Monday's Southeastern Conference basketball coaches summer teleconference didn't yield much from Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury. Fresh off a weekend where news broke of Phil Turner's release from his scholarship and the differing accounts of the player's intentions for 2010-11, Stansbury shot down attempts to broach the topic once more.
STARKVILLE -- Phil Turner isn't sure why he won't be in a Mississippi State basketball uniform next season. Turner, an upcoming senior, confirmed Friday he has been released from his scholarship. He was notified through a letter mailed to his home. The guard from Grenada is unsure of his plans for the future after being released from his scholarship. He would have entered the 2010-11 season as the team's longest-tenured player, having been a member of the team since 2006-07.
Philip Tice didn't intend this spring and summer to find another opportunity. But when you love baseball, chances to play the game will find you. As a result, Tice will continue his baseball career in a new state and with a program that has a knack for sending its players to the Division I level.
STARKVILLE -- Freshman starters are rare in the Southeastern Conference. Interior defensive linemen have the worst odds of holding up to the physical quantum leap players must make to adapt.
STARKVILLE -- Everyone remembers the story of Robert Elliott's last-minute commitment to Mississippi State. The Okolona native and consensus top-10 running back in the 2007 recruiting class had pledged to attend the University of Mississippi before former MSU coach Sylvester Croom pulled off a late signing coup and encouraged Elliott to choose the Bulldogs over the Rebels, Florida State, Alabama, and Arkansas.
STARKVILLE -- For the past three years, the Carl Maddox Track facility at Mississippi State has been dormant. Aside from practice, the Bulldogs haven't hosted the Jace Lacoste Invitational and Bulldog Invitational. Their facility needed a facelift to attract teams, and with Mississippi State's $3.2 million renovation the Bulldogs will host three spring meets in 2011. Home meets were anticipated once ground broke two months ago, and Monday the program announced the start of the SEC/Big Ten Track and Field Challenge, which will be held at MSU on March 26.
STARKVILLE -- John Harris and Rodricko "CoCo" Ware went to East Mississippi Community College hoping rebuild the men's basketball program and move on to the next level. Mission accomplished on both accounts. After helping EMCC make it to the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament this past March, Harris and Ware signed scholarships with four-year colleges this past week.
Summer in Mississippi typically brings people together. For one week every year, kids make new friends and reconnect with others at Camp Rising Sun next to the Tombigbee River.
William Beckwith is close to realizing a dream. The former West Lowndes High School baseball standout is leaning toward signing with his favorite team after the Atlanta Braves selected him Tuesday in the 21st round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
STARKVILLE -- Line up the fastest collegiate runners in the country and Mississippi State would be well represented. Line up the best 400-meter runners in the world and the Bulldogs would grace the top 16. Championship swagger comes from results and Mississippi State sprinters have left a trail of success from the Texas Relays to the Penn Relays to the Southeastern Conference meet.
STARKVILLE -- Though each relay race goes through the same three handoffs and covers the same distance, there's plenty of strategy involved. Many variables, including a runner's current form or performance in individual events and opponents' strengths can factor into how a coach shifts the lineup. The Mississippi State men's track team has made the right calls in its 4x100- and 4x400-meter relay events this year, setting up high expectations for this week's NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore.
High School football players from the Golden Triangle and surrounding area packed Columbus High School's practice fields Tuesday to take advantage of a camp opportunity they hope paves the road to a college scholarship. More than 100 athletes participated in the University of Southern Mississippi football camp, utilizing an opportunity to a certified football Football Bowl Subdivision camp.
Wanika Owsley has been a part of success at every level. Now Owsley hopes she can help the Mississippi State women's basketball team build on its best season. Coach Sharon Fanning-Otis announced Tuesday the hiring of Owsley as an assistant coach. Owsley replaces Sharrona Reaves, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Lady Bulldogs.
STARKVILLE -- Al Schmidt remembers Tiffany McWilliams carrying the Mississippi State women's track and field team at the NCAA Championships six seasons ago.
DESTIN, Fla. -- The smuggling of cowbells into Davis Wade Stadium is finished -- at least for a year. Friday, in Destin, Fla., the Southeastern Conference amended its artificial noise-maker bylaw to allow the Mississippi State spirit symbol into Bulldogs' home games. The agreement is a one-year trial.
MSU president Dr. Mark Keenum's press release on ringing cowbells at bulldog games.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost is hopeful to rejoin the Mississippi State men's basketball team after school officials confirmed he is enrolled in summer school and seeking to regain his college eligibility. Bost declared for the National Basketball Association draft but failed to withdraw his name before a new NCAA deadline of May 8. He kept his college option open up to that point by not hiring an agent, but the former Bulldogs' point guard faces an uphill battle to play at Mississippi State again.
Former Mississippi State basketball player Jarvis Varnado has heard all the detractors who've analyzed his game. Some say he's too skinny. Others believe his limited offensive skills will stunt his pro potential. Then there are skeptics who believe Varnado's transition to playing power forward and his lack of bulk will limit his shot-blocking ability in the NBA.
Dante Oliver and Tavaris Tate have a relationship that's seen them take similar paths to prep athletic greatness. Though not related through blood, the pair consider each other family after Oliver's family met Tate's family close to nine years ago. The Olivers, an Air Force family of four with no immediate family in Mississippi, had most of their relatives based in the Grand Strand of South Carolina.
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