LEARFIELD unlocks the value of athletics through media, data, and technology. Reaching 180M+ college sports fans attending games, wearing licensed gear, engaging with sponsors, and engaging with custom content, official websites, and live streams 24/7/365. We are your comprehensive solutions provider for external revenue generation, and proud sponsor of the Directors' Cup.
D1.jobs... 338 different DI departments have chosen D1.jobs to help fill their open positions. Click HERE to post your openings for tens of thousands of administrators to see. Be sure to check out the new options for coaching positions!
Rice officially names Vanderbilt Deputy AD for External Affairs and Revenue Generation Tommy McClelland as its next AD. Rice President Reginald DesRoches: "We're thrilled to be able to attract someone with Tommy's breadth of experience and success. He brings the values of academic excellence and deep integrity that define Rice, coupled with a passionate desire to compete successfully at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. These attributes will be critical for Rice's first season in the American Athletic Conference and the years to follow." (link)
North Texas inks a naming rights deal with DATCU Credit Union for what has been Apogee Stadium for more than a decade. Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Apogee earlier this year backed out of its 20-year, $20M naming rights deal. (link)
+LifeWallet CEO/prominent Miami (FL) supporter John Ruiz and the company are the target of federal civil and criminal investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida regarding potential securities violations, according to the Miami Herald’s Jay Weaver and Ben Wieder. While the exact nature of the investigation is unknown, Weaver and Wieder report the investigation, led by FBI and IRS agents, is looking at financial representations made to investors and spending practices. (link)
+ Ruiz pushes back, tells On3’s Pete Nakos that “neither I nor the company are the target of a criminal investigation.” (link)
+ The Athletic’s Manny Navarro “was told by a source familiar with Miami's NIL deals 80% of the deals signed with athletes at the school are through Canes Connection not John Ruiz's LifeWallet. ‘It'll grow. I mean, I expect it to be 100% Canes Connection next year.’ A second source on the receiving end of Miami's NIL deals says there's never been a missed payment for athletes they've represented whether through LifeWallet or the Canes Connection.” (link)
+Action Network’s Darren Rovell: “John Ruiz’s company had a total of $23.4M in revenue in 2022 and lost $402M, while paying his own law firm $29.7M. I feel sorry for the athletes who blindly associated with the brand for NIL $$.” (link)
New on Connect: SIU Edwardsville AD Andrew Gavin talks with D1.ticker/Connect’s Kristen Eargle about the rollout of the Cougar Core, adding leadership positions on his staff, and identifying what fit means there in Edwardsville. Gavin also shares how his experience as a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet at Wisconsin-Parkside (DII) provided insight into knowing how to build alignment with University leadership on any level of athletics. On the latter topic, Gavin explains: “One of the best ways to build a relationship with your chancellor is to build a relationship with your colleagues on that council, in our case. So, really getting to know them and spend time with our provost and understand how does our work through athletics help support her goals and her initiatives and what she's trying to accomplish on the academic affairs side. Same with student affairs…and others around that table. How do I help build relationships in mutually beneficial ways to ensure that athletics is helping them reach their goals and, in turn, we'll ask for some help along the way as well.” Full Q&A. (link)
Hawaii AD Craig Angelos talks about some of the upgrades being made to the Ching Athletics Complex and explains he plans to make the rounds during football games, so “why not sell [the AD suite] to our (fans) on a game-by-game basis? (Associate athletic director) Kimo Kai is the one selling that, and he’s convinced it will have a demand for that. We’ve already sold a few already just by word of mouth.” Angelos also plans to invite the opposing teams’ AD, president and donors to mingle at a Waikiki hotel before football games. “I think that’ll be a nice friend-raising activity there. … Bacardi was a big supporter in Miami. We used to have these big gatherings the night before – we called them Bacardi parties the night before at their headquarters.” Also from Angelos: “We’re looking at auctioning off something that happened in the game, like maybe you get Timmy Chang to sign his hat that he wore in the game, then auction it off to the highest bidder. Fun little unique items, experiential type of items we thought would be creative and fun and make a little revenue.” (link)
Virginia Senior Assoc. AD/Executive Director of the Virginia Athletics Fund Dirk Katstra talks with the Richmond Times Dispatch’s David Teel about his upcoming transition from athletics to a fundraising role on campus. After 26 years with UVA, Katstra has seen the industry undergo myriad changes but acknowledges this is a particularly transformative period. “I don’t know what this is going to look like in the future, but our staff has spent a lot of time in the last year or so educating and having conversations about what this all means. Very few people have said to me, I’m going to support NIL and have to back off on my VAF gift. Some have, but by and large, the people who are doing NIL are doing both.” Katstra estimates he’s helped the Hoos raise over $1B during his time in Charlottesville, and Old Dominion AD Wood Selig, who worked with Katstra at UVA, says: “A lot of people can do the small talk and the cocktail/social hour, but when it comes time to asking for seven figures, they can’t quite get that sentence out of their mouth. It just gets caught. They just can’t do it comfortably. But Dirk’s never shied away from asking for whatever was needed for a particular project, and that’s what really has separated him. You can’t fear rejection, and he never has.” More from Teel. (link)
More People & Places…
+New Mexico AD Eddie Nuñez is your new Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee chair in an appointment that will run through June of 2026. (link)
+ Administrators on the move…more details on The Wire at Collegiate Sports Connect: Arizona State, Butler, Davidson, Indiana, Missouri, Ole Miss, Penn State, Rice, Southern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville, UNLV, UTEP & more. (link)
+ Tulane has hired TCU Women’s Golf AHC Andrea Kaelin as its new HC. (link)
+Marist has a new Women’s Lacrosse HC in Kennesaw State AC Keith Detelj. (link)
+ Dozens & dozens of coaching transitions across the industry over the past couple of days can all be found on today’s edition of Coaches.wire. (link)
The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel argues the Big 12 should not pursue Connecticut for expansion, submitting that “UConn’s indifference to football is a massive warning sign.” Tramel lays out several points in favor of the Huskies’ inclusion – the media market, basketball success, status as a state flagship university – but concludes “Connecticut can’t match what Pac-12 defectors would bring to the Big 12.” Full column. (link); Meanwhile, USA Today’s Dan Wolken chimes in: “I don’t know anyone in the Big 12 (aside from Yormark) who thinks the UConn thing makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t make much sense for UConn either. To me, the play for UConn right now is to pitch the ACC on expansion. Better fit for football and basketball. If that doesn’t happen, there’s no downside in standing pat.” (link)
The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner believes it’s unlikely Washington and Oregon would join the Big 12, noting that the league isn’t a good fit for them, and they aren’t a good fit for the league. “First, from the Big 12’s side: Adding Washington and Oregon to a group of newcomers that would include the Four Corners schools would create an 18-team conference — bigger than the Big Ten and SEC and, frankly, too big to function effectively. … There’s also the competitive issue: Would the likes of Oklahoma State and Baylor welcome two heavyweight football programs that would make playoff access exponentially more difficult for the existing Big 12 members?” In the event the Four Corners schools do leave, Wilner foresees two possibilities: “The conference reforms by adding the likes of Boise State and San Diego State to create a league of eight or 10 teams” or the Huskies, Ducks and perhaps Cal and Stanford agree to join the Big Ten, likely for reduced revenue shares, thus expediting the creation of the Big Ten’s eight-team western division (with the Los Angeles schools).” (link)
The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman points out Iowa expects $61.8M from the Big Ten in its FY24 budget, up from $57M in FY23, and adds: “In a major jump, Iowa projects $1.3M in WBB ticket revenue, up from $350K in the FY23 budget. Wrestling tix budgeted at $1.2M and MBB tix sales at $3.5M.” (link)
“The former college athletes in a proposed class action against Ivy League schools have not proved that refusing to award athletic scholarships exposes them to antitrust liability, the schools have told a Connecticut federal judge. … “ More behind the Law360 paywall. (link)
Jackson State unveils its new equipment truck and cab, which features Hall of Famers Walter Payton, Lem Barney, Robert Brazile, and Jackie Slater. The truck is part of a joint effort with KLLM Transport and Peterbilt. (link)
In case you missed Sunday's email...
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports that Rice is targeting Vanderbilt Deputy AD Tommy McClelland, who before his time in Nashville served as AD at Louisiana Tech from 2013-20, to be the school’s next AD. “The deal is expected to be finalized in the upcoming days.” (link)
Nebraska AD Trev Alberts updates on the $165M Go Big Project: “It’s going well. It’s also been a challenge. I had to remind myself: We have 315,000 square feet. It’s a massive facility. One of the things we are trying to figure out, and Coach Rhule is very passionate about it, and we don’t want to do anything that disrupts the football team.” He adds that phase one should be completed “soon.” (link)
Tennessee AD Danny White chats with Volquest’s Brent Hubbs about the success in Knoxville during White’s first two-and-a-half years at the helm: “A lot of what we have done. I could’ve told you we were going to do it before I got here. I couldn’t have told you though how strong the fan base would respond to it. For us to be sold out in baseball, softball, to be sold out in Neyland Stadium when everyone around the country is talking about downsizing, that’s just crazy. The fan support and the scale of our fanbase is bigger and more powerful than I realized. … When I see the season ticket sales, the fundraising numbers, the amount of new donors we have been able to get in such a quick time period. Doing almost identical things that we did at my last stop which worked there and is why we are doing it. But it’s pretty impressive.” (link)
Texas A&M AD Ross Bjork says the school will have a new entrance “song” at Kyle Field to get the stadium “engaged.” The new tune, which TAMU “is currently working with an Aggie in music to create,” will be unveiled at Midnight Yell on September 2. (link)
Akron Senior Assoc. AD/SWA Jackie Wallgren and New Hampshire Deputy AD/SWA Michelle Bronner sit down with AthleticDirectorU’s Tai M. Brown to share how they bring their core values into their roles at their respective institutions. Bronner, who has served the UNH Wildcats for 11 years, discusses the nuances of communicating with a new athletic director, while Wallgren, who has been at Akron for just over a year at the time of recording, speaks to the challenges of simultaneously learning and establishing culture at a new institution. Wallgren: “Whoever you’re working with on the campus they need to understand the why, and I think that's a really key part of [establishing a new culture]. So, picking those battles of when to make the change quickly…but if it's something that can wait maybe that's okay because change is hard for folks, and if you do too much too fast then you're going to lose that rapport that you've created with the new staff.” Bronner notes her new AD is very different from her previous AD, and “I was fortunate she likes to meet on a regular basis so we're able to every once in a while just get together and I have my list of questions that I formulate and a lot of it is ‘Do you want me to send this to you would you rather I come and speak to you? … What sort of information do you want me to just handle and take care of what at what point do I need to loop you in?” Full Q&A on ADU. (link)
RealResponse Founder/CEO David Chadwick sits down with Connect’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2023 NACDA Convention to discuss the launch of Athlete Alert, powered by RealResponse, and the partnership with U.S. Integrity for professional and collegiate athletes, coaches, trainers, and support staff to safely and anonymously report gambling-related issues in real time. Chadwick outlines the education in the launch, what prompted the need, how it integrates into RealResponse’s offerings and much more. Chadwick on gambling issues: “It starts at the top. This is no longer just an athletics issue. Presidents and Chancellors have this on their radar…. Making this a focus, making it well-known so coaches are aware of it and student-athletes, too, because the reality is the ecosystem for many of these college athletic departments is not just the 400-600 student-athletes, it also includes coaches, trainers and staff. You’re talking about a group of more than 1,000 people, making sure they are aware of resources that are in place. Making sure they’re educated on what should be reported and what shouldn’t be reported, etc.” Full convo on Connect. (link)
USA Today’s Dan Wolken believes the hazing allegations at Northwestern should motivate every athletic department to evaluate its traditions to be sure similar occurrences aren’t happening on their campuses. “Northwestern players are supposed to represent some of the best and brightest people playing college sports. If their sense of what’s funny or what’s appropriate was that broken, every coach in the country should have some questions about what’s been going on in their own program or else they risk becoming the next Fitzgerald. … Hopefully Northwestern was this uniquely awful place and players at other schools haven’t been subjected to the same type of humiliation and abuse. But common sense says that Northwestern isn’t alone. There’s never been a better time to talk about that. And if you’re a coach or administrator beginning fall camp, the moment is now to put a stop to it.” (link)
Connect/MB Sports’ Matt Banker checks in with Youngstown State Deputy AD/Past NATA President Tory Lindley to discuss the rollout of the Inter-Association Standard of Care Toolkit. Lindley explains how the toolkit came to be, addresses the Transformation Committee’s recommendation to require schools to commit to a consensus-based care model and breaks down how the toolkit touches 16 healthcare domains, including peer-to-peer consultation opportunities and best-practice sharing. Lindley notes he was “really thrilled with the work that the Transformation Committee did as it pertains to a lot of areas but specific to student-athlete wellbeing and student-athlete healthcare. The synergies here were fantastic. It was really welcomed by all four of our member groups and member associations because what it did is it highlighted how important it is for the athletics healthcare administrator on every campus…to know that if the expectation is to attest annually that there has been a review and that the institution is meeting standards now that they have a place to turn where it's low to no cost…to be able to utilize the toolkit.” Full Q&A now available on Connect. (link)
Seton Hall has sent subpoenas to all 30 NBA teams seeking scouting materials and other documents concerning former Pirates men’s basketball student-athlete Myles Powell, who is suing the university over what he characterizes as gross negligence over the handling of his injuries. Sportico’s Daniel Libit notes the Memphis Grizzlies are fighting the subpoena on the grounds that releasing the information would cause “competitive harm” to its entire player scouting operation. From the Grizzlies’ motion: “There exists no good reason to draw Memphis Basketball into a dispute between Seton Hall and a former NCAA basketball player that involves secret text messages, under-the-table pain narcotic administration, and failure to properly diagnose an injury. … Like any professional sports team, the analysis of a potential player, and how said player fits into a long-term planning (or short-term acquisition) goal, is highly confidential. Indeed, the format in which Memphis Basketball compiles scouting reports and/or rates players, is competitively sensitive information.” (link)
Interested in advertising a job opening in D1.ticker? Click here to submit your position.
Job openings by discipline, posted in the past 30 days...
Academic Counselor II - Athletics (University of Mississippi / Oxford, MS): More details HERE.
Associate/Sr. Associate Athletics Director – DEI & Student-Athlete Development (University of New Mexico / Albuquerque, NM): More details HERE.
Associate Director of Academic Area (Louisiana State University / Baton Rouge, LA): More details HERE.
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.
Athletics Travel/Operations Coordinator (Columbia University / New York, NY): More details HERE.
Senior Associate Athletics Director/Chief Financial Officer (Columbia University / New York, NY): More details HERE.
Assistant Athletics Director, Business & Financial Affairs (DePaul University / Chicago, IL): More details HERE.
Associate Athletic Director, External and Business Operations (Stonehill College / Easton, MA): More details HERE.