Thursday, July 24, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Keenum to serve on new national agriculture board
Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum will serve three years on the board of the newly created Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The university says Wednesday that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Keenum to the 15-member national board. The nonprofit foundation was created by the 2014 federal farm bill and will seek ways to increase research and innovation. U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), a lead negotiator on the farm bill, says Keenum brings "a breadth of knowledge and experience" to the new board.
Mississippi State's Keenum Named to Foundation Board
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack announced in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Keenum said the U.S. Department of Agriculture appointment will allow MSU to be represented "in this vital process and that fact greatly enhances our university's status as a major player in national and global agricultural research efforts and activities."
Mississippi State president to serve on research board
Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum has been selected to serve on the 15-member Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research board of directors. The FFAR was authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill. The group was created to identify and develop new sources of revenue to support investments in U.S. agriculture research during a time of federal budget constraints.
Mississippi State students leave Israel as tensions rise
A group of Mississippi State students working an archaeological dig in Israel were forced to evacuate earlier this month as tensions ramped up between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Around July 3, MSU officials decided they needed to keep a close eye on the situation in Israel. "At that point, we felt confident in where they were and in their safety, given that they were outside of the urban areas, which were where things were escalating," said MSU Interim Assistant Vice President for International Programs Jon Rezek. "We began looking at how we could move students out quickly if necessary if things started to escalate, that was the first inkling to be ready for rapid response," he said.
Reshoring: Making sense for many
Bringing jobs back to the United States, also known as reshoring, makes economic sense for many companies. And the advantages emerge not only from an expense perspective. "We want to find local sourcing and reverse the trend of producing things overseas and bringing things back to Mississippi," said Clay Walden, director of Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension. "We're seeing more companies rethink their offshoring decisions, for many reasons. For example, the hidden costs of quality problems -- those are some of the issues that end up making more sense to produce things in the U.S."
You scream, I scream: Bully's cold treat keeps gaining in popularity
Ice cream works any time of the year, but summer is its season to shine. The spike in temperatures also means an increase in production of Mississippi State University's ice cream. As more and more Golden Triangle residents -- and especially Bulldog fans -- realize they can get fresh ice cream at the MAFES Sales Store on the Starkville campus, sales have steadily risen in recent years. "In 2012, we sold 9,000 gallons of ice cream," said David Hall, MSU's dairy process production manager. "That year we sold 67,000 cups compared to 44,500 cups in 2005." MSU also sold 2,300 half-gallon containers and 1,200 three-gallon containers the same year. Hall is still compiling numbers for 2013 but said he expects an increase. Reuben Moore, associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, said the ice cream showcases the university's attention to quality in every stage of production.
Summer Scholars produce play at Mississippi State camp
For the past three weeks, William Johnson and 55 other students have written, produced and staged a musical. The high school students and recent graduates are participating in the annual Summer Scholars Onstage camp held at Mississippi State University. Their original play, "Partlynormal Activity," will be staged this weekend. "I've learned a bunch," said Johnson, 18, who graduated from Tupelo High School in May. "...I've learned a lot about acting, how to be out on stage, how to deal with nerves and how to fix problems that show up so the audience doesn't know there are any problems." "Our camp is a complete experience," said camp director Joe Ray Underwood. "We encourage our students to learn who they are and value their potential as young scholars."
Danny Murphy is the 2014 Mississippi Farmer of the Year
A national soybean leader, Danny Murphy of Canton, Miss., is a successful row crop farmer who gives back to the industry that has treated him so well. He has never been too busy to get involved in commodity and community organizations. A farmer for 41 years, Murphy farms 1,600 acres. "When I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to farm," says Murphy. He majored in agronomy at Mississippi State University and came back to farm in 1974. His brother Tommy joined the farm in 1977, and the brothers farmed with their father until his retirement in 1989.
Starkville aldermen rescind resolution limiting clerk's payment power
Starkville aldermen rescinded a previous motion limiting City Clerk Lesa Hardin's ability to pay bills after a special-call meeting was needed Tuesday for the city to make payroll payments. After Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins expressed his displeasure with the city clerk and Mayor Parker Wiseman over the issuance of an almost-$500,000 check to Starkville School District without board approval, the board passed a motion last week requiring their approval of all payments, regardless of source, before the clerk can issue a check.
Airbus vice president says future is bright in the Golden Triangle
Since American Eurocopter put down roots in the Golden Triangle in 2003, more than 800 helicopters have departed the hangar at Golden Triangle Regional Airport. After a re-branding to Airbus Group in January, the Airbus Helicopters plant in Columbus is gearing up to launch its second full helicopter assembly line on Aug. 28. Sam Adcock, Vice President and General Manager for the Columbus facility, was optimistic about the company's outlook when he spoke to Columbus Rotarians Tuesday. Eighteen months ago, the outlook wasn't as sunny as federal budget cuts compromised the Lakota program. Since then, the Army has re-evaluated its aging training aircraft and has opted to replace them with Lakotas. "Thanks to our congressional delegation, this community, the governor and others, we were successful in seeing the Army revisit that question," Adcock said.
Chinese aim for big Asian carp catch in Mississippi
If you can't beat them, eat them. That's Mississippi's approach to invasive Asian carp, a pesky fish the state is trying to turn into a job creator by catching and exporting to China. Moon River Foods said Tuesday that it would invest $3 million and hire up to 100 people to harvest the fish, which will be filleted and packaged at a plant in Baird, near Indianola. Moon River is a subsidiary of China's Shanghai Shen Ran Trade Co. Ltd., said company representative Roger Liu. The Mississippi Development Authority and local government offered incentives, but state officials said Tuesday that they could not immediately specify their value.
Back-to-school sales tax holiday starts after midnight
A little more than a week before schools reopen, retailers and shoppers are gearing up for the fifth annual back-to-school sales tax holiday. Mississippi's sales tax holiday starts Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ends Saturday at midnight. The sales tax break will help shoppers on clothing and shoes that are priced less than $100 each. Qualified items include clothes, coats and shoes that aren't for special activities. Most sport-specific equipment -- such as pads, cleats, gloves, goggles, swim fins and helmets that are used only on the field – are not eligible for the tax holiday. However some items like baseball and football jerseys, caps, tennis skirts, swimsuits and work uniforms are covered.
School formula calls for $312 million more in 2016
Mississippi's public schools need an additional $312 million from lawmakers next year to fully fund the formula that determines how much money education is supposed to get, state education leaders said Wednesday. The state Board of Education approved a 2016 budget request seeking $370 million over the $2.49 billion lawmakers allotted in the budget that began July 1. That includes money for programs beyond the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula. Supporters of full funding are currently collecting signatures intending to put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot to reinforce the legal funding requirement. "Parents are fed up with politicians who make campaign promises to provide adequate school funding and then drop that commitment like a hot potato the minute they are sworn into office," Nancy Loome, executive director of the Parents Campaign wrote to supporters Tuesday.
State Education Department seeks $1M for new cheating investigations
The Mississippi Department of Education will request $1 million in its fiscal 2016 budget to fund cheating investigations like the one it launched in May of the Clarksdale Municipal School District. State Board of Education members approved the new line item at a meeting Wednesday in Jackson. Currently, the agency has no funds set aside for such investigations and had to borrow money from other areas within the department to fund the current one, said department spokesman Pete Smith.
School districts still fail to report teacher misconduct
Few school districts report cases of teacher-student misconduct to the Mississippi Department of Education despite a 2011 state law requiring them to do so. At least 38 educators have engaged in unethical behavior with students since the law took effect, according to MDE records. "Unfortunately, we find out about a lot of it through the media," Cerissa Neal, MDE's director of educator quality, said Wednesday. "It's very frequent where a superintendent fails to report." That puts students at risk, she said, and defeats the purpose of the law that was designed to protect them.
New treatment for hepatitis C could cost state millions
A new drug regimen for hepatitis C could cost the state as much as $775 million a year by 2016 for Medicaid and incarcerated patients, a new national study says. The study says the treatment could cost every Mississippian $259, putting the state in the top five nationally. State legislatures across the country will have to find billions in their budgets to purchase the costly new therapy, according to the state-by-state analysis released this week by pharmacy benefit company Express Scripts. More than 750,000 Americans with chronic hepatitis C receive state-funded healthcare through Medicaid or the prison system, according to Express Scripts. Mississippi has roughly 3,000 people with hepatitis C who receive Medicaid or are in prison.
Company men: U.S. Chamber flexes its new political muscle
The plot to save Thad Cochran was hatched at Off The Record, the subterranean bar inside the Hay-Adams hotel in downtown Washington. In mid-June, just days before the Mississippi Senate runoff election, Tom Donohue, the hard-nosed CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was commiserating over drinks with Scott Reed, his senior political strategist, and Chip Pickering, a former Mississippi congressman-turned-telecom lobbyist. The trio were smarting. After racking up an enviable 10-0 winning streak in midterm races, Mississippi voters dealt the powerful business lobby a major blow: Cochran, a Senate stalwart supported by the Chamber and its allies in the Republican establishment, had stumbled in his primary battle with Chris McDaniel, a smooth-talking state senator backed by tea party groups. The two Republicans were now facing off in a three-week duel that, to many, looked like a lost cause. Enter Brett Favre.
Black is the New Black: How Blacks Changed the GOP Game
On the night of June 24, state Sen. Chris McDaniel took the podium from his fellow Mississippi state legislator Michael Watson after results came in for the Republican primary run-off for the U.S. Senate. McDaniel stepped to the microphone not to concede, but to reject defeat and to issue a call to arms. After losing in his bid against incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran by around 7,000 votes, McDaniel started weaving the narrative that would serve as a clarion call to his supporters in the Tea Party to help him claim the seat he believed was rightfully his. In the aftermath of the Republican Senate primary, race has become the defining issue for Mississippi Republicans, trumping even issues that are typical flashpoints in conservative politics such as national defense, immigration reform, dismantling Obamacare or abortion.
Chris McDaniel Finished Mississippi Senate Runoff With $386,000
Chris McDaniel, who may soon launch an official challenge to the results of the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff, still had $386,000 in his campaign coffers a week after the late June election, according to his July quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission. McDaniel, who hoped to use that money for the November general election, instead lost to Sen. Thad Cochran by more than 7,600 votes. But he's since refused to concede. The campaign owes $100,100 in debt to McDaniel, who loaned that money to his campaign at the end of last year. Some of the money left over in his campaign account likely could only be used in the general. McDaniel's campaign is still raising money.
Georgia Runoff Shows Just How Unusual Mississippi's Was
The Senate runoff Tuesday in Georgia underscored just how unusual the one in Mississippi a month ago really was. Both Republican contests featured an "insider-outsider" dynamic, with veteran incumbent Thad Cochran challenged by tea party favorite Chris McDaniel in Mississippi, and 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston facing off against first-time candidate David Perdue in Georgia. Both runoffs were close, with both Mr. Cochran and Mr. Perdue (a business executive and cousin of former Georgia GOP Gov. Sonny Perdue) prevailing by a margin of just 2 percentage points. Yet in terms of voter turnout, the Georgia and Mississippi runoffs were dramatically different.
Booze, boats and DMR: New details revealed about DMR case as Scott Walker sentenced to prison
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett sentenced Scott Walker, a private consultant and former congressional staffer, to 18 months in prison, saying beforehand Walker and his father abused the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. "The gist of this conspiracy -- or conspiracies, as the case may be -- was to use the DMR as a cash cow for different individuals," Starrett said before he pronounced the sentence, which Scott Walker calmly accepted, offering a tight smile when the hearing ended. Starrett found boat trips and dinners the foundation funded with DMR money were not relevant to the sentence Scott Walker would receive because any benefit to him, Starrett said, would have been "insignificant."
Bentley says national leaders should look to Alabama as model for running government
National leaders would do well to look at the Heart of Dixie as a model for how to run a government, Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday. Bentley, who answered questions from audience members and later the media after his keynote address at the Delta Regional Authority's workforce development summit in Washington County, said the next president should come from the ranks of the nation's governors. Bentley said he was proud that Alabama's contingent at this month's Farnborough Air Show. He noted that both of Alabama's U.S. senators, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope, and deans from Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Huntsville were among those who attempted to build on the success of luring an Airbus plant to Mobile.
World crises drown out Obama's economic message for midterm election
As President Obama delivered a pitch to donors at a Democratic fundraiser Tuesday night, events forced him to change a key piece of his by now well-rehearsed description of the political landscape. Americans worry about economic instability, he said, as well as stagnant incomes, and "things in Congress feel broken." But there was also this to worry about: "big challenges overseas." Obama's statement that overseas worries increasingly preoccupy Americans may or may not accurately diagnose the national psyche, but it unquestionably describes a predicament he and his allies face in a difficult midterm election year. The degree to which the economic message has been drowned out worries Democratic allies.
EPA chief defends power plant rule against GOP charges of overreach
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday strongly defended the approach and legitimacy of an Obama administration power plant rule that Republicans attacked as regulatory overreach and Democrats said was vital. The rule is contentious, tied up in coal-country politics and the ongoing debate over climate change. During opening statements, Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, bluntly laid out his objections. "The proposed rule is a breathtaking regulatory overreach," he said. "It is a job-killer. It is based on questionable science. It is of dubious legality under the Clean Air Act. It amounts to an end run against Congress. It is inflexible. It would have no effect on the climate and is therefore pointless, and it is punitive."
U.S. Religious Leaders Embrace Cause of Immigrant Children
The United States' response to the arrival of tens of thousands of migrant children, many of them fleeing violence and exploitation in Central America, has been symbolized by an angry pushback from citizens and local officials who have channeled their outrage over illegal immigration into opposition to proposed shelter sites. But around the nation, an array of religious leaders are trying to mobilize support for the children, saying the nation can and should welcome them. Among the most agitated are Catholic bishops, who have long allied with Republican politicians against abortion and same-sex marriage, and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, whose adherents tend to lean right. "This is a crisis, and not simply a political crisis, but a moral one," said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Obama to issue executive order on drone privacy
President Barack Obama plans to issue an executive order to develop privacy guidelines for commercial drones operating in U.S. airspace, Politico has learned. The order would put the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department, in charge of developing the guidelines. NTIA would bring together companies and consumer groups to hammer out a series of voluntary best practices for unmanned aerial vehicles. The FAA, which is working on a formal set of rules to allow commercial drones to operate in U.S. skies, has been criticized for not tackling issues around what kind of images and data drones can collect. It's not clear when the president will issue the order.
MUW again on list of top schools for employees
For the second consecutive year, Mississippi University for Women has been named one of the Nation's Greatest Colleges to Work For by The Chronicle of Higher Education. It is an honor that comes as no surprise to many long-term MUW employees, including Dave Haffly, Director of Plymouth Bluff and Outsource Enterprises. Haffly has been employed with MUW for more than 20 years. MUW operates Plymouth Bluff. Haffly, who has worked at several other colleges, said he knew from the moment he first stepped on the campus that MUW was where he wanted to work. "It's just been a great place to work," he said. "There is a lot more to it than just a paycheck.
Manning family establishes health care initiative at UMMC
Archie and Olivia Manning have launched a campaign to boost the University of Mississippi Medical Center's commitment to improving the health of the state's residents. This new partnership between the Mannings and UMMC will raise money to battle a variety of health care challenges frequently confronted by the Medical Center, such as heart disease, kidney disease, hypertension, cancer, dementia and many more. UMMC will also commence a public awareness campaign in August for this long-term project, which extends the philanthropic bond the family has already established with UMMC.
Pine Haven apartments closing at U. of Southern Mississippi
Pine Haven apartments -- home to graduate and family housing on the University of Southern Mississippi campus -- will close at the end of the year. Scott Blackwell, director of Residence Life at Southern Miss, said due to a decrease in demand for graduate student/family housing, a decision was made about a year ago to stop accepting new tenants for the nine-building complex. "While they have served the university very well, the reality is that the complex has outlived its usefulness," said Blackwell, who added the original 19 units were built between 1959-63 at a cost of $90,000. He said it would cost more than $20 million to rebuild the original 300-unit complex, and university officials believe there are local apartments for graduate students and those with families.
Student petition drive leads to new amenities at USM Gulf Park
University of Southern Mississippi students, faculty and staff will see some new services and amenities on the Long Beach campus this fall. A $1 million construction project is underway. The improvements came about after a petition drive spear-headed by students at Gulf Park. Three buildings are under renovation on Beach Park Place, which is on the east side of the Long Beach campus. One building will be the new Wellness and Fitness Center. It will come with weight machines, cardio equipment, spaces for group classes, along with a shower, lockers and offices. The facility is free for students, but the faculty and staff will have to pay a monthly fee. USM leaders say the new amenities are being provided as a direct response to students who signed petitions earlier this year, calling for more services that are similar to what USM students in Hattiesburg are getting.
Quality enhancement plan Co-Lin Community College working on 'Write Path'
Copiah-Lincoln Community College is working on a Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, to put students on the "Write Path" to higher education. With the upcoming 2015 reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Co-Lin has chosen to focus its efforts on improving writing skills. The plan of action will be presented before the SACS Commission on Colleges in September. Jeff Posey, director of Institutional Planning and Research on the Wesson campus, said community colleges across the nation are putting more of an emphasis on writing to help graduates' transition to larger and more competitive four-year universities and Co-Lin is not an exception.
UGA biosafety lab investigated 12 reported lab 'events' in six months
The University of Georgia's Office of Biosafety reported a dozen "events" in the first half of the year that involved potentially dangerous diseases and agents. Office officials are trying to "build a culture of not using glass," according to Patrick Stockton, the office's director and UGA's designated biosafety officer. Of 12 lab "events" investigated by his office, five involved "sharps," including two cases of broken glass and two accidents with needles. One of the needle accidents included a skin puncture, but the other did not, Stockton said at a meeting of the UGA Biosafety Liaison Committee. Of the 12 reported incidents, only three were in so-called "Biosafety Level 3" labs, where researchers work with disease agents that can cause serious or fatal illnesses, but are treatable.
U. of Florida's Lastinger Center made to return $1.3 million after audit
Two years ago, a Kellogg Foundation audit of several grants to the University of Florida's Lastinger Center for Learning found a number of discrepancies in record-keeping and hundreds of thousands of dollars in unauthorized personnel expenses. In a letter to UF's controller, the foundation demanded repayment of $1.26 million immediately -- $781,311 in disallowed expenses and $475,000 of unspent grant money -- or jeopardize any future grants, contracts or payments to the university. The audit clearly shows there were missteps along the way," said Janine Sikes, UF assistant vice president for communications. "We've taken appropriate action to make sure that doesn't happen going forward."
After losing mother to suicide, Vanderbilt student stays in school with help of strangers
Her mother committed suicide. Her father lost his job. Cassie Wessely thought her days at Vanderbilt University were over. In desperation, the 19-year-old turned to strangers online -- and within a week, she had nearly $50,000 in donations to help finish her biomedical engineering degree. Wessely tapped into the power of crowdfunding, a trend that is growing rapidly because it reaches people who traditionally wouldn't have the chance to participate in this type of investment, said Craig Lewis, a Vanderbilt finance professor and former chief economist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Through social media, small businesses and individuals can reach a wide audience, while donors can find compelling projects or people in need and then invest or donate as much or as little as they want -- all from their computer.
House Approves 2 Bills Toward Renewal of Higher Education Act
The U.S. House of Representatives passed two higher-education bills on Wednesday, sending them to an uncertain fate in the Senate. Among other things, the bills would create a demonstration project for competency-based education (HR 3136) and streamline the information the federal government provides to prospective students (HR 4983). The two bills were approved this month by the House education committee, as part of its piecemeal reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Lawmakers also extended for a year two key advisory committees: the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the secretary of education on accreditation matters, and the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which advises policy makers on student-aid policy.
Universities' Study Abroad Programs In Israel Weigh Risks
Once again American colleges with study abroad programs in Israel have had to make the call: evacuate or stay the course. The U.S. Department of State updated its longstanding travel warning for Israel on Monday, recommending that U.S. citizens "consider" deferring non-essential travel in light of the armed conflict on the ground in Gaza and the risk of long-range rocket attacks. Different universities have their own risk assessment teams -- and different tolerances for risk.
EDITORIAL: McDaniel should either show evidence or concede in Mississippi's GOP primary
The Washington Post editorializes: "It took just a few words for state Sen. Chris McDaniel to stoke tea party fervor after his runoff loss in the Mississippi Republican primary to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. 'We're not done fighting,' he said defiantly to the June 24 election-night crowd. A messy primary was about to get worse. ...Mr. McDaniel's strong language and incendiary tactics have no place in our democratic process. Any challenge to an election must be open and respectful. If Mr. McDaniel would like to contest the results, he should end his campaign spree and present evidence of widespread fraud. If not, he must do what he should've done a month ago: concede."

Roundup of Dan Mullen's visit with ESPN on Tuesday
ESPN hosted its annual "Carwash" on Tuesday which brought seven Southeastern coaches to Bristol, Connecticut. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen returned home to New England to talk about the Bulldogs in 2014. He spoke about MSU on nearly every format imaginable.
Bulldogs unveil non-SEC basketball slate
Mississippi State wanted a more challenging non-conference schedule in Rick Ray's third season to reflect a finally full roster. The Bulldogs released their 13-game non-conference slate on Wednesday. It features eight home outings and another at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on Dec. 20 against South Carolina Upstate. "Our non-conference schedule is an indication of the direction of our program," Ray said in a statement. "As our team matures and our talent level increases, our schedule reflects the belief in my team to accept bigger and better challenges. I also want to provide a great fan experience by having a team of the caliber of Florida State come in and play in The Hump. This schedule will not only prepare us for the SEC but also prepare us to have success in the SEC."
Madisonian Richard Williams joins 2014 Hall of Fame class
Richard Williams doesn't think he deserves to be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum this weekend. At least not by himself. The Madison resident, Mississippi State University's second-winningest coach in school history, said this week he owes much of his success to the players, assistants and administrators who helped him along the way. "Obviously, I'm honored," Williams said. "But I sure do have a lot of people to thank."
Atkins, Marty represent Mississippi State at bass fishing championship
Justin Atkins didn't know what to expect at last year's Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship. The Mississippi State senior and his partner finished in the top 15 last year, but this year Atkins feels like he and partner Joseph Marty have a good chance of having a better finish. This year's championship will be held at the same place -- Chatuge Reservoir in northeast Georgia -- on July 31-Aug. 2. "Going back this year, I'm looking forward to it," Atkins said. "I got a lot of knowledge on the lake last year, (and) I met a lot of friends that are from over that told me things. That lake is a big spotted bass lake and they just fish different. (in) talking to them, (it's) the things I've learned about how to approach a spotted bass lake than large mouth fishing like I do here. I just feel like I'm a lot more prepared this year and I'm really looking forward to going back." (Subscriber-only content.)
Tennessee snaps skid of season ticket sales, expects 60,000-plus
As of Wednesday, the University of Tennessee had sold about 59,000 football season tickets, senior associate athletic director for external operations Chris Fuller told the News Sentinel. Fuller expects to pass the 60,000 mark before the Vols kick off against Utah State at Neyland on Aug. 31. UT hasn't sold 60,000 season tickets since it sold 63,362 in 2011, according to records Fuller provided to the News Sentinel. "That still leaves us considerably below our high-water point," Fuller said. The Vols' recent lack of success on the field caused a drastic slide.
N.C.A.A. Players' Winning Streak, Off the Field
Leaders of the multibillion-dollar college sports industry, under increasing legal scrutiny over the rights of student-athletes, have begun rolling back some of the most contentious policies regarding amateurism. These shifts are happening at a time of growing unrest in college sports over what critics say is exploitation of athletes. In the most significant move yet, the N.C.A.A. decided last week not to ask athletes to sign a statement authorizing the N.C.A.A. and other groups to use their names and likenesses for promotional purposes. The change ended a much-criticized practice that pressured athletes to give the N.C.A.A. permission to profit from their popularity with no compensation.

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