Monday, June 17, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Well worth the drive: Father, son make 14-hour trip to watch MSU beat Oregon State
Cole McCollum has always tried to find time to spend with his father Tom on Father's Day. It is a safe bet the 2013 Father's Day may be long remembered as the best one. The duo left Friday on a 14-hour drive that brought them to their first College World Series on Saturday morning. With a desire to see the nationally-ranked Mississippi State baseball team play, the duo's trip become worthwhile Saturday afternoon as MSU knocked off Oregon State, 5-4, before a crowd of 24,473 at TD Ameritrade Park. It was the Bulldogs first appearance in the College World Series since 2007 and their first win in the championship tournament since 1998.
Research center named for longtime MSU employee
Mississippi State University will name the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in memory of Frank T. "Butch" Withers Jr. on July 10. Withers, who died in 2012, worked for 40 years in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at MSU. He was director of the Research and Extension Center for 10 years. He retired in 2006. He also served as facility coordinator of the Pontotoc Ridge Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station from 1972 to 1978 and as unit head of MSU's Animal Research Center from 1978 to 1996.
How to...: Prepare a 'to go box' for a disaster
Most homeowners have insurance, but probably rarely consider what else they could do to mitigate the impact of a fire, severe storm or other disaster. Mississippi State University Extension Agent Susan Cosgrove says having a readily available box with personal and financial records, important phone numbers, digitized photos and some cash can make a big difference in reassembling one's life after a disaster. "Organization and documentation are the keys to recovery after a storm, fire or theft," Cosgrove said. Mariah Smith of the MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach said another way to save vital records is simply to email them to yourself, which saves them on your email provider's servers.
Future grad looks ahead
If there's one thing 38-year-old LaToya Weaver has learned in the last eight years, it's that patience and determination can open virtually any door. By the end of December, Weaver will realize her lifelong dream: graduating from Mississippi State University with an interdisciplinary studies degree that will allow her to coach basketball.
Mississippi State University gives faculty, staff awards
Mississippi State University has named winners of its annual faculty awards and Donald Zacharias Distinguished Staff Awards for 2013, including its newest William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, Mark Novotny.
Mississippi State advisors earn NAAA recognition
Two Mississippi State academic advisors are being recognized by the National Academic Advising Association for significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. Tim Fancher, an academic coordinator with the University Academic Advising Center, and Caroline Cooper, academic records assistant in the art department, are selections for 2013 NACADA Certificates of Merit. They and other honorees will be recognized formally later this year at the organization's annual conference in Salt Lake City.
Parvin awaits bail decision before new murder trial
Dr. David Parvin, a retired Mississippi State University economics professor, waits in prison although he's legally innocent, in the eyes of the law. Parvin, now 73, was convicted in 2011 in the shooting death of his 68-year-old wife, Joyce, at their Monroe County home. But Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court cleared the path for a new trial. Two months ago, the state's highest court voted 8-0 to reverse his conviction and send it back for retrial. Last week's decision, also 8-0, denied a state motion to reconsider the earlier decision. The reversal restores his "presumption of innocence," which is any defendant's right to be deemed innocent of a crime until proven guilty. First order of business for Parvin's defense team is to secure his release on bail while they plan for the trial.
Volunteers needed as Starkville Community Market grows
While Starkville Community Market's inaugural season under local Main Street association control has attracted numerous customers over six events, market manager Jennifer Prather is hopeful increased interest will translate into another area: volunteer service. Prather said more local volunteers are needed to help support the demands of a growing community market. Staggered shifts are available to anyone interested in lending a hand, she said, and any help is appreciated. "It's a great way to get involved with your community. We need volunteers to help with pre-market setup, children's activities and the post-market cleanup," Prather said.
Four vie for three seats on Starkville Parks Commission board
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will consider making numerous appointments to city entities with vacancies and expiring terms Tuesday. Four applicants are vying for three Starkville Parks Commission seats, while three residents are looking for positions on the five-person Municipal Election Committee. The city also received one application each for the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission and Historic Preservation Commission. An influx of new SPC representation was guaranteed when members Scott Maynard and Chris Taylor submitted their letters of resignation to the city earlier this week. Maynard, the incoming Ward 5 alderman, must relinquish his position as he moves to the main city board, while Taylor cited time requirements for other area boards as his reason for leaving SPC. Taylor, who resides in Ward 7, holds leadership positions with the Oktibbeha County Democratic Party and the local NAACP chapter.
Not 'tired' of Yokohama
Since the recent announcement that tire manufacturer Yokohama Tire Company would be locating a plant in Clay County, area distributors have noticed an increased demand for the brand. Although the West Point plant will not make passenger car and light truck tires when it begins production in 2015, the company's decision to locate in Clay County has been met with enthusiasm. Customers of George's Tire in West Point are specifically ordering Yokohama's car and light truck tires, according to owner Todd Glusenkamp, who said he has seen an overall sales increase of about 20-to-30 percent since he started distributing Yokohama tires just over a month ago. Other distributors in the Golden Triangle say they've received a noticeable difference in the amount of people inquiring about Yokohama products.
State poised to end year with surplus
House Appropriations Chair Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, said the state is poised to end the fiscal year later this month with a "substantial" surplus, based on May tax collections. For May, the state collected $170.9 million, or 44.5 percent, more than the amount the state's fiscal leaders projected would be collected. Those official projections were used during the 2012 legislative session to fund state government for the current fiscal year. "It will probably be substantial," Frierson said of the ending cash balance due to revenue exceeding projections. "Just guessing, without my spreadsheets in front of me, it might be $300 million."
Ethics panel OKs 6 Republican lawmakers to vote on Medicaid
In a 5-3 vote, the state Ethics Commission on Friday morning cleared six Republican lawmakers who had potential conflicts of interest to vote on Medicaid funding, reauthorization and against expanding the program. Gov. Phil Bryant and the legislative GOP leadership hope the lawmakers --- who had abstained from voting because they or their families work for Medicaid providers --- will give them enough votes to end a legislative stalemate that threatens to shut Medicaid down July 1. Friday's ruling is believed to pave the way for Bryant to call a special session, have GOP lawmakers pass most of the annual funding and reauthorization for Medicaid while blocking expansion, and at the least allow him to run it temporarily by executive order. But Democrats say the governor lacks legal authority to run the program without full legislative approval, and they want to force a vote on expanding the program to cover about 300,000 of the state's working poor.
Mississippi job growth slow but steady
In the fabled race between the tortoise and the hare, consider casting Mississippi as the tortoise when it comes to job growth. Slow and steady yet possibly in a better position to win the race. So far this year, if federal employment statistics are an indication, the state's job growth is living up to predictions often made by economists and analysts -- a slow upward trend, but nothing spectacular. And the measured pace seems set to continue through the end of the year and beyond. The increases might not be eye-popping, but Ken Cyree, dean of the University of Mississippi's School of Business, says they're reflective of a new economic landscape in which even well-positioned firms and industries are going to proceed cautiously in terms of hiring and new investment after the hardships the recession brought.
Analysis: Mississippi supervisors discussing county budgets
Mississippi supervisors gather in Biloxi this week to talk about roads and bridges, economic development, water resources and other issues. The core issue is money. Counties, just like municipalities, are faced with dwindling tax bases and rising costs. Something has to be done without harm to the taxpayers, says Steve A. Davis, director of governmental affairs for the Mississippi Association of Supervisors. "Local governments are strapped," Davis told The Associated Press. "Everybody is looking for alternative ways to provide services, and no one wants to raise taxes."
Farm worker jobs grant to Delta group
The Mississippi Delta Council for Farm Workers Opportunities will received a $1.2 million grant to serve migrant and seasonal farm workers in 39 Delta-area counties. The grant was announced this week by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Thompson says the grant is from the U.S. Department of Labor. Thompson says the National Farm Worker Jobs Program helps farm workers upgrade their agricultural job skills or acquire new skills in industries that offer higher wages and more stable employment. He said the program also provides services such as transportation, nutrition and child care.
House set to begin on farm bill
The House opens debate Tuesday on a new five-year farm bill with Republicans encouraged by their vote count but faced with continued infighting among commodity groups over the shape of future subsidies. To the surprise of many, the powerful corn and soybean lobbies are backing a Midwest floor challenge to the new price-loss program crafted by the House Agriculture Committee, which is already struggling to win what's expected to be a close vote on final passage.
For better or worse? Pending court rulings by Supreme Court await Miss., rest of nation
Mississippi stands to be caught in the crossfire of what could be one of the most high-profile cases since Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling that ended segregation. The issue: gay marriage. Any day now the U.S. Supreme Court will issue rulings on two cases, one determining states' rights to define marriage and the other questioning the role of the federal government in recognizing same-sex unions. Any day now the U.S. Supreme Court will issue rulings on two cases, one determining states' rights to define marriage and the other questioning the role of the federal government in recognizing same-sex unions.
Web services speed ahead with ways to bolster customer security
Banks and other financial institutions have long had double-layered protection (i.e., asking a preset personal question such as "What was the name of your first pet?"). But a recent spate of major cyber attacks that have exposed hundreds of millions of personal accounts to hackers is increasing pressure on non-financial Web services to fortify their digital doors beyond a single password. That's fueling a booming industry. Researchers are experimenting with futuristic electronics that are wearable or even digestible. And companies are working on making existing products harder to crack. Efforts include equipping smartphones and USB sticks with fingerprint scanners to identify users and developing keyboards that recognize an individual's touch.
NSA's Keith Alexander seeks cyber shield for companies
Even as he defends controversial government surveillance programs, the head of the National Security Agency is asking Congress for another authority sure to inflame critics --- legal immunity for companies that help the feds fight cyberattackers. Gen. Keith Alexander has petitioned Capitol Hill for months to give Internet service providers and other firms new cover from lawsuits when they rely on government data to thwart emerging cyberthreats. That may be a powerful perk to persuade companies to work with Washington toward bolstering the country's digital defenses. But it's also a source of alarm for some civil liberties advocates, who are already peeved with the NSA's vast electronic spying regime.
Chinese supercomputer named as world's fastest
China has built the world's fastest supercomputer, almost twice as fast as the previous U.S. holder and underlining the country's rise as a science and technology powerhouse. The semiannual TOP500 official listing of the world's fastest supercomputers released Monday says the Tianhe-2 developed by the National University of Defense Technology in central China's Changsha city is capable of sustained computing of 33.86 petaflops per second. That's the equivalent of 33,860 trillion calculations per second. The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way-2, knocks the U.S. Department of Energy's Titan machine off the no. 1 spot. It achieved 17.59 petaflops per second.
Mullins Q&A: Mississippi still has obstacles to overcome
Andy Mullins, who has been a leader in public education in Mississippi for more than 30 years, will retire at the end of this month from his current job as chief of staff to University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones. Mullins has served as a special assistant to two governors and three state superintendents of education and has been a member of the Ole Miss administration since 1994. He co-founded the Mississippi Teacher Corps program and was a member of Gov. William Winter's staff that helped usher the passing of the landmark 1982 Education Reform Act. As Mullins nears his retirement, Daily Journal education reporter Chris Kieffer asked him to reflect on his career in education.
Athletics Return to MUW
The Mississippi University for Women has some exciting additions in the works. MUW used to attract athletes from across the state but a tornado in 2002 changed everything. With many of the facilities destroyed, the college had no other choice but to cease all of their athletic programs. Now, President Jim Borsig thinks its time for his students to have an outlet for their athletic ability. "Everyone we've talked to has said there's great student athletes in Mississippi who want to compete at one more level above what they're competing right now and not everybody can compete at Division 1. We think that there are plenty of great student athletes that would like to go to school at The W that we'll be able to recruit to compete in athletics here." Before sports can be reinstated, Borsig says the school needs to focus on fundraising so student tuition doesn't go up. Soccer, cross country, tennis and swimming are all possible athletics that will be started at MUW.
Mississippi College names interim humanities dean
English professor Jonathan Randle has been named interim dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Mississippi College. Randle, who has worked at Mississippi College since 1999, began his new assignment on June 1. He succeeded retired dean Gary Mayfield. Randle earned his bachelor's degree from Mississippi College in 1994. The New Orleans native earners his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Cambridge For the past 14 years, the 41-year-old Randle has taught medieval literature and poetry at MC.
Miss. community college tuition to rise in fall
Tuition at Mississippi community colleges will increase by an average of about 6% this fall. Of Mississippi's 15 independently governed community colleges, 11 are choosing to raise charges on students. Figures came from the state Board of Community and Junior Colleges. State aid has just begun to rise after cuts during the recession. Board figures show average two-semester tuition will increase to $2,377 annually, up from $2,241 in the 2012-13 school year.
Itawamba Community College wraps up manufacturing camp
Fifteen Tupelo-area students got a taste of manufacturing this week during the sixth annual Tek2Go Advanced Manufacturing Camp at Itawamba Community College's Belden campus. "The purpose of this camp is to teach these students the basics of modern advanced manufacturing," said ICC Director of Continuing Education Scott Blackley. "They got their hands on many of the things they will need to know if they get into global manufacturing. It's such a great experience for them."
U. of Alabama board of trustees votes to raise tuition
The University of Alabama board of trustees voted Friday to raise tuition at each of the system's three campuses. Tuition will increase 2.7 percent, or $125 per semester, for students from Alabama. It's the lowest annual tuition increase since the 1980s, said Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor for system relations. "We continue to be very concerned about being affordable to our students while maintaining the quality of education that our students expect and deserve," said Ray Hayes, the system's executive vice chancellor for finance and operations. "We spent a lot of time talking about how we can keep the increase the least amount possible."
Former U. of Florida director alleges in suit he was denied position because he's white
A longtime University of Florida professor and former director of an academic program for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds is alleging in a lawsuit that he was denied promotion to a new director position because he is white. When he complained about it to the provost and other top administrators, he further alleges that he was retaliated against. In the lawsuit filed in the 8th Circuit Court in Alachua County, Dana Peterson contends that a less-qualified person was picked as the new director of the Office of Academic Support on the basis of her race and that when he objected, he was demoted and had his contract terminated.
Texas A&M System officials not backing local mayor's re-election bid
Texas A&M University System officials are not publicly supporting Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski in his re-election bid, despite the appearance given on a fundraising invitation sent out earlier this week. Bienski held the event Friday evening at the Traditions Country Club that was billed as a legislative update and fundraiser to benefit the mayor's re-election campaign. At the top of the event's invitation was a list of six "hosts," which include the names and titles of Phil Adams, chairman of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, and John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. Texas A&M officials are not allowed to endorse candidates. Steve Moore, spokesman for the A&M System, said Adams and Sharp agreed to attend the event and give remarks as private citizens, not as representatives of the university.
U. of Missouri Board of Curators gets look at campuses' strategic plans
The key to the University of Missouri's five-year strategic plan is bolstering its status within the Association of American Universities. MU Chancellor Brady Deaton presented the plan to the UM Board of Curators on Thursday. He said increasing the university's rank from 32 to 28 would be a top priority and at the heart of the five-year plan. The strategic planning process began a year ago, when University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe said funding for each campus would be dependent on its strategic plan and its ability to implement the plan. Final drafts of the plans will be presented at the Board of Curators meeting next month and then finalized in the early fall. Thursday's presentation focused on defining the metrics, which will gauge progress of the strategic plans.
U. of Missouri system chief unveils plan to honor Deatons
Although University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton announced his retirement Wednesday, he is far from being done with his work in academia or at MU. During the UM Board of Curators meeting yesterday, UM System President Tim Wolfe announced plans to open the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for Leadership and International Development. The institute will focus on how the university can be more effective in influencing international development in the areas of food security and safety, water quality and health, among others. Deaton said, among other things, the work would include solving the question of how to feed nearly 9 billion people by the year 2050.
Nitric acid leak reported on U. of Kentucky campus
A nitric acid leak that occurred Saturday at the University of Kentucky Health Sciences Research Building did not cause a chemical reaction, according to UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson. The spill was reported at 10:41 a.m., Johnson said. By 12:45 p.m., officials with Lexington's Hazardous Materials Division had determined that the spill was "not reactive" meaning that it would not cause a fire or chemical reaction, said Johnson. UK Environmental Health and Safety staff were cleaning up the spill, Johnson said. However, Johnson said the second floor of the Health Sciences Research Building remained closed Saturday afternoon.
In Student Housing, Luxuries Overshadow Studying
As private housing developers try harder than ever to outdo the amenities that their competitors offer in college towns, concern is growing about the academic and social consequences of upscale off-campus student housing. The spas, tanning salons and sprawling pools offered by these complexes, which often require their tenants to be students, are a far cry from the traditional on-campus residence halls that may house classrooms and faculty and host lectures and academic discussions. "These are sort of more social environments," said Arthur J. Lidsky, the president of Dober Lidsky Mathey, a campus planning consultancy. "It takes away from sort of a community of learners, and it creates more of a separate living environment that doesn't support that mission."
Data suggest baby boomer faculty are putting off retirement
At the height of the financial crisis, it was unclear how diminished 401(k)s and general economic uncertainty would impact retirement trends for baby boomer professors. But new data suggest that professors are either significantly -- or indefinitely -- putting off retirement, and not just for financial reasons. Experts say the trend is forcing institutions to rethink traditional faculty models. Some 74 percent of professors aged 49-67 plan to delay retirement past age 65 or never retire at all, according to a new Fidelity Investments study of higher education faculty. While 69 percent of those surveyed cited financial concerns, an even higher percentage of professors said love of their careers factored into their decision.
Kemper plant a prudent investment
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: "The new 'lignite plant' Mississippi Power Company is building in Kemper County is a carbon capture plant. It will gasify cheap lignite coal, burn the gas to generate electricity, and capture the carbon dioxide. In 2009 when MPCo began discussions with the Mississippi Public Service Commission about its need to replace aging coal-fired plants, adding a new natural gas plant was considered. However, this would have made MPCo's generating capacity 75% dependent on price-volatile natural gas. The Commission instead approved the lignite plant, giving MPCo a diversified capacity mix of 50% natural gas, 25% coal, and 25% lignite. Costs for lignite coal are low and stable. Despite the sound reasoning that guided MPCo's decision to build the lignite plant, based on EPA's pending rules and the need for prudent fuel diversity, the company and the Commission have come under fire. Opponents voice concerns about the plant's costs and electricity rate increases and argue MPCo should build a natural gas plant."
Nobody does it quite like us | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "There's three ways to do things: the easy way, the hard way and the Mississippi way, which makes the hard way look easy. The state's leaders, as they often do, have chosen the by-God Mississippi way to deal with Medicaid expansion and the federal Affordable Care Act. Other states might be grappling with the same issues, but they can't claim to have approached it with anything near the muddled-up, blindered pig ignorance we've seen over the last six months. Mississippi government could mess up a one-car funeral. Our Medicaid program, which provides health care to more than 640,000 people, is set to 'expire' in about two weeks because our Republican and Democratic leaders can't cooperate or even communicate."
Medicaid should be reauthorized and funded this week | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "The seemingly never-ending debate over Medicaid reauthorization should be coming to a conclusion. Should be. It's to the point now that everyone involved in this sad affair needs to stop the posturing and just do their jobs. Gov. Phil Bryant needs to call a special session for the reauthorization and funding of Medicaid. No need to split the proposal into three bills. Just do it as it's always been done -- one bill for reauthorization and one bill for funding. Yes, there will be debate on expansion. Yes, there should be debate on expansion. No, it won't pass. Then, once debate has been had and the bill is ready to pass, Democrats should do the right thing and vote to reauthorize Medicaid and fund it. Don't block the bill just because expansion is not in it. We need a Medicaid program come July 1, and the one we've had for years is better than nothing."
Hood's 'open carry' ruling strikes important balances
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "Attorney General Jim Hood's office issued an opinion this week that went a long way toward establishing some order and applying some common sense to what has become a contentious and confusing debate both for proponents and opponents of free exercise of the Second Amendment. House Bill 2, which becomes law July 1, was authored and led to passage by state Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton. Gipson has told the press that he believed the legislation was necessary to clearly define what a concealed weapon is under the law and to distinguish between 'concealed carry' and 'open carry' rights. But for many law enforcement officers charged with enforcing the state's 'concealed carry' law and other contradictory statutes, the bill created some confusion and Hood's AG opinion brought some clarity to the ongoing debate."

Surprising Hoosiers next up for Mississippi State
Indiana is known for swinging a big stick, but that won't be nearly the only challenge facing Mississippi State today. The No. 14 Bulldogs (49-18) resume College World Series play today at TD Ameritrade Park, with a winner's bracket game against the No. 8 Hoosiers (49-14). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Indiana is the first Big Ten team to reach Omaha in 29 years, and this is the school's first trip here. The Hoosiers appear right at home, and if the pitching keeps up, they could be here a while.
Cuttin' 'em down: Closer Holder anchors Mississippi State's pen
It begins with a "stomp," soon followed by a "clap." No words needed, just two sounds repeated with an underlying guitar. The harmonic melody, which opens Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down", injects a buzz into Dudy Noble Field signaling to Mississippi State fans closer Jonathan Holder is entering the game. The roots of Holder's entrance lie behind an Indiana catcher's mask. Hoosier backstopper Kyle Schwarber caught for the same Cape Cod League team that the MSU sophomore pitched for. During pregame banter one day, Schwarber suggested the now iconic walkout song. Today, Schwarber, Holder and Johnny Cash come full circle in the College World Series, where Mississippi State plays Indiana in the winner's bracket at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
Bulldogs' pitchers can really mix it up
Mississippi State's pitching success is as much a matter of contrast as anything else. Take Saturday's 5-4 win over Oregon State in the first game of the College World Series. The Bulldogs started Kendall Graveman, who can hit low 90s with his fastball. Then Ross Mitchell entered. His fastball tends to stay in the low 80s, with an off-speed pitch that will dip as low as 65 mph. Then came closer Jonathan Holder, with high velocity and a wicked 12-to-6 curveball. That's just a sampling. MSU's pitching staff has not always gotten it done in typical fashion, but it's gotten it done.
Bulldogs eye Hoosiers in winner's bracket matchup
The Mississippi State Bulldogs continued preparation for its winner's bracket matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers with a Sunday morning practice at Creighton University. "They're a great club, there's no doubt. They defend it well. They pitch it well," Coach John Cohen said of the Hoosiers. "They're a very, very offensive club and it's going to be a tremendous challenge for us." Indiana's Joey DeNato gave the Hoosiers its first CWS win as he threw a complete game shutout against Louisville Saturday night, and with well-rested bullpens, both teams will be ready one the mound for today's game.
College World Series: Bulldogs catch their breath, prep for Indiana
A day after taking down Oregon State, MSU's players seemed quite relaxed and comfortable as they took the practice field Sunday morning. The Bulldogs put in some work at Creighton University -- Bob Gibson's alma mater -- and appeared very loose. They're getting ready for Monday's game against Indiana (7 p.m., ESPN2). After three whirlwind days – traveling here, opening ceremonies and playing a game -- the players were finally able to take a breath Sunday.
Mississippi State recharges batteries in 'off day'
Thursday it flew to Omaha for the College World Series. Friday it arrived at TD Ameritrade Park at 9 a.m. and didn't leave until about 12 hours later. Saturday Mississippi State finally played a game. Sunday, the Bulldogs finally enjoyed an "off day" -- kind of. "We had practice this morning which was good," senior Chad Girodo said. "Then we should have the rest of the day off. We're going to go eat lunch. We'll have a little down time this afternoon, get ready, get mentally prepared and give our bodies some rest." The rest came in the form of a couple of luncheons followed by an afternoon at the park, where the Bulldogs watched Sunday's baseball games.
Rea of Light: MSU avoids walk-off home run to beat Oregon State
All it takes is one pitch to change a baseball game. The Mississippi State University players, coaches, and fans saw that cliche almost become a reality on the final pitch of the Bulldogs' 5-4 victory against No. 3 national seed Oregon State University on Saturday in the opening game of the College World Series. Oregon State (50-12) was in the middle of a ninth-inning rally with runners on first and second, while MSU (49-18) was one out from earning its first CWS victory in 15 years. The 27th out, which often is the hardest and most agonizing out to get in a game, lived up to its billing. "We're just fortunate to win this game," MSU coach John Cohen said.
Rea, Holder provide late-inning heroics
The Mississippi State Bulldogs provided late-game dramatics in their 5-4 College World Series opening game win over the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday afternoon. After Mississippi State jumped out to an early 3-2 lead, OSU answered with a pair of runs to claim a 4-3 advantage late in the game. Gulfport native Wes Rea, who prepped at Harrison Central, put the Bulldogs on top for good with a two-RBI double in the top half of the eighth inning.
Lucky No. 13: Mitchell solid again in relief in victory
Ross Mitchell was 6 years old the last time the Mississippi State University baseball team won a College World Series game in 1998. Even 15 years ago, there's a good chance Mitchell was forming behavior that would be perfect for the Bulldogs. "I think the word that best deserves what I provide to this baseball team is goofy," Mitchell said Saturday after he pitched 2 2/3 innings in a 5-4 victory against No. 3 national seed Oregon State University in game one of the CWS on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park. "When I'm not pitching, my job is to be the guy that people turn to for a laugh and to stay loose. When I'm on the mound, I'm the guy that is supposed to make people turn and look to say, 'Is this guy really trying to get me out with that stuff?'" Mitchell kept MSU (49-18) in the game from the fifth to the eighth inning after taking over for starting pitcher Kendall Graveman. Not only does Mitchell's soft-tossing, left-handed ways confuse hitters and help him take a different approach to getting outs, his repertoire sometimes makes teammates like the hard-nosed Graveman shake his head.
Frazier sets MSU's single-season hits record
Mississippi State University junior Adam Frazier owns a piece of history at a program that has been playing baseball for 123 seasons. Frazier, MSU's shortstop for the past two seasons, broke the school's single-season record with his 104th hit, a single up the middle in the fifth inning off starting pitcher Andrew Moore. It was one of eight hits MSU had in a 5-4 victory against No. 3 national seed Oregon State University in game one of the College World Series on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park. "I wasn't really thinking about it, especially after I tied it with the first at-bat," Frazier said about his lead-off double to left field. "I guess to get the record and win today makes it even better."
Bulldogs stick to winning formula in CWS opener
No need to change the formula now. What's worked all year, and especially in the postseason, worked again Saturday for No. 14 Mississippi State. Adequate starting pitching, lockdown relief work, and a big two-out hit carried the Bulldogs to a 5-4 win over No. 4 Oregon State in the opening game of the College World Series. In front of 24,473 at TD Ameritrade Park, MSU (49-18) knocked off another higher-ranked opponent and won its CWS opener for the fifth time in nine tries.
'MSU Rebels' T-shirts leave Web a-twitter
Late Friday morning, social media sites including Facebook and Twitter were in a bit of an uproar after maroon T-Shirts for the "Mississippi State Rebels" were spotted on sale by an Omaha street vendor. As you can imagine, that triggered a lot of (mostly) good-natured comments from both MSU and Ole Miss fans. Both sides have been often exasperated when the rival school's nicknames or logos are confused -- especially when it happens on ESPN. MSU officials, alerted by social media, tracked down the vendor and "removed" the shirts.
Four of MSU women's basketball team's recruits enrolled in summer school
Vic Schaefer is excited that the indoctrination process has started. The start of the 2013-14 season is still about four months away, but the Mississippi State University women's basketball coach and his coaching staff aren't waiting to introduce their new players to a more demanding set of expectations. This year, the NCAA allows women's basketball coaches to work with their players for two hours a week. Last year, men's basketball coaches had the same opportunity for the first time. Two hours may not be a lot, but Schaefer said any chance to work with players is something he is going to use wisely.
Father, daughter value basketball along with family
Vic Schaefer wears many hats during his everyday life To Mississippi State fans, he is simply the women's basketball coach, but to his daughter Blair, he is dad. For the pair, separating the two is like second nature and when they leave the hardwood, family time begins "It's like two different lives," Blair said. "We will be player and coach when we are on the court, then when we get home it's father and daughter. We know how to separate, but we never totally separate it. We still talk about basketball when we are at home and he will give me pointers and stuff."
Facility projects galore at U. of Southern Mississippi | Tim Doherty (Opinion)
The Hattiesburg American's Tim Doherty writes: "Gonna be a busy, busy next few months around the Southern Miss campus when it comes to facility projects. USM athletic director Jeff Hammond said the new surface for the football field at Roberts Stadium is scheduled to arrive this week. Really. The strips of artificial turf will alternate between light and dark greens, which should be an eye-pleaser. Still no official word on what sort of logo will be at midfield. ...There may actually be overlap at Roberts Stadium over the next few weeks because not only is the new playing surface coming in, the current scoreboard in the north end zone is coming down. Like the playing surface, the scoreboard was damaged by the Feb. 10 tornado that ripped through Hattiesburg."
Texas A&M athletics plans revamp of social media strategies
Texas A&M University athletics, home of the 12th Man and more than 100 years of Aggie football, has about 35,000 Twitter followers -- about 10 times fewer than quarterback Johnny Manziel. Out of the 14 Southeastern Conference schools, A&M athletics ranks eighth in its number of Twitter followers and 11th in its number of Facebook likes. It's also one of the only athletic departments in the nation to have fewer Twitter followers than its university account, but that should be changing this fall. The university has submitted a request for proposals, due June 28, for interested companies to help develop a social media strategy for the athletics department. The document outlines the administration's hope to expand its brand through social media exposure that will not only help current and former students connect with their beloved university, but provide new ways to interact.
College Station City Council gets update on Kyle Field renovations
The College Station City Council on Thursday had its first look at Texas A&M's plans to renovate Kyle Field. The presentation allowed the council members to ask questions related to the changes to the structure and parking accommodations, as well as how the new stadium will hold traditions like the entry of the Corps of Cadets and the firing of Parson's Mounted Cavalry Cannon. Phillip Ray, chief business development officer for the Texas A&M University System, made the presentation about what plans were in store for the redevelopment. Ray said the updates will bring the stadium up to fire code and ADA compliance, as well as add suites, seating and a new exterior plaza and mall areas. When the stadium is completed, it will have a seating capacity of 102,500.
NCAA President to Form Council of Athletic Directors
Operating the National Collegiate Athletic Association has long been like sailing a large ship -- a rush to one approach followed by a lurch to another. NCAA president Mark Emmert said Saturday that it's time for a shift toward empowering those close to the action: athletic directors. Emmert agreed Saturday morning to form a council of 10 athletic directors who would meet regularly with him and his senior staff, starting in July, he said in a Saturday interview with The Wall Street Journal. The idea is to leave fewer decisions about things like recruiting rules in the hands of busy college presidents and more with the athletic directors who work with coaches and their assistants. The agreement came during Emmert's visit to Orlando to speak to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
HBCUs get some help, but still struggle to meet NCAA academic standards
It was striking, yet not particularly surprising, that sports teams from historically black colleges and universities made up the vast majority of those the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned from postseason play next year because of poor academic performance. The National Collegiate Athletic Association itself recognizes that the institutions face extra challenges: When the NCAA voted to raise academic standards in October 2011, it gave HBCU's and other "low-resource institutions" an extra year to come into compliance (they have until 2016-17). The association has also dedicated about $6 million over the next several years to help those institutions meet the new standards. But the fact that 15 of 18 teams penalized for insufficient academic progress are from HBCUs (that's three more than last year and 10 more than the year before) illustrates the extent to which those institutions -- which admit more first-generation and underprepared students than most universities, yet tend to have fewer academic advisers -- are being disproportionately affected.
College football recruiting reaches new low | David Climer (Opinion)
The Tennessean's David Climer writes: "Mark Stoops has an eye for talent. In less than seven months as Kentucky's football coach, he has made significant inroads in recruiting. But isn't he jumping the gun on this one? Last week, Stoops offered a scholarship to a 13-year-old who hasn't yet begun the eighth grade. Defensive back Jairus Brents was participating in a football camp on the Kentucky campus when he received the offer. I have no doubt Brents is talented beyond his years. But isn't 13 a little young for this? It's unusual but not unprecedented."

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