Tuesday, September 22, 2020   
Many colleges have gone test-optional -- here's how that could change the way students are admitted
More than two-thirds of U.S. four-year colleges and universities have decided to make the SAT or ACT optional for admission in the fall of 2021, some on a temporary basis, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, two scholars -- Angela Farmer, assistant clinical professor of honors education at Mississippi State University, and Jonathan Wai, assistant professor of education policy and psychology at the University of Arkansas -- shine some light what this means for students' chances of getting into the college of their choice.
Oktibbeha County poll workers plan to keep themselves, voters protected
Voters in Oktibbeha County will head to the polls Tuesday. The special election has the Senate District 15 and House District 37 seats. The polls open at 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Circuit Court Clerk Tony Rook said voters can expect safety measures implemented this year. First, all poll workers will wear masks and space the voting machines six feet apart. Rook said they will have markers on the floor and plexiglass between each voter. Workers will direct foot traffic coming in and out of the building. "They'll have access to hand sanitizer, gloves and all the personal protective equipment we're accustomed to seeing these days," said Rook. He also said voters have the option of voting with a cotton swab.
4 special elections will fill Mississippi legislative seats
Four nonpartisan special elections are being held to fill vacant seats in the Mississippi Legislature. Polls are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday. If runoffs are needed, they will be Oct. 13. Candidates in Mississippi special elections run without party labels, but they often tell voters their political affiliation. Winners will serve the rest of a four-year term that ends in January 2024. In Senate District 15, Republican Sen. Gary Jackson of French Camp resigned June 30 because of health concerns. Jackson had served since 2004. The district is in Choctaw, Montgomery, Oktibbeha and Webster counties. The candidates are Oktibbeha County Supervisor Bricklee Miller, auto dealership owner Levon Murphy Jr., businessman Bart Williams and educator Joyce Meek Yates.
House Speaker Philip Gunn: Mississippi legislators to return by early October
Mississippi legislators will probably return to the Capitol before Oct. 5 to examine how the state is spending coronavirus relief money it received from the federal government, Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn said Monday. Gunn said the House and Senate will evaluate "what has been spent, what has not been spent and do we need to shift some of those dollars around." Like other states, Mississippi received federal money for a variety of programs. Mississippi allocated $300 million to aid small businesses that had to close temporarily because of the pandemic, although some applicants have said they are still waiting for a response from the state. Gunn spoke Monday during an online forum sponsored by Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government and the Capitol press corps.
Speaker Philip Gunn: Lawsuit over Gov. Tate Reeves vetoes 'unfortunate,' but necessary
House Speaker Philip Gunn said his pending lawsuit against Gov. Tate Reeves over the governor's partial veto of a bill spending federal COVID-19 relief funds is "an unfortunate situation," but important to pursue on precedent. "It sets a precedent, if we allow this type of veto to stand, when there is case law as I understand it going back maybe 100 years that says this is not a proper veto," Gunn said Monday. "I went to the governor after the vetoes, and said if I knew of another avenue to take, I would take it ... What we have here is an infringement of the executive branch into the duties of the legislative branch. We are just looking for the court to uphold the law." Gunn addressed the Stennis Institute of Government and Capitol Press Corps in an online forum on Monday.
Gov. Tate Reeves backs insurance exec for new Mississippi GOP chairman
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that he will support Gulf Coast businessman Frank Bordeaux to become the new chairman of the state Republican Party. Jackson attorney Lucien Smith has been chairman the past three years. He said in a news release Monday that he will not seek to remain in that role but will nominate Bordeaux during the next meeting of the state party executive committee. Bordeaux is vice president of an insurance company and was the Harrison County chairman for Reeves' 2019 campaign for governor. "His work ethic, integrity, and conservative credentials are unmatched," Reeves said in the GOP news release.
Lucien Smith out as MSGOP chair; Gov. Tate Reeves backs Gulf Coast businessman to replace him
Lucien Smith on Monday announced he's stepping down as Mississippi Republican Party chairman, with Gov. Tate Reeves backing Coast businessman Frank Bordeaux to replace him. Smith said Monday he intends to call a state GOP Executive Committee meeting to elect a new chair. The move was not unexpected. Numerous Republican sources in July told Mississippi Today that Reeves, as new de facto head of the party in his first term as governor, wanted new leadership. It's typical for a sitting Republican governor, as head of the state party, to pick a new chairman. While the executive committee technically elects a GOP chairman, a governor's choice is typically installed by acclamation. There has been no major executive committee challenge to a Republican governor's chairman nomination in recent history. Bordeaux, an insurance executive, was chair of Reeves' Harrison County campaign committee, and a strong showing on the Coast was crucial to Reeves winning last year's GOP primary and general election.
Mississippi Freedom Caucus formed by House members, asks Governor to end COVID-19 orders
A group of North Mississippi Republican House members have formed the Mississippi Freedom Caucus. According to the site, the Mississippi Freedom Caucus is founded by elected officials who believe in freedom and liberty for the people of Mississippi. "We are the voice of citizens who want bold action to protect life, strengthen families, defend our constitutional rights, limit government, and revitalize personal and economic freedoms in the state of Mississippi," the site states. The group sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves Monday afternoon requesting that he end the COVID-19 executive orders, stating, "We ask that you continue to provide the citizens of Mississippi with guidance and information, but that you trust our citizens and our constitution."
Sen. Hyde-Smith reveals mother's injury kept her off campaign trail
On Monday, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) discussed the reason why she has taken a break from campaigning in recent weeks. According to the senator, her mother had a serious accident. During the August recess, Hyde-Smith said she was with her mother in intensive care for 12 days. "She came home from the hospital this past Friday. So you know, I was being the daughter that I needed to be during that time," stated Hyde-Smith. "But we've still traveled some, and we've done a lot of Zoom. But we have crisscrossed over the state." Hyde-Smith is facing Mike Espy (D-Miss.) in the U.S. Senate race. The election will be on November 3, 2020.
Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick by end of week after meeting with a top candidate for Ginsburg seat
Jockeying over President Trump's next Supreme Court pick ramped up Monday as the president pledged to unveil his candidate to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the end of the week and conservative groups began aligning behind a push to quickly confirm the eventual nominee. Trump continued to seek advice from senior White House officials, key Senate Republicans and conservative leaders about his Supreme Court choice, who if confirmed would cement a conservative majority on the court for years. The momentum appeared to grow behind Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, who met with Trump at the White House on Monday, according to two people familiar with her visit. She is a favorite of religious conservatives and is already battle-tested after going through a ferocious confirmation fight in 2017 for her seat on the appeals court. But Trump aides and allies continue to push other candidates, with Judge Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit considered the other top contender.
FCC has money for rural broadband but isn't sure where to spend it
Ever since Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, was first elected to the House in 2006, he has sought to ensure that Iowans and other rural Americans can access the internet. But Loebsack, who is set to retire at the end of the 116th Congress, remains frustrated that the federal government still lacks accurate data showing where Americans can get a signal -- and where they can't. "For years, it has been evident and clear to this committee, the stakeholders, and indeed, the Federal Communications Commission, that the maps have been bad," Loebsack said at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Sept. 17. But how to best go about correcting the maps is disputed. And despite cooperation between Democrats and Republicans designed to force the FCC to fix them, sniping over who bears the responsibility for the persisting inaccuracies is a matter of partisan debate.
US household wealth hits record even as economy struggles
Americans' household wealth rebounded last quarter to a record high as the stock market quickly recovered from a pandemic-induced plunge in March. Yet the gains flowed mainly to the most affluent households even as tens of millions of people endured job losses and shrunken incomes. The Federal Reserve said Monday that American households' net worth jumped nearly 7% in the April-June quarter to $119 trillion. That figure had sunk to $111.3 trillion in the first quarter, when the coronavirus battered the economy and sent stock prices tumbling. Since then, the S&P 500 stock index has regained its record high before losing some ground this month. It was up 2.8% for this year as of Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has soared more than 20% this year. The full recovery of wealth even while the economy has recovered only about half the jobs lost to the pandemic recession underscores what many economists see as America's widening economic inequality. Data compiled by Opportunity Insights, a research group, show that the highest-paying one-third of jobs have almost fully recovered from the recession, while the lowest-paying one-third of jobs remain 16% below pre-pandemic levels.
New Jersey, California Dodge Worst of Tax Crisis in 'Weird Recession'
State tax revenues in some parts of the U.S. are rebounding as the economy emerges from the coronavirus lockdown, a positive sign for governors and mayors who had been bracing for the biggest fiscal crisis in decades. The figures are an early sign that the worst economic collapse since World War II may not decimate governments' revenues as badly as some feared, potentially reducing the scale of budget cuts and tax increases that would exert a drag on the nation's recovery. It's also providing comfort to investors in the $3.9 trillion municipal-bond market. "This is a very weird recession," said Jeffrey Dorfman, Georgia's fiscal economist. "Nobody has data that fits this. Nobody's statistical model can predict what's going on."
Faculty Members Joined a Day of Action to Protest Racial Inequality. Now 2 Are in Hot Water.
Two tenured professors at different universities are in hot water after participating in the Scholar Strike, a national action meant to call awareness to police brutality against Black people. At the University of Mississippi, the state auditor, Shad White, told the university to pursue terminating James M. Thomas after the associate professor of sociology engaged, according to White, in an illegal work stoppage. White's targeting of Thomas -- first reported by the Clarion Ledger -- has been criticized by other scholars as intimidation and an attempt to score political points in a red state. And at Texas A&M University, the dean reported Wendy Leo Moore, an associate professor of sociology, to the provost after Moore indicated she would participate in a work stoppage. For several days, Moore told The Chronicle, she thought she was going to lose her job. Both Moore and Thomas say their decisions were well within their rights under academic freedom, and believe they shouldn't face professional consequences for what were pedagogical decisions. And they fear the moves will intimidate their colleagues, including those who don't have the security of tenure.
LSU coronavirus dashboard receives lowest transparency ranking in SEC
With campus back open and football set to start up against Sept. 26 against Mississippi State, LSU's coronavirus dashboard has received the lowest ranking for transparency among SEC schools. A new ranking system out of Yale handed out letter grades for the progress schools across the country are making with their COVID-19 dashboards. The ranking looks at a number of aspects, including how often the cases are being reported and how easy the dashboard is to read. Dr. Howard Foreman believes the more information a school shares with students and parents, the better. Right now, LSU is dead last among its SEC counterparts, but still managed to receive a passing grade of a "C-". The top schools in the conference, including the University of Alabama, Texas A&M University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Florida, all received a "B+". When comparing the university's dashboard with other schools across the SEC though, the difference is clear. LSU is currently only reporting the number of cases three times per week and just gives the raw numbers. Schools like Mississippi State are reporting cases everyday and they're also breaking down which cases are students and which ones are faculty. The MSU dashboard also tells the public how many tests are performed each day and how many students are isolated or in quarantine. "You'd like to have daily data. We understand you can't always report it on weekends, but we'd like to have at least five days a week of updating," said Dr. Foreman.
UGA fraternity suspends operations after offensive online comments
The University of Georgia's Lambda Chi Alpha chapter self-suspended its operations over the weekend after sexist and racially-offensive remarks were posted in a chapter GroupMe page, according to the university's Interfraternity Council. The remarks were posted on social media Saturday by an African American UGA student who said the comments were directed at her. The student, Arianna Mbunwe, has been critical of the efforts by university and state leaders to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The self-suspension was first reported Sunday by The Red & Black, the university's student newspaper. "I was so taken aback," Mbunwe told The Red & Black. "But I'm not surprised at the same time that people have these types of conversations in the group chat."
U. of Florida moves to cancel spring break over COVID-19 fears
The University of Florida is en route to join other higher education institutions across the country in forgoing traditional spring break next year out of concern for COVID-19 transmission. In a Faculty-Senate meeting Thursday, officials overwhelmingly voted to cancel the week-long vacation in March and fold the time into a longer winter break. UF officials said the decision was made in consultation with UF Health. "The primary purpose is to avoid a situation in which students would travel in March, potentially become infected with COVID-19 and return to campus and the Gainesville community to spread the infection as occurred with the 2020 spring break," the announcement read. Under the proposed plan, classes would begin Jan. 11, as opposed to Jan. 5 in the original academic calendar. Officials also said the extra week in January would allow for a potential winter surge in COVID-19 to subside. And, if a vaccine becomes available, the cushion week would allow more students to get a vaccinated.
On the campaign trail, key Democratic Senate candidates shy away from debt cancellation and free college
When they proposed last week that the next president knock $50,000 off all student loan borrowers' debts, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren pitched the idea as a political winner for Democrats. A recent poll by a progressive think tank shows that "forgiving student debt is extraordinarily popular with voters and that it enjoys broad, bipartisan support," Schumer, of New York, and Warren, of Massachusetts, wrote in a post on the site of the group Data for Progress. But on the campaign trail, Democrats in seven tight races that will determine control of the Senate apparently disagree. The candidates, running in moderate states, are keeping their distance from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's two largest proposals on higher education -- broadly canceling debt and making tuition free at two- and four-year public colleges -- as well as Schumer and Warren's idea.
How a President Biden or a President Trump could affect the student-debt crisis and college affordability
The last time former Vice President Joe Biden was on the presidential ticket, student debt and college affordability barely rated a mention. Just eight years later, Biden has vowed to make public college free for some and cancel a portion of borrowers' student debt if he's elected --- proposals that are less sweeping than some offered during the Democratic primary campaign that Biden ultimately won. Since 2012, student debt has grown from $970 billion to nearly $1.6 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Great Recession and its slow recovery pushed more students to school to retrain; squeezed families, hampering their ability to pay for college; pressured state budgets, limiting the amount they sent to public colleges, pushing prices up; and sent graduates into a labor market where wages hadn't grown much historically, making their higher-than-historical student loan balances difficult to repay. But it's not just the experience of student debt that's broadened over the past several years, the rhetoric around it has changed too.
Reopening Colleges Likely Fueled Covid-19 Significantly, Study Finds
Colleges and universities that reopened for face-to-face instruction might have caused tens of thousands of additional cases of Covid-19 in recent weeks, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Davidson College. The researchers estimated that an extra 3,200 cases a day occurred in the U.S. that likely wouldn't have happened had schools kept classes online. The team behind the report, slated to be posted online Tuesday on the preprint server medRxiv, included professors of epidemiology, health economics and higher education. The manuscript has yet to be peer-reviewed. "We're not saying it was a terrible mistake to open," said Ana Bento, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Indiana University and co-author of the study. "Just that the influx of individuals, which was much greater where there is face-to-face [instruction], is correlated with a larger increase in cases." She added: "Decisions to reopen are far more complex than just the question of, 'Will cases increase or not?' "
Ex-Georgia Tech Researcher Can Proceed With Lawsuit Against University Officials
In 2010, agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation raided the Atlanta home and office of Joy Laskar, a professor of electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Accused of misusing more than $1 million in university funds as he built a private start-up, Dr. Laskar was later fired from his tenured position at Georgia Tech and indicted by a grand jury. But seven years after the raid, a judge dismissed the case before trial. Now, a federal appeals court has ruled that Dr. Laskar can proceed with a lawsuit accusing university officials of malicious prosecution. The ruling marks another turn in the engineer's decade-long effort to prove he was wrongfully attacked as he navigated the middle ground between academic research labs and the tech industry. With his suit, Dr. Laskar claims that university officials attempted to influence a criminal investigation into his work by knowingly providing false, incomplete and misleading information to state prosecutors. Those named in the suit include Georgia Tech associate vice provost for research Jilda Garton; senior vice provost for research and innovation Mark Allen, chief auditor Phillip Hurd; and Patrick Jenkins, a member of the audit team.
U.S. Medical School Applications Soar in Covid-19 Era
Medical schools are reporting record application numbers as the coronavirus sparks a new wave of prospective students to become doctors. Through the end of August, the number of applicants rose nearly 17% from a year earlier, marking an interest not seen in more than a decade, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, which administers the main medical-school entry exam. Compared with past years, this year's numbers are unprecedented, said Patrick Fritz, a senior director with AAMC. Coronavirus has put a spotlight on health professions, prompting young people to apply to medical school earlier than they might have before, schools and admissions coaches said. Some applicants may be looking to take advantage of less strict application requirements this year. Many schools have dropped the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT, exam requirement, or have pushed application deadlines further into the fall. In a year of massive job losses, some may be lured by what appears to be a stable career path. Medical-school applications had been rising slowly since the 2008 recession, AAMC data show, but this year’s application cycle -- which runs through the fall -- has rocketed to nearly 50,000 through August.

Mike Leach expands on Mississippi State depth chart battles before season opener at LSU
It's debatable which two letters are the most intriguing on a football depth chart. Often times, it's "QB." Other times, it's "OR." Put together, there's no doubt that's where someone's eyes are likely to be fixated when glancing at the sheet for the first time. Mississippi State's Week 1 depth chart delivered on that. Under QB, it says graduate senior K.J. Costello OR freshman Will Rogers. The Bulldogs are a handful of days away from beginning their season on the road at No. 5 LSU, and it's still uncertain who will lead them onto the field as the team's starting quarterback. Well, not really. Coach Mike Leach gave insight into that position battle in addition to others during his first Monday press conference of the year. "I expect K.J. to start," Leach said. "Will is doing a great job. I expect K.J. to start." The depth chart says fellow graduate transfer Tyrell Shavers will start at wide receiver, too. He's listed just ahead of senior Osirus Mitchell, who had the most receiving yards a season ago of any returning Bulldog.
Mike Leach Monday: K.J. Costello expected to start, Tyrell Shavers inches toward top of depth chart, secondary boasts major inexperience
The depth chart might cast some doubt, but K.J. Costello is expected to be the starting quarterback when Mississippi State opens its season against defending national champion and No. 6-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge Saturday. Though MSU's first official depth chart of the year released Monday noted the No. 1 quarterback was Costello "OR" freshman Will Rogers, head coach Mike Leach noted Costello should likely be the starter -- following a pattern that even saw him keep an "or" ahead of Gardner Minshew II's name heading into the 2018 Alamo Bowl and days after he finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting during his time at Washington State. "Will's been doing a great job, but I expect K.J. to start," Leach said in his first Monday press conference of the year. Leach's essential coronation of Costello as MSU's Week One starting signal caller follows months of much expected speculation that he'd end up as QB1 come LSU week.
Mike Leach sets Mississippi State's Week 1 depth chart ahead of season opener against LSU
Something about a depth chart just makes it feel more real. Mississippi State released the list of players who new head coach Mike Leach will bring down to Baton Rouge on Saturday in an effort to kick off the 2020 season and his tenure as a Bulldog with a monumental upset over the defending national champion LSU Tigers. Both Mississippi State's and LSU's depth charts look a whole lot different than the ones they ran out before last year's 36-13 LSU victory in Starkville. Both teams will start different quarterbacks, and the differences continue on down the list. Here's a look at Mississippi State's Week 1 depth chart.
SEC college football: 3 questions Mississippi State must answer to beat LSU
It doesn't happen often. Mike Leach's first game as Mississippi State's head coach places him in a position not many before him have fared well in. The Bulldogs have only beaten LSU in Baton Rouge twice in the last 35 years. Jackie Sherrill won once in Death Valley in seven tries. Dan Mullen had four cracks at it and only emerged victorious one time because of Dak Prescott's poetic performance in 2014. Sherill's one and only triumph on the bayou came in his first season at MSU. For Leach to replicate that feat, Mississippi State will have to answer these three questions: Can MSU make most of capacity restrictions? Is K.J. Costello the real deal? Can the MSU secondary hold up?
Why Mike Leach's Mississippi State's offense is a unique challenge for LSU's pass rush
Take a look at the spacing of Mike Leach's offensive linemen, and you'll know part of why the Mississippi State coach's offenses are so successful. Normally, there may be a foot or two of space between each lineman. In Leach's pass-happy "Air Raid" offense, that space extends to two or three feet. Why is that important? Ask one of his former linemen, Louis Vasquez, an All-Big 12 selection at left guard when he played for Leach at Texas Tech from 2005-08. If linemen space widely, so do defenders. The more space, the farther away defenders are from disrupting the quarterback. The numbers validate the philosophy: In Leach's final two seasons at Washington State, the Cougars ranked within the top 30 in fewest sacks allowed despite leading the nation in pass attempts in both years. Such a trend could spoil LSU's season opener Saturday, if it continues.
Greg Sankey: SEC plans to return to eight-game schedule in 2021
Days before Alabama begins its season, Nick Saban's longstanding push for the SEC to expand its conference schedule in football found an unexpected audience: Monday Night Football. Saban was one of several high-profile guests during ESPN's simulcast of the Las Vegas Raiders-New Orleans Saints game, and was asked by hosts Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit whether he would favor making permanent the 10-game schedule that the SEC has enacted temporarily for 2020. "I would, absolutely," Saban said. "I've always wanted to play more SEC games. I think from a fan standpoint, it's great for the fans to see quality games. I've even said I think we should only play Power 5 schools, all 12 games. I think it would actually make it a little easier to determine, because of the cross-section of teams that you have in the five different conferences playing each other, it would be a little easier to figure out who has the best teams." Appearing on Alabama's season preview radio show Saturday, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference still plans to return to an eight-game conference schedule in 2021 if that season is able to played normally.
'Prime Time' hire could mean financial boon for JSU, Jackson
Jackson State's announcement that Deion Sanders is the Tigers' new head football coach has been creating a lot of buzz, not only locally, but nationally. For days, there has been a landslide of positive national press, and more coverage could likely produce proceeds by way of more fans and more tourists for the metro area. The Iron Horse Grill sits on the edge of the JSU campus. The restaurant is already banking on the increase in business that will come from JSU home games. "Anything indirectly that is going to drive traffic, we will indirectly see the benefit -- whether it is at lunch, dinner or to-go," said Iron Horse general manager Andy Nesenson. Sanders is expected to draw bigger game day crowds, which brings the hope of more visitors to Jackson. "One football game for Jackson state brings about $5 million to $8 million to Jackson," said Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen. "Deion Sanders is going to fill some stands, so if we get $5 million to $8 million to turn to $10 million to $15 million, then it is a win, win for the entire Jackson community."
'My people': Deion Sanders says why he took Jackson State job on Good Morning America
Just after 7 a.m. CT Tuesday morning, Deion Sanders had a whistle wrapped around his neck as the new Jackson State football coach joined Michael Strahan and the cast of Good Morning America for an interview. "I cannot wait to get on the grass and do some coaching," Sanders said. The coaching will have to wait until next year, but the impact Sanders has had by choosing to coach at a historically black university has already been felt. Strahan, who graduated from Texas Southern in the same conference, asked Sanders why it was important for him to take the helm at a fellow HBCU. "First and foremost, God led me to Jackson State. That's what I can truly and honestly say," Sanders said. "Just sitting on that stage and looking my people in the eye and saying and proclaiming what I plan on doing with this program, we have a coaching staff that has 84 years of NFL experience combined coaching and playing. Sanders expanded on why he thinks those up and coming recruits choosing to play at an HBCU, specifically Jackson State, could be a life-changing move for them.
Prime Time aced his introduction to JSU. Now comes the really, really hard part.
Mississippi sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: Yes, winning the introductory news conference is a real thing in 2020. And Deion Sanders, introduced as head football coach at Jackson State on Monday morning, knocked his out of the park like a 450-foot, walk-off grand slam home run. Clearly, he is, not for nothing, known as Prime Time. Dressed in a blue sports coat with red buttons, Sanders killed it is what he did, drawing loud cheers from the socially distanced crowd in the Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center. He spoke with the fervor of a Baptist minister and received more than a few "Amens." He shed tears. Then he flashed that wide smile. He even invoked a call and response toward the end. ... He promised much: to bring Jackson State football back to prominence, to win the SWAC, to successfully recruit players recruited by power five conference teams, to help recruit for all the other JSU athletic programs, to play hard, fast, tough disciplined football, to look good winning and to win professionally. ... Now then, comes the hard part: Doing it.

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