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Mississippi State is zeroing in on Oklahoma Deputy AD for External Engagement and Advancement Selmon for its AD post, according to Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger, who adds: “Deal not finalized, but Selmon is set to visit campus Thursday. A former Wake Forest TE, Selmon would be school’s first Black AD. He’s spent 10+ years under the respected Joe Castiglione.” (link)
The DI Council approved adjustments to transfer waiver guidelines, modified personnel rules across several sports and formally eliminated the requirement for standardized test scores in initial eligibility. The Council voted to eliminate the voluntary coach designation across DI in favor of including those coaches within a new limit for countable coaches in each of the applicable sports. Specifically, the number of countable coaches in baseball, softball and ice hockey increased to four as the group rejected an additional increase to five countable coaches in those sports. The Council also supported an increase of two coaches in MBB and WBB who may engage in coaching activities but may not recruit off campus. In both FBS and FCS, the Council redefined GA positions to graduate student coaches and limited individuals to serving three years maximum in that role. In updating transfer waiver guidelines, the Council voted unanimously to evaluate each waiver on a case-by-case basis based on criteria including demonstrated injury or mental health condition and “exigent circumstances that clearly necessitate a student-athlete's immediate departure from the previous school.” All other guidelines will no longer be used for waiver requests to compete during championship seasons that first occur in 2023-24. More, including the future of stunt as an Emerging Sport for Women. (link)
The DI Council also adopted a proposal to limit midyear transfers in softball. The midyear transfer rule now forces student-athletes to sit out a year before competing for a new program with an exception being made for graduate transfers to play the ensuing year. NFCA Executive Director Bruggeman: “We are one of very few sports where you can play somewhere in the fall, transfer and be immediately eligible in January to play in the spring. We have been pushing to kind of close that loophole. It has become more prevalent, and can be beneficial to the team on the receiving end but extremely detrimental to the program on the losing end because they can’t replace that roster spot that late.” (link)
SBJ’s Smith has some additional nuggets on the quartet of moves yesterday by Teamworks: “(CEO) Maurides said that the tracking data and analysis from Smartabase will be integrated into the Teamworks hub, where previously acquired companies like Notemeal, a nutrition-tracking software, provides a more holistic viewpoint of the athlete.” Also directly from Maurides: “These moves represent a massive step toward executing our vision. These are vital elements to help our customers support every phase of their athletic lifecycle.” (link)
Broadcast rights for the College Football Playoff are “gonna go for a boatload,” SBJ’s Ourand tells the New York Post’s Marchand, adding: “ESPN…they love just owning all of it right now, and they want to continue to own all of it.” Questioned by Marchand about whether he believes it’s worth it, Ourand replies: “Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. Do I think they’re gonna break the bank? Yeah, I think they’re gonna break the bank. … They want to be a part of the Playoff, and if you catch magic, like ESPN did on New Year’s Eve, then it’s great.” However, Ourand suggests the possibility of blowouts threatens the value overall. (link)
Cal has agreed to a new three-year deal with Nike and BSN Sports, effective July 1. Golden Bears AD Knowlton: "We are excited to enter into this new partnership that allows our 30 sports programs to be outfitted in Nike gear. It will continue to elevate our brand while providing our student-athletes and staff the resources they need to compete at the highest level." Details of the deal have yet to be reported. (link)
Syracuse AD Wildhack joins the growing number of ADs encouraging fans to donate to collectives, singling out the 315 Foundation and Athletes Who Care. “At Syracuse we are committed to providing a best-in-class experience for our student-athletes. A robust NIL program will make us more competitive and allow our teams to compete for and win national championships.” (link)
D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle is joined by Oregon State Senior Assoc. AD for External Operations Elcano and OSU Senior Assoc. AD/VP for Athletic Development Escobar to discuss leveraging the Beavers’ successful FB season, renovations to Reser Stadium and how it all fits into the Build the Dam strategic plan. The two also share their thoughts on the Transformation Committee’s proposals and connecting with alumni and the community and reflect on what went well in 2022. The full conversation is now live on Connect. (link)
The Pac-12 production center will shift its operations from San Francisco to San Ramon. The conference says the studio “will focus on live sports content with the facility being built with cutting-edge production technology. The office is expected to welcome more than 100 staffers and freelancers on busy game days.” (link)
+ Disney has named board member and Nike Executive Chairman Parker as its new executive chair. (link)
+ CollegeAD reports Murray State AD Yantko has hired Mississippi State Asst. AD for Communications Brunner as the new Senior Assoc. AD for External Relations & Strategic Initiatives for the Racers. Brunner is still listed on the Bulldogs staff directory and his LinkedIn profile still has him in Starkville. (link)
+ Austin Peay Deputy AD/SWA Campbell talks with D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle about the Governors’ Associate Director Athletics - Student Services opening, including the initiatives the position will drive, the reporting structure, what the Governors are looking for in terms of experience, what she believes will be the most rewarding part of the role and the overall culture of the athletic department. Full Q&A now on Connect. (link)
+ Lindenwood names Saint Louis AC Bertsch as Men’s Soccer HC. (link)
+ UConn WBB HC Auriemma returned to the sidelines for last night’s game against St. John’s (link)
Arizona State WBB has canceled its upcoming games at Utah and Colorado due to a depleted roster of healthy student-athletes. Sun Devils HC Adair: “We understand the games will be forfeited, but the reality is there was no decision to be made. With few healthy scholarship players, time to heal is our only option. Our plan is to get our team healthy over the course of this week and be ready when we host Arizona Jan. 22.” (link)
Former ESPN reporter Williams and producer Faber have filed a lawsuit alleging the company’s COVID vaccination policy violated their right to religious freedom. Attorney Dunn, who is representing both Williams and Faber: “Forcing [the] plaintiffs to choose between continuation of their employment and a violation of their religious beliefs in order to retain their livelihoods imposes a substantial burden on plaintiffs’ ability to conduct themselves in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” ESPN declined to comment to Front Office Sports on the suit. (link)
The USOPC has recognized USA Cheer, the United States Muaythai Federation, USA Cricket, USA Kickboxing, and USA Lacrosse as USOPC Affiliate Sports Organizations. USOPC Affiliate Organizations Council Chair Meserve: “Through a thorough review of applications, the nominating committee determined these organizations are making outstanding efforts toward increasing interest and programming opportunities in their respective sports.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Live from San Antonio…
+ Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger reports the DI Council could vote as early as today on the proposal to allow FB analysts to coach during practice weeks. Dellenger notes there is pushback on the proposal from some. “Also on Council agenda are previously reported proposals to (1) re-classify volunteer coaches as full-time positions and (2) to lift pay restrictions on FB GAs. There is support for both.” (link); Dellenger subsequently reports the proposal to allow “any institutional staff member” (support staffers/analysts) to coach during practice weeks was not voted on by the DI Council today and will be re-examined by the FB Oversight Committee. (link)
+ More from Dellenger: NCAA Managing Director of Enforcement Hicks remarks that NIL collectives – he calls them “booster clubs” – are not a new phenomenon and adds that NCAA infractions officials hear from coaches and administrators about being approached by “NIL agents” who often quote a money figure for a prospect and say, “If you think you can play in that ballpark, then we'd like to be a part of the recruiting process.” (link); Also from Dellenger: “NCAA enforcement opened 85 new cases last year, the association announced in a presentation here at the Convention. More than 3,100 secondary cases processed and 15 major cases. Of the 15 cases, 7 were in D1. The average duration for a 2022 NCAA infractions case that is contested with a hearing: 29 months, or about 2.5 years.” (link)
+ D1Baseball’s Rogers reports the DI Council has “approved a measure to turn all volunteer positions in baseball and softball (and in all sports) into a full-time coaching position without recruiting constraints. Volunteers will officially become full-time coaches on July 1, 2023.” (link)
+ D1.ticker’s Fischer reports the “DI Council did pass a proposal to eliminate test score requirements from the initial-eligibility requirements and establish minimum grade-point average requirements. Next step is the Board tomorrow.” (link)
+ The DI Competition Oversight Committee has approved a two-year pilot program to hold the men's and women's individual tennis championships in the fall of 2024 and 2025. The men’s and women’s team championships will be held in the spring of those years. Part of the rationale for the decision to hold the individual tennis championships in the fall involves student-athlete well-being, as student-athletes in both the team and individual championships can compete for nine days in a row under the current format. More details. (link)
Chicago State is putting together an exploratory committee to study the impact of a football program and deliver recommendations to President Scott. Cougars AD Carroll tells The Athletic: “I think it would be huge. We would be Chicago’s only Division I football program, so a city that has as much going on especially in the sports landscape as Chicago does, to add to that with Division I football, I think that would be awesome. And then the campus, we are trying to grow enrollment. We’re doing different things strategically to see how we can make the university better. I think this enhances the student experience on campus. This engages the South Side community. … To grow enrollment; we know adding even 100 football players, what they could do for a university of our size. Looking at adding women’s sports along with that; we don’t have a number set for women’s sports, we don’t know what those sports will be yet; it aligns with the strategic goals.” Collegiate Consulting completed a feasibility study for the school last summer. (link, link)
Teamworks will double in size with the acquisition of four technologies: human performance optimization platform Smartabase, collegiate academics and athlete development platform Retain, and collegiate athletic alumni engagement platforms Grafted and NextPlay that will be consolidated and rebranded to Teamworks Communities. Teamworks also announces plans to build a collegiate compliance solution that will fully integrate into Teamworks' operating system. Founder and CEO Maurides: “The addition of these products solidifies Teamworks’ impact on each phase of the athlete lifecycle and its indispensable position serving elite athletic organizations. And while Teamworks has always supported the performance of athletes, Smartabase’s expertise in military human performance will benefit all of our customers collectively.” (link, video)
Freshly minted Maine AD Killy’s five-year contract runs through January 20, 2028, and includes a $250K base salary with $25K bonuses in each of the first two years. The Black Bears and Killy will discuss bonus payments for the remaining three years. Should Maine terminate the contract without cause, Killy would be owed one year’s base salary or have to be paid until the contract expires, whichever comes first. If Killy accepts another position within the first two years of his contract, he would owe the university $50K. That figure falls to $25K in the third year. Finally, Maine will provide $6K per year for a vehicle allowance and will reimburse Killy up to $25K in moving expenses. Report per CollegeAD. (link)
+ George Washington selects RIT (DIII) Provost/SVP for Academic Affairs Granberg as its next president. (link)
+ Presbyterian President vandenBerg will resign at the end of the academic year to take the same position at Ohio Wesleyan (DIII). (link)
+ Boston College AD James taps Miami (FL) Deputy AD Anderson for the same role in Chestnut Hill. (link)
+ Ball State Deputy AD for Marketing and Strategic Initiatives Sullivan announces his resignation, writing: “I am ready for a new opportunity and, frankly, with much transition occurring at Ball State, I simply have not had the bandwidth to properly explore new jobs. Lastly, following almost nine total years in Muncie in external affairs roles, the Cardinals will benefit from a new set of eyes and the next AD will have another position to hand-pick… but I don’t want to be done with college athletics forever. Many do want to be done. And I get that. We, as an enterprise, should have been more proactive for a long time. Now, we all have a chance to mold the future for its betterment.” (link)
+ Cincinnati names Kent State Asst. AD for Marketing and Promotions Frazier as Assoc. AD for Marketing and Fan Engagement. (link)
+ Central Connecticut State selects Virginia Tech AC Lechtenberg to take the reins as FB HC in New Britain. (link)
+ San José State taps Fairfield Volleyball HC Kress for the same position. (link)
+ Abilene Christian Cross Country HC Jelen will step down to take the role of Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Jamestown (NAIA). (link)
+ Ole Miss HC Kiffin will earn $8.75M in 2023 under his new contract and is in line to receive an automatic $250K bonus as long as he is still the coach at the year’s end. FootballScoop’s Brice adds: “In fact, with a similar retention bonus in the pact for 2024, Kiffin will earn $36M minus any additional incentives to continue as the Ole Miss head coach for the next four football seasons. Also under the contract, Kiffin can begin earning $150K for each win against SEC opponents after the Rebels’ fourth SEC victory of the season. Meanwhile, all victories against non-conference Power 5 are worth an additional $100K. Kiffin would receive a minimum $500K for making the College Football Playoff and could earn up to $1M for the CFP title. (link)
Pittsburgh AD Lyke is the latest AD to come out and publicly encourage fans to support student-athletes via NIL. Lyke specifically directs fans to the Alliance 412 collective and points businesses and others who want to learn more to Pitt’s dedicated NIL website. (link)
Deals, Deals, Deals…
+ Fordham inks a new apparel and footwear agreement with Nike, effective July 1. Under Armour has served as the Rams’ apparel partner since 2017, and AD Kull remarks: “Nike’s reputation for success and innovation is unrivaled. … Our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans will all benefit from our renewed relationship with such a peerless institution.” (link)
+ Rutgers is the latest athletic department to partner with RealResponse. (link)
+ Tulsa unveils its new 3D projection system at the Reynolds Center. The new system not only projects 3D images onto the court, it also provides fans an immersive experience by allowing them to participate in a virtual game of pong during half time and timeouts. Golden Hurricane Assoc. AD for Revenue and Fan Engagement Malay: “You can see dimensions. It looks like the floor is falling away, it looks like a hurricane is rising up from the floor, it looks like there's clouds swirling." (link)
+ Northwestern will add 200 seats to its student section at Welsh-Ryan Arena for the Wildcats’ upcoming MBB matchup against Rutgers after hundreds of students were reportedly turned away from last week’s game against Illinois. If student demand remains high, Executive Senior Assoc. AD for Revenue Generation and Strategic Initiatives Jones says the Wildcats will look to implement other solutions to accommodate them. (link)
+ The naming rights deal between FTX and Miami-Dade County was terminated Wednesday by a federal bankruptcy court, allowing the Miami Heat to remove the company’s name from the erstwhile FTX Arena. (link)
+ ESPN’s Rittenberg reports Northwestern has appointed independent attorney Hickey of ArentFox Schiff to conduct an investigation into an allegation of hazing within the FB program that occurred after the 2022 season. The school has not specified if the allegation came from a player or involved players, coaches or staff but says it will cooperate fully with the investigation. “The inquiry is in its very early stages and will be rigorously fair to everyone in this process. It will focus on gathering facts and will not jump to conclusions. Northwestern strongly supports members of our community who come forward with concerns and encourages anyone to report those concerns to the university. … The purpose of Ms. Hickey’s investigation is to find the underlying truth of the allegations -- including the scope of any potential hazing activity or harmful culture." (link)
+ The Northern District Court of Illinois has denied a motion by DePaul to dismiss a wrongful termination Title IX lawsuit brought by sports psychologist Conviser, whose company, Ascend, provided mental health care to student-athletes. Per Inside Higher Ed: “When Conviser began speaking out about sex abuse and discrimination in the department - including by a legendary softball coach - the athletics staff started limiting the number of students they sent to her for help. Eventually, DePaul terminated its contract with Conviser and Ascend.” According to the ruling, the “plain language of the statute does not require a plaintiff to have been denied an educational benefit, nor does the statute limit its application to students, employees, or beneficiaries of the federal financial assistance.” (link)
FB Scheduling Scenarios…
+ New Mexico State has canceled its 2023 FB opener at San Diego State. Under the terms of the contract, canceling the game comes with a $1.5M penalty, and the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kenney reports SDSU is “intent on receiving the penalty payment to help entice another opponent to come to town.” (link)
+ There will not be a 2023 Week 0 game between Colorado and Arizona State in Tempe, as the Football Oversight Committee denied the request, per ESPN’s Thamel, who notes: “Have been told the reason is that they applied for a waiver to avoid playing nine-consecutive weeks. FOC ruled yesterday that since many teams play nine-straight weeks, that was too big of a exception loophole to open. Coach Prime mentioned this possibility to [ESPN analyst Herbstreit] and Co. on College GameDay on Monday. The parties were informed earlier today.” (link)
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(NEW!) Assistant Athletic Director - Recreation (Bucknell University / Lewisburg, PA): Works with the department leadership in managing and implementing a comprehensive recreation services program. Apply at https://apptrkr.com/3793031. More details HERE.
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