Settlement reached in death of Mississippi player

July 16, 2013 in Local Sports, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News, Top Stories

The family of a Mississippi football player who died following a workout in 2010 has reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against the university and the NCAA.

Bennie Abram III, a 20-year-old non-scholarship player from Southaven, collapsed during an offseason workout and later died at a hospital in Oxford. An autopsy determined Abram’s death was caused by complications from sickle cell trait, which can alter red blood cells after strenuous exercise.

According to settlement documents, the family will receive $50,000 from the insurance company for the university’s athletic foundation. The Abrams’ attorney, Gene Egdorf of Houston, Texas, says the family also will receive $275,000 from the NCAA’s insurance policy.

Police: UM’s Henderson appeared to have drugs; suspended indefinitely

July 15, 2013 in National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News

The Oxford police chief says Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson appeared to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and cocaine during a traffic stop in May.

Henderson, a 6-foot-2 senior from Hurst, Texas, was suspended indefinitely by coach Andy Kennedy on Wednesday for “violation of team rules,” but no other reason was given.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the traffic stop, citing a police report.

Jones and Totten to be honored at Legends Reception

July 10, 2013 in Events, Local Sports, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News, Top Stories

Former Mississippi Valley State quarterback Willie Totten and the late defensive lineman David “Deacon” Jones will be two of five former HBCU standouts to be honored Thursday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at the MEAC/SWAC Legends Reception in Orlando, hosted by ESPN. 

The Legends Award was established in 2009 to pay tribute to extraordinary alumni who have used their respective MEAC and SWAC university education to bring excellence to their professional achievements and/or community service endeavors whether local, statewide, nationally or globally.

Ole Miss football player killed in car accident

July 5, 2013 in Local Sports, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News, Top Stories

The Old Miss Rebels “are hurting” head coach Hugh Freeze said after one of their own was killed in a car accident Wednesday afternoon.

Park Coleman Stevens was killed on impact when his truck hit the back of a semi that was crossing a four-lane highway in Chickasaw County, Miss.

Although he was not immediately identified, Cpl. Chris Turnipseed told the Mississippi Daily Journal that “the driver of the pickup was killed upon impact.”

Swagger convicted in Gulfport city court

June 27, 2013 in Entertainment, National Entertainment, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News

Professional wrestler Jack Swagger has been convicted in Gulfport Municipal Court on charges of driving under the influence and speeding.

Swagger, whose real name is Donald Jacob “Jake” Hager Jr., was arrested just before midnight Feb. 19 in Gulfport. Swagger had just completed taping the TV show “WWE SmackDown” in Biloxi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

NCAA accepts self-imposed sanctions, praises MSU’s cooperation

June 12, 2013 in Local Sports, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News

The NCAA Committee on Infractions has accepted the self-imposed sanctions levied by Mississippi State University in a case that centered on the actions of a former MSU booster, a former MSU assistant football coach, and a current MSU student-athlete.

The violations were investigated by the NCAA enforcement staff with the full cooperation of the MSU Athletics Department compliance staff. The committee cited MSU for its efforts to fully investigate and uncover the violations. The violations center on the actions of a disassociated former MSU booster and the failure of the former assistant coach to report actions by that former booster to MSU compliance officials.

Ex-Jacksonville WR Jimmy Smith serving prison term

May 15, 2013 in Local Sports, National Sports, News, Sports, Statewide News, Top Stories

Former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith has begun serving a six-year prison term in Mississippi for drug possession and weapons charges, online state corrections records show.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections’ website says the 44-year-old Smith entered the prison system in late March and was recently moved to a facility in Yazoo City. He was sentenced by a Madison County court to two years for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and four years for possession of cocaine, records show.

WJXX-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., first reported Smith’s sentence. His tentative release date is listed as Nov. 8, 2018.

4th lawsuit filed against JSU athletics director

April 15, 2013 in National Sports

The athletics director of Jackson State University is now facing four federal lawsuits related to allegations that she sexually harassed an assistant and fired other employees who supported the woman.

The first lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in August by Lolita Ward, who says Athletic Director Vivian Fuller subjected her to inappropriate comments, gestures and touching in 2011.

The lawsuit claims Ward was subjected to a hostile work environment and fired in October 2011 after rejecting the advances.