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Buffalo Bills safety/former Pitt standout Hamlin remains sedated and in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after making a tackle & then collapsing during last night’s game at the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin remained on the field for 16 minutes after the incident, surrounded by both teams, as CPR was administered by medical staff. The ESPN broadcast initially indicated the teams would have five minutes to warm up before resuming the game, though shortly afterward both sides headed to their respective locker rooms with many players still visibly upset. NFL EVP for Football Operations Vincent: “What was most important was that it wasn't about proceeding with the game. Frankly, that aspect never crossed my mind or their mind internally. We asked that [referee] Shawn [Smith] communicate with both Taylor and Coach McDermott getting the players together. Frankly, it was just about getting a pulse of where they were at that particular time.” No indication on when or if the game will resume as all thoughts & prayers continue to be with Hamlin & his family. (link)
Incoming Florida A&M AD Sykes officially begins her tenure leading the Rattlers tomorrow. She says filling staff vacancies, getting everyone on the same page to execute the plan, engaging with alumni, with the marketing department and with admissions to help tell the story are all top of her priority list. All in all, Sykes is ready to go: “I was more anxious when I had found out I had the job than I am now because I had a long ramp in between the announcement and my first day. Having the opportunity to dip my toe in the water and attend different events along the way has made me even more excited.” (link)
Florida AD Stricklin on the uniting role of the Gary Condron Family Dining Hall in the new $85M Heavener Football Training Center that opened in August: “No one feels excluded. It’s really been incredibly popular, and has strengthened the esprit de corps, if you will, around Team Florida, across all 21 sports. It’s kind of become the living room, if you will, for the UAA, and that is probably something we knew – we were thinking about that dining hall in terms of ‘We’re going to be able to provide nutrition for all our student-athletes’, which it’s doing, (but) I don’t know that we thought about the social aspect of it, and that’s been really cool to see.” (link)
New Mexico State AD Moccia says the Aggies have raised $100K with expectations of doing $60K more from fans who couldn’t travel to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, but still bought tickets. Moccia on the value of the postseason stage: “If you think about that, for 3.5 hours, you had 2.3 million people in the United States tuned in. The football recruiting aspect has picked up tremendously. Whether it’s junior college or the transfer portal, a lot more people are interested in New Mexico State now that we got all that exposure on national TV.” (link)
+ CollegeAD reports Alcorn State Assoc. AD for Communications Harvey is headed back to Bethune-Cookman, where he previously spent six years on staff in Daytona Beach. He is not listed on either staff directory, but his LinkedIn bio still has him in Lorman. (link)
+ Mississippi State Assoc. AD for FB Administration Thackeray and Assoc. AD for Player Personnel Dudek “are not expected” to be part of Bulldogs FB HC Arnett’s future staff plans, FootballScoop reports. (link)
+ Check out more talent moves on The Wire at Collegiate Sports Connect: Lindenwood, Athlete Licensing Company, Rice & Campbell. (link)
ESPN is bringing back the "This is SportsCenter" ad campaign for the first time since 2019. The first spot, titled “Orange Slices,” was shown during the Tennessee-Clemson Capital One Orange Bowl. More spots are set to launch throughout the year featuring athletes including gold medal-winning U.S. hurdler McLaughlin and SportsCenter anchors Duncan, Negandhi, Harris, Storm and others. (link)
Since the onset of the pandemic, several employees have asked for more pay when managers asked that they do more work, according to ZED Digital President Jagannath. The Wall Street Journal’s Ellis and Smith, who note the sentiment is becoming increasingly common among workers, add: “The reduced ambition can leave companies needing more people to do the same amount of work, something that ultimately could be a drag on American economic productivity.” According to a Qualtrics survey conducted in November, 43% of respondents said their career ambitions have not changed at all during the pandemic while 37% indicated the importance of their work lives has also remained the same. Meanwhile, 21% reported significant decreases in both categories while 10% and 9%, respectively, reported significant increases. More from the WSJ. (link); The Atlantic’s Thompson on the Qualtrics survey results: “The one datapoint in this piece says 60%+ of workers say their ambitions haven't changed or have increased. Meanwhile, the headline is that ‘go-getters’ are going extinct.” (link)
It is possible Ohio is on track to becoming a top five state in terms of sports betting, according to Action Network’s Rovell, who points out Ohio is the seventh-most populated state in the country with 11.7M people; however, the top three most populated states — California, Texas and Florida — don’t have legal sports betting. Meanwhile, the race to sign up new bettors has been fierce, as Rovell points out customers “can glean more than $8,000 in promo dollars across the state’s 14 online sportsbooks as a new user.” Rovell adds: “And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take Maryland for example, which launched the week after Thanksgiving. FanDuel issued a $5,000 risk free bet there, up from their typical $1,000. DraftKings littered new users in the state with VIP promotions. Other books followed suit.” (link)
Business & Society…
+ The more affluent may experience a bigger hit than usual if the economy enters a recession in 2023, according to the Wall Street Journal, which coins the term “richcession.” (link)
+ High fuel and vehicle maintenance costs are leading to a shortage of pizza delivery drivers, putting a strain on the $45B(!) food sector. (link)
+ Bank customers, in theory, could have earned a total of $42B in interest during Q3 by moving their money out of the five largest U.S. banks by deposits to the five highest-yield savings accounts—none of which are offered by the big banks, per the WSJ. (link)
+ Oil steadied in the year’s first session as challenges to near-term demand from a global slowdown were offset by the prospect that more sanctions on Russia may curb supply. More from Bloomberg. (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Pell Grants are scheduled to increase by $500 to $7,400 FY23 under the recent spending plan signed by President Biden. On how that will help college students, USA Today’s Quintana notes the average student spent about $340 on course materials in the 2021-22 academic year, while parking and other costs can add hundreds of dollars more, especially for STEM students, who are likely to pay additional fees for specialized lab courses. As such, American Council on Education SVP Hartle explains the extra $500, which is in addition to a $400 increase during the previous year, will “help an awful lot of people who are trying to decide whether to start or to continue a post-secondary education.” The Biden administration plans to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $13K by 2029. (link)
This weekend’s Peach Bowl between Georgia and Ohio State averaged 22.4M viewers, while the Fiesta Bowl between Michigan and TCU averaged 21.4M viewers. The overall average of 21.7M viewers is good for the third-highest viewership in the College Football Playoff era and the highest in the last five years. The 21% YoY increase also marks a new high watermark for a non-New Year’s Day semifinals. The Peach Bowl reached a peak audience of 23.9M while the Fiesta Bowl peaked at 26.4M. (link)
Utah President Randall rang in the new year by breathing some fire about the Utes’ Rose Bowl opponent as well as their outgoing conference partner. “In 1923, 100 years ago, Penn State showed up to play their first Rose Bowl. Guess who they lost to? USC, 14-13. They had a chance to redeem themselves in 2008 when they played the Trojans again. They lost 38-17. And then they showed back up in 2017 and they lost a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter to the Trojans, and lost 52-49. So in the last 100 years they’ve lost three times to the Trojans and we’ve beat them twice in the last 48 days. Maybe that’s why USC wants to join the Big Ten.” (link)
The Athletic’s Feldman, Auerbach, Meek and Kosmider cite “multiple sources close to” Michigan FB HC Harbaugh who say Harbaugh will leave Ann Arbor for the NFL if a job offer is forthcoming. Feldman: “A return, perhaps to the Denver Broncos or his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, could be very tempting.” Given the Broncos’ recent struggles, Kosmider points out the Broncos are likely to want to hand the reins to an experienced HC and adds: “There is also the Stanford connection. Broncos CEO Greg Penner and his wife, co-owner Carrie Walton Penner, both attended graduate school at the university. Limited shareholder Condoleezza Rice, who is part of Denver’s search committee, also has deep ties to Stanford, where Harbaugh coached from 2007 to 2010.” (link)
Coaches Wire, continued…
+ Former Ohio State Baseball HC Beals, who was hired by Akron this past summer, is leaving to become the new head coach at Marshall, per D1Baseball’s Rogers. (link)
+ Loyola Marymount taps San José State Volleyball HC Kersten for the same position. (link)
+ This is pretty awesome: Mississippi State honored former FB HC Leach with pirate helmet decals for its ReliaQuest Bowl win over Illinois, which took place in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, where a giant pirate ship is part of the venue. (link, link)
The Athletic’s Wasserman observes that TCU’s victory over Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl poses a threat to his “Stars Matter” mantra. “The numbers back it up: Since the online recruiting rankings era began in 2000, only three teams have won a national championship without ever signing a top-five recruiting class in any of the previous four recruiting cycles. … And now this [TCU] roster, one that was once picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 this year, has advanced.” Horned Frogs HC Dykes explains his roster-building philosophy, which included the addition of 13 transfers: “You used to rely on signing the recruiting class, you redshirted the class if your program is good enough to do that, so all the programs that were good historically had an advantage because they didn’t have to play freshmen. Those teams went to bowl games, got those 15 extra practices and got a chance to work those young players. … Had we not been able to add those 13 transfers, you know, we would have been in trouble defensively. So our roster is probably constructed a little bit differently than Michigan’s is, but I do think that you’re going to start to see more teams like TCU, you know, to get on stages like this.” Wasserman subsequently posits that TCU “could be the program that forces us to reconsider how we view roster talent. … But until TCU beats Georgia or Ohio State next week, dare I say… Stars Matter.” (link)
The construction phase of Louisiana’s Our Lady of Lourdes Stadium project is expected to begin no earlier than the conclusion of the 2023 FB season and is expected to take 18-24 months. (link)
In looking back on her 2021 TikTok video which highlighted the inequities between the NCAA MBB and WBB Tournaments, former Oregon WBB student-athlete Prince tells the New York Times there is still work to be done. “Every single time we go places, it’s just less and it’s just disrespect, and so we’re trained to think that, oh, this is normal. This is what we deserve.” Prince goes on to acknowledge that, despite establishing herself as a leader who has made an impact, she still second-guesses her worth. “There are times where it’s like I have to pull myself out of that mentality of like, this is what it’s always been, this is what I deserve as a woman in sport, I’m just going to get less because we get less viewership. And it’s like, no, that’s not, that’s not true. So I have to constantly check myself of like, ‘Hey, you know, this is not correct. This is not right.’” Going forward, Prince plans to continue using her platform to call for change and says: “When you feel like you should talk about something, you probably should. So when I have a platform, I’m like, OK, I should probably talk about this. And then I can see the ripple effects after that, which is the coolest part of it and see it’s actually working.” (link)
Sports marketing firm Postgame last month launched a campaign with Reebok that features 60 athletes, including a number of FB and hoops student-athletes, such as Georgia RB McIntosh and TE Washington, Alabama WR Bond and UCLA MBB student-athletes Campbell and Clark, among others. The participating athletes will promote lines of Reebok shoes as well as Foot Locker or Champs Sports, where the shoes are available. Postgame Founder/CEO Jula says the athletes will earn different levels of compensation based on factors such as the size of their social media followings and their engagement rates. On3’s Wittry notes the student-athletes play for schools who have competing sponsorship deals, and Jula says there have only been two or three examples of athletes who have been unable to participate in a campaign that Postgame facilitated due to the athlete’s school having a contract with a competitor. (link)
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