Tuesday, May 19, 2020   
Report explores pest management challenges
In its newest paper, Stewardship Challenges for New Pest Management Technologies in Agriculture, the authors from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology discuss the stewardship challenges of the latest pest management technologies for both growers and developers, while outlining the responsibilities of the stakeholders in the management of the technologies involved. The authors say to meet the ever-increasing need for agricultural sustainability and production to more efficiently feed the world, stewardship and technology must merge and work together toward common ground and goals, and stewardship tasks farmers and other stakeholders with furthering global food security while minimizing environmental impacts and risks. "Farmers must simultaneously manage for weeds, pests, soil fertility, erosion, and other problems while responding to constantly changing weather conditions, public policies, and recommendations from experts," says Dr. David Shaw, provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State University and chair author of the CAST publication.
Oktibbeha County to pay $133K annually for flood control association membership
Oktibbeha supervisors voted 3-2 Monday to join the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District after reviving a debate from last year over the pros and cons of becoming a member of the Tupelo-based state agency. District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard suggested the county join the district after the supervisors voted unanimously to authorize an assessment of Hollis Creek, which has flooded residential areas in southern Starkville and Oktibbeha County recently due to the buildup of debris. "I think it's time, I think it's of value and it's not an outrageous cost," Howard said. District 1 Supervisor and Board President John Montgomery disagreed, saying it did not make sense for the county to pay $133,000 per year to an agency that was not guaranteed or required to complete any projects in the county. Montgomery and District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller were the dissenting votes. Howard, District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer and District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams voted in favor.
Mississippi governor's 'safer at home' order enters final week
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves' "safer at home" order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus is entering its final week. Some restaurants and other businesses have been easing into reopening with sanitation and social distancing restrictions in place. Tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen during the weekend, and casinos are preparing to start reopening Thursday. Many high schools have been holding commencement ceremonies with videos of individual students receiving their diplomas, often edited together to show the entire graduating class. Other high schools are planning ceremonies in a few weeks. The "safer at home" order, which expires May 25, is meant to limit people's physical interactions. Republican Reeves said last week that he believes the order is accomplishing its goal of limiting the spread of the virus enough to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. He is still suggesting that people who are medically vulnerable should remain home.
Mississippi working on COVID-19 contingency plans for November election
Election day is less than six months away and Mississippi is working through its COVID-19 contingency plan. Think about all the things you touch when you go to your polling place on election day. It's enough to give pause to the state's election officials who are working through a plan in case COVID-19 is still a concern come November. "We didn't want to overreact," said Secretary of State Michael Watson. "We wanted to make sure that we were focusing on election day and making them feel safe." There are a couple of changes you may see by November at the polling locations. "Obviously, the poll workers are going to have PPE," said Watson. "We are going to have sanitation stations set up for that. We are going to be providing that for all of our counties." The state is exploring options of moving all counties to paper ballots. In the event that doesn't happen by November, they're looking at options. "We asked one of our vendors last week... as simple as something as a popsicle stick or a stylus... something that we can give the voter so they're not continuously touching the machine," noted Watson.
Rep. Tom Miles: internet accessibility must be a priority
On Monday morning, Representative Tom Miles joined The Gallo Show to talk about the need to expand broadband accessibility across the state of Mississippi. "When you're from a rural area like I'm from and most of the state is from, you know that is the concern," Miles, who represents District 75, said. "The thing we need to focus on in the legislature is making sure everyone has good internet in these rural areas." Recently, the state of Mississippi was granted $1.25 billion under the CARES Act, and the Legislature has been working to compose a disbursement plan for that federal relief money. As of last week, chamber leaders announced that $300 million would go towards small businesses of Mississippi, however, the other $950 million is still in limbo. According to Miles, the Legislature is, in fact, prioritizing education, they simply have to figure out the proper route of funding. "I think everybody at the Capitol is on board with getting this done," Miles said. "It's just the way we go about getting it done. It's about how we can get it there the fastest. We don't care if it's cellular, we don't care if it's through the EPAs or through the cable companies or through the phone companies, we just want to get it there and quit talking about getting it done and getting it actually done."
Mississippi Lottery Corporation announces April transfer to state
The Mississippi Lottery Corporation (MLC) completed its April transfer of $9,709,843.36 in net proceeds to the Lottery Proceeds Fund in the Mississippi State Treasury. This brings the total amount deposited to the state to more than $47.2 million since launch on November 25, 2019. "We are pleased to be able continue to raise funds to benefit Mississippi's roads, bridges and education," said MLC President Tom Shaheen. "Yesterday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced the awarding of initial paving contracts using lottery dollars. It is exciting to play a part in these developments that will benefit Mississippians!"
3 Gulf Coast states get $88 million for fisheries flooding
Three Gulf Coast states are getting more than $88 million in fisheries disaster funds for damage from last year's flooding, which included an unprecedented two openings of a spillway west of New Orleans. "These funds will help industries and individuals recover from this disaster, and build resilience for the future," U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who declared a fisheries disaster in September, said in a news release Monday. The total includes $58.3 million for Louisiana, $21.3 million for Mississippi and $8.6 million for Alabama, Republican U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves of Louisiana said in a separate statement. "These funds are welcome news for the many fishermen who suffered through last year's unprecedented opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, but our state deserves a long-term solution to disasters like these," U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, said in a news release.
Affected by Bonnet Carre opening? $21 million on way to Mississippi seafood industry
Over $21.3 million in federal funding is on its way for fishermen, aquaculture businesses and seafood processors in South Mississippi. Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Steven Palazzo announced Monday the allocation of the fishery disaster relief funds for the state from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The funds are meant to help those impacted financially as a result of prolonged freshwater inundation into the Gulf of Mexico from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. "These funds are welcome news for the many fishermen who suffered through last year's unprecedented opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, but our state deserves a long-term solution to disasters like these," Wicker said in a press release. "I am working to reform the disaster relief process so that funds can be distributed quickly and directly to the people who need them most." Wicker added that he is pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to weigh alternatives to opening the spillway. In 2019, the longest opening in the history of the spillway, decimated oyster beds and killed other aquatic life, like dolphins and sea turtles.
State, local virus aid bill gains bipartisan momentum
New bipartisan legislation would provide $500 billion in aid to state and local governments, territories and tribes to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, with the smallest communities in line for a direct slice of the money, unlike some earlier iterations. The legislation has drawn bipartisan backing in both chambers and support from several local government organizations, such as the National Association of Counties and U.S. Conference of Mayors. The lead Senate authors on the draft bill, which was being formally introduced Monday, are Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. Reps. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., and Peter T. King, R-N.Y., are the lead cosponsors in the House. Cassidy and Menendez first unveiled their proposal in late April. They made a key change in the bill introduced Monday, eliminating the floor in their original plan that would have limited aid to cities and counties with 50,000 or more residents. In a statement, the senators' offices said they dropped even the much smaller threshold after "talking to numerous stakeholders," including Collins, Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., and Cory Booker, D-N.J.
President Trump says taking hydroxychloroquine, following COVID-19 cases at White House
President Donald Trump said Monday that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, after consulting with the White House physician about the drug, which is approved for treating malaria and lupus but has not been proven as a treatment for the coronavirus. Trump told reporters during a meeting with restaurant executives that he has had "zero symptoms" of COVID-19 and has always tested negative for the disease. But he said he decided, "what do you have to lose?" and began taking hydroxychloroquine. For weeks since the United States locked down due to the pandemic, Trump has publicly advocated that people severely ill from the coronavirus take the drug. "I happen to be taking it. I'm taking it, hydroxychloroquine," the president said on Monday. "I've taken it for about a week and a half now. I'm still here," he said at the roundtable. "I take a pill every day." Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, physician to the president, in a short memo on Monday evening said that Trump remains "symptom-free" and receives "regular" coronavirus tests, which have all been negative.
The auto industry faces challenges worse than in 2008, lawmakers say
Auto manufacturing plants across the United States are resuming operations Monday, but it's unclear whether production and consumer demand will ramp up enough for them to survive without federal aid. If automakers fail to successfully restart -- and bring in some much-needed cash, it could mean the loss of thousands of jobs and an economic crisis for the industry integral to North America. And it could force Congress and the Trump administration to step in with money. So far, the auto industry has refrained from asking the Trump administration or Congress for aid during the coronavirus pandemic, but the decline in auto production and sales has caught the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. A bipartisan group of more than 50 lawmakers from car-producing states last week put Congress on notice that the auto industry, which was left out of House Democrats' $3 trillion stimulus, will need economic help as part of any future pandemic relief packages. Their main focus, auto industry sources in touch with lawmakers say, is to build demand for autos, which could come from offering some form of incentives for Americans to buy a new car.
Colleges And Universities Facing Uncertainty When It Comes To Fall Enrollment Numbers
We are roughly three months away from the start of the fall semester at area colleges and universities, and many are still waiting to find out what the college experience will look like on campus or online. In 2019, Mississippi University for Women saw a 3.8 percent increase in enrollment, which equals 2,813 students. Now, university leaders are hoping that number will remain the same or increase in the midst of this global pandemic. "We want to remain optimistic that student enrollment will either remain the same or even increase, but it's way too early in the game to tell," said Dwight Doughty, coordinator for international student services and admissions. Doughty said while they're uncertain about fall enrollment numbers, one thing that is certain is they're seeing a high volume of students filling out online applications to enroll. "Despite the pandemic I believe that students are still interested in achieving their academic goals," said Doughty. MUW is preparing as if students will return to campus.
Southern Miss graduate nursing programs ranked best in state
U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the University of Southern Mississippi's master's and doctoral nurse practitioner programs as the best in the state of Mississippi in its 2021 Best Graduate School Rankings. "U.S. News and World Report ranking really shows us that our graduates are a step ahead of a lot of others in really competing at the national level with many other programs, and so we have been the top in the state for sometime. says," said Dr. Lachel Story, dean of USM's College of Nursing. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, students enrolled in these programs excelled, despite some challenges. "Those programs are essentially online already, and so we did not have too much difficulty transitioning because of that," Story said. "However, the clinical situation was obviously impacted because of it. We have really looked at how we can still get our students clinical experiences through either simulations or some other virtual type of experience as well as still being involved in inpatient direct patient care."
Former chairman of Alcorn nursing program remembered by faculty, students, family
A former chairman of the nursing program at Alcorn State University in Natchez who taught there in various capacities for more than 25 years died Monday the age of 83. Joyce Whitten McManus, RN, PhD, of Natchez, helped change the face of Alcorn's nursing program throughout her tenure as a nursing instructor and later the Chair of the Baccalaureate Nursing Program, said the former Dean of Alcorn's School of Nursing, Frances Henderson. "Joyce McManus was a very brilliant nurse," Henderson said. "... When we had a vacancy for someone to lead the Baccalaureate Nursing Program she was just finishing her PhD and feeling ambitious enough to give it a try. She did a wonderful job leading that department in the neighborhood of 15 or 16 years. She believed in excellence in nursing education, which was parallel to my own beliefs." Many of McManus’ students and teachers went on to accomplish great things, said Kim Hoover, who worked under McManus for approximately nine years. Hoover, who is now the Dean of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said she learned valuable lessons from ‘Dr. Mac’ and ‘Dr. H.’ (Henderson).
Itawamba Community College adjusts online freshman orientation session dates
Online registration is continuing for upcoming freshman orientation sessions at Itawamba Community College. According to Dr. Melissa Haab, dean of enrollment services, adjustments have been made to the original schedule because of just-announced summer hours/days for ICC. The available sessions, which are free and will be conducted exclusively online, include June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and July 14, 21 and 28. "Students are encouraged to participate in a freshman orientation session as soon as possible to ensure that they can select from a wide variety of options, including days, times and instructors for their classes," Haab said. Students will complete the session on the date they select, and the following business day, they will be contacted by their adviser for class registration. ICC orientation is mandatory for all graduating high school seniors.
U. of Alabama selects Michigan dean as new vice president, provost
The University of Alabama has hired a dean from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy to serve as the next executive vice president and provost. He will begin work on the Tuscaloosa-based campus on August 1 following the approval of the UA System Board of Trustees. James T. Dalton, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, will replace Kevin Whitaker, who served as executive vice president and provost since January 2017. Whitaker has been with UA for 30 years. "Dr. Dalton brings tremendous depth of knowledge and qualifications to this role," said Bell. "He garnered support from many because of his experience at leading public research universities, his stellar academic credentials and his entrepreneurial expertise. His passion for teaching and student success align with our University's values. He was selected from an impressively strong pool of candidates, and we are honored to have him join The University of Alabama leadership team." During his time at Michigan, according to UA, Dalton doubled the College of Pharmacy's research expenditures.
Auburn University receives $1.3 million in state-sponsored research grants
Auburn University was awarded over $1.3 million in grants from Montgomery on Monday. The grants, administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, come from the Alabama Research and Development Enhancement Fund for supporting research projects in the state, according to a press release from ADECA. "This fund will enable our universities, hospitals, research institutions and others to develop and bring to fruition ideas that will improve lives and create jobs," said Gov. Kay Ivey in the release. "I am tremendously encouraged by this program and its potential in Alabama." Auburn is joined by the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville as grant recipients. "Gov. Ivey is partial to home-grown innovation especially when it results in jobs for Alabamians," said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. "ADECA is pleased and honored to be a partner in this program that can have such a meaningful impact on our state."
U. of South Carolina's answer to fall virus dilemma: Open in person but go remote after Thanksgiving
Many colleges and universities are wrestling with their fall academic calendars as they worry about how to reopen campuses amid a deadly pandemic that could produce a second wave of novel coronavirus infections. The public University of South Carolina has staked out an intriguing plan: Bring students back to campus in August, teach in person for three months and switch to remote instruction after Thanksgiving. Schools nationwide face extraordinary pressure to reopen campuses to ensure they maintain enrollment and collect tuition revenue. But many are delaying announcements about fall plans until June or July as they game out tricky scenarios about how to house and teach students without running undue health risks. The state flagship university in South Carolina, which ordinarily enrolls about 34,000 students on its campus in Columbia, announced May 6 it intends to bring students back in August. On Sunday, the university followed up with a plan to run a compressed semester that cancels a usual two-day break on Oct. 15 and 16 in the interest of minimizing the chances student travel will spread the virus.
State eyes plans to reopen Florida's university campuses
Florida's university system Chancellor Marshall Criser next week will present guidelines for reopening university campuses in the fall, after students were sent home in March to curb the spread of COVID-19. Criser is slated to offer the guidelines during a May 28 meeting of the university system's Board of Governors, the system announced in a news release Monday. Based on the guidelines, universities will present individual plans for the fall semester during a June 23 meeting. Last week, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said during a town hall meeting that with rigorous testing, he's optimistic that students can return to campus this fall. "Even though we've told our students it's not until July that we're going to be announcing what instruction looks like, they've said that they're tired of having their mothers tell them to make their beds and they're coming to Gainesville," he said. UF officials said a decision about what instruction will look like will likely come by July. Fuchs said that massive furloughs are coming if students do not return to Gainesville.
UF President Kent Fuchs discusses Fall plans with VP Mike Pence
UF President Kent Fuchs met virtually with government officials Wednesday. He and 13 other college representatives from around the country discussed reopening campuses in the Fall, according to a White House press release. During the meeting, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx outlined how universities should prepare their campuses for students to return in the Fall, according to the release. This included guidance on proper handwashing and hygiene, making sure areas are cleaned more frequently and monitoring large gatherings. UF spokesperson Steve Orlando confirmed that Fuchs took part in the meeting but did not answer The Alligator's questions regarding the specifics of Fuchs' participation. It is unclear what concerns Fuchs may have raised about Florida or UF, or what plans were discussed for UF students and faculty. Though few specifics have been announced about the Fall semester, UF administrators have discussed a staged return to campus, with low-risk faculty and staff returning to campus first and undergraduates last.
Florida's public universities plan to reopen in the fall, but what that will look like remains unclear
Florida's public universities are planning to reopen in the fall, but to what extent classes and other activities will resume remains unclear. Next month, the Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, will consider individual plans from each of the 12 campuses for how they will operate in a world altered by the global coronavirus pandemic. UCF is already showing signs of slowly coming back to life: The school said last week the privately owned UnionWest housing complex at its downtown campus will reopen for students, even though classes will still be online-only. Many UCF employees have worked remotely since confirmed local cases of the virus began soaring in March and some will start returning to campus on June 1. Researchers who require access to their labs could come back this month, President Alexander Cartwright said last week in a statement. But with a traditional fall semester of crowded lecture halls, football games and club activities still in doubt, incoming students are waiting to find out if their first college experience will at all resemble what they expected just months ago.
Texas A&M New Ventures Competition goes online
The sixth annual Texas A&M New Ventures Competition went on as scheduled last week, but instead of the Hall of Champions in Kyle Field, competitors met via Zoom. "It's so nice to have a sense of normalcy with all this COVID stuff," NovoThelium COO and co-founder Bianca Cerqueira said during a break from the virtual competition. "Life goes on; people are still trying to move their companies forward. It's nice, it's refreshing to have a distraction from the whole pandemic and everything and be able to focus on business." The New Ventures Competition, hosted by Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, brings together startup companies, all based in science and engineering, from throughout the state to pitch their businesses to judges and potential investors. Typically hosted on the Texas A&M campus, this year's event turned to a virtual platform due to COVID-19.
Work needed to retain minority faculty, says candidate for U. of Missouri diversity job
Recruiting minority faculty to the University of Missouri is important, but keeping them after they're hired is just as important, a finalist for vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity told a campus forum on Monday. "We get so caught up in recruiting," said NaTashua Davis, University of Missouri interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity. Faculty retention involves finding what resources and information faculty members need to feel happy and valued, she said. Looking at attrition data to find out when and why faculty members leave also is important. "We also have to consider the full campus climate and the campus environment," Davis said. There are other ways minority faculty members can connect to campus, she said. "One of the other areas we want to dig into is the area of mentoring," she said. Davis was the second of three candidates for the permanent position of vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity to appear for a campus-wide forum over online video-conferencing platform Zoom. Last week, Maurice Gipson, vice chancellor at Arkansas State University, participated in the forum.
One-third of high school seniors say they will defer or cancel rather than attend all-online college
Thirty-three percent of high school seniors say they are likely to defer or cancel an admission offer that is conditional on attending an all-online college in the fall. That is the finding of a Carnegie Dartlet survey of 2,800 high school seniors. The surveys was conducted in May, making it one of the most recent among many of high school seniors. A major theme of those surveys has been student reluctance to consider all-online models. And this survey provided plenty of evidence for that view. Ninety-five percent said that they would honor commitments made to colleges that plan to reopen in the fall with social distancing measures in place. But the survey also indicated that the later an institution announces its policy, the more apprehension students will have about it. The California State University system announced this month that most classes in the fall would be online. But many other colleges -- including such prominent institutions as the University of Texas at Austin -- are planning for in-person classes in the fall. Both approaches are being criticized by some -- Cal State for being too fearful of what might happen and the campuses that are opening for taking a big risk with student and employee health. But the data from Carnegie Dartlet point to another type of risk: students not enrolling at colleges that are all online. And there are many campuses that could not afford to lose one-third of their entering class.
How the Pandemic Could Alter Government Higher Education Spending
If past recessions are any guide, the economic challenges resulting from the coronavirus pandemic will likely accelerate the major shift in government support for higher education that has been playing out over the past two decades. Overall, state dollars for colleges, universities, and students have fallen since 2000 while federal funding has risen, after adjusting for enrollment changes and inflation. But there is a great deal of uncertainty, and the actions of both state and federal policymakers will shape the amount and type of public support for students and institutions going forward. In past downturns, state higher education funding has been a major target of recession-driven budget cuts, but the extent this time will depend on the size of the challenge that states face and the actions that policymakers take to address their budget shortfalls. Most recently, state higher education spending fell sharply in the wake of the Great Recession. COVID-19 could present a greater threat to state budgets.
Group Says Veterans Could Be Excluded From CARES Act Grants
College students who are veterans of the U.S. military could be disproportionately denied emergency aid grants under the CARES Act because of the way the Education Department is interpreting congressional intent in passing the coronavirus relief package, according to a report from Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit advocacy group. At issue is a ruling by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that only students who are eligible for federal student aid can receive the grants aimed at helping students with the costs of having their lives disrupted by the closure of campuses by the coronavirus pandemic, like finding places to live if residence halls are shut down. Campus financial aid administrators have complained that the only way to tell if someone not already receiving student aid would qualify for the grants is if they have filled out Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms. "If institutions interpret this to exclude students who have not filed a FAFSA, many student veterans will be left out," the group said, noting that students who receive GI Bill benefits do not apply for regular student aid.
More Colleges Are Going Online This Fall. That's Bad News for Student Housing.
Many investors have long wagered that the student-housing sector was a safe bet even during tough economic periods. The pandemic is threatening that notion. Student demand for off-campus housing typically stays constant, especially at large public universities, because even during bad times college enrollment tends to remain stable. Now, after a strong start before the coronavirus outbreak, many student housing facilities are trailing their year-ago rates for locking in new tenants as families await confirmation of campus reopenings. An online fall semester could prove disastrous for them, and in some places it's already shaping up that way. "Everybody's got heartburn," said Shawn Lubic, director of student housing capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, which advises investors and markets properties in the sector. "We're at the mercy of the schools." For schools that do open, off-campus housing may be better-suited for social distancing than traditional college dormitories because many feature private bathrooms and bedrooms for each student, and students don't need to rely on communal dining halls.
Who owns all that course content you're putting online?
The public health crisis is forcing professors to put more and more of their lectures and other course materials online. Some of them now wonder if they still own that content. The good news is that they generally do, for now. The bad news is that intellectual property experts foresee, through the pandemic fog, potential scenarios in which that could change. So they advise faculty members to demand that institutions affirm their IP rights for the COVID-19 era. "A lot of things are on people's minds right now and this, understandably, may not be at the top of the agenda," said Christopher Jon Sprigman, a professor of law at New York University. "But it might be useful for faculty members to get clarification on how these materials are treated." U.S. copyright law includes a work-for-hire doctrine saying that works prepared in the scope of employment belong to the employer, not the employee (there are exceptions for independent contractors and commissioned works). Classroom professors have long enjoyed a cultural exemption to this statute, however: while they're paid to teach and do research, their lectures, syllabi and other nonpatentable work almost always belong to them, not the university.
Faculty Cuts Begin, With Warnings of More to Come
The top brass's message was clear: When talking about the instructors who won't be reappointed, at least for now, department chairs at the University of Massachusetts at Boston should stick to the script. "Never slip and call this a layoff," reads a Monday talking-points memo from the provost's office, obtained by The Chronicle. Similarly, "do not speak of this notice as a kind of 'pink slip.'" When the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to deplete projected budgets, college leaders, like those at UMass-Boston, looked to minimize expenses and make difficult choices about priorities. While decisions were still up in the air, faculty members, especially those off the tenure track, feared that their ranks would be thinned. Now, those cuts are starting to be made across academe. Faculty leaders on various campuses are scrutinizing those decisions. They say they appreciate the need to be frugal but don't understand why contingent faculty members, who are often the lowest paid and do the bulk of the teaching, are on the chopping block.
Doctors In Training Learn Hard Lessons During The Pandemic
The coronavirus is leaving a lasting impression on a generation of young doctors. In the U.S., there are some 130,000 medical residents -- doctors in their final years of training after medical school -- who make up a vital part of the workforce. Now a global pandemic has become the centerpiece of their training. Many are pulling long hours in emergency departments and intensive care units treating patients infected with the coronavirus, all while witnessing the health care system under unprecedented stress. Their schedules are transformed. Family members must keep their distance. And some of the hallmarks of their clinical training suddenly feel tenuous. Many recognize the pandemic as a formative moment, both for health care and their own careers. Some say it's also magnifying existing concerns about labor and mental health among doctors in training.

The NCAA's Athlete Endorsement Plan Comes With a Long-Shot Demand
The National Collegiate Athletic Association's plan for allowing college athletes to commercially exploit their name, image and likeness relies on something that it's far from certain to obtain: an antitrust exemption from the U.S. Congress. "There is no way I would consider giving a blanket antitrust exemption in exchange for an incredibly limited compensation right for college athletes around name, image and likeness. It's a non-starter," said Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat. Murphy is co-founder of a working group that is willing to create federal legislation that sets a national standard for the NCAA rather than forcing it to grapple with 50 state laws. That's something the NCAA wants. Murphy's version of a national standard isn't. Aides to Sen. Roger Wicker, the Mississippi Republican who heads the Commerce Committee, said that he planned to work with the Senate Judiciary Committee "to address the antitrust issue as it relates to NIL" and that he "will consider the merits of all proposals on the table." Wicker sent a letter to 50 schools, conferences and associations this month asking 20 questions about their current financial arrangements with college athletes and what they hoped to see happen next. The word "antitrust" did not appear in the letter.
Judge's ruling stands: NCAA can't limit college athletes' benefits that are tied to education
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday unanimously upheld a district judge's ruling that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits that college athletes can receive. In March 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA had violated antitrust law and could not "limit compensation or benefits related to education" for athletes playing Division I men's or women's basketball or Bowl Subdivision football. Among the items Wilken said those athletes may receive were scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school. The judge also appeared to open the possibility of athletes being able to receive cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation, albeit under some constraints. However, the appellate panel of Sidney R. Thomas, Ronald M. Gould and Milan D. Smith Jr. declined to broaden the ruling, leaving intact the NCAA's limits on compensation not connected to education. The plaintiffs had sought to have Wilken's ruling expanded to strike down those limits as well. Nevertheless, Monday's ruling has the potential to further complicate the finances of college athletics departments, which are facing significant losses of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SEC presents gift to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students affected by tornadoes
The SEC presented a gift Monday to Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff who were affected by the March 3 tornadoes in Middle Tennessee. Vanderbilt announced it received $100,000 from the Southeastern Conference for disaster relief efforts to help aid its community who were forced into incurring unforeseen costs due to the tornado. Vanderbilt is dispersing the gift through its Employee Hardship Fund. To qualify, one must have been employed by Vanderbilt, enrolled as a student or post-doctoral scholar on March 3 and have incurred expenses related to the tornado. The details of such costs must be provided during the application process. To apply, Vanderbilt urges those eligible to visit its Tornado Relief Hardship Fund application.
Coaches of Storied Cheerleading Team Fired After Hazing Scandal
The University of Kentucky fired the entire coaching staff of its storied cheerleading program on Monday, saying that students on the team had engaged in hazing rituals and public nudity and used alcohol on the coaches' watch. The misconduct came to light during a three-month internal investigation, according to the university, which said the review was prompted by a complaint made by a student's parent in early February. During a team retreat at Lake Cumberland, cheerleaders were hurled from a dock into the water while topless or bottomless in a gymnastics routine known as basket tosses, according to the investigation. Several cheerleaders became intoxicated and required medical treatment during that retreat, where the coaches allowed the program's alumni to bring alcoholic beverages, the university said. "But regrettably, the integrity of the program has been compromised by inappropriate behavior by some squad members on off-campus trips and by lax oversight by the program's coaches and adviser," Dr. Eli Capilouto, the university's president, said in a statement.
A look at Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation progress
As discussions continue about how a 2020 college football season continue, work pressed on at the home of Alabama's program. The $107 million renovation at Bryant-Denny Stadium continued on a rainy Monday afternoon in Tuscaloosa. The countdown to the home opener against Georgia State now sits at 116 days with the plan still to play the season as scheduled. The project included remaking a large portion of the luxury seating, adding a tunnel from the walk of champions directly into the Crimson Tide locker room and replacing the four video boards in the corners of the 101,821-seat stadium. There were some early concerns, Alabama AD Greg Byrne said last week on Facebook Live, about getting building materials when the COVID-19 crisis started to hit supply chains.
'Butch' Baldone, the Bear's tailor, crafted lasting Alabama legacy
Charles F. "Butch" Baldone, the Birmingham tailor who helped establish one of Alabama football's most enduring traditions, died on Saturday. He was 77. A longtime friend of Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, Baldone cultivated the coach's fashion for years, and once gifted Bryant a wardrobe accessory that contributed to his lasting legacy. It was a fedora patterned in black and white houndstooth checks. The coach loved the hat so much he even wore it with plaid jackets and pants. That always made Baldone cringe, but if anyone could pull it off and make it his own, then it was Bryant. Black and white houndstooth is now synonymous with the Crimson Tide, and like an unofficial team color for fans of the football team. Baldone was never credited officially with helping Bryant popularize the look, but the tailor was there at the center of the mystique-building iconography in the 1960s.
Furman cutting baseball, men's lacrosse programs due to coronavirus-related financial issues
Furman University announced Monday that due to the financial implications of COVID-19, the school is discontinuing its baseball and men's lacrosse programs. In addition, school officials are cutting the salaries of the president and senior administrators, implementing furloughs and enacting budget reductions, according to the Furman athletics website. Like many universities, Furman is expecting massive revenue loss due to the virus. "This is a difficult day for Furman athletics," athletics director Jason Donnelly said in the statement. "... Moving forward, Furman athletics will operate as an 18-sport varsity program that supports academic and athletic excellence, financial stability, gender equity and sustainable competitive success with an emphasis on revenue generation and philanthropy." In addition to cutting baseball and lacrosse, Furman will reduce athletics scholarships over the next five years by 45, with those reductions spread throughout multiple sports.
New Charleston Southern baseball coach will lean on lessons learned at Ole Miss
Prior to securing the head coaching job at Charleston Southern, Marc MacMillan's only other time overseeing a collegiate baseball program came in 2008. He was hired by Crichton College, a Division II school in Memphis that played in a conference that no longer exists. Now MacMillan has been entrusted to coach the Buccaneers, a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2014. But the pressure to turn things around at Charleston Southern isn't fazing MacMillan. His last seven years were spent at Ole Miss, a team that was tied atop the SEC with a 16-1 record before the coronavirus prompted the NCAA to nix the season. Some of MacMillan's time at the Mississippi school was spent as director of baseball operations and the rest as a volunteer assistant coach. He also played for the Rebels from 1993 to 1996, and lettered all four seasons as a utility player. Jeff Barber, the director of athletics at Charleston Southern, said he was impressed with the number of stops MacMillan had made even before Ole Miss.
If Pac-12 eliminates nonconference football games, other conferences will need a Plan B
The Power 5 Conferences all seem to be at least considering a conference-games-only schedule for 2020, but the Pac-12 is the most likely to adopt such a plan, because of state-ordered closures in California and Oregon, states which house half of the league's members. So even if the other leagues are attempting to play full schedules, they would be affected by a Pac-12 change. Put Oklahoma State on that list. The Cowboys host Oregon State on Sept. 3, a Thursday night season opener that gets the jump by two days on every other Big 12 team. But if the Pac-12 declares no nonconference games, the Cowboys would be scrambling to find an opponent. A variety of reports out of Alabama last week said that after three Pac-12 coaches discussed the conference-games-only model, Alabama and TCU began talks about playing. On Sept. 5, Alabama is scheduled to play Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas. That same day, TCU is scheduled to play at Cal in Berkeley, California. TCU playing Alabama in Arlington would be an easy and quick fix for that scheduling quagmire. The Tuscaloosa News reported that Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne responded to Bama-TCU inquiries with this: "Our plan is to play USC."
As Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says no date is set to decide on athletes' return, the options are well defined
Sometime between now and the end of the month, the Big 12 faces a decision on allowing athletes back to campus. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday there isn't a decision yet on the date but the options are pretty well-defined. "It could be earlier in June, it could be mid-June, it could be late June or early July," Bowlsby said, noting that SEC schools were fairly evenly split on those three options. "We have some work to do to come up with a recommendation for our CEOs as well. We're still in midstream. We have to get back by sometime around the middle of July, because otherwise we'll have to push the season back." Bowlsby held an afternoon teleconference with the Big 12 board of directors Monday, but no action was taken. A Big 12 spokesman said it continues to be "an active agenda item" and will continue to be discussed next week. At least two more such sessions are planned with the presidents and chancellors as part of the conference's virtual spring meetings, normally held in Irving. The Big 12's current moratorium on team activities ends May 31.
RIP: Gentle Ben Williams, who broke football color line at Ole Miss, became 'Colonel Rebel'
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: They called him Gentle Ben. But Jim Carmody, who coached history-making, trail-blazing Ben Williams at both Ole Miss and then the Buffalo Bills, would like to expound on that nickname. "When Ben Williams was on the football field and the game was on, there was not one thing gentle about him," Carmody said. "He annihilated people. On the field, he had more than a little meanness to him. At Ole Miss, he dominated everybody he faced. And I'll tell you something else about Ben. He was a helluva guy, too, one of my favorite people I ever coached." Robert Jerry "Ben" Williams, the first African American to play football at Ole Miss and one of the greatest defensive players in the school's history, died Monday. He was 65. Williams, from Yazoo City, and James Reed, a running back from Meridian, were the first two African Americans recruited to play football at Ole Miss in 1971.

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