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the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 2

What’s Going On ... Campus Events Calendar student printz the


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Jesse Bass Executive Editor Lesley Walters Assignments Editor Tyler Cleveland Sports Editor Sebe Dale IV Webmaster Topher Bostick Photo Editor Bradley Jackson Chief Designer Meryl Dakin Web Editor Nathan Johnson Circulation Manager Maggie Williams

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-Publicity table, recruitment, Shoemaker Square 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Information table, Baptist Student Union, Shoemaker Square 9 a.m. – 2 .m. -Drunk driving simulator, Southern Miss Council for Alcohol Abuse Prevention, at Union Plaza between R.C. Cook Union and west side of M.M. Roberts Stadium 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. -Lunch @ The Wesley Foundation, weekly free lunch, at Wesley Foundation w11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. -Chi Alpha meeting, student fellowship and worship, Thad Cochran Center Room 229 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. -Weekly Vespers Service, short prayer service, Danforth Chapel 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. -Stage Monkeys meeting, practice for comedy improv performances and new members, Thad Cochran Center Room 210 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

-Thursday Night Live, weekly Bible study, Thad Cochran Center Room 218 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.


-Publicity table, recruitment, Shoemaker Square 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. -Information table, Baptist Student Union, Shoemaker Square 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. -Dean’s lunch with scholars, “The History of Presidential Sex Scandals” with Dr. Robert Watson of Lynn University, Holloway Complex Room A at Gulf Park in Long Beach 11:30 – 1 p.m. -Gulf Coast Fall Convocation, Advanced Education Center Auditorium at Gulf Park in Long Beach 3 p.m. -Splash!, student orientation and meet-and-greet, Wesley Foundation 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. -Pride Preview concert, free preview concert, Powerhouse Restaurant 7 p.m.


-Southern Miss Civitan Officer Training, training for new offices and members, Union Room H 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. -Splash!, student orientation and meet-and-greet, Wesley Foundation 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


-Eagle Connection Retreat, for information about USM and to introduce new members, Union A, B, and Hall of Honors 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. -Splash!, student orientation and meet-and-greet, Wesley Foundation 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


-Publicity table, recruitment, Shoemaker Square 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. -Essence of a Diva, part one of a series to advise undergraduate females about appropriate and inappropriate manners of conduct throughout college, Joseph Green Hall Room 115 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.


-Publicity table, recruitment, Shoemaker Square 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. -Sigma Nu Fraternity Interest Meeting, for those interested in joining any fraternity, Thad Cochran Center Room 214 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. -RUF Bible Study, weekly meeting for Bible study, singing, prayer and fellowship, Thad Cochran Center Room 210 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. -Dinner and Worship, free dinner, small group sessions and worship, Wesley Foundation 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. -Campus Civitan Club, biweekly meeting and community outreach, Thad Cochran Center Rooms 214 and 227 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 3

ECONOMICS continued from page one. memo to the faculty assuring them they would “all get through it together.” Not two weeks later, the economics department received an email from the chair informing them of the APG’s decision.

Why economics?

Dr. Denise von Herrmann, dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a member of the APG said the economics program graduated less than twenty majors over the last four years. “We felt like a million dollars to teach service courses and twenty majors was pretty expensive.” Dr. Mark Klinedinst, professor of economics, disagreed with the dean’s assessment of the program. He said “They keep saying we’re overstaffed, but we have approximately double the Student Credit Hours (SCH) at the university and the average faculty member at the CoB.” Gunther argued that the economics department could only be perceived as overstaffed if the number of majors was the only factor considered. Though the department has few actual graduates, economics classes are an integral part of every business degree program. Gunther also supported Klinedinst’s assessment of the averages for SCH. “Now, just because we have the highest teaching loads doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be closed. But it means closing us can’t be the cause of the workload,” he said.

Alternate motives?

Nail said when he took office as dean of the CoB, he saw an over-representation of economics classes within the international business degree program. He said he met with some faculty members one-on-one, and about eighty percent agreed that “we didn’t have a

true international business degree, we had an international economics degree.” Nail presented a reorganization of the CoB to the Academic and Graduate Councils in December 2008. He proposed increasing the number of departments from four to six, and separating the economics and international business programs into different departments. While the academic council did not endorse the reorganization, their approval was not necessary and Nail proceeded. Nail said that originally, four programs were considered for termination. They ranked them based on number of majors and number of credit hours produced by each faculty member. The four lowest ranked were management information systems, fashion merchandising, tourism management, and economics. When he became dean, Nail charged these very programs with increasing their enrollment to remain competitive. Nail said the numbers in tourism and fashion merchandising nearly doubled, and while numbers in management information have remained the same, the program has created a strategic plan to increase enrollment. Economics degree enrollment, on the other hand, has remained stagnant. “You hate to lose a degree program that has spawned so much of our discipline…but in the face of budget cuts you have to figure out what your priorities are,” Nail said. However, department Chair George Carter asserts that the economics department did indeed take concrete steps to increasing enrollment: student economics seminars during every Wednesday, recruiting in Principles of Macro-

economics and Principles of Microeconomics courses, consideration of joint programs with philosophy and history that could create student interest and discussion on building the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) economics major.

Impact at USM

For students enrolled as current economic majors, Nail has pledged complete support in their continuation of studies. Provost Bob Lyman said, “What is certain is that we have an absolute commitment to pushing those students [whose majors are being cut] through.” No new students will have the option of declaring an economics major, and plans are in effect to retain economic classes within the CoB. Nail said, “We have other economists on campus and we have faculty here who have terminal degrees in it. From an accreditation viewpoint, we have a lot of people who could teach it.” Accreditation of the CoB and university, according to Jerry Trapnell, Executive Vice President & Chief Accreditation Officer at AACSB International, would not be affected. However, some worry about the reputation of the university. Carter wrote, “USM will stand alone as a major university without an economics faculty.” Another consideration is the termination of tenured and tenure track faculty. “Tenure is fairly sacred in a university. It should protect you from the whims of administrators who don’t like your kind of thought,” Gunther said. He added that when universities start “throwing tenure out the window,” it sends signals to all professors that tenure doesn’t mean anything. “When you’re recruiting faculty, it’s an important issue. You

Submitted Photo

Clarissa Mitchell, a marketing and fashion merchandising major, and accounting major Kendra Smith, sign economic major Zach Mansell’s petition to delay the decision to lay off economics faculty.

can’t in an environment where there’s no tenure because it’s not competitive.” “Letting tenured faculty go is never something you want to see happen in your university but we’re not alone in this. I think everyone understands this is the economic reality we’re facing,” Nail said. Klinedinst, who is also president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said the AAUP would vote tomorrow on a resolution that calls for the university to cancel the termination of the economics faculty. “The fact that [firing them] seemed like the first thing they did rather than the last is something we’re very concerned about.” Klinedinst does not believe due process has been followed, and the local chapter has contacted the national AAUP chapter about the situation. “[The national branch is] planning on releasing a statement as well, so they’re certainly keeping abreast of it,” he said. Many have raised questions about the transparency of the APGGunther stressed the importance of the full participation of the faculty,

and said “The AGP did not operate in the open; it was all very secretive.” Lyman said the meetings of the AGP, while restricted to members of it, were publicized on the website, and that they relied on those who represented the different governance groups to inform their departments of what occurred. Lyman said the decision to terminate the economics department was made with “trepidation.” “Cutting the economics department is a very drastic measure. It’s something that nobody would like to see happen and I think we really wrestled with that,” Lyman said. However, with such scant resources, the university cannot afford to “be all things to all people.” Instead, Lyman would like to see resources go towards increasing the quality of fewer programs. Gunther, however, remains unconvinced that concerted efforts were made to save the department. “Everyone has to believe that we’ve tried everything we possibly can and we’re in such dire straits that we have to do this. I don’t think there’s much belief in that among the faculty.”



the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 4

Entertain me!

Aug. 22, 10 p.m., Red Hill City @ The Thirsty Hippo Sept. 4, 10 p.m., Petticoat Junkies @ The Thirsty Hippo Sept. 18, 10 p.m., Zydepunks w/ Why are We Building Such a Big Ship @ The Thirsty Hippo Aug. 20, 10 p.m., The Glitter Boys @ The Bottling Company Sept. 21, 10 p.m., The Benjy Davis Project @ The Bottling Company Sept. 22, 10 p.m., Bag of Donuts @ The Bottling Company Sept. 10, The Moulin Rouge 2009 Arts Gala @ Lake Terrace Convention Center Aug. 28, 8 p.m., George Porter @ Bennie’s Boom Boom Room Sept. 11, 8 p.m., Nevermind (Nirvana tribute band)/ Once (Pearl Jam tribute) @ The Bottling Company Possibles: Aug. 19, Mississippi Pecan Festival @ Richton, Mississippi

(music calendar)

Sebe Dale IV/Printz

Benjy Davis Project performing at the Bottling Company in February of last year.

BoCo houses great music and food Patrick Laughlin Printz Writer

Friday, The Benjy Davis Project plays The Bottling Company, giving students a chance to reexperience one of the local music scene’s most dynamic and evolving groups. Bottling Company Manager Brad Cornett said Benjy Davis is no stranger to the music crowd in Hattiesburg and have already played TBC twice. The Baton Rouge band, which takes the stage at 10 p.m., is always welcome at The Bottling Company, said Cornett. “(Benjy Davis) is very professional; they actually like to hang out both before and after the show,” he said. “It’s always kind of fun to talk to a band that’s been on a national level, seen many, many venues and played in much larger places.” Once a simple two-person act, The Benjy Davis Project is now six musicians strong and one of Baton Rouge’s most popular acts. Benjy Davis is one of only a few Louisiana bands laying claim a wide national presence. Their folksy pop sound, which recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd with a dash of Wallflowers thrown in, can equally energize and emote. However, Friday night with The Benjy Davis Project is not the limit of this weekend’s potential at The Bottling Company. Bag of Donuts, another Louisiana product, will perform Saturday at 10 p.m. “They are a crazy, wild cover band,” said Cornett. “They always wear costumes and are always very entertaining. They even have a toilet paper gun! The whole place will be full of confetti and toilet paper by the time they finish.” And, as Bag of Donuts is a cov-

er band, the element of pleasant familiarity is just, well, unavoidable. Their choice of covers is eclectic yet recognizable. Cornett even expects a rendition of “The Bartender Theme Song.” USM sophomore entrepreneurship major Joseph LeBeau remembers The Benjy Davis Project from back home in Louisiana. “I love the fact that they’re from Baton Rouge and so am I, and that they’ve got that folk and soul sound.,” LeBeau said. “That, and the fact that I’ve met Benjy, and he’s a really cool guy. He doesn’t mind signing autographs and hanging out with fans – he’s always around after shows.” Cornett said much the same of Bag of Donuts’ off-stage personality. “Bag of Donuts has played The Bottling Company four times now in half as many years. Behind the stage they’re very nice guys who like to party and have a good time,” he said. The folks at TBC are offering all Southern Miss students, faculty and staff half off of food for lunch and dinner. This special, which began Monday, will be in effect until Aug. 31. The Bottling Company will also be doing a dollar shot special for the 17th Floor and Glitter Boys concerts Wednesday and Thursday night. For Benjy Davis and Bag of Donuts, the special will be twodollar you-call-it drinks. Cornett said The Bottling Company is an 18-and-up establishment, so no one without a 21 ID will have to worry about missing shows. Cornett said for brand new freshmen at USM, “The Bottling Company is a very friendly place, with great food and great shows.”

the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 5

Ponyo is a magical delight

American Roots 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Patrick Fisackerly Printz Writer

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest animated feature, “Ponyo,” is a film that defies explanation. From the beautiful opening sequence to the end of the credits, I sat in the theater, eyes agape with childlike wonder. There was not a moment I wasn’t completely in love with everything happening on screen, from the bouncy score to the gorgeous animation. Ten minutes in, I already knew that “Ponyo” was a masterpiece. One of the delights of “Ponyo” is its incredible accessibility to American audiences. Hayao Miyazaki is a great artist and filmmaker, but his films often become bogged down by Japanese culture and folklore. This does not make them lesser films, but they can often be difficult to understand from a non-Japanese perspective. “Ponyo” suffers no such problem. Like Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Ponyo” tells a simple story from the perspective of two young protagonists who explore a world unknown to them. However, while “Totoro” was about the power of the imagination, “Ponyo” is about the powers of friendship

Featuring music inspired by traditional American sounds including blues, country, folk, jazz and zydeco. If you listen to music like Allison Krauss, Ben Harper, Johnny Cash, and Bonnie Raitt, you’ll LOVE “American Roots” For additional information and the rest of our weekly programming, please visit us at

get her back, thus providing conand love. “Ponyo” begins with probably flict. But he is not an evil man, just the most beautiful hand-drawn a protective father. Every characunderwater scene ever put to ter in “Ponyo” realistically inhabits film. We meet Ponyo, a somewhat great levels of goodness and innohumanoid “goldfish” with a pen- cence while never making the film chant for sneaking away from her corny or saccharine. It’s an incredifather, an ocean guardian of sorts, ble feat of writing and filmmaking. and exploring the surface. After Rarely do I encounter a film a brief dangerous run-in with a that, while watching it, I begin fisherman’s net, Ponyo is rescued mentally compiling a list of names by Sosoke, a 5-year-old boy who of people I know will love it and lives by the sea. The two become who I will no doubt schedule a fast friends, and because Ponyo is viewing with as soon as possible. no ordinary goldfish, she quickly Here is a movie impossible not to learns to speak so she can tell So- love. It is the best film I have seen soke she loves him. And, n_09_0057_ms002.indd using all year, animated_r02 or otherwise, some of her father’s magic while and it may very well be one of the he wasn’t looking, she becomes greatest children’s films of all time. human and runs away to live with I say this without any sense of hySosoke. perbole – for years I have thought One of the reasons “Ponyo” is so the same of “My Neighbor Totoro,” enchanting and appropriate for all and now Miyazaki has now made ages is that there is no real villain a movie I can honestly say is that in the movie. There is a father who film’s equal. There is no higher misses his daughter and tries to compliment than this.

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the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 8

Health care debate exposes lack of discourse Jacob Key Printz Writer

We live in a brave new world. A world where information comes crashing through from every direction, from the talking heads on the television to the faceless bloggers on your favorite networking site. Surely a paradise of scholarship and communication, right? Wrong. I could expend ream after ream of paper discussing how the internet age is destroying the printed word and killing the art of intelligent conversation, but not today. Today I want to spend a few moments highlighting what can go wrong in a

society where information and entertainment, lies and truth, have become synonymous. A society like...ours. This is a dead horse that has certainly been beaten before, but never has the dead horse been so clear and present a danger as with the subject of health care reform. As is common in our wired American society, the lies have become the media darlings while the truths remain buried; indeed, in the conversations and debates I’ve participated in, the topic of conversation never focuses on real issues, such as how to pay for reform, or the viability of the public insurance option, but rather on the absolutely ridiculous rumors that have arisen in the months since these debates began.

You’ve heard them already, no doubt: death panels, health care rationing, quadrupling the deficit, complete socialist takeover. These rumors and others have all received metric tons of ink and whole gigabytes of web coverage, and all are pretty much bald-faced lies; near-riots and shouting matches have erupted across the country during town hall meetings and rallies all over these rumors and fallacies, and so I there even really a debate among the citizens of our dear country, or are we just parrots squawking, spitting out the opinions and fabrications of our favorite media personalities? Think about it. Have you heard your favorite Republican come out and say, “We don’t

think the poor deserve health care?” Of course not. Not even the GOP is that mean or stupid. Their opposition is all about being a thorn in the side of President Obama, and they’ve found it’s much easier to lie than to try and meet the President’s plan with logical argument, because surely there is none. There are serious concerns on the financial end of things, sure, but how can anyone really oppose lowering the costs of health care, which every other country in the industrialized world gets either for free or close to free? Do you, twenty years old and probably broke, really think your country will be better off if you can’t afford treatment when you get sick? That’s the real issue, and no one’s bloody talking about it.

Letters to the Editor can be sent to our Web site at or to campus box 5088. Only letters in agreement with the following guidelines will be considered for publication: • must be 350 words or less. • must be pertinent to relevant issues. • must be signed by the author, subject to verification by our staff. • must contain the author’s phone number and e-mail address.

Your representatives and senators are long gone and hopeless; they’ve got scripts and party lines to conform to, but you do not. You don’t have to pledge allegiance to Fox News or to CNN, to Glenn Beck or to Bill Maher. You can speak out for what you need, not what your parents or your friends or the faces on the television need. In this brave new world, you have access to all the facts in the world, if you’re only willing to take the time to educate yourself. Do you really want to be that guy at the party quoting Sarah Palin? I didn’t think so. This was an article of opinion by Jacob Key, a writer for the Student Printz. Email any questions or comments to

Have your own opinions? VOICE IT! at studentprintz .com

the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 5

Success of new health care is uncertain Michal Thornton Printz Writer

Since the election of (in truth, the appearance of) Barack Obama, Americans have been raising their hopes for a massive reform of our sickly health care system. We had all but grown accustomed to the injustice of private health care corporations when Obama’s fiery speeches began to get everyone excited about improving our quality of life. Lately though, some have gone from “Yes, we can!” to “What’s going on?” Suddenly the goals are vague, the means of acquisition are a mystery, and none of the prospects are heavily weighted with supporters. The U.S. government has not made much headway in the direction of fulfilling its promise, and President Obama has become the subject of much criticism. The health care reform was originally pointed at a government-run and funded option, but it has been many months, and no one has managed to define what exactly that means for Americans. Additionally, after a couple of huge companies were bought out and government money was extended all over creation, a few of us were sure we caught a paranoid whiff of socialism. The government has since backed away from the idea of totally public health care. Unfortunately, a lack of enthusiasm in socialized coverage does not redeem the sins of the private

health insurance providers, and the American government is still shopping. The latest idea: a health care cooperative. The idea behind the health care co-op is that it would be completely nonprofit and the responsibility of all its collective members. It would not be an entity to replace private insurers, but rather a competitor that would be more affordable to the general public. Also, instead of the rather pathetic government option already available to individuals of small means, the medical co-op would offer quality medical attention. That is to say, it would offer as good a quality of attention as its members made available. The co-op would have to begin as a government-sponsored entity, but only because someone must put up the money. Later, as the entity gathers members, it will still function on the local, state, and national level, and as a public facility, but not in terms of the U.S. government. There are already a few successful healthcare cooperatives in service in places like California and Minnesota, and co-ops with other distinctions have existed for years. Anyone who is a member of a credit union, for instance, can vouch for the efficiency of financial co-ops. Will health care cooperatives be the saving grace of the American health care system? As per usual, there are opinions on both sides. In the end, the success of the venture will depend largely on how the issue is approached. It is potentially a ground on which Democrats and Republicans can (sort of) agree, because

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the Democrats like the prospect of anything that rivals big insurance, and the Republicans like the fact that socialized health care is being abandoned. Unfortunately, if the U.S. government fails to tread gracefully in this largely uncharted terri-

tory, it could create either a system that crumbles only minutes after its inception or a “co-op” that is actually socialized health care by another name. In order to endure, the system must be a successful adversary to the existing private insurance companies

while making use of as little government money as possible. This was an article of opinion by Michal Thornton, a writer for the Student Printz. Email any questions or comments to opinions@

the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 10

Lady Eagles hopeful for upcoming season Tyler Cleveland Sports Editor

The Southern Miss women’s soccer team will kick off the 2009 season on Friday, and according to second-year coach Scott Ebke, excitement isn’t hard to find around the clubhouse. “I’m excited,” Ebke said. “And I know they are too.” Ebke and the Lady Eagles are scheduled to play a pair of games over the weekend, squaring off against South Alabama on Friday at 4 p.m. and Nichols State on Sunday at the

Southern Miss Soccer Complex. know what they can give us.” The Lady Eagles return seven A season removed from a 5-13-1 seniors, but will have to find a way final record, including a 1-10 conto replace Sarah McFadden, who ference mark, Ebke said his team was tied for the team lead in goals is leaner and ready for some acwith three and tallied 40 total tion. shots on the goal in 2008. “Fitness is a big part of this game, and we came in fit,” Ebke said. “We’ve “We’ve made a significant jump made a signififrom our first year. The girls know us cant jump from and know what we demand, and we our first year. The know what they can give us.” girls know us and -Scott Ebke, USM women’s soccer know what we demand, and we

Sports Calendar Friday, Aug. 21 Women’s soccer vs. South Alabama, 4 p.m., USM Soccer Complex Sunday, Aug. 23 Women’s soccer vs. Nichols State, USM Soccer Complex

On Friday, Southern Miss will try to re-enact last season’s opener, in which it defeated South Alabama 2-1. “They are a fast, aggressive team that will really push us,” Ebke said. “They have a good, developed program there so that will be a real challenge for us.” The challenges don’t stop there. The Lady Eagles’ third game of the season sends them to LSU, a top 15 team, and later they will host incoach state rival Ole Miss.

The team has set a goal to make the Conference USA Tournament, meaning they have to finish in the top six. “I’m excited about our entire senior class,” Ebke said. “There are players from all classes that are contributing, but our seniors have provided leadership and have a great work ethic. “We’re looking forward to seeing someone else, we’ve been hitting each other and we’re ready to play against some real competition.”

the student printz

Thursday, August 20, 2009 page 11

Budget woes also affect athletic department Tyler Cleveland Sports Editor

The Southern Miss athletic department faces a 10 percent budget cut that could total $200,000 in 2010. USM athletic director Richard Giannini said Monday each athletic program at the university has been asked to cut its operating budget by 10 percent to help to balance an anticipated $10 to 12 million budget deficit for the 2010 fiscal year. “Basically we’ve cut our whole budget 10 percent,” Giannini said. “We’ve taken bigger cuts in other areas around campus, but we were already operating on a very lean budget in athletics so it’s made things very difficult.” Last year’s athletic budget of $19 million was already considered small by national Division 1 standards, but according to Giannini, more innovations were necessary to reach the new goals. Most of the cuts will come from the teams’ travel budgets and will affect not only how they travel but to where they travel. Giannini explained regional matchups to which teams can bus are more preferable than expensive, longer airplane travel.

Southern Miss has a good track record of competing at high levels with fewer resources, but the current economic downturn has made the normal operating procedures even more worrisome, he said. “When your budget is only $19 million and you’re talking about cutting it 10 percent, that’s significant,” Giannini said. “I’ve asked our coaches to really stretch their individual budgets. “It’s going to be especially rough on our Olympic sports. Those teams already have very small budgets, but all of our coaches are making it work.” Olympic sports include golf, tennis, volleyball, soccer, softball and track and field, while baseball, football and basketball are considered revenue sports because they bring money into the department. As one of those Olympic sports, the Golden Eagle tennis teams have raised money to help fund the men’s scholarships. Women’s coach Randy Rowley said they are being asked to do even more this year. “The tennis program is a little different,” Rowley said. “We were

already raising funds like crazy to keep the men’s team scholarships, and this year we’re going to have to work even harder.” As a result of Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, schools are required to offer the same number of athletic scholarships to men and women. This means that Rowley’s

players’ scholarships are protected, while men’s tennis coach Teddy Viator’s are not. As a result, the women’s team is basically raising money to cover the men’s scholarships. “It’s bad, but it’s a better situation than a lot of programs at other

schools are finding themselves in,” Rowley said. “We are lucky that we have (athletic directors) like Richard and Sonya Varnell. They know what it’s like to be a coach and an athlete and they are taking second looks at the budget instead of cutting programs altogether.” Also, NCAA requirements call for USM to have a total of 200 scholarships for athletes and field 16 sports teams to remain a part of the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1. Cutting too many scholarships or sports could result in lowertier schools losing their FBS status. “We have been operating at that threshold for years,” Giannini said. “So we are having to be very innovative to keep all of our scholarships and sports.” Southern Miss isn’t alone; universities around the country are facing the same financial problems. In the past year, the University of California-Irvine discontinued five sports, and Texas A&M University is leaving 17 positions in the athletic department unfilled. UC-Irvine athletic director Mike Izzi said he had hoped to avoid the

changes, but his athletic department was not immune to the state’s budget problems. “The impact this has on these coaches and student-athletes is something that none of us wishes to see,” Izzi said. “But the reality is that this type of move is unavoidable with the financial challenges that we face.” Somewhat closer to home, the University of New Orleans proposed a motion to discontinue its tradition-rich baseball program, which competed against Southern Miss last season. The program was saved in the 11th hour with support from New Orleans Hornets owner George Shinn, but outgoing athletic director Jim Miller said that the entire UNO athletic program was in for a “slimming down.” Short of cutting a program entirely, Giannini said the last thing he wants to see as athletic director is the product on the field suffer because of budget cuts. “We’re not to that point,” Giannini said. “We’re going to work as hard as anyone else, and our facilities are some of the best in conference. Any cuts that we have made, we’re trying to do it without affecting actual play on the field. “



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