Tuesday, February 18, 2020   
Jeffrey Rupp discusses Mississippi State's entrepreneurship efforts at Rotary
The Starkville Rotary Club was brought up to speed on many local entrepreneurship efforts when Mississippi State University College of Business Director of Outreach Jeffrey Rupp spoke to the club. "Let me stress that even though the E Center is housed in the College of Business, we're for all majors," Rupp said. "We've had a lot of engineers who are really good at coming up with the ideas, but not necessarily monetizing the ideas." Rupp said the E Center's office in McCool Hall was designed initially by the first group of entrepreneurs. The center has a central common area, offices for Rupp and E Center Director of Entrepreneurship Eric Hill and space for MSU student-run startups. "Most of the SEC schools come see us," Rupp said. "Schools outside of the SEC come visit and we tell them 'you can build the center exactly the way we do, but the most important thing is keeping the culture right.' Entrepreneurs have their own little mindset, and you need to foster that."
'Always a reason why we can't': Howard disapproves of Supes' handling of county dam
The Oktibbeha County Lake dam was once again a topic of debate during Monday's Board of Supervisors meeting. As the Board prepared to vote on a motion to allocate state funds to the Blackjack Road improvement project, District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard requested some State Aid money be put toward the proposed project to replace the damaged county lake dam and levee, a project with an estimated cost between $7 million and $8 million. Howard said the law required state funds to go to projects where the need was greatest and argued replacing the dam was the most pressing issue facing the county, as he has done since initial reports of the dam's failing integrity were reported in January. Concerning the Blackjack Road project, Howard said he understood there was a safety factor regarding the road but noted the risk for citizens near the dam was almost certainly higher. Ultimately, Howard was the sole vote against allocating funds to the Blackjack Road project as it passed 4-1. Additionally, Supervisors voted unanimously to finalize the contract between the county and Burns Dirt Construction for the Blackjack Road project.
More drenching rains take aim at flood-ravaged South
Forecasters say heavy rains are again expected in parts of the flood-ravaged South, prolonging the misery in neighborhoods surrounded by water. Some of the hardest-hit areas in Mississippi were under a flash flood watch on Tuesday. The National Weather Service said rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches -- with higher amounts possible in some spots -- were expected to fall in a short amount of time in central Mississippi on Tuesday. Forecasters say that could cause flash flooding and worsen ongoing river flooding in the region. In Mississippi's capital city of Jackson, authorities warned hundreds of residents not to return home after devastating flooding Monday until they got the all clear. As the high water recedes, officials expect to find damaged roads and problems with water and sewage pipes.
Mississippi flooding: Pearl River threat moves south
Areas of northern Mississippi that were flooded last week were beginning to see high waters receding Monday as flooding in the central and southern parts of the state picks up. Gov. Tate Reeves said at a news conference Monday morning that waters will begin to recede Tuesday in the Jackson area, but as those waters recede, they will head downstream, possibly creating new problems in counties along the Pearl River south of Jackson. Reeves said counties south of Jackson must be ready for flooding headed downstream. Marion County Emergency Management Director Aaron Greer said he did not expect to see major flooding in the county even though the Pearl River already has risen above flood stage there. "Right now, there's really nothing flooding," he said. In Columbia, Greer said he expect to see water backing up along the west end of Church Street closest to the river and River View Road. South Main and Old Foxworth Road could also see water, he said.
Stocks fall as Apple warning raises China virus concerns
U.S. stocks slipped in early trading Tuesday after technology giant Apple became the most well-known company to warn of a financial hit from the virus outbreak in China. The maker of iPhones said it will fall short of its revenue forecasts in the fiscal second quarter because of production problems in China. Demand for iPhones is also down in China because stores are either closed or operating on reduced hours. Technology stocks led the selling. Apple shed 2.4%. Chipmakers, which also rely heavily on China for sales and supplies, broadly slid. Intel shed 1.2%. Businesses continue to feel the economic impact from the virus. The Beijing auto show, the industry's biggest global event of the year, is being postponed indefinitely from its April date. Apple is the latest company to warn investors that the virus will hurt their financial performance.
State representatives hope to introduce family dynamics in the classroom
State Rep. Kabir Karriem (D-Columbus) is still in touch with Mary Moore, his home economics teacher from eighth grade. She still teases him about the time he put salt instead of sugar in a batch of cookies, he said. "(The class) was an experience that taught me how to cook and how to sew," Karriem said. "I wear a suit every day. Sometimes I hit a snag and might lose a button, and because of Ms. Moore, I'm able to sew my own button back on." Current state statute requires the option of home economics classes for students in grades 10 through 12, specifically "course work in responsible parenting and family living skills ... with emphasis on nutrition, emotional health and physical health." Karriem is one of 10 representatives, three from the Golden Triangle, co-sponsoring a bill in the Legislature that proposes additional and mandatory life skills coursework. Existing home economics classes are not required for all students and therefore are not enough for "a generation that is lacking in soft skills," said Rep. Cheikh Taylor (D-Starkville), a co-sponsor of the bill and a member of the House Education Committee.
Mississippi cut corrections by $215M. Horrid conditions, violent deaths have followed at Parchman
State leaders and lawmakers oversaw the gutting of the Mississippi Department of Corrections' budget by $215 million over the past six years. And now they must oversee the future of funding Mississippi's prisons, one of which is imploding. Over the past nine months, the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman has seen at least 16 violent deaths, joining the ranks of some of the world's deadliest prisons per capita. Those deaths include eight suicides and eight homicides. A ninth possible homicide is still being investigated, according to the coroner and state Crime Lab. "This is a level of violence and lethality that we associate with prisons in countries like Brazil and Honduras, not the United States," said David Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. State officials' immediate responses included shuffling some inmates to a long-shuttered unit lacking running water and lights, busing others classified as maximum security to a private prison holding out-of-state prisoners from Vermont, and examining the relocation of these super-max inmates to a closed private prison originally designed to house juvenile felony offenders.
Trump threatens lawsuits over Mueller probe
President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to file retaliatory lawsuits "all over the place" over former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The president, in a multi-post Twitter screed Tuesday morning, also appeared to weigh in once again on the federal criminal case against his longtime political adviser Roger Stone. The president's posts represent the latest development in his renewed assault against Mueller, which escalated last week after Trump expressed his disapproval of federal prosecutors' initial sentencing recommendation for Stone. The former special counsel's probe resulted in the arrest of the president's longtime informal political adviser in January 2019 and indictment on seven felony charges. Two of the attorneys who prosecuted Stone's case had previously served on Mueller's team of investigators. A Washington jury found Stone guilty on all counts in November.
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll: Sanders Leads, Bloomberg Qualifies For Debate
The survey gives the former New York mayor enough polls showing him over 10% nationally to be on stage for the next Democratic debate Wednesday in Nevada.Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened up a double-digit lead in the Democratic nominating contest, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Sanders has 31% support nationally, up 9 points since December, the last time the poll asked about Democratic voters' preferences. His next closest contender has 19%. But that second-place rival is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Many Americans have become familiar with Bloomberg lately in this race because of his ubiquitous TV ads. But now get ready to see him on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday. With this poll, Bloomberg has qualified for the Nevada debate, despite not being on the ballot there for Saturday's caucuses. Bloomberg, a multi-billionaire, has spent more than $300 million of his own money on ads, and despite not competing in the first four states of the nominating process, he's vaulted now into second place nationally.
Infrastructure week hits the presidential campaign trail
For at least a few hours, it was infrastructure week on the presidential campaign trail Sunday. Predictably, former Vice President Joe Biden was entirely in his element as the kickoff speaker. "Amtrak Joe" got to talk about his interest in upgrading key rail infrastructure corridors. "If you straighten out those three curves, you could get there in an hour-and-a-half," Biden said of the potential for reducing travel on time on Amtrak between New York and Washington, D.C. Trains were among the recurring themes of the "Moving America Forward" forum moderated by the Wall Street Journal, as were, of course, airplanes and airports. A nonprofit advocacy group called United for Infrastructure played host to the Sunday afternoon event held on the campus of UNLV. The group is comprised of transportation and building trade unions, as well civil engineers, public transportation, highway and airport infrastructure groups.
The Struggle to Mend America's Rural Roads
Wearing bright safety vests, the county highway workers followed the scalding, red tar kettle as it pumped out liquid rubber bandages, thick as melted butter, to cover the pavement's worst gashes. From above, it looked like the flip side of skywriting --- as if yellow cursors on the ground were carefully spelling out a message for unseen readers in the clouds. The farmers, truckers and others who traverse these rural roads, though, could quickly tell you what the hieroglyphics mean: Help. Like hundreds of other small agricultural counties and towns around the country, Trempealeau County in central-west Wisconsin is overwhelmed with aging, damaged roads and not enough money to fix them. Throughout much of the Midwest and South, the rural transportation system is crumbling. Two-thirds of the nation's freight emanates from rural areas. Traffic volume has increased. And over the years, tractor-trailers and farm equipment have been supersized, ballooning in length, breadth and weight.
Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid wave of potential lawsuits
Facing a wave of lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy. The long-anticipated Chapter 11 filing will allow the Boy Scouts to keep operating as it reorganizes its finances and handles claims from hundreds of potential victims. It will also give alleged victims a limited amount of time to come forward before being barred indefinitely from seeking compensation. The filing early Tuesday punctuates a tumultuous time for the 110-year-old organization, which continues to be one of the largest youth groups in the United States. Youth membership has declined more than 26 percent in the past decade. This dramatic drop in numbers, coupled with the loss of a key partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has left the Boy Scouts struggling to find ways to remain relevant. Last year, it began accepting girls into its namesake program, setting off a recruitment war with the Girl Scouts. Meanwhile, over the past decade, lawsuits and media investigations have revealed internal Boy Scouts documents detailing generations of alleged abusers accused of preying on Scouts.
UM students and alumni evacuate their homes as the Pearl River swells in Jackson
University community members are adjusting to the effects of historic floods that have displaced Mississippians and flooded thousands of homes in the Jackson area. While the University of Mississippi Medical Center, which is in Jackson, has not been affected by the flooding, several nursing students there have been displaced. Sissy Byrd and Caroline Bates are roommates and in their third semesters at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. Before the issuance of the state of emergency on Saturday, their apartment complex sent out a mass-email telling residents to evacuate. Bates and Byrd live in a second-story apartment in Flowood, and they said they feel lucky to live on a hill so that they don't have to worry about water damage inside of the home. Jackson resident and Ole Miss alumna Waverly McCarthy said her boyfriend, Tyler Prince, was one of over 500 residents who the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told to evacuate on Saturday. Prince, who is also an alumnus of the university, lives in northeast Jackson, where evacuations were mandatory.
UM Chancellor Glenn Boyce: 'We are committed to working with' IHL Board regarding statue relocation
The Institutions of Higher Learning's February Board of Trustees meeting will take place on Thursday without an agenda item regarding the University of Mississippi's Confederate statue. In a letter sent out to Ole Miss students, faculty and staff, Chancellor Glenn Boyce stated the University is still working to compile a progress report, which was requested by the IHL Board before a vote on the monument's relocation could be made. "Since I last wrote you on Jan. 16, 2020, we have been working diligently on the progress report requested by the IHL Board regarding the recommendations of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on History and Contextualization (CACHC), which included recommendations specific to the cemetery next to the Tad Smith Coliseum," Boyce's letter read. "Once complete, we will provide the board with this report, which is required before we can re-submit our relocation proposal for future consideration. We're committed to (working) with the board to accomplish our goal of relocating the monument."
2 dead, 1 injured in shooting near Alcorn State University
Two men were killed and another injured in a shooting late Monday or early Tuesday at a place called "The Ark," about seven miles south of Port Gibson. Claiborne County Coroner JW Mallett said he got the call just after midnight. One other person was taken to University of Mississippi Medical Center with unknown injuries. A lockdown issued early Tuesday morning has been lifted and campus activities will continue as usual, Alcorn State University officials announced on Facebook and Twitter. "Later today the university will release an official statement on the off-campus incident that occurred overnight," the announcement says. Alcorn officials placed the campus on lockdown after receiving reports of the shooting. The campus is several miles from where the shooting took place. "Alcorn Campus Police are working with local law enforcement regarding an off-campus shooting," the alert said. "Once we have official information, we will notify the campus community." The incident occurred after Alcorn's basketball team defeated Pine Bluff, Arkansas, but it is unknown whether the incident had any connection with the game.
Mississippi Sees 'Brain Gain' with Immigrants
A new study shows that Mississippi has the highest growth rate of college-educated immigrants in the country. From 2017 to 2018, Mississippi had a huge "brain gain" with a 32 percent increase in college-educated immigrants. The study done by New American Economy also highlights that in 2018, the state's immigrant population paid over half a million dollars in taxes, and has 1.5 billion dollars in spending power. Andrew Lim is with New American Economy. He says immigrants make up only a small portion of Mississippi's population, but -- they are filling many of the state's highly skilled jobs. "So people working at colleges and universities, 6.2 percent of the workforce there were immigrant, and if you compare that to the overall share of the population of Mississippi, which is 2.5 percent, which is quite low, you can see that they're predominately concentrated in that sector as well."
Scientist reconciles religion with climate change
For many Americans, religion and science are thought to be pitted against each other in a cultural war of attrition, as courts have battled for decades over where to draw the line in the sand of what is acceptable for public education and what isn't. For Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian and world-renowned climate scientist, such a juxtaposition doesn't exist. Her father was a missionary and a science educator, so she grew up seeing them as intrinsically intertwined. "I grew up with the idea that if you believe that the same God who wrote the Bible is the same God who made the universe, which most people believe if they believe the Bible, then how could anything you learn about the universe contradict the Bible if they are written by the same person?" she said in a sit-down interview with The Plainsman. Hayhoe spoke to Auburn students about the intersection between faith and science on Feb. 6, 2020, at The Hotel at Auburn University. The science, however, is clear that the climate is changing, she said; even when deniers try to call it a religion. The evidence is abundant, even with just things we can personally observe.
U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga to offer tuition discounts in 9 states, including Mississippi
A Tennessee university plans to offer discounted tuition starting this fall to students from nine surrounding states. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga officials said the goal of the new regional tuition program is to attract and retain diverse talent in the area as well as reach enrollment goals laid out for the University of Tennessee system, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. "We really have paid attention to Tennessee residents and how we serve the state of Tennessee well," university Chancellor Steve Angle said. "This kind of is rounding out our student body and bringing in additional young people to this community that can add to the economy and hopefully drive the future of the region. We are trying to set UTC up to be a net importer of talent in the community." Under the program, students from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia would pay about $18,000 a year instead of about $26,000 a year as out-of-state students.
Men robbed LSU students at gunpoint inside dorm after set-up to 'play video games,' police say
A group of five men, including at least two Southern University students, are accused of robbing two LSU students at gunpoint inside their dorm room under the guise they were there to play video games, according to arrest reports. Five men are seen on surveillance video entering Cypress Hall at LSU's main campus around 2:30 a.m. on Friday. One had knocked on the front door and the on-duty desk attendant opened the door and allowed them inside. Video shows three of the men enter a dorm room while two others remain outside. Two victims told police that the three men all had guns and robbed them. They're accused of taking two iPhones, a camouflage Sony PlayStation controller, the keys to a 2019 Honda Accord and eventually the vehicle, according to the arrest report. That vehicle has since been recovered. LSU investigators showed surveillance images to Southern University police, who shared them with university Residence Life advisers.
U. of Arkansas police: Boy, 15, arrested after displaying gun outside frat house
Police on Sunday morning arrested a 15-year-old boy suspected of earlier displaying a gun outside the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house near the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, a UA police spokesman said Monday. City police arrested the boy, who is from Springdale, UA police Capt. Gary Crain said. A UA student called police at 2:06 a.m. Sunday to report that someone had displayed a handgun outside the west entrance of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house before running away, according to information released Monday by university police. Crain said no shots were fired. "Some words were exchanged" when an unknown group had wanted to come inside the fraternity house, Crain said. No campus-wide alert was sent out early Sunday because police quickly found the group suspected of fleeing the fraternity house and the group was initially thought to include the suspect who was later arrested, Crain said.
UGA police charge three former employees in campus vision clinic scheme
A manager for the Vision Clinic at the University of Georgia Health Center and two other former UGA employees have been charged in a scheme where authorities said they accepted gift cards that were unlawful for them to keep. The alleged activity came to the attention of UGA police through an anonymous tip received on the university's Alert Line System on Oct. 25, 2019. About a month later, another tip was made regarding the same situation. The ensuing investigation led to the arrest of Amy Stowers, a 44-year-old Gainesville resident who was manager for the clinic that provides eye care and supplies through the health center. Stowers was charged with four counts of felony bribery that allege she agreed to accept the gift cards from an eyeglass vendor totaling about $2,500 "by inducing the belief that the receipt of the items would influence the performance of her official duties." Warrants charge that while they were employed at UGA, they accepted gift cards on six occasions from the sale of eyeglass frames from the illegal agreement coordinated by Stowers.
UF students of color sometimes feel overshadowed in views on gun policy
Juwan Parrish doesn't want to talk about it. The situation is complicated. A few months ago, his teenage nephew had his best friend die in his arms after being shot. Last year, he found out through Facebook that one of his childhood friends was shot and killed at 25 years old. "Shootings in America are so common that they are so easy to overlook until it's somebody you know," he said. Parrish, a 25-year-old UF law student and a member of the Black Law Students Association, grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. He said the black community's experience with gun violence is what has influenced the call for gun control. But communities of color can be overshadowed by other activists. Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and three staff members dead. Survivors created March For Our Lives, a national organization that lobbies in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., for gun reform. But as media exposure focuses on white or white-passing activists, some wonder if activists of color are being overshadowed in the conversation.
Texas A&M AgriLife researchers work on app to manage irrigation
Texas A&M AgriLife researchers are working to create a mobile app and irrigation management system that could save water and improve the way cotton is grown. AgriLife Extension Service agronomist Emi Kimura said in a report published by AgriLife Today that if the tool is used on 200,000 acres of irrigated land in the Rolling Plains, where it is being developed, it could save millions of gallons of groundwater. Texas A&M Center for Applied Technology Executive Director Jim Wall said the app should be developed by the end of the year, tested in producers' fields in summer 2021 and released in fall 2021. Center for Applied Technology Director of Computing and Information Technology Keith Biggers, a member of the project team, said the app will make use of a variety of data. AgriLife Research geospatial hydrologist Srinivasulu Ale said Texas' Rolling Plains region produces 13 percent of the cotton in the state. Cotton production has been struggling due to droughts and declining groundwater levels.
Title IX debate complicates push for Higher Education Act reauthorization
Any deal to update the law governing federal student aid would have to overcome concerns about the highly charged new rule U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is about to release on what colleges are required do about allegations of sexual assault or harassment on campuses. That was the message from an aide to Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, who said the Title IX rule would be a stumbling block toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. In recent days, the two top members of Congress involved in negotiating HEA's reauthorization -- Murray and Lamar Alexander, the Republican chairman of the Senate education committee -- have expressed optimism about being able to cut at least a limited deal by the end of year, before Alexander retires. Speaking Tuesday at a meeting of community college trustees​, Alexander said, "That doesn't mean we're going to take that whole big act and reauthorize everything." But he added, "I think we can make some progress." Murray agreed on Monday. "We have been making progress in the negotiations, and I think we can get that done," she told Inside Higher Ed Monday.
How Bloomberg would make community college free and overhaul student loans
Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday released a new $700 billion higher education plan that calls for free community college and doubling Pell Grants for low-income students. The former New York City mayor's proposal would significantly increase federal spending on higher education and aims to target those subsidies to lower-income families. It doesn't go as far as proposals by other Democrats to eliminate tuition at public, four year universities for large swaths of students or provide student loan forgiveness on the scale that progressives have sought. Bloomberg would eliminate tuition at community colleges for all students, embracing a proposal President Barack Obama first made in 2015 and that has since become a key pillar of Democratic higher education plans. In addition, Bloomberg's plan calls for tripling direct federal funding for historically black colleges, Hispanic-servicing institution and other minority-serving institutions.
Foreign students falling into 'black hole' of US visa delays and denials; university presidents in Illinois call on Congress to help
A University of Illinois graduate student from China applied in May for a visa renewal, a process that typically concludes within weeks. But the application went into "administrative processing," and was still in limbo when fall classes started, forcing the student to withdraw from the fall semester. By the spring semester, there was still no resolution, prompting the student to withdraw again. Such delays by the U.S. State Department in processing visas for international students in American universities have been a growing problem nationwide, said Paul Weinberger, the university system's director of federal relations. Citing long waits, denials and visa cancellations that take away from teaching time and academic progress, presidents and chancellors from nearly 30 colleges and universities in Illinois are pushing for lawmakers to do more to help international students and scholars who face new obstacles tied to immigration policy. "International students and visitors enrich the academic experience for all students, while contributing to Illinois' economy and competitiveness," University of Illinois President Tim Killeen said in a statement Monday.
Arkansas State considers opening vet school with for-profit
Arkansas State University is exploring a partnership with a for-profit company to build a veterinary medicine school. While it would be the first such school in the state, it's unclear whether it's necessary, and some question if partnering with a for-profit is a good move for a public institution. "By arranging for the for-profit to operate on campus, the public university is lending its credibility to a for-profit college," said Robert Shireman, director of higher education excellence and a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. "For-profit colleges have a sketchy reputation because of disproportionate consumer abuses." The company in question is Adtalem Global Education, the parent company of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and formerly known as DeVry Education Group. While the state doesn't have its own veterinary school, it does have partnerships with other public institutions to address that.
The Citadel launches bachelors degree to train America's future 'cyber warriors'
The United States is in the midst of a rapidly changing era of cyber warfare. As the frequency of cyber attacks continues to increase, so does the need for skilled professionals and military leaders who know how to defend against them. But the demand for skilled workers in the field far exceeds the available supply. The Citadel is hoping to change that. The South Carolina military college has spent the past decade advancing cybersecurity education via new programs, a dedicated cyber center, national funding, cyber scholarships and public outreach. In the fall, it will launch its first Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations. Educating the next generation of cyber warriors is imperative, said Shankar Banik, co-director of The Citadel's Center for Cyber, Intelligence and Security Studies. "The nation needs cyber warriors. We need cyber workforce," he said. The Citadel isn't alone in its attempts to bolster cybersecurity education. In recent years, schools and colleges across the state have ramped-up their cyber education programs with the hopes of training the nation's future cyber workforce.
Mississippi ignores conservative way to tax
Syndicated columnist Bill Crawford of Meridian writes: As you lurch over another crevice in your favorite rural highway, here are some facts you can use to dull your senses. That apparently works for our state leaders. Mississippi has the third lowest gas tax rate among the 50 states. The lowest is Alaska at 14.4 cents per gallon. Second is Missouri at 17.4 cents. Then comes Mississippi at 18.4 cents. Mississippi established this rate in 1987 and it hasn't moved since. Only Alaska has stood still on gas rates longer, last raising its rate 50 years ago. Rates have moved in neighboring states, however, two just this past September and one the year before. ... Studies by the Mississippi Economic Council showed Mississippi needed at least $375 million more per year for 10 years to fix the worst of its crumbling roads and bridges. The total needed to put our transportation in good shape was projected at over $6 billion. So far, state leaders are trying to cheap their way out of this dilemma.

Mississippi State baseball, softball games set for Tuesday both canceled
Tuesday's scheduled games for the Mississippi State baseball and softball teams have both been canceled due to inclement weather. The baseball team's home contest against Samford, scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, was canceled Monday evening. The Bulldogs (3-0) will host Oregon State for a three-game series beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in Starkville. The softball team was slated to play Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Hammond, Louisiana, but that contest was also rained out. The Bulldogs (9-1) will make up the contest later in the season. Mississippi State will also face Oregon State in its next contest for a 12:30 p.m. Thursday matchup to open the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, California.
How Mississippi State's young hitters are adding more firepower to an already prolific batting order
Everyone knows the names at the top of the Mississippi State batting order. It's a quintet of juniors -- Rowdey Jordan, Josh Hatcher, Jordan Westburg, Tanner Allen and Justin Foscue -- who have been tasked with guiding MSU back to the College World Series for a third-straight year despite the loss of 11 players to the MLB First-Year Player Draft a year ago. And while the heavy-hitting, dynamic defending junior class is sure to grab headlines throughout the 2020 season, the bottom of the MSU lineup gave opening weekend onlookers reason to believe in those next in line to lead the Bulldogs to postseason glory. With the aforementioned juniors comprising the top half of MSU's batting order, Nos. 5-9 were seen as a question mark of sorts entering the year. And while it's been just three games, the youthful contingent comprising that bottom half has shown it can flat out swing the bat.
Mississippi State baseball: Breaking down the season-opening sweep
Bulldog baseball is back at Dudy Noble Field. The smell of freshly cut grass, burgers and hot dogs. The sound of metal bats cracking against cowhide, and Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" blaring through the speakers. It's all back. So too are the Diamond Dawgs themselves, ranked No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. They swept Wright State at Dudy Noble with scores of 9-6, 6-2 and 5-1 this past weekend. It wasn't the 36-run barrage the Bulldogs opened with in a three-game series against Youngstown State last year, but the team is feeling confident after the trio of victories. Here's a breakdown of how MSU got it done.
'Win now': Jackson State AD says football program can be better than North Carolina A&T
Jackson State athletic director Ashley Robinson frequently brings up the history of Tigers football. On the wall in his office, he has four framed jerseys and portraits of Walter Payton, Lem Barney, Robert Brazile and Jackie Slater. Robinson often boasts how the Tigers have the most Pro Football Hall of Famers in the state because of the quartet. Those names represent the glory days of Jackson State football. These days, there's a lot less to boast and brag about. In 2019, Jackson State finished 4-8, which was the second-to-worst record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference's East division. In 2018, Jackson State finished 5-5, third place out of the five teams in the SWAC East. Robinson said his idea of a successful football season is to win championships, and a competitive season is finishing top three in the conference. "Jackson State alumni and fans want to win now," he told Clarion Ledger. "That's our goal. We want to win now. Coaches want to win now, my staff wants to win now, my administration wants to win now, student-athletes want to win now. We're putting things into place to win now."
Delay of game: Florida Senate advances student athlete pay proposal with rolled back start date
Florida Senators unanimously advanced a measure Monday to allow college athletes to earn money from their name, image or likeness but left open the door for the NCAA to first change its student contract ban. Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield's proposal (SB 646) is one of several working through the Legislature. But unlike the House companion measure (HB 7051), which is ready for a floor vote in that chamber, lawmakers punted Mayfield's bill's start date another year to July 2021. That change came on an amendment by Sen. Rob Bradley, who said the state should delay implementation while the National Collegiate Athletic Association contemplates its own regulations. Taking a unilateral approach for student athletes to sign contracts could disadvantage Florida schools, he feared. But to the NCAA, the Fleming Island Republican says California and Florida control significant swathes of the college sports media market. While the association should take action on its own, the two biggest states driving athlete pay could compel the national body to follow suit if necessary.
Iowa House Panel Approves Plan To Pay College Athletes For Endorsements
An Iowa House subcommittee has passed a bill that would allow college athletes to earn money from endorsement deals, despite concerns raised by university groups that it would add to a growing patchwork of state laws. Under the bill (HF 2282), a student could hire an agent and make a contract based on their likeness as college player as long as they don't create a conflict with another contract held by their athletic department. Universities market their teams based on student athletes' names and jersey numbers, said Rep. Ras Smith, D-Waterloo, so players should have the same opportunity. "While people may be able to make money off of you wearing that jersey on Saturday, you can't afford shoes for your siblings or yourself, or groceries for yourself," Smith said at a subcommittee meeting Monday. "It is an issue we have." Keith Saunders, a lobbyist for the Iowa Board of Regents, said the legislature should wait for the NCAA to act in order to avoid confusion for colleges and athletic conferences working in different parts of the country.

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