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The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has approved West Georgia’s reclassification from DII to DI and the Atlantic Sun and UAC for football, effective July 1, 2024. President Brendan Kelly: “At UWG, we dedicate ourselves to the curation of a first-choice university. We have strategically and thoughtfully prepared for this opportunity to take our institution to the next level and become an even more attractive option for well-rounded students interested in our exceptional academic programs at a university that nurtures their ability to become their best future selves.” (link)
Oregon State and Washington State have initiated legal action against the Pac-12 to “confirm the governance structure of the conference, gain access to business information, and protect the conference’s assets. This is a critical step that allows the two universities to continue to explore all options for preserving the conference going forward, according to Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy and Washington State President Kirk Schulz.” OSU and WSU in a release contend that, per league bylaws, they “now constitute the entire membership of the Pac-12 Board of Directors.” Also: “The filing seeks to prevent the Pac-12 from permitting the departing members of the Pac-12 Board of Directors from meeting and attempting to take any action regarding the status or governance of the conference in ways that preclude OSU and WSU from potentially rebuilding the conference. … The Pac-12 commissioner recently asked current and former members of the Pac-12 board to meet on Sept. 13 to vote on a ‘go forward governance approach’ for the conference, in violation of the Pac-12 constitution and by-laws, according to the filing. The temporary restraining order seeks to prevent this meeting or similar action, which would cause immediate and irreparable harm to OSU, WSU, and the conference.” More from OSU and WSU, including the full complaints. (link)
The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner reports the “filing comes after a tense two weeks that began when Schulz, chair of the Pac-12 board, declined George Kliavkoff’s request to call a board meeting to discuss ‘complex issues facing the Conference.’ … That led Kliavkoff to schedule the meeting himself (for Sept. 13). He invited all 12 board members, including those from USC and UCLA. The Los Angeles schools had been excluded from prior Pac-12 board meetings following their June 2022 decision to join the Big Ten.” Wilner goes on to note that “WSU and OSU believe the public statements by executives from the outgoing schools – and the ‘welcome’ announcements blasted on social media by their new leagues – constitute a legal delivery of notice, thereby rendering their presidents ineligible for the Pac-12 board.” Wilner also points out Colorado Chancellor Philip DiStefano was excluded from Pac-12 board meetings after the Buffs announced their departure for the Big 12. (link); More from Wilner on the details which led to today’s filing, including this, as outlined in the complaint: “One representative of a departing Pac-12 member threatened that the departing members of the Conference were poised to take immediate action to seize control of the Pac-12. The representative wrote: ‘It seems obvious that any 9 Members can declare the fate of the Conference at any time.’” Full timeline. (link)
There is now a hearing date for the NLRB case against USC, the Pac-12 and the NCAA over whether athletes should be considered employees, per Front Office Sports’ Amanda Christovich, who reports there will be two windows for the trial: November 7-10 and November 28-December 1. (link)
People & Places…
+ The NCAA has tapped former McKinsey & Co. Assoc. Partner Brian Higgins to take over as SVP of Business Performance and promoted DI VP Kevin Lennon to SVP for Policy and Governance. Additionally, DII VP Terri Steeb Gronau will join the senior management team as liaison to the Board of Governors. NCAA President Charlie Baker: “Brian brings a wealth of experience and innovative perspective from his time consulting on significant and complex projects in the public and private sectors. Kevin has valuable knowledge of the Association and an understanding of what it takes to make change here. And Terri, in addition to being a great leader for DII, brought valuable insight to the senior management team and to the Board of Governors that I am thrilled will continue.” (link)
+Memphis promotes Executive Assoc. AD/SWA Lauren Ashman to Deputy AD/SWA and Asst. AD for Leadership Giving Taylor Sanderson to Assoc. AD for Development. (link)
+Northern Illinois names Southern Connecticut State (DII) AD Chris Baker as Senior Assoc. AD for Development & Revenue Generation. Barker's duties at NIU will be focused on campus and community outreach, including the Huskie Athletic Fund, major gifts and gift-in-kind program while also serving as the department's liaison to the NIU Alumni Association and NIU Foundation. He will be the sport administrator for several sports programs as well as the Sports Performance area and will take the lead on special events like the Victor E. Bash and Hall of Fame. (link)
+Johns Hopkins inks Men’s Lacrosse HC Peter Milliman to a multi-year extension. (link)
+Eastern Kentucky signs Beach Volleyball HC Jeff Patton to an extension through 2026. (link)
+Detroit Mercy Asst. AD for NCAA Compliance Steve Corder has been tapped to serve on the DI Council. (link)
+Southland Commissioner Chris Grant has been tapped to serve a four-year term on the FCS Oversight Committee. (link)
The State University System of Florida Board of Governors has approved USF’s plan to borrow up to $200M to construct its approximately $340M on-campus football stadium. Given the increase in interest rates, USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford firmly states “we will not enter into any financial commitment that puts this university’s financial integrity at risk,” adding: “It’s no coincidence that every one of these universities also made a significant investment in their athletic facilities, either through a new stadium or making tremendous renovations to their existing one. The consensus is that the conference realignment will continue. It’s critically important for us to make investments now so that the university can position itself for the future.” (link)
Florida State AD Michael Alford updates the board on the $210M renovation to Doak Campbell Stadium which, pending approval in November, is expected to begin in January. The renovations will upgrade the south endzone club seats, expand seating on the west side of the stadium, update the concourse and concession stands and more. Given those renovations to the west side of the stadium, Seminoles fans will see temporary seating for the 2024 season. Senior VP for Finance and Administration Kyle Clark plans “to make a five-year pledge on the maximum $255M debt,” pending board approval. Renderings included. (link); Alford added that the Noles have $400M in facility projects in the planning or construction phase. On the financial gap with other conferences: "The gap ... is not going to allow us to compete in the other 19 sports. That is my biggest concern, because the financial difference that other institutions are going to have, they're going to be able to elevate some of the sports that they haven't competed with us in.” (link)
The DI Council Coordination Committee sent a memo to conference commissioners, compliance officers and others this week reaffirming the current transfer waiver process and the way the guidelines for two-time transfers are being applied, The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reports. The memo also notes that a “similar update and additional data will be provided to the council at its October meeting.” (link)
Now live on Connect: Montana State AD Leon Costello sits down with Fox Sports/Connect’s Bryan Fischer at the 2023 NACDA Convention to discuss topics ranging from revenue generation to building a culture in the transfer portal era. Costello also offers a rundown of where the Bobcats stand facilities-wise, telling Fischer: “We had a big project in ‘21 that we were able to open up the Bobcat Athletic Complex. What we're seeing right now is by moving football and some of those support services over to that building, we've opened up some space in the field house that we're able to renovate for all of the other student-athletes. We renovated our training room and our weight room in the field house. We're creating new locker rooms for men's basketball, women's basketball as well. The old football locker room and the old football coach's offices are now becoming a new academic center. … So we're seeing a direct impact on all of our student-athletes by building one building, and now it's time to expand. We do have our sights set on an indoor practice facility, for us obviously, with our climate playing football and early January we get some crazy weather.” More from Costello, including his thoughts on the state’s growing population and the Big Sky TV deal. (link)
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde wonders aloud why student-athletes are so far the only ones being investigated for sports gambling, citing one source familiar with campus wagering who says: “There are thousands of college athletes breaking NCAA gambling rules and thousands of regular students breaking the law. They’re just not under investigation.” Forde points out that we are currently at the crest of a confluence of two trends: the proliferation of legalized gambling and the NCAA’s de-emphasis of gambling oversight. “Earlier this century, the NCAA had a well-staffed enforcement arm called the Agent, Gambling and Amateurism Activities division. … Over time, many of those AGAA staffers left the NCAA for campus compliance jobs, law firms that specialized in NCAA compliance, or jobs outside the industry. The association’s expertise in the gambling sector largely became the province of enforcement rep Mark Strothkamp. He died unexpectedly last December, and there was almost no one minding the store heading into a spring of bombshell gambling headlines.” Many universities and conferences “seem to have been blindsided as well,” Forde continues, “which suggests a lack of awareness and foresight. With gambling companies buying ads in stadiums, on college sports broadcasts and targeting young consumers, the stimulus was omnipresent. The media has played into it, creating gambling content that once was scrupulously avoided. … Meanwhile, the rest of the nation’s college athletes, coaches and administrators can only exhale after their schools were not “the chosen ones.” If nothing else, the Cyclones and Hawkeyes might have scared everyone else straight.” (link)
Cal raised $42.2M in donations and pledges in FY23, a 6.5% year-over-year bump, as athletics has raised more than $330M towards its $350M Cal Athletics Campaign for Excellence. The Golden Bear-focused California Legends Collective raised over $1.2M from its matching campaign following Cal’s move to the ACC. (link)
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approves a $12.3M renovation to Kennesaw State’s Stillwell Stadium, which will consist of a total overhaul of the existing stadium, including the installation of a new turf playing surface, better lighting and fencing for a safer playing environment. The facility will also be outfitted with new dugouts, press/media areas and concessions, along with expanding the seating capacity to 1,500. (link)
Wichita State will transition its club Women’s Bowling to become its 16th varsity sport in 2024-25. AD Kevin Saal: “The historical success of women's bowling at Wichita State University is unparalleled nationally. Five decades of tremendous alumni and coaches' contributions, this program is equipped to launch as an immediate competitor in NCAA post-season competition. Over the next year we will work diligently on all elements of the transition to an NCAA program, most importantly aligning championship-level resources to meet championship expectations.” (link)
+ The AAC is the latest to partner with ProhiBet. (link)
+ The Big Sky teams up with Officially Human, whose goal is to “restore respect to game officials and recognize them as authorities on the fields and courts.” (link)
+ The MAAC inks a conference-wide membership with WeCOACH for the 2023-24 academic year. (link)
+DePaul expands and extends its partnership with Paciolan to include ticketing, fundraising and marketing, as well as adding SeatGeek as the Blue Demons’ official secondary ticket marketplace. (link)
+Kansas State is partnering with Jeremy Clements Racing to have Clements’ 51 car sport a full K-State theme for Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. (link)
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(NEWEST!) Senior/Executive Associate Athletics Director, External Relations (Stanford Athletics / Stanford, CA): This position will manage all aspects of external relations and core responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, managing media relations, graphic design, marketing, and fan experience. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development (University of Illinois Chicago / Chicago, IL): The UIC Department of Athletics and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Advancement seeks a fundraising professional to serve as the Sr. Associate Athletics Director for Development. EOE Learn More. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Director, Athletic Facilities and Operations (Santa Clara University / Santa Clara, CA): Responsible for event coordination and management of events and facilities. Highly-ranked Jesuit institution located in the Silicon Valley with recently completed state-of-the-art athletic facilities More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Human Resources Coordinator (Stanford Athletics / Stanford, CA): This position will provide direct operational and administrative support to various DAPER departments, with a focus on contingent employee hiring. More details HERE.
(NEWEST!) Assistant Athletic Trainer (Stanford Athletics / Stanford, CA): This position will be assigned to Varsity programs within the DAPER athletic training department and will communicate regularly with team physicians, coaches, administrators, and parents. More details HERE.
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Assistant Director of Business Operations (University of Utah / Salt Lake City, UT): More details HERE.
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Budget Analyst III (Georgia Institute of Technology / Atlanta, GA): More details HERE.
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Assistant Director of Athletic Accounting Operations (Oklahoma State University / Stillwater, OK): More details HERE.
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