Tuesday, September 17, 2013  SUBSCRIBE   
Police find attempted abduction a false report
Mississippi State University Police Department deemed last week's reported abduction on MSU's campus a hoax, according to a news release. Sid Salter, director of University Relations, said the student who filed the false report has caused damage to not only her own reputation, but the university's reputation as well. "This is unfortunate for the student, and even more so unfortunate for the university because the harm done by these kinds of senseless false claims does damage to the university that is incredibly difficult to repair," Salter said.
MSU 'Abduction' a Hoax
A Mississippi State University Police Department investigation determined a female student's claim that she was the victim of a Sept. 11 abduction attempt was a hoax. "When interviewed, the student recanted her account of her initial report to the MSU Police Department," said MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois. He said the student faces criminal charges for filing a false report. "Student safety is a serious issue and is one of our university's top priorities," Bourgeois said. "We do, however, hope that students will be vigilant in being aware of their surroundings and maintaining normal cautions against any threats to their personal safety."
School officials say abduction claim was false
Mississippi State University officials say a student's claim she was the victim of an attempted abduction was a hoax. MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois says an investigation by University police into the September 11th incident lead to the determination it was not true. Bourgeois reminds students about safety measures in place at the school, including emergency phone boxes and the availability of Bully Patrol escorts. He also encourages students who must be out at night to have a friend with them if possible.
MSU student abduction attempt determined a hoax
A Mississippi State University Police Department Investigation determined a female student's claim that she was the victim of a Sept. 11 abduction attempt was a hoax. "When interviewed, the student recanted her account of her initial report to the MSU Police Department," said MSU Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois. He said the student faces criminal charges for filing a false report.
Dining facility development delayed, tennis court building progresses
Construction on the "Fresh Food Company" dining facility planned to be built behind Cresswell has been delayed due to cost quotes received from several general contractors that were higher than the officials at Mississippi State University anticipated. Bill Broyles, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and manager of the project, said officials began to work with the architects to revise the plans in order to lower the overall cost of the facility. "We received cost quotes from several general contractors earlier this year. Unfortunately, the quotes were higher than we had anticipated, and we did not have a sufficient budget to cover these higher costs," Broyles said. "We are in final stages now in this redesign and hope to have it back out for bids before the end of the fall semester."
Bioengineering: Panda poop power
Giant pandas are well known for being rather different from other bears. Having a diet composed almost entirely of bamboo is one of the things that sets them apart. It is also what attracted the interest of Ashli Brown of Mississippi State University, in a search for more efficient ways to make biofuel.
Zoo pandas help biofuel researchers
The giant pandas at the Memphis Zoo are attracting attention from onlookers and researchers. Ya Ya and Le Le have become 1 of the most popular attractions for visitors of the zoo, but they are getting attention from biofuel researchers at Mississippi State University. The Commercial Appeal reports researchers are studying how bacteria helps the pandas digest bamboo plants, which have tough cellulose. They say they hope to find a better mechanism for processing plant materials to produce biofuels, like ethanol, without the use of edible corn or soybeans.
Cotton Mill Project Update
Now that funding is secured, construction on the Cotton Mill project could start in the next several weeks. Trustmark Bank committed the money needed to bankroll the $50-plus million project. The Starkville Planning and Zoning Board has approved the plan for the site and will present its report to the Starkville mayor and board of alderman Tuesday night for approval. Friday, all documents must be agreed upon and submitted to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
Oktibbeha supervisors eye new dates for Unity Park unveiling
Unity Park plaques honoring civil rights champions could remain covered until mid- to late-October. Supervisors last week set tentative dates -- Oct. 19 and 26 -- as potential days to hold a dedication ceremony for the park next to Mugshots after the county board previously hoped to unveil it in August. Four engraved plaques honoring national civil rights figures and another displaying a timeline of important local dates in the fight for equality have remained covered by tarps since the project's completion. Unity Park also contains two blank plaques. A third plaque honoring the 1963 "Game of Change" between Mississippi State University and Chicago's Loyola University was suggested as a future construction project.
Final budget on board agenda; mayor, board raises also on tap
A long city budget process for fiscal year 2014 that's seen plenty of discussion, and at least one major adjustment, could end this evening as Starkville's Board of Aldermen considers a final draft of its proposed budget. The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
2-percent monies will not support Parks' budget increase
Previous discussion about how to fund a $96,000 Starkville Parks Commission budget increase seems moot as aldermen are expected to approve funding which does not utilize 2-percent food and beverage taxes. Two city aldermen confirmed Sunday that the board's original funding plan -- increase SPC's operating budget by $8,000 per month -- will be implemented in the city's budget Tuesday. Aldermen previously suggested splitting the increase between the general fund ($72,000) and 2-percent food and beverage collections ($24,000), but officials say "political will" amongst board members is declining.
Commission to look at school configuration
The Commission on Consolidated Starkville School District Structure will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Greensboro Center to discuss possible school configurations in the future consolidated district. "One of the things we asked the districts to look at is models that they could propose for the various schools that could be involved in the effort," said Commission Chairman Larry Drawdy. "In other words, we asked them to look at what grade configurations could be used in the schools, if they'll have the same number or a different number (of schools)."
Reeves probes expenses as Mississippi budget hearings begin
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves agreed Monday that the annual Mississippi picnic in Central Park in New York is a great event, but he still wanted to know details of the expenses incurred by Mississippi taxpayers for it. Reeves, who is presiding this year over the Legislative Budget Committee as it hears from agency heads before putting together a budget proposal for the 2014 session, had questions Monday of numerous agencies about travel and other expenses. Reeves asked Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Chistensen about the need to send 15 employees to the annual June event in Central Park at a cost of about $3,000 each. Christensen said the event gives the MDA an opportunity to highlight Mississippi to a diverse and powerful group of people. "It is a great opportunity to combine economic development and tourism," Christensen said. Reeves also asked Christensen about other travel expenditures for the agency.
Mississippi legislative leaders examine budget requests
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday he wants to know why 15 state economic development employees spent more than $40,000 to participate in this summer's Mississippi Picnic in New York's Central Park. Reeves questioned Mississippi Development Agency Executive Director Brent Christensen over how he spends state tax dollars in flying around the world to recruit industry and promote tourism for Mississippi. The hard questions came at the conclusion of the first day of the State Legislature's annual Joint Legislative Budget Committee meetings, four days of give-and-take between state agency heads and legislative budget leaders. Christensen presented a budget request of $22.2 million, about a 3 percent increase over the current year's spending. The new money would go toward opening an office in Korea.
Mississippi officials say unspent Katrina money targeted
Mississippi officials said millions of dollars in federal aid still unspent years after Hurricane Katrina doesn't spell trouble with the recovery effort, disputing a watchdog report that found jobs' creation was still lagging at the Port of Gulfport, among other things. Reacting to an Associated Press examination of the $847 million remaining in the Katrina grant fund and troubles with the massive building project at the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi Development Authority officials said Monday that most spending from the $5.5 billion set aside for Mississippi by Congress has been successful. Manning McPhillips, MDA's chief administrative officer, said most of the unspent money is allocated to specific projects, and is not a pool of free cash. "They're not in search of a use," he said of the funds.
Lawmakers threaten to step in if BlueCross BlueShield, HMA can't break impasse
Testimony got emotional and heated at a legislative hearing Monday on the impasse between BlueCross BlueShield and the company that runs 10 of Mississippi's hospitals. Lawmakers said they might step in if the insurer and hospital company can't reach an agreement. Several doctors and an executive with the University of Mississippi Medical Center testified to a joint meeting of the House and Senate insurance committees that BCBS' hold on the health insurance market is threatening patient care and access to care and taking treatment decisions away from doctors. The meeting was packed, standing room only, mostly with doctors and lobbyists.
State board narrows finalists for state superintendent
The Mississippi Board of Education will interview five candidates for state superintendent of education next week. The new superintendent will replace Tom Burnham, who retired in July 2012. Lynn House has served as interim state superintendent since then. The names of the finalists have not been publicly released. The board will conduct interviews on Tuesday, Sept. 24 and a possible second round the next day. It is expected to name the new superintendent in October. "I think the process has gone very well, and the Board was pleased with the candidates," Board Vice Chariman Hal Gage said in a press release from the state department of education. "Ray and Associates brought us a strong group of candidates, and I'm looking forward to the interviews."
Thad Cochran Twitter hacked
It seems even senators are not immune to Twitter hacks. On Monday night, the account of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) tweeted out what appeared to be a junk link, for losing weight. "Quickly burn off 2+ inches of stomach fat while losing up to 30 lbs of fat in less than 28 days with [link redacted]" Cochran tweeted. A spokesman for the senator said they regretted the inconvenience and hoped the issue had been resolved. Followers quickly seized on the tweet, warning the senator his account was compromised and cracking some jokes.
Construction of Mississippi museums may be just few weeks away
The State of Mississippi is scheduled to select a general contractor Sept. 26 for phase one of a pair of museums whose construction is projected to run $80 million. The contract award -- which could go as high as $40 million -- is a prelude to an Oct. 24 groundbreaking for the long-awaited Mississippi Museum of History and the accompanying Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. The first phase gets the shell built and completion of exterior landscaping for the complex to be built between North and Jefferson streets, said Kevin Upchurch, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration, the state agency overseeing the bidding as well as the upcoming construction.
Navy Yard area reopens as investigators search for clues to massacre
Essential personnel were allowed to return to the Washington Navy Yard on Tuesday, and most streets in the area were reopened to traffic, as investigators continued to search for clues as to why a former Navy reservist entered the base with a shotgun Monday and killed a dozen people before dying in a gun battle with police. The FBI identified the shooter as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, who had been hired by a private contractor to do a project at the Navy Yard and had a security clearance and a valid military identification card, known as a common access card, that allows unfettered access into most facilities. In 2011, Alexis received a general discharge from the Navy Reserve, a designation that usually signals a problem in his record.
Navy family to rally after 'horrific blow,' Mabus vows
Saying the service had suffered a "horrific blow," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Monday vowed Navy personnel would rally as a family from the attack at one of the Navy's oldest and most storied bases. Addressing reporters at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where three of the Navy Yard shooting victims were being treated, Mr. Mabus announced that he had immediately conferred "designee status" on injured personnel, allowing the wounded civilian employees access to medical and dental care from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other military medical facilities. "The Navy family today suffered a horrific attack -- and we are a family," he said. "The civilians that work in the Navy and do the critical work that has to be done suffered just a stunning and horrific blow today."
Clash Over Nutrition Program Expected to Focus on Who Deserves Food Aid
Lawmakers can be expected to engage in a battle of images over deserving and undeserving food aid recipients when the revised nutrition title of the House farm bill comes to the floor, perhaps as soon as this week. Republicans will call for tightening work requirements to reduce the number of jobless, able-bodied people relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for help with food. Democrats will argue that the bill includes financial incentives for states, which administer SNAP, to move people out of the program without guarantees of continued employment.
American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?
When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world. It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.
Drug-resistant bacteria pose potential catastrophe, CDC warns
The nation faces "potentially catastrophic consequences" if it doesn't act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, which kills an estimated 23,000 Americans each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday. In a 114-page report, the agency detailed for the first time nearly two dozen antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are causing the most harm to humans -- ranking the threat of each as "urgent," "serious" or "concerning." Should the trend continue unabated, some infections could become essentially untreatable. "If we're not careful, the medicine chest will be empty when we go there to look for a life-saving antibiotic," CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden told reporters.
Applications being accepted for new SMART rebate program
Applications are now being accepted for the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through Business Act (SMART Business Act) rebate program. The SMART Business Act was adopted during the 2013 Legislative Session to stimulate private investment in research and development through partnerships with Mississippi Public Universities; develop the competitiveness of Mississippi companies; and improve the economy of Mississippi. The rebate program will be managed by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. Approved applicants incurring qualified research costs under a new research agreement with a Mississippi public university are eligible for a rebate equal to 25 percent of the investor's qualified research costs, not to exceed $1 million. The first round of applications will be accepted through Nov.7.
Ole Miss student recovering from surgery after Austin altercation
A University of Mississippi senior continues to recover today from injuries suffered in an early Saturday altercation before the Ole Miss-Texas football game. Carson Otter of Bloomington, Ind., apparently became separated from friends in the Texas capital about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and reportedly was pushed down onto a street curb by someone he met. The Austin American-Statesman reports that the assault occurred in downtown Austin, where police say a man, a passenger in a four-door silver car, left the vehicle and punched Otter, who fell to the ground and hit his head. A police spokeswoman said there have been no arrests in connection with the incident and police are still searching for a suspect.
Ole Miss student, in Texas for game, suffers brain injury after punch
Ole Miss student Carson Otter went to Austin for the Ole Miss football game this weekend and is now in a Texas hospital with life-threatening injuries. Officials with the Austin Police Department said Otter was walking in downtown Austin Saturday morning around 2 a.m. Witnesses say the student exchanged words with occupants of a passing vehicle. Someone in the vehicle got out and punched Otter, who then fell to the ground. An ambulance transported Otter to a nearby hospital, where he is being treated for a brain injury. The case is under investigation. Otter, a Bloomington, Ind., native, is a junior at the University of Mississippi majoring in business. "We know that he was hospitalized in Texas. We've spoken to his parents, and they've asked for prayers," said Sparky Reardon, Ole Miss dean of students.
U. of Alabama orders diversity in sororities
The University of Alabama announced Monday that it is mandating a continuous open bid process for its sororities in an effort to increase diversity following reports by The Crimson White -- UA's student newspaper -- last week that two black students were denied bids to traditionally white sororities because of their race. The continuous open bidding process, which will begin immediately, allows the sororities to add new members outside of the formal recruitment process during the regular academic year, said UA Media Relations Director Cathy Andreen. The process traditionally allows sororities that have not reached their total chapter size during formal recruitment to pledge additional members. UA President Judy Bonner mandated the open bid process, following a closed door meeting with sorority advisers on Sunday, Andreen said.
U. of Alabama mandates continuous open bidding in Panhellenic sororities
University of Alabama President Judy Bonner is mandating continuous open bidding in Panhellenic sororities following a closed doors meeting with sorority advisers Sunday night. Sororities were informed of the move Sunday night and Monday, which Bonner said is being mandated to "remove barriers in order to increase diversity in our sororities." Continuous open bidding, which is informally referred to as "snap" bidding, is an open bidding process in which sororities can extend bids to any woman at any time. Sorority members wishing to offer snap bids and students wishing to accept them do not have to go through the formal recruitment process. For Ross Green, a UA student, Bonner's decision to open bidding is a necessary step but it doesn't address the bigger issues at hand. "We see a need for the administration to come out and make a statement that racism is not tolerated on our campus," he said.
U. of Alabama students, Greek and independent, say it's time for integration of sororities
Some University of Alabama students, Greek and independent, say the systemic racial segregation in the school's sororities has to end, and because of the national attention being focused on the Capstone in recent weeks, it actually might. Yardena Wolf, a sorority woman at UA, said the segregation was being perpetuated by a very small group of people, and it was leaving a very large black mark on the university's campus. "It's wrong, that's all I can say," Wolf said. "It's bigger than me or any girl on campus, it's bigger than any sorority, it's bigger than the whole university." Wolf said Greek segregation combined with allegations of voter fraud in sororities and fraternities in Tuscaloosa's municipal elections has put the university's public image in trouble.
Alabama president tells sororities they must create new chance for black women to rush
Fifty years after the notorious "stand in the schoolhouse door" to keep black students out of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the president of the institution is trying to get sororities to open their doors. With the university facing nationwide criticism for maintaining a segregated Greek system, President Judy Bonner met with the leaders of the various chapters, and has ordered them to all use a rush system that could allow them to quickly admit some black members, a spokeswoman confirmed Monday night. It is not clear that everyone at Alabama agrees that there is a need for change. Comments posted on the letter from concerned students and faculty members include one saying that sororities were rejecting black women for their "culture," not their race.
Auburn University aviation receives FAA flight time exemption
Auburn University's aviation programs became the sixth in the nation to receive a Federal Aviation Administration exemption, creating a lower required flight time requirement for aviation graduates. Aviation students in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business are now eligible to earn an Airline Transport Pilot certification with as few as 1,000 flying hours instead of the typically required 1,500 hours. Dale Watson, director of flight education at Auburn, said this is an opportunity for graduates of either the aviation management program or the professional flight management program to be hired sooner than they would without the exemption.
Judge will get LSU president search records
After four months in contempt of court, LSU's Board of Supervisors has agreed to turn over records of its secret presidential search to a state judge who earlier this year declared the information public and ordered it released to The Advocate, attorneys for the newspaper and the school told the judge Monday. LSU Board of Supervisors attorney Jimmy Faircloth and Lori Mince, who represents The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, said LSU will file the documents under seal with District Judge Janice Clark as part of a joint agreement and stipulation signed by the parties Monday afternoon. But it could be months before the contents are made public, depending on how higher courts rule, the attorneys noted.
LSU could discipline fraternity over Kent State sign
An LSU fraternity that displayed a banner mocking the 1970 fatal shootings of Kent State college students could face disciplinary action from the university, System President and Baton Rouge Chancellor King Alexander said Monday. But the students could have an ally on their side in the form of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, whose executive director said any talk of punishing the students would be tantamount to violating their constitutionally protected free speech. On Saturday, students in the Zeta Zeta chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity hung a sign from their fraternity house that read: "Getting Massacred Is Nothing New To Kent St.," referencing what has become known as the Kent State Massacre.
No plans to jump-start U. of Tennessee fracking project
University of Tennessee officials said Friday that they have no immediate plans to reopen bidding for natural gas drilling on university land, but they refused to rule out the possibility in the future should the "public need" arise. Kevin Hoyt, director of the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, and Bill Brown, dean of UT AgResearch, defended the scientific merits of a project that would have allowed "fracking" in a university forest on the Cumberland Plateau. But Hoyt and Brown added they did not plan to bend from the university's terms, which included upfront cash payments, royalties and a lead role in research efforts. They said plans to discuss the project at the UT Board of Trustees meeting in October had been scrubbed.
U. of Florida libraries to receive more than $300,000 for newspaper digitization
The jobs of Florida historians and genealogists will soon be much easier, thanks to a recent grant for the University of Florida libraries. In August, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced it would be awarding $325,000 to the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, a joint project between the Smathers Libraries and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The project, which is part of the larger National Digital Newspaper Program, aims to create digital archives of Florida and Puerto Rican newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. "We're really excited to get started," said project director Patrick Reakes. "We have a very large newspaper collection here, so it's a logical match."
Texas A&M breaks fundraising record with $740 million in donations
Aggies on Monday got a pick-me-up on the heels of a football defeat. Texas A&M University announced that it took in a record-breaking $740 million in donations and pledges last fiscal year. The amount is nearly $300 million higher than A&M's previous top year, and officials boast it is the highest amount ever raised by a Texas university. The amount dwarfs the preliminary $453 million reported by the University of Texas during the same period, the previous best in the state. A&M System Chancellor John Sharp made the A&M announcement in an email to donors on Saturday. He attributed the success to the university's move from the Big XII to the Southeastern Conference and a government contract to develop vaccines in College Station. "Everything about A&M is hitting exactly at the right time and people want to be part of a winning program and, right now, A&M is winning with faculty and students and winning in football," Sharp said.
U. of Arkansas: Field Trips to Crystal Bridges Increase Students' Critical Thinking
A study by the University of Arkansas of K-12 students who went on field trips to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art shows that children who visited the museum had improved critical thinking skills. The university and the museum in Bentonville announced Monday that the study results are being published in the journal Education Next. The museum says the study illustrates the value of field trips to cultural institutions at a time when budget pressures make it easy for school districts to cut field trips.
Students Accused of Cheating Return Awkwardly to a Changed Harvard
Dozens of Harvard students who were forced to take a year off in the university's worst cheating scandal in memory are returning this month to some painful moments on a campus that has been changed by their actions. Students in the leafy, brick-walled quads describe stilted encounters with those returning and the need to suppress questions like "Where have you been?" At the administration's prodding, professors have become much more explicit about laying down ethical standards for their classes, and presentations on cheating were added to freshman orientation, part of a broader move to give students more reminders about academic integrity. The university is also weighing the creation of an honor code, and a new panel to handle charges of academic dishonesty.
OUR OPINION: Help education recover the years of lost funds
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "Consequences of Mississippi's avoiding fully funding its basic education needs become more serious with every year of delay and the erosion caused by inflation and rising costs. The question that's already pressing in the earliest stages of the budgeting process for 2015 (budget year 2014 started July 1) is what, if anything, legislators, beginning with the leadership, will do to close the gaps between what's required in law and what's been committed, which is $290 million less than full funding this year under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula. ...The rank and file of public school supporters can play an important role in raising education funding's profile in the 2014 session, not by raising taxes but by pressing their individual legislators to respond to the clearly stated needs of every public school district rather than a blanket leadership mandate from either party."
CHARLIE MITCHELL: Want to destroy college athletics? Then start paying the athletes
Longtime Mississippi journalist Charlie Mitchell writes: "'It's Time To Pay College Athletes,' TIME magazine declares on its cover this week. Here's another statement: 'It's Time To End Intercollegiate Sports.' Think about it. The two sound different. Fundamentally, though, they're the same."
SID SALTER: On Capitol Hill, Republicans are running out of fences to straddle
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "The argument has long been proffered that opposition to Medicaid expansion in a Mississippi political game changer, one that could swing Mississippi from Republican dominance in state government -- Governor's Mansion, House and Senate control -- and return the state's Democrats to power. Despite the political volatility of the Medicaid issue in the poorest state in the union, that argument remains wishful Democratic Party thinking. Medicaid expansion isn't a strong enough issue to offset other fundamental public policy divides over taxation and social issues that the current majority of Mississippians have simply refused to ignore. ...But on Capitol Hill and in national politics, Republicans are increasingly running out of fences to straddle on issues that could decide Republican primary contest and the outcome of presidential elections."

Mississippi State QB Russell will get another checkup
Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell may be re-evaluated today following a concussion suffered on Aug. 31. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said the school will conduct another test either today or later in the week on Russell, the team's opening-day starter at quarterback. But if Russell is cleared, it doesn't mean he'll start.
Bulldogs leery about Trojans
The Bulldogs will have no time to lick their wounds following their 24-20 loss to Auburn. Mississippi State has a tough test on the horizon with Troy coming to town on Saturday. Head coach Dan Mullen found out all too well what a formidable opponent the Trojans were a year ago, escaping with a 30-24 win on the road. Troy rolled up 572 yards in the game with quarterback Corey Robinson throwing for 343 yards and two interceptions. "We gave up an enormous amount of yards to them last year," Mullen said. "But the positive to that is our guys will come into the game knowing what to expect from that type of team even though not many of them played a lot of reps in that game."
Mullen wants Bulldogs to be 'upset' with losses
Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen doesn't like to lose. After Saturday's 24-20 loss to the Auburn Tigers, he was upset. His players were also upset. "The attitude in the locker room after the game (was) I was extremely upset after the game, our players were extremely upset after the game, and I think that's a good thing," Mullen said during his Monday press conference. "For what happened, I liked the look, the emotion and the feeling the guys had. That's the response I wanted from them if we were put in that situation."
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen on Auburn loss: 'There were a lot of guys that were devastated'
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said Monday not only was he upset in the aftermath of the Bulldogs' last-second 24-20 loss to Auburn, his players were "devastated." "I was extremely upset after the game. Our players were extremely upset after game," Mullen said during his press conference. But he said the margin of error, especially on the road in the SEC, is slim. "You can see how difficult it is to play on the road in the SEC," Mullen said. "You look at the margin of error in last week's game. You're looking at one play in about 170. One play could have swung the result of that game either way." He liked the way the guys responded.
Mississippi State going for it more on fourth down
Meet Dan Mullen -- Mississippi State's fourth-down gambler. The Bulldogs' fifth-year senior coach has stayed with his offense on fourth down more than any other Football Bowl Subdivision program through three weeks. MSU (1-2) has attempted 12 fourth-down conversions, which is two more than any other program in the country. "When you see your coach have confidence in your offense to get it done in a pressure situation like that, it give you that extra boost or extra juice you need to do well," MSU junior wide receiver Jameon Lewis said Saturday.
Tough lessons: Mississippi State struggle against winning programs continues
Two months ago, Dan Mullen talked about Mississippi State's spiral in 2012. "The first loss possibly affected some other games afterwards," Mullen said the at the Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala. "That was a great learning point for the guys on our team of how to handle that adversity." Mullen's audience on Monday was a handful of reporters, cramped inside the media room of the Leo W. Seal Jr. complex. The topic reemerged as the fifth-year coach learns if his players grasped those concepts. "The team is starting to develop its personality right now," Mullen said. "This is a good test for them this week in developing it." With its 24-20 loss to Auburn on Saturday, Mississippi State has lost six straight games to FBS opponents with a winning record --- not including the loss Oklahoma State, who had a 0-0 record at the time.
Devout runner and prof talks to Florida Track Club
David Horton started running for the same reasons many people start: to lose weight and get fit. But he's done what few people have ever done: complete 160 "ultra-running" events (races longer than a marathon), of which he has won 40. The 64-year-old has run 113,000 miles since he started running 37 years ago, prompted by his exercise physiology professor, who told Horton, then a Ph.D. student, that he ought to practice what he was going to preach as a professional. Horton was transmitting a similar message to Florida Track Club members on Friday night at the University of Florida's Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. Horton delivered a lecture dubbed "Lessons Learned from 100,000 Miles of Running."
Missouri football players sound off on compensation debate
When Evan Boehm was a high school senior in Lee's Summit, he created a PowerPoint presentation with a theme that seemed slightly far-fetched at the time: "Why College Athletes Should Be Paid." Now a sophomore offensive lineman at Missouri, Boehm's vision could actually be a reality by the time he graduates. Last week, coach Gary Pinkel posted a YouTube video that called for Missouri college football and men's basketball players to receive money for their service. Pinkel, who once opposed the idea, said the Southeastern Conference was moving forward with a potential solution. Pinkel said that the current summer system helps get players through school at a high graduation rate but that the student-athletes need "a little bit of additional money ...to help them function a little better."
Emmert: NCAA won't budge on paying college athletes
The structure of the NCAA could look very different by this time next year as members try to resolve the growing disparity between big-money schools and smaller institutions. What won't change, however, is the amateur status of the players who make college athletics a billion-dollar business. "One thing that sets the fundamental tone is there's very few members and, virtually no university president, that thinks it's a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees. Literally into professionals," NCAA President Mark Emmert said Monday at Marquette University. "Then you have something very different from collegiate athletics. One of the guiding principles (of the NCAA) has been that this is about students who play sports."
Groups Want Bad Image of Penn State to Go Away
During the first week of classes at Penn State last month, John Nichols sat in his office in the old wing of the Willard Building, across the lawn from Old Main, fuming about what people have been saying, for two years now, about the university he loves. Nichols sat behind his large wooden desk, surrounded by four full bookshelves. He has spent 36 years at Penn State. He raised his children here. He is a professor emeritus and a former chairman of the faculty senate. Now he was talking about Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno and he was getting angry. He sat up straighter. His eyes bulged. He threw his hands up. Nichols is among those in the larger Penn State community -- including current and former faculty, alumni and fans -- still upset at how the child sexual abuse scandal involving Sandusky, Paterno's longtime top assistant, was handled by the institution's leadership.

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