Tuesday, August 22, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Thousands take in eclipse in Golden Triangle
Stubborn clouds lingered over Mississippi State University's Drill Field for nearly 45 minutes leading to the Great American Eclipse's peak in Starkville. But the clouds broke at 1:25 p.m. -- just two minutes before the moon covered nearly 90 percent of the sun. Other than a brief moment of obstruction after the peak passed, the clouds drifted away after that. The university had 1,000 protective solar eclipse glasses available for people to use to safely watch the first solar eclipse visible across the entire United States since 1918. MSU Associate Professor of Astronomy Angelle Tanner said the glasses were a hot commodity. By Monday morning -- hours before the moon began encroaching the sight line to the sun at about noon -- long lines formed in front of Mitchell Memorial Library of people hoping to get their hands on a pair.
 
Mississippi State cybersecurity program receives $3M grant, partners with EMCC
Mississippi State University and East Mississippi Community College are working together to prepare students for public service careers in cybersecurity. MSU will receive $3.11 million through a National Science Foundation grant to continue the university's role in the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program, which prepares highly-qualified cybersecurity professionals for entry into the government workforce. As part of the grant, which will support the program for four years, East Mississippi Community College students planning to attend MSU are eligible to receive scholarships and support. "Mississippi State is a national leader in training top cybersecurity professionals, many of whom are on the front lines today fighting wide-ranging cyber threats in the private and public sectors, including very significant challenges to our national security," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "This grant will enable MSU, in partnership with EMCC, to further strengthen these important efforts."
 
Education Realty Receives Approval for College View Project
Education Realty Trust Inc. (EdR) announced that its predevelopment agreement for the College View university housing development project at Mississippi State University has been approved by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. The project comes at a time when the university is witnessing a rise in enrollment and the campus is anticipated to enjoy high occupancy. College View will create a live-learn environment for the students and serve as a gathering hub for the entire Mississippi State community. This development will make the campus a unique learning hub and therefore benefit students, faculty, staff, alumni, local residents and visitors of the Mississippi State University.
 
Lynn Spruill files appeal on mayoral contest case
Attorney Jim Mozingo filed an interlocutory appeal on behalf of Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill, which was approved by the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court. Special Judge Barry Ford, who was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court in mid-June to oversee the hearing, denied Spruill's motion to dismiss Moore's request for judicial review in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court in July. Spruill's team argued Johnny Moore's challenge circumvented the Starkville Municipal Democratic Committee by filing for judicial review in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court. Spruill's team questioned the jurisdiction of the special judge given how the challenge was handled during the committee hearing on June 13. Despite the challenge moving forward, Spruill still holds Starkville's highest office after being sworn in on July 3.
 
Alderman David Little rescinds call for alcohol referendum
Ward 3 Alderman David Little will not call for a non-binding public vote on two proposed changes to Starkville's alcohol ordinances after the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office informed him a November referendum must be paid for and administered by the city. Little, who previously supported adding the issue to the county's Nov. 7 special elections, said state election officials told him Monday the city could proceed with its own election but it is too late to add the matter onto the county's ballots. Depending on whether the city utilized paper ballots or voting machines, the cost of a citywide referendum ranges between $3,230 and $6,761, City Clerk Lesa Hardin said. Faced with those costs, Little said he would "allow the process to continue" at the board table without pushing for a special election.
 
Supervisors to send letter to OCH demanding info | Starkville Daily News
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors passed a motion during its meeting Monday to send a letter demanding OCH Regional Medical Center to provide all information previously requested in a due diligence request. The letter demands all information previously requested from OCH Administrator and CEO Richard Hilton and OCH Board of Trustees Chairman Jimmy Linley to be delivered on or before Aug. 31. The letter states the board takes seriously protecting the confidentiality of the requested information. The letter requests OCH provide a full accounting of its marketing and advertising expenditures related to the RFP process and the potential sale of the hospital, including, without limitation, any marketing or advertising materials that mention the petition for a referendum and the Board of Trustee's resolution against the sale of the hospital. The motion to send a letter was approved with a 3-2 vote. District 1 Supervisor and Vice President John Montgomery and District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard voted against the motion.
 
Roads and bridge funding gets a new hearing
Road and bridge funding will get an early look this week when a key legislative committee meets to discuss ways to raise about $330 million to address the state's failing infrastructure. The Senate Transportation Committee on Monday announced two days of hearings, which will include testimony from the state departments of Transportation and State Aid, the state chamber of commerce and county supervisors. Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, who chairs the committee, said the hearings on Thursday and Friday will allow state officials to update lawmakers on the condition of infrastructure in Mississippi. Although consensus seems to exist to do something about the problem, the top leaders in the Senate and House are at an impasse on how to pay for it all.
 
Medicaid managed care contracts pending review by state board
The Mississippi Division of Medicaid, at the behest of Gov. Phil Bryant, is asking the Personal Service Contract Review Board to review the managed care contracts it awarded earlier this summer. A coalition of Mississippi hospitals, which formed its own managed care company and tried unsuccessfully to win a contract with the Division of Medicaid, and another insurance company are challenging in Hinds County chancery court the decision of Medicaid to award the contract to California-based Molina and two existing managed care providers. In a written response Monday, Erin Barham, a spokeswoman for the Division of Medicaid, said the contracts were being submitted in September to the Personal Service Contract Review Board at the request of the governor, who has ultimate authority over the division. "Gov. Bryant believes every contract the state lets should be fair, equitable and transparent," said Clay Chandler, a spokesman for the governor.
 
On Afghanistan, Trump Bets On Generals He Once Criticized
Candidate Donald Trump often said he knew more when it came to the country's foes than America's top military leaders. But by siding with retired and current four-star generals on Afghanistan, Trump placed a big bet on a group he once believed had been "reduced to rubble." Trump announced Monday night at Joint Base Fort Myer Hamilton Hall in Arlington, Va., he will keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan despite his long-held disdain for the operation there. The president's decision came after a months-long review by his national security team, and reports indicate he will raise the American military presence there to around 12,000. He also announced a revised strategy that features a larger focus on counter-terrorism operations and putting more pressure on Pakistan, where U.S. foes often flee for safe haven.
 
US Navy collisions stoke cyber threat concerns
The Pentagon won't yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the Navy's decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack. The incident -- the fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year -- occurred near the Strait of Malacca, a crowded 1.7-mile-wide waterway that connects the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and accounts for roughly 25 percent of global shipping. "When you are going through the Strait of Malacca, you can't tell me that a Navy destroyer doesn't have a full navigation team going with full lookouts on every wing and extra people on radar," said Jeff Stutzman, chief intelligence officer at Wapack Labs, a New Boston, New Hampshire, cyber intelligence service.
 
Lindsey Abernathy named Associate Director of Sustainability at Ole Miss
The University Mississippi Office of Sustainability, which is a catalyst for environmental change in the community, has named Lindsey Abernathy its new associate director. Abernathy, a native of Ocean Springs who has been a part of UM's sustainability team since 2014, previously served as project coordinator and, most recently, project manager there. She has worked at Ole Miss since 2011 when she served as a communications specialist in University Communications. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA, both from the university. Ian Banner, director of facilities planning, university architect and director of sustainability, said he's pleased to welcome Abernathy into her new role. The experience she's cultivated over the last three years in the office will serve her well, he said.
 
New buses aim to make OUT system more efficient
As the Oxford-University Transit system continues to see an increase in ridership, organizers have crafted a handful of updates to ease traffic congestion in a more efficient system. One of more dramatic changes is the addition of new Rebel Red and Rebel Blue bus lines that will serve as on-campus shuttles. Rebel Red will loop around campus in a counter-clockwise direction, while Rebel Blue will run clockwise around campus. These routes will eliminate the need for city buses to make several stops on campus and will instead drop students off at the two transit hubs located at Kennon Observatory and the Student Union. City buses will now only pick up from these two hubs. Mike Harris, director of parking and transportation, said the new buses will make for a smoother system. "They will streamline the operation, eliminating the need for buses to go through campus and make stops," Harris said.
 
USM's NCS4 Partners with INTERPOL for New Sports Security Course
n 2016, the International Criminal Police Organization signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. The synergy of INTERPOL's international reach and policing expertise combined with NCS4's academic research and sports safety and security expertise will strengthen law enforcement capacity in sport safety and security throughout the world. The organizations are developing a variety of capacity building initiatives including a comprehensive curriculum for senior law enforcement officials to help the 190 INTERPOL member countries meet the demands of hosting major international sporting events. From September 12-14, 2017, the NCS4 will deliver an all-new, 3-day Sports Security Executive Management course hosted by INTERPOL Project Stadia at Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France.
 
Bond set for USM student charged with sexual battery
Bond has been set at $10,000 for Eric Matthew Camp, 18, a Southern Miss student charged with sexual battery of another student. Camp, a resident of Montgomery, Alabama, was ordered to stay off campus and have no contact with the female victim until the case is resolved. A Southern Miss student reported the incident to a McCarty Hall resident assistant, who informed the University Police Department at approximately 4 p.m. Friday. UPD arrested Camp late Friday. The student accused Camp of engaging in sexual activity without her consent, Forrest County Justice Court Judge Pat Causey said. According to a press release from the university, Camp will also be subject to student disciplinary action under the USM Student Code of Conduct. The Hattiesburg American requested a copy of the incident report, but has not yet received it.
 
Pearl River Community College to host Mississippi Bicentennial concert
Pearl River Community College will present a Mississippi Bicentennial celebration of the blues at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Brownstone Center for the Arts in Poplarville. Mark Malone, coordinator of music education at William Carey University and former PRCC choral director, will present a history of the blues followed by performances by Wes Lee of Petal and Vasti Jackson of Hattiesburg. The concert is funded through a Bicentennial grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. Admission is free.
 
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to speak at U. of Alabama
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, will participate in a conversation with Dean Mark E. Brandon and Judge William Harold Albritton III at the University of Alabama School of Law for the Fall 2017 Albritton Lecture Sept. 12, the school announced on Thursday. This marks 11 United States Supreme Court Justices and three foreign Chief Justices who have participated in the lecture series. Justice Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2009. Judge Albritton is a 1960 graduate of Alabama Law and U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Alabama, having been appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush.
 
Hundreds of Auburn students gather for glimpse of solar eclipse
On the first day of Auburn University's fall 2017 semester, hundreds of students crowded the greenspace in the shadows of Jordan-Hare Stadium for a glimpse at Monday's solar eclipse. At its peak, the moon covered more than 90 percent of the sun as visible from Lee County. "It only happens once in a lifetime, maybe a couple of times in a lifetime," junior Zach Zambrycki said as he and his friend Spencer Dulak looked at the sun through solar viewers. "The College of Sciences and Mathematics is handing them out to students to share on the greenspace," said Dulack, a senior. "So we've got some eye protection that is certified. They're not the fake ones off Amazon. We're both pilots, so we're trying to keep our eyes in check." COSAM and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art teamed up to provide students, faculty and the general public an opportunity to view the eclipse, either through glasses or via projector telescopes assembled by a professor.
 
The darkest day at UGA: Thousands watch eclipse at Sanford Stadium
More than 20,000 spectators gathered in the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium on Monday to watch the moon blot out the sun, according to an estimate from the university's athletic department. UGA President Jere Morehead described the event as "the largest classroom we have ever had." "We strive every day to make a memorable learning experience for our students," said UGA Provost Pamela Whitten while addressing the crowd. "This will rank up there as one of those days that you remember." Students and professors took a break from classes to attend the event, while others took time off from work and checked children out of school to do the same. In addition to providing the first 5,000 attendees with a pair of eclipse glasses, the event featured eclipse-themed trivia, music and a live broadcast of the event on the stadium's giant video screen.
 
U. of South Carolina president Harris Pastides gets pay package aimed at staving off his retirement
The University of South Carolina on Friday took steps to keep Harris Pastides in the president's house for a few more years, approving a retirement package that will pay the New York City native more the longer he stays on the job. Pastides will be paid more than $1.1 million for the upcoming school year, his 10th leading the state's flagship university. But trustees Friday approved deferring hundreds of thousands of dollars in Pastides' previously approved retention bonuses into an insurance policy over the next several years. That policy will pay out more the longer Pastides remains USC's president. Still, USC spokesman Wes Hickman said, "He (Pastides) has no retirement plans." Pastides, 63, is the longest actively serving president in the Southeastern Conference.
 
U. of South Carolina approves $460 million 'Campus Village' student housing project
University of South Carolina trustees Friday signed off on a $460 million plan to transform the dilapidated south side of USC's downtown Columbia campus into a 3,750-bed "Campus Village" student housing complex. The public-private partnership with Memphis-based developer EdR ensures USC will not pay a dime to build or operate the village's eight quad-styled residence halls, the school said Friday. The university also will not be liable for any debt. Plans call for EdR to tear down four 1970s-era dorms with 1,211 beds -- including Bates House and Bates West -- and replace them with cast-stone or brick buildings of up to six stories. The 18-acre site -- bordered by Pickens, Heyward and Sumter streets -- also would have a 945-space parking garage, several courtyards, retail shops, a cafeteria and restaurants.
 
Science, community mingle during eclipse viewing party at Texas A&M campus
Hundreds crowded Texas A&M's Rudder Plaza despite the heat Monday for a chance to catch a glimpse at a partial solar eclipse. Members of the Texas A&M University Astronomy Group held a viewing event for students and the community, eagerly giving attendees a number of ways to view the celestial occurrence. Darren DePoy, professor of physics and astronomy and head of the Astronomical Instrumentation Lab at A&M, said the "inherent curiosity" of the public in events like this is largely thanks to its convenience and accessibility. DePoy said unlike an area of science like particle physics, which may require pricey and complicated equipment, basic astronomy only requires that one look up at the sky. Even in the case of the eclipse, he said, it was reasonably easy for members of the public to build their own viewer.
 
Move-in day brings mixed emotions as newest Aggies get settled on campus
Orderly chaos is how one father described the scene unfolding outside Krueger Hall on Sunday as a steady stream of incoming Texas A&M students -- many with their parents and compliant siblings -- hauled belongings of all shapes and sizes into the dorm. For some of the 11,000 or so students who will call campus home, a few quick trips was all it took to tote bedding, clothes, bathroom supplies and a refrigerator. But many who picked A&M's official move-in day on Sunday to get settled in stopped counting after hours of back and forth with a dolly. The cargo ranged from flat-screen TVs and computers to clever drawer organizers and storage seating. Keurigs, plush carpets and creative decorations borrowed straight from Pinterest were among the deliveries.
 
Crowds gather on U. of Missouri campus to witness totality
About one minute before the 2017 solar eclipse reached totality, a crowd of roughly 10,000 students, faculty and staff who had gathered on the University of Missouri quadrangles peeked at the sun behind tiger-striped paper safety glasses. Cicadas started chirping around Carnahan Quadrangle. The lights on Rollins Street and sidewalks hummed to life. A bird in a tree near Cornell Hall stopped singing. Someone cut the music from a pair of speakers, which had been playing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. "M-I-Z," someone shouted as the moon completely covered the sun and campus went dark. But no one replied with the usual "Z-O-U" refrain. Instead, the crowd erupted in gasps, cheers and applause. Thousands of people who were seated on blankets and lawn chairs at MU's Carnahan Quadrangle, Francis Quadrangle and Stankowski Field took off their glasses and admired what many said would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. "Oh my gosh, just look at it," said Rebecca Graves to her husband just before totality. "I've never seen anything like it."
 
Preliminary U. of Missouri enrollment statistics offer mixed picture
Preliminary MU enrollment figures show a freshman class smaller than last year's but larger than administrators predicted in May. MU reported more than 4,100 freshmen began classes Monday, the first day of the fall semester. That represents a 14.6 percent decline from last year's first-day freshman count. The 2016 figure was down 22.7 percent from 2015. Administrators said in May they expected freshman enrollment would be close to 4,000. Officials estimate total MU enrollment is now 30,400, down from the 32,777 reported on the first day of classes in 2016. Officials emphasized the numbers are preliminary and will not be finalized until late September. In 2016, enrollment increased by 489 students between the first day and Oct. 6. Enrollment peaked in 2015 at 35,448, according to MU's Institutional Research office.
 
Most Republicans see U.S. colleges as too 'liberal and political'
Earlier this summer, data from the Pew Research Center revealed that 58% of Republicans surveyed believe universities negatively impact the way things are going in the U.S. But 72% of Democrats believed that universities have a positive impact on the country. So, clearly, there's a partisan divide on the college question. The lingering question is: why? A new study from Gallup has the answer. Their results support the Pew results, finding that only 33% of Republicans are confident in U.S. colleges compared to 56% of Democrats. For their study, Gallup asked a random sample of 1,017 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia how confident they were in U.S. colleges and universities and why they held the positions they did. And 67% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats had low confidence in colleges. The report found that Republicans' low confidence in colleges was often due to politics, agenda and courses taught.
 
U. of Texas president removes Confederate statues as symbols of white supremacy
Ever since they were dedicated in 1933, statues of three Confederate leaders and one son of a Confederate officer had stood beneath graceful live oaks on the campus of the University of Texas. In a few hours late Sunday and early Monday, crews removed them from their pedestals on the orders of UT President Gregory L. Fenves, who said the university should no longer glorify those who subjugated African-Americans. he abrupt removal of the statues under cover of darkness came in the wake of protests a week earlier by white nationalists and neo-Nazis against plans to remove a statue of Lee from a city park in Charlottesville, Va. One counterprotester was killed and numerous others were injured when a man with far-right leanings drove his car into a crowd, authorities there said. UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the removal took place after dark and without warning for public safety reasons.
 
Study finds limited faculty diversity, but signs of progress -- except for African-Americans in STEM
Efforts to diversify the faculty may not be focusing enough on key areas, namely math-based fields -- especially when it comes to black faculty members. And such efforts haven't led to any premium in pay for those hired to contribute to campus diversity. That's all according to a new study of faculty representation and wage gaps by race and gender in six major fields at 40 selective public universities. Consistent with existing research, the study says, black, Hispanic and female professors are underrepresented, while white and Asian professors are overrepresented across disciplines. But nearly all of that can be attributed to underrepresentation of black and Hispanic men and women and women of all backgrounds in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and math, it asserts. A comparison of senior and junior faculty members suggests increasing diversity over time -- especially in STEM -- except for a key group: black faculty members.
 
Concerns About College Costs Mean Fewer Luxury Dorms
By the turn of this century, colleges had an increasing appetite for campus luxuries. A surge of students from the millennial generation were graduating from high schools nationwide, and many colleges found the simplest way to compete for attention in a crowded market was to build fancier facilities. Construction cranes became ubiquitous on campuses, and often the most high-profile projects involved student amenities -- rock-climbing walls in recreation centers, swanky student unions with first-rate food services, and luxury "residence halls" with private bathrooms -- usually financed by borrowing. Between 2001 and 2012, the amount of debt taken on by colleges rose 88 percent, to $307 billion. Now, after a building boom that lasted more than a decade, the pace of spending on lavish campus frills is slowing.
 
Senate election may double as flag referendum
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "Next year's U.S. Senate election in Mississippi may double as a referendum on the state flag. Incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker and looming challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel have taken opposite positions and both know the flag is red meat. It may arouse a go-to-the-polls passion among the public which, despite constant pandering by cable news, is overwhelmingly apathetic when it comes to actual voting. After the violence in Charlottesville, Va., last week, Wicker calmly said it was clearly in Mississippi's best interest to remove the Confederate battle flag from the official state banner. ...His likely rival, McDaniel, Republican from Ellisville, went on the attack to exaggerate and mischaracterize what Wicker said."
 
Mississippi's flag has never done its job
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "The purpose of a flag is to serve as a symbol of a united group of people, whether it's a national flag, state flag or the banner for a garden club. In that context, the current Mississippi state flag, with its unrepentant Confederate battle emblem blazing in one corner, has never really done its job. As for heritage and history, well, it fails there, too. It's historically inaccurate, if commemorating the Lost Cause is your bag. It didn't fly over antebellum Mississippi. Confederate soldiers never rallied around it and for most of its history it wasn't technically the state's official flag. And it grows more divisive, not less, as time marches on."


SPORTS
 
Mississippi State counting on Aeris Williams to carry workload
Mississippi State running backs coach Greg Knox noticed a change in Aeris Williams during the BYU game last season. Williams ran 21 times for 82 yards that day against the Cougars, both of which were then career-highs. From that game on, the West Point product averaged 81.6 yards per contest including a 140 yard outing against Texas A&M and a 191 yard performance in the Egg Bowl. Williams was behind two seniors on the depth chart last season but enters this fall as the Bulldogs' featured back. "Aeris works hard and is going to give you everything he's got," Knox said. "He was that way in high school and has been that way since he's gotten here. He's a guy that is dependable, accountable and we as coaches know we can depend on him to show up every day ready to work." Throughout his career, the 6-foot-1, 217-pound junior has shown he gets stronger the more carries he receives and will get plenty of opportunities to prove that once again this fall.
 
Jamal Peters finds home at cornerback for Mississippi State
Jamal Peters is nothing if not a volunteer. So when a team need at cornerback came about, Peters' long history at safety didn't stop him from making himself available. A full year later, he's still there -- now he's making it his own. Peters came to Mississippi State as one of the top rated safeties in the nation on top of being one of Mississippi's best prospects regardless of position. Now he's in position to be among MSU's go-to cornerback options alongside Cam Dantzler. Peters' best offering to the position might be his potential. "He developed a lot, but he still has a ways to go which is very exciting," MSU cornerbacks coach Terrell Buckley said.
 
Mississippi State looking for depth, production out of receivers
Will Mississippi State have enough receivers it can count on to consistently catch passes this season? That is a major question when it comes to determining how successful Mississippi State will be in 2017. Sure, many college football teams would love to have a handful of receivers they can rely on. But with the Bulldogs, it's especially vital. That's because Dan Mullen's spread offense utilizes three-, four- and five-receiver sets to force the defense to cover the entire field. The basic theory in Mullen's spread is that by being an efficient passing team, the defense is spread out and that allows for more success in the running game.
 
Ben Howland hopes year three at Mississippi State will be charm
Everywhere that Ben Howland has been as a head coach, he has had a big year in his third season. Howland will begin his third year at the helm of Mississippi State in just a few months. On Monday, he expressed his hope that the third time will be the charm for him yet again. "Year three at all three of my stops has been a real good year for us," Howland said. "Typically when you take over a program, you are taking over a program that hasn't been having a lot of success currently or they wouldn't be making a change. So that first year is always a transition year and a tough year. You are bringing in your own recruits. The second year you are typically super young. We were the youngest team in the country last year out of 352 teams. The third year, by then, now you have guys that have been in the program for one or two years and you are building." Howland had three head coaching stops prior to arriving in Starkville.
 
MSU Notebook: Ben Howland defends Bulldogs' non-conference schedule
Jacksonville State stands alone in one category as part of Mississippi State men's basketball's non-conference: reigning conference champion. The non-conference schedule MSU released in early August features only three NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago and only two that ranked in the top 50 in Ken Pomeroy's rankings, based on advanced metrics. None of that concerns MSU coach Ben Howland. He thinks, much like with his own team, the transition from 2016-17 to 2017-18 will do them good. "We have an incredibly difficult schedule," Howland said. "Cincinnati, I don't know where they're ranked but they're in the top 20 somewhere, and we're playing them on their home floor. Dayton has been a perennial NCAA team and we have them coming in here. Some of the games you think aren't going to be difficult are going to be difficult for us."
 
Brooke McKee's goal lifts Mississippi State women's soccer team past Missouri State
Brooke McKee didn't have time to signal to the sideline for direction. The Mississippi State junior forward also wasn't able to communicate with teammate Mallory Eubanks before she moved to the far flag to take a corner kick. As Eubanks positioned her kick on the white half circle, McKee recognized Missouri State was playing this corner kick like nearly all of the previous ones, so she read the defense and made her move. McKee's quick thinking paid dividends, as she headed home Eubanks' corner kick into the upper right corner to lift MSU to a 2-1 victory at the MSU Soccer Field. "I just made my run wider and looked for the ball more instead of running in early," McKee said. "I just happened to hit it right." MSU will take on Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Thursday in Ruston, Louisiana. It will play host Central Arkansas at 1 p.m. Sunday.
 
Spencer Price's pitching career nearly took another path
Spencer Price's pitching career at Mississippi State nearly didn't happen. Price was primarily recruited to Meridian Community College to be a catcher although he had pitched out of the bullpen some in high school, helping Olive Branch win the 2015 Class 6A state title. It did not take the coaching staff at Meridian long before they discovered Price's prowess on the mound and his days behind the dish were done. "I just threw a couple of bullpens there and they told me I wouldn't be catching anymore," Price said. "I became a big bullpen piece there and got some good, quality innings." The right-hander led the Eagles with an 8-1 record and a 1.54 earned run average as a freshman while fanning 52 batters in only 41 innings of work. Price was all set to return to Meridian for his sophomore season but a scholarship offer from former MSU coach Will Coggin changed those plans.
 
East Mississippi Community College coach Bo Wallace pleads guilty, given probation
East Mississippi Community College quarterbacks coach Bo Wallace pleaded guilty and was non-adjudicated on a DUI charge in West Point Municipal Court on Wednesday. Wallace was given probation, but the judge didn't set a date for the probation to expire, according to the clerk in the West Point Municipal Court. Wallace also is required to complete a Mothers Against Drunk Driving class and the MASEP program, Mississippi's series of courses for DUI offenders. Wallace was arrested at 11:06 p.m. June 17. At the time, EMCC football coach Buddy Stephens told The Clarion-Ledger Wallace took prescription medication, fell asleep at the wheel, and got into a wreck. Wallace was arrested after the wreck. His mug shot featured him shirtless and with red marks on his face and body. Wallace played quarterback at EMCC before transferring to Ole Miss.
 
Owner says LSU's new, fun-loving mascot 'hit the tiger lottery'
The tiger announced early Monday as LSU's new mascot, Mike VII, was something of child star -- taking photos in the laps of tourists as a cub. But as is all too often the case, when the petting tiger got too big, its owners got rid of him, Jeremy Hargett told The Advocate Monday. Hargett and his wife, owners of Wild at Heart Wildlife Center, took over the home of Mike VII in December after Florida authorities alleged a wide range of abuses under the previous owner. Wild at Heart donated the 11-month-old cat, previously named Harvey, to LSU, which released him as Mike VII into a million dollar habitat across the street from Tiger Stadium. Luckily for Harvey, when his career of modeling with tourists was over, the previous owner took the three-month-old back shortly before Wild at Heart took control of Animal Adventures wildlife park. Often petting cubs end up in tiny enclosures and are used as marketing gimmicks. Or they're killed.
 
Auburn announces enhancements to football gameday experience
Auburn announced a number of new enhancements for the 2017 football season at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Monday. Some of the highlights: The student section will feature a DJ. The All Orange game is set for the season opener against Georgia Southern on Sept. 2, Stripe the Stadium is Sept. 30 against Mississippi State, and True Blue game will be Nov. 11 against Georgia. Forty-five new flat screen televisions have been added to the upper concourse. Each gameday program will feature a pull-out poster. Putting all seven together at the end of the season will form one image. There will be three collectible cups available at concession stands. In addition, the free water cups have been increased to 12 ounces. There will be a new outdoor club located in the Plainsman Park parking lot. It will be open to the public and will sell beer.
 
Stop Everything for the Eclipse? It Depends on the Team, and the Coach
South Carolina's football coach, Will Muschamp, was asked recently if the Gamecocks had planned their preseason camp around Monday's solar eclipse. It seemed to be a logical question: The Gamecocks' hometown, Columbia, was squarely in the path of totality, one of the last stops on the continentwide diagonal trajectory that would leave entire cities and towns shrouded from sunlight for anywhere from several seconds to two and a half minutes. But Muschamp replied with a look that made it crystal clear his preseason practice plan did not account for eclipses. Let the record show that the team itself planned to watch, according to an athletics department spokesman. But Muschamp's response inadvertently pointed to a larger truth the eclipse has revealed: There may be no other job in the United States in which sheer monomania -- the kind where a rather cool and potentially once-in-a-lifetime event like the continental solar eclipse does not even qualify as an afterthought -- is tolerated the way it is in a football coach.
 
Georgia Tech has apparel deal with Adidas
Georgia Tech is expected to announce its new apparel deal with Adidas on Tuesday morning, according to three people familiar with the decision. The school has been seeking a new apparel partner since the decision to end its apparel contract with Russell Athletic at the end of its contract in June 2018. Coaches and athletes have been hopeful that a new apparel provider will be able to help their teams with branding and recruiting, as Russell Athletic was seen as a less desirable brand than Adidas, Nike and Under Armour, which dominate the college athletics apparel market. In Tech, Adidas lands a school in a premier conference in a major metropolitan market. Other Adidas clients include Miami, N.C. State, Kansas, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Arizona State.



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