As the Hugh Freeze era shatters at Ole Miss, no winners to be found

As first seen on MississippiToday.com, by Rick Cleveland Hugh Freeze made $5 million a year to coach Ole Miss football. He was a rock star. He took Ole Miss to its first Sugar Bowl in 46 years and won it by four touchdowns. He beat juggernaut Alabama two straight games and almost a third. He won recruiting battles against national powerhouses. He was a master motivator, who quoted Bible verses to his more than 190,000 followers on Twitter. His official Twitter page reads: “Husband to a wonderful wife, Dad of...

C Spire Gillom and C Spire Howell Notes

Ole Miss’ Saiz, State’s Vivians take home trophies BY RICK CLEVELAND MARCH 6, 2017 SHARETWEET EMAILPRINTMORE Rick Clevleand Sebastian Saiz (center), poses with Bailey Howell and Andy Kennedy (right), after winning the C Spire Howell Trophy.   Notes, quotes and an opinion or three from the C Spire Howell and Gillom Awards luncheon Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum: • First thing first: They got the winners right. Sebastian Saiz won the Bailey Howell Trophy after averaging a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) for the season....

Good Competition for C Spire Howell/Gillom Awards

There is still a while to go before the end of the regular basketball season for Mississippi colleges but voters are starting to look for their favorites to win the C Spire Howell Trophy and the C Spire Gillom Trophy.  Each year a panel of state- wide media select the finalists for this coveted honor, then a combination of their votes and the popular vote sponsored by C Spire determine the Outstanding Women's and Men's players. For the past two years we have presented the hardware to the same two...

Baseball Hall Makes Good Selections

The Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee made three good choices on Wednesday afternoon. The Hall announced that joining John Schuerholtz, and Bud Selig will be Ivan Rodriguez, Tim Raines and my favorite Jeff Bagwell. Rodriguez is possibly the best defender to ever play the catcher position. He stopped his opponents running game almost single handedly. He also was a pretty good hitter over a long career that saw him make 14 All-Star teams and win 13 Gold Gloves. He threw out 46 per cent of those trying to steal...

The Museum Debuts New Entrance Film

By Rick Cleveland, Mississippi Today The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has a new introductory film in its newly named Gertrude C. Ford Foundation Theatre. The new, 15-minute presentation was produced through a generous grant from the Jackson-based Gertrude C. Ford Foundation. The museum, which turned 20 last July, still showed the original theatre presentation until recently. Said the museum’s executive director Bill Blackwell, “Our original theatre presentation was outstanding and served us well, but so much has happened in the last 20 years where Mississippi sports is...

Brantley, Powell, others to recall World Series experiences at Tuesday night viewing party

Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Jeff Brantley remembers dreaming of pitching in the World Series as early as when he was a child of six or seven. “I dreamed of it, worked toward it, busted my tail for a lot of years …” Brantley says. And then, in 1989, at age 26, he helped the San Francisco Giants make it to the World Series in his rookie season. And his lasting memory, all these 27 years later? “The earthquake, of course,” Brantley says. “That’s it, really. I tell people all...

Baseball Fans Delight

Mississippi baseball fans will have a unique opportunity to meet and talk with some of your favorite players on October 25th at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.  For just $50 you will receive a delicious barbecue dinner and reception beginning at 5:30 pm.  At 6:30 a panel discussion with a list of Mississippi based players and coaches will be held and fans may ask questions of their favorites.  At game time, we invite everyone to mingle with the players and watch game #1 of the World Series...

A Strange Weekend by Bill Blackwell

I don't know about anyone else, but this weekend was filled with many differing emotions for me.  There were highs and lows during the two days meant for most of us to get a break from the work week.  Saturday saw Jackson State win their first game of the Tony Hughes era and Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and USM all mark notches in the victory column.  Everything appeared to be going smoothly. Then Sunday morning the news of the tragic death of 24 year old Jose Fernandez rocked the nation....

Hall of Famer Weatherspoon joins USM coaching staff

  The greatest player in Southern Miss basketball history is returning to Hattiesburg as a member of the Golden Eagle basketball staff. Now then, Clarence Weatherspoon needs to help Doc Sadler recruit players and coach them to play with the same passion and ability that he always displayed himself. That will be no easy chore. In four years at USM, Weatherspoon never took a play off. Yes, he was strong and could jump like Jordan, but it was his almost maniacal work ethic that made him a four time All-Metro...

In Mississippi, there’s always a next: Clinton’s Cam Akers

Writer's note: One thing I've learned in 50 years of covering Mississippi sports and especially in four and a half years at your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame: In Mississippi, there's always a "next." What I mean is a next superstar, no matter the sport. Cam Akers of Clinton High is one of those... This is my column for Mississippi Today, which will soon appear several times a week at mississippitoday.org.   BATESVILLE —These eyes saw Walter Payton play at Columbia High School. These eyes saw Marcus Dupree play at...