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How 'bout them Tigers? Will the recruiting class be good next year? And the Liberty Bowl, what to make of that?

Chances are, you probably don't know the half of it, and that's where the Sports Marketing Association comes in. The association is part of the University of Memphis' Sports and Leisure Commerce graduate program, and every spring its members organize a lecture series on issues in college athletics. The five-part series started last month with a discussion on the Liberty Bowl, which drew about 300 people and featured a panel with city councilperson Carol Chumney, the Liberty Bowl's Steve Ehrhardt, U of M booster Harold Byrd, and other interested parties. The next talk, on Friday, April 6th, is titled "Division I College Recruiting: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Coach Jimmy Adams, head boys' basketball coach at Raleigh-Egypt High School, Coach Jay Bowen, the U of M's assistant women's basketball coach, and Dr. Joe Luckey, director of the U of M's Center of Athletic Academic Services, are among the panelists.

According to association member Ryan Luttrell, while there will be plenty of sports talk, the series is not designed to be a debate. When it looks like the discussion may get heated, as it did a couple times during the Liberty Bowl talk, the association members, who serve as moderators, will put the talk back on track. "We want it to be academic," Luttrell says. "We want experts to get up there and present different ideas. The audience can decide for themselves."

Issues in College Sports Lecture Series: "Division I College Recruiting: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Ball Hall, Room 124, University of Memphis. Friday, April 6th, 4:30 p.m. Open to the public.

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