- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Southern Miss self-imposes postseason ban over NCAA inquiry

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Southern Mississippi has self-imposed a postseason ban for the current basketball season because of an ongoing NCAA inquiry into the program.

The university said in a statement Tuesday that the program will not play in the Conference USA postseason tournament or make itself eligible for NCAA tournament consideration. The statement said the ban is a “result of an ongoing university and NCAA inquiry of the basketball program related to the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.”

Donnie Tyndall was the coach at Southern Miss the past two seasons, but left to take over at Tennessee. Southern Miss acknowledged in November that the NCAA was investigating potential violations in the program.

“All I can say is I’ve cooperated 100 percent and if I need to, I will continue to do that,” Tyndall said after Tennessee’s 66-62 win at South Carolina on Tuesday night. “That’s all I can say on that matter.”

Southern Miss (5-11, 0-5 C-USA), which is currently led by Doc Sadler, is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

The program’s coaches and players were informed of the decision on Tuesday.


Fort Campbell ‘listening session’ on cuts draws hundreds

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - Army leaders hosted an overflow crowd for a “listening session” at Fort Campbell on Tuesday about force reduction plans that could include deep cuts at the post that is home to the famed 101st Airborne Division.

Under the maximum cuts in Army spending that could be imposed by the end of the decade, Fort Campbell, which straddles the Tennessee-Kentucky line, would lose half of the soldiers and civilians, or about 16,000 people, who in turn have more than 24,000 spouses and children living in the community.

“We’ve got the facts, we’ve got the statistics, we understand what is here at this installation,” said Brig. Gen. Roger Cloutier Jr., who presided over the hearing. “We want to hear Fort Campbell’s story.”

About 23 percent of jobs in neighboring Christian County, Kentucky, and 14 percent of jobs in Montgomery County, Tennessee, are tied to the military installation. According to the Army estimates of the worst case scenario for Fort Campbell: area income would fall by $969 million by 2020, while the housing market and public schools would be heavily affected by the departures.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen were among the numerous politicians and community leaders who appeared at the event.

Luallen noted that Fort Campbell only last year absorbed the deactivation of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, a 2,400-soldier unit.


Witness: Vanderbilt rape defendant passed out condoms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An ex-Vanderbilt football player charged with rape testified against his former teammates Tuesday, telling jurors that one was “amped” when he got an unconscious coed in his dorm room.

Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie testified that Brandon Vandenburg passed out condoms, encouraging players to have sex with the woman who was lying on a floor.

“He was like amped, demanding,” McKenzie told jurors of Vandenburg’s demeanor. “He was hyper, like he was coaching us to do whatever.”

McKenzie testified that Vandenburg even tried to wake up his roommate, who was sleeping on the top bunk in a dorm room, to participate.

The roommate never got up, but McKenzie testified how his two best friends violated the female student. He said the alleged attack ended with Cory Batey urinating on the woman.

Vandenburg and Batey are being tried for rape. McKenzie and Brandon Banks are also charged. All have pleaded not guilty.


Man charged in deaths of mother, brother in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville police have charged a 23-year-old man with two counts of criminal homicide in the shooting deaths of his mother and brother.

Police said Mark Silas Sebastian of Nashville was charged Tuesday after stopping a police officer downtown and giving a statement.

Police said Sebastian was questioned Monday night in the shootings but said he had no knowledge of them.

A neighbor reported shots being fired Sunday morning at an apartment complex where 54-year-old Janet Boone and 27-year-old Frank Boone lived. Police found Janet Boone critically wounded and Frank Boone deceased. Janet Boone died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Police said a pistol was recovered from the apartment.

Sebastian is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

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