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From ESPN’s Pete Thamel, per sources: “Colorado is in discussions about a move to the Big 12, and the school has just completed a board meeting and scheduled another for tomorrow to discuss the move. The Big 12 is also holding a presidents meeting tonight where there's expected to be an expansion update.” (link)
Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti covers topics ranging from his learning curve since taking the job to the hazing allegations at Northwestern in his opening remarks for Big Ten Media Days. Petitti also talks about the progress being made to finalize the league’s media rights agreements and says: “The answer is simply we've made significant progress towards their completion. We appreciate the spirit of collaboration from BTN, FOX, CBS and NBC. I know that our partners will work with us to provide Big Ten student-athletes with unmatched exposure.” Petitti says he has spoken with Northwestern AD Derrick Gragg a “few times” following the hazing allegations, and “our focus has been on moving forward, what they're doing, keeping me informed about the investigations, what they're doing on campus. … The investigation will yield results about what has happened, but I think there's a commitment to understand what's expected going forward.” On slowing the growing number of players entering the transfer portal, Petitti remarks: “The first idea is, what can you do around the incentives? We need to really spend a lot of time on that. That's what I think our focus is. That's why I talk about the difference between true NIL and NIL that really isn't NIL. We got to do a better job of explaining what each thing is, right? They're two very different things.” Petitti’s full opening remarks and Q&A. (link)
Northwestern will conduct mandatory anti-hazing seminars to ensure “nothing like this ever happens again,” according to Wildcats AD Derrick Gragg, who tells ESPN’s Pete Thamel: "This entire situation, it's distressing. My heart goes out to everyone who's involved – victims, of course – but I also want to stress that we have many student-athletes who do the right thing and have always done the right thing, and coaches and staff as well. As the situation evolves, we're very serious about eradicating anything that's wrong, the president and the university.” Gragg also notes the university is ensuring its anonymous reporting system works properly and says: “My background as a former student-athlete and a leader, it's in times like these ... where I'm most effective, to be honest. It starts with internal communication and making sure that our internal systems are in place and that we're communicating how we're going to move forward." (link)
Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill covered a lot of ground in his State of the Conference remarks at the conference’s media days, including the need for a federal NIL standard: “A federal law that blocks state legislatures from trying to outdo other states with laws that effectively reduce accountability and create more opportunities for abuse is really important. NIL should not be pay-to-play, and inducements and any federal bill should affirm the prohibition and recruiting inducement and booster take the role and the recruitment of student-athletes." Gill also says it’s unlikely the league will move away from its divisional model because the “foundation of the conference was really on regional rivalries, and so everything that we need to do is promote playing those regional rivalries. … Regional rivalries are our foundation and are a critical part of our conference DNA and differentiates the Sun Belt from many other things." (link); Full video of Gill’s remarks. (link)
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA) will relaunch an NIL bill in their respective chambers that would allow student-athletes from foreign countries to profit from their NIL while in the U.S. USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz reports the bill would also “formally affiliate collectives with their respective schools and require reviews of schools’ compliance with Title IX. … And it would prevent schools from using any group of athletes’ NIL for any purpose — ‘including a media rights agreement’ — unless it has obtained a group license from those athletes. While the bill would not require a school to pay the athletes on a team for the license, the school would be required to notify them about how much revenue it will be getting from its use of their NIL.” Also notable, the Murphy-Trahan bill places virtually no restrictions on student-athletes' NIL activities and does not require them to make disclosures about their deals. More. (link)
Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez reports several former Minnesota football student-athletes and staffers have described an environment “fraught with intimidation and toxicity” under Gophers HC P.J. Fleck and “referenced the Fleck Bank’ — a system that allowed players with enough ‘coins’ to get away with positive drug tests, and other violations of team rules.” Multiple former players explain the Fleck Bank tracked community service and served as a way to keep tabs on players’ studying habits. Two former student-athletes add that informing on teammates could also earn Fleck Bank credits. Perez: “Unprompted, the term ‘cult’ was used by multiple former players and former staff members to describe Fleck’s ‘Row the Boat’ culture spelled out in the so-called ‘Fleck Book’ that players are given when they join the team.” Gophers AD Mark Coyle says in a statement to FOS: “P.J. and our program are unique. They put themselves out there in new and different ways — but always in a first-class manner — and after nearly seven years, it is clear to me, that is what makes P.J. and our program so successful. I always encourage all of our student-athletes, including every member of our football team, to reach out to me directly if they encounter any issues. To date, I have not heard from a single football student-athlete about the allegations raised.” Lots more from Perez’s reporting. (link)
Three Butler women’s soccer student-athletes are suing the school, claiming they were sexually assaulted by athletic trainer Michael Howell. All three soccer players, two of whom are still student-athletes at the university, are suing for negligence, battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In addition to treatment that “routinely exposed players’ intimate body parts during massages.” The Athletic’s Katie Strang notes: “One player said that he threatened her by claiming he ‘knew everything about her’ including her social security number, and said he had files of photos with players engaging in underage drinking. Another player said that Howell told her he knew where she lived and referenced the pillow he had seen through her dorm window, prompting her to feel ‘frightened and powerless against him.’ A third player said he created ‘special’ additional workouts for a select few players and instructed them not to tell their coaches about this group activity.” A spokesperson for Butler University did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Howell, who worked at Butler from 2012 until he was put on leave in October 2021, also did not immediately return messages. (link)
Members of The Collective Association (TCA) presented a revenue-sharing model to SEC and NCAA officials last week in separate meetings, Yahoo’s Dellenger reports, adding that the framework TCA suggested includes distributing 10% of conferences’ TV revenue to a designated collective at each member school in equal shares. “The collective would then distribute money to that school’s athletes, using its status as a third party as a way to avoid triggering athlete employment.” Classic City Collective (Georgia) CEO Matt Hibbs: “We want to have this discussion. We want to have a conversation about solutions. The important piece we all want is to preserve college athletics. In order to do that, something has to change. We can’t keep doing what we’re doing and hope this just works out.” It remains unclear how TCA would distribute the revenue, but the organization says it’s open to ideas. More from Dellenger, including The Drake Group’s pushback. (link)
People & Places…
+UC Santa Barbara names Dartmouth Asst. AD for Marketing Aaron Rudy as Assoc. AD for Fan Engagement, Marketing and Ticketing. (link)
+Temple taps Owls alumnus and Drexel Men’s Rowing AC Brendan Cunningham for its Men’s Crew HC post. (link)
+FIU selects former UAB/Missouri State Beach Volleyball HC Terri Del Conte for the same role in Miami. (link)
+William & Mary extends Women’s Tennis HC Jessica Giuggioli through the 2027 season. (link)
+MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred inks a four-year contract extension through January 25, 2029. (link)
Deals, Partnerships & Growth Initiatives…
+ The Patriot League is partnering with the Ivy League to host its second annual Mental Health Summit next week.. Student-athletes, coaches and staff from the conferences’ member institutions will gather to discuss a range of mental health and well-being-related topics with experts, professionals and service providers. Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris: “Throughout the day, each discussion will present an opportunity for attendees to learn from and engage with a group of distinguished panelists while brainstorming how ideas or initiatives could be applied on each of their campuses and communities.” (link)
+Taymar Sales U. announces the creation of a Sponsorship/Multi-Media division to complement the company’s ticket sales and operations capabilities. Taymar has tapped former LEARFIELD VP Jon Cole to head the division as VP. (link)
+Washington inks a multiyear partnership with RevelXP. (link)
+Drexel through its continued partnership with SIDEARM Sports has launched the NextGen platform on its website. (link)
+ESPN has inked a four-year extension with Cricket Wireless, which will continue to serve as title sponsor of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl college football games. (link)
Tulane has received a $2.75M gift from longtime supporters Libby and Robert Alexander to help Community Sailing New Orleans (CSNO) build a new multipurpose headquarters on Lake Pontchartrain that will expand the organization's lakefront operations while continuing to serve as the home for Tulane's varsity sailing program. (link)
Syracuse has received a $1M gift from alumnus Joseph O. Lampe’s trust and will christen the new kitchen in the John A. Lally Athletics Complex as the Lampe Culinary Hub in recognition of his generosity. (link)
In its request for qualifications for the design and construction of a new multipurpose arena, Cleveland State is accepting mixed-use development proposals. CSU has tapped Brailsford & Dunlavey (B&D) to consult on the project, and B&D VP Bill Mykins notes the “exact mix of what would be included in that mixed use district is to be determined. But it could include residential, commercial, other activities or uses. Residential doesn’t necessarily have to mean student housing. So we’re really looking to the market to help inform what are the best uses for that commercial district. The mixed-use district is included to help provide all the (financial) levers possible for our private partners.” (link)
Texas and Sodexo are adding 22 more Mashgin self-checkout kiosks at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium ahead of the upcoming football season, up from 14 last year. Fans that used the Mashgin units last season checked out in an average time of 12.5 seconds while revenue at the six stands using Mashgin increased by 125%, per SBJ’s McCormick, who notes the Longhorns also used the kiosks at the school’s baseball, softball and soccer/track and field venues. (link)
The 75-foot-wide Daktronics video board at Hawaii’s Ching Athletics Complex is now operational and ready for the Rainbow Warriors’ season football opener. Have a look. (link)
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(NEWEST!) Assistant/Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs (Canisius University / Buffalo, NY): BASIC FUNCTION: To lead the effective development and execution of the department's marketing, promotions, ticket sales and other revenue generation opportunities. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Director of Athletics Communications (Florida International University / Miami, FL): Directs the development and distribution of news releases to various information media under the direction of the Assistant Athletic Director. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Director, Mental Health and Sports Performance (University of Memphis / Memphis, TN): Coordinating mental health and performance services for NCAA student-athletes and providing direct clinical and performance services to individuals and teams. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Associate Director of Academic Area (Louisiana State University / Baton Rouge, LA): The LSU Academic Center for Student- Athletes is accepting applications for the position of Associate Director of Academic Area. Click the link for more details. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Social Media Specialist (Florida International University / Miami, FL): Assists in the creation, implementation, and monitoring of strategic marketing campaigns via social media to generate greater awareness of the FIU Athletics brand. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Athletic Compliance Coordinator (Virginia Commonwealth University / Richmond, VA): The Compliance Coordinator supports the Athletics Compliance Office by ensuring adherence to National Collegiate Athletic Association, Atlantic 10, and VCU rules and regulations. More details HERE.
Job openings by discipline, posted in the past 30 days...
Academic Counselor (Athletics) (Auburn University Athletics / Auburn, AL): More details HERE.
Athletic Academic Advisor II (University of Memphis / Memphis, TN): More details HERE.
Director, Student Athlete Development (R0137996) (University of Nevada, Reno / Reno, NV): More details HERE.
Director of Personal and Professional Development (University of Connecticut / Storrs, CT): More details HERE.
Deputy Athletics Director, Student Development (University of Virginia / Charlottesville, VA): More details HERE.
Associate A.D., Director of Athletic Advising (University of California, Santa Barbara / Santa Barbara, CA): More details HERE.
Support Services Coordinator (University of Oklahoma / Norman, OK): More details HERE.
Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services (University of Houston / Houston, TX): More details HERE.
AssistantDirector, Student Athlete Development (Tulane University / New Orleans, LA): More details HERE.
Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Support Services/ Director of Student-Athlete Support Services (Louisiana Tech University / Ruston, LA): More details HERE.
Licensed Athletic Counselor, Multicultural Focus (University of Colorado Boulder / Boulder, CO): More details HERE
Associate Athletic Director (Meredith College / Raleigh, NC): (DIII) More details HERE.
Learning Specialist (University of Mississippi / Oxford, MS): More details HERE.