Thursday, July 27, 2017  SUBSCRIBE   
 
WWF, FFAR, Walmart Foundation Team Up with Producers to Study Food Rescue Opps on Farms
World Wildlife Fund, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Walmart Foundation today announced a research program to maximize crop utilization and edible food recovery. With two grants from FFAR and the Walmart Foundation totaling $1.3 million, WWF will work with research teams across the country including University of California, Davis and the Global Cold Chain Alliance to identify practical opportunities for producers to increase the proportion of crops that are harvested and delivered to the highest value destinations. The FFAR Board of Directors is chaired by Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum.
 
Farmer's Market renamed in honor of longtime public servant Ruby Rankin
An overflow crowd gathered at the Kemper County Farmers Market Building on Monday, July 17 as it was officially renamed the Ruby D. Rankin Farmers Market Building, in honor of Rankin and her many years of hard work and dedicated service to the people of Kemper County. Included in the gathering were family, friends, co-workers and elected officials. Rankin was the face of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Kemper County for 33 years until her sudden death in early May. Dr. Gary Jackson, MSU Extension Service Director, said it was a very special time to come together and honor Rankin. He conveyed his appreciation to the Board of Supervisors for recognizing Rankin by renaming the building. He stated that Rankin was a model extension agent. "The secret to extension success, which has now been over a hundred years, has been at the local level. Extension professionals need to be out with the people, in order to help people solve problems. She was truly the well-rounded, model agent that we desire to have at the local level. We are very blessed to have had her," Jackson said.
 
Facebook Offers $1 Million for New Security Defenses
Facebook is dramatically upping its efforts to entice security researchers to come up with new ways to secure and defend the Internet. The social media titan is increasing the size of its Internet Defense Prize to $1 million to be doled out in a series of prizes throughout 2018, said Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer. Facebook's goal is to encourage researchers to develop new ways to defend Internet users against vulnerabilities, and minimize the success rate of attacks. The classes will be offered starting this academic school year, with students potentially landing an internship at Facebook, Stamos said. The company is teaming up with CodePath to develop online and in-classroom cybersecurity courses for Virginia Tech, California State University San Bernardino, Merritt College, Hofstra University, City College of New York and Mississippi State University.
 
Five educators sue SOCSD for age, racial discrimination
A group of Oktibbeha County School District educators claim they were let go by the school district in 2015 because of their age and were replaced with less-experienced African-American counterparts, court documents state. Five former employees -- teachers Kristy M. Gibson, Pamela D. Perry and Brenda Staszefski; counselor Janet L. Hodges-Cagle; and teacher's assistant Mary Louise Carr -- filed lawsuits in federal court July 11 against Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District after receiving right-to-sue notices from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this spring. They each seek actual and liquidated damages to be determined by a jury, reinstatement and attorney's fees and costs, as their lawsuits allege they suffered lost income, mental anxiety and stress because of the school district's actions.
 
Jim Hood, Tate Reeves square off at Neshoba County Fair
Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood mentioned no names, but he accused the state's Republican leadership of sacrificing the needs for "the least of these" for large tax cuts for out-of-state corporations. A key cog in that Republican leadership, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, did not shy away from singling out individuals as he said Wednesday "the longer he (Hood) talked, the more I became convinced the heat had gotten to him. His vision is blurry and he is not making sense. "Can somebody track Gen. Hood down and keep him hydrated today." Hood and Reeves spoke back-to-back mid-morning Wednesday on the first of two days of the annual political speakings at the hot and humid Neshoba County Fair. As for his part, Hood, a Houston resident, said, "I am trying to state what I think the facts are. It is not personal."
 
Tate Reeves takes shots at Jim Hood at Neshoba County Fair
Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood said he --- and more importantly his wife --- hasn't made a decision on running for governor in 2019. But that didn't stop likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves from taking shots at Hood at the Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday as the two gave back-to-back stump speeches. Hood had not named Reeves in his speech, but had criticized the Legislature and its leadership for massive state budget cuts he says are hurting average Mississippians. He said they are a result of giving out too many corporate tax breaks to "billionaire companies." State Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr., Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, state Auditor Stacey Pickering and other legislative and local officeholders spoke Wednesday. On Thursday, several statewide officeholders, House Speaker Philip Gunn and University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett will speak, with Gov. Phil Bryant giving the final address.
 
Jim Hood, Tate Reeves spar over budget in Neshoba County Fair speeches
Mississippi Republicans are harming the public by cutting health spending, Democrat Jim Hood said Wednesday, but Republican Tate Reeves said it's the Democrats who are hurting people by fighting GOP efforts to cut taxes in Mississippi. Hood, the state's attorney general, and Reeves, the lieutenant governor, voiced their stark differences on the state budget in back-to-back speeches at the Neshoba County Fair. They addressed hundreds of spectators in and around a tin-roofed pavilion at the heart of the fairgrounds south of Philadelphia. Reeves and Hood are widely seen as possible contenders for governor in 2019. But, neither made a formal announcement of candidacy at the fair. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is limited to two terms and can't run again. He speaks at the fair Thursday.
 
Two state officials discuss taxes, budget at Neshoba County Fair
Neither Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood nor Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has confirmed they are running. Both men are widely rumored as candidates for governor in 2019. The two made back-to-back speeches Wednesday at the Neshoba County Fair. Attorney General Hood says the state is making too many cuts to institutions designed to help Mississippians. He says more funding should go to mental health, education and infrastructure. He says cutting taxes is not going to improve the economy. "This whole theory of giving these last tax cuts to these corporations ain't helping main street Mississippi businesses and it's failed in Kansas it's failed in Louisiana, and there's a record there's proof there's evidence. I'm just stating the facts." Lt. Gov. Reeves disagrees with Hood. Reeves says Mississippians want the government to conserve its spending and lower taxes.
 
At the Neshoba County Fair, speeches focus on economy, infrastructure
The first day of political speeches at the annual Neshoba County Fair drew dozens of state officials and legislators, a crowd in the hundreds and, for some Republicans, a large elephant in the room in the shape of the state's troubled economy. In the last two years, state revenue that failed to meet projections has forced five mid-year budget cuts, leading to layoffs at several state agencies. In addition, many Republican and Democratic leaders failed last session to find extra funding for deteriorating infrastructure amid a broadening effort to tighten state spending across the board. Sen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, briefly acknowledged that lower revenue than projected has created a challenge for legislators but said there was an upside to "these hard economic times."
 
Neshoba County Fair speeches preview possible governor's matchup
The 2019 governor's race was on most everyone's mind at the Neshoba County Fair on Wednesday -- even if the qualifying deadline is still 19 months away. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood -- both seriously mulling bids for governor in 2019 -- squared off in back-to-back speeches that capped the day's political speechmaking. Reeves, the powerful Republican leader of the Senate since 2012, slammed the attorney general's politics and party when he spoke under the pavilion on Founder's Square. It took Reeves one minute and 20 seconds to first mention Hood, and in the course of his 15-minute speech, he invoked Hood's name six times. "The more he talked, the more I'm convinced the heat has gotten to him," said Reeves, who spoke immediately after Hood. "His vision is blurry, and he's just not making any sense. Can somebody track General Hood down and keep him hydrated today? I began to worry about him and his friends in the media. Bless their bleeding little hearts."
 
A tale of two states: Officials face off at Neshoba County Fair
The first day of political speeches at the annual Neshoba County Fair drew dozens of state officials and legislators, a crowd in the hundreds and, for some Republicans, a large elephant in the room in the shape of the state's troubled economy. In the last two years, state revenue that failed to meet projections has forced five mid-year budget cuts, leading to layoffs at several state agencies. In addition, many Republican and Democratic leaders failed last session to find extra funding for deteriorating infrastructure amid a broadening effort to tighten state spending across the board. Sen. Jenifer Branning, R-Philadelphia, briefly acknowledged that lower revenue than projected has created a challenge for legislators but said there was an upside to "these hard economic times." "These tough times have made us look for inefficiencies in government and made us look for innovative ways to serve Mississippi," Branning said.
 
As Trump Jr. testifies to Congress, Neshoba County Fair still has 'Trump fever'
One year ago today, Donald Trump Jr. rallied thousands of enthusiastic Neshoba County Fair-goers in a stump speech for his father's presidential campaign. Today, he and his team of attorneys are scheduled to meet with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating whether he and his father's campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Several attendees of this year's Neshoba County Fair -- the state's most lively annual political spectacle -- recalled last year's Trump visit with pride and expressed little concern about any wrongdoing by the Trump campaign. "Oh yeah, I support the (Trump) family 100 percent," said Sarah Smith, a Philadelphia resident who sat in an RV under a Trump campaign sign. "I think the Russia stuff is a whole lot of nothing. It's just noise." While the Trump paraphernalia isn't quite as obvious this year, it doesn't take long to find supporters and visible remnants from last year's visit.
 
Sen. Roger Wicker Recognizes Automotive Industry as an Economic Powerhouse in Mississippi
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., on Wednesday issued the following statement regarding a report examining the economic footprint of the automotive industry in Mississippi. The report found that the automotive industry is responsible for creating 55,000 jobs in the state and contributes an estimated $5.7 billion to the state's gross domestic product. "Automotive manufacturers have confidence in our state and in our workforce. This report demonstrates just how much these industry investments matter to our communities and the well-being of Mississippians," Wicker said. The study was conducted by the independent National Strategic Planning & Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) at Mississippi State University and released by Move Mississippi Forward and the Mississippi Economic Council.
 
Trump's attacks stun Republican senators
President Trump's management style isn't making him many friends in Congress. Trump's habit of bullying his allies has sown seeds of doubt about whether any political sacrifice by a GOP lawmaker will be rewarded -- or even remembered -- by the president. Trump's pointed criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was the only senator to endorse Trump for much of last year's presidential campaign, has shocked many GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill who have rallied to their former colleague's defense. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who served for years with Sessions on the Judiciary Committee, said Trump "belittling and humiliating the attorney general" was "unseemly" and "inappropriate." The public shots are "a sign of great weakness on the part of President Trump," he said. What bothers lawmakers the most is that Trump seems to want to embarrass his targets.
 
Mo Brooks Suggests Jeff Sessions Could Return to Senate if GOP Candidates Drop Out
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is calling on his fellow Republicans vying for the GOP nod for Senate to drop out of the special election race to allow Attorney General Jeff Sessions to return to the chamber. "If all Republican candidates collectively agree to simultaneously withdraw from this race, then we clear the way for the Republican Party of Alabama to nominate Jeff Sessions to be the Republican nominee for the December 12, 2017 general election," Brooks wrote in a Wednesday afternoon statement from his campaign. The 5th District congressman called his proposed arrangement a "win-win promise" for both Sessions and President Donald Trump to appoint a new attorney general. While Trump has been critical of his attorney general, he has not yet fired Sessions.
 
Trump talks privately about the idea of a recess appointment to replace Jeff Sessions
President Trump has discussed with confidants and advisers in recent days the possibility of installing a new attorney general through a recess appointment if Jeff Sessions leaves the job, but he has been warned not to move to push him out because of the political and legal ramifications, according to people briefed on the conversations. Still raging over Sessions's recusal from the Justice Department's escalating Russia investigation, Trump has been talking privately about how he might replace Sessions and possibly sidestep Senate oversight, four people familiar with the issue said. Two of those people, however, described Trump as musing about the idea rather than outlining a plan of action, and a senior White House official said no action is imminent. Several people familiar with the discussions said that Trump's fury peaked over the weekend and that he and Sessions now seem to be heading toward an uneasy detente.
 
Trump insiders treat fans to celebrity view via Instagram
Eric Trump was Making America Great Again at his father's New Jersey golf club just as United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley crammed onto a couch with a gaggle of her "sweet friends" and the sunglasses-clad Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson reminisced about the days before politics forced her out of her car and into an Uber. Or, so said their Instagram feeds. If President Donald Trump's favorite form of social media is Twitter, the outlet of choice for many of his relatives, campaign boosters and even a Cabinet member is Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook. Republican operatives watching these social feeds closely say the Instagram accounts offer a glamorous glimpse into the president's inner circle and his ritzy enclaves, providing routine reminders of the days when "Trump" was more closely associated with celebrity than the White House.
 
Mississippi now pays JSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and USM presidents the same
Base salaries for the presidents of Mississippi's public research universities are once again equal, after a nearly two-year lag. Minutes from a June board meeting show the state College Board agreed to pay Jackson State University President William Bynum and University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett $300,000 annually in state funds. This brings them in line with the University of Mississippi chancellor and Mississippi State University president, whose salaries were raised in December 2015. While there is no written policy that the presidents of the state's research universities would be paid the same, it had been a long-standing policy. Prior to the salary hikes, Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter was receiving $220,500, and MSU President Mark Keenum, $227,500 in state funds. "We feel very comfortable with the salaries because historically the base salaries that we provide to the research university presidents are the same," College Board President C.D. Smith said.
 
Tyrone Jackson named Vice President of Student Services at Hinds CC
Hinds Community College has named Dr. Tyrone Jackson as Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Students for the Raymond Campus. Jackson, of Clinton, has held the title of Associate Vice President/Dean of Students for the Raymond Campus since August 2013. He is also the Title IX coordinator for the Hinds district. Prior to his work at Hinds, the Rosedale native spent two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, as dean of students for the Jefferson Davis Campus. He is a graduate of Delta State University, where he received his bachelor's degree, master of education degree and doctor of education degree. Jackson will report directly to Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse.
 
LeAnne Brewer named new executive education director at Millsaps College
Northsider LeAnne Brewer is the director of executive education at Millsaps College, a newly created role in which she works with the Mississippi business community to develop professional education and training programs that use the expertise of professors in the Else School of Management at Millsaps. Brewer served as executive director of the former Foundation for Public Broadcasting in Mississippi from 2013-2016. From 2011-2013, she worked as a consultant and assisted Gretchen and Bill Cook of Parents & Kids Magazine with the launch of three new market areas for the magazine. She is married to Maj. Gen. Allen Brewer, retired assistant adjutant general, Mississippi Army National Guard. The Brewers are the parents of two children -- Will, a 2016 Millsaps graduate who is working on a doctorate at Baylor University, and Shelby Leigh, a sophomore at Mississippi State University.
 
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science reserve fund reaching critical point
Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science could be only a year away from drastically shrinking its operations, according to the school's executive director Germain McConnell. MSMS, housed on the Mississippi University for Women campus, is a residential, state-funded school that aims to educate gifted 11th- and 12th-grade students from across Mississippi with emphasis in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The school is tuition-free but charges $500 per semester for room and board to students who don't qualify for free or reduced lunch. McConnell told Columbus Rotarians Tuesday at Lion Hills Center the Legislature appropriated $168,400 less to MSMS for 2017-18 than it did for the previous year. District 37 Rep. Gary Chism (R-Columbus) understands McConnell's position, admitting he's even sympathetic to it. But with the state facing declining revenue each year, he said it's difficult to argue for more funding -- or an exemption from budget cuts -- for a school that only educates 235 students per year.
 
Greek Life staff members alerted authorities of theft at U. of Missouri
The potential theft from a University of Missouri student organization was spotted by staff members in Greek Life a little more than a week ago, according to new details released Wednesday about the investigation into missing funds. Internal auditors verified that money was missing, identified possible criminal activity and turned the case over to the MU Police Department, the MU statement reads. The employee, who has not been named or charged with a crime, was fired for violating university policies. The amount of money involved is not being released. The statement, issued in the form of a question-and-answer fact sheet, is all the university can release about the investigation until it is concluded, spokeswoman Liz McCune said. "We have tried to put out everything we could share," she said.
 
The Bursting of the College Bubble: Not with a Pop, but a Hiss
For the past few decades, the unstoppable increase in college tuition has been a fact of life, like death and taxes. The sticker price of American college increased nearly 400 percent in the last 30 years, while median household income growth was relatively flat. Student debt soared to more than $1 trillion, the result of loans to cover the difference. Several people -- with varying degrees of expertise in higher-ed economics -- have predicted that it's all a bubble, destined to burst. Now after decades of expansion, just about every meaningful statistic---including the number of college students, the growth of tuition costs, and even the total number of colleges---is going down, or at least growing more slowly. What's going on? The explanation is a little bit of weak demand, a little bit of over-supply, a big crackdown on for-profit colleges, and, perhaps, a subtle shift in culture.
 
Order on transgender troops could shake up service academies
On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that his administration would roll back previous guidelines that allowed transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. "[P]lease be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military," Trump announced in a tweet. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender [sic] in the military would entail." It is unclear what impact this policy could have on U.S. service academies and other military programs, several of which either have or formerly had transgender students enrolled. In May, USA Today reported that there were two transgender cadets, one each at West Point and the Air Force Academy, who were set to graduate that month.
 
The College Course Where the Military Assigns the Homework
This spring, as part of their coursework, four Stanford University students found themselves in Coronado, California, doing pushups on the beach and charging into a 61-degree surf while overseen by Navy SEAL trainers. They performed this extraordinary homework to better understand the process of inculcating recruits into the elite corps of military frogmen and women. The end result of their (literal) immersion was a solution to an inefficiency in evaluating prospective SEALS. But in a larger sense, the students were part of their instructor's master plan to reintroduce the concept of public service to higher education's best and brightest. It has a provocative, maybe even subversive course title: Hacking for Defense (H4D). In the 2017-2018 school year, the program expands to eight universities, including Georgetown, Columbia, USC, Boise State, Pitt, UC San Diego, and the University of Southern Mississippi.
 
Mississippi Public Education PAC celebrates first anniversary
Kate Farabaugh, a founding board member of the Mississippi Public Education PAC, writes in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal: "It's hard to believe that one year ago, public school advocates from all over the state joined together to launch the Mississippi Public Education PAC to help ensure a better education for ALL Mississippi children. Getting involved in politics was not something the three founding board members, each engaged public school moms from different corners of the state, initially desired. But we found that, while many legislators truly believe in the importance of public education, that commitment was not translating into adequate funding. We decided we couldn't sit back and watch our lawmakers continue to make decisions that were harmful to our public schools."
 
Mississippi better served with less ideology, more practical policy
Mississippi newspaper publisher and columnist Wyatt Emmerich writes: "Of late a few people have commented on my political views, believing I have become less conservative. I find it amusing. Change is good. My mother used to say, 'Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.' But in fact, I have changed little in my views. What has changed is the political leadership in the state. For decades, the Democratic Party dominated, making numerous bad decisions which I criticized. That made me appear pro-Republican. Now the Republican Party is dominating the state, making numerous bad decisions, which I have criticized, making me appear pro-Democrat. It's not me that's changed. I am doing the same thing I have always done -- my job as a journalist, exposing bad policy and corruption. The only thing that has changed is the political party in power. What I'd like to see in this state is competition."


SPORTS
 
Bulldogs establishing new defensive identity
More often than not, Mississippi State has traditionally had a reputation as a strong defensive team. But that was simply not the case in 2016. The Bulldogs were near the bottom nationally in just about every statistical category on defense including 120th in pass defense and 110th in total defense. Head coach Dan Mullen decided to make a change in January, dumping first-time coordinator Peter Sirmon for a veteran on both the college and NFL levels, Todd Grantham. "I want people, when they watch your defense play, to see an intimidating defense," Mullen said. "I want people to see 11 guys flying to the ball with a chip on their shoulders and a nasty disposition to get after it. When you are led by a guy who is that way, your defense is going to play that way. When you look back on our great defenses, that is the type of defense that we had."
 
Chauncey Rivers' road to Mississippi State shown in 'Last Chance U'
Through the first four episodes of the second season of Last Chance U, the Netflix series that chronicles East Mississippi Community College's football program, Chauncey Rivers comes across as an atypical fit for Scooba. Many players who go the JUCO route either don't have the grades to go Division I, don't have the body type scouts look for or simply don't have the talent. Rivers, a defensive end who is now at Mississippi State after one season at EMCC, had all of that. What's more, unlike most of his former EMCC teammates, Rivers (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) had Division I experience, formerly playing at Georgia. So why was he at EMCC?
 
Cowboys' Dak Prescott feels no pressure, ready to take chances in second year
Dak Prescott just shrugged and grinned. "I don't really sense other people's expectations," the Dallas Cowboys' second-year quarterback said after a training camp practice this week, not exactly looking like a man burdened by increased pressure as he embarks on his encore act. "To me, it's all about what I put on myself. I put more pressure and as high expectations on myself than anyone else has." Prescott has no problem expressing this. Someone had reminded him that during an awards show recently, he "guaranteed" the Cowboys would repeat as NFC East champions. "What else was I supposed to say?" he shot back, a take that seemed more Prescott logic than some blustering bulletin-board material.
 
Hugh Freeze speaks: 'God is good, even in difficult times'
Hugh Freeze made his first public comments Wednesday since abruptly resigning as Mississippi's football coach last week. "God is good, even in difficult times," Freeze told USA TODAY Sports. "Wonderful wife and family, and that's my priority." Although Freeze has not been seen publicly since he resigned Thursday, he indicated he is getting out. He wore a baseball cap, T-shirt and shorts while clearing brush at his home in an affluent subdivision near the lake where he is known to fish. During a brief interview with USA TODAY Sports Wednesday, Freeze said he planned to take his daughters to volleyball and meet with his pastor.
 
How does Ole Miss turmoil affect SEC West?
Football starts in Oxford, Miss., next Wednesday, and considering what the Ole Miss football program has been through in the last week (not to mention the lingering cloud of NCAA uncertainty hanging over its head), the simple act of putting on cleats and helmets should be a welcome sight even considering the inhospitable heat of the Deep South in August. Such is life at Ole Miss at the moment. Every day seems to bring a new sordid detail into the current demise of the Rebels football program. Hugh Freeze is gone, tossed out amid reports that he called escort services and massage parlors, and Matt Luke steps in to take the main headset. How does that sudden change affect Ole Miss and the landscape of the SEC West for this season? Actually, probably not a whole lot. The Rebels were selected to finish seventh by the media at SEC Media Days earlier this month.
 
LSU determined to have a Mike VII on campus by football season
LSU's search for a tiger to become Mike VII continues, with the goal to have a new live mascot on campus by the time football season starts in September, LSU President F. King Alexander said Wednesday. Renovations to the tiger's on-campus habitat are expected to be completed by Aug. 10, he said. There are some 15,000 tigers in captivity across North America, he said, though their quality of life varies widely. "We have some leads," said Alexander, who spoke briefly at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club meeting with football coach Ed Orgeron at Tiger Stadium. "Finding a tiger is not the problem." The tiger LSU chooses, Alexander added, has to be young and physically fit to enhance its chances of having a significant reign as the school mascot. LSU has had a live tiger mascot on campus since 1936.
 
At the U. of Kentucky's football stadium, it's now Kroger all over
The University of Kentucky's football stadium received a finishing touch Wednesday in its rebranding as Kroger Field. Five-foot letters were fixed into place on the south side of the stadium to match lettering already in place on the structure's northern entrance. The partnership linking the University of Kentucky and the grocery chain was announced in May as a 12 year arrangement. For the 44 years since its construction in 1973, the venue was known as Commonwealth Stadium to Kentuckians and fans of Southeastern Conference Football. Kentucky is the first school in the SEC to go corporate with its football stadium naming rights, but not the first nationally or even the first in the state.
 
Texas A&M's chancellor weighs in on Texas rivalry during interview
Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp told Texas Monthly he'd be in favor of renewing the annual Aggie and Longhorn gridiron bout as a part of a lengthy article on Sharp's impact while at the helm of the university. "I'd like to put the UT-A&M game back together," Sharp told the magazine. "I know the governor [Greg Abbott] wants to put it back together. UT wants to put it back together." The two schools have not shared a football field since 2011, A&M's last year in the Big 12 before departing for the SEC. Texas took the contest, 27-25, on a last-minute, 40-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. The Longhorns have a significant hold on the all-time series with a 76-37-5 record, although the Aggies split the final six contests.
 
U. of Tennessee football wives give back, paint Knoxville Habitat for Humanity house
While their husbands were busy with training camp and getting ready for the start of football season, the wives of about a dozen University of Tennessee football coaches and employees also had their work cut out for them Wednesday morning. The temperature was climbing into the 80's around 9:30 a.m. as the group of about a dozen women, all wearing UT orange and covered in white paint splatter, took a rest on the front porch of 3343 Thomas Street. The women had already completed one coat of paint on the interior of the new house, a project of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, and were hoping to finish their job by lunchtime. "This community has done so much for us and so much to support our football team that this is just a little way for us to give back," said Barb Jones, wife of head UT Football Coach Butch Jones.
 
Brain Trauma Scientists Turn Their Attention to Soccer
The mountain of evidence connecting professional football and long-term brain damage grew this week with publication of a new study that examined the brains of former NFL players. Boston University scientists found 110 of the 111 post-mortem brains showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head. Linemen had it the worst, while punters seemed to escape relatively unharmed. Neurologists involved in this new study, as well as other experts, say another sport may rival football's impact on the brain: soccer.



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