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Publishing Note… Today marks the 10-year anniversary of D1.ticker’s launch. Pretty crazy to even type those words. Our mission 10 years ago remains the same today, to make your day more efficient by curating & delivering the most important news from around college athletics to your inbox on a schedule you can rely upon. We hope we’ve saved you time over these 10 years (and time continues to equal money) and we plan to do the same - and more - over the next 10. Thank you so much for your support and Happy New Year to all of you.
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The Boston Globe’s Platoff & Stout write on outgoing Massachusetts Governor/incoming NCAA President Baker’s operating strengths looking back a key moments of challenge during his tenure: “More than any one specific law or event, Baker’s greatest legacy is a leadership style that impressed even political rivals and put residents at ease in unprecedented times, according to dozens of interviews with elected officials, advocates, political observers, and people close to the governor.” State Representative Santiago: “To me, what stuck out was his capacity to learn, to grow, and to really double down — on the correct path. To me, that’s the definition of leadership.” Legislature Transportation Committee co-chair Straus: “Just because he knows a lot of the details doesn’t mean he’s going to come to the right conclusion. But he has the ability to handle the detail level and still focus on the decision-making. I think other governors were content to drift higher up from ground level and didn’t see the value of knowing the specific facts.” More. (link)
Florida AD Stricklin stands behind FB HC Napier: “Just the intentionality about putting structure and culture in place, and really leaning into building something that can be sustainable over a long period of time, and obviously we wish the wins and losses had turned out differently, but if you look at Billy and what he did at Louisiana, that first year, they were a .500 ball club, but he put the pieces in place and the next three years they were competing for their conference championship and winning 10-plus games every year, and that's, you know, he obviously, you could tell he studied under someone like Coach (Nick) Saban, it's a similar path he took at Alabama, where that first year was a six-win season. … So, what I've witnessed is someone who's really methodical, putting a process and program in place, the infrastructure, building the culture and getting all the pieces lined up, and, candidly, it's an approach that I don't know that we've had here recently in that sport. You know, there's such a push to just win, just win quick, and Billy's approach is a little different than that, and my belief is that's going to lead to sustained success at a high, high level.” (link)
The Mercury News’ Wilner looks at the question of Pac-12 media rights as an issue of supply and demand, concluding that with every other Power 5 conference locked into media rights deals through the 2030s, the value of Pac-12 football will be greater in the next six to 12 months than it is today due to limited supply and rising demand. Despite that calculus, Wilner is wary on slow-playing a deal until the second half of 2023 or early 2024 due to the departure of UCLA, USC and the LA market: “The terrain is simply too unstable — the risk of waiting is simply too great — for the conference to slow-play its media negotiations.” Related, in looking at the long-term conference home for Oregon and Washington, Wilner points out that until new media rights and grant-of-rights deals are signed, “the potential for dissolution [of the Pac-12] exists.” (link)
JohnCanzano.com’s namesake wonders how a potential exit by Big Ten Commissioner Warren for the Chicago Bears could impact further conference expansion: “I think the expansion brakes are already pumped. If the Big Ten members wanted to add additional Pac-12 members in this cycle, it would have already happened. Warren’s interest in returning to the NFL may signal that he knows he’s done all he can do in the Big Ten (media rights + expansion) or it may just be an attempt to garner leverage and negotiate an extension with the conference. A decade is an eternity in college athletics, but I think the Pac-12 continues to exist with the core 10 members (plus maybe an expansion team or two) in a decade. The bigger question is what college athletics itself looks like in 10 years.” (link)
Yesterday’s thrilling College Football Playoff semifinal between TCU & Michigan means we get another week of the “psychedelic cartoon amphibian” Hypnotoad that has quickly become the Horned Frogs’ second mascot. Sports Illustrated’s Johnson dives into the rise of the Futurama character in Fort Worth. Lots here, including FB Coordinator of Creative Video Petrie: “I think a lot of times, I don’t know if it’s coaching staffs or whatever, they tend to really want to hold on to control of their look, but that’s why you hire people. And I find it funny, because Coach Dykes lets us do whatever you want, and that’s kind of beautiful. I think the fear in regards to being like that on the internet, is that you’re going to offend someone or someone’s sensibilities or something, and the opposite is true. I think because you see lots of people think I wasn’t a TCU fan before this and I saw this and I’m like, I’m in. That’s awesome that a meme can make someone a fan of a football team. And I think a lot of coaches will probably start waking up to that. I would hope they would start waking up to that. It’s the new reality.” (link)
“The time for an HBCU football playoff has come” according to HBCU Gameday’s Wilson, who adds: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Celebration Bowl. But, with HBCUs struggling with funds to make budgets, an additional in-house money game would go a long way in HBCUs utilizing their own draw to rectify shortfalls. The SWAC and MEAC need to consider authorizing a four-team playoff, with the NCAA’s blessing. The top four teams would vie for the crown jewel, the Celebration Bowl. … The goal is not to diminish the Celebration Bowl, but to enhance it by making the buildup even larger. More importantly, like the FBS has learned with expansion to the playoff field coming in 2024, there are millions to be made with a playoff.” (link)
With last night’s win over Ohio State, Georgia FB HC Smart adds $250K to his bonuses, bringing him to $1.1M on the season. Buckeyes HC Day ends the season with $250K in extra cash while his ACs get a bonus equal to 21.25% of their respective base salaries. Michigan HC Harbaugh finishes the season with $2.05M in bonus bucks. Kansas State HC Klieman ends with $200K in on-field bonuses, plus an automatic one-year extension now scheduled to be worth $4.3M with nearly all of it guaranteed, per USA Today’s Berkowitz. (link)
Our condolences to the BYU football family as offensive lineman Veikoso died in a construction accident in his hometown of Kailua, Hawai’i on Friday. Cougars HC Sitake: “We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our brothers, Sione Veikoso. His passing is heartbreaking to all of us. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family as we share in their grief. Our love for you is forever, Sione!" (link)
Crakes Media founder Crakes with a quick hitter on the potential of Amazon scoping up the Pac-12’s media rights: “Given AMZN has not mentioned Prime adds much for TNF (during Week 1 only, I think) suggest possible Prime near full distribution in U.S. If even partly so, hard to see how Pac-12 helps strategically as need lots of subs for acquisition to be meaningful based on that metric alone.” (link, link)
If you’re wondering which teams ESPN College GameDay’s Corso has picked every week since the beginning of time, you’ve found your answer. Dallas-based IT systems administrator Cole has compiled the all-time list on “Cole’s GameDay Blog,” which includes all picks by members of the show and guests. Corso is 264-131 all-time in headgear predictions, getting it right 66.84% of the time. More on Cole’s story and which celebrities fared best. (link)
On Friday night we reported that former Michigan Volleyball HC Mark Rosen had assumed the same role at Fresno State, when in fact it is former Wolverines AHC, Leisa Rosen, who has been selected to lead the Bulldogs. Our apologies for the error. (link)
In case you missed Saturday's email...
Kennyhertz Perry attorney Winter chats with The Athletic’s Auerbach about likely timing of key industry lawsuits as we enter a new year: “We aren’t going to have any huge decisions come down besides maybe the (Johnson v. NCAA) case. I’m not sure anything else is going to reach resolution in 2023. But depending on how all of these different things progress, it may be time for sports leaders to get more serious with their thinking about a new model and how to address everything hanging out there in a holistic way as opposed to trying to play whack-a-mole as issues pop up. [...] I don’t think it’s a very good strategy to let all of these outside forces, whether it’s a court or the NLRB or state legislators, be the ones to sort of dictate what you’re doing — and then you have to respond.” (link)
With the College Football Playoff semifinals on tap today, USA Today’s Wolken builds a forward-looking thesis around the expanded CFP format: “The higher you are on the pecking order of talent acquisition, the more likely your roster is to withstand the physical grind it will require to survive three or potentially four high-level matchups. [...] Programs that can both accumulate talent and practice with Georgia’s physicality are undoubtedly going to have even more of an advantage in an expanded playoff, which could be a war of attrition over three extra weeks. Of course, that’s kind of the point -- there aren’t really many programs that can do both outside of the SEC’s elite teams and a couple others like Ohio State. For everyone else, the task of winning a national title is about to be even more monumental -- and more of a physical load for players that are already being asked to play 12 games and a conference championship before the playoff starts.” (link)
Eastern Kentucky filed a motion earlier in the week asking for an extension in its conference-exit lawsuit with the OVC, saying it needs more time to review 25,000 emails pulled for discovery in the case. “These searches returned voluminous documents, the vast majority of which, while responsive to OVC’s broad requests, have no relation to any claim or defense in this case. This resulting search was therefore extremely labor intensive and time-consuming.” There’s also the issue of confidentiality & privileged status of emails sent by EKU former Board of Regents chair Diaz from his Cincinnati-based law firm's email account, which have yet to be reviewed. (link)
More on New Jersey gaming regulators ordering sportsbooks to halt betting on the Citrus Bowl between Purdue and LSU because "an individual associated with the Purdue Football team" is in violation of state regulations. Per sources to ESPN, the individual is Boilermakers interim AC Brees, who is serving in that role for the bowl game, and is in question because of his business relationship with sportsbook PointsBet. Notably, Brees became a brand ambassador for PointsBet in June 2021 but a week after he agreed to coach Purdue, PointsBet announced it was ending its partnership with Brees. (link)
+ Fresno State Baseball HC Batesole announces his retirement after 20 seasons at the helm of the Bulldogs program. AC Overland will serve as Interim HC for the 2023 campaign. (link)
+ Behind a paywall, but Cleveland.com’s Pluto gets the inside scoop on how Kent State AD Richmond landed on new FB HC Burns. (link)
+ Ohio’s win in the Arizona Bowl yields FB HC Albin a $27,285 bonus while Maryland FB HC Locksley gets $70K and a mayo bath for beating NC State. The Terps leader ends the season with $220K in bonuses, plus an automatic one-year extension that will pay him $4.5M with $2.925M guaranteed. (link)
+ Little Rock is getting a temporary hoops court from Chattanooga-based Praters Flooring with all the standard branding associated with its home court that was ruined last week as a result of freezing temperatures & busted pipes. Cost for the rest of the season: $50K to $60K. (link)
+ Check out upgrades to Nebraska softball’s Bowlin Stadium, namely a new outfield wall. (link)
+ Huskers AD Alberts also says there’s communication with Pinnacle Bank Arena to quicken concession lines during hoops games. (link)
+ The great debate around hockey rink sizes continues as Wisconsin Senior Assoc. AD for Capital Projects King says a shift to a smaller ice size would cost upwards of $3M for the Badgers. Wiscy Women’s HC Johnson: “You give the skill players and the better players that the fans really want to watch an opportunity to have a little more space. The tough thing about our game, the smaller the ice sheet, the less space and time for players. And certainly over the last 15 or 20 years on the men's side and even on the women's side, players are getting bigger, they're getting stronger and, importantly, they're getting a lot faster. That space that maybe you once had, you don't have right now.” More. (link)
During his broadcast of the NC State vs. Maryland Duke’s Mayo Bowl game yesterday, Wolfpack Sports Network play-by-play announcer Hahn dropped this into his commentary: “One other bowl game involving an ACC team going on, that’s the Sun Bowl. And amongst all the illegal aliens down in El Paso, it’s UCLA 14 and Pittsburgh 6.” LEARFIELD GM of Wolfpack Sports Properties Winchester reports Hahn has been suspended indefinitely for the comments. (link)
Mindset Strategist/Poison Pawn Chess Founder Makowsky has been a part of the UCLA FB team since 2019 and, as he puts it, “turned [the team] into a chess club.” FB HC Kelly brought Makowsky in to assist the QBs with decision-making under time and pressure, which eventually led other Bruins to take to the game. Makowsky: “The way that we’re training with chess, it’s really not about the game of chess or becoming great at chess, that’s not really what it’s about. It’s more about a field to make decisions and what I loved and saw in myself was a real clear mirror on how I was making decisions, how I would react if I made a mistake, how I would follow a process and it was so clear on the chess board.” (link)
Thursday’s Florida State vs. Oklahoma Cheez-It Bowl game averaged 5.4M viewers on ESPN, marking the largest audience of the current bowl season and the largest for the bowl since 2013. It was 10% better than the bowl’s Clemson vs. Iowa State matchup last year. The Alamo Bowl between Washington and Texas averaged 4.78M, the second-largest of the bowl season thus far. Other numbers: Minnesota vs. Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl (2.75M), Oregon vs. North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl (3.97M on FOX), Arkansas vs. Kansas in the Liberty Bowl (3.91M), Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl (2.6M) and UCF vs. Duke in the Military Bowl (2.16M). Full list of all numbers for games played before Thursday. (link)
Did you know…the Fiesta Bowl trophy costs $2.5M. The football on the top is $1M by itself. All in, the trophy weighs 285 pounds and there are 2,200 diamonds on it. (link)
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