Friday, June 22, 2018  SUBSCRIBE   
Decoded Syphilis Genomes Could Reveal Disease's Origins
In 1494, just after Columbus' first voyage to the New World, historical accounts in Europe describe a debilitating epidemic of a previously unrecorded disease that we know now as syphilis. That timing has sparked a debate that remains unanswered in modern science: Was syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease currently on the rise in the U.S., brought back to Europe from the Americas with early explorers, or was it already present in populations east of the Atlantic? Now, scientists have developed a way to genetically discern the difference between the subspecies of syphilis and yaws in human remains, and they say this advance can help reveal the disease's mysterious origins. While the genome sequencing technique on historic remains presents an exciting new tool to study the disease, Mississippi State University anthropologist Molly Zuckerman says finding sets of human remains to test will be the biggest hurdle.
Starkville, Tupelo among state Main Street award winners
Starkville won three awards at the Mississippi Main Street Association's 29th Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday, while Tupelo, Water Valley and Holly Springs each won an award. The awards honor Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and also recognize the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi. The Starkville Main Street Association won the Outstanding Historic Rehabilitation Project for its renovation of the Starkville Police Department. The group also won Outstanding Public Improvement Project for its work on the Russell Street Corridor project. Also, Michelle Jones of Starkville was named a Main Street Hero.
Mississippi gambling regulators approve sports betting rules
Mississippi's state-regulated casinos could begin taking sports bets as soon as late July, after gambling regulators on Thursday approved rules regulating sports betting. The state Gaming Commission unanimously approved the rules without discussion, said Executive Director Allen Godfrey. Casinos can move ahead when the rules become final in 30 days, but some sports betting service providers may have to be licensed by the commission before betting begins. Such service providers are already applying for licenses. The commission declined to make some changes requested by professional sports leagues after the proposed rules were published for public comment in May. Casinos can't take bets from coaches or athletes and must report suspicious bets over $5,000.
Tax ruling could lead to more money for Mississippi roads
Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling saying states can force online shoppers to pay sales taxes could produce a special legislative session in Mississippi to earmark new money for roads and bridges. Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson said after the 5-4 ruling that he estimates Mississippi will collect $30 million to $50 million in additional taxes in the budget year beginning July 1. He estimates $50 million to $75 million the following year. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant said last month that if the court ruled for the states, he'd ask lawmakers to earmark that money and money from a state lottery for transportation. "Gov. Bryant remains in discussions with legislative leadership about a potential special session," spokesman Clay Chandler said Thursday. "If those discussions produce a framework, he'll call one."
Ruling OKs online tax collection, could lead to special session on infrastructure
The decision by the United State Supreme Court to allow states to require online retailers to collect sales tax (actually use tax) for them could lead to a special session of the Mississippi Legislature. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant had said in May he might call a special session if the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 ruling that said the states could not mandate retailers to collect the tax unless they had a physical location in that state. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling in a 5-4 decision announced Thursday. Mississippi collects a 7 percent tax on the sale of most retail items. Laws will not need to be changed to enable the state to collect the tax on online retailers.
Candidates mum on campaign spending strategy during final days
The four candidates vying to win their party's nominations in Tuesday's runoff elections all have significant cash on hand heading into the final days of campaigning. Candidates refused to divulge much information on their strategies for spending their funds, but the two Republican candidates vying for the open 3rd District U.S. House post have used television advertising much more extensively than the two Democrats competing for the statewide U.S. Senate post. According to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Whit Hughes and Michael Guest, the two candidates in the runoff for the 3rd District post, have outraised the two candidates, David Baria and Howard Sherman, vying statewide in the Senate runoff.
House farm bill passes with controversial food stamp changes
The House passed its farm bill Thursday by a vote of 213-211 after weeks of uncertainty over whether leadership would be able to secure enough support within the fractious GOP Conference to pass a measure that is critical to farm country. Republican leadership succeeded in rebounding from last month's stunning defeat of the massive $860 billion legislation by meeting the demands of the House Freedom Caucus, which helped tank the first vote by withholding support as leverage to force a roll call on a conservative immigration measure. The immigration bill, written by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was voted down earlier Thursday, but clearing that hurdle led the influential conservative bloc to deliver just enough support to pass the farm bill.
House GOP Immigration Drama and Intrigue Mushrooms
The House Republican Conference was in disarray Thursday over immigration as GOP leaders delayed a key vote on a compromise bill and members began to cast blame for the measure's predicted defeat. The events escalated a drama that had begun Wednesday as GOP leaders struggled, yet again, to unite their fractured conference. This latest GOP melodrama over immigration is a self-inflicted wound, brought about moderate Republicans who wanted to force the House to vote on an issue that has long divided the GOP conference. The moderates agreed to hold off on a discharge petition that would have forced four immigration votes -- two on bills supported more by Democrats and than Republicans -- to negotiate a compromise with their GOP colleagues.
Universities say they are setting 'conservative' budgets this school year
Mississippi's public universities say they are managing their dollars and cents going into the 2019 school year. The State's Institutions of Higher Learning board members met this week to hear budget proposals from each of the eight universities. IHL Commissioner Glenn Boyce says budgets at most schools increased slightly. "Mostly for some personnel costs. Then some of the budgets at a few schools were down and requested a little bit lower budget. In particular, Jackson State as they try to bring their budget in line," said Boyce. Jackson State University President William Bynum says over the last year his administration has had to make tough decisions. The university's cash reserves dropped by 89 percent between the fiscal year 2012 and 2016 under then-President Carolyn Meyers, who resigned in 2016.
Tupelo resident Andrew Hayes faces the best kind of tough choice
In mid April, Andrew Hayes was studying for his last round of exams at the University of Mississippi when he received an email. His application for a prestigious Fulbright scholarship had been accepted. His initial reaction was typical. "I was so happy," Hayes said. "But it didn't last very long. I knew I had a tough decision to make." Hayes' scholarship is for teaching English at a high school in Madrid next school year while continuing research on his senior thesis topic -- youth unemployment in Spain. Before being accepted by Fulbright, Hayes was set to start a master's program in Political Economy at the London School of Economics. It's a tough choice, but Hayes doesn't want any sympathy. "I'd rather have two good choices than none," Hayes said.
Hattiesburg's Jamie Reyes overcomes odds in pursuit of PRCC degree
f Jamie Reyes knows one thing, she knows this: "You cannot let the world define you," she says. "You cannot let people tell you what you cannot be. You can do anything you put your mind to." Reyes has had to learn this lesson the hard way. Ever since she was a toddler, she's been told she has handicaps and won't succeed. But now the 29-year-old is looking at completing the final three semesters of a business degree at Pearl River Community College with a $2,500 scholarship in hand. Getting to this point hasn't been easy. Reyes has been told "no" and "you can't do it" for most of her life.
Auburn, Alabama universities go greener with more electric car charging ports
Auburn University and the University of Alabama are charging up for the fall. Both universities are adding more electric car charging ports to their campuses for the fall semester. Auburn will be adding 14 additional electric vehicle charging stations, and Alabama will be adding seven. There will be a total of 15 charging stations at Auburn and 10 at Alabama. Alabama will add one more station at a later date. The charging stations will be scattered around the parking lots and decks at both universities. Alabama's charging stations can charge two cars at once. Chris Bryant, assistant director of media relations for Alabama, said Alabama is pleased to encourage the use of green technology. Students and faculty at Alabama can use the charging ports at their designated lot or zone with a valid parking permit.
Auburn University researchers land $5 million in support
Auburn University President Steven Leath announced Thursday that 11 research teams at the school will benefit from a $5 million investment in their work. "Auburn research is on the move," Leath said in a press statement. "Our world-renowned faculty are leading Auburn in our drive to solve problems, provide real-world benefits and serve the social good." The investment is part of the Presidential Awards for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR), a program Leath launched in December. Leath received 101 proposals from researchers at Auburn, and selected 11 potentially life-changing projects to invest in. The funding will span three years, and PAIR is modeled after a research program Leath started while president of Iowa State University.
Keystone Virus Makes Jump From Mosquitoes To Human For First Time
Just in time for the hot, humid, bug-bite-riddled summer, here's another disease to worry about: Researchers from the University of Florida have confirmed a new mosquito-borne virus has made the jump from infecting only animals to infecting humans in a study published earlier this month. The first known case of the Keystone virus has been identified in a 16-year-old boy after a year of tests and analysis, Glenn Morris, director of the university's Emerging Pathogens Institute, told NPR member station WUSF. Scientists reported the virus is part of a group that can cause encephalitis -- inflammation of the brain -- in humans and other species. But it is unclear if Keystone does. Morris suspects a lot of other people in the Southeast may be carrying the virus.
Missouri-based law firm to audit Texas A&M's Title IX processes
Texas A&M has selected Husch Blackwell LLP to conduct an audit of university Title IX sexual assault processes, according to a statement from university President Michael K. Young. The law firm will review the practices of A&M in "evaluating investigative procedures, sensitivity to trauma, best practices in advocacy and sanctions," Young's statement said. Hayley Hanson and Julie Miceli, both partners with the law firm, will lead the review, according to the statement. A&M Provost and Executive Vice President Carol A. Fierke will be a liaison between the university and Husch Blackwell, according to the statement released Thursday. The law firm, based out of Kansas City, Missouri, completed a similar review at Michigan State University in May.
U. of Houston dean named Missouri provost
The University of Missouri has hired a new provost to replace Garnett Stokes, who left Jan. 31 to become president of the University of New Mexico. Latha Ramchand was appointed University of Missouri provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs Thursday by Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, MU said in a news release. Her appointment is effective Aug. 15. Ramchand is dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Undergraduate Vice Provost Jim Spain has been serving as interim provost since Stokes' departure. Ramchand earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Bombay and a doctorate in finance from Northwestern University. At the University of Houston, Ramchand introduced initiatives including Red Labs, a start-up accelerator to launch student-led technology startups and Sustaining Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship, which connected students and community entrepreneurs to reduce poverty.
Judge rules Board of Curators must recognize Missouri graduate worker union
University of Missouri graduate student workers are employees under the Missouri Constitution. Further, their union, the Coalition of Graduate Workers, is the sole collective bargaining entity for MU graduate students and the UM System Board of Curators must recognize them. Those mandates are according to 13th Circuit Court for Boone County Judge Jeff Harris' final decision Thursday in the case of the Coalition of Graduate Workers v. the Curators of the University of Missouri. "The court finds that the graduate workers are 'employees' because the University, through its practices and policies, treats them like employees," Harris' opinion read, labeling his interpretation of the law as "undisputed fact." The decision expands the definition of employee rights under the Missouri Constitution.
'I Don't Think We Were Prepared for This Level of Cruelty'
This semester, Elissa Steglich's law students handled two cases of immigrant mothers seeking asylum in the United States, both separated from their young children in the process. One of the children was 18 months old. Steglich, a clinical professor in the University of Texas School of Law's Immigration Clinic, has long been involved with family detention and cases of separation. But recently, she said, the intensity and frequency of cases have "skyrocketed." Even as an experienced legal professional, it came as a shock, she said. "I don't think we were prepared for this level of cruelty," Steglich said. The practice of separating families at the border was banned on Wednesday after President Trump issued an executive order amending his administration's policy, but the United States is still considered to be in an immigration crisis. And at the front lines of the crisis are immigration lawyers, including law professors and their students.
U. of Tennessee social work experts condemn separation of children at border
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville's College of Social Work has joined a nationwide band of outraged social work institutions and organizations to condemn the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents at the southern border. President Donald Trump, facing a national outcry, signed an executive order Wednesday designed to keep migrant families together at the U.S.-Mexico border. The order was drafted by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and directs her department to keep families together after they are detained for crossing the border illegally. A public statement issued this week by UT's College of Social Work rebukes the federal government for breaking up families and putting children at risk of long-term harm.
Trump Wants to Drastically Alter the Education Dept.; Here's What You Need to Know
A U.S. Department of Education and the Workforce? That's what the Trump administration envisions in its new 132-page framework for merging the Education and Labor Departments, as part of a broader overhaul of the federal government. The departments, officials wrote in the proposal, "share a common goal of preparing Americans for success in a globally competitive world through family-sustaining careers. However, the two departments operate in silos, inhibiting the federal government's ability to address the skill needs of the American people in a coordinated manner." Higher-education programs would fall under a new office called "American Workforce and Higher Education Administration," which would be "charged with ensuring that American workers possess the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce."
White House merger plan reignites debate on education, training
A White House proposal to merge the Departments of Education and Labor has reignited a long-running debate about whether the worker training and education functions of the federal bureaucracy should be distinct or part of the same operation -- and whether there might be better ways to create a more coherent system for educating and training Americans. The proposal is part of a broader plan to overhaul much of the federal government released by the Trump administration Thursday. The White House said the new agency, dubbed the Department of Education and the Workforce, would better align postsecondary education programs with the needs of the work force. It's likely to face steep odds of advancing in Congress, which must approve any such reorganization. Democratic lawmakers were quick to blast the announcement as unrealistic and a coded plan to cut government investments.
A Conference's Recipe for 'Viewpoint Diversity': More Free Play, More John Stuart Mill
College students today didn't play enough as kids, and therefore they fall apart -- or become furious -- when confronted with challenging ideas. Administrators are too weak to stand up to these fragile students. That combination has led to a crisis on campuses that threatens free speech, unfettered inquiry, and perhaps the very soul of the academy. Or at least that's the dire takeaway from the first Open Mind Conference, put on last week by Heterodox Academy, an organization founded in 2015 with a mission to increase "viewpoint diversity" on campuses. Held at TheTimesCenter, in New York, Open Mind was a slick, briskly paced event featuring academic leaders like Robert Zimmer, president of the University of Chicago, along with with professors who have risen to prominence after drawing the ire of student activists.
UCLA's mobile app aims to replace campus climate surveys
Gauging how students feel on campus is often the job of annual campus climate surveys, but a research and development unit at the University of California, Los Angeles, wants to change that. The unit, called BruinX and based in UCLA's office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, recently developed and beta tested an app that will send a notification to students' smartphones every two weeks to ask them what they're thinking, how they're feeling and what they're experiencing on campus. The questions are simple and students are provided with multiple-choice responses as well as an option to write in short answers. Jonathan Feingold, a research fellow at BruinX, hopes the app will provide a more complete picture of UCLA's campus climate. After two beta tests to work out the technical kinks, the app is set to launch campuswide this fall.

Bulldogs face potent Oregon State offense
Mississippi State is only one win away from returning to the championship round of the College World Series for the first time since 2013. But to get there, the Bulldogs will have to go through one of the nation's top offensive clubs, Oregon State. First pitch of the CWS semifinals is slated for 2 p.m. today on ESPN. "Coach (Pat) Casey's teams compete really well and they'll be well-prepared," said MSU interim head coach Gary Henderson. The Beavers rank in the top 10 nationally in team batting average (.322, 3rd), hits (689, 3rd), doubles (141, 5th), runs (479, 7th) and runs per game (7.7, 9th). In three games at TD Ameritrade Park, OSU is hitting .359 and averaging 14 hits and 10.3 runs per game.
What's gotten into these Mississippi State pitchers since arriving in Omaha?
For a team that was giving up nearly seven runs a game in the post-season and relying on scoring eight or more runs to win a ballgame, Mississippi State is pitching pretty darn well through two games here. Ethan Small pitched seven scoreless innings in the Bulldogs' College World Series opener against Washington, and the bullpen finished off the shutout in a 1-0 win over the Huskies. Then, Konnor Pilkington and Cole Gordon combined to allow just two runs over nine innings in the Bulldogs' 12-2 win over North Carolina. Friday's starter Jacob Billingsley swears he doesn't know what's gotten into the Bulldogs since the World Series began. He just hopes it continues when he takes the mound against the Oregon State Beavers at 2 p.m. Friday, when a win will put Mississippi State into the national championship series.
Freshmen players sill performing late in Mississippi State season
Gary Henderson was talking about the wall as early as March. His decades of college baseball experience told him most freshmen hit a breaking point, most of the time around final exams. It's an understandable occurrence. Some national champions come close to 70 games as they close in on college baseball's ultimate prize, a drastic workload increase from the typical high school season that rarely reach go beyond 40 games. All Henderson could do was have it on his mind and have a plan for when the time came. This group of freshmen proved to be immune. When most freshmen let the grind of a long season wear them down, these freshmen started improving. When Mississippi State (39-27) takes on Oregon State (51-11-1) 2 p.m. today (ESPN) with a spot in the national championship series up for grabs, it will likely do so with four freshmen in the starting lineup.
Notebook: Well-rested Jacob Billingsley takes mound for Bulldogs
A third game in the College World Series was no guarantee, so Mississippi State interim head coach Gary Henderson saw no point in treating it as such. When asked about his starting pitching plans for a third game before the tournament began, he thought it was an attempt at humor. Behind the scenes, Jacob Billingsley was preparing for anything. All season, the senior from Senatobia has been MSU's third starting pitcher, a duty he will continue when he starts 2 p.m. today (ESPN) against Oregon State (51-11-1). Up until that point, though, Billingsley was ready for anything. "(Henderson) said if we win the first game and it looks like we're winning the second game, don't be surprised if we bring you out (of the bullpen)," Billingsley said. "I had my cleats on both games, waiting on the opportunity and hoping for the opportunity, to tell you the truth."
Scouting Mississippi State's next CWS opponent: Oregon State
Mississippi State has met every challenge it has faced since arriving here at the College World Series, but the Bulldogs have their work cut out for them against Oregon State Friday afternoon. The Beavers (51-11-1) are coming off a big 11-6 win over North Carolina in an elimination game Wednesday night. They were down 6-3 after seven innings, then exploded for four runs in each of the last two to stay alive. "Our club represented everything that I ask teams to be," OSU coach Pat Casey said. "They were resilient. They were tough. They fought. They scrapped." Here's what we can expect from Oregon State when they square off with MSU at 2 p.m. Friday.
CWS forecast: Dry and mild for the most part today, with a slight chance of more precipitation
Other than a few, light morning showers possible Friday, generally dry and mild weather was expected in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa, forecasters said. The National Weather Service office called for a slight chance of showers Friday morning and a high temperature around 75. Friday night in the Omaha area, look for dry conditions and a low around 60. Ryan McPike, a KMTV meteorologist, said today's 2 p.m. CWS game between Mississippi State and Oregon State and tonight's 7 o'clock contest between Arkansas and Florida probably should not be affected by any rain. Saturday will bring a decent chance of showers and possibly a thunderstorm before noon. Expect a high in the upper 70s.
Championship level humor brings laughter to Mississippi State couple
A Mississippi State fan who went viral for his troll job during an Omaha TV interview is hoping he can use his newfound fame for good. Lee and Terry Powell met as freshmen at Mississippi State in 1990. The two have been #couplegoals ever since. Terry, of Madison, spoke with Omaha news station KMTV during one of the many rain delays that have postponed this year's NCAA College World Series. He said that he used it as an opportunity to troll the media that said Mississippi State fans were too poor to travel to the CWS in 2013. For Lee, this was just an average day married to Terry and the whole thing has been in good fun. Inspired by fellow Bulldog fans Matt and Billy Lea, Terry is hoping for those that see his interview, donate to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
Bulldog family supports MSU at College World Series in Omaha -- in a tent
As the Mississippi State players were about to walk onto the field Friday night for the opening ceremonies at the College World Series in Omaha, they heard fans in the outfield yelling their names with Southern drawls. "When they looked up they couldn't believe their eyes. They remembered us (from Starkville)," says Len Coleman, 47, a self-employed forester from Noxubee County. "They were saying, 'You came? You really came?' You could tell it meant a lot to them. "That made the long drive (to Omaha) totally worth it." Now with the Bulldogs three wins away from a national title, the trip means even more. Mississippi State plays Oregon State, which has to beat the Bulldogs twice, Friday at 2 p.m. A victory advances MSU into the best-of-three championship round.
College World Series: State's Jacob Billingsley faces toughest task yet
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "On paper, it appears a mismatch: Mississippi State fifth-year senior pitcher Jacob Billingsley against a fearsome, power-packed Oregon State lineup that includes three first round choices in the recent Major League draft. Billingsley, a walk-on five years ago out of Magnolia Heights School in Senatobia, will face an Oregon State lineup that includes three of the draft's top 37 picks and six who were taken in the first 10 rounds. Billingsley, you should know, was picked in the 32nd round by the Houston Astros, the 972nd player chosen. ...Now then here's the good news where Mississippi State is concerned: Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series is not made of paper. It's a beautiful stadium with well-groomed Kentucky bluegrass turf. More glad tidings for State: Friday's scheduled 2 p.m. game is a huge one, and Billingsley has a habit of being at his best when it matters most."
Gators hold off Texas Tech 9-6 at CWS to make bracket final
JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings and eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night. The Gators (49-20) have won two straight following a loss to Tech in their CWS opener and moved to the Bracket 2 final against Southeastern Conference rival Arkansas. The No. 1 national seed would have to beat the Razorbacks on Friday and again Saturday to return to the best-of-three championship round next week. Bracket 2 finalists Florida and Arkansas haven't met since they opened SEC play in late March. The Gators won two of three in Gainesville.
College World Series: Hogs' approach: Nothing done yet
Some of the first words out of the mouth of Dave Van Horn to his Arkansas Razorbacks after Wednesday night's 7-4 victory over Texas Tech were, "We haven't done anything yet." The Razorbacks are 2-0 and in the driver's seat of Bracket 2 at the College World Series after downing the Red Raiders in the winner's bracket. Arkansas (46-19) needs just one victory in the bracket finals to advance to the championship series. "It's where you want to be," Van Horn said after Thursday's practice at Creighton University. "But 3-0 is better." Van Horn has hammered home what happened to the Hogs in 2012. The Razorbacks downed Kent State 8-1 and South Carolina 2-1 to reach the bracket finals, but the two-time defending CWS champion Gamecocks came back and eliminated the Hogs with 2-0 and 3-2 victories.
Auburn extends baseball coach Butch Thompson's contract through 2024 season
Allen Greene said Tuesday that he didn't have a set timeline for when he wanted to extend the contract of baseball coach Butch Thompson. But Auburn's athletics director didn't waste any time getting a deal done. The university announced on Thursday that Thompson's contract has been extended through the 2024 season. The coach just completed the third year of the original five-year deal he signed prior to the 2016 season. Thompson's original deal paid $350,000 annually. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed. Thompson took over an Auburn program in some disarray after former athletics director Jay Jacobs fired former baseball coach Sunny Golloway with cause in September of 2015, but quickly established a strong foundation.
Head football coach Chad Morris finalizes employment contract with Arkansas
The contract for Arkansas head football coach Chad Morris was finalized this week. Morris, who was hired as the Razorbacks' coach last December, signed the contract last week, Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said Saturday. The principal terms of the 34-page contract, including addendum, are unchanged from the offer letter Morris signed in December. His annual salary will be $3.5 million from university and private funds, and his contract runs through Dec. 31, 2023. Yurachek, who was hired one day prior to Morris last December, said he has yet to finalize his own contract. He signed a six-page offer letter on Dec. 4, 2017, that will pay him $850,000 per year through December 2022.
Georgia reports NCAA extra benefit violation
Georgia reported an NCAA violation involving its men's basketball program in February. At issue: Extra benefits worth about $30 total. A player's father received vouchers for complimentary meals -- three valued at $9.99 each---from what Georgia described as "an unidentified booster," when the booster handed the vouchers to the father during a game. The father then gave his wife and son the meal passes. The date of the violation, details of which were obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald Thursday in an open records, was listed as Feb. 5. The violation was classified as Level III, which the NCAA defines as isolated or limited in nature and provides no more than a minimal recruiting or competitive advantage.
Will Clemson follow trend and sell alcohol at football games?
Dan Radakovich knows as well as anyone how hot the topic of alcohol sales at college football stadiums is right now. After all, about 40 schools across the country permit the sale of alcohol during games -- including The Citadel -- and that can translate into big money. The University of Texas reportedly netted $1.3 million in alcohol sales alone for 2016. But don't expect that trend to carry over to Clemson and its 80,000-plus fans in Memorial Stadium any time soon, the athletic director says. Clemson has never been on the forefront of the alcohol conversation and that is not changing in the foreseeable future. Radakovich, who met with the media Wednesday, has not wavered in that department. "It hasn't been a huge topic here because we really don't look at that as something moving forward inside Memorial Stadium that is on our list of things to get done," Radakovich said. "There's a different atmosphere at our games."
Construction to begin on USM's new volleyball center
The University of Southern Mississippi women's volleyball team's new home is about to move from blueprint to reality. "We recently have broken ground or are (about to be) breaking ground on our new, indoor volleyball facility," USM athletic director Jon Gilbert said Thursday afternoon. "We have partnered with a local contractor and they have fenced off the property and are doing things, both on-site and behind the scenes, to get the project moving." The center will serve as the practice/playing home of Lady Eagles volleyball, including locker rooms and training and meeting rooms. In partnership with the non-profit Mississippi Community Education Center, the facility also will be converted for use for university-affiliated and community classes, meetings, camps, seminars and other events. Gilbert said the university was creative in raising funds for the construction of the $6 million facility.
Northeast Mississippi CC ready to build campus ballfields
Work will begin soon on Northeast Mississippi Community College's new baseball and softball complex. The Northeast Board of Trustees officially approved a bid for the facility during their recent monthly meeting. The bid went to McCarty King Construction Company of Tupelo for $8.16 million. "The new complex will provide our student-athletes with a quality facility," said Northeast President Ricky Ford. "This makes a statement that Northeast is serious about winning." The complex will allow Northeast's baseball and softball teams to play on campus for the first time. Both teams have played at Booneville City Park -- baseball since the late 1980s, softball since 1997. "It's something that's been a long time coming," Athletics Director Kent Farris said.

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