Friday, June 21, 2019  SUBSCRIBE   
Services planned for Charles E. Keenum, MSU president's father
Mississippi State University is saddened to share the news that MSU President Mark E. Keenum's father, Mr. Charles Keenum of Belzoni, passed away in the early hours Thursday [June 20] at his home. Mr. Keenum's visitation and funeral service will be held Saturday, June 22, at the Starkville First Baptist Church Outreach Worship Center, 210 S. Jackson Street. Visitation begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. First Baptist Church of Belzoni pastor Rev. George Johnson will officiate. Interment will be at Memorial Gardens in Starkville. Survivors include: His beloved wife of 60 years, Shirley Jo Huffman Keenum, of Belzoni; sons Dr. Mark E. Keenum (Rhonda) of Starkville and David Keenum (Desirae) of Midwest City, Oklahoma; one brother, Bobby Gene Keenum (Martha Nell) of Brandon; 12 grandchildren; and a number of nephews, nieces and cousins.
MSU-Meridian's Terry Dale Cruse promoted to associate vice president
The leader of Mississippi State's Meridian Campus, Terry Dale Cruse, has been promoted to associate vice president and head of campus for the university's east central Mississippi location. Cruse's new title is effective July 1 and comes after leading MSU-Meridian through substantial growth since becoming administrative director and head of campus in January 2016. Enrollment at MSU Meridian has increased 17 percent over the past three years. "MSU-Meridian is an important catalyst for regional development in Eastern Mississippi and Western Alabama, and Dr. Cruse has the campus on an upward trajectory," MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said in a news release. "The Meridian Campus has reached many significant milestones during Dr. Cruse's tenure, and we look forward to continued success moving forward." "I'm grateful to President Keenum and Dr. Bonner for this opportunity, and I'm thankful for the outstanding faculty and staff whose dedication to our campus helped us reach new heights," Cruse said.
Rural rising high school seniors from across state prepare for advanced physics at Mississippi State
The classroom was full and chaotic as college students peered over the shoulders of high school students who tackled complex mathematical equations. Boxes of equipment for physical experiments were strewn around the room and Global Teaching Project instructors and professors observed it all, helping when needed with more difficult physics concepts. With the help of Ivy League tutors, dozens of rising high school seniors converged to talk physics and get the college experience in the Advanced STEM Preparatory Summer Program through the Global Teaching Project at Mississippi State University this week. Aberdeen High School student Jaliyah Chandler loves science and participated in the program to learn a new area of the subject, but she struggles in math. "At first, I was kind of scared and I didn't really like it because I struggle in math, but then after the counselors helped me, I started to like it," Chandler said. In its third year, the program has grown and received national attention while leadership makes plans to expand.
MSU AP Physics Pilot Program
On Wednesday, June 19, Mississippi State University completed a week-long Advanced Placement Access Pilot Program designed to help 50 high-school students from 13 rural schools in Mississippi prepare for an AP physics course in fall 2019. The Mississippi Public School Consortium for Educational Access conducted the AP program in partnership with the Global Teaching Project, an organization that promotes education in rural and low-income communities. MSU has hosted the AP physics preparatory program every year since it launched in 2016. The AP Access Pilot Program is free for students, schools and school districts to take part in. Funding comes from private donors, including the Jack Kent Cooke, Chisholm and Phil Hardin foundations, and philanthropist Don Barrett of Lexington.
Unique Management Style Keeps Mississippi Farm All in the Family
If Jeremy Jack has a unique approach to running a row crop farm, well, he comes by that naturally. Jeremy's dad Willard is himself unique among his farming peers in the Mississippi Delta. Willard came to the Mississippi Delta in 1979 from Canada, settling in the small town of Belzoni and planting his first cotton crop in 1981. After growing up on the farm, Jeremy flirted briefly with the idea of doing something else for a career. Then life intervened. After college at Mississippi State University, Jeremy took an interest in politics. "I enjoyed the lawmaking side -- not necessarily the elections side," he says. He earned a master's degree in agricultural business with a focus on ag policy in 2006. Jeremy had even moved to Washington D.C. briefly to start his young career. Then he got a call from back home on the farm. His dad had been diagnosed with cancer. "He was at that point where he said, if you want to come back and farm, come back and farm now," Jeremy recalls. "But if you don't want to, then don't. But there might not be a farm to come back to." Jeremy came home.
Clay, Itawamba, Monroe, Oktibbeha counties declared federal disaster areas
Four more local counties have been designated as federal disaster areas, opening the door to more financial help from the government to recover from the bad weather on April 13 and 14. Clay, Itawamba, Monroe and Oktibbeha counties are among eight Mississippi counties to fall under the declaration. The other counties are Clarke, Kemper, Warren and Yazoo. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said local governments and non profits in those eight counties can get reimbursed for repairing infrastructure, removing debris and paying overtime to responders. MEMA originally said the state surpassed the criteria required for the federal government to provide individual assistance, but that turned out to be wrong. Tornadoes caused significant damage near Starkville and in Hamilton that weekend. Flooding also was reported.
Gates at Steele Bayou Control Structure reopened
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District opened the gates of the Steele Bayou Control Structure Thursday. The structure's gates have been closed since June 7 to prevent backflow. The Steele Bayou Control Structure, which was built in 1969, combined with the Mississippi River and Yazoo Backwater levees, prevents the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers from backing up and further flooding the Delta. The Vicksburg gauge on the Mississippi River has been above flood stage for 125 consecutive days, which is the longest duration since 1927. The stage at the Vicksburg on the Mississippi River is 49.4 feet as of Thursday and is forecast to fall below 48 feet by the end of June. Flood stage at the Vicksburg gauge is 43 feet. In consideration of National Weather Service forecasts, district engineers anticipate approximately 19,000 cubic feet per second flowing through the Steele Bayou Control Structure by June 26. District engineers also anticipate conditions allowing for the opening of the Little Sunflower Control Structure around June 23 and approximately 8,000 cfs flowing through the structure's gates by June 28.
Steele Bayou gates open, but many backwater flood victims lost everything
For 125 days now the Mississippi River has been above flood stage keeping the Steele Bayou Gates closed and water trapped in the Delta. This is the longest time period the waters have been this high since 1927, but today the gates finally opened. For many homeowners and farmers in the Delta those gates are going to need to stay open for a long period of time for them to really feel any relief. But just knowing the water is finally draining is giving them hope. The announcement came at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning that after more than four months water was finally leaving the Delta. "I just felt relieved," Holly Bluff native Smith Stoner told us. "I was like this is terrific news. We still got a long ways to go." "It's a little relief and I'm glad, I hope they get to stay open for a while," Dale Cockrell said. "And get some of this water off of us." But after months of many properties sitting under up to five feet of water, it may take more than open gates to make a difference.
$1.4 million grant will help secure wood pellet plant for Lucedale
A $1.4 million grant is on the way to Lucedale to help improve the George County Industrial Park and make way for a $140 million wood pellet plant. The grant was announced Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is from the department's Economic Development Administration. Ross said in a press release that the money will be used for "critical infrastructure improvements" for local businesses, including the pellet plant that will produce over 3 million metric tons of pellets each year. The wood pellets will primarily be exported to the United Kingdom and Europe. The project is expected to create 90 jobs. "This investment from the Economic Development Administration will help George County transform forestry resources into industrial growth and jobs for the region," said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi.
Attorney General Jim Hood will continue defending 6-week abortion ban
Mississippi will appeal a federal judge's decision to block a controversial state law that bans abortions as early as the sixth week of a woman's pregnancy, according to the attorney general's office. The announcement ends speculation about how Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat running for governor, would handle a law largely seen as unpopular within his own party. Hood said that he would appeal the law on Friday because he wanted to give a higher court the chance to weigh in on the issue. "Not only do I have a statutory duty to defend the laws passed by our Legislature, but the Fifth Circuit has not yet ruled on this issue," Hood said in a statement on Thursday, referring to a federal appeals court. In the lead-up to the August primary, speculation has been rampant about whether Hood would appeal the lower court's decision. Although Hood said defending the law is his duty as the attorney general, he has not always followed that mantra.
Mississippi elections: Candidate calls for voter ID law; it already exists
Secretary of state candidate Sam Britton on Wednesday signaled his strong endorsement of a voter ID law for Mississippi. "Last time I checked, you need an ID to rent a car, board an aircraft...even check out a library book," the public service commissioner wrote on Twitter. "Isn't it time we include one of our nation's landmark rights in the list? I stand with ALL Mississippians wanting free and fair elections. #VoterIDMatters" Just one problem: Such a law already exists in the Magnolia State, and it's been implemented since 2014. Britton campaign manager Alex Melendez said Britton is aware Mississippi has a voter ID law. He pointed to a similar post, about an hour later on Facebook, that said Mississippi should "ensure that our voter ID law doesn't change." "He's reaffirming his support for the voter ID law," Melendez said of Britton. He said the tweet had "poor wording."
Supreme Court overturns Mississippi man's murder conviction in case that raised questions of racial bias, orders new trial
The Supreme Court on Friday threw out the most recent conviction of a Mississippi man who has been tried an extraordinary six times for a quadruple murder in 1996, finding that a zealous prosecutor once again had improperly kept African Americans off the jury. The decision was 7 to 2, with Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh writing the majority opinion. He said it broke no new legal ground, but reinforced the court's rulings about when a prosecutor's bias eliminated a potential juror. Six times, District Attorney Doug Evans, who is white, has attempted to convict Curtis Flowers, who is black, in a prosecutorial pursuit that may be without parallel. Flowers was charged with executing four people inside Tardy Furniture Store in the small town of Winona, Miss., in 1996. Two trials, the only ones with more than one African American on the panel, resulted in hung juries. Three convictions were overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court for prosecutorial misconduct and improper maneuvering by Evans to keep blacks off the jury.
Trump states and rural areas grab bigger chunk of transportation grant funds
Twenty-five of the 30 states President Donald Trump won in 2016 have received bigger shares of funding from a federal transportation program that has shifted to favoring rural projects over urban, according to a McClatchy analysis of Department of Transportation data. The Trump administration is also giving roads a bigger chunk of the award money since President Barack Obama left office. Grant recipients are getting nearly everything they sought -- more than 90 percent of what they requested -- in the Trump administration awards. During the Obama years, grant winners got about half of what they requested. The grant program, now called Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, was created in 2009, the first year of Obama's presidency. So far more than $7 billion has been awarded to 554 projects. During the Obama administration, when the program was known as TIGER for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, nearly 80 percent of the money went to urban projects. During the two Trump years funded so far, nearly 70 percent of the dollars have gone to rural initiatives.
Trump says he aborted strike against Iran because it wouldn't have been 'proportionate'
President Donald Trump on Friday defended his decision to abort strikes on three Iranian targets involved in shooting down a U.S. military drone, saying U.S. forces were "cocked & loaded," but the expected 150 deaths would not have been a "proportionate" response. The New York Times first reported that Trump ordered strikes on Iranian targets but then canceled the mission with U.S. aircraft en route to take out Iranian missile and radar sites. Trump's decision to abort the mission, which would have answered one act of war with another and potentially kicked off the kind of major conflict in the Middle East that he campaigned in 2016 on ending, were a show of restraint from a commander in chief many Democratic lawmakers worry will side with his hardline advisers.
Unmanned aircraft shot down by Iran was partially constructed in South Mississippi
The unmanned aircraft shot down by Iranian forces in the Middle East has ties to South Mississippi. Northrop Grumman in Jackson County manufactures the fuselage for the RQ-4A Global Hawk aircraft like the one shot down. About 130 employees in Moss Point help build the fuselages for the drones. After the fuselages are constructed in Moss Point, they're sent to California for final assembly. U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo released the following statement to WLOX concerning the construction of the drones: "The Moss Point facility does play a role in the production of Global Hawk and several other military programs. I can't confirm that this specific drone was built in Moss Point, but I can say that many of the unmanned Global Hawk systems used by the Navy are in part built in Mississippi. The men and women at Northrup Grumman play an essential role in bolstering our military's readiness and capability, and I am very proud of the work that they do every day." The Global Hawks as they're called are designed for strategic intelligence gathering. They can fly as high as 65,000 feet.
'This place has enough creepy old men': GOP vows to crush Roy Moore
Republicans are promising to do everything they can to obliterate Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate primary. A push is underway to get President Donald Trump involved in derailing Moore. Republicans are actively moving to recruit Jeff Sessions to run for his old seat. And GOP leaders are warning the party will jeopardize perhaps its only chance at picking up a Senate seat next year if they let Democrat Doug Jones get his favored match-up. "There will be a lot of efforts made to ensure that we have a nominee other than him and one who can win in November," said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). "He's already proven he can't." Added Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, "We'll be opposing Roy Moore vigorously." "Give me a break. This place has enough creepy old men," said Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), referring to Washington, when asked about Moore's candidacy.
'We're poised for new leadership:' IHL hosts first listening session in chancellor search
The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning discussed potential chancellor candidates' ability to recruit students and manage multiple campuses at its first listening session with University of Mississippi Medical Center students, faculty and alumni. Though no students spoke during the first part of the listening session, Edgar Meyer, former Associated Student Body President of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said that he would like to have a chancellor that was more invested in the medical school. "I, on behalf of the students at UMMC, would like to see someone who would have a vested interest in what's going on with the medical center campus," Meyer said. Ford Dye, Vice President of The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, said that the board had done "behind the scenes" communication with various stakeholders since January and came up with a list of criteria for the new chancellor.
Jackson State University graduate student patents lead-filtering straw
A Jackson State University graduate student is changing the way we drink water, with a straw. LaMonte Pierce says what started out as a collaboration between JSU students from several majors, turned into a much bigger invention; which would eventually prevent people from ingesting lead through drinking water. Pierce and his classmates were asked to find a solution to a problem in Mississippi. They chose the constant boil water notices issued by the City of Jackson. For a solution, a filtered straw. "The guy who I was partnering with, Andrew Willis, he's a business marketing, finance and all of that... basically, he kept contacting me over the summer saying you know we need to continue this over the summer, we need to keep doing this... I think you hit on something big and think it'll do something. So I was like yeah, we can try that out." That's when Pierce began to do more research on filters and materials.
LSU veterinarians use Lego car kit to get two-legged Pedro the turtle moving again
Several LSU veterinarians thought outside the Lego box to get an injured turtle moving again. Pedro the turtle, who was already missing one leg, escaped from his home and when owners found him several months later he was missing the other back leg, according to LSU media relations. His owners brought Pedro in to LSU where veterinarians discovered nothing medically wrong except his mobility. Using a Lego car kit, zoological medicine intern Kelly Rockwell and LSU veterinary student Sarah Mercer attached wheels to Pedro to help him move.
Doug Pitcock '49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center gets top rating from AAA
The Doug Pitcock '49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center on the Texas A&M campus has earned AAA's Four Diamond Rating, according to a university press release. The Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center is the only property to hold the Four Diamond rating in College Station, the release states. To be AAA approved, properties undergo in-person inspections, anonymous overnight stays and a review by a panel of experts. Of the 27,000 full-service hotels rated in North America, just 1,676 hotels hold the AAA Four Diamond Rating. This distinction recognizes the construction and design of the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, as well as the cleanliness, service, comfort and safety of the facility. The hotel opened in August.
U. of Missouri union seeks $15 an hour minimum
Local labor leaders renewed their calls for the University of Missouri to institute a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour Thursday. Member of Laborer's International Union of North America, Local 773 in Columbia and supporters held a news conference and rally at Memorial Union where they demanded MU pay maintenance workers, service workers and other laborers a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour. Local 773 Field Representative Eric Scott told the Tribune before the news conference that because Columbia increased its minimum wage for city workers to $15 per hour and Columbia Public Schools indicated a plan to do the same, the city's largest public-sector employer should follow suit. At a news conference after a UM Board of Curators Meeting Thursday, System President Mun Choi acknowledged that service, maintenance employees and laborers are on the "low end of the pay scale" and the university wants to pay these employees fairly. Raising the university's minimum wage to $15 per hour would cost $50 million, Choi said. "To go from where we are currently to go to $15 is very difficult," Choi said.
Presidential hopefuls get behind Pell Grants in prisons
In response to a town hall question this spring, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders touched off a new debate among Democrats by arguing that people in prison should have the right to vote. None of Sanders's rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination have followed him in going as far as endorsing voting rights for people behind bars, which is allowed in only two states. But while voting rights may be a step too far for many candidates, there's little controversy among most of the Democratic primary field that people behind bars should have access to federal aid for postsecondary education. Nearly all of the top contenders in the Democratic primary have backed repeal of the ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students, in place since 1994. Lifting the ban has become a top priority for education advocates and criminal justice reformers.
Jane Sanders and the Messy Demise of a Vermont College
If Jane O'Meara Sanders had had her way, a stretch of prime real estate here along Lake Champlain would have become a college campus. Instead, it became a cloud lingering over her reputation and her husband's presidential campaign. In 2010, as president and would-be savior of Burlington College --- a tiny alternative school in this small offbeat city --- Ms. Sanders championed a deal to buy a waterfront spread from the local Roman Catholic diocese. Within a year, she was fired, and the college limped toward obsolescence, buried under debt. Then the story of the failing college turned into a political storm. The top Trump campaign official in Vermont filed a complaint, leading to a federal inquiry that examined whether Ms. Sanders had inflated donor commitments to secure a bank loan for the property, and whether her husband had pressured the bank to make the loan. Today, Mr. Sanders is among the front-runners challenging President Trump, and Jane Sanders is -- as she long has been -- his closest political adviser and confidante. A sprawling housing development is now rising on the lakeside land. But questions about the Burlington College deal live on.
New Report Says Women Will Soon Be Majority Of College-Educated U.S. Workers
Women are on track to make up a majority of the college-educated labor force this year, marking a historic turning point in gender parity. While women have made up a majority of college-educated adults for roughly four decades, that strength has not always been reflected in the work force, where men have traditionally dominated. Men still outnumber women as a percentage of U.S. workers, but the gap has narrowed significantly in recent years. This year's first-quarter findings reported 29.5 million women in the labor force had at minimum a bachelor's degree, compared to 29.3 million men, according to an analysis by Pew Research of data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women, ages 25 and older, now account for more than half of the college-educated workforce (50.2%) -- an 11% increase since 2000. The 1981-82 academic school year was the first time that women received more bachelor's degrees than men. Since then, woman have consistently outpaced men in earning that same level of education.

Bulldogs' run in Omaha comes to a close
JT Ginn gave No. 3 Mississippi State six shutout innings on the mound before turning things over to the Bulldogs' bullpen with a three-run lead over 11th-ranked Louisville. It wouldn't be enough. Jared Liebelt and Cole Gordon surrendered two runs apiece as the Cardinals' walked off in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory to eliminate MSU at the College World Series on Thursday night. "Tip your hat to Louisville, they got a couple big hits there late," said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. "But I'm really proud of our guys, the way they played, the way they have fought all year long. It's just a tremendous group of kids that we just would never quit. That's kind of how you had to beat us on the last swing, because our guys just have that never-die attitude." Louisville (51-17) finished with nine hits and faces Vanderbilt in a rematch on Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN. The Cardinals will have to beat the Commodores twice in order to reach the championship series.
'The best four years of my life.' Mississippi State's season has emotional end in Omaha.
Jake Mangum sat in the outfield with his head in his hands, the ball from Louisville's game-winning, RBI single still sitting right next to him in center field. In an emotional post-game press conference, the all-time SEC hits leader attempted to sum up his Mississippi State experience. "I've been very fortunate for the last four years," Mangum said. "God has been very, very good to me for those four years, and they were the best four years of my life. Mississippi State baseball, it's literally a part of me, you know. I hate it ended this way, but it is what it is. I absolutely hate it for the guys. I really do." Mangum is one of five players remaining from a class of 16 that came to Starkville four years ago with plans to bring the school its first national title. The team won four regionals, two super regionals and won three out of seven games at the College World Series while playing under four different head coaches.
JT Ginn's College World Series start has Mississippi State baseball ready for future
Mississippi State freshman JT Ginn sat at his locker and kept to himself in the depths of TD Ameritrade Park on Wednesday night. Serenely staring at the floor, he looked as calm as ever despite just witnessing the 6-3 loss to Vanderbilt that put his Bulldogs on the brink of elimination in Omaha. Ginn was 24 hours away from the biggest start of his freshman season at State, one in which he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and the National Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game. Ginn sounded equally as confident as he was calm when asked to answer a few questions about the day that lay ahead of him. "It's every kid's dream to get to play in the College World Series," Ginn told the Clarion Ledger. "It's an honor to be here. It's been a great experience so far, and hopefully we can play a good game tomorrow and keep it going." That, the Bulldogs didn't. They lost, 4-3, to Louisville in a game the Cardinals walked off with a win in the bottom of the ninth. The defeat eliminated Mississippi State from the College World Series, but Ginn had nothing to do with that. He was as good as head coach Chris Lemonis could have hoped for.
Heartbreaking Ending In College World Series To Jake Mangum's Storied Mississippi State Career
Jake Mangum lay in the outfield grass of TD Ameritrade Park. Louisville had just completed a stunning comeback against Mississippi State for a 4-3 walk-off victory Thursday night in an elimination game at the College World Series, and, around the diamond, the Cardinals celebrated, and the Bulldogs slowly made their way off the field. But Mangum stayed down in center field, where he had tried to make a sliding, barehanded stop of Drew Campbell's line drive. If the senior center fielder could just make the stop and come up firing, maybe, just maybe, he could throw a 500 mph strike to catch Danny Oriente at the plate and save Mississippi State's season. It would have been an impossible play. Mangum tried to make it anyway, going all out until the very end of his Mississippi State career. It is the only way he knows how to play. As Mangum lay in center field, he thought about how each of his four seasons at Mississippi State came to an end.
In clash of Citadel-bred coaches, Louisville survives at College World Series
wo Citadel Hall of Famers clashed Thursday night on college baseball's biggest stage at the College World Series. But only one former Bulldog great could advance. Louisville and coach Dan McDonnell survived with a 4-3 victory, eliminating coach Chris Lemonis and Mississippi State at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The Cardinals scored two runs in the ninth to rally for the victory. An errant pick-off throw and a Danny Oriente single brought in Jake Snider to tie the score at 3-3. Drew Campbell knocked home the winning run, setting off a wild celebration by the Cardinals, who face Vanderbilt on Friday. McDonnell and Lemonis were teammates on The Citadel's 1990 College World Series team, and the pair worked together as assistants under Bulldogs legend Fred Jordan. They helped The Citadel to five Southern Conference tournament titles and four regular-season championships, with five appearances in the NCAA tournament, from 1993-2006.
State's dream season -- and Mangum's remarkable Bulldog career end with Louisville's walk-off win
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: Jake Mangum just sat there on the field, his face in his hands. The ball from Louisville's winning hit was on the lush, green TD Ameritrade Park grass just to his left, a couple feet away. Mangum had given the final play everything he had, just as he had on the play before, and every single play of every single game of his remarkable Mississippi State career. Final score of Mangum's final Bulldog game: Louisville 4, Mississippi State 3. State's season ends with a 52-15 record, Regional and Super Regional championships and four victories short of a national championship. So what was going through Mangum's mind as he sat there?
Is this Heaven? No, it's Omaha
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal's Logan Lowery writes: It has been my privilege to make the past three trips to cover Mississippi State at the College World Series. If you're a college baseball fan – or just a baseball fan in general -- and haven't experienced Omaha, I highly recommend it. This city rolls out the red carpet for these eight teams and their fan bases over these two weeks and embraces amateur baseball at its finest. I never made it to the old Rosenblatt Stadium. It was a parking lot for the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium by the time I made my first trip to Omaha in 2013. But it's hard to imagine a better setting for the College World Series than what is currently at TD Ameritrade Park, which opened in 2011. ...even with all the expense and the 13-plus hour drive of scenic pastures and cornfields, it's an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime for baseball fans young and old.
Jake Mangum Makes Plea At College World Series For Improvements In College Baseball
Following a 4-3 walk-off loss against Louisville in an elimination game at the College World Series, Mississippi State senior center fielder Jake Mangum gave an emotional press conference. His storied college career was over, falling short of winning an elusive national championship for the Bulldogs. But as the press conference was wrapping up, Mangum took the microphone and made one last exceptional play in his college career. He made an impassioned plea for more scholarships and to pass legislation approving a third full-time assistant coach for baseball. "College baseball is evolving," Mangum said. "It is. I just want to let everyone know, it's time for a third paid assistant coach in college baseball. There's a million people averaging watching this game. There's 30,000 people in that stadium. This is my second time in Omaha. It's time. This game is evolving. It's growing. Every year it keeps getting bigger. In this dugout, on that field, there were 27 players on each team. You start off with 35, you come (to Omaha) with 27. Of those 35, there's 11.7 on each team on scholarship. Like, man, this game is getting way too big for that."
Utah hires former Mississippi State baseball coach Gary Henderson
Utah head baseball coach Bill Kinneberg announced Thursday the hire of Gary Henderson as the program's associate head coach. A seasoned veteran and one of the top pitching minds in the country, Henderson has 30 years of coaching experience at the University of Florida, Oregon State, University of Kentucky and Mississippi State. "The ability to attract Gary is huge for our program and our pitching staff," Kinneberg said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and we are really excited to bring him on board." After serving as the pitching coach at Mississippi State from 2016-17, Henderson became the interim head coach for the Bulldogs for the 2018 season and led the program to the College World Series in thrilling fashion. Henderson, a former standout prep quarterback, earned a bachelor's degree in English from San Diego State and a master's degree in sports psychology from SDSU.
Mississippi State's Reggie Perry to play for Team USA
Reggie Perry will represent both Mississippi State and America as a member of the USA Basketball Team that will compete at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Greece this summer. "I'm very honored and blessed with this opportunity to represent my country," Perry said. "This experience means a lot to me and my family and is the beginning of something miraculous." Perry will travel overseas with his team on June 24 and the 16-team tournament will be held from June 29-July 7. Team USA will play in Group A against Lithuania (June 29), New Zealand (June 30) and Senegal (June 2). After round robin play ends, the rest of the tournament continues July 3-7.
Quinndary Weatherspoon: Mississippi State guard selected by San Antonio Spurs in 2019 NBA Draft
Quinndary Weatherspoon, a four-year star guard from Mississippi State, was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the No. 47 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The third-leading scorer in Mississippi State history with 2,012 career points scored, Weatherspoon is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who helped lead Mississippi State to the NCAA Tournament in 2019. Weatherspoon averaged 18.5 points per game in 2018-19, the second-best mark in the SEC, to go along with 4.7 rebounds per game, 2.8 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game. Weatherspoon started 117 games across four seasons at Mississippi State. He was a first-team All-SEC performer in 2018-19 after earning second-team nods in his sophomore and junior seasons. Most mock drafts did not have Weatherspoon being selected in the NBA Draft, but he did rise up draft boards late and made 11 team workouts in the pre-draft process.
'It was special': Auburn fans stand behind Edouard Julien after heartbreak
Edouard Julien walked back out on that haunted field, the place of his nightmare. He stepped back into the spotlight, back in front of hundreds, taking a lonely walk to the batter's box for the first time since that night he'll never forget. He gripped his bat in the summer sun and stepped up to stand at the plate, when, all around him, he heard them. Julien wasn't standing alone. The Auburn fans in Omaha rose from their seats to give Julien a standing ovation on Tuesday in his first at-bat against Louisville in the College World Series -- his and his team's first game since Julien's throw sailed in a heartbreaking flash in Auburn's loss to Mississippi State on Sunday night. The play will haunt him forever. The support after, though, is something else he won't soon forget. "It was special," Julien nodded . The fiery, French-speaking sophomore from Quebec City, Canada, felt the support from his college home at Auburn. "That has never happened to me -- to have a lot of people standing for me and being behind me even after what happened," he said.
When Phillip Fulmer expects Tennessee's Neyland Stadium renovation to begin
The construction green light is in sight for the south end zone renovation at Neyland Stadium. Construction could begin in December or January, Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer said Wednesday during a meeting with the Board of Trustees' special committee on UT athletics. Fulmer said Tennessee has about $180 million raised for the project through philanthropic gifts and debt financing. That reflects the amount pegged for the project when it was approved by the board in November 2017 as Phase I of an overall $340 million stadium renovation. The State Building Commission also approved the project, which is not slated to use tuition revenue or tax revenue. Much has changed since the project gained board approval, and construction never commenced. Fulmer replaced John Currie as Tennessee's athletic director on Dec. 1, 2017. UT also had turnover at the chancellor and president positions, and the board was overhauled and reduced from 27 to 12 members by the UT FOCUS Act, approved in 2018.
Georgia's 'Kickoff' game tickets with Oregon won't come cheap
More than 13,000 tickets in Georgia's allotment for its 2022 season-opening football game with Oregon in Mercedes-Benz Stadium are priced at $200 or more. Georgia is obligated to sell 43,000 tickets for the Sept. 3, 2022 game in Atlanta, according to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game agreement. The average ticket price is $160.74 with non-student tickets ranging from $125 for upper level seats to $300 for lower club and lower level suites. The non-student ticket price includes a $5 "Fan Zone" ticket where Georgia will take part in an official team walk. The Athens Banner-Herald obtained a copy of Georgia's term sheet with Peach Bowl Inc., the organizer of the game, via an open records request. The contract was signed in August when the matchup was announced. As previously reported, Georgia is guaranteed $5 million as its payout for the game for purchasing and selling its tickets. The school receives two 20-person suites for use without cost for the game.
Roundtable Q&A with Missouri AD Jim Sterk
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk met with local reporters Thursday afternoon at Mizzou Arena to discuss the past school year and to look forward to this fall. Discussed were the ongoing NCAA appeal process, possible alcohol sales, ticket sales, the state of a few Tiger athletic programs, the one-and-done rule and the six years since Missouri's move to the Southeastern Conference. Sterk started by stating he believes Missouri can be in the top 25 for the Director's Cup each year with the coaches and support in place. He added that with football moving its headquarters to the new south end zone facility at Memorial Stadium from the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, track and field as well as girls soccer will move into that former space.

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