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NCAA CMO Hainline joins D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer from the NCAA Convention, and the two discuss the latest from the CARE Consortium, the recent cannabis summit, the changing conversation around mental health, troubles finding athletic trainers and more. In discussing the scary situation that occurred with Buffalo Bills safety Hamlin, Hainline notes that “up to four to eight athletes die a year from cardiac arrest, and it’s not because a sport is contact or collision. It really has to do with other issues that are often within the individual’s heart itself. It may be enlarged or it may be prone to an irregular heartbeat.” Hainline also notes the Hamlin situation demonstrates the importance of on-field management. “We know with sudden cardiac arrest, if you do everything properly, especially within the first three minutes, and you can restore a heart rhythm, the likelihood that you’re going to have a good recovery is very high. I think what was demonstrated on the field during the NFL game is that the emergency management response was absolutely spectacular.” Lots more in the full Q&A, now live on Connect. (link)
Northern Illinois AD Frazier joins AthleticDirectorU’s Garcia Cichosz from the NCAA Convention to discuss the state of the industry in light of a new NCAA president coming in, the recent recommendations from the Transformation Committee regarding the student-athlete experience, the sustainability of the funding model for college athletics and the future of Olympic sports. Frazier also talks about the “competing priorities” on the desk of any DI AD and explains the “daily maintenance protocol” his department takes regarding diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Frazier explains the next step for the industry in terms of DEIB is to “operationalize it where it can be seamless. What we’re doing is it’s in the fabric because of the fact that we live it, we breathe it, we hire it, we do all the things, quite frankly, that keeps us competitive. And once we get out of the framework that this is an add-on or I must do it this way, that’s when we achieve greatness. That’s when we create the shared agenda, and I think a lot of institutions are in different levels of that continuum.” Full interview. (link)
The latest from JohnCanzano.com’s namesake on the Pac-12’s media rights negotiations & potential expansion: “All sources tell me that the conference won’t move to expand until after the media rights deal is done. Industry insiders I trust expect the Pac-12 to consider staying at 10 teams or adding two. There’s also the potential that it becomes the Pac-11, adding only San Diego State.” (link)
Against the backdrop of former Manhattan MBB HC Masiello returning to his old stomping grounds as an AC on Iona HC Pitino’s staff, the New York Times’ Witz examines Manhattan’s efforts to use a “basketball revival [as] part of the plan to revive the school, whose enrollment had dipped nearly 10% since the start of the pandemic.” Witz also notes the college cut $6.4M in salaries and benefits last year and froze at least 70 jobs. As for what that means for the school’s next MBB HC, Jaspers AD Reilly says: “We’re a small Lasallian school. We are not LSU. We are not Arkansas. We are not Kentucky. Our resources are not like that, either. So what we do, we do well, but we know our limits. The person that comes in here has to understand that. While we all want to push the envelope, you have to be happy with what you have.” (link)
Miami (FL) MBB student-athlete Pack was asked about the fallout after news of his two-year, $800K NIL deal with LifeWallet was made public and said he didn’t know it was going to become public, but “I see it as a blessing. It’s getting me prepared for the next level. When you make it to the next level, people are going to know how much money you make and they’re going to have a certain expectation of you, especially when they know how much money you’re making.” (link)
Sportico’s McCann suggests a federal college sports law may create as many problems as it solves. “For instance, how would a federal NIL statute be enforced? The Federal Trade Commission has been suggested, but the FTC’s track record on enforcing college sports law is deficient. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act (SPARTA) into law. … the FTC has not enforced SPARTA, and one former deputy admitted he had ‘never heard’ of it. A federal NIL statute might also interfere with more than 30 state laws. Even if the wording of a federal NIL statute preempted those laws, it could still run afoul of states’ rights of publicity. … There is no federal right of publicity, however, and its scope and duration vary widely by state–a key point for estates of deceased celebrities. A federal NIL statute that doesn’t carefully avoid interaction with each right of publicity law would open the door to confusion about long-standing precedent and doctrine. … A federal law that declares college athletes aren’t employees would also invite complications. Would the law say that they aren’t employees under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and National Labor Relations Act, or just one or the other?” Several more scenarios. (link)
We offer our sincerest condolences to the Stephen F. Austin community following the passing of former baseball student-athlete McAfoose and football student-athlete Spring. Both were involved in a fatal car accident on Friday. (link)
Congrats to Tulsa on its latest championship. The Golden Hurricane, in the presence of Guinness World Records, hosted the largest pizza party in the history of mankind. More than 3,300 fans packed into the Donald W. Reynolds Center ahead of Tulsa’s MBB matchup with Tulane and were tasked with finishing two standard-sized pieces of pizza plus a small bottle of water within 15 minutes, which they did, eclipsing the previous record of 1,046 set in Rome, Italy. The Golden Hurricane partnered with Andolini’s Pizza to achieve the record and raise $40K for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Undoubtedly inspired by the crowd’s performance, Tulsa defeated Tulane by two. (link)
First, it was a simple 800-word essay. Now, ChatGPT has passed an MBA exam from Penn’s Wharton School. Wharton professor Terwiesch says the AI system “has shown a remarkable ability to automate some of the skills of highly compensated knowledge workers in general and specifically the knowledge workers in the jobs held by MBA graduates including analysts, managers, and consultants.” Terwiesch’s research also found that “ChatGPT3 is remarkably good at modifying its answers in response to human hints. In other words, in the instances where it initially failed to match the problem with the right solution method, Chat GPT3 was able to correct itself after receiving an appropriate hint from a human expert. Considering this performance, Chat GPT3 would have received a B to B- grade on the exam.” So, red pill or blue pill? (link)
+ Activist investor Elliott Management has built a multibillion-dollar position in Salesforce, per Axios’ Primack, who notes that “Elliott typically wants substantial change at the companies it targets, and it almost always gets what it wants.” (link)
+ Twitter/Tesla/SpaceX CEO Musk agrees with JPMorgan CEO Dimon that it will take 50 years to transition to green energy. (link)
+ Citadel earned $16B in profit for its clients during 2022 in “one of history’s most successful financial plays,” per Bloomberg’s Kumar. The top 20 hedge funds made $22.4B in profit. (link)
+ Add Spotify to the growing list of tech companies planning to cut staff as the firm expects to begin layoffs this week. (link)
+ Nearly 30% of 4,500 professionals surveyed by Fishbowl this month say they’ve used ChatGPT or another AI program in their work. Bloomberg’s Constantz reports that drafting emails and generating pieces of code are some of the most popular uses among white-collar workers. (link)
In case you missed Sunday's email...
Notable author & Michigan supporter Bacon swiftly walked back his comments concerning Wolverines AD Manuel’s relationship with FB HC Harbaugh, plus Manuel’s performance review process under former UM President Schlissel. “...to clarify, official business is handled through intermediaries. Jim's guy calls Warde's guy, and that's how they do it. They have engaged in occasional small talk along the way. [...] In fairness to Warde Manuel, worth pointing out UM won 13 Big Ten titles in 27 sports, which I think is a record. I've seen him do many things for which he gets no credit, including keeping athletes with mental health issues on scholarship for as long as they need. Very rare. [...] Just talked with a UM athletic department official, who told me most years Manuel would visit with Schlissel in his office, and discuss the year in review, and preview the next.” (link)
“Nobody should be bashful about saying facilities matter. Residence halls matter. And student unions matter. And classrooms and laboratories matter. They better matter. And so do athletic facilities matter. [...] I go back to, if we're going to do Division I, we need the resources that are commensurate with the expectations of us at Division I. We've got the coaches. We've got the institution. We need the facilities. [...] There's no way anyone could have anticipated this, but it's been quite a ride.” That’s St. Thomas AD Esten on the impact of the recently-announced $75M gift for the Tommies that will go toward the construction of a brand new multipurpose arena. (link)
The Toledo Blade’s Briggs says new Bowling Green AD van der Merwe “might be the most interesting man in college sports” due to his unique background of having spent his early years growing up in South Africa during apartheid, eventually playing football at Central Michigan & then working in the newspaper business for a couple of years. Van der Merwe recalls one of his journalistic highlights: “My story gets picked up by Reader’s Digest. I was so proud. Here’s my shining moment. Here’s this hero who saved all these kids, and his name is completely wrong throughout the entire article. So that was a big lesson. Get things right and value attention to detail.” (link)
Oklahoma State’s FY24 budget is slated to top $100M for the first time in department history. The current cycle shows a $99.6M budget for the Pokes, including revenue in the form of $41M in Big 12 distribution, $32.8M in donor contributions and $2.5M in ticket sales. OSU AD Weiberg: “We are one of, I think, the few athletic departments that are fully funded on our own. We don’t want to be a burden on the institution. … If we’re operating over here on our own resources, then we don’t have to look to them for help.” On the expenditure side, “sports operating” accounts for 44.8% of all costs, while scholarships and facilities/maintenance/utilities take 10.3% and 10.2% of the overall pot, respectively. Full breakdown included. (link)
Football tickets go on sale tomorrow for James Madison’s 2023 campaign and the Dukes have gone with a dynamic pricing model this time. Asst. AD for Communications Warner: “We took our priority and reserved areas and subdivided them into different areas based on location and different level of interest. We do that every four years to make sure that our donors and season ticket purchasers have access to the best possible locations for them.” JMU set a facility record with 7,708 tickets sold last year and Warner expects to top that in 2023. (link)
A social media post by the daughter of a recently deceased longtime BYU FB season ticket holder has stirred the pot in Provo. She was informed that based on the Cougars’ ticketing policies, her father’s tickets would not transfer to the family’s next generation. While the conversation on how to handle such situations continues among BYU’s administration, the school did release a statement to clarify its legacy policies: “The stadium donor program was created in 1962 … With a donation then, individuals were guaranteed season tickets, in the seats they secured, for two generations. This was a great deal for Cougar fans and also a great benefit to BYU Athletics as we looked to build and expand our fan base at a time when we really needed it. Now, in 2023, we find ourselves in a very different situation. We have a stadium at maximum capacity, we have some of the top programs in the nation playing us in [LaVell Edwards Stadium] we are heading into the Big 12 and we are in a completely different supply/demand situation than we were 50 years ago. BYU Athletics will continue to honor our contracts for stadium donor seats in LES. Outside of stadium donor tickets, other season ticket agreements do not have those same contracts associated with them, that allow for transferring tickets beyond deceased parties. This is a standard practice for many college and professional ticketing entities. Moving forward, we will be adjusting and transitioning our practices.” (link)
With several states ending the year with surpluses, Inside Higher Ed’s Knox explores whether higher ed institutions can expect a boost in funding. The short answer: it depends – largely on the state’s political dynamics and other post-pandemic needs. State Higher Education Executive Officers Association VP for Government Relations Harnisch: “A concern I have is that states will use this opportunity to make sharp reductions in their tax rates, and then as the economy slows down and federal funds disappear, they’ll have deep deficits that result in cuts to state programs, including higher education. There’s going to be a considerable amount of pressure on legislators to provide that broad tax relief.” The chancellors of Texas’ six public university systems are being proactive in advocating for a piece of the state’s $32.7B surplus, promising to freeze tuition if the state will inject around $1B of additional funding into higher ed over the next two years. More. (link)
Bethune-Cookman will look for a new FB HC as the school and recently tapped HC Reed could not come to terms on a contract. Reed’s statement: “... After weeks of negotiations I’ve been informed that the University won’t be ratifying my contract and won’t make good on the agreement we had in principle, which had provisions and resources best needed to support the student-athletes. I was committed to coaching and cultivating a relationship with the University, Players, Community and the Fans. It’s extremely disappointing this won’t be happening. …” (link); The school’s statement, in part: “After undergoing a detailed assessment and review of the state of our football program, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our university, athletics program, and football student-athletes to reopen the search and identify the next leader of Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Football. While we appreciate the initial interest in our football program displayed by Mr. Reed during the course of recent weeks, we are also mindful of the qualities and attributes that must be exhibited by our institutional personnel.” (link)
D1Baseball/SEC Extra’s Etheridge writes on how the Transfer Portal is reshaping the toughest baseball league in the nation, getting feedback from Georgia skipper Stricklin & Florida HC O’Sullivan. Stricklin: “I don’t know if any of us really love it because it has kind of turned into free agency. And I don’t think it should be that way. But what’s happening right now is we’re all shopping the transfer portal. I wish it wasn’t that way, but that’s just the reality of it. So, what you’re seeing is really good players, maybe even Division III players that maybe were late bloomers or were hurt in high school. Next thing you know, they’re making a jump into Division I, and that’s great in some instances, but also, it’s really tough to lose a player on the other side of that.” Sully: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I undervalued the importance of the transfer portal in the beginning. I didn’t know the impact it was going to have. [...] We’ve kind of had a blueprint, where we’ve always recruited the high-end high school player and I don’t want to get away from that. I’ve always thought that the transfer portal would be something that you’d have to fill a specific need. I do think it’s helpful. I mean, certainly, from a draft standpoint, you lose a couple of players to the draft that you didn’t expect or whatever, you certainly can fill those needs.” (link)
More on the $50M overpayment situation in the Pac-12. At first, retired Fox Sports President Thompson tweets that he suspects Comcast or Charter, but then agrees with the suggestion that Dish could be the culprit: “Thinking about this you are probably right. Pac-12 sued Dish in October of 2022. Dish probably launched an internal audit and discovered overpayments. Pac -12 claims the ‘distributor’ informed them in Oct of 2022 of overpayments. Too much happening in Oct for it not to be Dish.” HardCountCFB suggested Dish and believes if the league soon drops its lawsuit against Dish for withholding programming fees, “I think we’ll have our answer.” (link)
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