandler exits Child Protection Services; Jess Dickinson will be new commissioner
Just a year and a half after taking the reins of the state's once-troubled foster care system, David Chandler announced Monday that he will retire as commissioner of Child Protection Services on Sept. 15. Chandler will be replaced by his former state Supreme Court colleague, Presiding Justice Jess H. Dickinson. Chandler left his post on the state's highest court in 2015 to run Child Protection Services, which had been battling the Department of Justice for more than a decade over allegations that Mississippi's foster care system continually neglected the children in its custody. "Dr. Chandler has done a remarkable job leading Child Protection Services," Bryant said in a press release Monday. "He has dedicated himself to improving the lives of our most vulnerable children. Our foster care system has made significant progress under his direction, and I wish him the best upon his well-deserved retirement."
 
State to end printing of auto tag renewal notices for counties
The Mississippi Department of Revenue will end printing auto tag renewal notices for counties later this year. "For at least 40 years, the Department of Revenue has printed the renewal card for the counties as a courtesy," spokeswoman Katie Lawson said. "Each month, DOR prints the cards for the upcoming renewal month and mails those to the counties. The counties are then responsible for mailing those cards to the vehicle owners. However, the number of counties DOR now prints renewal notices for is down to five, including the most populous, Hinds. The other 77 counties are using third-party vendors to print and mail renewal cards for them because they can get better postage rates, Lawson said. DOR sends an electronic file to the vendors so that they can print the cards for the counties. The other counties DOR prints renewal notices for are Choctaw, Scott, Sunflower and Washington.
 
President Trump Implies Nuclear Strike on North Korea is Possible
President Donald Trump issued an implicit warning to North Korea Wednesday morning, tweeting the U.S. nuclear arsenal is "far stronger and more powerful" than it ever has been. A day after warning the United States would hit the North with "fire and fury" if Pyongyang repeated threats that it would strike American targets, Trump took to Twitter and appeared to signal he is prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea if conflict breaks out. The president began the morning by retweeting several Fox News posts, including one declaring Guam-based U.S. Air Force jets are prepared to "fight tonight" should tensions with the North lead to war. But then Trump weighed in with an implicit threat that only further escalates a fast-developing situation amid reports that the Kim Yong-un's regime has developed a nuclear warhead that can ride atop its suddenly effective long-range missiles, which some analysts say could reach Chicago.
 
North Korea has made a nuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile: How worried should the world be?
Before the age of compact cars, laptop computers and pocket telephones, there were miniature nuclear warheads. And for as long as there have been engineers, they have been working on making complicated things smaller and better -- and weapons are no exception. Now, North Korea apparently has figured out how to make a very big explosive small enough to sit atop one of its mobile-launched missiles, a development that could threaten much of the U.S., according to a U.S. intelligence report that surfaced this week. North Korea is making progress, showing it can put together competent teams of scientists and solve technical problems, but it is far from proving that it is capable of launching a punishing nuclear strike on the U.S., according to U.S. weapons experts.
 
Ole Miss Edges Out of Its Confederate Shadow, Gingerly
Across the country, universities are trying to reckon with their ties to slavery and its champions. Georgetown recently apologized for its ownership and sale, in 1838, of 272 slaves. Yale said it would rename a building honoring an alumnus, John C. Calhoun, a fervent supporter of slavery. Harvard erected a plaque memorializing four slaves owned by Harvard presidents during the 1700s. But perhaps no college has had to handle the effort as gingerly as Ole Miss. Though the Confederate flag was banished from the campus two decades ago and "Dixie" is no longer played at football games, the ghosts of the Old South still roam the magnolia-scented campus, and many alumni hold fast to traditions. Ole Miss's identity is intertwined with slavery and the Jim Crow era, partly because of the state's history, but also because the school vigorously embraced Confederate symbols.
 
Mississippi College president retiring in May after 15 years
Mississippi College's president plans to retire in May. Lee Royce said in a statement that he announced his plans to trustees Monday, later sending a message to faculty, staff and students. Royce has led Mississippi College, a 5,200-student Baptist institution since 2002. Earlier, he was president of Anderson University in South Carolina. The outgoing president says his achievements include increasing enrollment from 3,200 students, recruiting international students and boosting Mississippi College's endowment from $36 million to $81 million. The school also moved its athletic program to NCAA Division II.
 
East Central Community College opens new residence hall for women
The addition of a new women's residence hall at East Central Community College helps, as President Billy Stewart explains it, to fulfill the college's 2020 Vision. It also responds to a strong demand for campus housing. Stewart said a key part of the college's 2020 Vision, or strategic plan, is "student success" -- something he said could be achieved in various ways. "One of them has to do with the creation of spaces -- both learning and social spaces," he said in an interview on Monday, "where students have an opportunity to interact with one another, and an opportunity to learn from each other." ECCC held a ribbon-cutting for the new facility on Tuesday morning, and the building is ready to open for the fall semester, which begins on Monday. About 70 women remain on the waiting list for campus housing, along with about 160 men, said Bill Wagnon, associate vice president for public information.
 
Co-Lin Community College wants adults to come back and Complete 2 Compete
A local community college wants to make getting a degree easier. Complete to Compete -- C2C -- is a statewide program aimed at helping Mississippians who attended college but did not finish, to come back and earn their degree. Copiah-Lincoln Community College has aligned with the statewide effort. The college's campaign slogan is ComeBack2Co-Lin. The program is available to people who are at least 21 years old, have not earned a postsecondary degree and have been out of college for at least 24 consecutive months. C2C was initiated by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board. "I'm excited about this program," said Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles. On Aug. 15, the IHL will be launching a statewide marketing campaign. The target for the IHL is to reach 28,000 people statewide in the first year.
 
Auburn University students build adaptive raised bed for Opelika Grows
A group of seniors from Auburn University's Mechanical Engineering department recently presented an adaptive raised bed to Opelika Grows at its community garden. The adaptive raised bed would allow people in wheelchairs to have easier access to garden. The students designed the garden bed in the spring and built it in the summer for their senior design class. The bed, presented to Opelika Grows at the end of July, has five feet of clearance for people using the structure, a rack for storage and arthritis tools that provide less strain on the wrist. David Beale, professor of mechanical engineering at the university, said the department does a lot of outreach with industries and community organizations. "Students get trained and they provide something for O Grows," Beale said. "They worked really hard on this."
 
UGA says no to prof's plan to let students grade themselves
University of Georgia students hoping to grade themselves in a business course won't get to do so after all. University officials forced the professor of the class to remove his "stress reduction policy" from his web page. Rick Watson, the Terry College of Business' J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy, promised in the policy that students could grade themselves if they found tests or other aspects of the fall semester courses unduly stressful. Students also could also drop out of group work if they found that too stressful. The policy was widely ridiculed as it exploded across social media and news sites Monday after reporter Andrew Gockowski featured it in an article on the Campus Reform website.
 
University System of Georgia sex-assault policies step away from Obama rules
Several months ago, activists stormed Georgia's statehouse in a fierce campaign against legislation that would have required college officials to forward reports of sexual assault to police and limited colleges' powers to investigate assaults. The measure -- which seemingly conflicted with Obama-era federal guidance on colleges' handling of those cases -- was halted. But Tuesday morning the state higher education board here approved new sexual-misconduct policies that many advocates for students who have been raped or assaulted say would make it more difficult for survivors to get justice on their own campuses. The new rules give the University System of Georgia's central office much greater oversight, removing much responsibility from campuses. In many instances, the new rules remove the responsibility of individual colleges to adjudicate allegations of campus rape, turning that over to the system.
 
U. of Tennessee creates Title IX office, appoints coordinator
The University of Tennessee Knoxville announced Tuesday the creation of a Title IX office and the appointment of a campus Title IX coordinator who will focus solely on issues related to the federal law preventing gender discrimination. Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life Ashley Blamey took over in the position Tuesday, according to an announcement from the university. The appointment of a Title IX coordinator who will focus solely on those issues is a change from the current setup of a Title IX coordinator who also carries other responsibilities on campus. It follows a special report completed by an independent Title IX Commission in June that encouraged each UT campus to evaluate and update its Title IX implementation. Jenny Richter, who has had UT Knoxville Title IX oversight responsibility since 2001, will continue serving as associate vice chancellor and director of the campus's Office of Equity and Diversity while Blamey will take over Title IX oversight.
 
U. of Missouri apologizes for parking registration difficulty
University of Missouri officials have taken "full responsibility" for website issues related to parking. MU students and faculty received an email Tuesday from Vice Chancellor Gary Ward and Director of Parking and Transportation Mike Sokoff apologizing for technical problems MU students experienced while trying to buy parking permits for the 2017-18 academic year. Some students experienced site crashes or the inability to log in to the system. The website issues come after a review of MU's Parking and Transportation registration system by a private company. One of the company's main observations was that the system was out of date, which led to the introduction of online registration earlier this year for summer parking permits.
 
U. of Missouri Title IX leader Ellen Eardley heading to D.C.
The University of Missouri is looking for a new person to lead its Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. Ellen Eardley, assistant vice chancellor for civil rights & Title IX, resigned effective Sept. 2, according to a July 31 email from Kevin McDonald, vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity, sent to his staff. An interim will be named "in the coming days and (we)will launch a national search for a permanent leader within the month of August," McDonald wrote. A search committee is being assembled for the permanent position, MU spokesman Christian Basi said. The committee will be led by Tina Bloom, an associate professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, and Emily Love, deputy coordinator for the University of Missouri System Title IX office. Basi said a search firm will likely be hired to work with the committee. According to McDonald's email, Eardley will return to Washington to practice law, specifically civil rights and employment discrimination.
 
UGA top 20 in hybrid academic-athletic ranking
The University of Georgia ranks high in a new hybrid college ranking devised by Forbes magazine. The ranking is combination of academic and athletic prowess, the athletic part measured by national championships. Forbes gave UGA the No. 17 slot in that chimeric academic-athletic ranking. In the magazine's purely academic rankings, UGA was rated the 21st-best college in the South, No. 112 nationwide, and No. 56 on the magazine's national "best value" list. Two other Southeastern Conference schools also made the combo list --- the University of Florida at 12 and Louisiana State University at 20.
 
UT Austin launches Stampede2, the fastest U.S. university supercomputer
Stampede2, a $30 million number-crunching machine, is now up and running at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A university announcement said that when Stampede2 is fully completed this summer, it will be able to perform 18 quadrillion mathematical operations per second, making it one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The supercomputer was built with funding from the National Science Foundation and will serve as a resource for researchers across the country. Phase one of the supercomputer, which is now complete, has already been ranked as the 12th most powerful supercomputer worldwide, according to the latest Top 500 list, which ranks computers by their ability to solve linear equations. Though impressive, Stampede2's computing power still lags some way behind the fastest supercomputer in the world -- China's Sunway TaihuLight, which can perform 93 quadrillion calculations per second.
 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory to reduce workforce by up to 350
The Department of Energy has approved a plan proposed by UT-Battelle that will reduce Oak Ridge National Laboratory's workforce by as many as 350 positions by the end of the year, according to an email ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia sent to his staff Tuesday. Zacharia wrote in the email that the reductions will be made primarily among staff who charge to indirect accounts: support staff and researchers who primarily charge work time to overhead accounts instead of to specific research programs. Reductions will also be made among research staff who have been affected by fiscal year 2017 budget reductions, like those made to fusion energy and National Institutes of Health programs. The Oak Ridge office for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor will also see cuts to its workforce.
 
Secrets of the universe may lie in an old gold mine in South Dakota
The universe as we know it shouldn't exist. Unlocking the reasons why may depend on once again striking gold in a mine buried a mile underground in rural South Dakota. The largest U.S.-based particle physics experiment ever is now under construction in the old mine in Lead, S.D., breathing new life into the small town more than 140 years after the Black Hills gold rush drove its founding. The international collaboration involving 1,000 scientists from more than 30 countries aims to answer the question: Are mysterious particles called neutrinos the reason we are here? Scientists believe equal parts of matter and antimatter should have been created during the formation of the universe. But that didn't happen, and no one knows why. Once complete, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will beam the particles 800 miles through the earth from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago to Lead's Sanford Underground Research Facility.
 
SoS Delbert Hosemann could be wild card in scripted race for governor
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Bobby Harrison writes: "Most believe the script -- as least for the lead actors -- already has been written for the 2019 statewide elections. Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves of Rankin County in suburban Jackson and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood of Houston in Northeast Mississippi will be the lead candidates for their respective parties for the open gubernatorial seat. There could be -- most likely will be -- a good bit of a shuffling of the deck for the other seven statewide posts. Perhaps Treasurer Lynn Fitch could run for another office -- perhaps attorney general or even lieutenant governor or governor. But the conventional wisdom is that Hood, in his fourth term as attorney general, and Reeves, in his second term as lieutenant governor after two as treasurer, will be the leading candidates for governor. The one person most likely of turning that conventional wisdom on its head -- of rewriting the script -- is Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State, Southern Miss schedule football series
Mississippi State and Southern Miss will meet on the gridiron again. Both programs confirmed a three-game series on Tuesday with the first two games taking place in Starkville on Sept. 7, 2019 and Sept. 23, 2023. The Bulldogs will make the return trip to Hattiesburg on Sept. 14, 2024. The all-time series is tied 14-14-1 between the two schools with MSU winning the last four match-ups. The Bulldogs defeated USM 34-16 at Hattiesburg to open the 2015 season.
 
Southern Miss announces football series with Mississippi State
Southern Miss and Mississippi State are set to get reacquainted on the gridiron. The two schools announced Tuesday a deal that will send the Golden Eagles to Starkville on Sept. 7, 2019, for a guarantee game. They also announced a home-and-home agreement that pits Southern Miss at Mississippi State on Sept. 23, 2023, and the Bulldogs in Hattiesburg on Sept. 14, 2024. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The new deal marks the second scheduling arrangement the Golden Eagles have made with a desirable opponent in close proximity to Hattiesburg since Jon Gilbert took over as athletic director. In April, the school announced it had agreed to a four-game, home-and-home series with former Conference USA rival Tulane. That series is set to begin in 2022. In an interview with the Hattiesburg American earlier this year, Gilbert made it clear these are the types of games he intends to make the focus of his scheduling philosophy.
 
Mississippi State confident in young defensive line
Mississippi State's defensive line was the position hit hardest in the offseason. Six players -- including three starters -- were lost to graduation while two others transferred, leaving the Bulldogs with zero seniors and no returning players who started more than four games last fall. Despite all the transition, MSU is confident about the group it has coming back. "I'm excited about the challenge with a new group," said MSU defensive line coach Brian Baker. "The only good thing about losing a bunch of seniors is that you've got a new group that you're counting on." Junior Cory Thomas (4) and sophomore Jeffery Simmons (3) are the only two defensive linemen returning who drew starts a year ago. Fletcher Adams, Grant Harris, Kendell Jones and Braxton Hoyett are also back and are being asked to assume expanded roles in the upcoming season.
 
Coaching experience helps Mississippi State's Todd Grantham install defense
Todd Grantham's tour of the country as a defensive assistant coach has given him a total of 27 years of coaching experience; it's also given him an intimate knowledge of how to install his defense. Grantham's frequent moves around the coaching ranks -- his current term as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator being his fourth employer since his boss Dan Mullen was hired by MSU in 2009 -- has given him multiple opportunities to teach his system from scratch. He has complimented MSU's players picking up his scheme, a task that he's made more efficient over time. "I think a little of it is, as a coach, you're a teacher and you're always trying to improve yourself. As you do that, you're always looking at stop one, stop two, stop three and evaluating the things you did well," Grantham said, "and the things you need to improve on. Also, as you move through it, you have a feel for, in college football or in this league, you need these things, so you implement that."
 
Mississippi State needs to get freshman QB Keytaon Thompson to be ready, just in case
One of the running jokes inside Mississippi State's quarterbacks' meeting room these days in training camp, as quarterbacks coach Brett Elliott recently shared, is "What, KT, what?" What, as in, what are you saying? Despite being a true freshman, Keytaon Thompson, who arrived on campus in January as an early-enrollee, is the Bulldogs' unquestioned backup quarterback behind star Nick Fitzgerald. He can throw. He can run. Fitzgerald said Thompson is also grasping the offense quicker than the standout junior did as a freshman. And Dan Mullen said Thompson's poise and maturity have been impressive. But can Thompson be loud? Between now and Sept. 2 when the Bulldogs open their season against visiting Charleston Southern, Elliott and Mullen want their No. 2 quarterback to work on building confidence and being more vocal.
 
Sports blogger, author talks about finding phone record that brought down Ole Miss football coach
The open records request that brought a rapid, unceremonious end to the Hugh Freeze era in Ole Miss football was the product of an accidental miscommunication. Steve Robertson -- a sports blogger and one of the investigative players in unearthing Ole Miss' alleged NCAA improprieties -- has worked with Thomas Mars, the lawyer representing former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt in his federal lawsuit against the school, throughout the process. As Mars was looking for more to boost his case against Ole Miss, Robertson said he suggested the attorney request the phone records for the weekend of Jan. 20-22, the weekend in which news of Ole Miss' notice of allegations from the NCAA was expected. Mars inadvertently asked for records from a few days prior, ultimately unearthing Freeze's Jan. 19 call to an escort service. The call was reported in July and led to Freeze's resignation. Robertson said as much when he spoke to the Starkville Rotary Club Monday afternoon.
 
Still no settlement reached by Houston Nutt and Ole Miss in legal battle
The legal saga between Houston Nutt and Ole Miss will live to see another day, and maybe many more after that. Nutt's legal reps, Thomas Mars and Ridgeland-based Walter Morrison, sent a settlement proposal, which reportedly asked for Ole Miss to publicly apologize to Nutt and pay $500,000 to fund an integrity for college sports commission in Mississippi, to the university last week. Oxford-based attorney Cal Mayo, who's a member of the outside counsel representing Ole Miss, confirmed no settlement was reached between the two sides. "And here I thought we'd done them a huge favor," Mars said. "As they say, no good deed goes unpunished."
 
Tiger Scholarship Fund receives $1.2M donation
The University of Missouri announced on Tuesday a gift of $1.2 million to the Tiger Scholarship Fund, given by a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The money is earmarked for the football and basketball programs, as well as other TSF initiatives. It is the first major gift announced this fiscal year, which began July 1. Missouri is coming off a record fundraising year in which the TSF received $50.7 million in support, which included 11 seven-figure gifts.
 
What makes Marcus Dupree most proud? You might be surprised to learn
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "The legend named Marcus Dupree scored 87 high school touchdowns, but that's not what makes him the most proud. He had a book written about him by an accomplished author when he was 17, but that doesn't make him most proud, either. Dupree gained 1,144 yards as a college freshman and his brilliance caused the vaunted Oklahoma football program, coached by Barry Switzer, to change its offense to feature his kills. That's nice, but not at the top of Dupree's list. ...Last Saturday night, Dupree entered the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, an amazing feat for a guy who supposedly had had his athletic career ended at age 20. He is immensely proud of that but it is not at the top of list. OK, so you want to know what is? You want to know what the great Marcus Dupree considers his singularly most satisfying feat? Well, here it is."



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