Monday, May 19, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
International leader stresses changing world to Mississippi State graduates
Mississippi State University's Class of 2014 can change the world for the better, according to the leader of the United Nations World Food Programme. Executive Director Ertharin Cousin spoke Friday and Saturday at MSU's commencement ceremonies where almost 2,800 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees were awarded. Cousin explained how her own interest in changing the world led her to becoming the head of the world's largest humanitarian organization responsible for feeding more than 97 million people in 80 countries.
Mississippi State Formalizes Partnership With World Food Programme
Mississippi State University officials established a new partnership with United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) leaders on Friday to expand each establishment's commitment to addressing worldwide hunger and poverty. MSU President Mark E. Keenum and WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin signed a memorandum of understanding to work together and find solutions to food insecurity and continuing hunger. Cousin, who was recently named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, said, "This is a living document, and what we do with it moving forward is up to us. It gives us room to try many things." Keenum said, "In working together, we can use the passion that both the WFP and Mississippi State have to help solve the hunger issue. Mississippi State has been in the Top 10 nationally in agriculture-related research for 15 consecutive years, and we intend to continue that track record."
SID SALTER (OPINION): Mississippi State graduates hear how the world's dinner table is expanding
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: "On a joyous occasion like one's college graduation, few of us want to think about hunger and deprivation. But Ertharin Cousin, head of the U.N.'s World Food Programme, is focused on those issues and shared her vision with Mississippi State University 2,800 graduates this weekend. She also received an honorary doctorate from MSU on Saturday in recognition of her service to mankind. ...As a land grant university, MSU has longstanding track record in teaching people to produce more and better food even in less than favorable climates and conditions. That traditional mission coupled with a crossing of professional paths between MSU President Mark Keenum and Cousin has evolved into an important challenge for the university."
Mississippi State mulls $60M project for pair of dormitories
Mississippi State University is considering spending $60.5 million to build two new residence halls. The College Board Thursday approved plans for MSU to hire the McCarty Company Design Group to design two 356-bed dormitories, plus a 10,000-square-foot facility for the Sonny Montgomery Center for America's Veterans. The dorms would replace the existing 220-bed Evans Hall. MSU President Mark Keenum says the university hasn't decided yet whether it will build both of the planned dorms or just one, but he said MSU would save money by having them both designed at once.
Disaster Information Center Targets Farm Recovery Needs
More than 70 individuals who suffered losses from the April 28 tornadoes visited the state's first Agriculture Disaster Center May 15 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Louisville. The MSU Extension Service organized the event at the request of Winston County Emergency Management Director Buddy King, who said he hopes it will be a pattern for the future. "While we can't change what the tornado did, we can change how we respond in the future," King said. "Partnering with the Extension Service to organize the center was natural because of their knowledge of agriculture and the role Extension plays in facilitating training of emergency management personnel throughout the state."
MSU-Meridian faculty recognized
The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the MSU Alumni Association hosted the 2014 Faculty Awards and Recognition reception on Thursday, May 1 in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library in Starkville, and several faculty members at MSU-Meridian were recognized at the event: Sallie Harper, Lindon Ratliff, Joshua Watson and Darren Wozny.
MSU Graduate Gets More Than a Degree
It's that time of the year, a time that every student strives to achieve, the opportunity to walk across that stage as a graduate. Friday morning, 131 degrees were conferred by MSU-Meridian. It's always special and for some students, the emotions can be overwhelming. Amanda Morgan got something far greater than a college degree as she was surprised by her brother, who returned home from the service just in time to see his older sister graduate college.
Mississippi State student wins 1st prize in architecture competition
Larry Travis, a fourth-year architecture and design student at Mississippi State University, has received first prize from Gensler, a global design firm, for its sixth annual Diversity Scholarship. Travis, who beat out competitors from the University of Arizona and Carnegie Mellon University, will receive an academic scholarship and a Gensler internship.
Mississippi State student wins first place for fishing gear business
Entrepreneurship can be like fishing -- sometimes you don't get even a nibble and sometimes you land a lunker. Indeed, one local college student might have just caught a world-beater. Mississippi State University wildlife and fisheries major Charles Parker hooked the $10,000 first place prize during MSU's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Entrepreneurship Week for his fishing gear business. Eric Hill, MSU Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer program coordinator, said Parker is a student entrepreneurship all-star.
Fishing gear business wins $10K prize
Mississippi State University wildlife and fisheries major Charles Parker hooked the $10,000 first-place prize during MSU's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Entrepreneurship Week for his fishing gear business. Parker acquired Rod Sox, a fishing rod protector company, in May 2013 after deciding he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and work in the fishing tackle industry. Parker said the prize money he won during Entrepreneur Week will help him gain more inventory to keep up with increasing demand.
Mississippi State student making her way as DJ
DJ LakeGang is Lake Bundy of Corinth. The 19-year-old Mississippi State University student just completed her sophomore year as a public relations and broadcasting major, and plans to spend her summer consolidating her self-styled image as "Mississippi's sexiest DJ." Bundy isn't only about image, though. Her music interest and expertise is real. During her freshman year Bundy also began doing publicity for Da Undaground Railroad and hanging out with its members. The group showcases talent from the Golden Triangle area through its record label and promotions company.
Alderman Wynn threatens charges against reporter over phone calls
Ward 2 Alderman Lisa Wynn threatened Dispatch reporter Carl Smith Thursday with harassment charges if he attempts to contact her for comments in the future. The exchange came in the lobby of the City Hall shortly before an Audit and Budget meeting. Smith said he said hello to the alderman as she entered the building, and Wynn responded by saying she would seek charges against the reporter if he called her again. The only other person in the lobby at the time was a receptionist. It is common practice for reporters to call public officials to seek comments on issues related to their duties.
Starkville public works, IT expenditures remain under budget
Starkville's public works and information technology departments' fiscal year expenditures are expected to be under budget. Similar funding levels next year should be adequate, department heads said Friday. Public works director Doug Devlin and IT director Joel Clements gave brief department overviews to the Starkville Audit and Budget committee Friday that forecast no significant funding request increases for fiscal year 2014-2015. Combined, the two reports took about 20 minutes.
LGBT group faces Mississippi political hurdles
A national civil rights group called Human Rights Campaign faces significant challenges as it tries to make Mississippi's legal climate more open for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. HRC recently announced that it will spend $8.5 million for its "Project One America" in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, which currently have no laws to prohibit people from being fired from jobs or evicted from housing based on their sexual orientation.
Lt. Gov. Reeves speaks at Bayou Academy commencement
Bayou Academy seniors were given words of encouragement from a rather special commencement speaker on Friday night. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves gave the commencement address and through his speech he told the graduates the importance of dreaming big. "Many of you will leave here for one of our fine community colleges or universities and some of you may even be ready to jump into the work force. I'm pleased to report to you that our state, our great state, Mississippi, is not only doing well but also its economy is growing and the possibilities are bright right here at home if you choose to stay," he said.
On the campaign trail with Cochran, McDaniel
Their styles couldn't be more different -- the two men squared off in the Mississippi GOP primary for the U.S. Senate. One is a 76-year-old, six-term incumbent, noted for courtliness and low-key effectiveness as a Senate power broker, who has the backing of the state Republican and business establishment. The other is a 42-year-old, firebrand state senator, a rising political star who has bucked the Republican establishment and stirred the conservative, tea party base calling for a change in Washington. Recent time spent on the campaign trail with incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel as the June 3 primary nears highlights the differences.
Cochran has made his mark as Senate's 'quiet persuader'
As a new graduate of Mississippi State University in 1978, an idealistic Paul "Buzzy" Mize says he was excited to volunteer on the U.S. Senate campaign of Thad Cochran. A young Mize met Cochran in downtown Fulton and drove the then-4th District congressman from Jackson to the first campaign stop in Itawamba County. A few months later, Mize reconnected with Cochran at a campaign rally in his native Pontotoc County "He immediately told me he was sorry to hear about my Dad dying," Mize said. "That is the type of person he is. He such a genuine, humble person." Cochran's quiet, unassuming style and courtly manner are legendary traits not only in Mississippi political circles, but also nationally. Even through long viewed as one of the nation's most effective senators, it has not been unusual to see Cochran show up for events by himself or to quietly return a reporter's phone call instead of having a member of his staff do so. But seldom if ever will Cochran be seen on cable or network political shows.
McDaniel presses challenge fueled by Tea Party backers
When Chris McDaniel, a Jones County attorney and former host of a local conservative talk radio show, first won a state Senate election in 2007, the Tea Party did not exist. But it didn't take the two long to find each other. When the Tea Party formed nationally in 2010 and filtered into Mississippi, followers lamented what they saw as government overreach and secular forces stomping out their views and values. McDaniel already was talking about those things -- first on his radio show and then in the Mississippi Senate. Now he is talking on the campaign trail about freedom, of the Republican Party needing to operate "in bold colors, not pastels," and of how compromising "constitutional principles" is not acceptable as he bids to upend veteran U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary.
Did someone help Clayton Kelly photograph Thad Cochran's wife in nursing home? Police investigating
A magistrate in Mississippi has scheduled a preliminary hearing Thursday for a conservative Mississippi blogger who is accused of photographing the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran without permission. City Magistrate Dale Danks kept bond at $100,000 for Clayton Kelly, 28, at a hearing Sunday, Assistant Police Chief Robert Sanders said. Police were also looking into the possibility that other people were involved. Kelly was arrested Friday on a charge of exploiting a vulnerable adult. He's accused of using an image of Cochran's wife, who suffers from dementia and has been in a nursing home since 2000, in an online video.
Police considering 'conspiracy' in Cochran video case
Clayton Kelly, the man accused of entering Sen. Thad Cochran's wife Rose's nursing home room and taking pictures which were posted to the internet, remains jailed on $100,000 bond after his initial appearance Sunday afternoon. A representative of the Madison Police Department said there are other individuals in the case that they'd like to talk to "who might have been part of a conspiracy." At this point, police won't comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.
McDaniel spokesman accuses Cochran camp of 'slander' over voice mail
Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign has released a voice mail from opponent Chris McDaniel's campaign manager, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner, to Cochran campaign manager Kirk Sims about the arrest of a political blogger accused of sneaking into the nursing home room of Cochran's bedridden wife and posting images of her. The Cochran campaign says the message appears to contradict the McDaniel campaign's statements that it knew nothing before the arrest about the blogger and McDaniel supporter.
McDaniel urges churchgoers in Mississippi to 'reclaim your country again'
State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) challenged a church crowd here to fight to revive America's Christian foundation during a Sunday speech at a southern Mississippi Pentecostal church. "Today is the day we begin to fight again," he told about 80 worshipers gathered at the Word Alive Revival Center. "Go back out in your communities and make a difference again. It can't just stop at the church. Take it out to the streets. That's when you begin to reclaim your country again." The Tea Party-backed candidate made no mention of his own challenge to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the primary date just two weeks away or any political issues. Rev. Mike Dobbs, the church's pastor, noted McDaniel's run for Senate in his introduction of the candidate, and gave him a ringing endorsement, declaring that the first time he heard McDaniel speak "I felt my heart beat."
U.S. Senate campaign: McDaniel politicks in Brookhaven
With just over two weeks until the June 3 primary election, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, appeared before Brookhaven voters to energize his supporters and try to steer uncertain voters to his side. To win, McDaniel will have to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran -- a tall order given numerous poll predictions. McDaniel expressed a deep criticism of Cochran, who McDaniel suggested was "too liberal" for the party.
McDaniel campaigns in Olive Branch
Don't expect incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and his primary opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel to meet at the debate podium prior to the June 3 primary election. During a stop in Olive Branch Thursday evening, McDaniel continued to call for Cochran to defend his record in a public setting, something McDaniel said Cochran has not done. McDaniel, who is challenging Cochran's attempt to win another six-year term in office he first won in 1978, was rebuffed in his claims earlier Thursday in Jackson, when Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell said McDaniel's comments were a sign of a "desperate campaign." McDaniel believes DeSoto County will bring a strong showing in his favor in the primary election, even though many civic and legislative leaders in the county have voiced their support for Cochran.
U.S. to Charge Chinese Army Personnel With Cyberspying
The Department of Justice on Monday will announce charges it has filed against several individuals in China's People's Liberation Army, accusing them of stealing trade secrets from American companies and marking the first time the United States has charged government employees with economic espionage, according to law enforcement officials. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was scheduled to announce the charges at 10 a.m. The names of the companies that were hacked are expected to be revealed in documents to be unsealed on Monday. The announcement about the Chinese will most likely increase the tensions between American and Chinese officials, who in recent years have accused each other in public and in private of using military assets to launch hacks and cyberattacks.
Studies: Wildfires worse due to global warming
The devastating wildfires scorching Southern California offer a glimpse of a warmer and more fiery future, according to scientists and federal and international reports. In the past three months, at least three different studies and reports have warned that wildfires are getting bigger, that man-made climate change is to blame, and it's only going to get worse with more fires starting earlier in the year. While scientists are reluctant to blame global warming for any specific fire, they have been warning for years about how it will lead to more fires and earlier fire seasons.
Kirkpatrick named Faculty Member of the Year at MUW
Mary Jo Kirkpatrick, chair of Mississippi University for Women's associate of science in nursing program, was named Faculty Member of the Year in commencement ceremonies the weekend of May 9-10. The Faculty Member of the Year Award, which includes an award in the amount of $1,000, is an honor bestowed upon the faculty member who, above all, values quality teaching. The individual selected is a symbol of MUW's highly regarded faculty. A faculty member at The W for 38 years, she has served as head of the program since 1991.
Delta State police seek flag thieves
The flags on the Delta State University Flag Plaza have been stolen. According to DSU Police Chief Lynn Buford, on April 27 the 8x12 American flag was stolen from the flagpole. "We had a replacement and so we put up another one," said Buford. Buford said on May 10, graduation day, the flags were up that afternoon and evening, but the next morning it was discovered that not only had the American flag been stolen, but the Mississippi state flag had been stolen as well. Delta State University President Bill LaForge asks that anyone with information contact his office. "The American flag is the greatest symbol of freedom and democracy in the world. Delta State supports every effort to protect this sacred symbol to honor the men and women who died to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. The flag is our national rallying point. We should honor it," he said.
Valley gets approval to renovate long-vacant dorm
Mississippi Valley State University expects to spend $4.75 million to renovate a dormitory that's been vacant for 10 years. The College Board approved the university's overall plan for work on College Hall. A fire on the Itta Bena campus damaged the 170-bed men's residence hall in 2004, leading Valley to stop using the building. The university put a new roof on College Hall in 2009, but otherwise, hasn't done any major renovations since it was built in 1964.
Jackson State alum's story true hip-hopera
There are many variations of a success story. High school drop-outs becoming millionaire entrepreneurs. Bored housewives being remade as reality-television celebrities. College athletes becoming NBA or WNBA idols, to name a few. Then there is the proverbial coming from nothing and becoming something. Jackson State University alumnus Cortez "Tez" Bryant could be considered the success story remixed -- a true life hip-hopera.
William Carey grads look to bright futures
"Keep moving" -- that was a piece of advice commencement speaker Mark Smith gave about 120 William Carey University graduates on Saturday morning as they prepared to take on a new phase in their lives. Whether academically or personally, Smith, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Jackson, reminded the graduates that to achieve great, they can't settle for good, and that a great life is achieved through surrender, failure and by keeping Christ at the center of everything they do. After watching the students take their first steps toward new adventures, William Carey President Tommy King said Smith's message provided the morning's graduates with solid advice.
Itawamba Community College graduates 550 students
"You are something special," said Fulton attorney Tom Childs, who has had a lifetime connection with Itawamba Community College, to the 2014 graduates who earned the Associate of Arts degree Saturday at the Davis Event Center. Childs cited the importance of leadership, which has been key to the success of Itawamba Community College and its premier status, in the region, state and nation. "In reading the program, I noticed that so many of you are graduating with honors," Childs said. "Many of you are Phi Theta Kappa members, such as Sarah Guess, who was the recipient of the Distinguished Chapter officer award, an international honor.
MGCCC recognizes competition winners at Creative Writing Ceremony
The 2014 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Creative Writing Ceremony was held on the Jackson County campus and sponsored by the Language Arts Department. Keynote speaker was Joe Lee, editor-in-chief of Dogwood Press, a publishing company headquartered in Brandon. He is the author of six mystery/suspense novels, including the critically praised "Oakdale" series that takes place in North Mississippi. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University.
Without changes, Alabama's pension funds could run dry within decade, study warns
Alabama's state pension funds could run out of money within a decade if lawmakers do not address a looming shortfall, a new study from Troy University's free market think tank warns. The study released Monday is part of a series of research produced this year by the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy, founded in 2010 on $3.6 million in grants from former Federal Reserve Board member Manuel Johnson, the BB&T Charitable Foundation and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. The latest study, which George Mason University researcher Eileen Norcross wrote on behalf of the Johnson Center, makes the case that the pension funds for teachers and other state workers are underfunded and questions the investment choices of the Retirement Systems of Alabama.
U. of Kentucky president's national TV appearance highlights campus efforts to prevent sexual assaults
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto shared details Sunday with a nationwide TV audience about UK's fight against sexual assaults on campus. "It's a priority for us," Capilouto said during an interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Capilouto appeared with Time magazine journalist Eliza Gray, who wrote the current cover story, "Rape: The Crisis in Higher Education." UK's efforts to prevent sexual assaults have been held up as a model by the White House and others. A White House task force this year found that one in every five female college students had been assaulted. Capilouto said that UK started tackling the problem about 10 years ago with a campuswide survey on the issue.
LSU moves to ban smoking on its Baton Rouge campus
LSU's main campus is going tobacco-free this fall. "It's been a very long haul," said Judith Sylvester, an associate professor at LSU who has led the charge to ban smoking on campus. "I'm very, very happy, but I'm also very realistic. Just having the policy is less than half the battle." LSU already limits smoking to designated areas, but advocates have pushed to further make the campus free of any tobacco products. The Louisiana Legislature approved a law last year requiring colleges and universities to develop their own "smoke-free" policies. That legislation, which serves as an addendum to the Louisiana Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibits smoking in some public places and workplaces, states that colleges also can go the extra step of excluding all tobacco.
U. of Arkansas' Don Pederson to Retire June 30
Don Pederson, the University of Arkansas' vice chancellor for finance and administration, says he will retire effective June 30. Pederson was acting vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1985 before being named to the position in 1986. He was appointed vice chancellor for finance and administration in September 1998. In a news release, the UA said Pederson will have been the longest serving senior administrator in its history, having served as vice chancellor for 29 years. As vice chancellor, Pederson managed a division of 750 staff members who oversee all business and finance operations of the university, including human resources, information technology, parking and facilities.
New PIE Center director announced at U. of Florida
Ricky Telg, an interim associate dean at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, will become director of the PIE Center July 1, Senior Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jack Payne said Friday. A news release Friday said the move will also return Telg "to his role as professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Telg will take over for Tracy Irani, who was promoted as chair of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Science in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Irani ran the PIE Center for five years, helping to build it into a full-sized department under the Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Texas A&M awards 40 scholarships for cybersecurity summer camp
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service will award 40 scholarships for students to attend the TEEX Cybersecurity Summer camp, which aims to introduce ninth- and tenth-graders to the computing and cybersecurity industry. The camp examines the research, career and education opportunities in the cybersecurity field through guest speakers, training, field trips and simulations. Bryan-College Station students who have completed ninth and tenth grade in May are able to participate in the five-day program at the TEEX State Headquarters in College Station.
Winery owner gets honorary degree, shares wisdom with U. of Missouri graduates
For many of the nearly 1,300 University of Missouri graduates at Saturday's Honors Ceremony, the walk across the stage was the culmination of four years of hard work. For Jim Held, it was much longer. Held, who revitalized Stone Hill Winery in Hermann after taking it over in 1965, was this year's honorary degree recipient. During his speech at Mizzou Arena, Held told the story of his 2011 stroke, which paralyzed the right side of his body, and how his doctors told him he had to "get his house in order." At the time, Held suffered from diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure. Through diet and lifestyle changes, he improved his health and turned around his life. "I really started to appreciate life more than ever before," he told the graduates, explaining that the changes he made helped him lose 65 pounds and overcome his health issues.
'Mizzou Mafia' member tells J-School grads that path is not easy
Angela Greiling Keane didn't sugarcoat the truth for the several hundred University of Missouri School of Journalism graduates Friday evening, but she did leave them with the optimism that their careers would provide an ongoing learning opportunity. "I'm unfortunately not here to offer all of you jobs or to tell you your first job out of college will be your dream job," she said, later reminding them to be patient, using her own experiences as an example. This year's speaker is one of many members of the so-called "Mizzou Mafia," a group of alumni who work in the journalism industry. She shared that fact during her speech, letting students know that wherever their careers take them, there's a chance they won't be the only "mafia" member around.

Mississippi State will play Tuesday in SEC Tournament
Mississippi State dropped to the fifth seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, which begins Tuesday. The Bulldogs had an opportunity to clinch the third seed with a win on Saturday. Instead they fell to Alabama 2-1 in the regular season finale. Mississippi State now plays Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. against Georgia. It is a single-elimination game. MSU took two of three from Georgia in the regular season.
Reserved guard Jackson set next chapter with Oakland Raiders
You first notice the shoulders, which seem wide as a highway, thick as a redwood and steel sturdy. But the round baby face above them is disarming, especially when accentuated with a smile that is gentle, innocent and frequent. Gabe Jackson, all 6-foot-3 and 336 pounds, blindsides the macho jock image. An offensive guard out of Mississippi State, he capped his 2013 senior year by earning All-American honors and becoming the first lineman to win the Conerly Trophy, awarded to the top college player in the state. And now it is to time to reap the benefits of never missing a game in his four years as a starter, of not allowing a sack his final two seasons.
Students not feeling the financial pain of Kyle Field renovation at Texas A&M
Many in the Texas A&M community were outraged last year when the university announced that students would be forced to pay $75 million for the Kyle Field redevelopment project, but, a year and two budget cycles later, students are not inevitably paying more, according to university officials. The process for how A&M is implementing changes to mandatory student fees is unclear, as university spokesman Shane Hinckley has declined interview requests from The Eagle for the past two weeks. Still, thanks to some budget wizardry, the university is paying its debts, all students are paying for 17 percent of the football stadium and the A&M University Advancement Fee, or UAF, has notably not increased. In February 2013, 65 percent of A&M students in a campus-wide referendum opposed an increase in fees and sports pass prices.
Beer sales in SEC's future? Alabama AD says Tide will monitor, but won't lead charge
To someone with a business background as rich and deep as Bill Battle's, the pros and cons of beer sales at the collegiate level are simple. "The pros," Battle said, "are money." And the cons? "What you think they would be," the Alabama athletic director said in an interview last week with "Security issues, fan behavior issues, all the things that go along with it." The topic has been a hot one throughout the offseason, but the conversation hasn't reached Alabama yet, Battle said. It soon could be unavoidable, as momentum continues to build for beer and alcohol sales at collegiate events all across the country.
NCAA and college sports: It is time to pay athletes to play?
The historic push by football players at Northwestern University to unionize is a sign of seismic changes now sweeping through college sports. Hanging in the balance is the idea of the amateur student-athlete that has defined college sports for generations yet is under attack as an anachronistic farce. Current and former players are turning to lawsuits to try to dismantle what they call an unfair system that generates billions of dollars yet gives them only a scholarship as compensation. At the core of the reform campaign is the conviction among players that they are becoming employees without adequate compensation.
Obama to host sports safety summit at the White House
President Barack Obama will host a summit to discuss sports safety and concussions later this month, the White House announced on Friday. The summit will take place on May 29. Participants will include young athletes, their parents and coaches, as well as professional sports stars and military service members. During the event, Obama will announce new steps by the private and public sectors to educate the public about how to prevent and treat concussions and encourage research into sports-related head injuries. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the summit will focus not just on football but also on other sports, such as soccer, which put players at risk of concussions.

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