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OCTOBER 11, 2013



Alumni Association director announced BY JAMIE ALLEN

ation board, officers and staff as they After three months of reading develop and resumes and conducting count- i m p l e m e n t less interviews, the search for the programs that new executive director for the will build relaAlumni Association has finally tionships with Davis come to an end as Jeff Davis, current and a seasoned alumni association future alumni. Davis said he plans to meet executive at Stephen F. Austin with alumni, University, was volunteers and awarded the students in order position. There is a The search foundation to understand expectations of the began in June of success Alumni Associaafter the retireat MSU, tion and how it ment of Jimmy generates support Abraham, who a tremendous to meet the goals served at Mis- team of staff and of MSU. sissippi State “There is a University for volunteers at foundation of 38 years. Jeff the MSU Alumni success at MSU, Davis will be- Association, and a tremendous gin as the exectogether we team of staff and utive director can create and volunteers at the in November. AlumDavis has a improve meaningful MSU ni Association, family histo- engagement and together we ry of former opportunities.” will look to see Bulldogs as his where we can g r a n d f a t h e r -Jeff Davis, create and implayed football Alumni Association prove meaningat MSU in director ful engagement the late 1930s opportunities for and graduated MSU Alumni from the university in 1940 with an engi- to connect and reconnect with each other and Mississippi State neering degree. “Being able to lead the Alum- University,” Davis said. Davis said that he is excited ni Association and make a positive impact at my grandfa- to be working with the Alumni ther’s alma mater is something Association as everyone is very extremely special to me, my fa- focused on moving forward, ther and the Davis family,” Da- and alumni are very passionate vis said in an email interview. about their university. “It is a dynamic time at Mis“Everyone here in Starkville at MSU from my first trip to sissippi State University, and becampus has been so friendly ing able to be a part of the MSU and welcoming, and each vis- team, work with a talented and it has felt more and more like dedicated Alumni Association home. Our family is so looking staff, passionate volunteers and forward to making MSU and proud Mississippi State graduates to help advance the instiStarkville our new home.” According to the Alumni As- tution forward is something I sociation website, the job of the am tremendously excited about. executive director of the Alumni Wearing the Maroon and Association is to provide leader- White, being part of the histoship, direction and support as ry and tradition at MSU and be he or she carries out the Alum- part of the Bulldog family is a ni Association’s mission. Davis true blessing to our family,” Dawill work with Alumni Associ- vis said. Staff Writer


Dustin Johnson and friends from Mississippi State University camp together at Sipsey Wilderness Park where they hiked for the weekend. Left to right: Zac Rodgers, Casey Reddoch, Dustin Johnson, Rob Mitchener.

Students celebrate friend’s memory Dustin Johnson, geosciences major, died early Oct. 3. He is remembered for his laidback attitude and great sense of humor.

BY MARY KATE MCGOWAN Assistant News Editor


Friends said their memories of Dustin Johnson, MSU senior, are filled with laughter and joke-telling.

October 3, Dustin Johnson, Mississippi State University senior geosciences major, died of a gun-related incident in Starkville. Sid Salter, director of University Relations, said anytime MSU loses a student, the university is affected and diminished. “We extend the deepest sympathy of the university to the young man’s family and friends,” he said. A memorial service for Johnson will be held at Cleary Baptist Church Saturday from 4-6 p.m. in Florence, Miss. The service will be informal, and people can come and go as they please. Friends said Johnson, a Florence, Miss., native, was one class away from graduation. Regan Byrd, junior geosciences major and friend, said Johnson was a man of few words. “But whatever he said was pretty hilarious,” Byrd said. SEE MEMORY, 3

Engineering student receives prestigious fellowship Provocative Hardee’s burger advertisement shocks fans


Last June, Mississippi State University’s Jennifer Sloan Ziegler was awarded the 2014 National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Ziegler, Sturgis native and Bagley College of Engineering doctoral candidate, is the second student of MSU to receive the fellowship. She currently teaches engineering mechanics and serves as an adviser for the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, National Association of Engineering Student Councils and the American Society of Civil Engineers at MSU. Ziegler has a doctoral degree of philosophy in engiIAN PRESTER | THE REFLECTOR neering, a master’s degree of science in civil and envi- Jennier Ziegler plans to travel to Washington, D.C. for an internship beginning in February. She ronmental engineering and is the second MSU student awarded the National Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. a bachelor of science in civil Ziegler said she has preand environmental engineer- background did not put her fellowship, I assume my diing. at the top of the list for recip- versity is a good thing, and I pared for an opportunity like Ziegler said recipients of ients of the fellowship. can implement my knowledge the Knauss Fellowship for the fellowship usually repre“I was not sure if I was and experience of engineering years and thinks of the fellowsent different Sea Grant con- what they were looking for,” with those of the marine and ship is not only an honor, but sortiums, so her engineering she said. “Since I received the coastal entities.” a privilege.


“Oh, hello,” Tony Garcia, a Mississippi State University graduate student, said as he stared at a Hardee’s commercial in which Katherine Webb seductively ate a buffalo blue cheeseburger at the MSU home game against LSU. “I was not used to seeing that type of ad at an MSU home game,” Garcia said. “It definitely caught people’s attention. I personally had no problem with it, but I could understand why some people would take it offensively due to the provocative nature of the way she ate the burger.” Duncan McKenzie, executive associate athletic director, said MSU apologizes for the presentation of the commercial at Davis Wade Stadium. “Our goal is to create great experiences, and that commercial is not consistent with

the family atmosphere we are trying to create,” McKenzie said. “You have our assurance that it won’t be shown again, and that our staff will do a better job of screening video board content.” General manager of Bulldog Sports Properties Don Williams said the ad continues to get widespread play on national television. “In retrospect, we might have given more thought as to whether MSU football was the right venue for this ad,” Williams said. “It was never intended to run more than once, and we have filed it away as a reminder to be more thoughtful in the future about what will air.” Sophomore elementary education major Mallory Self said the commercial made her feel uncomfortable at the game. “If I had little kids at the game, I would not have them watch that ad,” Self said.



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amazing. I’m not really an emotional person, and I don’t cry a lot, but I was overwhelmed. It was definitely a Miss MSU, Shelby Sims, is a senior proud and exciting moment. Q: If you could travel anywhere in political science major from Hattiesburg, Miss. She is currently the vice the world, all expenses paid, where president of the Student Association would you go? A: I would probably go to England. and has been a part of the SA since serving on Freshman Forum her first I’ve always wanted to go, and I never year at Mississippi State University, have. Most people want to go to the with stints as director of Freshman beach, so I’ve gone there more often, Forum and SA secretary. Sims is a but if I could go anywhere abroad, member of the Stennis Montgomery it would be England. I’m definitely Association and Chi Omega sorority not fluent in any other languages, so it would make it easier in that sense. and is also an orientation leader. Q: What has been your favorite part I love the culture over there, and there are so many landmarks I want of the week being Miss MSU? to go see and experience. If A: Obviously I’ve I could go to another counenjoyed every part of try, it would be England, it because everyone’s and I would bring all my been so encouraging friends with me. and really excited for Q: What would your walkme throughout the out song be? whole process, but I’m A: Chris Brown and Jorreally excited about din Sparks “No Air.” It’s my the parade on Friday. favorite song of all time. It Working with SA, I’ve always puts me in a good been involved with mood. It’s been me and my the parade every year best friends’ song for foreveither with the Fresh- Shelby Sims er. We sing it for karaoke man Forum float or and all sorts of stuff. just helping out, but Q: Who is your celebrity crush? now me and Michael (Hogan) get to A: George Clooney without a ride in our own car, and were going to make a fun CD to listen to. We’ve doubt. Q: What are your plans for after tried to get more people involved graduation and how has MSU prethis year, so it should be super fun. Q: What did it mean to you to be pared you for that? A: After graduation, I plan on gonamed Miss MSU? A: To me, it’s just a huge honor. It’s ing to law school to become a lawnot necessarily a position like other yer. I want to work in family law and things I’ve run for in the past. To be youth courts on the local level of govnominated and chosen by the selec- ernment and possibly run for judge tion committee and then to be the someday. I feel like Mississippi State highest vote-getter in election, I felt has prepared me in so many different honored that people think so highly ways. In the classroom, I’ve learned a of me. To me, Miss MSU is someone lot as a political science major about who has diversified their experience political leadership to prepare me to here at Mississippi State, gotten to be a leader in the workforce, and beknow the students, tried to bettered cause I love the government side, I’ve student life, and made a positive im- learned a lot in my classes. Outside pact on campus. Being recognized in of the classroom, however, is where I would say most of my learning has this way is an indescribable honor. Q: In the past four years, what has occurred. Being involved with SA, been your most memorable moment or working with the Senate for two years and cabinet for three, I’ve gotevent at MSU? A: My most memorable and excit- ten to experience first-hand the relaing night here at Mississippi State was tionships, leadership, teamwork, and the night I was elected SA vice pres- dedication that goes into making a ident. I don’t think I’ve ever worked successful student government. I’ve so hard for anything in my life than I learned to work with people, manage did in those six to eight weeks during my time better, and get over my fear the campaign. So many people were of public speaking that I came to colbrought in to help me and support lege with. A lot of small things that me and believed I was qualified, so to really add up have prepared me for see that all come to fruition was truly my future. BY KRISTEN SPINK Managing Editor

Q&A with

Miss and Mr. MSU Homecoming Court Queen

Jenni Brown

Senior Maids

Bri Stewart

Kaeley Gemmill

Junior Maids

Camille Jones

Kacie Green

Morgan Ashley McCormick

Taylor Thoms

Sophomore Maids

Freshman Maids

Halee Register

Margaret Burleson


California from Memphis a couple months ago, and I’ve only been able to see them once. My girlfriend and Mr. MSU, Michael Hogan, is a I are going to see them during fall senior business management ma- break. So my perfect day, if I didn’t jor from Memphis, Tenn. Hogan have to do anything, would be to fly currently serves as the president out early morning to California and of the Student Association. Before hang out with my parents. They are becoming SA president, he was the surrounded by mountains and the chief programming officer for the activities to do in their area are endSA’s Executive Council. Hogan has less. That’s my ideal day and what I served Mississippi State University want to do right now, but it’s in two in a number of other areas, includ- weeks. I hope I can wait. I would ing as an orientation leader, Road- love spending the day doing nothrunner and Career Center ambas- ing with my parents in California. Q: You’ve been around a lot of sador. Q: What has been your greatest ac- bands and concerts lately, so who is your favorite band or complishment in your time at artist? MSU? A: I was blown A: I really think taking away by The Black advantage of opportunities Crowes. They’ve in front of me is the thing been around for I’m most proud of. It’s hard two decades now, to narrow down one group, and they still got it. project, or initiative that They crack me up. I’ve been running after the They don’t look like last four years — I’m happy some young, cool to say everything that has artists. They’re old come before me I’ve taken guys with beards, advantage of, and I’ve ac- Michael Hogan and they were awecomplished a lot because of some. I enjoy that that. Q: What is your favorite aspect of kind of music. They were really fun to watch. MSU? Q: If you could spend a day with A: I’ve loved these last four years; they’ve been really great. Mississippi anyone, dead or alive, who would it State is a special place where I feel be? A: Ronald Reagan. like these four years have been very Q: What would your walk-out song important. I feel like I’m preparing to continue to be involved with be? A: “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder. Mississippi State for life. As I’ve worked with people at State, I’ve How great would that be if you realized the possibility for continu- walked up to hit a home run and ous growth and the people that help Hinder was playing? Q: What has MSU meant to you you along the way are substantially these past four years, and what have important. Q: What are some things you have you learned during your time here? A: From my personal experience, done as Mr. MSU that the students I feel like we’ve always been taught may not know of? A: We attend every single home- that after graduation you need to coming event like the chapel service start taking things seriously, but I and movie night on the Drill Field. do not think that is the most benAs Mr. MSU, we do those typical eficial advice. If you take advantage things like go around at brunches of opportunities at Mississippi State on Saturday and spend eight hours and find out who you are in college, walking around as the (homecom- it’ll make things easier after college. ing) court introducing ourselves Have as much fun as you can and and representing Mississippi State meet as many people as you can, but throughout the week. We’re very also take it seriously. I think I had a transparent with what we’re up to. well-rounded experience because of my mindset — my grandfather told It’s nothing secretive. Q: You do a lot for the university me that (mindset). I learned that and are involved with numerous or- and applied that here at Mississippi ganizations, but what would your State. The resources here at Mississippi State made that an easy task to ideal day look like outside of MSU? A: My parents just moved to complete. BY KRISTEN SPINK Managing Editor

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013 | 3




“The commercial was unnecessary for a family game, and the atmosphere and had little to do with advertisement of the food. It really appealed to the attraction of men,” Self said. Warn Wilson, junior electrical engineering major, said he did not find the commercial offensive in any way. “I would definitely want to try that buffalo cheeseburger,” Wilson said, as he chuckled of laughter. “It was funny to see her be so attracted to a burger, but I don’t see what the problem is. It’s the same thing that beer and cigarette companies do, which is use attraction to sell products.” According to Cody Roman, a senior sports studies major, this is not the first time a commercial of such sexual nature was presented at an MSU home game. “A couple years ago, they played a Paris Hilton commercial in which she sat on top of a vehicle and washed it while seductively eating a SCREENSHOT FROM HARDEE’S.COM burger,” Roman said. “I felt that ad was more vul- Katherine Webb appears in a Hardee’s commericial promoting a cheeseburger. The gar than this Hardee’s com- controversial advertisement played during last Saturday’s football game. mercial,” Roman said.

MEMORY Other friends described Johnson as laid back and a great photo-bomber. Ramsey Rankin, junior geosciences major, said Johnson was the kind of person who sat back and laughed and did not want to be the center of attention. “He was always in a good mood, like he was never mean,” Rankin said. “He laughed at everything everyone else said. Sometimes he would make comments that were really funny.” Rankin said she met Johnson during a high school prom. “He was just cracking jokes the whole time,” Rankin said. “His girlfriend at that time was whining a lot, and he said, ‘I’m going to start calling you chardonnay because you wine so much.’ He had a really funny sense of humor like that.” Byrd said Johnson and Drew Sills, senior geosciences major, were inseparable. “They were always together,” Byrd said. Casey Reddoch, senior forestry and wildlife management major, said Johnson was a car enthusiast and never missed the Cruisin’ on the Coast car show on the Gulf Coast. Byrd said this


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continued from 1 year’s show is this weekend. “He could tell you an engine by just hearing it,” Byrd said. Zac Rodger, senior marketing major, said Johnson was working on rebuilding a motorcycle. “He bought a motorcycle this summer and got it running, but something else happened. He was slowly working on that,” Rodgers said. Johnson was also a member of the Famous Maroon Band during his freshman and sophomore years. Reddoch said Johnson liked music and playing his saxophone. Byrd said Johnson could also play the guitar. And like other college students, he enjoyed Netflix. Byrd said Johnson’s favorite show was “Trailer Park Boys.” Rodger said his favorite memory with Johnson was a weekend camping and hiking trip with friends in the Sipsey Wilderness

Park in Alabama. “We were there from Friday to Sunday, and we hiked 12 miles that Sunday,” Rodger said. Johnson’s friends remembered stories that brought smiles to their faces. “One time at the Pointe, Johnson smoked out Arnett Moultrie (former MSU basketball player),” Rodgers said. “He was always thinking Arnett Moultrie hated Drew because he did that to him.” Reddoch said Johnson was a dedicated MSU sports fans as well. “We always had fun going to football games,” Reddoch said Rodger said Johnson never missed a game. Johnson’s friends said Johnson would do anything for people. “He would give the shirt off his back,” Reddoch said. In lieu of flowers, Johnson’s family asks for donations to the Mississippi Geological Society.

Tuesday, Oct. 8

• 11:30 a.m. Bikes were found behind dumpsters. • 9:15 p.m. A student reported her bicycle stolen from under a tree at the Chi Omega sorority house.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

• 11:07 a.m. A student was issued a Justice Court citation and student referral for failing to stop for a pedestrian and driving away from officers on B.S. Hood Street. • 3:09 p.m. A student reported his laptop stolen from Carpenter Hall. • 5:24 p.m. A student reported his backpack stolen from Perry Cafeteria. • 9:36 p.m. A student was arrested in Ruby Hall for harrassment.

Thursday, Oct. 10

• 12:42 a.m. A student reported a broken lock at McCain Hall. CORRECTION: In the Oct. 8 edition of The Reflector, Bad Dawgs contained erroneous information in the police report. The 1:03 a.m. incident on Oct. 5 should have read, “A student was arrested in front of the Pi Kappa Phi house for possession of marijuana. A justice court citation and student referral were issued.” The Reflector publishes the police report as submitted by the dean of students. The Reflector does not alter entries in the report.

FELLOWSHIP “I remember it was 11 p.m. on a Friday night when I decided to check my email, something I wouldn’t usually do at that time of day,” Ziegler said with a smile on her face. “I was excited to see the email of my acceptance, especially since I thought I had not gotten it because I was supposed to hear from them a couple weeks prior. The first thing I did was call my husband.” Teresa Gammill, assistant vice president for research at MSU, said Ziegler’s fellowship enhances MSU’s status as one of the nation’s top research institutions. “Jennifer’s award is a great example of how undergraduate and grad students at MSU can take advantage of wonderful research opportunities,” Gammill said. “Our faculty

members are very good at getting their students involved in real research, and this is very beneficial for everyone.” In regard to the Knauss fellowship, Ziegler said she is a legislative fellow, which means she will work on Capitol Hill as an adviser for coastal issues. “This year, the first week in November, called Placement Week will determine exactly who I will be working for,” Ziegler said. “I will either be working for a personal staff for the House or the Senate or on a committee staff. I’m really excited because I love Washington, D.C.” William McAnally, research professor in the Bagley College of Engineering, said Jennifer is one of the best students he has ever encountered.

continued from 1 “Unlike many engineers, she is passionate about a variety of topics, not just the technical ones,” McAnally said. “For example, her dissertation brings an engineer’s quantitative approach to an ecosystem-based management, a notoriously qualitative field. It touches on biology, climate, hydrology/hydraulics, water quality, social sciences and public health.” The National Sea Grant College Program Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is a year-long paid internship for students to broaden their experiences and knowledge with national policies of the Great Lakes and coastal issues. For more information about the fellowship, visit

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It’s all the rage JAMES TRACY I

have to admit something to you: I am that driver on the highway who won’t get out James Tracy is a physics of your way in the left lane. graduate student. He can be Here’s the scenario: I’m on the contacted at highway in the right lane when I start to get too close to a big rig. So, as I check my clearance, I signal and shift to the left lane Manual (2012) comments on and safely cruise past. Howev- this topic. I like page 48, which er, a driver comes up behind me opens with the italicized title line and clearly outpaces me. In- “Drivers cause 85 percent of all stead of waiting for me to clear accidents.” It gets more candid, going on to state the truck, he or that, “You may she pulls up to drive like a bully my rear bumper. Just or a law-breaker” I don’t like because after “undergothat. Half the I’m going ing a personality time, my kids are change” upon takin the car. Now slower that driver en- than you does not ing control of a vehicle’s speed and dangers them. Perhaps at this mean that I am in size. However, the meat-and-potatoes point, you agree the wrong lane. with the driver Admittedly, I tend is on page 55 regarding Interstate behind. What to to drive three Highway Drivare my options? ing. Specifically, Speed up? I am to five mph over it says the speed not interested in the speed limit. limit (also known outright speed- So we’re both ing; tickets, in- already speeding; as the “maximum speed at which you surance and gas can legally operbudget taught then why are ate your vehicle me better. Slow you so important here”) “under ideal down? That guy to risk reckless conditions” is 70 is too close; that tailgating? ” mph. It also says option has been the right lane is for removed. slower vehicles. Eventually, I Now, a great many drivers will be able to change lanes, but that driver behind me is not pa- confuse these concepts. Just tient. He or she continues to because I go slower than you does not mean that I am in the tailgate. Now, perhaps you think that wrong lane. Admittedly, I tend I should change lanes as soon as to drive three to five mph over my rear bumper clears the big rig the posted limit. So if we’re both and let this guy pass? Alas, don’t already speeding; then why are overlook the two-second rule of you so important to risk reckless thumb. Even if a driver is com- tailgating? pletely attentive and at the top With only about 28 total paof his or her game, the reaction trolmen available to cover the time is seven-tenths of a sec- 10 counties in District 5, Miss. ond ( To be a Highway Patrol Troop G Public safe, considerate driver, I cannot Relations Officer Sgt. Criss Turchange lanes until I’ve gained a nipseed confirmed the challenge two-second lead on that big rig. his agency faces with ticketing Still, the tailgating continues. drivers guilty of tailgating. “The law only says that it Occasionally, he’ll generously flash his lights to remind me that ‘should be a prudent, safe distance,’” he said. He said any he really wants to get by. I got my first driver’s license tickets given are easily contested in Florida when I was 16. When in court due to the difficulty to I attended Auburn Universi- produce evidence. “The most common accidents ty, my wife subtly pointed out that driving in the left lane of are rear-end collisions,” Sgt. the highway was something Turnipseed pointed out. “You rude that Floridians did. I read will almost always find on the the Florida and Alabama driv- report: ‘Following too closely’.” So, I invite you, dear readers manuals and, after giving it about five months’ consid- er, to please answer me: what is eration, I started to cruise the the urgency? I already plan to highway in the right-hand lane change lanes; I want to change lanes. Why do you need to tailand have ever since. The Mississippi Driver License gate?




Disability Awareness Month: a walk in another’s shoes


Given the DIA’s statistics, it ctober is a month that is hard to ignore. It is is unlikely disability does not a time of change, hon- pertain to everyone in some or and awareness, a month of way. Almost everyone has a celebration. Many events are relative, friend or acquaintance overshadowed by the excite- with some kind of disability ment of Halloween and our ,whether he or she is aware of preoccupation with fall, which it or not. Avoidance is one of leads to a decline in the aware- the leading causes of people beness of certain topics that are ing misinformed or undereducated in regard important to our culture. to disability. Many people Another cause If an are unaware of avoidance is organization fear of offense. October is also lends you a Domestic VioMany people lence and Dishave never been wheelchair, ability Aware- try to challenge around individness Month. uals with disMany people yourself to abilities before. overlook dis- find accessible Therefore, they ability aware- doorways to enter might miss out ness because buildings and give on networking they are either with wonderful unaware of it or yourself a time limit people who have feel education to be somewhere.” contributed a in regards to lot to society by disabilities does overthinking sonot apply to them. Disabled in cial strategies. Action, a civil rights organizaOne basic thought to start tion, estimates that roughly 18 off the month might be somepercent of the American pop- thing as simple as, “How do I ulation experienced some level treat a person with a disabiliof disability. The number of in- ty?” Use everyday social comdividuals with disabilities is ex- mon sense, just as you would pected to grow within the next with anyone else. For most few years. Disability is also people, it is unwise to think highly prevalent among the of ways to be overly helpful. elderly. Roughly 72 percent of If you accompany someone the population develops some with a disability and he or she kind of disability by the time needs assistance, he or she will tell you. But, most of the time, they hit 80-years-old.

you’ll be amazed to find that those with disabilities have no need to ask. Some places of employment now require employees to take online courses in disability etiquette, which is really social common sense when interacting with consumers with disabilities. If you have the privilege to befriend someone with a disability, you might have already seen the many ways in which he or she has adapted to everyday life. If you haven’t, disability awareness month is a perfect time to learn about a new world of technology. People with disabilities are some of the lead consumers of technological resources, such as computers people with paralysis can control with eye movements, motor wheelchairs can be controlled by blowing through air tubes, magnification devices for the visually impaired, auditory devices, communication devices for people with speech impediments and more. Look at disability from a statistical point of view. It is evident that it is a big part of our lives — in jobs, interactions and networking. The fact is, disability plays a huge role in our society. But how does being disabled feel? How can the public learn about it? Many online resources are readily available on such topics, but at Mississippi State

BROOKLYN TUCKER Brooklyn Tucker is a junior majoring in kinesiology. She can be contacted at opinion@

University, there are several active organizations to be on the lookout for this month. If you’re interested, look for organizations around campus that offer events and education for Disability Awareness Month. Go to panels if you hear about them. Offer to help with research in departments that do something in the field, even technology. As for how being disabled feels, you can always see for yourself. If an organization lends you a wheelchair, try to challenge yourself to find accessible doorways to enter buildings and give yourself a time limit to be somewhere. Or, for less effort, blindfold yourself and try to walk around your dorm or apartment. Try to pour your coffee or fold laundry. What effects did you find this had on your day?


In the world of fairy-tales, success is new prince charming


ome women want to be on something that helps us grow the go and independent and learn about ourselves, what and do so many things at we like and what we do not like. once — the “go girls.” We gain life experience from this. They want to succeed in school, We grow as women from this. join every organization, juggle Instead, we usually shun relationmore than one job and look like ships away because we simply do a million bucks doing it all. Who not have the time for them. has time for a relationship? A New York Times article by This seems to be the mindset of Kate Taylor titled, “Sex on Cammany of us these days. We are at a pus: She Can Play That Game, crossroad. We are too old for love Too,” stated how more women games but too today who are young for love. driven by success College is Where is the balhave pushed love a stressful ance, if there is to the side and one? What about time, but as engaged in “cathe girls who women, we sual hookups” to came to college avoid relationwith a boyfriend are capable of so ships. and ended up much and able to Now, do not slowly drifting do it with grace and get me wrong, there is nothing away? We are so wrong with “you busy that we for- style.” time.” That is get to enjoy the most importperks of life, one ant — keeping your priorities of them being relationships. Of course, no one wants to be straight and finding yourself in part of a relationship that is dys- your own way. No woman needs functional or one that we feel is a guy to help define who she is. not headed anywhere, but wom- The simple matter is sometimes en forget that relationships are the best lessons are life lessons

and you should not want to miss out on a thing in your journey to success. This does not mean to go out and jump headfirst into a relationship, especially if you know that you do not have the time to give a legitimate effort or that this is a failure in the making. Women should remain smart. If something seems worth your while, why not take a chance? We have been told so many times that at this point in our lives it is important as women to be successful at all costs, and guys just do not fit into that. The college movies we watch of the love story where, in the end, the girl and the guy realize they are perfect for the each other and run off into the sunset is just fairytale. The “go girls” like to think it has to be one or the other, school or him, but if both of you have your priorities straight and know that nothing should come before your education and your goals, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you go your entire college career in solitude that is just fine, if that’s the way you prefer it. Movies and television shows,

SEQUOIA RICHARDSON Sequoia Richardson is a senior majoring in political science. She can be contacted at opinion@reflector.msstate. edu.

like “Being Mary Jane’s,” portrayal of the successful career woman who is unhappy because she is single is far from reality. To all of the “go girls,” you will not end up lonely with 40 cats if you decide to hold off on relationships to reach your goals first. Don’t forget to live in the moment sometimes, though. We need to remember there are some things you just can’t plan. You need to enjoy yourself. Live and laugh and find love, or not. College is a stressful time, but as women, we are capable of so much and able to do it with style and grace. Take a chance with your heart if it is worth taking. You may create a real-life love story or you may not. Why not make a few memories on your way to the top?


Managing Editor

Editor in Chief

News Editor

Kristen Spink

Kaitlyn Byrne

Anna Wolfe

Multimedia Editor

Life Editor

Opinion Editor

Zack Orsborn

Daniel Hart

Alie Dalee

Sports Editor John Galatas

Photography Editor Kaitlin Mullins

Copy Editor Emma Crawford



Editor in Chief/Kaitlyn Byrne

Letters to the editor should be sent to the Meyer Student Media Center or mailed to The Reflector, PO Box 5407, Mississippi State, MS. Letters may also be emailed to Letters must include name and telephone number for verification purposes. The editor reserves the right to edit or refuse to publish a letter.

325-7905 Managing Editor/Kristen Spink 325-8991 News Editor/Anna Wolfe 325-8819 Opinion Editor/Alie Dalee Sports Editor/John Galatas 325-5118 Life Editor/Daniel Hart 325-8883 Photography Editor/Kaitlin Mullins 325-1584 Multimedia Editor/Zack Orsborn Advertising Sales/Julia Pendley 325-7907


EDITORIAL POLICY The Reflector is the official student newspaper of Mississippi State University. Content is determined solely by the student editorial staff. The contents of The Reflector have not been approved by Mississippi State University.

The Reflector staff strives to maintain the integrity of this paper through accurate and honest reporting. If we publish an error we will correct it. To report an error, call 325-7905.

Body image: it’s all in your mind L ast week, as a method of procrastination, I decided to browse through the iPhoto application on my laptop for the first time in years. Beginning at my high school graduation, I continued to scroll — past my senior trip, past the pictures of potential dorm bedspreads and room décor and onto the first events of freshman year. Nostalgia swept over me as I clicked through images depicting quickly-formed, freshman year friendships, my debut college football season and documentation of delirious 4 a.m. antics with my roommate. As the pictures flashed by, I realized a significant portion of my nostalgia was devoted to my physical size at the time. The second I reached this realization, I was instantly disgusted with my superficiality. College has been such a growth period in my life, and the fact that weight gain was on the forefront of my mind as I reflected on these years was despicable. But the more I thought about it, I began to cut myself a little slack. After all, negative body image is quite an ominous obstacle to overcome. Throughout college this rings particularly true. When virtually every facet

of your life changes, sometimes partment especially, but I find it’s a comfort to know you can hope and encouragement in the go to McDonald’s at 2 a.m. and fact that I am not alone in this not be disappointed by incon- negativity. In an article on levo. sistency. (Unless you’re trying com, Tiffany Dufu gives the to get them to use the ice cream public a view of her own path machine. If that’s the case, good to positive body image. She exluck.) plains the various trials of each Brown University recently stage of maturation, and in conconducted a study on the or- clusion relays this piece of wisigins of negative body image, dom: “You can change so many and in my opinion, its most circumstances in your life by prolific finding changing your was that negamindset about The tive body image them. In fact, is for the most understanding negative part self-inflictyou’re the most thoughts ed. Now, I know powerful change are this sounds like agent in your common sense. technically your own journey is The negative own, but the critical to elevating your well-bethoughts are amazing flipside of ing.” technically your This quote is own, but the this self-inflicted so valuable beamazing flipside turmoil is that we of this self-in- as individuals have cause not only flicted turmoil is the ultimate upper is it a reminder that we as indithat you are the viduals have the hand.” master of your ultimate upper mindset, but it hand. We hold also instills the the power to end the cycle of fact that a positive mindset is a negativity. journey. This ideal is a constant This article is perhaps the within so many tribulations most hypocritical thing I have faced in college. So, you slept ever written. I have always been through your entire first day my toughest critic, in this de- of college — big deal. You call

SHEALY MOLPUS Shealy Molpus is a senior majoring in communication. She can be contacted at opinion@

your parents, sob, email all of your teachers apologetically and you move on. Maybe that only happened to me. Who’s to say? The point is, everyone faces new challenges in college, and you have to push forward. Creating a positive self-image falls into the same category. Physical change in college is essentially inevitable. Your schedule changes, your responsibilities increase and your stress levels shoot through the roof. The one constant can be a positive outlook. And when put into perspective, a few pounds here or there are totally worth the late-night study trips to Taco Bell.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013 | 5





The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday; the deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. Classifieds are $5 per issue. Student and staff ads are $3 per issue, pre-paid. Lost and found: found items can be listed for free; lost items are listed for standard ad cost. FOR RENT

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the Cotton District is for rent for Mississippi State students or members of the Bulldog family. The apartment has a fireplace and a washer and dryer. Call 662.694.0995 if interested. CLUB INFO

The deadline for Tuesday’s paper is 3 p.m. Thursday; deadline for Friday’s paper is 3 p.m. Tuesday. MSU student organizations may place free announcements in Club Info. Information may be submitted by email to club_info@reflector.msstate. edu with the subject heading “CLUB INFO,” or a form may be completed at The Reflector office in the Student Media Center. A contact name, phone number and requested

run dates must be included for club info to appear in The Reflector. All submissions are subject to exemption according to space availability. WESLEY FOUNDATION

Insight Bible study and worship Tuesdays at 8 p.m. at 286 East Lee Blvd. next to Campus Book Mart. Follow on Twitter @MSStateWesley or on Facebook. MANIFESTING GLORY PRAISE TEAM

We are looking for talented singers and musicians to be a part of our campus ministry. If interested, please call 662.648.8128. SOCIOLOGICAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION

SSA meets the last Thursday of every month in Bowen 250 at 5 p.m. Every major is welcome. STUDENTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS

Care about the environment? Love activism? Come join SSC on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in McCool 111 to make a difference. Follow on Twitter @MSU_SSC. COLLEGIATE 4-H

Collegiate 4-H presents “Rummage around the Rosie,” a rummage sale for the people. At Rick’s cafe parking lot on Oct. 19th from 5 to 11 a.m. All furniture, clothes, tools and working electronics will be accepted for donation. For donation or pick-up or contact information, contact Boddnick Hudson at 662.392.7522 or Ashley Hubbard at 662.418.8375. YOGA MOVES CLUB

School or work stressing you out? Get moving into Yoga Moves! Try our moves to get into shape and our relaxation techniques to handle the stress. Yoga Moves meets at the Sanderson Center in Studio C, Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Like Yoga Moves Club-MSU on Facebook. PRE-VETERINARY CLUB

MSU’S pre-veterinary club will have its Halloween meeting on Wed., Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in McKee Park. Come dressed in your Halloween costume and bring your pets! Food and drinks will be provided at 6:30 p.m.

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| Indie-pop band Fun. performed at MSU in the Humphrey Coliseum Wednesday night and brought a show replete with colorful

lights, confetti and sing-a-longs. The band’s visit to MSU — its first time in Mississippi — ended its Some Nights tour, which lead singer Nate Ruess said lasted two years.


The Cigar Lounge of Starkville is the refashioned product of visionary local owners Dalton Healy and Auston Nolan. In March of 2012 Nolan and Healy, who worked at Starkville Stogies beforehand, took over the store. Located at 100 Maxwell St. in the heart of Starkville’s Cotton District, the new owners transformed the store into the Cigar Lounge of Starkville (CLS) that now plays and important role in Starkville’s live music scene. The shift in ownership brought significant changes, including a nearly sevenfold increase in cigar inventory and a now-thriving live music scene. Healy said the newly-built stage in front of the shop is part of efforts they have made to support

Starkville’s local talent and the live-music scene at CLS began at his former store. “Music was started by me while it was Starkville Stogies, just on cobble stone and that was it. We only did it four or five times during that time. We put the stage in this spring break explicitly for music,” he said. Healy said he and Nolan intentionally do their best to give all Starkville musicians a voice. “Local music is kind of tough in a small town just to get a gig. We like to bargain with musicians. We try not to say no to anybody,” he said. “Supporting local musicians is not about trying to get the best. It is about the opportunity.” CLS hosts open-mic nights on Thursdays, which allow musicians to come and showcase their talent in a public

Cigar Lounge of Starkville offers music free of charge and open environment on a stage in the middle of the Cotton District. CLS’s shows are not only highly visible but also free to the public. Healy and Nolan both said they never intend to charge guests for the live music they support, but only ask the audience to tip as it feels inclined. “We are trying to do what we think is truly supporting local music … We don’t charge cover,” Healy said. “Not being forced to charge cover (frees the listener to) tip the band directly. Tipping actually helps support local music. If you want to support local music, come here and tip them.” In light of the recent decrease in live music at the fountain in the Cotton District, the CLS’s free, unselective shows are a breath of fresh air to local musicians and Starkville’s music scene as a whole. Healy expressed the sentiment that bands should be given a chance to thrive, even if they are undiscovered and lacking equipment. “We like to put fate into the band’s and the people’s hands,” he said.

Showing the bands in public on weekends without demanding payment, allows bands to gain a following while tips come from the crowd intentionally and go directly to the band’s benefit. Elizabeth Bounds, a Starkville resident and frequenter of CLS’s music events, said she appreciates both the tunes and the atmosphere. “I started coming up here before I knew any of (the owners) because I love live music, and it’s a great outdoor environment, and you don’t have to pay cover which is really nice,” Bounds said. Local musician Chase Floyd, of the band Chase and the Chicken Coop, performs at CLS. He said his experience with their music scene benefited him and gave him opportunities to showcase his music. “I came and played an open-mic night and played a lot — this was the first Thursday after I moved in,” he said. “I played with the guys and had a great time.” CLS takes a step forward to promote the local music


Local musicians performed at Cigar Lounge of Starkville’s outdoor stage during Bulldog Bash weekend. The owners of CLS allows patrons to watch bands take its stage for tips in place of a cover charge. scene in Starkville every weekend. CLS hosted a number of diverse bands during last weekend’s Bulldog Bash to complement the main stage performers, Chris Young and The Black Crowes. Floyd said Healy and Nolan’s work at CLS provides a relaxed openness to Starkville’s

Amos Lee’s fifth album soothes like mountain air BY CATIE MARIE MARTIN Staff Writer

Amos Lee’s music does not sound like a celebrity’s. Amos Lee’s music sounds like listening to an old friend. It feels like sitting down to catch up,

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hear his problems, partake in his sorrows and overcome them at his side. His music evokes memories listeners do not realize they have and a longing for a place they have never been — and will probably never visit — but desire all the same. Lee’s fifth album, “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song,” is no different. The album maintains Lee’s trademark southern twang as well as the relatable lyrics his longtime fans live for. In an interview with About. com, Lee said he recorded with the artists who have toured with him to break new ground on “Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song.”

“I wanted to play these songs with people that I trust musically and stay open to where it took us. The touring band works really hard, they’re really musical, they’re a good hang, so it was cool to hole up for a few weeks and experience it together. In the singer-songwriter world, it can be sort of a solitary creative process, so it’s good to collaborate with people and bring songs to life together,” Lee said. This creative collaboration resulted in a 12-track masterpiece that plays best as a complete album. The album has a cohesive flow, a swift current that ushers listeners down a nostalgic path colored with home, love and a sweet sense of

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music scene every weekend. “They are really getting people to enjoy live music,” Floyd said. The stage may be small, but its existence as a pedestal for any musician gives it a voice larger than its stature suggests. For more information, visit self. It brings forth both heartache and hope. It is a cry of desperation and a triumphant revival of emotion. The tender finger picking of “Dresser Drawer” complements the lovesick ache of “Chill in the Air,” and mournful title track “Mountains of Sorrow” contrasts with the techno-flavored “Loretta.” Folk and R&B laces “Mountains” but never overshadows the lovely country style Lee is known for, a genre label Lee said does not worry him, according to “I can relate to soul, R&B … whatever people want to call me is fine. I just hope it makes them feel something,” he said. Lee draws from the talents of country legends like Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan but all the while maintains a sense of his own musical territory. Lee’s music is reminiscent of a time long past, but it also incites a fire of anticipation for the future.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013 | 7





a poem by Emma Crawford


a poem by Jacob Boyer

as each morning breeze cuts the humidity that has already settled into the cotton of my shirt, that life can be heavy. She guides my feet over potholes and cracks in the sidewalk where I see broken pieces of my best efforts and yet, She teaches me to see the sunset and the mother who walks past my house with her children without fear that the pavement will crumble beneath her. They move lazily, and from the seat of her stroller a girl learns the same as me. I can see that She’s grown weary from the red-tinged highway, and weary of the splintered, darkened houses that no one calls home. And I drive past buildings, run-down and locked, and businesses with signs in their windows that beg the question, what’s next? And She teaches me that I, too, can begin again. She teaches me about Jesus when I see children in the pews on Sunday. The boy behind me sings the chorus, eyes bright and voice strong. His mother smiles patiently and watches him wail each verse, but the sweet drawl on his “Alleluia” drowns out my foolish doubts. In books She appeared prideful and unkind when I read of blood-stained fields and turmoil in Her violent past But She had to learn about humility before She could teach me that I can be both strong and broken, beautiful and ugly. It was from Her I learned to fall in love. And She teaches me now that heartbreak comes slow, like so many things here, like the way that Her summer stretches on until the trees finally release their leaves and find relief from the stifling heat in the light autumn air. And when I’ve been desperate and teary-eyed, smoking cigarettes on my tired porch swing, She steadies my shaking hands with her landscape. I once called it “flat.” She opens doors to homes where mothers and fathers have never left each other or Mississippi, and I don’t resent them because I know the way that they feel when she teaches them as each morning breeze blows air through their lungs that they are Hers, although She may not be theirs. She is not mine. But I belong to Her when I hear crickets and plucked guitars, and when I laugh and I marvel at the barn behind my house that She has sustained for so long. Within its wood and weathered white paint, beyond creaky, rusted doors lives the story of a woman who has never left Mississippi.


Looks of Love cast down Tips of shovels scrape and scream

a poem by Zack Orsborn

As your body burns The dirt squirms and churns There are no tombstones, graves, or last words No not here Instead of swallowing sadness We are constructing color The gray of concrete construes your strength Grains of green and boards of brown show your support Brightness of brick bellows your journey, One stone at a time Pretty Pink, heartshaped and center, beats your passion Reds of roses rest behind representing your beauty Flaunts of flowers fill us with your cheer

I fell in love with a stranger in my bed We did things strangers don’t do We held each other, searched with hands for unknown lands Smiled and drew circles on each other’s backs We found something familiar Familiar as the taste of whiskey But each touch brought clarity And as we exchanged simple words My hands wanted to hold you And never pour another glass Then heads hit pillows & Sheets wrapped around legs And bodies become one As the television light lifted us to another universe Lips parted & I was never the same But strangers come And stay with you behind doors And for a moment They play the part of a lover Well, I’m tricked by you

This place your ashes have left Yet not all the lives you impressed They lingered long You built them, now they build you Each helping hand you lent, is now returned Hope is clasped in the frozen fingers of faith

Strangers go Pulling up their pants Buckling their belts Closing car doors And they empty you I have always been a stranger

Reaching together to rise your rugged rainbow

Miley Cyrus’s new album plays beat of a broken heart


BY ALIE DALEE Opinion Editor

Those who look on Miley Cyrus with disdain are too far removed from their first real heartbreak to remember the helplessness that envelopes every facet of that life experience. That first taste of abandonment is painted in catchy, pop glory over 50 minutes of heart-rendering lyrics on Cyrus’s latest album “Bangerz.” The album begins with “Adore You,” a synthesized ballad proclaiming, “When you say you love me, know I love you more .... boy

I adore you ... We were meant to be in holy matrimony. God knew what he was doing when led me to you.” The song offers a vulnerability often absent from Cyrus’s post-Hannah Montana days. This vulnerability is quite literally smashed by the star’s radio sensation “Wrecking Ball.” Wrecking Ball is evidently written for Cyrus’s ex-beau Liam Hemsworth. The listener witnesses Cyrus’s broken-hearted angst as she belts, “I came in like a wrecking ball/I never hit so hard in love /All I wanted was to break your walls / All you ever did was wreck me.” In the song “4x4,” featuring Nelly, Cyrus dips her combat boots into her country roots with the catchy number, which boasts a pop-country tune. The song contains a melody that leaves the listener at the mercy of their iPod’s repeat button. Listeners can chalk Miley up as just another child star gone off her rocker, or they can look beyond her antics and let the lyrics speak for themselves. Miley Cyrus does not ask listeners to agree

with her. In fact in her first single from Bangerz, “We Can’t Stop,” she proclaims to her fans, “It’s my mouth, I can say what I want to.” Cyrus lets her heart fall for the public. Behind the twerking, obscenely platinum blonde sheared locks and illicit interviews, the young woman from “The Backyard Session” still sings the same tunes, just with angst brought on by a broken heart and illuminated with jaded emotions the transition from adolescent to adult brings. Let’s all just be glad she does not belt “I’m not a girl, not yet a women.” Her album ends with “Someone Else.” The song poignantly begins with, “If you’re looking for love/ know love don’t live here anymore / he left with my heart / they both walked through that door without me.” In an interview with “Harper’s Bazaar,” Cyrus said she is fully aware of the course her career takes and that she engineers all these moves herself. “I told my label: ‘This is the first time I’m showing you what

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I’m bringing to the table as an artist. If this goes wrong, you never have to trust me again. I’ll be your little puppet. But if I’m right, then you know I’m on to something,’” she said. Listeners can call Miley another Britney Spears, or we can acknowledge the artist’s every calculated move. Miley is not Britney. She may border on crazy, but it is a conscious crazy, a crazy she’s in control of. It is a crazy akin to the likes of Lady Gaga or early Madonna. It’s an insanity of her own creation, and Miley is behind the wheel of the creative force that led “Wrecking Ball” to garner 183-million YouTube views. “Bangerz” is an album 50 percent talent and 50 percent shock value. In a society that values shock above talent, it seems Miley Cyrus gives her audience exactly what it wants and all the while puts her heart on the line.


a poem by Austin Groves

The dust stood still and silent, and I with it lost in transient swoon of breath and flesh (fleeting and fading) and left longing only to remember only to remember whisper against whisper (absence of firmament) standing as stone monument as stone monument to the plain and peaks (and our inspirations) reaching to the heavens, into the blue into the blue again, to momentarily escape (time’s brief dormancy) the fray that stirs the dust stirs the dust from its stillness and its silence, and I with it.

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8 | FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013


Freshman seeks to impress BY JOHN GALATAS

first-rounders. I felt like this is the best place for me.” For Swinarski, he knew he had Following its magical run to the talent, but the only concern in the College World Series over the his recruitment was his developsummer, the Mississippi State ment to a different level of play. “It was all a matter of developUniversity baseball program landment and me ed the No. 2 regetting here and cruiting class in We felt like being able to the country for the coming get better and 2014 season. The more prepared Bulldogs welcome here was for, eventually, 19 freshmen and the best decision. the pros, which transfer players as is the ultimate they enter fall camp I felt like this is the goal,” Swinarski this weekend. But place for me.” said. “I felt like freshman Joey Swi- -Joey Swinarski, coming here narski chose a bit would be a big of a different route freshman baseball step in helping in order to get to player me achieve my Starkville. dreams of beThe Winter Park, Fla., native played his high coming a major league baseball school ball at The First Academy, player.” Swinarski’s skill set resembles a private Christian-based college preparatory school with a total that Hunter Renfroe, who was enrollment of 1,100 students. drafted in the first round of the Swinarski became a highly-touted MLB draft last spring by the San standout, and by the end of his Diego Padres. Head coach John third year, he was listed as Perfect Cohen said fans will not only get Game’s No. 232 prospect in the to see Swinarski showcase those skills this weekend, but Swinarski nation. With hopes of making himself a will also get to experience the speed high MLB draft pick as his talent of the game at the collegiate level. “I think Joey is a young man increased, Swinarski had to make a decision after his junior year — who has a very high ceiling. He is a either finish one more year of high very skilled player. I think Joey has school and enter the draft or go to a very bright future,” Cohen said. college to increase his draft stock. “Like Hunter Renfroe, who had Swinarski made the decision 25 at-bats as a freshman, you just to give up his senior year of high don’t know. You don’t know how school, graduate early and enroll at much playing time any of these guys will get, but the fall will be MSU. “I sat down with a couple peo- a pretty good indication of where ple that were close to me and they stand.” Outside of baseball, Swinarski that had done this before. Either they had gone to college or gone said he continues to have a smooth to the pros. We kind of balanced transition to his new college envithe situation,” he said. “We felt ronment. Though there are major like coming here was the best de- differences and changes, he said he cision, ultimately, because of the has developed new relationships coaching staff and how good their that have helped him adjust acarecord is — for example, Hunter demically and socially. “It’s been fun. It’s a lot differRenfroe and Chris Stratton, with Sports Editor

ent being from private school my whole life to being at a big university and not knowing as many people. For example, I knew my whole class throughout all of high school,” he said. “I believe I’ve made extremely close friends so far, especially my teammates, and I feel like they’ll be my friends for the rest of my life.” Senior outfielder C.T. Bradford is one of those teammates who has already made an impression on the newcomer. Swinarski said Bradford’s help goes beyond school and friends but, more importantly, comes out on the diamond. “C.T. has probably helped me out the most. He’s really had a good influence on me and has taught me a lot,” Swinarski said. “I’ve probably learned hundreds of things from him already, and even if it’s the littlest of things, they’re going to make a big difference for me hopefully this fall, this spring and in the future.” Swinarski said he seeks to make an immediate impact for the team and grab attention in the fall scrimmages this weekend. Through the things he’s learned from coaches and teammates so far, he said he knows he is in the right place to succeed. “I’m just trying to do my best and go put it on the field,” he said. “I feel like I’ve put myself in a good situation, and from what I’ve learned already, I feel like I’m going to thrive in this environment.” Although Swinarski’s decision seems unprecedented, early enrollment is not a new trend in college baseball. North Carolina’s Levi Michael in 2008, UCLA’s Trevor Bauer in 2009 and LSU’s Michael Barash in 2012 all graduated high school early to get a head start on their college careers. What did they all have in common? Each went on to help their team make a College World Series appearance.

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Q: What is compliance? What are your responsibilities? A: Basically, our office is responsible for maintaining all the records — monitoring and educating everyone involved in our athletic efforts to make sure we operate within NCAA, Southeastern Conference and Mississippi State rules and regulations. It covers every aspect from the recruiting all the way through the graduation of a student-athlete and also monitoring the activities of our coaches and attempting to monitor the activities of everyone involved in athletics. The challenging part is dealing with and trying to educate donors, boosters or people outside the campus that could jeopardize our efforts to operate within all the rules. Q: What is your background educationally and professionally? I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Mississippi State. I was a high school teacher, administrator and coach for 24 years mainly in north Mississippi. I had an opportunity to come work here in January 2002. My path to this job is certainly not what you would normally see. In the compliance profession nationally, there’s usually a couple of avenues that people get into athletic compliance by: some the athletic

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route with a master’s in sports management — that type deal where you come up through the sports side of it, the administrative or coaching side, and then there are some that get into athletic compliance whose background is in law and maybe don’t want to practice law but are involved in the athletic compliance aspect dealing with a lot of rules and regulations. I don’t think either one is better than the other. I think each institution has to figure out which one works best for them as far as their leadership in compliance. Q: Do you have a typical schedule for the day? A: There is no routine; normally there are things you have to do at certain times of the year, and you can plan your day, but those plans are rarely totally realized because there’s always something that comes up. You’re always a phone call or an email away from your day totally changing. Q: What are the main things you have to get done? A: During the academic year, we have monthly rules education meetings with a lot of our coaches and staff. At the beginning of the school year, there’s a large amount of paperwork that has to be done, forms that athletes have to fill out. We have meetings with every athletic team at least twice a year, some more, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters educat-

ing them, and we drop by from time to time. There’s eligibility certification that has to be done each semester. We prepare all of the scholarship papers for student-athletes. We handle transfers. We meet with athletic academics. We do tutor education and work with the athletic academics staff and work with our medical staff. One of the things we tell athletes when they come in is they have to realize that once you become a college athlete, there’s an NCAA rule that pretty much governs your entire life in one way or the other, and they have to be aware of that. Q: What would your advice be to someone wanting to enter the compliance field? A: I think the key component is communication. We have to do a really good job in compliance of communicating with all the groups we deal with the rules and expectations. It’s challenging sometimes dealing with the vast array of personalities that you have to deal with. I think if you enjoy a challenging job and you want to be involved in athletics, then it’s something for the right person with the right personality, and it’s a great area to work in. It is not for everybody. There are times of confrontation and you’ve got to learn to handle those times, and there are times when “no” is the answer you have to give. Even when they don’t want to hear “no,” you have to figure out a way to communicate “no.” But I think our coaches realize with our staff here that while we do have to say “no,” we always try to find an alternative to what they’re trying to do that works within the rules. We don’t want to stifle our coaches’ ability to recruit and do the job they want to, but our coaches have to realize the obligation our university has to operate with integrity and honesty and everything be above board. That’s the challenge of this profession, but it’s also something that a lot of people really enjoy.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013 | 9




This year's Maroon Madness comes to the Junction Friday at 6 p.m. -Free pizza -Maroon Madness T-shirts -Dunk contest -Giveaways -Introduction of coaches and players

Appearances by: -Famous Maroon Band -Cheerleaders -Pom squad -Bully ZACK ORSBORN | THE REFLECTOR


Is the new playoff good for college football? A GOOD NO-CALL


Playoff brings controversy to college football Football joins rest of sporting world with playoff



CAA football elected tem to expand to more teams. to replace the Bowl For teams that are fortunate Championship Series enough to get selected and with the new college foot- make it into the playoffs, it ball playoff system scheduled indeed will be a big gain for to start for the 2014 season. them, but it would also be a But the old phrase, “if it ain’t devastating loss to the teams broke, don’t fix it,” is an ide- who did not get in, particual quote that applies to the larly the smaller schools or changes with the new format. the teams that finished No. 5, The new playoff system will 6 or 7. But a bigger question consist of a four-team playoff is, what about the “bubble” that will determine the na- or at-large teams? Will they have any more tional champiof a chance on, ending the College than they did c o n t r ov e r s i a l before? BCS system in football is It is highly which only two not in crisis. unlikely the teams complayoff competed for the The BCS system national title should stay in tact.” mittee would risk picking based on ranka non-power ings. Though this may seem favorable to conference team with an imsome fans, the NCAA is mak- pressive record over a tradiing a mistake by eliminating tional powerhouse in fear of losing viewers, revenue and the BCS altogether. For one, bringing in a new having a blowout outcome. playoff system can diminish The playoff system will benthe value of the regular season. efit primarily the big conferWith the new playoff system, ences such as the SEC, Big the regular season will extend 12, PAC-12, Big 10 and the its already 13-week season by ACC. It will be tough for a month, which could possi- a team outside of those five bly interfere with the athletes’ conferences to break into the academics or even raise their four-team playoff, while on the other hand, some of those risk of injury. Although the playoff ’s conferences could send two 13-member selection com- or maybe even three teams mittee will not be officially into the playoff, which could announced until next week, possibly lead to repeated some names have already matchups from the regular been leaked to the public. season. The way the BCS system Names like Barry Alvarez, Pat Haden, Archie Manning is set up now gives those and Condoleezza Rice trick- smaller schools a chance to led off the list and have either go head-up with the some of received praise or criticism the bigger schools in the bigregarding their qualifications. ger conferences. Look at last With the new playoff sys- year’s Sugar Bowl, when the tem, there will still be teams Louisville Cardinals (a smallthat will claim they have been er school), knocked off the left out, and some of those Florida Gators (a traditional teams will have legitimate powerhouse). In this new arguments. Four teams in a playoff system, the Cardinals playoff system is not nearly will not be given a chance to enough teams. After the first showcase their worth as being year or two, fans and critics one of the better teams in the will be crying out for the sys- nation.


QUENTIN SMITH Quentin Smith is a senior majoring in communication. He can be contacted at

The new playoff system will also likely detract from the bowl games as well. Bowl games are popular and profitable. The BCS bowl games provide teams with an opportunity to play on a big stage, giving the team and its school national exposure. In today’s era, teams that go .500 or better are automatically guaranteed a bowl game. Let’s just say a team gets off to a less-than-impressive start and quickly eliminates itself from national and conference title pictures. Under the current system, the team will still have post-season play and will still have a bowl game to look forward to. True enough, the BCS system is not perfect, and it has its flaws, but what system doesn’t? Everyone looks forward to bowl season. Bowls bring in great revenue, huge ratings and provide good matchups for fans to watch. College football is not in a crisis. The BCS system should stay in tact.

tarting in 2014, NCAA This very thing happened on football will finally have a numerous occasions throughout playoff system for the first the history of college football. time in its history. This is way In 1992, the NCAA created the overdue. College basketball, base- Bowl Coalition, which would, ball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse and in theory, make the No. 1 and tennis all choose their champi- No. 2 ranked teams in the poll on using a playoff system. All of play against each other. This systhe professional sports leagues of tem, however, was flawed as well major team sports decide their because the champions of the champion using Pac-10 and Big a playoff sys10 conferences Everybody tem. At the high were contractuschool level, state ally obligated to has been champions are play in the Rose using a determined usBowl. If a chaming a playoff sys- playoff system to pion of one of tem. Everybody determine league those conferhas been using a champions.” ences was ranked playoff system to No. 1, the team determine league still could not champions exparticipate in the cept the highest level of college title game. football in the country. In 1995, the NCAA introHow the FBS determines its duced the Bowl Alliance system, national title has been a problem which would only last three years since the early 1900s. Up until due to some of the same flaws 1991, the national champion in and problems of previous syscollege football was decided by tems. Finally, in 1998, the Bowl the AP and coaches polls. Championship Series was created The main problem with this to determine a champion. is there could be two different As bad as the BCS system national champions in one year seems, it was a huge step up from because a different team could be the previous ways college footranked No. 1 in each of the polls. ball decided its champion. This

FORREST BUCK Forrest Buck is a senior majoring in sports pedagogy. He can be contacted at

playoff system is not perfect, and it could be better, but after years and years of having a title winner decided for us, four teams will compete in a single-elimination tournament. Some major differences with this system to the BCS are the participants will not be determined by computer rankings or a poll but instead by a committee of up to 20 people. Although more than four teams should be allowed to compete for the championship, this new playoffs system is a small step in the right direction. Finally, college football has given up its arbitrary ways and joined the rest of the sporting world.




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