Wednesday, June 12, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
MSU Baseball Fans Scramble For Tickets
Just as valuable as Mississippi State's win Monday over Virginia are tickets to the College World Series in Omaha. There has been a mad dash to secure tickets for Saturday's baseball series. "You know it's ringing constantly. They take a phone call, put in the request, put the phone down and its ringing. They are just picking it up time after time so its pretty solid," said MSU's Mike Richey.
College World Series and MSU: A visitors guide to Omaha
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are set to make their third College World Series appearance in Omaha this weekend. During the annual sporting event, America's heartland becomes a mecca for thousands of baseball fans. MSU fans taking to the road to support their Diamond Dogs can take advantage of all the city has to offer.
Miss Mississippi USA: Sky the limit for MSU aerospace engineering student?
Miss Mississippi USA Paromita Mitra wants to be the first Miss Universe to explore the universe. Mitra, a 21-year-old Mississippi State University aerospace engineering student, is competing in the 2013 Miss USA Pageant airing at 8 p.m. Sunday on NBC. "I can specifically recall not being able to speak English and pretending that I could," said Mitra, who moved from Bangladesh to the U.S. with her family in 1992. Three years later, the family returned to Bangladesh but eventually came back and resided in Mississippi.
Ole Miss, MSU to hold minority vendor job fair as part of IHL outreach program
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will hold a minority vendor fair June 18 in Oxford. Minority Business Expo: Making The University Connection begins at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Avenue Center Multipurpose Room near the Ole Miss campus. Online registration is available through and early registration is encouraged. The event is the part of the IHL's push to increase the number of minority-owned businesses that land the agency's contracts. "MSU is constantly seeking out new suppliers so we can expand the number of companies participating in the public procurement process," said Don Buffum, MSU director of procurement and contracts. "We do this by urging departments to seek additional quotes or to try new vendors, actively seeking out new vendors at trade shows, conducting 'Doing Business With MSU' seminars, and by maintaining an open-door policy to meet with new vendors. Co-hosting the minority vendor fair with Ole Miss on June 18 provides us a great opportunity to implement all those strategies in a single venue."
Construction on Mill at MSU could start by end of 2013
The Mill at MSU has moved to the second phase of the approval process through the National Parks Service. Golden Triangle developer Mark Castleberry took over the old CottonMill Marketplace development last fall, and has since changed its name and gotten preliminary design approval for the Cooley Center, an old textile mill that sits on the National Register of Historic Places and will serve as the development's centerpiece. The mixed-use development, which sits on the edge of Mississippi State University's campus, changed ownership last year when the school allowed the contract it had with Ridgeland-based Nicholas Properties to expire without renewing it. Mark Nicholas and his partner, Mark Boutwell, had worked on the project for several years.
Mill project preliminary plat approved
Starkville Planning and Zoning Board on Tuesday reviewed and approved a preliminary plat to allow Mississippi State University to move forward with the next step of The Mill project, a large-scale hotel conference center development project located along Russell Street at the Cooley Building. Included in plans for the property's development are a 110-room hotel and city-owned parking garage. In a previous interview, Lynn Spruill, chief administrative officer for the city, said the garage would be a 450-space public parking area built with an $8 million grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. Preliminary design work for the facility is underway.
Special Gift Adds Harpsichord to MSU Music List
A special gift by a Starkville physician and his medical practice is providing a French double-manual harpsichord for the music department at Mississippi State. Dr. Chester Lott made possible the department's acquisition of the keyboard instrument similar in appearance to a smaller grand piano but whose strings are plucked rather than struck. Built in 1988 by Massachusetts-based Hubbard and Broekman Inc., the harpsichord is modeled on one built in France in 1769, according to university piano professor Jackie Edwards-Henry. She leads the piano program in the music department, which is shared by the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education.
Officials: History test is difficult to pass
As high school seniors from around the Pine Belt took advantage of emergency subject area testing offered by the Mississippi Department of Education in mid-May, many struggled with passing the U.S. History test. The seniors had completed all the requirements needed to graduate except for passing one subject area test, which made them eligible for emergency testing offered at the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
Summer Fest organizers looking to expand on last year's success
Last year, Summer Fest on the Coast drew an estimated 7,500 people to various locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and had an economic impact of $1.4 million, according to a study done by Mississippi State University. Not bad for an event in it's very first year.
'Hotel Hell's' Ramsay heads to Starkville for Fox series
Sometimes running a business is hell. It certainly will be Wednesday through Sunday when Starkville's Hotel Chester welcomes Fox reality star and chef Gordon Ramsay, who will be filming an episode of "Hotel Hell" at the establishment. Can owner David Mollendor handle the wrath of Ramsay, who typically tries to offer salvation to some of America's most horrendous hotels, troubled inns and struggling resorts? Will Ramsay fan the flames and cause controversy, or will Mollendor humbly accept that the devil is in the details? "I think the production will show our normal operation throughout the course of the day, an evaluation/critique of same, and end up with assistance and/or recommendations in implementing the improvements," Mollendor said.
Cole hopes 'Blue Tuesday' momentum carries through
Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole says he's still smiling a week after major Democratic victories on the municipal level during "Blue Tuesday." Democrats turned away Republican challengers last week in key races in Starkville, Tupelo, Meridian, Hattiesburg and Ocean Springs. Fresh off of victory, Cole says his party will now focus its attention to Republican-dominated U.S. House and Senate races in 2014, and 2015's state-level elected positions.
State Republicans and Democrats staking out opposite Medicaid expansion positions
State leadership committees for the Mississippi Republican and Democratic parties are staking out opposite positions on Medicaid expansion. Resolutions adopted by the two groups in the past few days reflect what their own elected officials have been saying for months. Democrats say they support Medicaid expansion as a way to help lower-income working people. Republicans say they oppose expansion because they don't like the federal health overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010. The parties are weighing in as deadline pressure is building: Unless something changes, Mississippi's entire Medicaid program is scheduled to go out of existence on July 1.
Gov. Phil Bryant, MDA officials to attend Paris Air Show
A group including Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Mississippi Development Authority Director Brent Christensen will attend next week's Paris Air Show. MDA will send a five other people besides Christensen. Agency spokeswoman Marlo Dorsey says they will man a booth showcasing Mississippi. The Aerospace Alliance, a group that promotes Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida to the industry, will host an opening reception on the Seine River in Paris on Sunday.
Gov. Bryant to lead trade delegation to Brazil
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will lead a trade delegation to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from Sept. 9-13. The Mississippi Development Authority is sponsoring at least two other trade trips between July and October. Bryant is not scheduled to go on the other two trips. The MDA says the trip to Brazil and a second trip to Chile on Sept. 5 - 7 will bring Mississippi companies that want to expand trade and create new business relationships with contact with South American markets.
Hood: Google cuts illegal drugs ads; AG still may take legal action
Ads for a number of websites selling pharmaceuticals without prescriptions have disappeared from Google search results, according to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who warned the company last week that he believes the ads violate its 2011 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Hood said Monday that he now was sending a "litigation hold" letter to Google alerting the company of possible legal action and asking it to preserve evidence of any site it takes down. Hood, co-chairman of the National Association of Attorneys General's intellectual property committee, says sites from which his investigators have been able to buy drugs without a prescription in the past have been taken down. "Something's gotten (Google's) attention," says Hood.
Miss. among bottom states in country for Internet access
Utah has the highest percentage of residents with Internet access in the country, as 12 of every 13 residents have a way to go online, a new report shows. The information comes from a report released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau, which compiled data from a 2011 survey about computer ownership and Internet use. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi and New Mexico had the largest rates of unconnected residents at 26.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively.
Biloxi baseball thrown a curve
The next week could determine if Minor League Baseball is coming to Biloxi or if it's game over before the stadium is ever built. Groups such as the Steps Coalition and Biloxi NAACP chapter, calling for a referendum on a $21 million city-issued bond to help build the stadium, have until June 18 to collect 1,500 signatures on a petition. A referendum would delay the project by 60 to 90 days and could kill the deal, said Ron Peresich, city attorney. He said the city has worked "earnestly" for the last five months to bring a team and stadium to Biloxi. Gov. Phil Bryant pledged $15 million of BP money to the project.
Poll: Most oppose race-based college admissions programs
Americans overwhelmingly oppose race-based college admissions and support extending federal benefits to same-sex couples, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that finds broad public agreement on issues awaiting Supreme Court decisions this month. Three quarters of Americans, 76 percent, oppose allowing universities to consider race when selecting students, the key element in affirmative-action programs in universities nationwide.
Tech, education leaders talk STEM challenges
Education and tech leaders on Wednesday lauded the Obama administration's efforts on opening the science, technology, engineering and math fields to more students --- but said the resource challenges in under-funded schools remains a major hurdle. Tom Kalil, the White House's deputy director for technology and innovation, said the Obama administration's efforts include preparing and recruiting 100,000 new STEM teachers and opening opportunities to get more younger students interested in STEM. STEM advocates must also focus on improving performance at the undergraduate level, where only 40 percent of students who intend to get a STEM degree actually graduate with one, Kalil said.
Border Drones Fly Into Fight Over Immigration
The immigration bill now under consideration by the U.S. Senate calls for drones to fly 24/7. Supporters say that means more drones are needed. But critics argue there's no evidence the drones already flying are cost-effective. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, wants more drones on the border. But Cuellar, co-chairman of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus -- yes, drones have their own caucus -- acknowledges it's an expensive proposition. The real problem, say critics like Tom Barry, an analyst at the liberal Center for International Policy, is that no one has demonstrated that drones are worth the cost. Barry points to that criticized the border drone program for a lack of accountability. Each Predator drone now costs about $18 million to buy fully equipped and about $3,000 an hour to fly.
Two companies accused of discriminating in hiring
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday accused two major companies of indirectly discriminating against African Americans by using criminal background checks to screen out workers. The commission said BMW effectively fired 70 black employees with criminal histories from a facility in South Carolina, even though many had been there for years. One woman with 14 years under her belt was let go after a misdemeanor conviction surfaced that was more than 20 years old and carried a $137 fine, according to the EEOC's lawsuit. The agency also alleged that retailer Dollar General revoked job offers to two black women after conducting criminal background checks. In one case, the EEOC said that the records were inaccurate but that Dollar General declined to reconsider the woman's application. The other involved a six-year-old drug conviction.
The Two Words That Rankle Every Parent: 'I'm Bored'
As summer begins, those two little words -- "I'm bored" -- can touch a raw nerve in parents, many of whom often chide their child for laziness, or blame themselves for failing to provide enough fun and stimulation. New research suggests both conclusions are off-base. Kids who complain of boredom aren't necessarily lazy or slacking off, but are actually in a tense, negative state, says a 2012 study in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Frustrated and struggling to engage, they often find themselves unable to focus their attention or get started on satisfying activities. Parents should "take a deep breath, step back" and help children explore solutions for themselves, says one expert.
Itawamba Community College expands dual credit to area schools
Students from at least 12 Northeast Mississippi high schools will be able to earn college credit next year without leaving campus. Itawamba Community College has reached agreements with six school districts to offer the courses, which count for both high school and higher education requirements, beginning in the fall. School boards in the Tupelo and Lee County school districts approved the terms on Tuesday. ICC also has made deals with the Monroe County, Pontotoc City and Houston school districts and is finalizing one with Itawamba County, said Sara Johnson, ICC's vice president of instructional services. They also could expand to other districts, she said.
U. of Alabama alumni, students commemorate 50th anniversary of desegregation
"Why are we retelling the story? Why are we talking about such difficult times?" Judge John England posed these questions Tuesday night to the audience gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first black undergraduate students enrolling at the University of Alabama. "I've heard it said, why should we commemorate the past at the University of Alabama given the pain that many had to have suffered?" England said. "But as I have attended the various commemorations ... I have been inspired by the courage of all who came before me. What have I been inspired to do? To be vigilant, to make sure that no doors will be closed." England, a Trustee and one of the first black students admitted to the UA School of Law, was one of many who spoke Tuesday night. The "Through the Doors" program highlighted the courage, change and progress of James Hood and Vivian Malone Jones and the legacy they left at the university.
Ceremony marks anniversary of U. of Alabama's desegregation
When Vivian Malone and James Hood walked through the "schoolhouse" door at Foster Auditorium on the University of Alabama campus 50 years ago this week, it opened the door for thousands of black students who followed in their footsteps. It took courage, change and progress for that to happen. But 50 years later, the progress is still happening and must continue, said university leaders and representatives at a commemoration event Tuesday night marking the anniversary.
U. of Kentucky relying on more out-of-state students to help balance $2.7 billion budget
The University of Kentucky had the highest number of out-of-state students in its history last fall, with more than one in four coming from another state. Non-residents pay a tuition rate that is roughly double that of Kentucky students, which when combined with an overall 6 percent tuition increase, helped raise tuition revenue by about $41 million from the year before. UK officials said that additional money has played a key role in UK's $2.7 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. It has helped fund a 5 percent merit-raise pool for faculty and staff; limited next year's tuition increase to 3 percent, the lowest such hike in the past decade; and raised UK's scholarship pool to an all-time high of $75 million. It also helped lessen budget cuts that will continue in the next fiscal year. UK officials said the decision to accept more out-of-state students is not merely mercenary. Interim Provost Tim Tracy called the new mix "an academic decision with financial implications." Read more here:
U. of Missouri System fills newly created VP post; role includes research focus
The dean of the graduate school and top research official at Penn State University has been tapped to lead the University of Missouri System's academic affairs and research offices, the system announced Tuesday. UM System President Tim Wolfe said this morning he was appointing Henry "Hank" Foley as the system's new vice president of academic affairs. The position will oversee the four-campus system's academic functions as well as its research and economic development efforts, which until recently had been led by separate administrators. The UM System announced it planned to reorganize some of its offices in January, and the system's vice president of research and economic development, Mike Nichols, stepped down Friday.
Texas A&M professor trying to keep water estrogen-free
A Texas A&M researcher is working to figure out the best way to eat estrogen; specifically, which naturally occurring bacteria will help remove it from drinking water. Small trace elements of the female sex hormone are found in about 80 percent of the 139 rivers in the United States. Estrogen enters surface water through human waste and from flushed or dumped pharmaceuticals. Neither the Environmental Protection Agency nor the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulate the substance or consider the trace elements hazardous for human consumption. Still, the effects of people drinking estrogen are largely unknown, and one A&M researcher is hard at work figuring out how to remove it from the drinking water.
U. of Florida study: Many designated drivers not abstaining from drinking
Better check the breath of the person driving you home next time you're out on the town with friends. Two in five designated drivers imbibe before getting behind the wheel, according to a University of Florida study. Adam Barry, an assistant professor of health education and behavior at the University of Florida, and his two research partners interviewed 1,071 bar customers in Gainesville on six different Friday nights before a Gator home football game. They asked the customers a series of questions and then had them blow into a breathalyzer to record their blood-alcohol levels. Their research found that 40 percent of the 165 people who had identified themselves as designated drivers had imbibed.
Top college majors ranked by which graduates pay off their student loans fastest
Make no mistake, college graduates usually earn more than those who sport only high school diplomas or less to bolster their resumes. But new analysis comparing the cost of obtaining a college degree versus the median salary that graduates can expect reveals some surprising results about which college degrees offer the greatest value., the Web's leading aggregator of financial rate information, recently investigated the return on investment for various college majors and degrees and found that graduate degrees don't necessarily provide the greatest value -- despite the above average salaries advanced-degree holders can expect.
In first year, 'Shopping Sheet' doesn't make a big splash
Few single pieces of paper have been greeted with as much fanfare in higher education circles as the Education Department's "shopping sheet," meant to provide a standardized one-page summary of a college's financial aid offering to help students easily compare the packages they receive. Now that most traditionally aged students have been admitted to, and chosen, a college to attend this fall, though, it appears that the shopping sheet made relatively few ripples in its first year in use, admissions officers at colleges and high school counselors say. For the most part, students and families weren't aware of the shopping sheet -- and other tools, such as the government's net price calculators, intended to make college pricing more transparent and choices easier.
Scientists hope to predict tornadoes by using little drones
Until now, most of the work on unmanned aircraft has been for military or public safety uses. But researchers are increasingly exploring their use in science, including severe weather research. (Weather officials prefer the term "unmanned aircraft" to "drone," a word strapped with political connotations because of its wartime use.) Oklahoma, where 19 twisters touched down in the last two weeks of May alone, is one of the states leading the charge. At Oklahoma State University, faculty and students in mechanical and aerospace engineering are building and designing Kevlar-reinforced aircraft to withstand high winds. At the University of Oklahoma, meteorological researchers are building sensors and advising OSU researchers on data collection. Apart from weather research, the aircraft can be used domestically to help fight wildfires, dust agricultural crops and inspect pipes. Quiet ones can also be used to locate survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.
U.S. proposes new protections for captive chimps
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday proposed extending tough new protections for chimpanzees in captivity, a shift that would place strict limits on primates' role as human surrogates in biomedical research. In reclassifying chimps as endangered, the agency would put new requirements on the declining number of scientists who rely on chimpanzees to devise vaccines for infectious diseases, develop treatments for cancers and autoimmune diseases, and investigate ways to block dangerous pathogens that might jump from primates to humans. Under the proposed rules, researchers must apply for a permit to perform invasive procedures on chimps, including taking blood samples.
BIPEC, Medicaid set 2015 stage
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "Last week BIPEC, the Business and Industry Political Education Committee, announced its 2013 legislative report card. Each year, BIPEC grades legislators on how they voted on key 'economic growth, jobs and other broad job-related issues.' An 'A' grade reflects a 'Business Champion' and a 'B' grade demonstrates 'Strong Business Support.' The rest of the grades, much like grades in school, are 'average' or 'below average' or 'failing' business support."
Mississippi lags in early childhood education
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "The bad news is that Mississippi remains the only state in the South without a state-funded early children education program. Only eight states nationwide do not invest in some form of early childhood education, and only 11 states don't have a state-funded prekindergarten program. ...The good news is that in 2013, Mississippi lawmakers signed into law a limited pre-K program as part of a series of Republican-backed education reforms. The program seeks to provide high quality pre-K through a collaborative delivery model starting no later than the 2014-2015 school year. ...In the poorest state in the union, these are meaningful steps. But it is Mississippi's lack of early childhood education competitiveness with our regional neighbors -- the states that border Mississippi -- that is most immediately disturbing. That's an education issue and an economic development issue."

Cohen back in Omaha as a participant
Two years after leaving his assistant's position at Florida to take the head coaching job at Kentucky, John Cohen was in Omaha. As an observer. Florida was in the 2005 College World Series. Kentucky's season had long been over, and so Cohen went to watch the players he'd once coached take part in the event every college baseball coach and player strives to reach. As he shook hands with players he'd recruited and hugged their parents, it was a bittersweet moment for Cohen. He had one thought: Should I have left Florida? "That was tough for me," Cohen said Monday. "I know that's selfish, but you want to be in Omaha. That's the epicenter of college baseball." Now, Cohen gets to go to Omaha with his own team. Mississippi State swept Virginia in the Charlottesville Super Regional, earning the school's ninth CWS berth. The Bulldogs play at 2 p.m. Saturday versus Oregon State.
Mississippi State coach finally finds way back to Omaha
John Cohen watched Florida advance to the College World Series in 2005 with players he had recruited as a Gator assistant coach. He had sat in some of their homes, ate their food and shook hands with their parents. The problem was, while Florida celebrated its trip to Omaha, Cohen had moved on, to be the head coach at Kentucky. "I was sitting in the crowd and I just remember thinking, 'Wow, man, should I have left Florida?' " said Cohen, now the coach at Mississippi State. "My wife Nelle, always tells me, 'Stop talking about winning a national championship. Stop saying it out loud all the time,' " Cohen said. "I said, 'Nelle, listen, we're in the Southeastern Conference. All 14 coaches could be talking about winning a national championship.' " With its 6-5 win against Virginia on Monday, Cohen gets that opportunity. It's the Bulldogs' ninth trip to the College World Series and Cohen's first as a coach.
Wes Rea's home run ball stays in the family
Wes Rea's father, Johnny, will have a nice present for the slugging Mississippi State first baseman when the 2013 season is over. Wes belted a gargantuan two-run homer to left on Sunday in the Charlottesville Super Regional to give the Bulldogs the lead in a game that was completed Monday, a 6-5 victory that propelled the Bulldogs into the College World Series. When it was all over, a Bulldog alumnus ended up with the ball and presented it to Wes' father. "It was amazing,'' Johnny Rea said. "One of the alumni was pacing around and Wes hit the ball over the left field fence into the parking lot. It bounced back up on the big hill. He ran after it and retrieved it and gave it to me.''
Coast products help lead MSU to Omaha
Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen's efforts to get the best talent off the Mississippi Gulf Coast is paying off in a big way. Six current Bulldogs played their high school baseball on the Coast with five of those playing major roles on this year's team that sits at 48-18 headed into this weekend's start of the College World Series. Mississippi State plays Oregon State at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the first game of the World Series at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Omaha bound! Bulldogs complete sweep, head to College World Series
For the ninth time in school history and first time under coach John Cohen, the Mississippi State University baseball team is going to the College World Series. A 6-5 victory against No. 6 national seed University of Virginia in Game Two of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional on Monday helped MSU (48-18) secure its first appearance in Omaha, Neb., since 2007. "I'm so proud of our guys," MSU coach John Cohen said after the victory. "I think the thing I'm most proud of with our guys is they all wanted to be in Omaha, but their goal is to try and win the whole thing. They don't see this as a job being finished. We're excited, but I think these kids still think we have some journey left to go here."
MSU realizes Cohen's vision, reaches College World Series
John Cohen knew this day would come in his coaching career. The chance to experience a day like Monday on the campus of the University of Virginia is the reason Cohen returned to his alma mater to become baseball coach at Mississippi State University. To Cohen, it was a matter of when, not if the Bulldogs would return to the College World Series. MSU realized Cohen's vision with a 6-5 victory against No. 6 national seed University of Virginia at Davenport Field to complete a sweep of the best-of-three NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional. The victory culminated a journey that was longer mentally and physically than the 812 miles that separate MSU from Omaha, Neb., the site of the college baseball's showcase event. Later this week, Cohen, who made the College World Series as a MSU player in 1990, will bring his first team to the event as a coach.
Holder pulls through to save MSU's victory
Through the craziness of a ninth inning where everything seemed to be falling apart, the Mississippi State University players knew two comforting things: They had the lead and Johnathan Holder had the baseball. Those facts were all MSU needed to settle down as No. 6 national seed University of Virginia attempted a last-ditch comeback effort. But despite giving up two runs and two hits and committing an error, Holder recorded the final out to secure a 6-5 victory in game two of the NCAA Charlottesville Super Regional.
Bullpen has been special for Bulldogs
Syndicated columnist Rick Cleveland writes: " Let's suppose that back in February someone told you this Mississippi State baseball team would win nearly 50 games, host and win an NCAA Regional and then earn a first College World Series appearance since 2007. And then let's suppose the same person also told you the Bulldogs would do all that with starting pitching that lasted, on average, less than half a ballgame. You know what you would have said, right? No way. Not possible. Can't happen. Not in baseball. But it has happened. No such statistics are kept but I'd bet John Cohen's Bulldogs are the first college baseball team ever to advance anywhere near this far with a bullpen that pitched more innings than the starters."
Mississippi State's overall APR dips slightly
Mississippi State produced nearly the same Academic Progress Rating in 2011-12 as it did the year before. MSU fell just under the average APR of 974. MSU's athletic programs produced a 971.3 average APR in 2011-12. In the 2010-11 academic year, the school had a 971.6 APR. Every team satisfied the two-year 930 point average threshold, securing postseason eligibility. The NCAA released the ratings Tuesday. "We're above the 930 that you need to be at for all of our sports," Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said. "Obviously that's important."
Carr to head football operations at U. of Southern Mississippi
John Carr wasn't looking necessarily to leave his position as head football coach at Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, La. But when the opportunity arose to work with Todd Monken and other assistants on the Southern Miss football staff, Carr said the decision was easy. "It was a no-brainer," said Carr, who started work last week as the Golden Eagles' director of football operations. "I felt like this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up." Carr, who spent 15 years of a 17-year coaching career at high schools in and around Monroe, said the past seven years as head coach will help in his new duties.
U. of Kentucky to pour additional $3 million into football program
To those who question whether the University of Kentucky sufficiently supports its football program, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart has a new multimillion-dollar response. UK plans to pour an additional $3 million into its football program during the next school year, the school announced Tuesday when it unveiled a proposed athletic budget for 2013-14. The budget, which was formally approved by UK sports' governing body, the University Athletics Committee, called for expenditures of $12,587,627 for football this coming school year. That's an increase of about 33 percent from the $9,498,752 spent on football this past year. When asked why now was the time for such a dramatic increase in UK's financial commitment to football, Barnhart said, "To get the coaching staff we wanted."
Fixing the NCAA's Quandary on Historically Black Colleges
The NCAA slapped postseason bans on 18 Division I teams on Tuesday for failing to meet its academic-progress requirements. All but three of those teams are at historically black colleges, continuing a troubling pattern among less-wealthy institutions. Since introducing the Academic Progress Rate 10 years ago, the NCAA has set aside some $6-million to help historically black and largely minority institutions improve their numbers. Few people think that's enough, in part because money is only part of the problem. Many less-wealthy programs lack the wherewithal to monitor players the way big athletic departments do. One Southeastern Conference institution, for example, has 16 full-time academic-support staff members to help athletes stay on track to graduate.

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