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Michigan AD Manuel says the school has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA and adds: “We have cooperated and will continue to cooperate with this investigation. Out of respect for the NCAA’s enforcement process, we will not offer further comments.” (link)
Extra Points purveyor Brown sits down with new ASUN-WAC Football Executive Director Luck about his new gig. With a goal of becoming a formal FCS Football-only league by 2024, Luck, as part of this role, will audit each of the 10 Football-playing members to understand their needs and investments should an FBS opportunity arise. Should the yet-to-be-named league gain formal recognition as an FBS league, which is somewhat uncertain given the moratorium on single-sport conferences, Luck acknowledged the ability to access future College Football Playoff revenue is “a concern” as the WAC/ASUN “aren't party to the contract and can't negotiate for a share of the revenue. If the next contract is signed before the WAC/ASUN wins formal approval, it's very unlikely they'll be able to count on any of that money,” per Brown. Brown concludes: “ADs and leaders at other FCS schools are watching this effort closely. I'm told that if the WAC/ASUN effort is successful, there may be nothing stopping groups of schools in say, the Big Sky, MVFC or CAA from doing something similar. Maybe that's a big problem if you're an FBS league concerned about diluting CFP revenue. Maybe, if those schools can all compete, that isn't a problem at all.” More. (link)
The Pac-12 will reevaluate its decision to eliminate FB divisions and alter its championship game selection process now that the College Football Playoff expansion has been set, per the San Jose Mercury News’ Wilner, who notes “the long-haul football strategy will be formalized to match the expanded playoff” after the media rights deal and possible expansion are finalized. Commissioner Kliavkoff: “The goal is the same: to optimize for playoff berths and championships. […] Now that we know the proposed 12-team format will be in place, we have 18 months to revisit who’s in the championship game and 12 months to revisit the 2024 schedule. And we’ll do both.” Senior Assoc. Commissioner for FB Operations Hanks adds: “I could make an argument that structurally, going back to divisions makes no sense if we want the highest-rated teams in the championship game. The setup still serves us well. I don’t see the value in going back to divisions in (a playoff) expansion scenario.” (link)
+ The MAC promotes Assoc. Commissioner for Institutional Services/SWA Williams to the Senior Assoc. Commissioner level. (link)
+ CSUN AD Chin-Farrell taps Southern Utah Deputy AD for Competitive Excellence/SWA/Chief Diversity Officer Hahn as his new Senior Assoc. AD/COO. (link)
+ Siena selects UAlbany Assoc. AD for Development Turnbull as the Saints’ new Assoc. AD for External Relations. (link)
+ NBC has nabbed veteran ESPN analyst Blackledge to join play-by-play announcer [Noah] Eagle in its primetime booth for Big Ten games, according to the New York Post’s Marchand. (link)
+ North Carolina A&T selects William & Mary Assoc. HC Brown as the Aggies’ next FB HC. (link)
+ ESPN’s Low reports South Carolina and FB HC Beamer have agreed to a new deal that would increase his annual salary from $2.75M to “the $6.5 million range annually in average salary,” pending board approval. (link)
+ Indiana MBB HC Woodson on Iowa HC McCaffery not being ejected for getting in the face of Hoosiers AC Rosemond during a discussion with an official last night: “That’s bulls–t. You can print that one. Because when you let coaches come across halfcourt into your space, that’s bulls–t. It is.” Woodson also remarked that McCaffery was originally given a technical, but the official “pulled it back, which is bulls–t. Guy should have been thrown out of the godd–mn game.” (link)
+ Former USC Senior Assoc. AD Heinel has been sentenced to six months in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $160K which she personally benefited from for her role in the Varsity Blues scandal. Heinel pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud in November 2021. (link)
+ U.S. District Judge Beeler ruled on some items in the Title IX lawsuit involving San Francisco & Baseball student-athletes in connection to the alleged behavior of former Baseball HC Giarratano & AC Nakamura earlier in the week. From Courthouse News: “Beeler dismissed the claims of nine players as barred by the statute of limitations, which is not tolled because the players were aware of the misconduct. And because the NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis, Beeler ruled the Southern District Court of Indiana is the proper venue for claims against the organization. But the other plaintiffs' discrimination claims against the university and the coaches will proceed.” In a statement, the USF continues to express confidence that it handled the situation appropriately. (link)
Buffalo Bills safety/former Pitt standout Hamlin continues to progress with doctors removing his breathing tube last night. Hamlin has been able to talk with his family and FaceTime with the team as doctors note his “neurologic function remains intact.” (link, link)
UNC Chancellor Guskiewicz, whose background is in sports-related brain injuries, chatted with 99.9 The Fan’s Ovies and Giglio about the safety of FB following Buffalo Bills safety/former Pitt standout Hamlin’s life-threatening cardiac event last week. “It's never been safer to play sport than it is today. There's more we can do to continue to improve safety. That situation we saw Monday in the Bills-Bengals game, that does raise the question though, so I understand the concerns people may have. […] It's very, very rare., which is why how many times did we hear this week that it's an unprecedented situation. If you think about the number of game exposures in football in a given year, at all levels of play from high school up through the pros, thousands and thousands of game exposures a year that you don't see this.” (link)
More from the Tar Heel State as Queens AD Swarthout reflects on the season-opening home MBB win over Marshall back in November as the Royals push its way into the DI ranks: “I’m not sure you could’ve scripted it any better. If somebody said, ‘What does your perfect game look like?’ I’m like, ‘Wow, that was it.’” The victory over the Thundering Herd has been far from an outlier as the program sits at 12-4 (2-1 ASUN) with HC Leonard providing context on the early success: “We have eight state champions on the team and three or four more guys who have played state championships, so they’ve all won before, and they just don’t know anything else. There are times in games when we probably could lay down, and this team just fights more than any team I’ve ever seen.” (link)
The Athletic’s O’Neil asserts that Texas’ decision to part ways with MBB HC Beard was, in fact, an uncomplicated one. “Chris Beard didn’t do the right thing, and that’s why he’s no longer the coach at the University of Texas. It’s that simple. This is not about the legalese of when allegations turn into charges turn into convictions or Trew’s initial account to police and her turnabout 11 days later. Whether the district attorney chooses to continue the case is immaterial (Beard is scheduled for a hearing on Jan. 18 in district court).” O’Neil continues: “I was admittedly hard on the administration for its long road to this decision but I applaud the school for not only getting here, but getting here for the right reasons. … It’s become, frankly, exhausting how everyone rushes to find the loophole for the accused, to protect their rights and ignore the simple rights of a person to not be assaulted.” (link)
Sportico’s McCann parses the “for cause” clause in Beard’s contract, noting that had Beard been let go without cause, he would have been owed 70% of his remaining salary along with 100% of earned, accrued or vested compensation. McCann reports Texas parted ways with Beard pursuant to the following clause: “Any conduct (a) that the University administration reasonably determines is clearly unbecoming to a Head Coach and reflects poorly on the University, the Program, or the University of Texas System; or (b) resulting in a criminal charge being brought against Head Coach involving a felony, or any crime involving theft, dishonesty, or moral turpitude.” Beard’s attorney argues the school came to a decision under section a without interviewing Beard or his fiancée or conducting a university hearing. McCann points out, however, that UT made a point to emphasize in its release that it “exercised thoughtful restraint to allow time for additional material facts to emerge.” If Beard does file a breach of contract lawsuit against the university, McCann explains there is no requirement for Beard to first mediate or arbitrate. Additionally, McCann points out that, per the contract, Beard waives any potential claims for alleged humiliation or defamation, or for loss of earning capacity. (link)
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