Tuesday, January 14, 2020   
Feral Pig Study May Help Australia Recover from Bushfires
The raging Australian bushfires have already killed an estimated one billion animals and could even cause some entire species to go extinct, said Professor Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney in a university release. The devastation this will have on the Australian ecosystem is hard to comprehend. But, an essay in The Conversation by scientists Brandon Barton and Abby Jones of Mississippi State University said a mass mortality event study on feral swine may hold clues to help Australia recover. In spring 2019, researchers from Mississippi State University and the University of Florida set up an experiment to study the impact of a mass mortality event. They partnered with professional trappers focused on removing feral pigs for conservation purposes. Rather than letting the carcasses go to waste, the researchers were able to put them to good use, the article explained.
Chronic Wasting Disease Continues To Spread
There's a fatal and infectious disease found in the deer population and it's showing signs of spreading across the Magnolia State. According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, 40 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been reported. "It's spread from contact of an infected animal within an uninfected animal," said Dr. Steve Demarais, Mississippi State University Wildlife Management Professor. "The disease agent is called a prion. It's a protein that's produced in the infected animal and it can be shed in the saliva, and urine, and feces." Cases have been confirmed in Benton, Marshall, Issaquena, Panola, Pontotoc, and Tallahatchie counties. Dr. Demarais said North Mississippi is seeing the most cases. He believes it's because the disease is spreading from deer in Southern Tennessee. The wildlife biologist said continued harvesting and testing may help reduce the spread of the disease.
Redesign needed for Northstar water tank
A new challenge faces the Northstar Industrial Park as rising costs have ballooned the price of an elevated water tank for the park. Bids for the project came in higher than expected, exceeding the project's budget by nearly $1 million. Because of the steep prices, the bids were rejected by the city and the county. Phyllis Benson of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District said Oktibbeha County recently received a $1 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for the construction of the elevated water tank. The remaining cost of $667,000 will be split between the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. Engineer John Cunningham of Neel-Schaffer is leading the project. Cunningham told Oktibbeha County Supervisors a variety of factors caused the cost to inflate and he had tried to understand exactly what happened. The project, Cunningham said, is somewhat specialized, resulting in only two bids coming in on time, both from out-of-state contractors.
Gordmans coming to Starkville Crossings
Following news that Goody's would be closing its current location in the Starkville Crossings shopping complex on Highway 12, the parent company has announced a new off-price department store will take its place. According to an announcement from Stage Stores, the current owner of the Goody's brand, the company is converting its Goody's stores into Gordmans beginning this year. Representatives at the local Goody's store, which is still open, said they were not allowed to comment on when exactly the transition will take place. Markers on the store say it is coming in the spring of 2020. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Gordmans operates 141 locations in 22 states, offering off-price clothing, footwear, furniture and housewares.
Oktibbeha storm shelter still needs security, other amenities
Oktibbeha County's first storm shelter has come in handy three times in the past month, but county leaders say there is still work to be done to make sure it can accommodate the public. About 10 people showed up when the shelter first opened Dec. 16 and about 40 at the end of the month, when weather forecasts predicted possible tornadoes in addition to strong thunderstorms. About 125 were there during the storm Friday night and Saturday morning, Emergency Management Agency Director Kristen Campanella said. The county needs to implement security at the shelter, adjust parking accommodations and finalize a rule on whether pets are allowed, she said. "We discovered that the opening of the storm shelter had many more responsibilities than we realized, so therefore we're trying to backtrack," District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said.
Navistar Defense buys West Point Assemby Plant
Navistar Defense on Monday said it had acquired its assembly plant in West Point for an undisclosed amount. The company has leased the facility from Babcock and Wilcox since 2006. "The purchase of the assembly plant is a part of our strategic plan to grow our business," said Ted Wright, Navistar Defense chief executive officer. "With the hard work of the local workforce, Navistar Defense has manufactured tens of thousands of vehicles at this facility since 2006. This acquisition shows our commitment to the West Point community and to Mississippi." The West Point Assembly Plant has been Navistar Defense's primary manufacturing site since 2006. The company calls the plant its hub for the manufacture of it line of military vehicles, which are sold worldwide. The plant is located on 161 acres and has 562,000 square feet of manufacturing, storage and office space comprised of five multi-purpose, moving assembly lines.
Martin Luther King Day 2020: Free admission to Two Mississippi Museums
Admission to the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson -- the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History -- will be free Saturday through Monday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday. The museums, located at 222 North St., will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Monday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The free admission is being made possible FedEx. "We are grateful to FedEx Corp. for enabling hundreds to visit these museums and reflect on Dr. King's contribution to Mississippi and the nation," Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, said in a news release Monday. The Two Museums opened in 2017.
Mississippi is inaugurating GOP's Tate Reeves as governor
Republican Tate Reeves is being inaugurated as the new governor of Mississippi on Tuesday, ascending to the state's highest office after serving the past eight years as lieutenant governor and the eight years before that as the elected state treasurer. Reeves, 45, succeeds two-term Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. The two men have pushed tax cuts and trimmed state budgets. Reeves inherits several immediate challenges as governor, including an understaffed state prison system that was recently shaken by deadly violence. Reeves was the 32nd lieutenant governor of Mississippi and will be the 65th governor. He is the 12th lieutenant governor to become governor of the state, and is the only one to have served two terms as lieutenant governor before being elected to the higher office.
Tate Reeves inauguration: What you should know about Mississippi's next governor
Republican Tate Reeves is set to become the 65th governor of Mississippi in an inauguration ceremony Tuesday morning. The day of inauguration festivities for Reeves includes a 10:30 a.m. swearing-in ceremony -- which will occur inside the Mississippi House chamber due to bad weather -- followed by a Governor's Mansion open house in the afternoon and an evening ball at the Mississippi Trade Mart. A downtown Jackson parade has been canceled due to expected rain. Reeves was raised in Florence, attended Mississippi public schools, then went to Millsaps College in Jackson, where he played basketball. He and his wife, Elee, and their three daughters live in Flowood. Reeves was a young banker when he won the race for state treasurer in 2003. After two terms, he was elected as lieutenant governor. In eight years leading the Senate, Reeves garnered a reputation for ruling with an iron fist.
Northeast Mississippi legislators appointed to key positions in Mississippi Senate
Several Northeast Mississippi legislators will help determine the future of some pieces of legislation over the next four years after being appointed to preside over several committees in the Mississippi Senate. Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann last week appointed four Northeast Mississippi legislators to preside over key Mississippi Senate committees, which can hold significant power in the legislative process. Committees are the first place bills are discussed, and the leaders of the committees sometimes have the power to decide which bills advance to be debated before the entire legislative body and which die quietly in committee. State Sen. Hob Bryan, a Democrat from Amory, was appointed chairman of the Public Health Committee -- arguably the highest profile chairmanship that a Democrat received in the Republican-majority Senate this session. The longtime legislator told the Daily Journal he was thankful to the lieutenant governor for appointing him to the position and said the committee would likely focus on ways to improve the state's child protective services agency and the state's mental health agency.
Steve Holland to be honored at Jan. 28 event
Former state Rep. Steve Holland will be honored for his 34 years of public service at an End of Session retirement celebration on Jan. 28. The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tupelo Furniture Market Building V in Tupelo. The event is free to the public. Well-wishers will have opportunity to make donations during the event that will be distributed evenly between Sanctuary Hospice House and the Regional Rehabilitation Center, two organizations Holland actively supports. At 6 p.m., there will be an open mic opportunity for friends to share stories and memories. Friends are encouraged to bring letters to be included in a keepsake book or email letters ahead of time for inclusion to regionalrehabcenter@gmail.com.
Antonia Eliason, Trent Kelly launch campaigns for U.S. congressional election
With campaigns for federal elections now underway, Northeast Mississippians in the state's first U.S. Congressional district will have the opportunity in November to re-elect an incumbent for a third time or send a political newcomer to Washington. Antonia Eliason, a law professor at the University of Mississippi, officially launched her campaign on Monday to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state's first congressional district. Eliason is the only Democratic candidate in the race, so she will presumably be the Democratic Party's nominee. In a change from typical campaigns in the state, Eliason is running as a Democratic Socialist and said she wants to bring "new energy to the political landscape of Northeast Mississippi." She is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly, a Republican. Kelly is a resident of Saltillo and was a district attorney for the state's first judicial district in Northeast Mississippi. He has served for nearly 30 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard.
Why tonight's debate could be a doozy
It's Bernie Sanders versus Joe Biden. Or Biden versus Elizabeth Warren. Or Sanders versus Warren, when she isn't busy brutalizing Pete Buttigieg. Nearing the end of a presidential primary marked by its lack of acrimony, the four-candidate pile-up in Iowa is forcing campaigns to alter their terms of engagement in pursuit of even incremental advantages. The reluctance to brawl is now a vestige of the past. In its place is spray of bullets in every direction. In a traditional campaign, said Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004, "You get to be the frontrunner, then everybody else makes sure you get taken down." The difference this year, he said, is that "everybody's the frontrunner." The rancor has resulted in a new round of hand-wringing by Democrats fearful of weakening the party ahead of the general election -- and by progressives fearful of weakening their standing against more moderate Democrats in the primary.
Cyberattackers lurking longer inside computers, report finds
Online attackers are becoming so good at hiding themselves that they can remain undetected in victims' computers for months before being found, potentially giving these criminals more time to inflict greater damage than if they were detected earlier, according to cybersecurity research firm CrowdStrike. Cyberattackers remained undetected for an average of 95 days before discovery last year, compared with an average of 85 days in 2018, CrowdStrike said in a report made public Monday. The sharp increase in dwell time "is not a metric that we want to see go up," Tom Etheridge, CrowdStrike vice president of services, told CQ Roll Call. Deploying so-called living-off-the-land techniques, "where an attacker can masquerade as a legitimate user in a client environment and remain stealthy provides an opportunity to get a full spectrum lay of the land" of the computer system, thus making their moves more impactful.
Auburn University facing new $10M lawsuit over in-state tuition
Auburn University faces another $10 million lawsuit alleging that it discriminates against students who move to Alabama to work and attend school. The lawsuit, filed in Lee County Circuit Court by Auburn attorney Mark Tippins, asserts that former Florida resident Nicholas Pero was told in 2017 by university admissions employees that he could establish Alabama residency to qualify for the lower tuition rate available to the state's residents. The filing follows on the heels of the lawsuit Tippins filed last fall for a Valley man and his daughter alleging the same conduct by the university. Jeffrey Prosser and his daughter Brooke also seek $10 million.
Alabama colleges in top 20 nationally for online degrees, U.S. News says
Auburn University, Troy University, UAB and the University of Alabama all had programs ranked in the top 20 nationally in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs rankings, released Tuesday. Auburn had the greatest number of online programs ranked in the top 20 tier, including multiple programs in their master's-level engineering and education programs, many of which were in the top 10. Auburn's master's-level business programs, including MBA programs in business analytics and finance, overall MBA, and non-MBA programs were also ranked in the top 20 nationwide. The University of Alabama's master's-level nursing programs in family nurse practitioner, nursing administration and leadership and overall nursing program were ranked in the top 20 nationally.
Arkansas lottery's take for December edges higher, but net proceeds for scholarships dip
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's total revenue in December inched up by about $275,000 from the same month a year ago to $46.1 million, while the amount raised for college scholarships dipped by about $280,000 to $6.3 million. Scratch-off ticket revenue increased last month by about $780,000 over the same month a year ago to $38.8 million, while its draw-game ticket revenue slipped by about $570,000 to $7.1 million, the lottery reported in its latest monthly report to Gov. Asa Hutchinson and the Legislative Council's lottery oversight subcommittee. Last month's revenue also included about $125,000 from other sources, up from $60,000 a year ago. As for the impact from increased competition, from in-state casinos and the Mississippi lottery, total sales declined year over year in November and December in counties that either have casinos or access to Mississippi.
UGA-founded consortium seeks end to human trafficking
Sometimes it happens like it does on TV. Women and children kidnapped, transported across international borders in trucks, and sold to the highest bidder. Women brought to the U.S. under the pretense of getting a job only to end up shackled in someone's basement. More frequently, human trafficking is more complex, said David Okech, associate professor of social work at the University of Georgia. It's hard to pin down the numbers. Experts estimate there are tens of millions of people trapped in what they call modern slavery. That's something Okech wants to change. Okech, along with the UGA-founded international consortium Africa Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery, recently received a $15.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, to study how, why and how frequently trafficking occurs in West Africa.
U. of Memphis to increase starting wage for campus workers
University of Memphis President M. David Rudd announced Monday the next incremental wage increases for the university's lowest-paid employees would push the starting wage for campus workers to $13 an hour by July. An email from Rudd to the campus faculty and staff said two incremental pushes would occur in the first half of the year. By April 1, the starting salary for campus workers charged with maintaining the campus and facility would increase from $11.11 an hour to $12 an hour. The second increase will push the starting wage from $12 an hour to $13 an hour no later than July 1l. The announcement comes months after a public spat between Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Rudd in August 2019. Harris said he could not approve the funding for the university until the higher ed institution committed to a plan to bolster the pay of the lowest-paid campus workers to a living wage.
U.S. News & World Report: How Tennessee schools rank for the best online programs
Tennessee colleges and universities were ranked in the top 100 for online programs in several subjects, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking. The University of Memphis has the most programs ranked in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report's rankings of the best online programs released on Tuesday. The rankings look at several academic programs, including online bachelor's degrees, MBA programs and other master's level programs. University of Tennessee schools received several nods: UT-Knoxville was the top-ranked school in the state for its online engineering master's programs, and UT-Martin was the top Tennessee school for its online MBA program. The University of Memphis was the top school in Tennessee for online bachelor's programs among over 350 schools that were ranked. The University of Memphis was ranked No. 52.
Missouri higher education institutions state their case for more funding
State lawmakers met twice in the last week to hear college and university presidents state their cases for additional funding. Themes of dilapidated infrastructure and slowing growth dominated the conversations about future funding. Representatives for the universities and colleges almost universally told the House Subcommittee on Education Appropriations that funding for higher education has dropped dramatically in the last two decades. Cost-cutting measures were a significant part of the cases they made, and several school representatives, including UM System President Mun Choi, touted faculty and program cuts to demonstrate their commitment to fiscal responsibility. In addition to existing problems, higher education institutions face the looming threat of dropping enrollment over the course of the upcoming decade.
Bipartisan Senate Bill Aimed at Rural Students
A bipartisan bill unveiled in the U.S. Senate last week would create a demonstration program designed to encourage groups in rural communities to partner together to encourage students to pursue higher education, graduate and enter the workforce. Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Senator Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, introduced the bill. It would spend $60 million per year for six years to help expose rural students and their families to college campuses and programs. The project also would seek to remove financial aid barriers and could include work-based learning through apprenticeships, internships and stackable career credential programs.
Long-term look at return on investment reveals positive indicators for liberal arts
It might take a while. But in the long run, an education at a liberal arts college, particularly at one of the most selective ones and those with large numbers of science, technology, engineering and math majors, pays off more than an education at other colleges, finds a study released today by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. In the short term, the return for liberal arts institutions "starts out rather low," the study found, because it takes time for students at four-year colleges to graduate and begin earning money. After 10 years, the return on investment at liberal arts colleges was $62,000, about 40 percent less than the $107,000 median ROI for attending all colleges, found the study, which used data made available on the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard to calculate the net present value of degrees and credentials from different colleges over short and long time frames. But 40 years after enrollment, the return at liberal arts colleges reached $918,000, more than 25 percent higher than the $723,000 median gain at all colleges.
NIH extends reporting mandate to more clinical trials, but obscures their policing
A Science investigation reported this week that many companies and medical research institutions fail to meet a long-standing legal mandate to disclose clinical trial results in a federal database. For certain trials, however, compliance is impossible to verify. In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health announced a "final rule" to clarify ClinicalTrials.gov enforcement. At the same time, NIH issued a separate policy, extending reporting requirements for its grantees and intramural scientists to a broader range of studies, including phase I safety trials, small feasibility studies, and behavioral research. On paper, the policy's wider net suggests NIH planned aggressive enforcement. In practice, just as NIH has failed to enforce the law for conventional clinical trials, the agency has postponed enforcement for the supplemental policy covering the broader set of experiments.

Bulldogs try to bounce back against Missouri
Mississippi State was mere moments away from its first Southeastern Conference victory at LSU last Saturday. Instead, the Bulldogs lost 60-59 on a last-second shot which extended their SEC-opening skid to three games which left the team deflated and frustrated. "You can see a little frustration after the last game, fighting that hard and losing on a buzzer-beater," said MSU guard Robert Woodard II. "If you gave everything you had, there's nothing to be down about. You just have to move on with it and move on the to the next game knowing that we need a win. We have to come together at this point and support each other and the coaches as well." MSU (9-6) next shot to get in the conference win column comes tonight as it takes on Missouri at 8 on SEC Network. The Bulldogs have had plenty of success of late in the series, claiming six of the last seven in the series.
Why Mississippi State men's basketball has started slow in SEC play
It hasn't been the SEC start that Mississippi State wanted. The Bulldogs are 0-3 in conference play for the first time since the 2015-16 season. That was head coach Ben Howland's first season in Starkville. Mississippi State went 14-17 overall and 7-11 in conference play that year. The Bulldogs are trending in that direction again. Howland said Mississippi State played its best defensive game of the season against LSU last week, but it coincided with one of the team's worst offensive performances of the season. The latter might be more concerning as MSU (9-6, 0-3 SEC) welcomes Missouri (9-6, 1-2 SEC) to Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Sophomore forward Robert Woodard said being better on offense is as simple as limiting turnovers. "That's our main downfall right now," Woodard said. "Losing those shot attempts that are very important that could cost us the game."
Mizzou looks to rinse and repeat at Mississippi State
For the first time since its Southeastern Conference opener Jan. 4, the Missouri men's basketball team is back on the road. The Tigers look to continue their winning ways after a reinvigorating 91-75 home victory over Florida with a matchup at Mississippi State on Tuesday night. Missouri is 9-6 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, while the Bulldogs are also 9-6 overall but 0-3 in conference play, most recently losing on a buzzer-beater against LSU. This is the first of two league road contests for MU this week, with a challenge against Alabama looming Saturday. The focal point of the Bulldogs' offense is Reggie Perry. He's started all 15 games this season and leads the team in scoring with 15.5 points per game. Perry played 34 minutes against LSU, recording 13 points and 15 rebounds. He's a double-double threat every time he steps on the court.
Reggie Perry and Mississippi State await as Tigers attempt to start an SEC streak
Guarding the Southeastern Conference's top big men has been an issue so far for Missouri men's basketball. And perhaps no big man in the league is as skilled as the one on the Tigers' schedule on the road Tuesday: Mississippi State's star forward, Reggie Perry. A 6-foot-10 sophomore, Perry is averaging 15.5 points and 10 rebounds per game, one of only 27 players nationally -- and the only one in the SEC -- to be averaging at least double figures in each category. Perry swallows up second-chance opportunities as the SEC's leader in defensive rebounds (97) and is efficient around the rim as he's eighth in the league in field goal percentage (48.9%). Bulldogs head coach Ben Howland saw the film of Missouri's impressive 91-75 win over Florida on Saturday, so he isn't fooled into taking Missouri lightly. He stated that once the Tigers experienced a game without Tilmon (against Tennessee on Jan. 7), the adjustments they made for Florida were done to perfection.
Mississippi State women's basketball team moves back into the AP Top 10
The Mississippi State women's basketball team moves back into the Top 10 in the latest AP Poll. The Lady Bulldogs are ranked 10th this week following a victory of Missouri last week. Mississippi State started the season rank 10th, but dropped two games to Stanford and West Virginia and dropped as low as 15th. The Lady Bulldogs are currently on a seven game winning streak. MSU is currently 15-2 on the season. Mississippi State returns to action Thursday night when they take on LSU. The Top five this week is South Carolina, Baylor, Stanford, Connecticut and Louisville hold down the top five spots.
Former MSU Head Coach Ron Polk passes along wisdom to student athletes at St. Stanislaus
An icon in the Magnolia state made his way to the coast Sunday night. Former Mississippi State Bulldog head baseball coach Ron Polk came down from Birmingham to share some of the lessons he has learned over the course of his life. Polk amassed more than 11-hundred victories in his coaching career. He also led a team to the College World Series six separate times. One way he did this was through sharing valuable tips about finding success on and off the field. "He is such a first class man," said former player Brad Corley. "He does such a good job explaining to these kids how the real world works, and what to expect after high school, [and] ways to be successful in what they are pursuing in their lives." Corley works as an assistant baseball coach for St. Stanislaus, but he once was routinely taking the diamond for Coach Polk. Corley was critical in getting the legend down to the coast, and he knew the team could learn from his old mentor.
College Football Playoff gives Bill Hancock contract extension
The College Football Playoff has extended the contract of executive director Bill Hancock. The 11 university presidents and chancellors that make up the Board of Managers unanimously approve the extension Monday, a few hours before the national championship game in New Orleans between Clemson and LSU. Terms were not disclosed. Hancock's current three-year deal was set to expire in June. Hancock has been executive director of the playoff since its start in 2014 and helped craft the current postseason system through the transition from the Bowl Championship Series. "It's a rolling agreement, so I intend to be here as long as they'll have me and as long as I want to," Hancock said. "I'm having a blast. I'm honored and delighted to get to do what I do."
CFP director Bill Hancock gets contract extension
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock, who has been the leader of the sport's national championship format for the past decade, has received a contract extension, he said on Monday. The CFP Board of Managers, which is comprised of 11 university presidents and chancellors, unanimously approved the new contract at their annual meeting on Monday at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans. "It's a rolling agreement," Hancock said, "so I intend to be here as long as they'll have me and as long as I want to. I'm having a blast. I'm honored and delighted to get to do what I do." Hancock spent 16 years with the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship, including 13 years as its director. In 2005, he was appointed administrator of the BCS and became its executive director in 2009. Hancock was named to the same role for the playoff when it was created.
President Trump cheered loudly at college football title game
President Donald Trump turned sports fan for an evening as he watched No. 1 Louisiana State University and No. 3 Clemson battle it out in the College Football Playoff championship. Trump flew to Louisiana for Monday's night's game at the Superdome in New Orleans, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump. The president and first lady walked onto the field shortly before the game for the singing of the National Anthem. Fans from both teams cheered him loudly. Some greeted him with cheers of "USA, USA." Others chanted, "Four more years." Trump was in friendly territory. He secured a nearly 20-point victory in Louisiana in the 2016 presidential election. Monday's game featuring two undefeated teams offered Trump a brief break from another turbulent period in his presidency as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to send two articles of impeachment to the Senate and tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to simmer.
LSU campus empties as students take advantage of no classes to attend national championship
Students and fans flocked to bars around LSU's campus, taking advantage of a delay to the spring semester Monday night as the Tigers faced off against Clemson in the College National Football Championship. At game time, the campus was eerily quiet while bellowing cheers could be heard from bars along Highland Road, blocks away from locked and dimly lit lecture halls. It was evident thousands of students took their parties to Bourbon Street and the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance while they're in school as students," said Jessica Tolan, a 27-year-old graduate student studying oceanography. "I don't blame them for wanting to go to New Orleans." It's the first time LSU has canceled classes for a special event.
Cop threatens arrest for LSU players smoking cigars in championship locker room
A smoke-filled LSU locker room got a surprise warning early Tuesday morning. A police officer threw water on the party when telling the national champions they could not smoke the cigars that burned for easily 15 minutes after beating Clemson. In fact, the officer announced to the players any smoking cigars in the locker room would be subject to arrest. Several players holding stogies laughed at the warning like it was a joke but the cop wasn't smiling. Another officer tried to tell them it was OK to celebrate with a smoke in the locker room but he insisted his commander told him it was a no-go. Nobody was arrested. The party, however, continued. LSU beat Clemson 42-25 on Monday night in the Superdome just down the road from the Baton Rouge campus.
Tennessee football reports violation after player promotes third-party sale of his jersey
A Tennessee football player committed an NCAA violation this season when he advertised on Facebook the third-party sale of a replica version of his jersey. That was among seven NCAA Level III violations Tennessee self-reported in the final six months of 2019. Level III violations are considered minor. UT released a report detailing the violations to Knox News on Wednesday in response to a public records request. The football program committed four of the seven violations. Soccer, women's swimming and women's basketball were responsible for one violation apiece. For the year, Tennessee self-reported 16 violations, including seven football violations. All were Level III violations. "Level III violations are a byproduct of a healthy compliance program," Andrew Donovan, UT's associate athletics director for compliance, said in a statement to Knox News.
Market for rights to college athletes' name, image, likeness is emerging
Companies are moving quickly to capitalize on a market that does not yet exist based on the prospect of college athletes being able to earn compensation for the use of their name, likeness and image. Officials in the National Collegiate Athletic Association are still in the early stages of discussion about permitting athletes to profit from their personal celebrity, sponsorship deals and other benefits of using their name, image and likeness, or NIL. The association's division leaders and a working group exploring new guidance and policies will not report updates to the NCAA Board of Governors until April. The NCAA has also said that any updated guidance should be "consistent with the collegiate model," which doesn't suggest much significant change to the current structure, said Audrey Anderson, litigation counsel for the law firm Bass, Berry & Sims, who specializes in athletics department issues. But two companies noted in Sports Illustrated's "Sports Business Predictions for 2020" have already developed business models based on potential NIL benefits.

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