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NCAA President Emmert has “very mixed emotions” about stepping down next month and tells ESPN: “I look at all these challenges and complexities and I'm going to miss that. I like those, and I'd love to be someone who helps untangle them. On the other hand, I think it's the right time to make a change." Emmert also contends that while passing some form of NCAA rules years ago to regulate NIL would’ve put college sports in a better position than it is today, needing help from Congress was inevitable. As such, he believes incoming President Baker’s political savvy will be “critically important,” adding: “I'm sure that's part of what the board loved about him. He'll be able to move in that world very well." (link)
More on Tennessee AD White’s contract extension from CollegeAD: The extension does not alter White’s incentive pay or other forms of compensation, meaning White will still earn a 3% bonus for an APR of at least 950 and a 5% if the APR is 985 or better. White can also earn a bonus of 5%, 6% or 8%, depending on where the Vols finish in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup standings. Any team regular season or conference championship will net White a 1% bonus, while a national championship comes with a 3% bonus. Also, White is in line for a bonus of 1% to 5% based on which bowl game the FB team reaches, and his overall incentives max out at $300K annually. (link)
Urban Edge Network (UEN), owner of HBCU League Pass+, has filed a $250M lawsuit against Webber Marketing and Consulting, the SWAC and SWAC Commissioner McClelland over whether it had permission to broadcast certain games. From the suit: “The SWAC and Webber Marketing, at the direction of Charles McClelland and Derek Webber, formulated a scheme to defame, injure and interfere with UEN's contracts by informing UEN's business partners, specifically PepsiCo, that UEN did not have the rights it was exercising because they belonged exclusively to SWAC and Webber Marketing even though Defendants knew this was untrue according to SWAC's own Bylaws which provide that SWAC did not exclusively own such rights." (link)
JohnCanzano.com’s namesake continues digging into the Pac-12’s $50M overpayment from – according to The Mercury News’ Wilner – Comcast, starting with the league’s decision to part ways with CFO Willman and Pac-12 Networks President Shuken. Canzano notes there is no logical reason for Willman and Shuken to have kept the overpayment news to themselves. “Everyone I spoke with believed it was more probable that they informed [Former Commissioner] Scott and the Pac-12’s general counsel, Woodie Dixon.” One former high-ranking Pac-12 employee tells Canzano that “Brent and Mark were sacrificial lambs.” Another points out the audit which found the overpayment was the league’s idea because “they thought we weren’t getting paid enough so they did an audit. To find out they were getting overpaid, it was probably curious. That should have been met with ‘We need to look into this’ from Larry Scott. For whatever reason nobody looked into it.” Moreover, Canzano explains, no one told the league’s presidents and chancellors. Canzano also observes the overpayment is important context that was missing from Scott’s attempts to sell a 10% stake in the league’s media rights for $500M. “I wonder how much pressure the conference was under in 2018 and early 2019 to make the Pac-12 Networks look like a thriving, viable, drama-free, profitable entity.” More. (link)
+ Connecticut has promoted Special Asst. to the AD Butikofer to Deputy AD/COO, per CollegeAD. The new title is reflected on the Huskies staff directory. (link)
+ Arizona has promoted Assoc. AD/FB Chief of Staff Hayes to CFO/Senior Assoc. AD of Internal Operations with sport supervision of FB. (link)
+ Administrative changes at Louisville, Central Michigan, Texas Tech, Georgia Tech, North Texas, Dallas Baptist, Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Texas, North Carolina, Boise State, Air Force, Western Michigan, Eastern Washington, and Miami (OH). Lots more on The Wire from Collegiate Sports Connect (link)
UNLV AD Harper in a letter to season ticket holders this week asserted that “our goal is to be the best and most desirable institution relative to NIL in the West. Our student-athletes work year-round to represent this great university and they deserve the opportunity to use their name, image, and likeness to generate income for themselves and their families.” Harper specifically pointed donors to the Friends of UNILV collective. (link)
Toledo FB AC Kuligowski was let go for cause for committing “a significant and/or intentional violation” of UT’s non-retaliation and standards of conduct policies following an incident that occurred during the Rockets’ trip to the Boca Raton Bowl, per the Toledo Blade’s Briggs. Specifically, Briggs reports Kuligowski “was drinking in the hospitality suite one night at the Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center, sources said, when he spotted and verbally harassed a female UT staffer who earlier in the year had reported him for allegedly making an inappropriate comment. (There is no record of the previous allegation in the personnel file.) When reached for comment, Kuligowski said: ‘My legal advice has been to not give any statements or interviews to any news media.’” (link)
Last night’s Loyola Chicago-Duquesne MBB matchup was stopped because – and this is true – an Uber Eats delivery guy walked onto the court with a bag of McDonald’s while the game was going on. Yes, we also have questions…unreal. (link)
LSU brought in $199.3M in revenue during FY22, a $77.41M YoY increase, and finished the year with a $6.53M surplus, erasing a $9.63M deficit from the previous year. The Tigers’ expenses totaled $192.77M, roughly $61M more than the year before. The department also reported a significant increase in donations, which jumped to $73.85M from $19.8M the previous year. That figure included $42.06M in non-program-specific donations. The FB program’s $35.71M profit was lower than usual after the team spent about $59.3M, largely because of an uptick in payments for severance ($6.92M) and salaries ($24.60M), per nola.com’s Alexander. (link)
More on Iowa’s financials from The Athletic’s Dochterman: Hawkeyes MBB spent $616,281 on recruiting in FY22, while FB spent $577,589. “It's by far the most men's hoops have ever spent (previous high $465K in fiscal 2019). Football hovers between $500K and $675K depending on the year.” Dochterman also compares the budgets from the past seven years for the Hawkeyes: 2022FY: $338K over; 2021FY: $41.9M under (Covid); 2020FY: $3.52M under; 2019FY: $5.69M over; 2018FY: $7.0M over; 2017FY: $1.8M over; 2016FY: $2.9M under. (link)
Kansas-Kansas State (1.5M), Kentucky-Texas A&M (1.3M), Miami (FL)-Duke (1.3M), Kentucky Georgia (1.2M), Kansas-Baylor (1.2M) and Duke-Virginia Tech (1M) were ESPN’s most-watched MBB games last week and bring the network’s total to 26 games to reach 1M viewers this season. Crakes Media Principal Crakes deciphers the code: “Seeing a pattern here…Kansas, Duke, Kentucky…” (link)
+ Alabama A&M is partnering with The Zone, a mobile app designed to monitor and improve the mental health of student-athletes. (link)
+ Here’s a new idea: The Texas One Fund collective will serve as the presenting sponsor of Texas’ Orange-White Game on April 15. (link)
+ Fans Meet Idols (FMI) has received approvals from Meta and Google that will enable student-athletes to feature products sold in their FMI Storefronts through product tagging on Instagram and indexed items through Google. (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Tennessee and AD White have agreed to a contract extension starting at $2.2M annually, with a six-year rolling term. UT Chancellor Plowman: "Danny White's strong and innovative leadership of our athletics department has created a championship culture and excellence across all sports in record time. He's built the best team of athletics administrators in the country, a team committed to our student-athletes' well-being and to winning with integrity. He has set audacious goals for Athletics and is exceeding every milestone.” (link); Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger reports the deal is believed to make White the highest paid SEC AD and among the top eight nationally. (link); FootballScoop reports White’s deal has a carve-out that directly relates to Plowman’s tenure on Rocky Top which states if White terminates his employment without cause at any time during the contract, he would owe UT one year’s base salary; however, if Plowman is not employed as chancellor, White would owe 50% of his salary. (link)
Bethune-Cookman AD/MBB HC Theus addresses the situation with former FB HC Reed, telling HBCU Gameday: “When people make accusations, people have to understand that just because you say something doesn’t make it true.” Theus points out the FB team, track & field team and volleyball teams were effectively displaced for a month during the fall semester due to the impact of two hurricanes and asserts the university administration was first and foremost concerned about their safety. “When you start to say that our administration doesn’t care about these kids, you are dead wrong. … I’m just really disappointed as much as anything because I saw the possibilities of what that relationship could’ve done for our athletic department and predominantly the football team. And to see him trash our administration, it disturbs me, because he has no right nor reason to do that.” (link)
Navy has received a leadership gift from an anonymous donor to support construction of a new $22M, 33K-square-foot lacrosse facility on the Yard. The new facility would include coaches’ offices, locker rooms, wardrooms for both the men’s and women’s teams, training and rehab spaces, a nutrition center, theater and rooftop terrace, among other amenities. Midshipmen AD Gladchuk: “This building would stand as a declaration that our midshipmen will have every resource possible addressing their health, welfare, team unity, physical conditioning and nutritional needs contributing to their personal development as an athlete, a leader, a winner and eventually a confident commissioned officer within the fleet." (link)
+ Charlotte Deputy AD for External Affairs Fuller will step down, effective July 30. (link)
+ McNeese announces a trio of promotions. Senior Assoc. AD/SWA Martin is now the Deputy AD for Compliance/SWA; Assoc. AD for Communications and Digital Media Bonnette takes over as Senior Assoc. AD for Athletics Communications; and Asst. AD for Business Operations and Compliance Lemke assumes the role of Assoc. AD. (link)
+ Cal State Bakersfield AD Conder joins D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle to discuss his vision for the department, his perspective of development and the specifics of the Roadrunners’ Assoc. AD for Development opening. Conder explains that whoever lands this role will be in a leadership position within athletics as well as university advancement and will oversee staff, participate as a sport administrator and lead several initiatives. “For the right person, this is a big opportunity with a lot of autonomy. You can really make this role what you want of it.” Lots more in the full Q&A, which is now live on Connect. (link)
+ LSU overpaid FB HC Kelly by $1M in 2022, according to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, which indicates LSU began making payments to Kelly in May, but continued sending money to the coach directly with supplemental payments, which resulted in double payments. The error was discovered in November, and LSU has since “enacted an adjusted pay schedule so that the school can recoup the funds by the end of 2023’s fiscal year,” per 247Sports’ Crawford. Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger notes that aside from the $1M overpayment (word of the month), the audit also found that the LSU football program generated $95.1M last year and made a net profit of $35.7M—a nearly 19% increase from last year.” (link, link)
+ Washington State FB HC DIckert agrees to an extension through the 2027 season. Details have yet to be released. (link)
+ Toledo FB HC Candle has signed a contract extension through the 2026 campaign. Candle will be paid $1.1M per season with incentives for win totals, per the Toledo Blade’s Rowland. Candle, whose previous salary was $1.2M, will receive $75K for six wins during the regular season, $135K for seven wins, $265K for eight wins and $325K for nine-plus wins. Any season that Toledo wins at least nine regular season games will result in an additional year being added to Candle’s contract. Additionally, Candle will earn $25K for a MAC West championship or co-championship, $15K for appearing in the MAC title game, and $30K for winning the MAC title. He gets $20K for playing in a bowl and $30K for winning. If he’s let go for cause in 2023, Candle would be owed $900K. The figure goes down by $100K each year through 2026. The previous buyout called for Candle to be owed $700,000 per season that was left on the deal. If Candle leaves the Rockets for another job in 2023, he would owe UT $750K. The amount reduces by $100K each year through 2026. (link)
+ South Carolina State FB HC Pough tells SBJ’s Smith that Colorado HC Sanders’ time at Jackson State has not led to increased media spotlight, recruiting opportunities or access to money from donors for other HBCUs long-term. “We’re just trying to hang on for dear life. Deion has been good for the notoriety around HBCU football. It’s been nice to be at the forefront a little, to be getting some attention from Aflac and Walmart. But for those of us who are here year in and year out, guys like that come and go. And by the time they’re gone, we’re back to what we’re doing. … What you have to understand is that Deion is a different guy. He’s pretty good at keeping the attention on him, but I don’t know if that has any real effect on the rest of us.” (link)
Dollars & Cents…
+ Iowa finished FY22 with a $338,231 surplus, per The Athletic’s Dochterman. The Hawkeyes’ financial report also indicates UI brought in revenues of $151.48M against $151.14M in expenses. Dochterman adds: “Notable: men's hoops recruiting outspent football; athletics repaid UI $3M as part of $50M loan.” (link)
+ The Northern Iowa Panther Scholarship Club raised a record $1.55M for student-athlete scholarships in 2022. The PSC also set a record in total raised which includes gifts-in-kind, special event fundraisers and cash for a total of over $2.33M. (link)
+ UTRGV has received 1,000 FB season ticket deposits in its first six weeks of accepting them for its newly formed program, per Stats Perform’s Haley. (link)
+ After an 11% increase last year, Utah has announced season ticket pricing that “reflects a nearly 15% average increase in season ticket prices for the 2023 season,” the Salt Lake Tribune’s Reynolds reports, adding that the average face-value season ticket in 2023 will range from $100-450, not including required Crimson club donations or facilities fees. With those included, the total cost of a season ticket in 2023 will be anywhere from $465 to $4,165. (link)
+ As part of an overarching campus revitalization project, Morehead State will renovate its baseball stadium; transition the Eagle Center tennis courts into an indoor turf facility by adding field turf, lighting, painting, graphics and support equipment; and replace the basketball court at the Academic-Athletic Center (AAC). MSU will receive a total of $40M in state appropriations for Asset Protection Funds in the next two years to support the campus improvements. (link)
+ Cleveland State has launched the Woodling Gymnasium Enhancement Initiative to support updates including new lighting, a new sound system, branding and graphics, locker room improvements for several Viking teams (including volleyball, softball, wrestling, fencing, and cross country/track & field), technology, furniture and equipment for the academic center, weight room and training room equipment and cosmetic updates, as well as an interactive lobby display to honor CSU Athletics Hall of Fame inductees. The project is expected to cost over $1M, and the Vikings have already secured a total of $500K from three separate donors. (link)
According to a Student-Athlete Insights survey of more than 1,000 student-athletes, including more than 415 DI football players, just 8% of respondents say they have witnessed NIL causing rifts/tensions in the locker room. Meanwhile, 76% of respondents said they share NIL earnings information with teammates, and 78% indicated teammates have asked them to share information about their NIL earnings. Student-Athlete Insights’ Carter: “The potential for locker room strife was a foundational element of the NCAA’s argument against NIL for what felt like 100 years. … So, when I saw the number 8%, I don’t know if there is a difference between zero and 10%. To me, it just feels like it’s a rarity. Not that it can’t happen. Not that there can’t be a kid, who is, frankly, a jerk about it. But it just doesn’t sound like it’s really happening that much. It doesn’t sound like a problem to me.” (link)
Upstate Shredding CEO/prominent Syracuse supporter Weitsman says he will outlay $1M for current Orange student-athletes and is offering another $1M through NIL deals with his business for high-profile MBB recruits, per Syracuse.com’s Carlson, who reports: “Weitsman said he has offered a seven-figure, multiyear contract to five-star prospect Boogie Fland, ranked by 247Sports as the No. 11 basketball recruit in the country in the Class of 2024. Weitsman said he has another offer on the table for four-star prospect Elijah Moore, a top-100 recruit who will be making his college choice Saturday. Weitsman called Moore his No. 1 target, then flew him in on a private jet, along with rappers Fabolous and A Boogie wit’ da Hoodie, to take in Tuesday night’s game vs. North Carolina from his courtside seats.” Weitsman tells Carlson he’s confident he’s not breaking any NCAA rules since he doesn’t talk with recruits about where they should attend school and notes he runs his deals by Orange Assoc. AD for Compliance Wheeler. (link)
The Vanderbilt-focused Anchor Impact Fund has launched as a 501(c)(3) to “unite Commodores, charities and donors to provide opportunities for Vanderbilt student-athletes to learn about community and civic engagement and use their name, image and likeness to participate in and promote local charitable causes.” Commodores AD Lee: “We are committed not only to excellence in athletics but also to utilizing our athletics platform as a holistic model for the academic, personal, and professional development of our student-athletes. The Anchor Impact Fund presents another unique opportunity for our student-athletes to utilize their name, image, and likeness for the greater good and deepen their impact in our communities.” (link)
Nevada is considering amendments to its NIL law, per Heitner Legal’s namesake, who explains the bill “seeks disclosure of NIL deals from boosters and NIL collectives to schools AND the Secretary of State, who shall make the deals available for public inspection. … It proposes that NIL collectives and boosters located in the state or doing deals with athletes attending schools in NV annually register with the Secretary of State. Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $50K.” (link)
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