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5 things to know about ALS and how Stephen Hawking survived it for decades

A diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is usually a death sentence, and it’s one filled with pain and suffering, sometimes for years, before the victim finally succumbs to the disease.

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So how was world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking able to survive the degenerative neurological illness and live for decades? Hawking was 21 when he was diagnosed with ALS and given only a few years to live, but he survived more than 50 years. He was confined to a wheelchair in near-total paralysis, breathed through a tube, used an electronic voice synthesizer to speak and could only move his little finger on one hand, but he lived until the age of 76 and made quite a name for himself during his lifetime, beating almost all the odds for those with ALS.

Hawking often credited his sense of humor as one of factors for his longevity, although doctors have said he was a rare ALS victim with a slow-moving form of the disease.

>> Related: Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Celebrities, public figures, scientists pay tribute 

In a 2016 question and answer session, he said “his work” and “a sense of humor” kept him alive, according to The Washington Post.

Here are 5 things to know about ALS:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells and causes disability, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors don’t know why victims develop the disease, although some cases are inherited. There is no cure for ALS.


  • The first symptoms of the disease include muscle twitching, weakness in the arms or legs or slurred speech. ALS is eventually fatal.



  • In the summer of 2014, millions of people started talking about ALS, according to the ALS Association, and raising money and awareness through the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge raised millions of dollars for ALS research.


  • Just over 6,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS every year and just 10 percent will survive 10 or more years. The ALS Association says some 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. More men than women develop the disease, which usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55. 

Report: Andy Cannizaro to be fired as Mississippi State baseball coach

Andy Cannizaro-Mississippi State baseball-Mississippi State Bulldogs-Mississippi State

After the opening weekend of the college baseball season, Mississippi State will fire baseball coach Andy Cannizaro on Tuesday morning, according to a report from 247Sports’ David H. Murray.

Cannizaro will reportedly be fired for cause. Murray reports “University officials have yet to state on record what said cause is.”

Cannizaro is in his second year at Mississippi State and took the Bulldogs to a Super Regional in 2017. Mississippi State did not get off to a good start to 2018 however, as the Bulldogs were swept in the opening weekend by Southern Miss, a team it beat in NCAA Tournament a season ago. In his first year at Mississippi State, Cannizaro led the team to a 40-27 record, and went 17-13 in the ultra competitive SEC. During his two seasons at Mississippi State, Cannizaro had a 40-30 record. This was his first head coaching job in college baseball.

Cannizaro replaced John Cohen, who is now the school’s athletic director. Cohen replaced Scott Stricklin who had left to take the same position at Florida. Prior to his time at Mississippi State,  Cannizaro had been an assistant at LSU from 2014-16 where he was the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator. Mississippi State’s season came to an end last season at the hands of LSU. He had also worked a scout for the New York Yankees from 2009 until he was hired by LSU.

In the season prior to Cannizaro’s arrival, Mississippi State went 44-18-1, with its season also ending with a loss in the Super Regionals.

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Related:  SEC Country baseball Power Poll

Before the season-opening sweep by Southern Miss, the Bulldogs began the season ranked No. 12 but dropped to No. 21 in the second set of rankings.  The Bulldogs were one of 8 SEC teams ranked in the D1Baseball Top 25 poll.

Mississippi State returns to action on Wednesday when they take on Jackson State in Jackson, Miss. After that the Bulldogs travel to Corpus Christi, Texas to take part in the Kleeberg Bank College Classic where they will play UC Santa Barbra, Nicholls State and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. The team begins SEC play on March 16, when it takes on Vanderbilt.

The post Report: Andy Cannizaro to be fired as Mississippi State baseball coach appeared first on SEC Country.

4 SEC traditions in running to be named America’s favorite in USA Today vote

best SEC traditions-SEC traditions-sports traditions-tommer's corner-the grove-12th man-usa today

Make your voice heard with a vote, SEC fans.

Think your school has the best tradition in America? There’s a chance to have your thought count.

As part of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, four SEC traditions are listed among the possibilities to be named the  favorite tradition in American sports. If you haven’t voted yet, you have time. You can vote for your favorite sports tradition once per day until polls close at noon ET on March 5. The winning tradition will be revealed on March 9.

The four SEC traditions included in the vote are as follows:

  • Mississippi State’s cowbell
  • Ole Miss’ The Grove
  • Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell
  • Auburn’s rolling Toomer’s Corner

The other possibilities include the Chicago Cubs’ seventh-inning stretch, Duke’s Cameron Crazies, college basketball’s cutting of the nets, the Kentucky Derby’s hats, Clemson’s Howard’s Rock, Wisconsin’s Jump Around, the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Leap, Army and Navy’s March On, Florida State’s Planting of the Spear, Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion sign, the Oakland Raiders’ Raider Nation, the New York Yankees’ Roll Call, Ohio State’s Script Ohio, Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towels and the Detroit Red Wings’ Throwing of the Octopus.

Of course, judging traditions is so subjective. But come on, each of those SEC traditions is far superior to most of those other options. (Who really wants to throw an octopus? Ew. And those Kentucky Derby hats? Talk about boring.)

You can check out the current leaderboard here. Get those votes in fast, SEC fans. Have justice be done.

The post 4 SEC traditions in running to be named America’s favorite in USA Today vote appeared first on SEC Country.

Former MLB pitcher Esteban Loaiza jailed on drug charges

Former major-league pitcher Esteban Loaiza faces felony drug charges after he was arrested Friday in San Diego, according to San Diego County arrest records.

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Loaiza, 46, was charged with possession of more than 20 kilograms of heroin and/or cocaine, according to arrest records. He was also charged with possession of narcotics for sale and possession and transportation of narcotics for sale.

Loaiza is being held in South Bay Detention Facility on $200,000 bail, according to arrest records. He will appear in court on Wednesday, the New York Post reported.

Loaiza pitched 14 seasons in the majors, compiling a 126-114 record. The native of Tijuana, Mexico pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. The right-hander’s best season was 2003, when he went 21-9 with the White Sox and finished second in voting for the American League Cy Young Award. 

His last season in the majors was in 2008.

Loaiza’s 126 victories makes him the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in major-league history. Fernando Valenzuela is the leader with 173.

Alabama ranked among Sporting News’ Top 15 dynasties in sports history

Nick Saban-Bill Belichick-Alabama-Alabama Crimson Tide-football-New England Patriots-

Alabama won the national championship again this season, as the program is currently on an incredible run of success. In fact, it’s among the greatest in not just college football history, but in all of sports.

But how exactly does this run by the Crimson Tide compare to some of the other all-time great dynasties?

Well, Sporting News decided to create a list of the Top 15 greatest dynasties in sports history, and Alabama’s current one made the list. The Crimson Tide (2007-present) came in at No. 9.

Alabama has won five national championships in the past five seasons, while also making the College Football Playoff each of the past four seasons. Since the start of 2007, the Tide have a 132-20 record.

During this incredible run, Alabama has also won five SEC championships, as head coach Nick Saban has continually guided the program to success.

The Crimson Tide are the only college football program to make Sporting News’ list.

Here is the full list, courtesy of Sporting News:

  1. Chicago Bulls (1991-98)
  2. UCLA basketball (1964-75)
  3. Boston Celtics (1956-69)
  4. New England Patriots (2001-present)
  5. New York Yankees (1949-56)
  6. New York Yankees (1996-2003)
  7. UConn basketball (1994-present)
  8. Montreal Canadiens (1952-60)
  9. Alabama football (2007-present)
  10. Edmonton Oilers (1982-90)
  11. San Francisco 49ers (1981-94)
  12. Los Angeles Lakers (1979-91)
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers (1972-79)
  14. Green Bay Packers (1960-67)
  15. Duke basketball (1985-94)

The post Alabama ranked among Sporting News’ Top 15 dynasties in sports history appeared first on SEC Country.

Arkansas’ recruiting class quickly filling up after busy 2 days

Arkansas recruiting-Tommy Bush-under armour

Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss where the 2018 class stands after a busy couple days and a walk-on quarterback addition to the roster.

Where Arkansas’ 2018 class stands after 4 commits in 2 days

Arkansas’ 2018 class has quickly gone from plenty of room remaining to nearing completion.

The Razorbacks added four commitments from Sunday morning to Monday afternoon. All four were visitors to Fayetteville last weekend. Prior to them stepping on campus for their recent trips, Arkansas had nine members in the class — eight signees and a commit — with as many as seven scholarship spots still available.

Now, the Hogs have a projected two-to-four spots still available with another set of official visitors expected this weekend. That’s including an unexpected scholarship for the Hogs after offensive lineman Jake Heinrich announced Monday evening he is giving up football.

With the new commitments in place, the list of top targets to finish out the class has narrowed. Here’s a look at a few players who are still among the Hogs’ top targets in the class and where things stand with their recruitment:

  • WR Tommy Bush, 4 stars, Samuel Clemens (Schertz, Texas): Bush received an in-home visit from coach Chad Morris, wide receivers coach Justin Stepp and running backs coach Jeff Traylor on Monday night. The staff is clearly working hard to bring him on campus for an official visit, but so are in-state programs Baylor and Texas as he only has one official visit remaining. If the Hogs can persuade him to visit campus, they’ll have a serious shot at landing what would be their highest-rated recruit in the class.
  • S/OLB Aaron Brule, 3 stars, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.): Brule had an official visit to Fayetteville last weekend that went great. The Hogs are definitely near the top of his list along with Oklahoma State and TCU. He’s currently really struggling with a final decision and may not make it public until he signs on National Signing Day (Feb. 7).
  • S Joseph Foucha, 3 stars, McDonogh 35 (New Orleans): Foucha’s visit to Fayetteville last weekend has helped place  Arkansas among his top-3 choices. He’s still hoping to make visits to those schools and possibly Ole Miss before making a decision, which is likely not coming until National Signing Day.
  • CB Mario Goodrich III, 4 stars, Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West: Arkansas defensive backs coach Mark Smith attended Goodrich’s basketball game last week. That gesture has apparently helped the Hogs receive an official visit from Goodrich. He is expected to be on campus in early February just before Signing Day. Georgia and LSU are still considered the favorites, but the Hogs will at least make the last impression.
  • WR Treveon Johnson, 3 stars, Brenham (Texas): Johnson is still committed to Oklahoma after his visit to Fayetteville last weekend. He enjoyed the trip and has a great relationship with Arkansas’ coaching staff. Still, a flip from the Sooners seems unlikely, but the Razorbacks haven’t been totally ruled out just yet.
  • DE Tyree Wilson, 3 stars, West Rusk (New London, Texas): Wilson was also among the official visitors last weekend. He remains committed to Texas A&M, but Arkansas has definitely given him something to think about between now and National Signing Day.
  • OL Ryan Winkel, 3 stars, Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.): Winkel officially visited Mississippi State last weekend. He has plans to do the same at Arkansas this weekend. A recent offer from Tennessee has also made the Vols a possibility. Look for Arkansas to try and lock in his commitment with a strong push this weekend.

See also:

Former TCU signee Austin Aune joins Arkansas as walk-on

Former TCU signee and New York Yankees draft pick Austin Aune has enrolled at Arkansas. He will be a walk-on quarterback for the Hogs, sources have confirmed to SEC Country.

Aune, 24, signed with the Horned Frogs as a member of their 2012 class but never enrolled. He was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the MLB draft that summer. He opted to sign for a $1 million bonus.

A shortstop and outfielder, he spent six seasons in the organization before retiring from baseball after his 2017 campaign. He had a career .226 batting average with 20 home runs in 387 games.

Aune was a 3-star recruit from Argyle (Texas) when he signed with TCU. He passed for 3,411 yards and 33 touchdowns with 9 interceptions as a senior. Additionally, he rushed for 541 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here.

The post Arkansas’ recruiting class quickly filling up after busy 2 days appeared first on SEC Country.

Who is Allen Greene? 5 things to know about Auburn’s new athletics director

Auburn-Auburn athletics-Auburn Tigers-Auburn athletics director-Allen Greene

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn athletics is headed in a brand-new direction, as Buffalo athletics director Allen Greene was named to the same position for the Tigers on Thursday.

Greene is an outside of the box hire for Auburn, which has long given its top spot in athletics administration to alumni or former coaches. Greene has been all across the country in athletics, but his job in Auburn will be his first inside the state.

Here are five key things to know about Greene, who will be formally introduced as Auburn’s new athletic director on Friday morning at 10 a.m. CT.

MORE:  Tommy Tuberville on new Auburn AD Allen Greene: ‘Give him full rein’

1. Allen Greene has zero ties to Auburn.

After decades of athletic directors who either played or coached at Auburn, Greene is a step in a brand-new direction for the Tigers. Greene was born in Seattle and played college baseball at Notre Dame. After several years in the New York Yankees’ farm system, he received his masters’ degree from Indiana and returned to his alma mater to work.

Greene’s only regional ties come through Ole Miss, where he spent several years working for the Rebels’ athletic department. He followed Danny White to Buffalo and was a deputy athletics director there before White’s departure to UCF. Greene knows the SEC, but he doesn’t have any prior connection to Auburn. That was a major sticking point for certain power brokers at Auburn and members of the fan base after Jay Jacobs, who spent almost his entire post-college career working for the school.

2. Greene is known for his fundraising skills.

Greene’s time at Ole Miss was mostly spent in fundraising. He was a major part of a $150 million capital campaign, which was the largest in school history. At Buffalo, he helped secure funding for an $18 million indoor football practice facility — something that was discussed at the school for a long time.

He will step into a situation that needs his expertise, as Auburn is in the midst of several major facilities projects. A new football operations building seems to be high on the priority list for Gus Malzahn, especially after he was armed with a seven-year contract late last year. Greene’s experience in generating funding will come in handy for the Tigers at this current time.

3. Greene has experience in several key areas of athletic department administration.

While Greene’s strong suit is fundraising, he appears to be a well-rounded hire on paper. At Notre Dame, he spent several years working in compliance, then in athletics advancement — AKA fundraising. During his time at Buffalo, Greene oversaw operations for both the Bulls’ football and basketball programs.

He hasn’t made a head coach hire in a major sport yet, but Auburn should be set up well for the future in that area with Gus Malzahn, Bruce Pearl, Butch Thompson and Mickey Dean. Greene doesn’t have many years under his belt as a top athletics director. However, he’s been involved in a lot of areas at a wide range of schools.

4. Greene is one of the youngest athletic directors in the country.

Greene was 38 years old when he was hired as White’s replacement at Buffalo. He is now 40 years old, and he will turn 41 in April — his third month on the job at Auburn. Greene has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time when it comes to college athletics.

Greene’s energy and enthusiasm should serve the Tigers well as they step into what Auburn president Steven Leath called a “new chapter” for athletics. For decades now, Auburn athletics has been run by, for lack of a better term, older Auburn people. Greene should be a shot of new energy.

5. Greene is the third African-American athletics director in SEC history.

When Greene takes over day-to-day operations at Auburn in February, he will become only the SEC’s third African-American athletics director and Auburn’s first. Vanderbilt’s David Williams and former Georgia athletics director Damon Evans were the first two.

Greene is a trailblazer for Auburn and the SEC, as Williams and Evans were hired to their positions from within. He is the first African-American athletics director to be brought in as an outside hire. Under Greene’s leadership, Buffalo recently won an NCAA award for diversity and inclusion.

The post Who is Allen Greene? 5 things to know about Auburn’s new athletics director appeared first on SEC Country.

Auburn officially names Buffalo’s Allen Greene as its new athletics director

Auburn football-podcast-Auburn-Athletics director

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn University officially has its 15th athletics director and its replacement for longtime head man Jay Jacobs — Buffalo’s Allen Greene.

Auburn athletics announced the hire of Greene on Thursday afternoon. The news of his hire was first reported by Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover on Wednesday night.

“Allen kicks off the next exciting chapter for Auburn Athletics,” Auburn University president Steven Leath said in a statement. “In our interviews and due diligence learning all we could about him, it became overwhelmingly clear that Allen has the right combination of leadership, enthusiasm, experience and management to lead Auburn Athletics to success well into the future.”

PODCAST:  Auburn moves in new direction after 14 years with Allen Greene

Greene comes to Auburn after two years at the athletics director at Buffalo, where he replaced current UCF athletics director Danny White. Greene served in various positions at Buffalo, Ole Miss and his alma mater, Notre Dame, before his hire.

Greene, who is one of the youngest ADs in major college sports at the age of 40, is the first African-American athletics director in Auburn history and only the third in SEC history. He played baseball at Notre Dame and played in the New York Yankees farm system for several seasons.

“Serving Auburn University as Director of Athletics is a tremendous honor and an awesome responsibility, Greene said. “Time-honored traditions have helped create a culture of success at Auburn that is incredibly rare. I am humbled that President Leath and the Search Committee entrust me to maintain all that is uniquely Auburn and utilize that foundation to forge a path to even greater heights. Whether in the classroom or on the fields and courts of play, these lofty expectations are embraced, and I am eager to get to work for the Auburn Family.”

Greene will replace Jacobs, who announced his retirement from his position after 12 years. Jacobs was set to stay on as Auburn’s acting athletics director until his replacement was hired.

The post Auburn officially names Buffalo’s Allen Greene as its new athletics director appeared first on SEC Country.

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