Monday, July 8, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Lindley named president of Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police
Chief Georgia Lindley of the Mississippi State University Police Department has been named president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police. Lindley is a 34-year veteran of the MSU police department. Lindley is a native of Starkville where she attended Mississippi State University obtaining her undergraduate degree in social work and a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling and is a licensed social worker.
Alert: Road to close on Mississippi State's campus
Crews want to remind those driving on Mississippi State's campus over the next week about a road closure. Walker Road will be closed for paving July 8 at 7 a.m. through July 15 at 7 a.m. Use caution if you have to travel in and around that area.
Pickering to study viability of hospitals
State Auditor Stacey Pickering said he is concerned about accessibility to health care that will be lost if the state's community-owned hospitals do not remain viable. Pickering, speaking recently to the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government/Capitol press corps luncheon group, said his office will be conducting a study of the issues surrounding the hospitals.
Termite infestation: 'Every wooden structure in Mississippi at risk'
Seasonal termite swarms cause Blake Layton's phone to ring off the hook this time of year. Layton, a Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said all three major termite species in Mississippi mate from January through June in hopes of forming a new colony. Mating season is one of the rare times people see the secretive insects. Sightings often spark suspicion of an infestation. "Termites swarm every year during this time. It's normal. It's what termites are supposed to do," said Layton, who is also an Extension professor in MSU's Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology. "Just because termites are swarming near a structure does not mean there are termites in the structure."
Study: 473,000 jobs coming to Mississippi
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has released a study saying researchers expect 473,000 new jobs to open in Mississippi by 2020, with officials from Mississippi Development Authority and Mississippi State University still weighing in on the study's implications.
Starkville Reads to host Civil War anniversary book event
Starkville Reads will host a special book discussion at 7 p.m. at Starkville Public library on Thursday to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Ted Atkinson, associate professor at Mississippi State University, will lead the discussion on "The Killer Angels," a historical fiction novel by Michael Shaara.
Barnetts hope to preserve Oktibbeha County Lake's beauty with investment
Like many county residents, John Barnett spent many of his younger days at the Oktibbeha County Lake. He grew up down the road from the body of water and learned to ski at the lake. Over time, Barnett said, the elements began overtaking the lake, transforming the once-beautiful landmark. During a trip to the lake with his longtime friend and former Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury, Barnett said he decided to actively bring the lake back to prominence and provide an attraction local families would enjoy. Barnett and his wife, Debbie, along with Stansbury and his wife, Meo, banded together and established Starkville Wet 'N Wild, a small water-park on the shore of the county lake.
Jackson attorney goes before U.S. Judiciary Committee July 10
Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown is schedule to go before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for the start of her confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship in north Mississippi. President Barack Obama nominated Brown in May. The judgeship presides over court in Greenville, Miss. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Brown graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture from Mississippi State University in 1987 and a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1997.
Aldermen fire Spruill, Wiseman promises veto
The Starkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday voted 5-2 Tuesday to fire Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill without holding any public discussion on her job performance. Mayor Parker Wiseman said he will veto the board's resolution as soon as possible, but aldermen can override his action with the same 5-2 vote which yielded Spruill's termination. Wiseman has 10 business days to deliver his response to City Clerk Taylor Adams. The mayor said Spruill will retain her job until the matter is settled. Although 14 city department heads and key staff positions were up for reappointment Tuesday, Spruill was the only employee not retained.
Spruill's firing contradicts previous board action
Three aldermen who chose to fire Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill Tuesday voted to reappoint her and 12 other key city positions back to their jobs with three-month review periods in 2009, city minutes show. The board's most recent action falls out of line with the 2009 motion as new and sitting aldermen fired Spruill outright and only reappointed personnel director Randy Boyd with a 90-day interim provision. Calls to four of the five aldermen who ousted Spruill went unreturned last week, and David Little declined to comment on the matter when reached by the Dispatch.
Aldermen name three Parks reps as another resigns
Despite aldermen naming three residents to the Starkville Parks Commission, the board will have to deal with one more open seat as Ward 3 representative Ray Berryhill resigned his position effective Wednesday, city officials announced Tuesday. The board voted 6-1 -- Ward 3 Alderman David Little cast the lone "Nay" vote -- to reappoint Ward 6 representative Dorothy Isaac back to the Parks commission, and unanimously picked LaKesha Perry and Betty Robertson to fill out terms for Wards 5 and 7, respectively.
Meeting needed to identify potential county land uses
Supervisors will hold a special meeting July 22 to begin identifying and classifying areas for future land-use designations, a key step in developing a comprehensive plan for Oktibbeha County. A land-use plan is a state-required element for comprehensive plans, Mike Slaughter of the Oxford-based firm Slaughter and Associates said. The July 22 meeting will allow his firm to receive board input on areas which could be considered for industrial, commercial, residential and agricultural use.
Mississippi open-carry gun law hearing today
A hearing on Mississippi's open-carry gun law is set for today in Hinds County Circuit Court. Hinds County Circuit Judge Winston Kidd will decide whether to extend the injunction against the new law which was supposed to go into effect on July 1st. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith was among those who asked Kidd to block the law, saying it could put law enforcement officers and others in danger. Kidd agreed that the law is too vague.
Half of states balk at Medicaid expansion
It appears Mississippi will join about half the states in not participating in Medicaid expansion during the 2014 calendar year, forfeiting at least one of three years where all health care costs from the expansion will be paid by the federal government. But even though legislative Democrats were unsuccessful in expanding Medicaid during last month's special session, the issue isn't dead for good in Mississippi. During debate in the June 28-29 special session, House Minority Leader Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, said he had been told by some Republican legislators the issue "will be revisited" during the 2014 regular session. Democrats don't plan to let the issue rest.
Gov. Phil Bryant on Bloomberg TV: Obamacare 'going to be a train wreck'
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant appeared on Bloomberg TV's "Capitol Gains" show on Sunday to discuss Obamacare with host Peter Cook. Bryant is one of the Republican governors leading the fight against Medicaid expansion and the health care law. Bryant told Cook that Obamacare "is going to be a train wreck, and I do not want the name of Mississippi emblazoned across that train when it leaves the tracks."
Launching charter school in Mississippi a grueling process
The first public charter school in Mississippi could open in less than two years. But those who want to found one face a grueling process to put together a serious application that must win approval from a seven-member state board charged with reviewing them. "It's crazy hard. It's supposed to be a challenging process. And it's nothing compared to when you've got to start educating kids," Ken Campbell, president of coalition member Black Alliance for Educational Options, told a June 25 gathering sponsored by the coalition and attended by about 100 people interested in beginning a charter school.
Internships under scrutiny: Court addresses working environment, compensation
A recent federal court ruling could greatly influence whether interns in Mississippi and elsewhere in a variety of industries will be paid for work for which they once might not have been compensated. The decision potentially could greatly alter how interns are compensated and what duties they perform. Reports have indicated more than one million college undergraduates work internships nationally each year, with a roughly even split between those who are paid and those who aren't. "There's nothing wrong with unpaid internships. The question is, are (interns) there shadowing (someone), learning, or are they doing something that provides an economic advantage" for the employer, says Tim Threadgill, an employment law attorney with Butler Snow O'Mara Stevens Cannada law firm in Ridgeland.
AP analysis: Mississippi Supreme Court may decide constitutionality of 1994 state law
The Mississippi Supreme Court may decide the constitutionality of a 1994 state law that allows it to find "harmless" errors committed by juries in death penalty cases. Roger Lee Gillett challenged the law in his post-conviction petition that seeks to overturn his death sentence or to get him a new trial. The law was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a Mississippi case in 1990 that state appellate courts can uphold murderers' death sentences, even if their sentencing juries wrongly considered some adverse evidence.
Ole Miss archive preserves the blues
Music fans around the world have marked Aug. 16 as a day of mourning. No doubt most think back to 1977 when Elvis Presley sang his last tune. But a few will have 1938 on their minds. That's when a different American music pioneer died just outside Greenwood. Robert Leroy Johnson was a bluesman who had little commercial success during his lifetime, but his recordings still affect music that's made today. "We have his death certificate," said Greg Johnson (no relation), curator of the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi's J.D. Williams Library. "It's a certified copy. The original is on file in Leflore County."
Chairman Asper resigns from CMR at USM's request
Dr. Vernon Asper is stepping down as Chairman of the Commission on Marine Resources, at the request of the University of Southern Mississippi provost. Asper currently serves as a professor of marine sciences at USM. For the last 19 years, he's also served on the CMR. In a letter to WLOX News, Asper said university leaders became "concerned that my service on the CMR was becoming a liability to the University and it was deemed to be best to separate USM from the DMR as much as possible."
Three new companies call The Accelerator home
The Accelerator -- a 60,000-square-foot incubator that rents space and equipment to fledgling and expanding technology companies -- is now home to three new businesses. GE Aviation, which opened its Ellisville facility in May, recently rented laboratory space in The Accelerator for the purpose of training new employees to make components for jet engines. "The first day we go over safety basics --- all the different hazards associated with working with composites and the personal safety equipment they need to wear," said Steven Whitacre, composites engineer at Mississippi Polymer Institute, which runs The Accelerator.
Southern Miss student turns fruit, vegetables into art
The things you can do with fruits and vegetables. Sylvie Benae turns apples into swans, cucumbers into sharks and even radishes into mice. All it takes are a few garnishing knives purchased at a local retail store -- combined with hours of practice. Oh, and a few soothing words help as well. Benae, who speaks five languages, started fruit carving in 2009 when she was attending college in Tunisia, thanks to a friend's challenge. She's been practicing hard at it ever since -- mostly for fun, even while studying hotel, restaurant and tourism management at the University of Southern Mississippi.
East Mississippi Community College expansion gains support
East Mississippi Community College President Rick Young said Friday he's received verbal commitments from Clay and Kemper counties' representatives to help fund a two-phase, $34 million expansion project. Securing similar commitments from four other area counties is crucial to moving forward with the project, he told officials Friday in Macon, as interest rates could change, resulting in higher debt service payments. EMCC officials say future industrial development in the Golden Triangle will push their student enrollment and workforce training programs to unprecedented levels. In order to meet the challenges of tomorrow, Young says expansion projects must happen today.
Former Jackson district administrator takes leadership role at Hinds Community College
Debra Mays-Jackson is Hinds Community College's new vice president for the Utica Campus, Vicksburg-Warren Campus and Administrative Services, replacing George Barnes. "We are very fortunate to have someone with her background and educational experience," Clyde Muse, Hinds Community College president, said in a news release. "She is uniquely suited to this leadership position at the college and to the duties associated with Hinds Agricultural High School. As an alumnus of the Utica Campus, she fully appreciates the mission of the college and the Utica Campus' special historical significance." Mays-Jackson, a Terry resident, received her doctorate in Education from Mississippi State University.
Alcorn president, scholar named best of HBCUs
Alcorn State University President Christopher Brown and distinguised scholar-in-residence Myrlie Evers-Williams have captured top honors among historically black colleges and universities. Brown was named Male HBCU President of the Year at the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy's third annual HBCU Awards. Evers-Williams, who teaches social justice seminars, advises senior research papers and interacts individually with students, was named Female HBCU Faculty Member of the Year. Brown has set the university's focus on what he calls the four pillars of excellence in the areas of academics, agriculture, athletics and access; energizing the alumni and donor bases; and revitalizing Alcorn's institutional brand within the national higher education landscape.
Company finds niche in moving students
For parents, helping their college-age kids move to campus is anything but a moving experience. A new company launched by two Auburn University graduates aims to ease those parents' pain. Campus Bellhops employs a team of part-time workers who help move students into dorm rooms, apartments or houses. The company operates in nearly 50 college towns in the Southeast including Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Auburn, Huntsville and Mobile.
UGA Alumni Foundation hosts president's reception
The University of Georgia Alumni association is preparing to host a welcome reception for the university's new president, Jere Morehead. School officials say the alumni association's reception is being held Tuesday morning on the north campus. Morehead, the university's 22nd president, replaced former president Michael Adams, who stepped down June 30. Before serving as president, Morehead worked as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.
UGA student seeks $2 million in lawsuit over use of Facebook photo
A University of Georgia student recently filed a $2 million lawsuit against an official at her former high school and the Fayette County School District for using a photograph of her in a bikini without her permission. The lawsuit alleges the photo was stolen from 19-year-old Chelsea Chaney's Facebook page for use in an Internet safety seminar. The now-UGA freshman had posted the photo taken during a family vacation in a semi-private forum of her Facebook page, where only "friends" and "friends of friends" had access to it. The student's attorney, Pete Wellborn, said the lawsuit is significant for the protection of people's privacy.
Legal profession watches Louisiana bar exam closely for failure rates
As wannabe lawyers have for generations, Justin Mannino is approaching July with trepidation as he prepares for the three-day bar exam that he needs to pass in order to practice law in Louisiana. But unlike previous years, law school deans, State Bar of Louisiana officials and the Louisiana Supreme Court justices have joined Mannino and his fellow recent law school graduates in worrying about passing the nine-part examination that begins July 22. The elite of the legal profession hope the results of this administration of the recently revamped test will show if the passing scores required are too high, or if some other reason accounts for higher than usual failure rates. The high court made a number of changes to the exam, including adding multiple choice questions and giving greater weight to questions unique to Louisiana law.
Texas A&M students from Egypt lending voices to conflict in homeland
A world apart from his home in Alexandria, Egypt, Ahmad Morsy said he wants nothing more than to be on the streets in the midst of upheaval, fighting for his rights. Morsy is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M and chair of the Egyptian Student Association. He came to Texas A&M six months ago after working as a teaching assistant at Alexandria University in Egypt. "I know one person who was killed, just standing in the streets," Morsy said. "I don't know him very well, but I know his name, and I know his face." Andrew Natsios, an executive professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, said he was "alarmed" when the Muslim Brotherhood took control of the Egyptian government.
Search for U. of Missouri chancellor will move quickly
Since University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton announced his retirement plans last month, the UM System has laid out an aggressive timetable to find a successor. During a news conference after Deaton's announcement, UM System President Tim Wolfe said he hoped to have a new chancellor in place by the time Deaton steps down Nov. 15. That date is just more than four months away. John Fougere, a spokesman for the UM System, said although the timetable for the search might seem short, it is reasonable given the market and the attractiveness of MU for candidates.
Princeton's Royalty Windfall Leads to Challenge of Its Tax-Exempt Status
Hundreds of millions of dollars in patent royalties being paid to Princeton University and an emeritus professor for a chemistry-invention-turned-anticancer-drug could be the keystone of a new challenge to the university's exemption from property taxes, thanks to a ruling last month by a Tax Court of New Jersey judge. While Princeton officials say that losing tax-exempt status is an unlikely outcome, it wouldn't be the first time a university's research and commercialization activities had cost an academic institution its legal exemption. Back in 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that major research universities, which conduct research to "increase the status of the institution and lure lucrative research grants, students, and faculty," could not claim a "research exemption" as a defense against charges of patent infringement. And lawyers who specialize in higher-education tax-exemption issues say that universities should get used to challenges like those.
Lawsuit filed against labs founded by UT-Austin prof raises questions of conflict of interest, academic freedom
On its face, Eastman Chemical's lawsuit against two small Texas labs that have said its plastics may be unsafe for consumption looks like a David and Goliath kind of fight (in fact, that's how the labs are describing it). Corporate giant attempts to silence scientists -- including a professor at the University of Texas at Austin -- from publicizing research that runs counter to its commercial interests. But the case is also more nuanced, with both sides potentially having a financial stake in the outcome. That's given it unusual sticking power in a legal system that typically leaves questions of science to the scientists, and raised questions about the intersection of academic freedom and private enterprise.
Oregon Looks at Way to Attend College Now and Repay State Later
Going to college can seem like a choice between impossibly high payments while in school or a crushing debt load for years afterward, but one state is experimenting with a third way. This week, the Oregon Legislature approved a plan that could allow students to attend state colleges without paying tuition or taking out traditional loans. Instead, they would commit a small percentage of their future incomes to repaying the state; those who earn very little would pay very little. The proposal faces a series of procedural and practical hurdles and will not go into effect for at least a few years, but it could point to a new direction in the long-running debate over how to cope with the rising cost of higher education.
Income growth needs to match the optimism
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "Mississippi's eight public universities confirmed last week that tuition costs will rise for the fall 2013 semester -- not a surprise in light of steadily climbing costs in recent years, but a situation that higher education officials admit places a heavier burden on students, parents and others who pay the bills. ...Universities say they need more money to increase faculty salaries, cover operating costs and make up for cuts to state aid during the recession -- and that's correct. 'We need the tuition increase to try to make up ground lost over the last five years,' said MSU spokesman Sid Salter."
Our view: Starkville fires most competent employee
The Dispatch editorializes: "The Flat Earth Consul, otherwise known as the Starkville Board of Aldermen, held its first official meeting Tuesday and immediately began its War on Competence, voting 5-2 to fire Lynn Spruill as the city's chief administrative officer. Although mayor Parker Wiseman has vowed to veto the move, it seems likely that there are enough votes to override the veto and remove the most knowledgeable person in city government from her position. ... Now, it is up to the citizens to speak out, not only in support of Spruill, but to demand that the city business is done in an open and honest manner. To fail to speak now is to submit to four years of political intrigue and petty vendettas that create a climate where the public good is secondary to the childish and self-serving goal of a board whose conduct is an embarrassment to the city."
Aldermen owe public an explanation
The Starkville Daily News editorializes: "The new Starkville Board of Aldermen certainly made its mark in its first meeting on Tuesday, terminating Lynn Spruill after her eight years of service as the city's chief administrative officer In the 5-2 decision, led by Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver -- one of three carryovers from the former board -- the board publicly eviscerated Spruill, adding to its requirements that she 'have her desk cleaned out by 5 p.m.' on Wednesday. Only Aldermen Jason Walker and Scott Maynard, of Wards 4 and 5, respectively, dissented."
Open-carry law is a solution in search of a problem | Michael Newsom (Opinion)
The Sun Herald's Michael Newsom writes: "I'm all for the right to bear arms, but there should have been more debate at the Capitol on a bill that says you no longer have to conceal a 'concealed weapon.' Thinking about how to explain an unconcealed weapon is actually a concealed weapon under the new law makes my head hurt. ...Mississippi lawmakers saw this National Rifle Association supported bill as an opportunity to thumb their noses at Obama and gun-control advocates. That was all that mattered. There was no reason to think about unintended consequences and figure out exactly what the law did."
Open carry already lawful | Geoff Pender (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Geoff Pender writes: "When people seek to limit gun rights, they run into the same old pesky problem: Our founding fathers, in America and in Mississippi, felt pretty strongly about the right to keep -- and bear -- arms, and they put it in writing, in constitutions. The furor over state House Bill 2 has been ridiculous, and it's misplaced."
Hood's unconcealed guns
Consultant and columnist Brian Perry writes: "Governing Magazine's recent profile of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, 'The Last Democrat in Dixie,' describes the independent appeal of Hood in a Republican dominated state. The magazine quotes House Democratic Minority Leader Bobby Moak saying Hood 'takes the right stance on God and guns.' ...Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commonly said, 'good policy makes good politics.' For Hood, protecting gun rights in Mississippi is both, and demonstrates why he is the 'last Democrat in Dixie.'"
Reeves, Gunn have bridge to build | Sam R. Hall (Opinion)
The Clarion-Ledger's Sam R. Hall writes: "My initial reaction to the Senate pulling back the Medicaid reauthorization bill, adding crucial technical amendments outside the expressed special session call by the governor and then going home was that Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves was essentially doing an end-run around the governor with a one-finger salute, to boot. I still maintain it was an end-run around the governor's not expanding the special session call, but now I believe the finger was aimed at House Speaker Philip Gunn instead of Gov. Phil Bryant."
Voting Rights Act wasn't for guaranteed outcomes
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "...the reality of Mississippi politics likewise contradicts the claim that racial discrimination will increase in the South because of the lack of Section 5. One needs look no farther than my hometown of Philadelphia, Miss. ...Philadelphia -- now one of Mississippi's most diverse and progressive towns -- still has a slight white majority but has just re-elected African-American Mayor James Young to a second term. ...At American Legion Boys State earlier this year, I watched a vast white majority of Mississippi young men elect a black young man their governor after he stood in the arena and successfully competed for the job. That's Mississippi's future and it looks both fair and bright and it doesn't require federal oversight."

Mississippi State's Dan Mullen becomes veteran at Media Day
When Mississippi State University coach Dan Mullen arrives at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., in nine days for Southeastern Conference media days, he'll have an unfamiliar feeling. Mullen will grouped with five other programs (Texas A&M University, Auburn University, University of Arkansas, University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee) and the Bulldogs fifth-year leader will be the longest tenured coach at the event on that day. "I think there's a lot less people walking on eggshells even though I like to keep everybody on edge a little bit around the facility and all that," Mullen said in March during spring practice. "Everybody involved in the program, that they know with the retention we've had there is a plan in place. As long as we are doing the best we can to follow that plan."
Bulldog days of Dier: Retiring MSU publicist ready to become a fan
It has been a long time since Joe Dier could just be a fan After more than 30 years, Dier is retiring from Mississippi State media relations in the athletic department. "Joe Dier is one of those guys that becomes an institution," MSU senior associate athletic director of administration Mike Nemeth said. "He's been here as long as I have. He was always so willing to help. When I oversaw the media relations operations, the response I always got on Joe Dier from the media was that he would do whatever he could to help."
Student-athletes drive Carr: MSU senior associate AD enjoys times in department
Ann Carr had a different view of what her future was supposed to be like. The former Mississippi State women's basketball player came to Starkville with being a teacher in mind. After being a student athlete for four years at MSU, her plans changed. She is now a senior associate athletic director at Mississippi State.
Brett in comfortable position
In 2001, Bracky Brett took a job at a small 1A high school just north of Columbus. Brett was hired by Hamilton High School to be the assistant principal, athletic director and head football coach. After spending many years as an assistant coach, including an eight year stint at Starkville High School from 1992-2000, Brett found what he describes as the best job he has ever had. Brett gave up football coaching to work for Mississippi State University in the compliance office.
Mississippi State's Gavin Ware working hard to get in better shape
As sweat poured down the face of his face, Mississippi State center Gavin Ware said his goal was to get himself in the best shape of his life. For someone who entered the Mississippi State University men's basketball team's training camp at 290 pounds, Ware's statement this month showed he has learned he needs to be in shape before the start of the season to become the quality front-court player the Bulldogs need. "Gavin is working harder than he ever has in his entire life, and he's not having to be coached or pushed to do it," MSU men's basketball trainer Richard Atkins said. "He got on the treadmill for an hour after the workout, and he wouldn't have done that last year. It takes a year for freshman to understand how their bodies work and how to get better."
Seeing success: MSU is headed in right direction
Mississippi State athletics are on the rise, if the past year's success is any indication. Most of MSU 15 sports teams saw a good bit of success in the 2012-13 sports year. Several teams had their best teams ever. MSU put 10 of its teams into the postseason.
MSU-bound lineman found dead at home
A offensive lineman from Tennessee who had planned to walk on at Mississippi State was found dead at his home on Thursday. The Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn., reported that Mitchell Maxwell had planned to move to the MSU campus on Monday. Maxwell, 18, had beed working this summer as a lifeguard. The cause of his death was not known.
Rebels lineman dies in car wreck
Ole Miss offensive lineman Park Stevens was killed in a car wreck Wednesday afternoon. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze confirmed Stevens' death on Twitter shortly after 8 p.m. Later Freeze issued a statement through the school's media relations staff. "Our team is hurting tonight with the loss of Park," he said. "He was a tremendous young man that was loved by his teammates and coaches, and Rebel Nation will never forget him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stevens' family, his frirends, our team and all those he touched during his life." A native of Columbus, Stevens, a sophomore, played at New Hope High School and East Central Community College before arriving at Ole Miss.
Saban piece to appear on '60 Minutes' in the fall
The CBS Network's primetime television news program, "60 Mintues," plans to air a feature on University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban in the fall, according to a producer for the program. Responding to a question about Saban on Twitter that asked if "60 Minutes" ever profiled Saban, Pete Radovich wrote, "It's been in the works for a while. Will air in the fall." It won't be the first time the four-time national championship winning coach has been on the show.
Hernandez Among Many Who Found Trouble at Florida in the Meyer Years
As the University of Florida dominated college football for the better half of a decade under Coach Urban Meyer, the Gators accumulated numbers -- of victories and accolades and championships -- at dizzying rates. In six seasons, they won 65 games, two Southeastern Conference championships and two national titles. In recent years, though, another number has been affixed to the Meyer era. That number is 31, as in, at least 31 arrests of Florida's football players from 2005 to 2010. The unsavory underbelly of the Gators' football dominance was recently highlighted when Aaron Hernandez, a starting tight end on the 2008 national championship team who later played for the New England Patriots, was accused by authorities of committing an execution-style murder in Massachusetts. While at Florida, Hernandez had run-ins with the police in Gainesville.
UK basketball notebook: Renovated Rupp comes as too big a cost for one fan
For Jeanette Hislope, a proposed renovation of Rupp Arena that includes private suites, loge boxes and a members-only lounge is a desecration. It tears apart the Kentucky basketball family. So to read last week about a survey asking fans if they'd buy suites, exclusive club memberships and other amenities to help pay for a re-invention of Rupp Arena disturbed Hislope's sense of right and wrong. "I sat here and cried," she said in a telephone conversation Friday. Hislope spoke of a UK fan base united behind its team. Rich and not-so rich. Black and white. Men and women. Boys and girls. The proposed renovation of Rupp Arena brings home what Harvard profession Michael Sandel calls the "skyboxification of American life." People go their separate ways depending on what they can afford: Different schools, different jobs, different lives.
Razorback Coach Bret Bielema's Wisconsin Home Still For Sale
University of Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema is still looking to unload his 6,000-plus-SF home in Wisconsin. Bielema's asking price is $995,000 for the four-bedroom, seven-bath property in a suburb of Madison, Wis. Bielema, who was hired at the University of Arkansas from the University of Wisconsin in December, listed the house for sale in February. Even with that home on the market, Bielema and his wife, Jen, found a place to live in Fayetteville. They bought a $1.5 million home in Bridgewater Estates this spring. Neighbors include Razorback basketball coach Mike Anderson and baseball coach Dave Van Horn.
Auburn's greatest receiver Terry Beasley paid a price for hall of fame career
The man in the grainy black-and-white photo is comatose dead weight. His mouth is gaped, jaw relaxed in lifeless stupor. Teeth are jarred loose. Blood drains from his nose. Heels drag as two comrades tug under his shoulders. He looks like a combat casualty being removed from the battlefield. Only this isn't war. It's the 1970 Iron Bowl, and the gladiator in the ring is Terry Beasley. The greatest wide receiver in Auburn history is unconscious after taking a brain-smashing hit in the middle of the field. He can't remember the moment. The concussion erased his memory like a damaged hard drive. The snapshot defined Beasley's career almost as much as the blind toughness that followed. He also paid a price. With each concussion, punishment piled up. Most days, Beasley has a seizure. Most weeks, he visits the emergency room. This is his reality. The player became a legend. He retired to live in perpetual pain.
At Nebraska's Stadium, Researchers Will Take Aim at Making Sports Safer
If all goes according to Dennis Molfese's plan, the day is coming when a football player who takes a hit to the head will go to the sideline, take off his helmet and slip on an electrode-covered mesh cap. The team's medical staff will analyze the player's brain waves and determine within minutes whether he can safely return to the game or whether he has sustained a concussion, and if so, how severe. Putting the finishing touches on that device is among the projects planned in the University of Nebraska's Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, which opens this month in Memorial Stadium's expanded east side.

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