It's been kinda busy for a week in mid-July, so I've got plenty of reading to distract you from your duties at work or home or vacation or whatever. Let's start with a few links.
• My opinion offering is about college football, or more specifically, whether the coming season will offer fans (and media) a respite from an offseason filled with disheartening headlines.
• MSU has reported an NCAA infraction involving impermissible benefits to high school baseball prospects. The school is still awaiting word from the SEC on whether the self-imposed penalties will be accepted and whether there will be any further penalties.
• Dan Mullen and Ole Miss chancellor Dan Jones will be on the same team today at the Viking Classic Pro-Am in Madison. I do wonder, though, if Mullen will clang a cowbell when Jones is on the first tee, just for funsies. The group, which includes pro Steve Elkington, tees off at 11:50 a.m.
There are a few other things worth noting this morning.
• The baseball team picked up a big signee in the form of infielder Nick Flair of Belle Chasse, La. The consensus All-American was the New Orleans metro player of the year following his senior season, in which he batted .619 with 12 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Flair (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) was selected in the 26th round by Pittsburgh in this year's MLB Draft. His grandfather, the late Al Flair, had a cup of coffee with the Boston Red Sox in 1941.
• Sticking with baseball, coach John Cohen awarded varsity letters to 25 players, according to a release sent out this morning. Eight of those letters went to seniors, plus junior Devin Jones, who signed a pro contract with Baltimore. So MSU will have 16 lettermen returning for the 2012 season.
• AD Scott Stricklin tweeted some info this morning about football tickets. He says fewer than 1,000 "mini-plans" remain – that package costs $75 and includes tickets to home games versus South Carolina, Louisiana Tech and UT-Martin. Also, single-game tickets for Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and UT-Martin go on sale to Bulldog Club members July 18 (that's Monday), and to the general public on Aug. 1.