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CollegeAD indicates the Mississippi State AD search will get moving again this week with candidates set to meet with Bulldogs brass in Atlanta. As you likely know, the process hit pause last month due to the passing of MSU FB HC Leach. (link)
Florida A&M AD Sykes starts today, but yesterday took to Twitter asking current or former college athletic directors to give her one piece of advice. She got lots of feedback, including this from Loyola Marymount boss Pintens: “Be authentic & be yourself,” and this from Kent State leader Richmond: “Take a moment to marvel at your accomplishment and engage everyone you meet with high energy, a listening ear, and love.” Pro wrestler/actor Cena and Georgia Senator Warnock chimed in, as well. (link)
Louisiana AD Maggard discusses the new timeline for renovations to Cajun Field at Our Lady of Lourdes Stadium, which will now begin after the 2023 season & take 18 to 24 months for completion. Maggard: “It’s just been very time-consuming and very slow. We’re progressing. The ball continues to move. We continue to make progress. Personally, I always want things to happen faster than they do, but no, we’re moving along and we’ll get there. [...] You never know with weather. Another thing about construction projects is you never really know what you’re getting into until you start breaking ground. [...] What I’m most excited about is offering a premium experience for people at our venue that will hopefully enhance attendance and ticket sales.” (link)
Georgia Tech’s Competitive Drive Initiative surpassed $4.8M raised in the final two months of 2022, nearly doubling its initial $2.5M goal. The efforts were aided by contributions from more than 1,700 donors, including new FB HC Key early last month. (link)
Barstool CEO Ayers says the Arizona Bowl between Ohio & Wyoming generated 1M total views. Ayers also indicates the company intends to double its investment in original programming, so maybe we’ll see more college athletics ideation from Barstool. (link)
Extra Points purveyor Brown updates on the potential for a bowl addition in Cincinnati - the “Cincinnati Chili Bowl” is a tentative name - as Game Day Communications CEO Reau is assisting the Cincinnati USA Sports Commission. Reau points to already having a place to play (TQL Stadium) & a broadcast partner (The CW, which would air its first ever sporting event with the bowl & has a linear reach of 100M homes) as key starting points. Brown: “As for conference or team partners, Reau told me that her team has ‘had good conversations with multiple conferences.’ Other industry sources familiar with the situation have told me that the MAC and Sun Belt, in particular, have expressed some level of interest in a potential Cincinnati area bowl. A P5 league, at launch, is considered to be less likely.” Reau also says she anticipates the bowl having an NIL component for student-athletes. More. (link)
+ CollegeAD indicates Fordham Senior Assoc. AD for Compliance & Governance Raymond has exited the Bronx. She is no longer listed on the Rams staff directory. (link)
+ Additional administrative talent moves on The Wire over at Collegiate Sports Connect: La Salle, Liberty, Texas State, Texas, Western Michigan, Mississippi State, Clemson & Penn State. (link)
+ Florida A&M removes the interim tag, names Patterson the Rattlers next softball HC. She has served as an AC with the program since 2021. (link)
+ Though he and his son have deals with Under Armour, new Colorado FB HC Sanders must wear Nike while coaching the Buffs, per his contract with the school. (link)
+ The Canisius MBB team hasn’t practiced at its home court in the Koessler Center since December 17 due to the blizzard that covered Western New York for nearly a week. The Golden Griffins took a road trip to Niagara Falls, utilizing Niagara Falls High School and Niagara County Community College as practice facilities and hosting two MAAC conference games on Niagara’s campus. The Koessler Center did sustain damage, although not in the main gym or locker room facilities, but the team does not yet know when it will make it home. HC Witherspoon: “It definitely felt like the road, all the way. It had all the trappings of a road weekend. Eating in the hotel, leaving to come over to someone else’s gym. … I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because obviously there’s people who’ve had it a lot worse.” (link)
Following the Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals game Monday night, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Bonsignore and Hill write on the medical personnel requirements of all NFL teams: “But if any solace can be taken from the tense scene that unfolded, because of the painstaking efforts and planning of the NFL, every league stadium is equipped with a multitiered emergency action plan that accounts for even the smallest details. It includes multiple specialized physicians and trainers, two EMT paramedic crews, airway management physicians and neurotrauma consultants. There is even a dentist and eye doctor present as part of a medical staff that eclipses 30 on the day of a game.” As Las Vegas Raiders Chief Medical Officer Singh puts it: “I think, as someone who practices critical care medicine, you can’t find most emergency rooms in hospitals that are as well-equipped as an NFL stadium is on game day.” More from Singh on protocols and implementation of each team’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP). (link)
In the same vein, Butler Senior Assoc. AD/Student-Athlete Health, Performance and Well-Being Reiff notes the importance of a medical emergency plan, knowing not every venue is as well-equipped as an NFL stadium. Reiff: “The ability to build an emergency action plan is available to everyone. … You are truly into a zone of high-level expertise because you have rehearsed it, you’ve practiced it. It’s performing the task, and you aren’t emotional because your brain is occupied.” (link)
Sportico’s Libit reports from behind the scenes of the cheerleading world, where industry giant Varsity Brands and other community stakeholders have “coalesced around the idea that a credible, independent governing body is needed to guide cheerleading out of its scandal-ridden and litigious present into a stable and prosperous future,” including 12 pending sex-abuse lawsuits filed over the past four months and three federal antitrust cases accusing Varsity of operating as an illegal monopoly. The issue is particularly poignant to collegiate athletics as the NCAA Is expected to vote on the status of Stunt as an emerging sport at next week’s annual convention, putting it on par with recently-approved emerging sport Acrobatics & Tumbling. The current frontrunner to lead the sport as its official governing body? The USA Federation for Sport Cheering, a Texas-based nonprofit that operates from a multimillion interest-free loan from Varsity but has yet to prove it is self-sustainable. Lots more on the nuances of pending and recent litigation and the cheerleading landscape from Libit, who writes: “Privately, [Acrobatics & Tumbling] backers gripe that Stunt’s real purpose is to claim for Varsity a profitable revenue stream from the collegiate market it had once spurned, for fear that the NCAA’s offseason regulations and training restrictions would impede its club-driven bottom line.” (link)
+ Iowa MBB student-athlete McCaffery, son of the Hawkeyes head coach, will take an indefinite leave of absence to address a mental health issue. The younger McCaffery: “It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself. The anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite, and stamina, which has resulted in not having the energy level necessary to compete at my full capabilities…. It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself.” (link)
+ Updated transfer portal numbers from On3, with Texas A&M (27), Florida (22), Arkansas (22), Arizona (20), Jackson State (18) and Miami (FL) (18) topping the “most transfer outs” list. (link)
+ North Texas has completed its 2023 football schedule, adding a road game against FIU on September 9. The Mean Green will then host the Panthers in Denton in 2029. (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
The DI Transformation Committee has delivered its wide-ranging final report to the DI Board of Directors ahead of next week's NCAA Convention. On the topic of "Elevating support for student-athletes' mental, physical, and academic well-being," the committee's extensive recommendations include requiring a minimum of two years of medical coverage following graduation or completing one's athletic experience for athletic-related injuries, a requirement for a "direct pathway for full-time clinical services of a licensed mental health professional exclusively dedicated to serving student-athletes," providing 10 years of graduation completion funds for full scholarship student-athletes, a new DI governance structure with greater student-athlete participation and more. Related to enhancing the championship experience, the committee is recommending to "Accommodate access for 25% of active Division I members in good standing in team sports sponsored by more than 200 schools," and alter the DI revenue distribution model to "reflect contemporary Division I values and account for athletic performance in more sports than men’s basketball," among other recommendations. Finally on "Building a faster, fairer, and more equitable Division I," the committee is recommending the BoD be the highest governing body in the NCAA and consider revising its composition while maintaining its size, and eliminate the volunteer coach designation and alter official and unofficial visits and much more. Tons more. (link)
Transformation Committee Co-Chair/Ohio AD Cromer: “There's a certain magic to college sports that cannot be easily described. We think the big tent — a large, diverse Division I — is part of that magic. It's worth working through the issues we see today to keep it intact.” Transformation Committee Co-Chair/SEC Commissioner Sankey: “The NCAA lacks the legal authority to address some of these elements at present.” (link)
+ Stadium’s Goodman shares this reaction from a DI Council member: “This is the one thing that doesn't need fixing, but it's all about Greg Sankey and the big boys trying to get as many bids, and as much money as possible. This would ruin what makes the NCAA tournament special.” (link)
+ Kennyhertz Perry attorney Winter points to a paragraph in the report identifying Congress as the “only entity that can grant that stability” regarding legal issues such as NIL, student-athlete employment status and revenue-sharing and leaving the committee’s unfinished work on the plate of the recently-created BoG Subcommittee on Congressional Engagement. (link)
+ Sportico’s Novy-Williams notes that the committee’s suggestion that the NCAA continue seeking new revenue streams reminds him of sports betting— ”a revenue stream that the NCAA has been very reticent to embrace so far.” (link)
+ Extra Points’ Brown: “My reading of this document is that the NCAA would prefer to not run anybody out of D1, and is prepared to at least try to help defray some of the financial costs of these new requirements. That's going to be important, especially for many HBCUs.” (link)
+ CBS’ Norlander: “But the report isn't the landscape-changing event that many in college athletics were anticipating. If anything, a lot of what was released Tuesday was telegraphed for months by Sankey and Cromer in their previous comments to media and in closed-door discussions with higher-ups in college athletics this past fall. Many of these recommendations are expected to take years to ratify. For the intents and purposes of their effects on college sports to the average fan, many of the shifts won't be discernible.” (link)
UC Santa Barbara has named Interim AD Barsky to the permanent position after leading the Gauchos for the last year. Chancellor Yang: “Kelly brings a wealth of experience as a coach, academic advisor, and athletics administrator, and I am confident that she will continue to be an exceptional leader for our campus and our athletics program. Since she assumed the interim role, our athletics programs have continued to thrive, our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom and in their respective sports, and our campus and community are energized about our future. We have all been impressed by her knowledge, her energy and enthusiasm, and her deep commitment to supporting our coaches and student-athletes in reaching their academic and athletics goals.” (link)
SMU names Baylor Deputy AD Rogers to the newly-created role of Deputy AD for Internal Affairs for the Mustangs. Rogers will also have sport administrator duties for Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer and Women’s Basketball, along with assuming the SWA title this spring. (link)
College Sports Communicators (formerly the College Sports Information Directors of America) introduced a new organizational logo and Academic All-American program brand marks as part of its multi-stage rebranding process. The modernized logo reflects CSC’s brand story of unity and inclusivity, featuring six quarter circles indicating that all parts of the organization— NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, Canadian institutions and two-year campuses and conferences— are “stronger together.” The marks were developed in collaboration with Joe Basack & Co. CSC President/Chicago State Deputy AD Poole: “We were purposeful in choosing the design and colors to signify our growth and as a bridge from the past to the future. … All these important changes are indicative of an association on the move. In addition to our rebrand and new marks, our main focus remains on providing our members with expanded professional development, member benefits and leadership and networking opportunities as we continue to position CSC as a leader in collegiate athletics.” (link)
College Sports Communicators Executive Director Christianson, President/Chicago State Deputy AD Poole and Arkansas Senior Assoc. AD for Public Relations/CSC First VP Trainor join D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer to dive into the rebrand. The trio touches on the rebranding process, sources of inspiration, what’s next for CSC, and their favorite parts of the new logo. On the latter point, Poole: “I love that the S is two half circles and it really represents those of us in the profession who are non-traditional storytellers and I think it’s really cool because that’s the area of our industry that we are seeing the most rapid growth. I think it’s also the area of our industry where we are seeing the most youth. I think it’s the area where we are really going to be able to see and I think it resonates with those folks that fall into that category.” More only on Connect. (link)
+ Rider taps Dartmouth Men’s Soccer AC Duernberger to be the next HC in Lawrenceville. (link)
+ Florida A&M selects Maryland Track & Field AC Ellenwood II as the Rattlers’ new Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. (link)
+ Akron AD Guthrie goes with AC Donnelly as the Zips’ Interim Baseball HC for the upcoming season, per D1Baseball’s Rogers. (link)
+ New Mexico State AD Moccia inks FB HC Kill to an extension that would keep him leading the Aggies through the 2027 season. (link)
Wright State AD Grant sat down with the Dayton Business Journal’s Steen to discuss the year ahead. What are Grant’s biggest challenges? “The changing landscape in our industry is really forcing us to evaluate how we do things in many areas; we are embracing those changes, but we won't become a ‘win at all costs’ place or sacrifice our PSA (person, student, athlete) mission.” On his outlook for 2023: “Hopefully more of the same, not a day goes by that I don't brag about our awesome student-athletes being some of the highest achievers on our campus.” (link)
A Student-Athlete Insights survey found that out of over 1K student-athletes surveyed, 28% reported that their HC publicly promoted NIL or a collective while 52% had not. 34% stated their HC has credited NIL as one reason for poor individual or team performance, up from 17% last year. Also, 78% of respondents believed that their HC promoting NIL to supporters would improve their NIL opportunities. (link)
Ahead of today’s Under Armour All-America Game, The Athletic’s Navarro talked to 15 top prospects about NIL, schools that pushed the hardest to sign them, photo shoots and more. The majority of prospects ranked NIL as third in their decision making process with many listing relationships and player development as more important. Asked what the largest amount of NIL money discussed during their recruiting process, multiple student-athletes had seven-figure offers, with some noting: “Over seven figures. It wasn’t the coaches. It was a guy who did NIL stuff. The closer I got to the commitment, the more and more things went up. [...] Somebody tried to throw $1 million at me on signing day. Somebody called my parents and coaches. My loyalty to the program I signed with isn’t worth a million dollars. I’ll make that in no time. [...] The biggest amount of money was $3 million over four years. You want to get paid for your results. It played a factor, but not as big as some people think.” More. (link)
The NFL will not continue the postponed Bills-Bengals game this week. The league has not made a decision regarding “the possible resumption of the game at a later date.” (link)
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