Amnesty International is hosting a beneﬁt this weekend at the Thirsty Hippo. Read more on page 6.
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Golden Eagle football has a new defensive backs coach. See how he’s shaking things up on page 8
S P The
Serving Southern Miss since 1927
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Volume 93, Issue 49
A DAY OF CELEBRATION Faculty, students, and families gather to celebrate Southern Miss’s 99th birthday Students awarded for excellence
Plans for Centennial announced
The University of Southern Mississippi celebrated its 99th anniversary during the Founder’s Day celebration and picnic Monday. Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul, master of ceremonies at the event, began with the presentation of university awards. John Barr and Rebecca Masters received the Most Outstanding Freshman awards for their demonstrated involvement in the Southern Miss community and dedication to their academic careers. Melissa Cirino and Gerald McRath received the Best Citizens awards for their achievements both at USM and in the community. Paul then introduced the new “Leave It Better Than You Found It” award. When Celeste McDonald, a senior, came to accept the award, Paul said she followed the advice he gave to her in her freshman year and “through her passion, leadership, and hard work she is truly leaving Southern Miss better than she found it.” University President Dr. Martha Saunders then inducted eight graduating seniors into the Southern Miss Hall of Fame: psychology major Nichole Charlet; international studies and Spanish major Melissa Lang; French and English major Samantha Nix; polymer science major Justin Poelma; speech communication major Hannah Rachal; biology major Kendra Reed; psychology major Paul Saputo; and chemistry major Jessica Shakleford. All students were honored for their outstanding academic achievements and generous postgraduate offers. Justin Poelma received the Phi Kappa Phi Silver Bowl award for maintaining the highest GPA and highest number of credit hours at graduation. Denise Dickerson received the Judge R.J. Bishop Mississipian award for her high academic achievement despite significant obstacles. Paul mentioned the faculty and staff awards, which were not distributed at the ceremony, and rec-
During Founder’s Day ceremonies Monday, celebrating the university’s 99th anniversary, much of the attention was directed to the events planned for the Centennial in 2010. Preparations officially started two years ago to plan what will be a 12 month long celebration of our university’s legislative founding. “A Centennial is the ideal opportunity for Southern Miss to put it’s best foot forward,” Saunders said. “And through the selection of celebratory programming that reflect the mission, history and future of Southern Miss, we believe that we have laid the foundation for a top notch 100-years celebration.” Events on campus in 2010 will be centered on five key focus areas which include: Academics, Arts, Athletics, Founders Day, and History and Traditions. Over 30 events are planned so far. The Centennial kickoff event will be the Voice of the Century Concert event featuring Renee Fleming, and will also be Mississippi’s premiere cultural event of 2010. The Centennial Founder’s Week, a year from now, will hold many big events like the University Service Initiative kick-off, Southern Miss Student Leader Reunion, Black and Gold Centennial Gala and Founder’s day Celebration and Community Picnic. There will also be a Centennial Concert, though the artist, date, and location are still being determined. The whole list of planned activities can be read at www. usm.edu/centennial. Students can still give their input and ideas concerning next years celebrations by going online to www.usm.edu/centennial and sending the Centennial Committee an e-mail. The Centennial Steering Committee is made up of more than 40 members, led by Honorary Chair Dr. Aubrey Lucas, president emeritus of USM; Chairs Rex Kelly, a former Alumni Association president,
See FOUNDER’S page 3
David N. Jackson/Printz
Top left: J.R. Robinson is sworn in as USM’s new student government president by interim Attorney General Jeremy Hard. Top right: A cake prepared in the shape of the Administration Building waits to be eaten. Bottom left: Senior polymer science major Justin Poelma receives the Phi Kappa Phi Silver Bowl award. Bottom right: Outgoing SGA President Melissa Cirino winks at the new incoming SGA executive ofﬁcers.
Student Government Association passes the torch Andy Hess Executive Editor
There were chuckles, heartfelt thanks and even a few tears as the power changed hands Monday afternoon at the annual inauguration of the new student government officers during the 99th Founder’s Day celebration. The seven executive officers were sworn in by SGA Interim Attorney General Jeremy Hard. The afternoon culminated with the inauguration of J.R. Robinson who assumed the office of student body president from his predecessor Melissa Cirino. “To you I say today is not just the celebration of my inauguration or the inauguration of our executives,” J.R. Robinson said to a crowd of around 250 students, alumni and family members. “Today is the celebration of our inau-
guration because without you SGA would not be possible.” The afternoon was filled with many thanks and congratulations as administration officials and former officers touted the experience and dedication of the incoming officers, who in turn praised their predecessors. “We’ve been blessed with many things at Southern Miss, but probably nothing more significant than the quality of our student leaders who consistently take their job seriously,” said Dr. Joe Paul, vice president of student affairs. “They work to make Southern Miss better and help people fit in, and they represent us in a way that reflects positively of our institution.” As much of the afternoon was a changing of the guard, it also became an emotional goodbye for outgoing president Melissa Cirino. “I promise I will try my best not
to cry the whole time,” she said. Despite her promise, indeed, there were tears. “This place means a lot to me,” Cirino said, attempting to hold back her emotion. “It’s difficult to convey the affection and gratitude that I have for this institution. “You made the choice to have me as your president and no other experience has been so meaningful, humbling and joyful. You are what makes Southern Miss great and I’m glad to be a part of that. It is by far one of the best choices I’ve ever made.” But the goodbyes were contrasted with reintroductions of officers coming back to serve in the Robinson administration. Jayson Newell, of Ridgeland, was sworn in as vice president after serving as attorney general during the Cirino administration. Robinson, of Brandon, was sworn in as
president after serving last year as elections commissioner. The inauguration also served as a chance for Robinson to share his vision for next year citing former British prime minister Winston Churchill: “History will be kind to me, because I intend to write it,” Robinson said. “Of all the things that are prevalent in our Southern Miss past, there’s one thing that stands out to me the most; it is the power that lies within the student. “We can find countless and great stories of Southern Miss pride that contributed to us taking it to the top and leaving this place better than we found it,” Robinson added. “Take pride in the act of service, understanding that there is no ‘I’, no ‘me’, and no ‘you’. Only we, and we’re one student body. “See you bright and early tomorrow.”
See CENTENNIAL page 3
Southern Miss breaks ground on new dorms Meryl Dakin Printz Writer
University officials celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for Century Park Friday, discussing the amenities of the livinglearning community set to open during the university’s centennial year and sharing plans for changes in years to come. Century Park, scheduled to open in August 2010, will be comprised of four buildings located at what is currently a construction site on Fourth Street near Rails to Trails.
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University officials and students shared their excitement for the multitude of amenities the center will offer. “Southern Miss has made a commitment to having a culture of healthy minds, healthy bodies, and healthy campus,” said USM President Dr. Martha Saunders, “and this project is the first symbolic evidence of that.” Dr. Chris Crenshaw, director of Residence Life, elaborated on the details of the 864-bed addition. Besides being the future home of many new freshmen, the
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gated living-learning community includes classrooms able to accommodate classes and educational programs. Students will have access to the Internet at speeds of up to one gigabyte. The buildings and rooms in Century Park will be equipped with card access. For the sake of convenience, Century Park will house covered bike racks, as well as a high-tech fix to laundry-room congestion: when the clothes in the dryer are done, a text message will be sent to the owner to alert them. Melissa Cirino, SGA Presi-
dent, seemed particularly excited about this aspect of the new residence hall. “I think I’m a little stuck on the laundry text messaging service... I can’t tell you how often I would have gone to class with less wrinkled t-shirts if I had that my freshman year,” she said, drawing a laugh from the gathering of officials and dignitaries. Crenshaw added that Century Park is the largest construction project in the history of Southern Miss. Saunders also See CENTURY page 2
THE STUDENT PRINTZ IS PUBLISHED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY DURING THE FALL AND SPRING SEMESTERS. THE FIRST FOUR COPIES ARE FREE. EACH ADDITIONAL COPY IS 25 CENTS.
David N. Jackson/Printz
University ofﬁcials break ground Friday for Century Park, a new residential community.
For the latest Southern Miss news, see studentprintz.com
www.studentprintz.com |Tuesday, March 31, 2009
news in brief
Enrollment opens; mini-sessions offered
Open enrollment for summer courses began at 4:30 p.m. Monday, and will continue through April 10. The School of Music will be offering two mini-session classes in the summer and fall semesters: * Summer Mini-Session: MUS 365 H008 (#15338) May 18-22, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. * Fall Mini-Session: MUS 365 H006 (#6804) August 2-7, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Recruitment sessions for Disney internships
Disney Internship recruitment presentations will take place in College Hall Room 101 today at 4 p.m. and Wednesday at noon in College Hall Room 200. For more information or to get started, visit the Web site at www. disneycollegeprogram.com.
Southern Miss Spring Dance Concert Set
The Southern Miss Repertory Dance Company will present emotionally inspired faculty and student works in their upcoming concert at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center Thursday through Saturday. The annual Spring Dance Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. each evening with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, and a pre-show talk with choreographers at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, faculty and staff, and military and $6 for students.
New Exhibit in University Libraries’ Special Collections
What do a palm-leaf manuscript, pottery done by one of the creators of Curious George, and a “Claw-A-Klansman” squeeze toy have in common? These are just a few of the treasures held in University Libraries’ Special Collections that will be part of an exhibit highlighting the variety in our collections. The exhibit will be available until August 28, 2009 from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday on the 3rd floor of McCain Library & Archives. For more information, contact Diane Ross at Diane.Ross@usm.edu or 601.266.5592.
New Book Approval Plan Begins at University Libraries
03.25.09 Walker Science Bldg. – Petit Larceny – A student reported the theft of a wallet. Montague Blvd. – Flooded vehicle – Incident report on file. Administration Bldg. – Disturbance – Follow-up investigation by UPD. Montague Blvd. – Flooded vehicle – Incident report on file. 03.26.09 Marsh Hall – Grand Larceny – A staff member reported the theft of a USM golf cart. The cart was recovered several days later. Bobby Chain Tech Lot – Motor Vehicle Accident – Incident report on file. 03.27.09 Walker Science Bldg. – Larceny – A staff member reported the theft of an Ohaus Adventure Pro brand electronic balance. Vann Hall – Disturbance – Referred to the Dean of Students. Golden Eagle Ave. – Medical Assist – Incident report on file.
Southern Miss Libraries are very pleased to announce that the new book approval plan with YBP Library Services, a leading provider of books to academic libraries worldwide, has begun with shipments of new books arriving weekly. This approval plan will insure relevant and even subject coverage in the collections at both the Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campuses. In addition, the consolidation of purchases through an approval plan brings the benefit of significant cost-saving discounts. Those deemed not suitable for our collections are returned. Other faculty members are welcome to review current shipments and, if interested, should contact Nancy Kaul, Collection Development Officer, at 266-5078 or Nancy.Kaul@usm.edu to make an appointment.
03.28.09 Freshman Quad – Disturbance – One campus citation was issued for noise violation. Elam Lot – Auto Burglary – A student reported his vehicle was broken into and his GPS system stolen. Panhellenic – Hit and Run – Incident Report filed Bennett Auditorium – Medical Assist – Incident report on file 03.29.09 Hardy St. – Disturbance – Domestic incident, no charges or arrests. Service Dr. – Disturbance – Emanuel Black, B/M, 23 y.o.a., Hattiesburg address, was arrested and charged with Simple Assault and driving while his license was suspended. McCain Library – Field interview – Three verbal trespass warnings were issued to non-students.
TODAY Noon – Presidential Arts Brown Bag Lunch Series, Horn Choir – Rose Garden 7:30 p.m. – Southern Choral Tour – Main St. Baptist Church
WEDNESDAY All day – 42nd annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival: Day 1 – TCC 10 a.m. – Young People’s Matinees, USM Repertory Dance Company – Mannoni Performance Arts Center 6 p.m. – Lady Eagles v. LSU, Softball – Softball Complex 6 p.m. – Benjamin Graves Student Recital (trumpet) – Marsh Auditorium 7:30 p.m. – Andrew Clark Guest Artist Recital (horn) – Marsh Auditorium THURSDAY Noon – Presidential Arts Brown Bag Lunch Series, Jazz Sextet – Powerhouse Courtyard 1:30 p.m. – Children’s Book Festival, Medallion Award session with Judy Blume – TCC All day – 42nd annual Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival: Day 2 – TCC 3:30 p.m. – Children’s Book Festival, autograph session – Barnes and Nobles 6 p.m. – Brian Shaw Guest Artist (trumpet) – Bennett Auditorium 7:30 p.m. – Opera performance – Marsh Auditorium
CENTURY continued from page one acknowledged the enormity of the undertaking. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I think raising a park is something else altogether,” she said. She expressed her gratitude to the many people and groups working on the construction. Saunders indicated a special enthusiasm for the new community’s goal to be LEED certified. The
LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification checklist requires certain architectural and equipment standards be used in addition to offering environmental programs for students. Crenshaw explained that LEED certification is a special distinction, and Century Park could be the first facility in the state to ob-
tain it. Century Park is the beginning of a 12-year master plan to transform Southern Miss’ campus. Sid Gonsoulin, associate vice president for Student Affairs, explained that over the course of construction, Scott Hall will be torn down to create space for a “Student Spirit Park.” Two new residence halls de-
signed similar to the Century Park buildings will replace Vann and Bond halls. These will run parallel with the Century Park buildings to create a corridor from the north part of campus to the Thad Cochran Center. Gonsoulin said that all of the new facilities will be built with “significant architecture that captures the spirit of Southern Miss.”
Developers initially planned for Century Park to replace some of the old freshmen dorms in the Quad, which would then be demolished. Crenshaw said they are now reevaluating the situation, however; the first dorm up for discussion will be Elam Arms. Cirino said she had heard from students who were worried that the old residence halls would be
demolished, and that she too felt nostalgic affinity for the first room she had at Bolton Hall. However, she explained that USM’s goal is to create new communities instead of simple dormitories. “Southern Miss is a place where the education also happens outside of the classroom walls,” she said, “and certainly Century Park will be one of those places.”
www.studentprintz.com | Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Raylawni Branch’s life ‘always has a new story’ Jesse Bass Opinions Editor
Editor’s note: This is the ﬁfth story in the ﬁve-part series regarding Raylawni Branch’s story. New York Raylawni learned a lot about the collegiate system while at Southern, so by the time she made it to St. John’s, she knew to apply for scholarships. She got one that paid her way until the end. With school costs taken care of and nothing to look after but herself and her homework, Raylawni’s education became far easier. Raylawni was 24 years old; the rest of her class were fresh from high school. Raylawni began to tutor and mentor the younger pupils -- further helping her academia by forcing her to teach while learning. Her grades began to improve drastically -- the worst thing that happened to Raylawni at St. Johns was a single B grade. The school was surprised enough to send a letter home to Raylawni’s mother. But before her school year began running smoothly, something else happened to Raylawni. It was a balmy September night, 1967. Van Cliburn practiced his piano loudly in preparation for a musical competition, and the voluminous stopping and starting of melodies set apart by frustrated bangs on the keyboard resonated throughout Raylawni’s neighborhood in Brooklyn. She tired of the racket; when her friend Mitch, heir to the Huffy bicycle fortune, decided to walk with a lady-friend to Riverside Park, Raylawni opted to go with them and escape the sound of chagrin translated
to 88 keys. They walked, chatting lightheartedly, all the way to the park. As they passed the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant, something caught Raylawni’s eye. A streetlight bathed the sidewalk in a yellow, arid wash of light. Shadow cut into the light, bearing the silhouette of a man leaning against the lamppost. He was a tall man. A wideshouldered, slender man. Raylawni liked what she saw, separated from her friends and walked over to the lamppost to see more. The captivating contour belonged to Alf Branch. He and Raylawni started dating the next December, and were married a year later. Forty years after their espousal, they still share a home and each other’s loving company. With her new beau and a second wind in the academic realm, Raylawni ﬁnished her Registered Nurse diploma program in March of 1969. She took the State Board of Nursing exam in July of ‘69 and ofﬁcially became a nurse. She promptly made a trip to Mississippi to retrieve her children. Raylawni worked at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a handful of other institutions for the next few years, raising her family and making decent money. But Raylawni wanted more. To this day, she believes every American has a duty to the country’s military, so she joined the Air Force reserves in 1975. She kept this job for the next 25 years, 8 months and 1 day. She rose from the rank of First Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel and saw the Gulf War ﬁrsthand before retiring. Eventually, Raylawni wanted a
Bachelor‘s of Science Nursing degree. Nobody told her the RN diploma she held meant nothing toward a Bachelor’s degree and she would have to start over at the bottom to get one. Back to the South Raylawni moved her family to Florida in 1979 and started taking classes at the Miami-Dade Community college. She already knew her craft so well that she often taught lectures when her professors failed to appear. In two years she moved to the University of Miami, made straight As for a semester and quickly earned a scholarship. She graduated in 1984. When Raylawni moved back to Hattiesburg in 1988, she started another degree program at USM. Southern Miss was far easier for her this time. She knew the material. Her kids were grown. She had a kind, sane husband to come home to. She was ﬁnancially stable. Racial tensions had eased. She graduated in 1994 with a master‘s degree of science in nursing, with a major in community health nursing and a minor in education. With a lifelong penchant for teaching and learning, Raylawni became an instructor at Pearl River Community College’s nursing program in August of the previous year, a job she would keep for the next 9 years. After leaving Pearl River, she returned to USM and taught nursing classes for another two years. USM was the ﬁrst and last institution of higher education she associated with. She retired from university teaching in 2004. Not ready to set her Samaritan sensibilities aside, Raylawni then began to volunteer for the Red Cross, a
Raylawni Branch sits in her Hattiesburg home. Raylawni currently volunteers at the Red Cross.
duty she still fulﬁlls today. She provided emergency nursing services in Florida during Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, Jean and Bonnie, and also Alabama’s Hurricane Ivan. She is currently the nursing liaison for the organization’s south central Mississippi chapter. She recruits disaster nurses, oversees health records, presents Red Cross information to military personnel, and teaches the occasional health and safety course. Now, Raylawni spends her days between the Red Cross ofﬁce and her home on Hattiesburg’s Main Street. The yellow, two story house with wrap-around porches and quaint white columns is ﬁlled with her husband’s intricate drawings of wildlife and surreal storybook characters in radiant hues.
FOUNDER’S continued from page one
CENTENNIAL continued from page one
ognized those who have taught and worked at Southern Miss for 10, 20, 30, and 40 consecutive years. New Student Government Association officers were sworn in during the Founder’s Day ceremony, as well, and former President Melissa Cirino expressed her faith in incoming President J.R. Robinson to effectively lead the student body. “It is my hope that student government will once again rise to
and Dr. Alvin Williams, interim dean of the College of Business. The staff is led by Ray Guy, centennial special projects manager, and Jennifer Payne, centennial celebration coordinator. During the ceremony Monday, Saunders revealed what will be the cover of a limited edition book to be released next year entitled “A Treasured Past, a Golden Future: The Centennial History of the University of Southern Mississippi.” The 256-page book is written by Southern Miss alum Dr.
the forefront of student life, taking pride in the act of service,” Robinson said in his inaugural speech. Saunders concluded the ceremony with the plans for the Centennial Celebration next year. “We are the fortunate few who are here at this moment in our history and are afforded the chance to live and breathe this monumental celebration,” she said
Chester “Bo” Morgan, and published by the University Press of Mississippi. It will provide an in-depth look at the university’s history and feature more than 500 photographs, some of which have never been published. “I am very excited about this project,” Saunders said. “It offers us a tangible way to reach our rich heritage and share how a rural teacher’s college developed into the premiere research institute of the Gulf South.” The book will be available for pre-release sales in the fall
Mauve drapes and maroon burbur carpets dress large picture windows and hardwood ﬂoors. The space is ﬁlled with ﬂoor-to-ceiling bookshelves, pictures of grandchildren and a pleasant, lived-in clutter of tarnished cookie tins and ﬁle folders from times past. Decadent gardens and exotic-looking trees surround the house, as gardening is Raylawni’s favorite hobby. She can often be found at home on the weekends with leaves and grass scattered about her clothing and hair, with sweat suit knees dark and moist from kneeling and a smiling face shrouded by a sunhat. Raylawni also enjoys listening to public radio, and of course, helping her friends and neighbors with any dilemma they may have, especially
with problems of a medical nature. Her co-workers at the Red Cross speak highly of Raylawni. She has impressed upon them her humanitarian sense of duty, as many co-workers cite her civic responsibility and zest for life. They describe her as a “tough lady” -- steadfast in her ideals with no lack of guts to act upon, but a polite, proper lady nonetheless, often adorned with colorful scarves and dainty hats. As charming and dynamic as Raylawni may be, she is ultimately a walking piece of American history. This was nailed down with expert precision by Red Cross Operations manager Robbie Little. Little said of Raylawni, “You never get to plumb her depths completely. She’s always got a new story.”
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Attend our recruitment presentation and discover why the Disney College Program is an opportunity you just can’t miss!
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI Wednesday, April 1 @ 4:00 PM College Hall Room 101 and Thursday, April 2 @ 12:00 PM College Hall 200
Recruiting for the Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, FL and the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, CA Apply online prior to attending the presentation or if you are unable to attend, view an E-Presentation
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The Internet is for porn, or so say the numbers... A conservative state in the heart of the Bible Belt, Mississippi places near the top of yet another nasty little list. Did you know the Magnolia State ranks third in the nation for online pornography subscriptions per capita? Utah takes the lead with 5.47 people per 1,000 home broadband users; Alaska follows close behind with 5.03 people and Mississippi trails closely with 4.3. The Internet can be both a blessing and a curse, and part of the curse in current times is the ready access to
Samantha Newman Printz Writer
massive amounts of porn, with a cost decidedly lower than other porn mediums – only $20-$30 monthly for all you can take. A study entitled, “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Entertainment?” conducted by Harvard Business School professor Benjamin Edelman,
A letter-to-the-editor forum will be open to the expression of fact or opinion that will be of interest or importance to The Student Printz readers. Letters which fit within the scope of First Amendment protection, and that meet other stipulations spelled out in this document will be published on a space-available basis as explained below. Each edition of the paper will include a letters column if letters are available. Letter writers may expect prompt publication of their letters in the paper’s opinion section, as space is available. Letters of up to 350 words will be allowed. Published letters must be free of libel, since the publication is held legally accountable for all content. Although personal controversy will be tolerated, it is the responsibility of the editor to check statements purporting the facts. The editor is also responsible for making decisions as to the pertinence of the letter to the USM community. Letter writers must sign all contributions and the editor must verify the signer and the writer are one in the same through personal conference. Letters will not be published without the contributor’s name. To send a letter to the editor email firstname.lastname@example.org or send to campus mailbox 5088.
The Student Printz values accuracy and works diligently to check facts before publication. However, if inaccuracies occur, we want to know. Please report errors to the editor at email@example.com or by calling 601-266-6431 or 601-266-4266.
found that residents in smaller towns are more likely to be reluctant when considering going porn shopping in local stores. Small-town denizens are more easily to be identified by their peers. He said, “People probably turn to the Internet because of the anonymity.” The Red Light study revealed that in 2006 the online adult entertainment revenue was $2.8 billion, exceeding the spending at adult clubs. Adult videos topped that with $12.8 billion, but video profits are steadily on the fall while Internet revenue is
on the rise. It’s no secret that even the religious community is struggling with porn. Edelman said, “In the 27 states where ‘defense of marriage’ laws have been adopted, (making samesex marriages unconstitutional) subscriptions are more prevalent than the other states. Bob Peters, president of Morality in Media, said, “Religious people would be far less inclined to do anything that will identify them, so they might be more likely to turn to the internet.” Religious persons subscribing to
porn sites spend just as much time looking at pornography as they do praising the Lord, the Red Light study found. The truth is, porn takes up a lot of Mississippians’ time. Studies show pornography is most downloaded during banker’s hours, with each visit lasting 11.6 minutes on average, and the common user visiting sites at least seven times a month. It is estimated that businesses lose 90 minutes a day because of Internet pornography, and that two-thirds of adolescents have looked at pornog-
raphy while doing homework. Onethird of them make a habit of it. Besides wasting all this time during the workday, those addicted to Internet porn lose time with their loved ones, often leading to tattered relationships and loss of intimacy. Isn’t it time that we start educating our public about a problem we have known about forever, but is now so easily swept under the carpet via the Internet’s anonymity? This is a column of opinion written by Printz Opinions Staff Writer Samantha Newman. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
www.studentprintz.com | Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The war on terror should work this time S L The
Serving Southern Miss since 1927 Andy Hess Executive editor Lesley Walters News Editor Jesse Bass Opinions Editor Eric Nagurney
Entertainment Editor Tyler Cleveland Sports Editor Sebe Dale IV Multimedia Editor David Jackson Photo Editor
ast week, President Barack Obama announced the deployment of 4,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. These troops, which are in addition to the 17,000 troops already deployed there, will be responsible for training and building the Afghan army and police force. The goal, according to ofﬁcials, is to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and destroy the safe haven that has developed in Pakistan and prevent it from rebuilding in Afghanistan.” This increase of emphasis on threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan is evidence that the new administration is shifting its focus in terms of military strategy in the Middle East. This change of direction is a smart one, because ofﬁcials who spoke to CNN said that much of Al Qaeda’s central activity has been transferred from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to an unknown location in Pakistan. These same ofﬁcials warned that “in that location, they’re plotting
Rachel Hall C E Zach Holifield A M Maggie Williams P M
The Student Printz is published every Tuesday and Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. Printing is done by Signature Offset of Hattiesburg. The ﬁrst four copies of The Student Printz are free. Each additional copy is 25 cents. Accuracy is important to everyone on the staff of The Student Printz. Please report any factual inaccuracies to the executive editor of The Student Printz as soon as possible. Opinions are expressed in The Student Printz are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Student Printz, it’s publications manager, USM, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or the USM Board of Student Publications.
But one of the most important aspects of Obama’s emerging plan for the Middle East is the acknowledgment that imposing our grandiose western democratic ways on a culture completely different from our own is impossible. We as a nation must wake up to the idea that we can’t train a group of people living across the world to be just like us. The necessary action in this dilemma is exactly what I think Obama will do in the future if he gets his way. We need to yank the rug from underneath terrorist havens, thereby ensuring America’s national security, and leave the other nations involved intact -- with safe, citizenestablished governments already in realistically good standing with local culture. This is a column of opinion written by Printz Opinions Staff Writer Sarah Coleman. Comments can be sent to email@example.com
against the United States. They are working with their friends and partners, the Taliban, against American interests.” In response to the inﬂux of American troops in the region, Pakistani Taliban leaders have joined with their Afghan partners to prepare a new offensive in Afghanistan when the new troops arrive. In interviews, ﬁghters for the Taliban have said that preparations are being made for a series of roadside bombings and suicide attacks “to greet the Americans.” If it isn’t obvious to you by now, let me suggest that the region around the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not in the least bit safe.
It’s true what some supporters of the Bush administration say: the United States hasn’t experienced another terrorist attack on home soil since September 11, 2001, and that’s deﬁnitely a positive thing. However, before you champion Bush’s version of the war on terrorism, allow me to point out that we still haven’t caught the one who masterminded 9/11: Osama bin Laden. You might ask yourself what will be different about this particular increase of American forces in the Middle East. I would answer that this time, our administration is going to take lessons learned from our past failures in the war on terror and apply them to this situation. I believe we’ve gotten around to doing things right. The president wants to have an exit strategy from the very beginning, and for the ﬁrst time in a U.S. presence in Afghanistan, benchmarks will be established.
William Curtis Allred
Any time al Qaeda leaders from two different countries decide it’s a good idea to join forces against the “inﬁdels” (the “inﬁdels” being us Americans), we have a slight national security situation on our hands. That being said, I think this is a situation that calls for exactly what is being done: sending more U.S. forces there. If all of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because much of the language being used today to describe the current situation and the dangers it presents to our national security is ghostly similar to that used by the former administration around the time of our invasion of Iraq. Some of the same things are being said: terrorists are plotting against the United States, more of our troops are needed there, etc. However, this time, I think we’re getting more on the right track in the war on terrorism. That’s not to say that we haven’t been on the right track all along.
Don’t forget the real cost of the wars abroad
William c. allred
resident Obama’s surge of an additional 4,000 troops in Afghanistan to train and build the Afghan army and police force seems reasonable, but we should not forget the cost. With Iraq’s conﬂicts coming to a simmer, U.S. ofﬁcials have re-directed their military attentions to recent developments in the neighboring country of Afghanistan. According to CNN, an Afghan government ofﬁcial said the central leadership of Al Qaeda has moved from Kandahar, Afghanistan to a “location unknown somewhere in Pakistan.” U.S. ofﬁcials have used this opportunity to enforce and strengthen the Afghan forces with training and building support in the initial wave of 17,000 U.S. troops. The desire to eliminate safe ground for America’s global nemesis in order to eventually ﬁnd a measure of peace is amiable; however, should the cost come equally from every U.S. family? The Joint Economic Committee reported in 2007 that the Iraq and Afghan war had cost the average family of four over $20,000 from 2002 to 2008, estimating about $3,000 a year in addition to regular taxes. The cost does not seem like much when compared to the committee-re-
Luis Otero, 11, left, hugs his dad, Sgt. Pablo Otero at Meadow Woods Elementary School, Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Orlando, Florida.
ported $1.6 trillion total the war had run up at the time. However, add in the fact the nation is in a well-known recession, the costs increase greatly. Now, this is not to dispute the validity and importance of continuing to drive Al Qaeda out of any hiding places and granting the people in the world some serenity.
The surge of troops to Afghanistan, one of the world’s war-torn countries and Al Qaeda’s safehouse from the Iraq war, should provide comfort for a progressive future. MSNBC reports violence in Iraq is down “90 percent since early 2007” with the military recording “367 attacks nationwide, compared with 1,286 for the same
month last year.” Also, MSNBC’s report states that about ﬁve U.S. servicemen had been killed in March as of Saturday – “the lowest daily death toll since the war began.” We are making progress. Yet, everyone should not forget the individual costs, ﬁnancially and physically, Americans have
Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/MCT Campus
made to get this far, and question how much more are we willing to pay. Remember the saying: all gave some, some gave all. It still exists, even if everyone doesn’t see it. This is a column of opinion written by Printz Opinions Staff Writer Sarah Coleman. Comments can be sent to printz@ usm.edu
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Baltimore’s Dan Deacon talks Bromst, his upcoming tour and The Chipmunks Eric Nagurney Entertainment Editor
an Deacon’s come a long way since 2007. Ever since the release of his breakout album Spiderman of the Rings, the electronic maestro has gone from being relatively unknown outside of his hometown of Baltimore to being one of electronic music’s most talked about artists and packing venues across the country, including two shows at the Thirsty Hippo. After a relatively quiet 2008, Deacon’s back with a critically lauded new album, Bromst, and a forthcoming national tour, which will be hitting New Orleans’s Candle Factory April 13. After returning to the country from a New Zealand tour, Deacon took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions via e-mail for the Printz. Student Printz: Your new album, Bromst, features a wider variety of instrumentation than your past work. How did working with that wider palette change the way you made the album? Did you play the extra instruments yourself and, if not, who did? Dan Deacon: I think the changes it brought to the record are pretty clear. It brought a human element and a more fragile, delicate sense to the dense textures of sound. I played some of the parts, but many of them were written for skilled musicians, trained on their particular instruments. It was mainly friends from other bands and people I knew in Baltimore. SP: Many of your songs feature
pitch-shifted vocals, why is that? DD: I like manipulated voice. People so willingly manipulate guitars and electronics, but the voice is an instrument that when manipulated seemed to turn a lot of heads. I don’t really understand why. Maybe because its the oldest and most “natural” instrument and hearing it altered can really cause the ear to perk up. I really like the pitch shifter because of the texture it gives the sound. I wish The Chipmunks never existed. l think it would be a lot more credible of an instrument if people didn’t so quickly associate. SP: You’ve recently been playing shows with a large band, as opposed to your typical one-man setup. How has this changed the shows? What can showgoers expect from the upcoming tour? DD: I have only done one show with the ensemble so far, so it’s impossible for me to gauge how much it will alter the tone of the shows. About what the audience can except, expectations are for suckers. Hopefully, they will go in with an open mind. The old show was the old show. It’s not like Die Hard and Die Hard 2. It’s like Die Hard and going out to eat to dinner with friends. They are different things. SP: Parts of Bromst are a lot slower than your typical songs, how do you expect audiences to react to that? DD: I have no expectations. I hope they enjoy it. If not, that’s ok. I’ve played every track on the album live before and they seemed to received positively.
SP: It seems that within the last few years, the Baltimore music scene has gotten a lot more national attention, due to acclaimed efforts from Baltimore groups like yourself, Beach House, Spank Rock, and Ponytail. What’s your take on this national attention? Where do you think the Baltimore music scene is going in the future? DD: I’m not sure where its going. It’s a really diverse scene, which I think gives it its strength. I hope it continues to grow more connected, while not becoming homogenized. SP: Around the time of last year’s Whartscape festival, I remember there was talk about you, Girl Talk, and Spank Rock putting together a group. Was that just a rumor? If not, are there still any plans for that? DD: We were about to play when the cops busted it up. There are always plans to do it again, but I’m not sure if it’ll ever happen. It was like a fleeting moment lost, maybe never to return. SP: It seems like one-man shows, particularly in electronic music, have been popping up more and more, though that can be somewhat hard to pull off. What advice would you give to someone trying to perform solo? DD: I guess the main thing to realize is that it’s a performance and not a presentation. SP: What exactly is a Spiderman of the Rings? Is it like a hobbit that can stick to walls? Because that sounds awesome. That sounds awesome to me, too.
Courtesy of Carpark Records
Electronic Music Artist Dan Deacon releases new album, Bromst and lauches new tour. Deacon will be playing in New Orleans on April 13 and Baton Rouge on April 15.
Amnesty benefit fights human trafficking
Red Hill City, Sam Zeanah Band headline annual concert Eric Nagurney Entertainment Editor
Photos courtesy of Red Hill City and the Sam Zeanah Band
Hattiesburg’s Red Hill City and the Sam Zeanah Band will be performing at The Thirsty Hippo for Amnesty International’s annual benefit concert series that the group puts on each semester. Tickets are $5 and the doors open at 9 p.m. with the show beginning 10 p.m. Saturday.
ow do you stop the yearly trafficking of almost a million people for use in slavery? For the Southern Miss chapter of Amnesty International, one way is to hold a benefit concert featuring Red Hill City and the Sam Zeanah Band this Saturday at the Thirsty Hippo. The goal of the concert is to raise money for Free the Slaves, an independent organization dedicated to freeing slaves and bringing slave traders to justice. In the last year, the U.S. Department of State reported an estimate of between 600,000 and 800,000 people being trafficked across borders for use in slavery. While much slave trading occurs outside of the states, Amnesty faculty advisor Dan Capper says the issue may be closer to home than many think. “If one eats a tomato at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Subway, or Burger King, there is a good chance that the tomato was picked by a worker in Florida who lives under slave-like conditions,” Capper said. “Workers in many American
Workers in many American brothels have been trafficked against their wills and cannot leave to find better living conditions. The traffic in slaves has not ended; it simply hides in plain sight.
-Dan Capper, Amnesty faculty advisor
brothels have been trafficked against their wills and cannot leave to find better living conditions. The traffic in slaves has not ended; it simply hides in plain sight.” Those interested in learning more about the cause can attend Amnesty’s showing of the film “Trading Women” this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in room 101 of the International Center, along with a question and answer session afterwards. The film, narrated by Angelina Jolie, details the business of trading young girls in Southeast Asia. One can also learn more about the issue at the benefit itself, where informational pamphlets and other material will be available, providing an educational aspect alongside the music. Both of the bands playing the show are Hattiesburg rock groups consisting of Southern Miss students. Like all past benefit performers, the members of Amnesty, who meet
every Thursday at Liberal Arts Building room 106 and are always accepting new members, chose the groups. We chose both bands because we want bands that are not only well-known, but also local,” Brian Cline, co-chair of Amnesty, said. “We feel it’s best to work within our community whenever possible, because these are the same people that everybody knows.” For the Sam Zeanah Band, this will be the group’s second time playing an Amnesty event, having played last Fall’s benefit to aid genocide victims in Darfur. “I’m always happy to play for good causes such as this,” lead singer and guitarist Sam Zeanah said. “Human trafficking and slavery are still occurring in parts of the world and awareness is an important step to put a stop to it.” Benefit concerts have become a tradition for the organization, with
Tickets cost $5. Doors open at 9 p.m. Show begins at 10 p.m. the group organizing two each year. In addition to the aforementioned benefit for Darfur, past benefits have raised money for causes like aid for a school for Tibetan refugees in India, aid for genocide victims in Iraq, and fighting domestic violence in Hattiesburg and Jamaica. Along with these causes, a variety of Hattiesburg musicians have played, ranging from the Irish music Southern Miss professor Jim Flanagan to rock bands like The Squirms and Chance Fisher. While the concert marks the continuation of Amnesty’s tradition, it also marks the end of the Sam Zeanah Band. After graduating in May, Zeanah is moving to Austin to start a new band with the group’s former bassist David Meigs. “If you like Sam Zeanah Band, please come, because it’s our last show and it’s a great cause,” Zeanah said. Tickets for the show will be $5. Doors open at 9 p.m., while the show starts at 10 p.m.
Southern Miss Dance Company presents Spring Concert Thursday Special to the Printz
he Southern Miss Repertory Dance Company will present emotionally inspired faculty and student works in their upcoming concert April 2-5 at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center on the Hattiesburg campus. The annual Spring Dance Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. each evening with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee, with a preshow talk with choreographers at 1 p.m. In addition to student and faculty choreography, the concert will feature a work by guest artist Chris Elam of the Misnomer Dance Theatre in New York City. Using the emotions of curiosity, anticipation, grief, acceptance and support, Elam allows the audience to connect with the dance in individual ways. Stacy Reischman, director of the Southern Miss dance program,
will present “Guardians of the Threshold,” which is a dance that brings to life a group of galactic soldiers from another galaxy who protect the lair of their queen. The movement of the piece is enhanced with LED lights on the costumes of the dancers that simulate stellar formations. “The mood of the dance is sometimes intense and sometimes curious, yet visually pleasing,” Reischman said. “The ending will leave one wondering what or who the Guardians are protecting, and hopefully you will want to cross the threshold into their world.” Assistant professor of dance Julie White’s new work “Les Femmes” uses ballet vocabulary to create a sense of giving and support among the four female performers. Danced to the “The Protecting Veil” by Yo-Yo Ma, White says this piece “explores the many relationships that exist between women.”
Earlier in the semester, the dance program hosted guest artist Elam and his dance company Misnomer Dance Theatre. During the residency, Brynne Billingsly, a Southern Miss dance program alumna and Misnomer company member, and Elam restaged an excerpt from the piece “Zipper.” Elam describes “Zipper” as “an interpersonal journey in which we don’t always know who or where we are, but we are fundamentally earnest in our moment-to-moment perceptions and intentions.” Faculty member Erin Leigh served as the rehearsal director for this piece in the spring concert, which will showcase the talents of six dance majors. “The Sound Which comes from Silence,” choreographed by senior dance major Ashley Lane of Long Beach, combines dance, music and projection to “look at what it means to be silenced.” The concert closes with junior dance major Mary
Schindler’s new work “Anticipate.” She is a native of Metairie, La. Schindler’s piece will not only keep the audience wondering what will happen next, but also hopefully when will the next dance concert be given. “With a taste of every movement imaginable, this piece has a variety of dynamics in the movement and music,” Schindler said. Other works featured in this concert are choreographed by assistant professor Shellie Nielsen, instructor of dance Kelly Ferris and junior dance major Jennifer Johnson of Meridian. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for seniors, faculty and staff, and military and $6 for students. Call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425 for tickets. Order online at www. southernmisstickets.com. For more information, visit the Web at www. usm.edu/arts or contact Angela Kilcrease at 601.266.4988.
The Southern Miss Repertory Dance Company will present their Spring Concert, April 2-5 at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center.
www.studentprintz.com | Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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Robinson making an impact Tyler Cleveland
Southern Miss has a new sheriff in town, and his name is Travaris Robinson. Robinson, who joined the Southern Miss football staff as defensive backs coach in February, has taken over the rebuilding defensive secondary and doubles as a mentor for football players. “It’s a dream come true,” Robinson said. “I’m very excited about our potential. Coach Fedora has done a great job here, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” Robinson took over the job vacated by Tony Hughes, who left Southern Miss for Mississippi State following the 2008 season. The Auburn alum and former NFL cornerback said he’s excited about the talent he has at the corner position and looks forward to delving deeper into workouts with them. “I have big time talent with Andre Watson and Mike Magee, C.J. Bailey, guys like that,” Robinson said. “Then
I have younger talent like Marcal Robinson and Micah Pellerin – so we have guys that can really get it done.” The Southern Miss pass defense finished ranked No. 86 nationally in pass defense in 2008, but showed significant improvement towards the end of the season. “They’re so young and we’re changing their techniques they have been taught, it’s a long process. We’ve only had seven practices, and I’ve been kind of hard on them, but we’ve got eight more, then 29 before our first game, so we have to practice hard every chance we get, and by September we’ll be ready to roll.” Robinson has quickly built a good relationship with the players, mostly because he can relate to them so well. Robinson is just over one year removed from finishing up his undergraduate degree at Auburn, which was put on hold while he played two seasons in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was all taken into consideration
when Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora asked Robinson if he could move in with the football players at their 38th Avenue apartment complex to help provide a guiding hand to his players. “Coach Fedora approached me, and I told him I’d love to do it,” Robinson said. “It’s funny, I did the same thing when I was graduate assistant at Auburn, so it’s not new territory for me.” Robinson said he was aware of the recent off-the-field problems the team has had, but added that overall he believes that the team is full of quality guys. “We have some great kids,” Robinson said. “We’ve had some unfortunate events and some mistakes were made, but at the end of the day we have a great group of kids who want to be outstanding citizens. They just need someone to help mold them, and that’s what I’m here to do.” Southern Miss football players have had two run-ins with the law since they moved off campus and into the com-
David N. Jackson/Printz
USM cornerbacks coach Travaris Robinson works with players at Monday’s practice.
plex, with two players, running back Damion Fletcher and offensive lineman Brennan Houston, being arrested in the latest incident on Feb. 15. Robinson said that the coaches are keeping a much more watchful eye on the football players now, including room checks and random searches by
the coaches. “It’s more about making sure they are doing the right thing. Being a division-one college football player, there is a lot more temptation that if you were a regular student, and I experienced that so I can help them through this part of their lives.”
Southern Miss shortstop Brian Dozier was selected as co-hitter of the week, announced today by the Conference USA office. He shares the honor with UAB’s Luke Stewart. Dozier had one of the best C-USA weekends in his brilliant four-year career, as Southern Miss won three straight at UCF. The senior shortstop blasted a home run in all three games, including a grand slam in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. In the two games on Saturday, Dozier hit .667 (6-for-9) with seven runs scored, nine RBI, 12 total bases and drew two walks. On the week, he was 7-for-17 (.412) with eight runs scored, three home runs, including a grand slam, 10 RBI, 16 total bases two walks and a sacrifice fly, while slugging .941.
Track team has solid showing The Southern Miss outdoor track and field teams competed in the Alabama Relays over the last two days and turned in several top performances. Freshman Kyle Smith recorded a regional qualifying mark in the javelin with a throw of 210’3”, finishing first out of 27 competitors. Noah Slater placed fifth with a throw of 185’4”.
Catcher Kristin Pilgrim, a senior from Metairie, La pitches to youngster McKenna Lawler during USM softball clinic Sunday at the USM Softball Complex.
Lady Eagles take C-USA series from Memphis Tyler Cleveland Sports Editor
Ashley Razey hit her second career home run and the Southern Miss Lady Eagles defeated Memphis 3-2 to secure their third straight Conference USA series win on Sunday. All three USM runs came in the first inning, when Razey hit her two-run shot following a sacrifice fly by sophomore Alexis Hurley scored Megan Hill from third. The win was the Lady Eagles’ ninth in 13 games as they advanced to 18-16-1 overall and 7-5 in Conference USA play. Memphis fell to 14-18 overall and 2-7. “I told the girls yesterday ‘Just find a way to win,’” Southern Miss coach Howard Dobson said. “And that’s exactly what they did today.
“We missed some opportunities, but we took advantage of enough of them to get a win.” Southern Miss was out-hit (five hits to two) and out-fielded (five errors to Memphis’ one), but the Lady Eagles got outs when they needed them the most. Going into Sunday, the Lady Eagles were second to last in Conference USA in fielding percentage (.939). “It’s frustrating, like they are my own kids and I’m so proud of them but they keep making mistakes along the way,” Dobson said. “But hey, if we can commit five errors and win every game, I’ll find a way to get over it.” Memphis’ two runs came in the fifth inning on three hits, a stolen base and three USM errors.
The Lady Tigers were on the verge of tying the game in the sixth when leadoff hitter Jessica Phillips walked and advanced to second base with just one out, but Southern Miss pitcher Samantha Davis’ struck out Brittany Gooch and Maddie McKinley to end the Memphis threat. “We came out swinging,” Razey said. “And luckily for us Samantha is pitching well enough right now that she could shut them down the rest of the game.” The Lady Eagles split Saturday’s double-header with Memphis, winning the first game 9-3 before falling 2-1 in the second. Davis picked up both of the weekend’s wins, allowing just two earned runs in 14 innings of work. Sunday’s was Davis’ fifth straight
victory. “She’s pitching really well right now,” Dobson said. “Really hitting her spots.” After the game, the Lady Eagles hosted a softball clinic that let players get some one on one time with local youngsters. The 6-to-12-year-olds got a chance to hit in the batting cages and practice their throwing, fielding and sliding under the direction of coach Dobson and several Lady Eagle players. The Lady Eagles are hoping their momentum from the weekend can carry over to Wednesday, when they host the No. 17 LSU. The Lady Tigers will come into Hattiesburg sporting a 20-6 record, and have won six of their last seven.
The Lady Eagle softball team held their first spring clinic for local kids Sunday.
Eagles score 45 runs in 14 innings during sweep Special to the Printz Southern Miss swept the double header and the series over UCF with a 19-1 victory in the second game of a double header after winning game one 26-10 earlier in the day. Both games were called early by the mercy rule. “Anytime you can win three games on the road in Conference USA that is an accomplishment in itself,” head coach Corky Palmer said. “It is not easy to sweep anyone on the road and I thought I guys played hard to get that done this weekend.” Five different Golden Eagles had tow hits in the second game today with Brian Dozier leading the charge adding in three RBI and
three runs score to go along with two walks. Between the two games today Dozier ended six-for-nine with two home runs, seven runs, nine RBI, 12 total bases, two walks and a sacrifice fly. Along with their two hits in game two, Bo Davis tallied three runs and two RBI, while Kameron Brunty had three RBI with a run scored and Corey Stevens added in two runs and a RBI. One of the bright spots on the weekend was the return of James Ewing to second base for Southern Miss. Ewing had two hits with three RBI and two runs scored in game two including a two-run home run. In the two games he played today he was six-for-11 with five runs
scored, eight RBI and tallied 11 total bases including two doubles and a home run. “James really keys our lineup when he is in there,” Palmer said. “He is such a gifted played, especially mentally he knows the game so well. Southern Miss continued to hit the long ball with four more home runs in game two bringing the three game series total to nine, including three for Brian Dozier on the weekend. Southern Miss pitcher Todd McInnis picked up his fourth win of the season working six innings allowing only one run on six hits while striking out seven and allowing only three base runners after the second inning.
The bracket is busted It’s the end of March the birds are chirping, the bands are playing, and my bracket is in shambles. It’s that time Tyler of the year, Cleveland when everySports Editor one’s favorite Cinderella team turns into the thorn in my side. You know that scene in Independence day, when those aliens blow up the White House and the rest of Washington D.C.? That’s kind of what Missouri did to my bracket when they whipped Memphis, my eventual champion, in the Sweet 16. I like to think I have an eye for talent, but I’m kind of taken aback looking at my Final Four – Louisville, Duke, Memphis and Oklahoma – all of which have exited the “Big Dance.” My demise started right off the bat. The first week of the tournament saw some upsets, but none that I called, of course. I’d like to address these one at a time, if I can. Cleveland State – Who do you think you are? Beating the snot out of previously No. 1 ranked Wake Forest may be good for you, but think of all the fans out there that expected you to lose. Siena and Western Kentucky – Thank you for continuing the tradition of the Big 10 losing big on the national stage. The demise of the Illinois and Ohio St. is always good, and since you both lost in the second round you are forgiven. Dayton – Kudos for beating West Virginia, but did you take into account that I had the Mountaineers heading to the regional’s? No? Didn’t think so. Wisconsin – Don’t even talk to me. The second round was less heated, so I’d like to address the University of Villanova: Villanova, I understand that you have great tradition, and are playing very well right now, maybe even well enough to win the whole tournament. But why? Why did you have to beat UCLA, Duke and Pittsburgh? Couldn’t you have just beaten one of the three, claimed a moral victory and bowed out gracefully? I think the entire country would have thanked you for your input and lauded your victory over a power program. Which brings me to Memphis. Memphis, being a Southern Miss student you know how I feel. It hurt me to pick you to win it all, and I did it anyway, and this is how you repay me? Never again, Memphis, never again. From there, it was all downhill. Things fell apart for me in the Elite Eight, when EVERY OTHER TEAM I had in the Final Four lost out. Memphis and Louisville could have had an epic rivalry matchup in the first round of the Final Four, but alas, the Tigers lost to Missouri of all people, and top overall seed Louisville Cardinals couldn’t get past Michigan State. All this adds up to the worst bracket I’ve ever filled out. I’m humbled. I hope for your sake that your bracket looks better than mine.
Baseball at Troy, 6 p.m., Troy, Ala. Women’s tennis at Auburn, 6 p.m., Auburn, Ala.
Women’s tennis at Jacksonville St., 1 p.m., Jacksonville, Fla. Baseball at Troy, 4 p.m., Troy, Ala. Softball vs. LSU, 6 p.m., USM Softball Complex
Photo courtesy of USM Media Relations
Southern Miss junior third baseman Taylor Walker takes a swing against Arkansas State earlier in the season. Through 25 games, Walker is hitting .337 with 16 RBI’s.
Baseball vs. Marshall, 6:30, Pete Taylor Park Track in Texas Relays, All day, Austin, Texas Men’s Tennis at UAB, TBA, Greenville, Ala.