December 2009 Archives

A couple of stories to get you in the spirit for Saturday's AutoZone Liberty Bowl:

* East Carolina has about 7,000 fans coming to Memphis for their team's second consecutive Liberty Bowl appearance as Conference USA champions. The unofficial gathering spot for the contingent will be venerable Beale Street haunt Silky O'Sullivans, where owner Silky Sullivan has a special place in his heart for the Purple Pirates:

"I am known as the international meeting place of anyone purple and gold," said Sullivan. Sullivan is a graduate of Louisiana State University, but said he became an instant Pirate fan after a one-time trip to the city some 20 years ago.

"There are three things in the world I respect: Jesus Christ, Roebuck Catalogue and Fifth Street," he said. "... Not only is it the spirit of the school (ECU), it's the people. You just feel like they're family."

So this year he's getting ready to welcome back his Pirate brethren with the usual shag music, gossip and his Purple Haze drink -- and he might even share one of the Pirate Sweet Potatoes (purple potatoes from Stokes County) he received as a "thank you" gift this Christmas.

* Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is keeping his team on a short leash this week. The Razorbacks, who are staying at The Peabody, will be "locked down" on New Year's Eve:

Movies will be ordered in-room as the Razorbacks try to block out what's going on around them.

"New Year's we'll lock them down," Petrino said. "We have to. There are so many functions in the hotel. There's going to be so many people down there, so much going on that night they have to be in early."

Parents of West Memphis Three victims divided over case

Back in October, I linked to a story in The New York Times about shifting attitudes in West Memphis about the West Memphis Three case. The Times mentioned that among those having second thoughts was Pamela Hobbs, mother of 8-year-old victim Stevie Branch. According to an Associated Press story, she told "Little Rock television station KTHV that she doesn't think Jason Baldwin, Jessie Misskelley and Damien Echols killed her son and his two friends, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore."

In a story posted today, CNN followed up with Hobbs and with Mark Byers, Christopher's father.

"I wanted to believe in our justice system," said Hobbs, now 45. She moved to Blytheville, Arkansas, shortly after the 1993 trial. "But time heals all wounds, and you start looking at things differently."


"The worst part about it is the three real victims that deserve justice, the three 8-year-old children have not been given justice," Byers said. "They got a hack job for a police investigation. It was a rush to find someone who they said did this."

Todd and Diana Moore, parents of Michael Moore, still believe the West Memphis Three are guilty.

Terry Hobbs, Stevie's stepfather of Stevie, also believes that the case was disposed of correctly. However, Hobbs,
who was divorced from Pamela Hobbs in 2004, is linked to new evidence that condemned killer Damien Echols hopes will bring him a new trial.

CNN also reported that the Arkansas Supreme Court likely will hear in February oral arguments on whether to grant Echols a new trial based on DNA and other evidence. A retired Craighead County judge has been considering whether to grant
Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. new trials based on their claims that they received inadequate legal representation.
The Wall Street Journal's Hannah Karp runs down today a list of idled sports stadiums, some of which -- like the Detroit area's Pontiac Silverdome -- could be had for a relatively modest sum by a well-heeled buyer looking for a unique last-minute holiday gift. The Pyramid in Memphis makes the list, of course, though the arena for now is spoken for in a lease agreement between the city and Bass Pro Shops. Here's what Karp has to say about the silver-and-blue jewel of the Mississippi:

Opened in 1991, this 20,000-seat arena on the banks of the Mississippi--one of the world's 10 largest pyramids--housed the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis men's basketball team until both moved to the FedEx Forum in 2004. Shelby County, which sold its half share in the arena to the City of Memphis this year, has considered refashioning the pyramid as a casino or an aquarium. A local congressman suggested opening a new branch of the Smithsonian Institution. Sporting-goods outfitter Bass Pro Shops is renting the pyramid for $35,000 a month with plans to convert it into a megastore, but a spokesman says the company won't purchase the building. 

This Christmas, remember the Memphis Mafia, Elvis collector says

Elvis historian Jeff Schrembs says fans should remember this holiday season to acknowledge "the role and sacrifices that the Memphis Mafia played in the life and accomplishments of Elvis Presley." Being a member of Elvis' inner circle was more than a full-time job, Schrembs says, especially given The King's unusual schedule and need for constant attention.

What we do know is that these grown men, capable of defending themselves physically, have REAL emotions about Elvis - his death - and their time with him. They have expressed sadness and, on many occasions, have "opened their hearts" telling the story of their life with Elvis. The wounds that these men carry with them have not healed and will never heal unless/until they know, monetarily and publicly, how much THEY mean to Elvis Fans Worldwide. I believe that time is "running out" and the time for praise, expression of thanks and acknowledgement is warranted.

Schremb says he has been an Elvis fan and collector for 50 years, and that he has a collection of more than 100,000 personal photos and other Elvis items. He wants to defend the Memphis Mafia's legacy, which became controversial after Red West, Sonny Hebler and Dave West published the explosive tell-all "Elvis What Happened?" just a month before Elvis' death in 1977.

I can't imagine how hard it must of been to love someone as much as they did Elvis, and at times be subjected to "unfavorable actions", and be helpless (in many ways) to stopping the (eventual) downfall. I say this with the UTMOST love, and respect, for Elvis and he gave his heart up to the last note he sang onstage for his fans. He was the comsumate entertainer and his voice has lifted me daily even these 30+ years since his passing. I never thought that there would ever be a "World without Elvis" and yet there is...and it hurts...and I have problems understanding it fully...and I ask WHY???...and then I think about all of those who really knew him and (my God) what they must be going through..and went through.

Three 6 Mafia says 'Cooking Ain't Easy' to air next year on VH1

Memphis rap heroes Three 6 Mafia are wrapping up a deal with VH1 to air their cooking/reality TV show "Cooking Ain't Easy," according to a number of reports out this week. You'll recall that this blog reported on the show's development some months ago.

Three 6 leaders DJ Paul and Juicy J explained the concept of the show, which they said will premier sometime in 2010:

"We got a cooking show coming up, it's a television show.  It's a reality show called Cooking Ain't Easy, we got one dude from Adventures in Hollyhood; Big Triece, me and Paul.  We cooking different kinds of food.  We get challenged by big chefs to cook different kinds of food; Indian food, Mexican food, Jewish food, Japanese food, Chinese, whatever."

"We cook the food and we let the fans that sit in the crowd walk up and taste the food and let them decide if they like it or not.  If they like it, they like it, if they hate they gonna say it's garbage.  It's a funny show, you'll laugh but you'll learn something as you watch the show."

Grant at Starzlife already has a recipe request for the Oscar-winning rappers:

DJ Paul and Juicy J, I know you read this, so can I please ask you now to make sizzurp one of the specialty regional dishes you prepare?
In the late 1970s, comedian Andy Kaufman called out the women of America, challenging them to wrestle him and offering $1,000 to any woman who could beat him. A few years later, his wrestling foray led him to Memphis and his legendary feud with Jerry 'The King' Lawler. Hundreds of women responded to the challenge from the "Taxi" star and "Saturday Night Live" featured performer, and much of the correspondence has been collected in a new book called "Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!"

Reviewing the book in The New York Press, Mike Edison pens a grand tribute to Kaufman's wrestling career, going so far as to call him one of the great heels (bad guys) in wrestling history:

It is too easy to say he was "ahead of his time" (especially in a post-Borat world), and that he did it because it was his art. He was a real wrestling fan--naked and not ashamed. It may have been his popularity as a television star that allowed him to go to Memphis, but that would never be enough to carry him for more than a couple of weeks in front of the hardcore crowds they used to breed at the Mid-South Coliseum. His ring success didn't come so much from some twisted vision, rather it was born of genuine respect for wrestlers, and a deep love and understanding for professional wrestling. If he didn't have that he would have been exposed as a fraud and chased from the territory ex post haste.Wrestling is very democratic that way.

Edison's article pays particular attention to the Kaufman/Lawler feud, which gained national media attention and led to the two men brawling on the set of "Late Night with David Letterman."

What had just happened? Who could tell any more what was a "work" and what was a "shoot"--was this cooked, like the matches were, or was it real?

Wrestling has never been concerned with separating fact from fiction, but this had blurred the lines in a way that nothing had before. Even people in the wrestling business couldn't parse exactly what went down--it was outside the confines of the ring, so was it still playing by wrestling's own self-defining rules? The natural order of things had been ruptured. It was like discovering that feathers fell faster than bricks in a vacuum. It was seriously weird.

In today's Coffee & Markets podcast on The New Ledger, Ben Domenech and Francis Cianfrocca discuss a recent piece on The Atlantic's Web site called "The New Breed of Deadbeats." The author, economics blogger Megan McArdle, declares that she has "no patience for people who refuse to pay their debts," as opposed to those who are unable to pay their debts, typically because of losing a job or even because of a series of bad financial decisions.

McArdle links to a story in The Wall Street Journal about a Southern California family who "strategically defaulted" when the value of their mortgaged home plummeted. Then they began renting a luxurious home for much less than their earlier monthly payment. The WSJ's premise is that their is a positive flip side to what appears to be gaming the system:

People's increasing willingness to abandon their own piece of America illustrates a paradoxical change wrought by the housing bust: Even as it tarnishes the near-sacred image of home ownership, it might be clearing the way for an economic recovery. [emphasis added]

Thanks to a rare confluence of factors -- mortgages that far exceed home values and bargain-basement rents -- a growing number of families are concluding that the new American dream home is a rental.

Some are leaving behind their homes and mortgages right away, while others are simply halting payments until the bank kicks them out. That's freeing up cash to use in other ways.

McArdle thinks we should be outraged: "I think before you walk away from three different mortgages, you should explore life options that do not include $1,800 worth of new furniture." Besides the moral dimension of walking away from a deal, McArdle believes that there are real economic consequences -- a moral hazard -- when contracts aren't honored in a free market. To illustrate, she digs out a 1997 Fortune article on, yes, Memphis, which was then known as "the bankruptcy capital of America":

A visitor soon concludes that this boomtown has a culture of bankruptcy.


There are serious costs to being the No. 1 deadbeat, of course. It's almost impossible to cash checks in Memphis. Used-car dealers charge their wholesale cost as a down payment. And lenders are either tightening or giving up. First Enterprise Financial Group, for instance, an Illinois-based sub-prime lender, closed its Memphis operations in May.

On the podcast, Cianfrocca dismisses the idea that what Fortune and McArdle said happened in Memphis would happen to the United States as a whole (the segment on McArdle is toward the end of the podcast). He also points to accumulating anecdotal evidence that banks are not allowing people to refinance their mortgages into lower-cost mortgages like they used to.

The whole country won't become like Memphis, not with Congress and the Administration pursuing a reflate-even-at-the-cost-of-moral-hazard policy, and with the Fed tacitly supporting that policy. If people who can afford to pay off mortgages on inflated property values continue to do so, then they will have shouldered the collapse of the housing bubble. McArdle implicitly believes this is a good and right outcome. I don't disagree in the slightest, but it does mean that we're facing years of economic underperformance.

UPDATE: Commercial Appeal Business editor James Overstreet touched on the moral-hazard theme in a column from a few weeks back. He noted that credit-card delinquencies are declining even while negative equity -- "underwater" mortgages -- continue to "hobble economic recovery." (The negative-equity rate is more than 25 percent in Memphis.) 

But consumers are making disconcerting choices about deleveraging their balance sheets: While not paying their mortgages, they are paying their credit card bills.

This is runs counter to the age-old adage that people will pay their mortgage first and everything else second.

Some observers attribute this change in consumer behavior to the unintended consequences of massive government intervention, namely "moral hazard."

Moral hazard happens when the government promises to bail out organizations or individuals if their behavior results in financial ruin.

In other words, there is no incentive to play it safe if you know you will get bailed out by Uncle Sam.

So if homeowners believe the government will bail them out of underwater mortgages, they'll just stop making payments and wait for the federal rescue.

Since such a bailout isn't available for credit card debt, they continue paying those bills.

Overstreet sees no sunny side, only more negative consequences, to Americans ditching their mortgages in order to increase their liquidity.

Also, check out this analysis of a study of Memphis bankruptcy filers by the Memphis-based RISE Foundation. It points out that, "Foreclosure avoidance was the clearest expression of why homeowners sought bankruptcy protection." 
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art dropped a press release on PRWeb earlier today to promote its next blockbuster show, "Venice in the Age of Canaletto," which will be on display from Feb. 4 till May 9.

gI_0_0_camposanvio.jpg The exhibit is built around one of the museum's centerpiece works, "The Grand Canal from Campo di San Vio" by 18th century painter Giovanni Antonio Canaletto (pictured at right; it's part of the Brooks' great Kress collection).

Canaletto is best known for his paintings that document immediately recognizable views of the city. Yet, for all their ability to capture Venice's modern cityscape, his work is cool and detached, standing in stark contrast to the richly colored and exuberant work of his contemporaries Giambattista Tiepolo, Sebastiano Ricci, and Francesco Guardi, whose paintings evocatively capture the decadence, splendor, and beauty of city that was known as the "Drawing Room of Europe." The tension between these contrasting artistic styles is the focal point of the exhibition's examination of Venice during Canaletto's time and the cultural movements surrounding his development as a vedutista, or view painter.

"Because of their beguiling simplicity and almost photographic realism, we all too often think of Canaletto's paintings outside their historic and cultural context," explains Dr. Stanton Thomas, Associate Curator of the Brooks. "This exhibition offers a chance to see his work within the rich and evocative environment of eighteenth-century Venice."

The exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Brooks and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Fla. Besides paintings, the show will include prints, furniture and textiles from the golden age of Venice. 

Broadband access 'a civil right,' FCC commissioner says in Memphis

The Web site has coverage of Monday night's "occasionally tense" Federal Communications Commission hearing on broadband access.

In keeping with the hearing's location, the National Civil Rights Museum, FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said, "I believe that universal access to broadband needs to be seen as a civil right. I don't think you can look at it in any other way."

The article says that panelists identified affordability and perceived need as the two biggest obstacles to broadband adoption. Only 55 percent of Tennesseans have adopted broadband, which is available to 90 percent.

The National Journal's Tech Daily Dose blog has more ...
The widower of a woman who died after suffering a head injury from a bicycle accident during the 2003 Memphis in May Triathlon is suing the manufacturer and retailer of the helmet she wore, according to the Chicago Bar-Tender blog at

Donna Singer of the Chicago area died on Nov. 8, 2005, according to the complaint filed by her husband, Eric Singer. Listed as defendants are the Village Cycle Center in Chicago and Giro Sports Design. More from the complaint:

The complaint states that Donna Singer was riding her bicycle on a track in Millington, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Memphis in May triathlon, when she fell and the helmet "made contact with the track surface."

The complaint further states that the helmet was in an unreasonably dangerous condition because it was, among other things, "designed and manufactured with an improper and unsafe suspension system that provided inadequate separation between Donna Singer's head and the liner under reasonably foreseeable circumstances."

After her accident, Singer was airlifted to The Regional Medical Center at Memphis, where she underwent a series of surgeries to relieve swelling in her brain. The mother of two (ages 10 and 13 as of 2003) was later moved to an assisted-living center in the Chicago area.

Looking back through the clips, I found some interesting quotes about the helmet from a triathlon official. This story is from May 20, 2003 -- the Tuesday after the Sunday triathlon -- and a link is not available.

Wyndell Robertson, the triathlon's race director, said Singer was wearing a helmet at the time of the single-bike crash. He said there were reports she was squeezing a toy horn attached to her handlebars before the wreck.

"I wish I had more details, " Robertson said. "But no one actually saw it. People saw her in good spirits waving to spectators before the crash, then all of a sudden, boom, she's down and no one's around."

Robertson said he saw the helmet Singer was wearing and said it had "a few scratches."

"What's kind of freakish about this is the helmet wasn't in that bad of shape compared to some helmets I've seen worn by people who had lesser injuries, " Robertson said.

After the jump, I have copied Geoff Calkins' column from one year after the accident. It's about the Singer family and their ordeal, from the standpoint of the Eric Singer's journal entries. (Again, there is no link to this story available.)

Shelby County Commissioner George Flinn appears to be interested in making a run for the GOP nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring longtime Democratic Rep. John Tanner. The Memphis radiologist and broadcast entrepreneur issued a statement that said he and his family are "praying on this important decision":

"In the days since Congressman Tanner's announcement, many people from across the district have encouraged me to run for the seat.

I am deeply troubled by the direction the liberals in Congress are taking our nation ­ runaway spending and taxing, as well as a stunning increase in the size of government, threaten our future prosperity and our freedoms.

My family and I are praying on this important decision. Let me make one thing clear, I will be a part of a campaign to take back America and make sure our conservative values are no longer ignored, whether I do it as a candidate or in another role."

Flinn would have his hands full in the race for the GOP nomination. Stephen Fincher, a little-known farmer and singing preacher, has wowed the national party with his fundraising prowess. According to the Congressional Quarterly:

On Thursday, the NRCC announced that Fincher had impressed the committee enough with his early campaign efforts to be bumped up to the next rung of its "Young Guns" campaign support program.

Young Guns is a fundraising and infrastructure system that was created last cycle that ranks candidates on three tiers: "On the Radar," "Contender" and "Young Guns."

No candidate has yet achieved the program's highest ranking, and only Fincher only nine other Republican recruits have achieved Contender status.

Nonetheless, GOP candidates continue to enter the fray, hoping that an intensive primary could blunt Fincher's financial advantage.

CQ also touches on some of Flinn's perceived advantages and disadvantages were he to run:

Flinn, who in addition to his medical practice owns several radio stations and a television station in the Memphis area, is viewed as someone who could amass the political and financial resources to compete in the primary. But GOP insiders suggest Flinn's Memphis base would be a disadvantage in the mostly rural 8th district, which spans more than 8,500 square miles across 19 counties.

Rapper Gangsta Boo denies involvement in robbery, touts mixtape

Memphis rapper Gangsta Boo, a former member of the Three 6 Mafia camp who now rolls with the Drum Squad, is denying involvement in the July robbery of a dollar store in Olive Branch*, AOL's The Boombox blog reports.

Boo, real name Lola Mitchell, turned herself in to authorities two days ago and was released on $100,000 bond after being charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Marcus Curtis, 30, was charged with armed robbery in the case. He is being held in the DeSoto County Jail in Hernando on $100,000 bond.

Boo proclaimed her innocence throughout today on her Twitter page, where she also retweeted dozens of messages of support from friends and fans. The rapper also joked that the publicity about her alleged involvement in the robbery has provided her with free publicity for her Rumors mixtape. She announced that she is working on a new mixtape inspired by the saga, "Rumors Part 2: The State vs. Lola Mitchell."

Boo was to release today at 5 a statement explaining the matter. I'll update this post as soon as I hear anything further.

UPDATE: The statement sent to local media ...

"I, Lola C. Mitchell pka Gangsta Boo, was not, I repeat, was not involved in any kind of conspiracy of any kind involving a robbery.

I am being implicated false on statements and terms. I have no connections with any unlawful activities with the suspect Marcus Curtis or anyone else involved in this matter.

I was neither questioned nor informed of any such charges brought against me before a warrant was issued which lead me to turn myself in.

I feel like I have been publicly slandered and targeted because of my career, I am innocent on all charges and the truth will prevail in the end."

* Second item.

Matthew Yglesias: 'Crazy talk' on Downtown Memphis plans

Matthew Yglesias, one of the more prominent political bloggers on the liberal side of the spectrum, links to Wednesday's story in the Business section of The Commercial Appeal about plans by the Center City Commission to divert money from parking garages to sprucing up sidewalks and street fixtures Downtown. He quips:

Crazy talk in Memphis of spending less on subsidized parking garages and more on fixing sidewalks. Next thing you know people will be engaged in modest amounts of mild physical activity on a daily basis, with catastrophic public health consequences.

Queens man arrested in slaying of former Memphian Jamaica Smith

A Queens, N.Y., man was arrested today and charged with the murder of a Memphis woman who moved to the New York City borough in June, according to The New York Post.

Jamaica Smith, a 36-year-old hair stylist, disappeared the day before Thanksgiving after dropping off her 6-year-old daughter, Jailyn, at school. Her body was discovered Monday morning at a vacant home on Long Island. The Post cited sources as saying she had been strangled.

Sources said it was unclear what led Nassau County police to the suspect, Marvyn Jemmott, 35. The sources also told The Post that Smith was the mother of Jemmott's child.
An eye-opening Memphis-framed magazine article about rising crime in midsize cities has been included in a new anthology of outstanding crime reporting.

Hanna Rosin's "American Murder Mystery," published in the July/August 2008 issue of The Atlantic Monthly, focused on the research of Memphis criminologists Richard Janikowski and wife Phyllis Betts, who tracked a correlation between shifting patterns of crime and the movement of former inner-city residents using federal housing vouchers. Rosin's nut graf:

Memphis has always been associated with some amount of violence. But why has Elvis's hometown turned into America's new South Bronx? [Memphis Police Lt. Doug] Barnes thinks he knows one big part of the answer, as does the city's chief of police. A handful of local criminologists and social scientists think they can explain it, too. But it's a dismal answer, one that city leaders have made clear they don't want to hear. It's an answer that offers up racial stereotypes to fearful whites in a city trying to move beyond racial tensions. Ultimately, it reaches beyond crime and implicates one of the most ambitious antipoverty programs of recent decades.

The anthology, "Best American Crime Stories," includes 15 pieces and was edited by Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker.

Running back Isaac Williams ditches Memphis Tigers for Baylor

A junior-college running back who once was committed to play football at the University of Memphis has decided to take his game elsewhere in 2010.

Isaac Williams of El Camino (Calif.) Community College will head to Baylor instead, Tim Griffin (a Memphis State grad himself) reports on's Big 12 blog. Playing in Waco gives Williams a chance to share the backfield with quarterback Robert Griffin (no relation), a dynamic playmaker and world-class track athlete who sat out most of this season with a knee injury.

Here is what The Commercial Appeal had to say about Williams on Sept. 16, 2008, when he first committed to the Tigers (no link available):

Isaac Williams, a running back/receiver at El Camino (Calif.) Community College, has committed to the University of Memphis.

Williams, who made his decision over the weekend, also considered Oregon, Arizona, UNLV and Kansas State. He is the U of M's fifth junior college commitment and eighth verbal overall.

Williams (6-1, 195) played last season at Los Angeles Southwest Community College, where he tied for the team lead in touchdowns (seven). He rushed for 170 yards and scored four touchdowns rushing and caught eight passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns receiving. He transferred to El Camino after the season.

Tiger running back Gregory Ray , who is sitting out this season with a torn hamstring, also played at El Camino.

Smith, Tuohy family ties and the genesis of "The Blind Side"

As "The Blind Side" rises to No. 1 at the box office, the Memphis-based feel-good story continues to spark critical debate for its handling of the story of a well-to-do white family who adopt a disadvantaged black teenager who becomes a star offensive tackle. The Atlantic rounds up some of the more thoughtful pieces exploring the film's racial subtext and how it has been received among the African-American community.

Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy points out a series of family ties that helped get the movie made in the first place.

Production company Alcon Entertainment acquired the picture from News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox, after executives at that studio decided they didn't like its commercial prospects.

Alcon executives' attentions were brought to the movie by producer Molly Smith, whose father, FedEx Corp. founder and Chief Executive Frederick W. Smith, is also Alcon's owner.

But the Smith family's ties to the movie go even deeper, thanks to another of Mr. Smith's 10 children. Ms. Smith's youngest brother, Cannon, is in real life the long-time boyfriend of one of the movie's main characters, Collins Tuohy -- the daughter of Sean and Leigh Ann Tuohy and the adoptive sister of Mr. Oher.

"Obviously, I knew the story," says Ms. Smith. "I read the screenplay and I fell in love with it."


Like Mr. Oher, the younger Mr. Smith is a burgeoning football star. After playing one season for the University of Miami last year, Cannon Smith transferred this year to University of Memphis. NCAA rules prevent him from playing ball until next year, when he is expected to return as a quarterback for his hometown school.

Larry Porter's departure hasn't hurt LSU's recruiting yet

Links to Memphis returns! I've been on vacation for most of the past month, and during the one week I was at work, I was filling in as editor of, which allowed me very little time to blog. So let's get back to it ...

The Daily Reveille of Louisiana State University looks at LSU's football recruiting situation after the program's primary headhunter, Larry Porter, left the bayou to take the head-coaching job at the University of Memphis. It doesn't sound like any of the three-, four- or five-star prospects will be joining Porter -- a two-time National Recruiter of the Year -- in Memphis. However, there's no guarantee that all of his charges will stick with LSU now that he is gone.

"As far as the committed prospects go, everyone that Larry Porter recruited still say they're solid with their commitments, and they intend to follow through and sign with LSU," said recruiting analyst Sonny Shipp. "It's still early. You're going to have to look and see who the new running backs coach is and how those guys are able to forge a relationship with the new guy. And so losing Porter could come into play down the road."

  • About Links to Memphis

Deputy Online News Editor Mark Richens takes you through all the news about Memphis from sources outside the Mid-South.