Friday, January 17, 2020   
Shaffer to serve as keynote speaker at MSU's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast
Donald Shaffer, an associate professor of English and director of African American Studies at Mississippi State University, will serve as the keynote speaker at the university's 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20. Shaffer's speech, "Road to Reconciliation," will examine King's legacy as both a touchstone for racial reconciliation and a challenge to act, a release from MSU says. Shaffer joined the MSU faculty in 2008 and serves as chair of the African American Studies curriculum committee and as a board member of the Mississippi Humanities Council. The MSU Day of Service begins at 8 a.m. with a complimentary breakfast at 8 a.m. in The Mill at the MSU Conference Center (600 Russell St., Starkville). Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. MSU President Mark E. Keenum will give welcoming remarks during the breakfast, and the campus's Black Voices Gospel Choir will perform.
New sinkhole found at Oktibbeha lake
Authorities found a new sinkhole in the levee at the Oktibbeha County Lake late Thursday afternoon, according to a press release from the county Emergency Management Agency. County Engineer Clyde Pritchard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been monitoring the levee since Tuesday, when Pritchard found early signs of breaching. There was no water found inside the sinkhole, and as of this morning there have been no changes to the levee since Thursday, EMA Director Kristen Campanella said in the press release. Campanella has requested pipes from the USACE in order to lower the water to a safe level, and there is no timeline for delivery or installation yet. The recommendation for area residents to evacuate will become a mandate if water starts streaming out of the levee or if the mudslide in the seeping area of the levee reaches the pavement on County Lake Road. Pritchard estimates that it would take anywhere from 22 to 24 days to lower the water level of the lake by five feet, possibly eliminating the danger of imminent dam failure, if the area receives no additional rainfall and if the pumps can drain the lake at 25,000 gallons per minute, according to the release.
Mary Irby-Jones named editor of 2 Mississippi newspapers
Mary Irby-Jones has been named the top editor of two Mississippi newspapers, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson and the Hattiesburg American. Irby-Jones will begin her new role immediately, Katrice Hardy, USA TODAY's Regional Editor for the South, announced Thursday. She will replace Sam Hall, who had served as The Clarion-Ledger's executive editor since 2015. She becomes the first African American woman to serve in the role. Irby-Jones most recently worked as the Digital Director for The Clarion-Ledger where she oversaw a regional digital operation for the eight newsrooms in the Deep South. Irby-Jones is a 1984 graduate of Bay Springs High School and a 1988 graduate of the University of Mississippi, as well as a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Mississippi ag chief hails China pact
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson applauded President Donald Trump for signing Phase One of the Economic and Trade Agreement with China on Wednesday. "I applaud President Trump's persistence in negotiating new trade deals that will benefit American industries, especially agriculture," Gipson said in a release. "Agriculture is Mississippi's [No. 1] industry, and it has been greatly affected by trade disputes with China. Our farmers have made sacrifices so our president could negotiate, with strength, a better trade agreement that protects American interests and security," Gipson said. As part of the agreement, China has agreed to make substantial purchases of American manufacturing goods, agricultural products, energy products, and services, marking a monumental win for American farmers and businesses. China will purchase and import on average at least $40 billion of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products annually for a total of at least $80 billion over the next two years. These products will cover the full range of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products.
PEER releases annual PERS report | Mississippi Politics and News
The Mississippi Legislative PEER Committee has released its report titled 2019 Update on Financial Soundness of the Public Employees' Retirement System. MISS. CODE ANN. Section 25-11-101 (1972) requires the PEER Committee to make annual reports to the Legislature on the financial soundness of the Public Employees' Retirement System. For FY 2019, PERS's combined investment portfolio realized a return of approximately 6.87% while the market value of assets grew from approximately $28.1 to $28.6 billion, an increase of approximately $0.5 billion. PERS investment performance for FY 2019 was below the current actuarial model's target investment return of 7.75%, but was above the median return of 6.56% for its peer group. Additionally, PERS investment performance has exceeded its peer group median for each of the past three-, five-, and 10-year periods (ranking in the top 15% over each of these periods).
'We must do better': Gov. Reeves rolls out plan for troubled Mississippi prisons
Four weeks ago, Tate Reeves likely did not suspect his first press conference as governor would be addressing problems in state prisons. But that's just what Reeves did on Thursday, his second full day as governor, as he rolled out his prison plan. Its first phase involved Reeves' appointing a seven-member search committee to find the department's next leader, who will be charged with stabilizing the beleaguered agency that employs more than 2,000 people and has roughly 20,000 prisoners under its care. "We've all seen the catastrophe that the current state of our prison system has allowed for," Reeves said on Thursday. "There will always be bad people in the world who wish to inflict pain on others... We will never fully eradicate evil, but we can do better than this. In fact, we must do better than this." Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs, a former House Corrections Committee chairman, will lead the search for a new commissioner beginning immediately, Reeves said.
Reporters Battle New Restrictions In Trying To Cover Senate Impeachment Trial
News organizations and journalists' advocates are battling restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial. Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others. But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership: Reporters are being confined to small cordoned-off sections of areas where unrestricted access was typically standard. They are being prevented from walking with senators to continue conversations -- even when the senator involved is willingly participating. Reporters also now may not approach senators for interviews in the halls surrounding the Senate chamber. Taken together, the new rules effectively prevent members of the press from reaching many senators.
Judge: Referring to transgender people by chosen pronouns 'courtesy' not law
Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan, a President Trump appointee, this week cautioned that courts follow "convention" not "binding precedent" in referring to transgender individuals by their chosen pronouns. Duncan went on to refer to Kathrine Nicole Jett, who was known as Norman Varner in previous court hearings, as "gender dysphoric." The defendant had asked to change Norman Varner to Kathrine Nicole Jett on previous conviction records as well as require the use of female pronouns. Duncan called the latter request a "quixotic undertaking." "[N]o authority supports the proposition that we may require litigants, judges, court personnel, or anyone else to refer to gender-dysphoric litigants with pronouns matching their subjective gender identity," Duncan wrote in his opinion. "But the courts that have followed this 'convention,' have done so purely as a courtesy to parties."
Coke trade secrets case highlights U.S.-China tension, trade challenge
After nearly five years with Coca-Cola, engineer Xiaorong "Shannon" You was getting downsized. Prosecutors allege that two days before her final shift in Atlanta, You gave herself a lucrative parting gift. You uploaded to her Google Drive account confidential documents detailing trade secrets from six Coke vendors worth more than $100 million, according to a federal indictment and an FBI agent's testimony. It wasn't Coke's secret formula, but prosecutors say the records helped You win Chinese government funding to start a company making next-generation can coatings in a beverage industry segment that's worth $3 billion a year. The first phase of a new U.S.-China trade pact -- signed Wednesday -- addresses issues such as protecting trade secrets and battling pirated and counterfeit goods, as well as providing U.S. companies and farmers with more access to Chinese markets. Yet some longtime observers question if the deal changes much because they doubt the willingness of China's government to fix the issue.
Board delays vote on moving Confederate monument at Ole Miss
A Confederate monument will remain, for now, in a prominent spot on the University of Mississippi campus, nearly a year after student leaders requested that it be moved to a Civil War cemetery. The board that governs Mississippi's eight public universities met Thursday and delayed a vote on a proposal to move the monument. Trustee Tom Duff said he wants more information from the university about its work to provide historical context about the monument and some other structures on campus. Mississippi Higher Education Commissioner Alfred Rankins Jr. said any college board trustee may delay a vote on any agenda item. Rankins said the relocation of the Confederate monument will be considered after the university provides the information Duff requested.
University leaders react to IHL Board's decision to table statue discussion
The Institutions of Higher Learning's Board of Trustees opted to not discuss the relocation of a Confederate statue on the University of Mississippi's campus on Thursday morning, and University leaders began reacting hours later. Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce, who was in attendance at Thursday's board meeting in Jackson, issued a statement Thursday afternoon stating the University will cooperate with the IHL and provide a full report by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on History and Contextualization to the Board as requested. Board member Tom Duff made the motion to pull the item off Thursday's agenda, asking for more information and time to look over the report before bringing the matter back to the Board. Boyce's statement also reiterated that the IHL Board has "exclusive authority" to relocate the statue, and the report to the Board is required before the University can re-submit the relocation proposal to the IHL for their approval.
IHL Board delays vote to relocate Confederate monument
The Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees voted to delay considering the proposal to relocate the Confederate monument from the Circle to the Confederate cemetery on campus at their monthly meeting Thursday morning. IHL Trustee Tom Duff made the motion to suspend the vote, pending further review. Duff said he wants more information from the university, though detailed plans and justifications for the move have already been provided to the board. The board has requested a full report on the campus contextualization of related symbolism. Going forward, Chancellor Glenn Boyce will have to place it on the IHL meeting agenda again until the board votes again. After the meeting, Boyce said that the university "will continue to work through this process and continue to provide whatever information is requested of us."
Southern Station coming soon to Spirit Park on USM campus
The Southern Miss Alumni Association is showing its dedication to the campus through the construction of a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility in Spirit Park. Southern Station will sit in front of the south wing of M.M. Roberts Stadium. This facility will be for future students, current students and alumni to enjoy. There will be a 34-foot by 24-foot stage with 1,250 square feet of event space behind the stage. It will house climate-controlled restrooms and a 275-square-foot space to use for storage, events and event preparation. Construction on the facility started last month and is expected to be complete sometime in the Fall of 2020. This project is two years in the making and is the largest one-time investment made by the Southern Miss Alumni Association, and the estimated cost is around $1 million. "We wanted to develop something that would be utilized by a wide variety of audiences," said Jerry DeFatta, executive director of the Alumni Association.
USM Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical and Interracial Prayer Breakfast
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Randolph will give the keynote address at the University of Southern Mississippi's 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ecumenical and Interracial Prayer Breakfast. The event begins on Monday, Jan. 20, at 7 a.m. in the Thad Cochran Center on USM's Hattiesburg campus. Former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Randolph to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2004 to replace then-Chief Justice Edwin Pittman, who retired that year before his term expired. Randolph successfully ran for the position later that year and was re-elected in 2012. He became presiding justice in 2013 and chief justice in 2019. The Mu Gamma Lambda and Mu Xi chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., will present the event, which is free and open to the public. Alpha Phi Alpha will also recognize recipients of its community service, community impact, humanitarian, Douglass T. Baker and Friend of Alpha Phi Alpha awards during the breakfast, and USM will present students from local high schools with college textbook scholarships.
Volkswagen, U. of Tennessee, ORNL announce collaboration, innovation hub
Volkswagen Group of America, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee on Friday announced a collaboration to create Volkswagen's first innovation hub in North America at the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm. The collaboration involves research opportunities for doctoral students and space in the Innovation North building at the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm in Knoxville, a press release said. Initial work will focus on developing lighter vehicle components made from composite materials and the electrification of vehicles. "The partnership between UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Volkswagen strengthens Tennessee's position as a significant source of innovation and talent for the Volkswagen's North American manufacturing base, especially at the flagship Chattanooga facility," UT Interim President Randy Boyd said.
UF plants tree with world's top agricultural university at Florida Arbor Day ceremony
What began as a foggy morning on the south Reitz Union lawn became the roots for a lasting partnership. UF President Kent Fuchs and Wageningen University and Research Executive Board President Louise O. Fresco planted a Southern live oak tree to celebrate Florida Arbor Day and commemorate both universities' long collaboration. The ceremony honored the centennial of Wageningen's establishment, which was in 2018. The act is part of the UniversiTREE global initiative, which Fresco started and decribed as a global forest of trees in places where Wageningen has strong ties. She said by the end of this year, it will have 100 trees in 100 countries. Even though Wageningen is in the Netherlands, Fresco said it has worked with UF for soil science and crop physiology. She said their relationship is so special that when she went to the United States for the first time 30 years ago, Gainesville was her first stop.
Missouri, MU part of effort to 'shine a much-needed light' inside prisons
To start, the multi-state project will look at inmates, officers and conditions with an eye toward innovation.Missouri is one of five states chosen to participate in research and data collection of state prisons. The goal is to improve transparency and accountability in prisons across the U.S. The Prison Research and Innovation Initiative is a five-year program launched by the Urban Institute in May 2019. The project will provide research and evidence "to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions," helping to create strategies that will promote the well-being of corrections officers and people who are imprisoned, according to the project's website. Missouri was chosen by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, to be part of the initiative's Prison Research and Innovation Network. Other states in the network are Colorado, Delaware, Iowa and Vermont. The University of Missouri School of Social Work will be partnered with the Missouri Department of Corrections to provide research for the Urban Institute.
Proposed rule focuses on faith-based colleges, religious liberty and free speech
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed a new rule clarifying that faith-based colleges are eligible for department grants on the same terms as other private organizations and prohibiting colleges from denying faith-based student groups "any of the rights, benefits, or privileges" allowed for non-faith-based student organizations as a condition of receiving grant funding. The proposed rule, which was published Thursday in the Federal Register, would also amend regulations to add a "non-exhaustive list of criteria" that would offer colleges "different methods" to demonstrate their eligibility for a religious exemption to Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. Currently, institutions "controlled by" religious organizations are eligible for exemptions from Title IX, but the department said in a press release that neither Title IX nor the regulations implementing it define what it means for a college to be controlled by a religious group.
Putin wanted Russian science to top the world. Then a huge academic scandal blew up.
Eight years ago, President Vladimir Putin decreed that Russia must become a leading scientific power. That meant at least five top-100 Russian universities by 2020, and a dramatic increase in the number of global citations of Russian scientific papers. Now a group at the center of Putin's aspirations, the Russian Academy of Sciences, has dropped a bombshell into the plans. A commission set up by the academy has led to the retraction of at least 869 Russian scientific articles, mainly for plagiarism. "This is the largest retraction in Russian scientific history. Never before have hundreds of papers been retracted," said Andrei Zayakin, scientific secretary of the RAS Commission for Countering the Falsification of Scientific Research. "Before two years ago, there might have been single cases, but not even dozens." What went wrong? Many scientists blame Putin's 2012 order, which provided greater funding but also led to pressure on scientists to churn out multiple papers a year regardless of quality, amid heavy teaching loads.
Universities ignore growing concern over Sci-Hub cyber risk
Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the scholarly piracy website Sci-Hub, is suspected of working with Russian intelligence officials to steal confidential research and military secrets from American universities. According to The Washington Post, Elbakyan, nicknamed the Robin Hood of science, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for suspected criminal acts and espionage. Elbakyan denies any wrongdoing, but scholarly publishers such as Elsevier have used news of her investigation to call on academic institutions to block access to Sci-Hub -- not because the site is illegal, but because it poses a security threat. Several large publishers, including Elsevier, have successfully sued Sci-Hub for mass copyright infringement in recent years. The Sci-Hub repository contains more than 80 million research articles, including a large proportion of Elsevier's catalog.
Department of Energy moves carefully on assessing foreign research collaborations
The U.S. Department of Energy has drawn up a list of technologies it may not want agency scientists to share with researchers from a handful of other countries. But that list has yet to be put to use, says Chris Fall, head of DOE's Office of Science. Appearing yesterday before the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Fall shed new light on how the 10 DOE national laboratories he oversees are trying to prevent foreign governments from taking advantage of the traditionally open U.S. scientific enterprise. DOE officials have spoken publicly before about creating a "technology risk matrix" to shape interactions with four countries---China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea -- deemed to pose a threat to U.S. national security. But they have been cagey about how -- or even whether -- that matrix is being used. It turns out that the tool is armed and ready for deployment, but DOE officials are weighing the potential impact on research before going live with it.

Jordan Danberry, Jessika Carter help No. 10 Mississippi State past LSU
Mississippi State's win over LSU provided a perfect picture of what coach Vic Schaefer is dealing with in a transition year. Jordan Danberry scored 16 points and Jessika Carter had 13 points and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, leading No. 10 Mississippi State to a 64-60 win over LSU on Thursday night. Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0 SEC) had its 20-point lead in the second half dwindle to three points in the fourth quarter, but MSU held on to beat the Tigers (13-4, 3-2). "You get (LSU) down 20 and we relaxed. I'm disappointed in myself," Schaefer said. "I thought offensively we were really stagnant in the fourth quarter and I'll take the blame for the play calling." Since dropping two-straight games to No. 3 Stanford and No. 17 West Virginia earlier in the season, the Bulldogs have reeled off eight consecutive wins and started 4-0 in league play heading into Monday night's matchup against No. 1 South Carolina.
No. 10 Bulldogs win seventh straight over LSU
Mississippi State's women's basketball program only holds 13 wins over LSU in 60 overall meetings but seven of them have come in the last five years. The 10th-ranked Bulldogs' most recent 64-60 victory came Thursday night as they tamed the Tigers for the seventh straight time despite a feverish second-half comeback. Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0 SEC) shot 50 percent on the night but struggled at the free throw line, hitting just 8 of 19. Jordan Danberry paced the Bulldogs with 16 points along with Jessika Carter's sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Andra Espinoza-Hunter also added 10 points in her third start of the year. MSU shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half with eight different players contributing in the scoring column. LSU, meanwhile, was 0 for 3 from the perimeter and 0 for 6 from the free throw line in the opening half.
Mississippi State women down LSU in tight affair
Vic Schaefer scratched his brow. After watching his team lead by as many as 20 in the third quarter, Schaefer meandered off the court at Humphrey Coliseum -- white dress shirt dripping with sweat -- as Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0) survived errant inbounds passes, a missed layup and three video reviews in the final minute to outlast LSU (13-4, 3-2) 64-60 Thursday. "Once we got up we got complacent, to be honest with you," he said postgame. "Somebody said, 'Well you know your team has probably looking ahead.' If my team has been looking ahead I'll wear that because you can't be looking ahead in this league. You look ahead and something like what almost just happened, will happen." Just days ahead of a Monday contest with No. 1 South Carolina Monday, the Bulldogs needed a full 40 minutes to handle 2019 All-SEC forward Ayana Mitchell and a scrappy Tigers squad in Starkville.
Mississippi State beats LSU, wins fourth-straight SEC game of season
A sense of uneasiness settled over the crowd inside Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday night. That feeling contrasted with the general mood that preceded it. For most of the night, No. 9 Mississippi State handled LSU rather easily. The Bulldogs even led by 20 points in the third quarter. Fans were confident and content. When they looked up at the scoreboards in the fourth, though, they saw that Mississippi State's lead had dwindled to six. State needed a jolt. Sophomore center Jessika Carter provided it. Carter drew a charge against LSU senior guard Ayana Mitchell, giving the Bulldogs the ball back in the tightly contested game. As Carter landed on her back on the court, fans inside the arena regained the fervor they displayed when their Bulldogs were taking care of business earlier in the game.
LSU women's basketball rally but fall 64-60 at No. 10 Mississippi State
Ayana Mitchell's double-double and a big fourth-quarter rally weren't enough for LSU's women's basketball team to pull off a road upset of No. 10 Mississippi State, which held off the Lady Tigers 64-60 on Thursday night. Mitchell finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and LSU (13-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) out-scored Mississippi State (16-2, 4-0 SEC) 18-9 in the final period. That included a stretch of seven straight points that hacked a 63-53 deficit with 2:30 remaining down to 63-60 on Mitchell's put-back layup, Khayla Pointer's 3-pointer and Faustine Aifuwa's jumper with 45 seconds remaining. LSU forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and had a chance to tie in the final seconds. But after the Lady Tigers struggled to find a shot, Jessika Carter blocked Aifuwa's layup attempt with 3 seconds left and Jordan Danberry hit a free throw to clinch the victory.
Why Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer turned to Andra Espinoza-Hunter
Vic Schaefer and Andra Espinoza-Hunter had a talk earlier this week. "He told me what he expected from me and what I needed to do moving forward," said Espinoza-Hunter, a junior guard at Mississippi State. From the outside, it might have looked like Espinoza-Hunter has been in the head coach's dog house in recent weeks. She played five minutes in each of Mississippi State's past two games. She didn't score a point in either. Espinoza-Hunter had averaged 7.8 minutes and 1.5 points per game since Dec. 19's game against South Florida. Against LSU on Thursday night, Espinoza-Hunter played a season-high 37 minutes and scored 10 points. "I just had a gut feeling about her tonight," Schaefer said. "And she played awfully well."
Mike Leach makes first two staff hires at Mississippi State
Mike Leach has made his first two hires at Mississippi State. Leach announced Thursday that he's bringing Tyson Brown and Dave Emerick with him from his staff at Washington State. Brown will serve as the Bulldogs' head strength and conditioning coach while Emerick will be the senior associate athletic director for football. "I am excited to welcome Dave Emerick and Tyson Brown to the Bulldog family," Leach said. "Dave has been my chief of staff at both Washington State and Texas Tech for close to 15 years, and he is a vital member of our staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that is invaluable to our program. "Tyson is a tireless worker, an energetic leader and the best strength and conditioning coach I have ever been around. Our players will love working with Tyson and his staff, and we can't wait for our offseason to get rolling."
Emerick, Brown to join Mike Leach's staff at Mississippi State
Mike Leach's staff is rounding into form. After it was revealed last week Steve Spurrier Jr. would join Leach in Starkville, former Washington State coaches Dave Emerick and Tyson Brown were officially announced as staff additions by Mississippi State Thursday. Emerick will serve as the senior associate athletics director for football following six years on Leach's staff at Texas Tech and an eight year run at Washington State. He also oversaw recruiting efforts at Arizona during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Emerick is a 2002 graduate of Kentucky where he worked with the football program as an intern during his undergraduate years. Brown joins the program as the new head strength and conditioning coach. Before MSU, he served as an intern strength and conditioning coach at Washington for two years ahead of a six-year stint at Washington State -- the last two seasons of which he worked as the head strength and conditioning coach. Brown has also worked for South Florida, Baylor and the NFL's Houston Texans.
Report: CFP officials might alter sideline rules after Odell Beckham Jr., LSU drama
The actions of Odell Beckham Jr. could alter the access former players and celebrities have to their favorite teams in future College Football Playoffs, according to a USA TODAY SPORTS report. CFP director Bill Hancock said Thursday that the playoff committee will review its practice of allowing people outside of the participating team on the sidelines and in the locker rooms during national semifinals and championship games. The news comes on the heels of the NFL wide receiver and LSU alumnus stirring up headlines after he was caught on video giving money to some LSU players following the Tigers' national championship win on Monday. Aside from an NCAA investigation into whether this is a potential violation, Beckham was placed in further hot water on Thursday when he was accused of a misdemeanor simple battery charge in an arrest warrant for appearing to slap a security guard's butt in LSU's locker room after the win.
Baylor hires LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as head coach
Baylor has hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as its next head coach, the university announced Thursday. "Today is an exciting day for Baylor," athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. "Dave is a special person who loves football and his student-athletes, is highly intellectual, and is a great mission fit for both Baylor Athletics and the University at large." Aranda, 43, emerged as the leading candidate Thursday morning. Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente and Louisiana coach Billy Napier, who each spoke with Baylor about the job, announced Thursday that they are remaining with their schools. Aranda had spent the past four years at LSU and helped the Tigers win the national championship on Monday against Clemson. He was the highest-paid assistant in college football, earning $2.5 million annually.

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