April 9, 2013 10:30:37 AM
OXFORD -- The festivities of BancorpSouth Grove Bowl Week 2013 begin Wednesday and will culminate with a jam-packed Saturday surrounding the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl (#BXSGroveBowl), which kicks off at 1 p.m. and is free to the public.
The activities begin with the third annual Rebels' Choice Awards at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for Performing Arts. The semi-formal event is free to the public, but a ticket is required. Tickets are available at the University of Mississippi Box Office, Ford Center Box Office or by calling 662-915-7411.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, the nationally ranked University of Mississippi baseball team begins a three-game series against the University of Alabama at Swayze Field. The Rebels and Crimson Tide also meet at 4 p.m. Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets remain through the OleMissSports.com ticket site.
Other events for fans on Friday include a free concert with Grace Potter and special guest Jerrod Niemann in The Grove at 8:30 p.m., the women's tennis team's match against the University of Missouri at 3 p.m. and the formal introduction of new women's basketball coach Matt Insell at the Gillom Sports Center at 11 a.m. The tennis team also will play host to Texas A&M University at 1 p.m., and both matches are free at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.
Saturday's full slate kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with the 24th annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award Ceremony. The breakfast and announcement of this year's recipient will take place at the Jackson Avenue Center (the old Wal-Mart building), and tickets are available by visiting the OleMissSports.com ticket site or calling 888-REB-TKTS.
Some of the world's top track & field athletes will be on display Saturday at the Ole Miss Invitational, which starts at 9 a.m. and includes an exciting primetime lineup at 6 p.m. Also that day, the Rebel volleyball team will hold its spring tournament beginning at 9:30 a.m., and the soccer team will stage its alumni match at noon.
Pre-game festivities for the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl get under way at 10 a.m. with tailgating and children's games in The Grove. A commemorative poster and BancorpSouth Grove Bowl t-shirts can be purchased as well as catfish, barbecue and chicken tenders.
The BancorpSouth Grove Bowl, which supports the M-Club's J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund, features Hugh Freeze's Rebels in action at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in the culmination of spring football drills. CSS is televising the event live.
Stadium gates open at noon, and kickoff is set for 1 p.m. While admission is free, please be mindful of prohibited items, including coolers. A full list is available at OleMissFB.com.
Free parking for Saturday's football game is available in the lot on the west side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Lots adjacent to the Indoor Practice Facility are closed for construction, and fans are encouraged to park in the nearby South lot at the intersection of Highway 6 and Old Taylor Road.
ADA spaces are available in the South Lot, and the athletics department is offering a shuttle service for those individuals to and from The Grove and the football and baseball stadiums beginning at 9:30 a.m. and continuing until fans have left the baseball stadium.
The M-Club's J.W. "Wobble" Davidson Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to the children of former Ole Miss letterwinners.
Davidson, a three-sport star at Ole Miss and assistant football coach for 22 seasons under John Vaught, died in 1998 at the age 79. As an assistant in 1945-68, he helped coach the Rebels to 16 bowl games and six Southeastern Conference championships. He also spent 11 years as head men's tennis coach and was adviser to the M-Club for 23 years.
The M-Club Alumni Chapter is an honor organization for men and women who have earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sanctioned sport sponsored at Ole Miss and have participated in a formal induction ceremony. Visit www.olemisssports.com/m-club for more information.
n Ex-Auburn DB pleads guilty to first-degree robbery: At Opelika, Ala., Former Auburn defensive back Mike McNeil was sentenced to serve at least three years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery for an incident his attorney characterized as "possibly a prank."
Lee County Circuit Judge Christopher Hughes accepted McNeil's plea deal Monday as his trial was set to begin. Under the deal, McNeil received a 15-year split sentence: He must serve three years, plus three years of supervised probation, and pay $2,000 in restitution. If he violates any terms, the judge could sentence him to the remainder of the 15 years.
McNeil, 24, and three teammates from the Tigers' 2010 national championship team were charged with armed robbery and dismissed from the team in March 2011. Antonio Goodwin is serving a 15-year sentence while Dakota Mosley and Shaun Kitchens are awaiting trial.
The judge accepted a "best-interest" plea where McNeil didn't have to admit guilt. McNeil responded "Yes, sir" when Hughes asked if he believed prosecutors had enough evidence to produce a guilty plea.