[Premium Article] A little story, the help desk, basketball and football."> [Premium Article] A little story, the help desk, basketball and football.">

Monday Morning Coffee Break

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01columnists/gswindoll.jpg" align="left" width="120" height="161"> [Premium Article] A little story, the help desk, basketball and football.

A LITTLE STORY

Just a little help from my friends.....

This past week I was traveling the state of Mississippi visiting high schools gathering information. Thursday morning I was in Seminary, Mississippi visiting with the coaches.

About 10 a.m., or thereabouts, my wife, Mary Ann, called. She was frantic because of a call that she had just received.

It seems a lawyer friend of mine who monitors my message board on occasion called to let me know that a post on my premium message board was very close to being, and probably was, libelous in nature. Because I hadn't responded to his email to me, he, thankfully, decided to call me. While I would have known who he was and why he was calling, Mary Ann doesn't know him so his comments caused her great concern.

Why she was so scared is because, first, she didn't know he is a friend who was just trying to protect her and me and you guys from possible lawsuits and, second, we have been threaten with possible lawsuits several times due to message board posts.

Of course it is easy for folks to think that Mary Ann and I have nothing to worry about and they are probably right since the person making the post is actually the one who is legally responsible for the post, but the thought of possibly losing everything that you have is still a scary thought.

Anyway, after listening to the message on our answering machine, Mary Ann immediately called me and told me to go to my message board and remove the post. Because there was no place for me to sign onto the internet, I asked her to remove the post. Because she had never removed a post, she told me she didn't know how to. I tried explaining it to her but because of weak power on my cell phone, she had trouble understanding me. We continued to talk but continued to have problems understanding each other. Eventually, we lost communication all together. I could tell from the bits and pieces of our conversation that she was becoming even more frantic.

She called me back several more times but we continued to have problems understanding each other. I finally went outside of the building and called her back. Being outside, the reception on my cell phone was much clearer and I finally got through to her. She was now in such a state of panic she told me later that she thought about calling Ebicom - our local server that portions of Gene's Page is still on - and asking them to remove Gene's Page from the internet. That wouldn't have helped since the message board is on another server. However, she didn't know that.

Once we were able to understand each other, I talked her through removing the potentially libelous post. I also told her to ban the person who made the post and I talked her through that as well. She was still extremely upset but at least the post had been removed and the person banned.

Later on, the person who made the post contacted me and apologized for making the post. I told him why I banned him and that I would let Mary Ann decide if he would be added back to the message board. I then told him to contact her and apologize for the stress he put her through. She removed the ban after receiving an email from him with a very sincere apology in it.

The reason I wrote this little story is to let each of you know the problems you sometimes cause when you post a message and that you need to be very careful what you post, especially when the post is libelous in nature and you don't even have firsthand knowledge of what you are posting. You may think you are safe when making potentially libelous posts but there is a woman in Caledonia that may be coming to visit the next person that makes a post like that again. And I promise you it won't be pretty when she gets through with that person.

The bottom line is please think before you post.

THE HELP DESK

I've noticed that some of you who have emailed me through my message board don't have your message board private message feature turned on. Folks can't respond to your emails without that feature on because email addresses don't show up on emails sent via that feature.

However, it's easy to turn one. All you have to do is click on the MY CONTROL CENTER link on the message board, then click on EDIT PREFERENCES. Once you are in there, you can turn your message feature on.

Also, if you want to change your account's password or email address, there is only one way you can do that. The first thing you have to do is go to my front page and click on the MY ACCOUNT link on the top right-hand side of the page. Once you click on it, then click on the MY MEMBER PROFILE link. You can change either your password or email address in there.

BASKETBALL

Mississippi State basketball, both men's and women's, are highly ranked and playing well.

In the latest polls both teams are ranked in the top 16, the men are ranked 16th and the women 14th (in both polls).

The men's team, after passing their first major test by easily defeating Xavier (ranked 11th at the time), now face a top-10 team, the 7th ranked Oklahoma Sooners, in New Orleans this coming Saturday.

Playing with two inexperienced big men who went 3-of-12 from the field and scored 8 points total, the Sooners lost their first game of the season against Alabama at Madison Square Garden. Since that game, the Sooners, who replaced sophomore center Johnnie Gilbert (6-8, 230) in the starting lineup with the 6-10, 210-pound, junior center Jabahri Brown after the Alabama loss, have reeled off six straight victories and are now 6-1 on the season.

Averaging 79.4 points per game, the Sooners are shooting 46.6% from the field and 34.7% from three-point range. Over 34% of their shots are of the 3-point variety. 147 of their 423 field goal attempts have been from the 3-point line.

Basically, using an 8-man rotation, 3 of whom are seniors, Oklahoma is led in scoring by seniors Ebi Ere, a 6-5, 215-pounder who is averaging 19.9 points and 6 rebounds. Behind him is their 6-1, 170-pound point guard Hollis Price with 17.4 points per game.

Mississippi State will counter Oklahoma with a 9 to 10-man rotation, two of whom are seniors.

Leading scorer Mario Austin (26.0 ppg) leads a team that is averaging 81.9 points per game. As a team, MSU is shooting 48.9% from the field and 32.4% from three-point range. Junior guard Timmy Bowers, who is second on the team and fifth in the SEC in scoring with 17.2 ppg, is shooting 45.2% from three-point range. Sophomore Winsome Frazier is the other Bulldog shooting over 40% from the three-point range (11-of-26, 42.3%). Senior forward Michal Ignerski is the third member of the team averaging in double figures with 10.8 ppg.

FOOTBALL

With two new coaches officially announced (DC Ron Cooper and DL John Blake) and another one (OC Morris Watts) who won't be aboard until after January 1st, Coach Sherrill is three-fifths away from completing his coaching staff.

Although it is only speculation at this point, two of the leading candidates for the remaining positions (OL and WR) are Steve Campbell and Guy Holliday.

Many of you may remember Campbell. He was head coach at Delta State when they won their national championship in 2000. He was named the 2000 Division II National Coach of the Year that same year.

Here is a list of schools where he has coached and the positions he coached.

1988 - Auburn, Graduate Assistant (under Pat Dye)
1989 - Auburn, G.A.
1990 - Auburn, G.A.
1991 - Delta State, OL
1992 - Delta State, OC/OL
1993 - Nicholls State, OC
1994 - Nicholls State, OC
1995 - Nicholls State, OC
1996 - SW MS CC, RB
1997 - SW MS CC, HC
1998 - SW MS CC, HC
1999 - Delta State, HC
2000 - Delta State, HC
2001 - Delta State, HC
2002 - Middle Tennessee State, OC/OL

During his year at Middle Tennessee State, his recruiting area responsibility has been west Alabama, south Mississippi, northwest Florida, and the Mississippi junior colleges.

According to folks who know him, the Pensacola, Florida native is a hard-nosed coach who has a no nonsense approach about the game.

Guy Holliday, who is currently the receivers coach at Western Michigan University, has been on staff at WMU since March 24, 2000. He previously served as offensive coordinator at Alabama State University from 1995-96 and 1998-99, helping the Hornets become the No. 1 passing team in the Southwestern Conference.

Prior to arriving at Alabama State, Holliday was offensive coordinator at Tuskegee (1992-95). Under Holliday's guidance, Tuskegee became the second highest scoring team in Division II in 1992, averaging 38 points a game.

The Pioneers also ranked in the top ten for passing offense all four years. Holliday's coaching career began at Clark-Atlanta University.

Several of Holliday's former players have advanced to the pro ranks, including three from his days at Tuskegee (Joseph Washington, Chris Holder, Anthony Mitchell), and four from Alabama State (Alcede Surtwan, Reggie Barlow, Damon Hodge, J.J. Higgins).

? - Clark-Atlanta University
1992 - Tuskegee, OC
1993 - Tuskegee, OC
1994 - Tuskegee, OC
1995 - Alabama State, OC
1996 - Alabama State, OC
1998 - Alabama State, OC
1999 - Alabama State, OC
2000 - Western Michigan, TE
2001 - Western Michigan, WR/TE
2002 - Western Michigan, WR/TE

Both have excellent coaching experience, most of it in the south.

And don't forget recruiting, the second most important job of an assistant coach. With the loss of the coaches that recruited Texas (Stump), Alabama (McCray) and the junior colleges in Kansas, Arizona and California (Hendrick), Coach Sherrill will have to find replacements that can recruit most of those areas. Adding John Blake took care of Texas. Campbell and Holliday would take care of Alabama. Also, with the loss of defensive back coach Melvin Smith to Alabama a year ago, Campbell could prove to be invaluable in the Delta, a place that Smith was so effective in recruiting.

Now we wait to see if these two coaches are the ones that Coach Sherrill hires.

P.S. I bet you didn't know that Morris Watts was the guy Coach Sherrill tried to hire four years ago. However, Watts was already committed to coaching at Michigan State at the time and stayed there. One of the things that makes Watts' offenses so successful is his ability to diguise the same play in so many different formations. It makes it difficult for defensive coordinators to read his plays.

Recruiting.....

The word I'm hearing on the recruiting front is that MSU is doing very well with the following players.

Omarr Conner - QB, 6-0, 196, 4.5, Noxubee County HS (Macon, Miss.).
Joey Sanders - WR, 6-1, 185, 4.5, Noxubee County HS (Macon, Miss.).
Quinton Culberson - DB, 6-2, 205, 4.5, Provine HS. (Jackson, Miss.)
Rashid Lavergne - OL, 6-3, 310, 5.2, Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.).
David Price - OL, 6-5, 310, 5.5, Mandarin HS (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Phernando Rex-Hill - DL, 6-3, 295, Marathon HS, (Marathon, Fla.).

Congrats to MSU commitments Threadgill (2nd), Blackledge (1st), Davis (1st), Fremin (2nd), Lofton (1st) and Griffith (1st) for making The Clarion-Ledger all-state team either as a first or second teamer.

MSU commitments and signees to date:

Scott Shurden, K, 5-8, 170, Neshoba Central HS.
Tyler Threadgill, QB, 6-0, 185, 4.48, Philadelphia HS.
Brian Anderson, OL, 6-5, 280, 5.2, Patrician Academy (Butler, AL).
Royce Blackledge, OL, 6-4, 270, 4.9, Northeast Jones HS (Laurel, MS.)
Donovan Davis, OL, 6-6, 305, 5.3, Callaway HS.
Lance Fremin, OL, 6-2, 275, 5.1, Starkville HS.
JJ Grant, DE, 6-4, 250, 4.8, Butler (KS) CC.
Avery Hannibal, DE, 6-1.5, 245, 4.75, Troup County (GA) HS.
Deljuan Robinson, DL, 6-5, 290, 4.8, Hernando (MS) HS.
Ken Griffith - LB, 6-3, 245, 4.8+, Brandon HS.
Brad Horton, LB, 6-1, 230, 4.6, Spencer HS (Columbus, GA.)
Quinton McCrary, LB/DB, 6-2, 205, Columbus HS.
(SIGNEE) David Heard, DB, 6-0, 185, Vicksburg HS.
Akeem Lofton, ATH, 5-11, 175, 4.6, Wayne County HS.
(SIGNEE) Chris Swain, DB, 6-0, 190, 4.5, Jones County JC

Well, that wraps up this week's edition of the Monday Morning Bulldog Coffee Break.

Have a great Bulldog week and a great Christmas!

Gene Swindoll



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Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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