Wednesday, January 22, 2020   
Aldermen hear annual SMART presentation
The Starkville Board of Aldermen was brought up to speed on the current status of the Starkville MSU Area Rapid Transit (SMART) bus system Tuesday night. Mississippi State University Parking and Transit Director Jeremiah Dumas gave the board the update during a public hearing at its meeting Tuesday night. The system showed a 20.3% increase in ridership between 2018 and 2019. This includes an 18.4% increase on city routes, with an annual ridership of approximately 770,000. "What we really appreciate is the largest percent of that increase is coming within our city routes," Dumas said. "When you look at city routes, those routes that are in the city, some of which go back and forth from the campus, but most of which are just city alone. This past year, we saw 18.4% on those routes alone, so we're pleased to see that those numbers are continuing to grow, and be utilized in the city."
Starkville eyes future as firefighter training ground
Starkville could become a training destination for firefighters across north Mississippi if the city's fire department receives a grant later this year. Having a regional training facility in Starkville would be a welcome addition to the city and the region, Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough said. As it is right now, firefighters must be trained at the Mississippi State Fire Academy in Jackson, a process that takes seven weeks to complete. Yarbrough said by having another option, Starkville could keep its personnel nearby, rather than having to send them away. To build a regional training facility, the SFD will need to be approved for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant, a grant offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If approved, the new facility would be located at Fire Station 3, where some training equipment already exists.
Supervisors divided over future of county lake dam repairs
Even as pumps continue removing water from Oktibbeha County Lake, the county's supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday night pledging to pay half of the costs to fix the lake's dam and levee. The resolution passed by a vote of 3-2 with District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller and District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery opposing it. District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard, whose district includes the lake area, brought the resolution to the board and pressed for them to act on the issue. "At this particular time, I think the most pressing issue in Oktibbeha County is the county lake dam," Howard said. "I think that is where all our attention needs to focus." Looking ahead at future costs, Howard said Austin Barbour, a county consultant, had advised him a resolution from Oktibbeha County declaring its intent to pay up to 50% of the costs for the repairs would generate more interest from potential funding sources. "The problem is, this is a big-ticket item," Howard said.
Mississippi senator presents bill that would prohibit the movement of historical monuments
The 2020 Mississippi legislative session is in full swing, and one state senator is proposing a bill which would prohibit the relocation of historical monuments. Republican Sen. Joseph Seymour, of Vancleave, introduced Senate Bill 2068, which is an act to amend Section 55-15-81 of the Mississippi Code of 1972. The amendment's intention is to "delete the authority of public governing entities to move historical monuments and memorial; and for related purposes." Seymour represents District 47, which covers Jackson, Pearl River and Stone counties. He was elected into office in 2016 and is the current chairman for the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. If the bill is voted into law, it would prohibit the movement of the Confederate statue on the University of Mississippi's campus. The University is currently awaiting final approval of its proposed relocation plan from the Institutions of Higher Learning's Board of Trustees.
Mississippians Work Towards Racial Healing
A panel of four experts say there are ways to get beyond the challenges of talking about racial healing. Rhea Williams-Bishop is with the WK Kellogg Foundation. She says the first step in the healing process is finding the common ground between black and white Mississippians. "The second point is acknowledging the truth of past wrongs, and then working to build authentic relationships and understanding." Other panel members say distrust on both sides can be difficult to work through. Otis Pickett is a Professor of History at Mississippi College. He says breaking down those walls can be as easy as inviting someone to the Civil Rights Museum to talk about the state's history. "Do it in a way where you're not putting someone on the defensive, where they feel open and safe with you. If we really want to see hearts change, I think sitting down with folks and being willing to walk through that record with them is good." Tuesday was the 4th Annual National Day of Racial Healing.
More Slayings at Parchman as Mississippi Confronts Prison Crisis
Prison officials in Mississippi said on Tuesday that two inmates were beaten to death at the state penitentiary in Parchman, coming after a burst of violence across the state that left five inmates dead and underscored the troubles facing a correctional system the new governor has called a "catastrophe." Parchman, a maximum-security prison notorious for its harsh conditions, has been on lockdown since a gang-fueled spate of violence and disorder several weeks ago. Critics have urged federal officials to investigate conditions they have condemned as unconstitutional and inhumane. In a statement, prison officials disclosed few details about the circumstances surrounding the most recent killings. The turmoil at Parchman -- and in other state prisons across Mississippi -- has become one of the most pressing issues confronting Gov. Tate Reeves, who took office last week. On Tuesday, he wrote on Twitter that there was "much more to be done here."
Cindy Hyde-Smith has lead over Mike Espy in early polling of potential Senate rematch
Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith has a 44 percent to 36 percent lead over likely Democratic challenger Mike Espy, according to a Millsaps College/Chism Strategies survey released Tuesday. The poll is the first released for the anticipated rematch of Hyde-Smith and Espy. In the 2018 Senate special election runoff, Hyde-Smith won 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent. The special election was to replace long-time Sen. Thad Cochran who stepped down in 2018 for health reasons. Millsaps and Chism do quarterly polls on various state-related issues. Chism Strategies worked for Espy in the 2018 special election. According to the poll, 35.6 percent of the respondents said they were definitely voting for Hyde-Smith compared to 28.6 for Espy while 8.7 percent said they probably would vote for the incumbent while 7.4 percent said they probably would vote for the challenger.
Lott and Daschle: Two sides must work together, Senate leaders from Clinton's impeachment trial say
The Senate leaders who navigated the 1999 impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton haven't been asked by the current leaders for their advice. But USA TODAY asked Mississippi's Trent Lott, the former Republican majority leader, and South Dakota's Tom Daschle, the former Democratic minority leader, what wisdom they could impart as their successors, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, take the lead roles Tuesday. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins in earnest after weeks of public disagreements between McConnell and Schumer, and after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for fear Republicans were preparing for a quick acquittal. Even now, what pressure the president put on Ukraine to investigate a top potential 2020 rival, former vice president Joe Biden, in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting remains a matter of dispute. That is but one of the many differences between this impeachment trial and the 1999 version, but there are also are similarities.
Sen. Roger Wicker, who accused Clinton of 'criminal conduct,' sees no impeachable offense by Trump
When it was time to decide whether the president of the United States should be impeached, Roger Wicker did not mince words. "The rule of law means recognizing that felonious criminal conduct by the president of the United States cannot be tolerated," Wicker said. "The rule of law is more important than the tenure in office of any elected official." Wicker, a rising Republican star in just his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, was speaking ahead of the 1998 House impeachment vote of Democratic President Bill Clinton. The Republican-controlled House affirmed four impeachment articles against Clinton, and Wicker voted yes on all four. More than two decades later, as the country is embroiled in the impeachment trial of another president -- this time from his own party -- now-Sen. Wicker's few public statements stand in contrast to his sentiments of the Clinton impeachment in a then-Republican controlled House.
Chief Justice John Roberts drops 'pettifogging' bomb while reprimanding both sides in impeachment trial
Chief Justice John Roberts admonished both the House managers and the president's counsel after a fiery back and forth during the debate over amendments to the resolution outlining the rules and format of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Roberts said he felt he had to "admonish" both sides "in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner, and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse." Roberts reprimanded the panels amid an argument over whether former national security adviser John Bolton should be subpoenaed to testify before the Senate. To illustrate his point about the level of civility expected in the Senate, Roberts referenced an incident from the 1905 impeachment trial of Florida District Judge Charles Swayne, when one senator took issue with a House manager using the word "pettifogging" (which is an old-fashioned term for "worrying too much about details that are minor or unimportant, according to Merriam-Webster).
Risky Viruses: Health Officials Debate How Much To Reveal About Research
U.S. officials are currently weighing the benefits and risks of proposed experiments that might make a dangerous pathogen even worse --- but the details of that review, and the exact nature of the experiments, aren't being released to the public. At the same time, officials are to hold a meeting in Bethesda, Md., later this week to debate how much information to openly share about this kind of controversial work, and how much to reveal about the reasoning behind decisions to pursue or forgo it. The meeting comes as the high stakes of this research are coincidentally being highlighted by events in China, where public health workers are grappling with an outbreak of a new coronavirus. The virus likely first arose in animals and seems to have acquired the ability to be transmitted from person to person. How animal viruses can acquire the ability to jump into humans and become contagious is exactly the question that some researchers are trying to answer by manipulating pathogens in the lab, to explore what genetic changes alter their virulence and transmissibility.
Fighting suicides in dairy country through 'farmer angels'
On what would have been Leon Statz's 59th birthday, two dozen plaid-shirted farmers sat in the basement of St. Peter's Lutheran Church to talk about how they were coping with the forces conspiring against them -- the forces that had pushed their neighbor, a third-generation dairyman, to kill himself. The gathering was therapy of the most urgent kind. Statz's 2018 suicide was the first some of the farmers had ever experienced, and in the small community of Loganville, it was a tragic jolt. "He was stressed out," remembers Dale Meyer, a close friend. "We tried to help, but we found that we didn't know what we should have done." In the aftermath, though, Meyer and others came up with an answer. They created a unique self-preservation effort. The Farmer Angel Network, they named it. And in a sign of how big the crisis is, the effort is growing. Though farmers throughout the country have faced stark times in recent years, the Dairy State's plight has been the most severe by some measures. In 2019, its 48 farm bankruptcies led the nation.
What is the economic impact of Mississippi's Community Colleges?
An economic impact study, commissioned by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, analyzed the contributions of Mississippi's community colleges to the state's economy. The findings of that study have been released. The report, prepared by the National Strategic Planning and Research Center at Mississippi State University, had three primary objectives: (1) examine who is served by the statewide network of community colleges, (2) determine education and labor market related outcomes of those served, and (3) estimate the overall impact of community colleges to the state of Mississippi. According to the "Investing in Mississippi" impact report, community colleges in Mississippi provide $2.1 billion in wages and salaries, $3.9 billion in state gross domestic product (GDP), and $277 million in state and local tax revenues.
New economic impact study exemplifies community colleges' importance
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is a finalist out of 12 hundred other community colleges in the nation. Mississippi community colleges released a new economic impact study to help with decision-making and strategic planning. The impact study shines a light on how important community colleges are. According to the "Investing in Mississippi" report, ninety-six percent of students at Mississippi community colleges are Mississippi residents. Marcos Chacon is a freshman at MGCCC and believes the two-year college has helped him get into the rhythm of college at a steady pace. "I absolutely love it here because it's a lot smaller than a university which it's better than being thrown into the deep end," said Chacon.
Mississippi's community colleges have multi-billion dollar impact on state economy, report shows
A report commissioned by the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges was released on Tuesday, showing the multi-billion dollar economic impact the colleges have across the state. The presidents of Mississippi's 15 community colleges commissioned the study to demonstrate how the community college system makes significant contributions to the state's economy, supporting communities across the state's 82 counties. The report was prepared by the National Strategic Planning and Research Center at Mississippi State University. The three primary objectives of the study were to: examine who is served by the statewide network of community colleges, determine education and labor market-related outcomes of those served and estimate the overall economic impact of community colleges in the state of Mississippi.
Hinds trustees open search for new college president
The Hinds Community College Board of Trustees has opened a search for a new president with the goal of naming a leader by the end of April with an official start date of July 1. "I believe that the most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees is the naming of a president of Hinds Community College. We recognize the importance of choosing the right leader," said Paul Breazeale, president of the Hinds Community College Board of Trustees. The school's next president will follow the iconic Dr. Clyde Muse, college president since July 1, 1978, who recently announced his planned retirement for June 30. A committee of the 14-member Board of Trustees is leading the search for a new president. "It will be our goal to select someone who has the ability to appreciate the history of our college and energize the vision to continue moving us forward," Breazeale said. "Hinds is a complex organization with many facets, which requires someone with the right experience, drive, passion and a commitment to excellence."
The robots are coming: automated food delivery begins on UM campus
Campus food provider Aramark will begin offering food delivery from on-campus dining options at the University of Mississippi today through Starship delivery robots. Aramark has been testing the delivery robots on campus since Dec. 17. Students can purchase food from dining options such as Chick-fil-A and Panda Express on the Starship Deliveries app and have it delivered to them in different locations on campus via robot. The app will accept Ole Miss Express, Flex Dollars and Venmo as payment. Some vendors at the student union do not accept Ole Miss Express dollars in person, but the app will accept them or deliveries. Students can also get $3 off their second order by posting a photo of their first order on Instagram and tagging and following the Starship Robots account.
Millsaps students work toward bridging the racial divide on the National Day of Racial Healing
Bridging the racial divide is the purpose of the National Day of Racial Healing. Millsaps College students took part in an honest conversation about the status of race relations in the state and nation and how healing can really take place. Anna Wilson and Derrick Dupeuy are Millsaps students taking part in the National Day of Healing event, hearing stories of racism and racial acceptance and discovery. They believe there is a divide in the racial climate in Mississippi and the nation. Wilson is from Brandon and wants to be a doctor. "I think people are trying, but there are a lot of people that are uneducated, don't know," said Wilson. "So, I think it's a mix. A lot of folks in Mississippi just live their lives in the same place and hear the same things from their parents that they heard from their parents and that makes it tough to grow." The students say racial tolerance seems to be eroding and will only be overcome through communication.
U. of South Carolina investigating student for posting racist comment found after MLK Day
The University of South Carolina is looking into the actions of a student who posted a racist comment on social media that was unearthed a day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. When the post first appeared on social media was not clear. USC President Bob Caslen said Tuesday that the school is looking into the post. "Earlier today, we were made aware of a social media post by one of our students that contained a disgusting racist epitaph (sic) absolutely not reflective of who we are as Gamecocks," Caslen posted on Twitter. "We are taking steps to address this situation that we know is hurtful to many members of our community." The university offered no immediate word if the student involved in the latest incident has been disciplined. USC is still investigating, school spokesman Jeff Stensland said. The student's name was not released.
Fate of the Iron Horse, a contentious UGA icon, is again up in the air
Many colleges and universities have at least one site of ritual, a symbolic place students must visit or an emblematic act they must do while enrolled. At Ole Miss, it's tailgating in The Grove. At Auburn University, toilet papering the live oaks at Toomer's Corner after a win -- that is before an Alabama fan poisoned the iconic trees and did jail time for committing death by herbicide. (The trees have been replaced). At the University of Georgia, there are several customs: ringing the bell at the Chapel Bell Tower after a Dawgs' win or upon graduation; not walking under the iron Arch along Broad Street until immediately after graduation, lest you not graduate on time or at all. Until you've got that degree, you walk around it. Another is driving 18 miles south of campus to Watkinsville to watch the sun rise or set through the mane and withers of a 2-ton, 12-foot-tall iron horse sculpture in the middle of a field. That sculpture, commonly known as, well, the Iron Horse, has stood in the field for 60 years, a symbol of why modern art can be difficult to understand, hard to accept and sometimes the target of violence.
U. of Florida Shark Attack File: Attacks down
Last year was another unusually low year for shark attacks, according to University of Florida's International Shark Attack File. The agency reported 64 unprovoked attacks in 2019, with only two resulting in human deaths. Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of Natural History, says the drop in attacks, specifically those in Florida, could be related to sharks' food moving elsewhere. Blacktip sharks, the usual suspect in Florida shark attacks, feed on schooling fish and follow them in to shore, which is where they may get confused and mistakenly bite a human. If the schooling fish stay offshore, the number of attacks may decrease, Naylor said. There also were fewer attacks reported around South Africa due to white sharks being driven away by orca pods, which have been known to attack white sharks and feed on their livers. The 2019 numbers were similar to 2018, when 62 unprovoked attacks were reported. The 2019 numbers were 22% down from the most recent five-year average of 82 bites per year.
Politics, legal fights muddy picture for defrauded student loan borrowers
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives were able to pass a measure last week expressing opposition to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's borrower-defense rule. But because of politics and both ongoing and upcoming legal battles, the vote did little to clear up what will happen to students who are asking for their loans to be discharged because they were defrauded by colleges. Hardly clear are two questions: how to deal with the backlog of more than 200,000 borrowers, most of whom attended for-profit institutions, who've been waiting for the Education Department to process their requests for debt forgiveness. Also uncertain is how cases will be handled in the future. A new rule proposed by DeVos that would make it harder for borrowers to get relief is set to go into effect in July, but it will likely be challenged in the courts before then.
By 2020, They Said, 2 Out of 3 Jobs Would Need More Than a High-School Diploma. Were They Right?
Did that prediction about jobs requiring education beyond high school by 2020 pan out? "By the year 2020, nearly two-thirds of all jobs will require postsecondary education and training." Anyone who's been to a higher-ed conference or read a book on the topic in the past decade has no doubt heard some version of that prediction -- some of us to the point of numbness. Along with the aspirations for raising college-completion rates, which my colleague Eric Kelderman wrote about this month, the jobs prediction became a major rallying cry for more support of postsecondary education -- and also for more alternatives to traditional college models. Well, it's 2020, so who better to ask about the prediction than the folks at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which offered it in 2013 (following a similar prediction three years earlier, keyed to 2018)? Was it true? And if so, at what point did we pass the threshold? Those seem like simple questions. The answers, alas, are anything but.
How Stretching to Pay for College Is Altering Middle Class Life
In an unusual study on student debt, New York University anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom interviewed more than 160 people -- students and parents -- and got them to open up their financial books and talk about the toll of paying for college. The result is an often riveting book called "Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost." For this week's podcast, we talked with Zaloom about what surprised her most from her research, what she thinks should be done and how she has changed her thinking about saving for college for her own young children. And because the best parts of Zaloom's book are the voices of the students she spoke with, we wanted to bring a student perspective to this episode as well. So we talked with a recent NYU graduate who took on six-figure debt for college and asked him what it feels like to select a college -- and now start a career -- under such financial stress.
Iranian student bound for Northeastern removed from U.S. despite court order
An Iranian student with a visa to attend Northeastern University was denied entry to the United States last weekend at Boston's Logan International Airport and removed from the country despite a court order blocking his removal, his lawyer said. Immigration lawyers and advocates for Iranian Americans say they have seen a rise in cases of Iranians with valid visas being turned away at airports, at either the port of departure or entry. Ryan Costello, policy director for the National Iranian American Council, said he is aware of about two dozen such cases since August. He attributed the trend to heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran. David Ware, an immigration attorney, said Iranian students hoping to travel to the U.S. are frequently subject to long delays while their visa applications undergo administrative processing, which he described as a euphemism for security checks. But even a student who makes it through the security check and gets a visa isn't guaranteed entry.
Prison system woes primarily self-inflicted mistakes
Syndicated columnist Sid Salter writes: It's easy to blame the Mississippi Legislature for the state's current prison system woes, but the truth is that such finger-pointing is inaccurate. The state's current prison mess has been at least 25 years in the making. Back in 1995, the current legislature's predecessors thought they were "getting tough on crime" by adopting the so-called "85 percent rule" which mandated that all state convicts must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for parole. Mississippi's law was in sharp contrast to other states, where the 85 percent rule applied only to violent offenders. ... Corrections officials loudly warned that such a program would create massive prison overcrowding in the state that would force either the rapid need for expensive new prison construction, U.S. Justice Department intervention in the operation of the state's prison system, or both.

Mississippi State men hoping to continue hot streak against Arkansas
The start of conference play for the Mississippi State men's basketball team brought up a bit of history no one affiliated with the program wanted to remember. Following losses to Auburn, Alabama and LSU, MSU fell to 0-3 in the SEC for the first time since 2015, the first year of the Ben Howland era. Then, last week put the Bulldogs back on the right side of a historical statistic, recording back-to-back victories of a margin of at least 27 points for the first time since 1946. MSU defeated Missouri 72-45 on Jan. 14, then took down Georgia 91-59 Saturday with both victories coming at Humphrey Coliseum. MSU (11-6, 2-3 SEC) hopes to continue its dominance when it wraps up its three-game homestand against Arkansas at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Starkville.
State seeks to continue recent success
In the past week, Mississippi State has managed to turn around a terrible 0-3 start to conference play. The Bulldogs won back-to-back games over Missouri and Georgia by an average of 29.5 points. MSU will now try to break even in the SEC as it closes out a three-game homestand tonight against Arkansas at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network. "There's no question that our defense is playing the best it has all year," said MSU coach Ben Howland. "We've done a better job the last three games. I thought our defense down in Baton Rouge was very good holding (LSU) to 37 percent from the floor and out-boarding them by 18. The last two games we've done a better job offensively taking care of the basketball and taking quality shots." During their two-game surge, the Bulldogs (11-6, 2-3 SEC) have shot 58.3 percent from the field while holding their opponents to a combined 37.1 percent.
Bulldogs flex where Hogs weak
Mississippi State almost was as dominating on the boards against LSU as the Tigers were against the University of Arkansas men's basketball team. After LSU outrebounded the Razorbacks 53-24 and hung on for a 79-77 victory at home Jan. 8, Mississippi State came into the Maravich Assembly Center for the next game. "I got sick to my stomach when I looked at the Mississippi State-LSU box score, because Mississippi State annihilated LSU on the backboards in the rebounding game, and we all know that we were minus-29 on the glass at LSU," Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said Monday night on his radio show. The Razorbacks (14-3, 3-2 SEC) play the Bulldogs (11-6, 2-3) at 6 tonight at Humphrey Coliseum. "Rebounding is a huge part of the game," Mississippi State Coach Ben Howland said. It's certainly big for the Bulldogs, who have a plus-8.3 rebounding margin to lead the SEC and rank 13th nationally.
Mississippi State women finding continuity in rotation despite loss to South Carolina
The puzzle pieces to Vic Schaefer's 2020 Mississippi State women's basketball team have begun falling into place. Entering a year in which the Bulldogs had to replace three starters in Teaira McCowan, Jazzmun Holmes and Anriel Howard, Schaefer brought six newcomers to this season's squad -- four freshmen, junior college center Yemiyah Morris and Michigan State transfer forward Sidney Cooks -- in an effort to bridge the gap. And while finding continuity amongst the fresh faces and MSU's talented but inexperienced returners has been taxing, Monday's game against South Carolina offered a fuller look at what the Bulldogs may trot out come tournament time. "If you've followed us at all or paid attention you probably can't figure out my rotation right now," Schaefer said at his midweek media availability Tuesday. "Because from one game to the next you've got somebody that might play 37 minutes and they might've played two last night, or three or four or whatever it is."
Mississippi State football: Mike Leach adds to coaching staff
One by one, little by little. Mike Leach has been the head coach at Mississippi State for nearly two weeks now. He still does not have a complete coaching staff, but he is getting there. Though Mississippi State has only made official the hiring of two assistants, other assistants have unofficially joined Leach in Starkville. First, the two official staff members are Dave Emerick, the senior associate athletics director, and Tyson Brown, the head strength and conditioning coach. Emerick's relationship with Leach goes back to their time spent together at Kentucky. Leach was the offensive coordinator in Lexington in 1997-98. Emerick was a recruiting and football operations intern at UK from 1997-2001 while he was an undergraduate student. Emerick reunited with Leach at Texas Tech from 2004-09 and then at Washington State from 2012-19. Emerick and Leach obviously know each other quite well.
Ex-football standout De'Runnya Wilson found slain in southwest Birmingham house
A former Birmingham City Schools and collegiate standout athlete was found dead on Tuesday. Birmingham police said De'Runnya Wilson, 25, was discovered slain inside a home in the city's southwest side. A relative called police after finding Wilson unresponsive inside a residence on Northland Avenue. Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr. made the announcement in a video press release. He did not say what time the discovery was made or how Wilson was killed. Police did not make themselves available for additional questions or comments. Wilson played football for Wenonah High School in Birmingham where he was primarily a basketball star, earning first-team Parade All-American honors in 2013. He was named Alabama's Mr. Basketball in 2013. He joined the football team in his senior season. He then went on to become a wide receiver at Mississippi State from 2013 through 2015, finishing his career with 133 receptions for 1,949 yards and 22 touchdowns
Cowboys' Stephen Jones says Dak Prescott's contract is team's 'No. 1 priority'
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones is "real pleased," he said Tuesday from Senior Bowl practice, with new coach Mike McCarthy's direction. Jones believes McCarthy's decision to keep the Cowboys' offensive language the same despite philosophical adjustments is "a big deal." No need for quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and Co. to relearn terminology. Which brings Jones to his top concern of this Cowboys offseason: Prescott's contract. The 2016 fourth-round selection is set to become a free agent with his rookie deal wrapped up. The Cowboys and Prescott, despite negotiations last offseason, have not agreed to terms on a new deal. "That's our No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason," Jones said.
Joe Moorhead officially announced as Oregon's new offensive coordinator
It's officially official: Joe Moorhead is Oregon's offensive coordinator. A week after reports, including by The Oregonian/OregonLive, that the Mississippi State coach was joining the Ducks, UO formally announced the addition Tuesday morning. "The search for our next offensive coordinator was extensive and drew interest from coaches at all levels from around the country," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said in a statement. "It was a thorough process, because we wanted to not only get the best coach for the University of Oregon, but also the best fit for our student-athletes and coaches. I'm fired up to welcome Joe, his wife Jennifer, daughter Kyra and sons Mason and Donovan, to Eugene and our football family." He was renowned while offensive coordinator at Penn State from 2016-17, when he helped the Nittany Lions go 21-5 overall and 17-3 in Big Ten play while averaging 39.4 points.
Geno Auriemma says there's no longer a UConn-Tennessee rivalry; is he right?
If you ask Geno Auriemma, the UConn-Tennessee rivalry is a relic from the past, something that exists only in sepia. "Back in the day, everybody said that was a marquee matchup because of the significance of each game. Each game carried a lot of weight. And there were always 10 players on the floor that were going to be great WNBA players, and it had all the elements of all that," the UConn coach said recently. "You know, everything's like a Broadway show. It has its run, and then it's got to end. And it ended, and I don't know that you're going to get that back, and I think college basketball is doing pretty damn good without it." As UConn and Tennessee prepare for their first meeting in 13 years, Thursday at the XL Center, Auriemma continues to downplay the rivalry's salience, raising the question: What does this matchup actually mean in 2020?

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