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Classes Starting Means Fall Sports Getting into Gear

Aug. 23, 2011

Excitement abounds on the Southern Miss campus as we prepare for classes to begin on Wednesday, August 24, and our football team begins to put the final touches on its game plan for the home opener against Louisiana Tech next Saturday night, Sept. 3, at "The Rock."

Our women's soccer team has begun its season and our volleyball squad will open up at home this weekend. Our three major fall sports, football, soccer and volleyball, have been working very hard throughout the summer to get ready for the 2011 season. We are expecting all three to have outstanding seasons.

The summer Eagle Club/Alumni events were very successful and this past Sunday night we had a great evening as over 3,500 Southern Miss freshman and new students visited "The Rock" to hear from Jeff Hammond and Coach Larry Fedora. We expect record student crowds at all our games this year. We have started a Student Eagle Club and have over 1,000 members going into the start of the season.

We also held our annual student-athlete convocation this week for over 300 athletes, coaches and staff members. Former football captain Jonathan Palmer (2003-06), delivered an inspiring message of what it takes to W.I.N. I feel a great sense of chemistry among our student-athletes as we embark on the 2011-12 athletic and academic year.

Nationally, we continue to watch the possible movement of Texas A&M to the Southeastern Conference. If this does occur, it could have a domino effect on conference re-alignment. Only time will tell what leagues may be effected. Both Southern Miss and C-USA continue to monitor the situation daily. The NCAA is also focusing on several issues including student-athlete scholarships, academic progress and its compliance programs. In the coming months there will be an overhaul of the system as it pertains to these major items.

Needless to say, it is going to be an interesting fall. Our mission is simply to strive for a C-USA Championship in our fall sports and maximize our attendance at our home athletic contests.

We are continuing our push into new media and have developed a comprehensive social media campaign and strategy that includes promoting and marketing all of our athletic programs while giving our fans a behind the scenes look of Southern Miss Athletics. We have revamped our athletic website, SouthernMiss.com, to be more user and fan friendly all while adding to the experience by including highlight videos and daily interviews with players and coaches. We are continuing to push and move the envelope forward with our fans and students in mind as we strive to be on the cutting edge of technology, new media, and social media. We have also added new highlight videos and music to the game day experience for football at The Rock which we hope will add to the already tremendous support we receive from our fans on game day.

It's time to let the "Battles Begin" when we host Louisiana Tech next Saturday at 9 p.m. We need you at "The Rock" as we start our quest for a great season and a C-USA Championship. Get your tailgating ready, wear your Gold and let's unite to support our Golden Eagle student-athletes and football team.

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