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D1.dossiers... Prairie View is now available, for those interested in leading the Panthers. Dossiers for eight other Athletic Director openings are also ready for you. $249 for an entire year of subscription. Hawaii is up next. (link)
New Louisiana Monroe AD Hartwell took the podium yesterday as he prepares to lead the Warhawks: “Looking at things glass half full and what are our opportunities as opposed to looking at the obstacles that aren’t going to allow us to be successful. I really think that starts with a change in the mindset. Obviously there’s a clear correlation across the country with investment in and success output. We’ve got to be able to raise our revenues. There’s opportunity there.” (link)
NCAA SVP of Administration/CFO Morris joins D1.ticker/Connect's Fischer at the NCAA Convention to discuss his new role, how his past experiences prepared him for this opportunity, revenue diversification and more. In discussing the NCAA’s top priorities: “We need help with declaring student-athletes are not employees and then also making sure that we have preemption over the state laws. I think that’s very important so we have a broad, national regulatory framework where everybody can operate under. … I think we also as an association need to think about what scope of services we provide and who are we and who do we want to be as members.” Regarding revenue diversification, Morris explains current opportunities include bundling championship media rights packages differently while future opportunities revolve around the association’s utilization of data. “I got here and learned that we have millions of active records of our fans and that we don’t know much about them. I think that’s an opportunity for us. How can we connect with our former student-athletes? I think there are so many opportunities there, and I’m excited to build that foundation so we can engage and we can learn about what people want and deliver that.” The full conversation is now live on Connect. (link)
New Mexico and New Mexico State are asking state legislators for $13.4M and $16.8M, respectively, to support capital projects for the athletic programs. UNM’s request includes $4M for upgrades to The Pit, $3.5M to improve the baseball and softball facilities and update ADA accessibility and $2.5M for renovations to University Stadium, including the addition of a new video board. NMSU’s biggest ask is for $10M to fund a new press box at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Aggies AD Moccia: “That came along with the original stadium in 1978. So, that is a very, very old structure. Anybody who’s seen that knows that the occupants not during the season are skunks and owls and doves because part of it is open air. When we have a TV broadcast and they’re out in the elements, you know, so if it rains, there’s an unholy mess up there.” (link)
Illinois has changed its orange to a new shade. College Sports Logos notes the hue is identical to that used in the Morgan State, UTRGV and Bucknell logos while the previous color was used exclusively by the Illini. (link)
New on Connect: Southern Miss Senior Assoc. AD for External Operations Smith and Senior Assoc. AD for Development Morrison join D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle to discuss highlights from this past year, the uptick in season ticket sales, the latest on the Give Wing Campaign and how the Golden Eagles are positioning themselves in a crowded market. The duo also explain the creative ways they’ve engaged with donors and what initiatives they will carry over from 2022. (link)
Cincinnati inks a strategic partnership with Total Quality Logistics (TQL) that will include field level and stadium signage and logo assets for TQL at Nippert Stadium as well as “specific investment to the Bearcats' indoor practice and performance facility project.” While field surface branding typically results in renaming the venue, TQL, the largest private company in Cincinnati, has chosen not to rename Carson Field. LEARFIELD’s Bearcats Sports Properties brokered the new partnership. (link)
Youngstown State announces the creation of the Korandovich Family Sports Medicine Center, a 3K-sq-ft facility designed to deliver physical and mental health by integrating treatment delivered by staff athletic trainers, physical therapists, primary care team physicians and orthopedic team physicians. The center features two large plunge pools, functional rehabilitation space and a private physician exam room and will primarily serve the MBB, WBB, swimming & diving and volleyball teams. (link)
More than $4B in construction at new and renovated sports facilities is expected to be completed in the U.S. and Canada in 2023, according to Sports Business Journal’s Broughton, who notes that figure still represents a 29% decrease from the $6.2B spent on projects that opened in 2022 and marks the third consecutive year of spending declines. Broughton points out that the $1.7B in college stadium construction, which matches last year’s record level, “will be the industry’s primary driver in 2023, led by nine-figure football renovation projects at Oregon State, Nebraska and Texas A&M. This year also will see construction completed at one of the more unusually named venues” in the $67M Tom Izzo Football Building at Michigan State. “Foster Pavilion (AECOM), Baylor’s new $185M arena, and the $200M update at Texas Tech’s Jones AT&T Stadium (Populous), will make up the biggest price tags on college campuses in 2024.” (link)
Marquette confirms it will move Men’s & Women’s Tennis, as well as Men’s & Women’s Track & Field, to non-scholarship programs by the 2025-26 academic year. Golden Eagles AD Scholl: “We’re in year three of a multi-year process. Unfortunately, the budget realities forced us to make some moves and those are some of the moves we made. [...] Our peer group for sports like tennis and track is the Big East. in tennis and track, they’re all over the map. There are some that are non-scholarship. There are some that are fully funded. We’re not going to be the Lone Ranger in the conference when it comes to being non-scholarship.” (link)
The Seattle Times’ Vorel profiles how Washington is utilizing the creative side of its athletic department to great effect in the NIL era. For instance, the first person in the UW athletic department to learn that star QB Penix would return for another season was not FB HC DeBoer or AD Cohen but Senior Director of Creative Services Byers, who says it was the “most most exciting and nerve-wracking phone call I ever got.” With program-altering information in hand, Byers and Penix went to work on an announcement video, which the duo turned around in two hours. Vorel points out that trust Penix had in Byers was earned over time, and Byers remarks: “I think a lot of football programs have these content creators and they just try to stick things to the wall. Everyone just kind of ends up working in silos. I learned through all my years working on the athletic [department] side that you have to approach it like an ad agency. You have to really get your graphic, your social, your video all in unison.” More from Vorel. (link)
U.S. Soccer has announced its plans to implement the recommendations made by former U.S. Acting Attorney General Yates. Specifically, U.S. Soccer is introducing the “Safe Soccer” framework, which will take a more proactive approach to vetting individuals rather than trying to identify and remove bad actors once they’ve entered the system. Additionally, the implementation committee, along with the established task force on pro league standards, has proposed amendments that would require leagues and their teams to employ player safety officers, compile annual safeguarding reports, conduct annual training and player feedback surveys and more. One notable change to the standards would be the prohibition of “non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements used to shield information about abuse allegations.” More from The Athletic’s Linehan. (link)
The Federal Student Aid ombudsman fielded nearly 90K complaints in 2022, more than double the previous year, per Inside Higher Ed, which notes that nearly two-thirds of the complaints concerned student loan issues. Also from the ombudsman’s report: “At each stage of the student aid lifecycle, the higher education finance model disproportionately fails families of color. Collectively, these failures perpetuate disparities in student and borrower outcomes and may ultimately widen the racial wealth gap. If policymakers wish to restore the promise of higher education and the pathway to the middle class for all, they should examine the student loan safety net through an equity lens and consider expanding existing programs to ensure more equitable outcomes for student loan borrowers.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Louisville has agreed to a 20-year, $41M naming rights partnership with L&N Federal Credit Union and will rechristen Cardinal Stadium as L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. Cardinals AD Heird: “From the beginning of this process, we have been very strategic with how we chose our naming rights gift. We wanted an entity that was aligned with our mission statement and invested in the community and the University. We've found that and more with the L&N Federal Credit Union and their leadership team." (link)
Mississippi State has received a $16.5M gift from Michael and Valerie Hall, of which $1.5M will support the renovations to Davis Wade Stadium and two fellowship positions for student-athletes. Bulldogs AD Selmon: “This transformative commitment will be felt across our department for years to come. It will not only enhance the overall experience of both our student-athletes and devoted fanbase, but it will have an instrumental impact in continuing to prepare our student-athletes for life after college athletics.” (link)
Former CIA Director/U.S. Secretary of Defense/NCAA Constitution Committee Chair Gates tells Meet the Press host Todd he’s hesitant to support federal intervention in college sports because “you usually end up with a solution you don’t like, but the problem the athletic conferences are facing now, they’re all multi-state conferences and every state is passing a different law with different rules and so there’s no consistency for any of the conferences. So, I think there is a need for a federal law that standardizes this so it’s a level playing field.” (link)
The Athletic’s Dochterman answers a mailbag question regarding whether Iowa would benefit from new athletic department leadership by pointing out the longevity of Hawkeyes AD Barta and FB HC Ferentz are rare while also acknowledging there have been issues, including “Title IX and gender discrimination losses in the courtroom, which have cost the department about $10M in fees and settlements. … Iowa has employed only three athletic directors since 1970… but there are some areas where Iowa could freshen up. Barta, 59, has a contract through June 2024. If he retires or a change takes place, new deputy athletic director Beth Goetz is a solid candidate with a strong resume. Northern Iowa athletic director David Harris would get a strong look, too.” (link); The D1.dossier for the AD opening at Prairie View A&M is now ready to roll for those of you interested in leading the Panthers. (link)
The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors are scheduled to meet at Arizona State today for a quarterly meeting. The Mercury News’ Wilner adds: “Momentous topics are on the agenda, including what a source called an ‘important update’ on the media rights negotiations that will help define the future of the conference.” (link)
The ACC has asked its members to schedule most, if not all, of their future FB nonconference road games at either Power 5 teams or Army West Point, The News & Observer’s DeCock reports. ACC Commissioner Phillips: “Those end up being individual campus decisions, but we have pushed hard about making sure when we have opportunities to play really good programs and teams in the nonconference, we need to do that. We just do. When you look at some of our better teams over the last three or four years, in particular a school like Clemson, that’s what they’ve done. … It doesn’t mean all 12 of your games have to be at that level, but when you have the opportunity to play home games or home-and-homes, they need to be against the very best competition you can. … We’re working together to create better matchups and matchups that people around the country, their fans and others, would like to see. And certainly television would like to see.” (link)
Oklahoma State’s athletic budget will eclipse the $100M mark for the first time in program history when it takes effect in July. Cowboys AD Weiberg: “We believe that we are good stewards of our resources and we are spending those resources in the best way that we can to be competitive. That in the end is what we’re here to do — provide a great experience for our student-athletes and compete because part of a good experience for our student-athletes is (the ability) to compete. But we also want to provide them all the support in the process, whether that’s academics or strength and conditioning or nutrition and all of those things that go into being successful on the field and in the classroom.” Weiberg also notes OSU’s debt service payments of $2.425M are “probably the lowest in the Big 12” but will increase in the next budget due to stadium renovations. “We are bonding that, so the debt service will go up but still will be low in comparison to other (schools). … 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.” (link)
Presidents & Chancellors in the News…
+ Stephen F. Austin has promoted Interim President Westbrook to the permanent position. (link)
+ Wyoming trustees have approved a new contract for President Seidel that runs through June 30, 2026, and will pay him an average of nearly $400K per year. (link)
+ UT Martin Chancellor Carver will step aside to take over in the same capacity at the UT Institute of Agriculture, effective March 1. Provost Cavalier will succeed Carver on an interim basis. (link)
The Washington State Board of Regents unanimously approved a measure to move forward with the design phase of the new Champions Center, which will allow the Cougars to centralize staff and resources and provide space for community service, professional development, and educational experiences. Approximately $5.8M in cash contributions had been donated toward the project as of November 2022, with another $6.9M in pledges expected to come in over the next six years. Construction is expected to begin in 2024. (link)
Syracuse and Pittsburgh will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the first football game played at Yankee Stadium when the two sides meet in The Bronx later this year. Orange AD Wildhack: “The unique circumstance of a centennial anniversary, coupled with six strong opponents scheduled to visit the JMA Wireless Dome, will make this year's home schedule an impactful experience for our student-athletes and continue a longstanding partnership with the Yankees organization. I look forward to our fans giving us a tremendous home field advantage in Yankee Stadium, just as they have in all our previous trips." (link)
U.S. District Court Judge Frank has dismissed a lawsuit brought by nine former Minnesota FB student-athletes accused of sexual assault in 2016. The former players claimed they suffered severe emotional distress and financial damage as a result of being falsely cast as sex offenders, but Frank ruled that the players failed to provide evidence for any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure by Gophers AD Coyle or former President Kaler. (link)
AAC Commissioner Aresco tells Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger on NIL: “I don’t know why we’re calling it NIL anymore. It’s pay to play. It’s pay to recruit. It’s pay to retain.” NCAA Managing Director of Enforcement Hicks adds that tampering, while not new, has increased since student-athletes can now transfer without sitting out a year. “Immediate eligibility is powerful. It changes your team, roster and changes your ability to win immediately. If a school can pull a scholarship if a student-athlete goes into the portal, then why the heck would they not want to know where they’re going to go [when they enter the portal]?” (link)
Bayou Traditions has been named the official collective of LSU athletics after entering into a partnership with LSU Sports Properties via Playfly Sports. Under the terms of the deal, Bayou Traditions also becomes the presenting sponsor of the athletic department’s digital content platform LSU GOLD. Tigers AD Woodward: “We are thrilled about this historic partnership, because it will both enable our student-athletes to enjoy success during their collegiate careers and also set them up for greater success when their careers are finished. It also provides the best fans in college sports the opportunity to get involved and help keep LSU at the forefront of NIL.” (link); Video announcement from Woodward. (link)
The TCU-focused Think NIL has paused operations and will be “evaluating and navigating the next steps of the organization.” The news comes after VP of Operations Cunningham last week announced he would now be overseeing the newly launched Bayou Traditions collective, which supports LSU student-athletes. On3’s Crabtree notes Think NIL “also had stiff competition in the TCU market from The Flying T Club, which has signed deals with more than 40 ambassadors, including representatives from the football, baseball, basketball and sand volleyball teams. Flying T has also raised more than $3M by the Fall of 2022 – before the Horned Frogs’ historic run to the national championship game. Many NIL experts believe more collective consolidation is on the way in many markets. That’s especially true as athletic departments officially tap their preferred collectives and boosters grow tiresome of donating to multiple groups.” (link)
More NIL Today…
+ Iowa partners with Opendorse to create the Iowa Hawkeyes NIL Marketplace. (link)
+ Southern Indiana partners with Icon Source to launch an NIL marketplace for Screaming Eagle student-athletes. (link)
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(NEWEST!) Director of Special Events (Eastern Michigan University / Ypsilanti, MI): This position will be responsible for the oversight of all special events, University events and outside group events for Eastern Michigan Athletics, in athletics-managed facilities. More details HERE.
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(NEW!) Academic Advisor (2) (University of Minnesota / Minneapolis, MN): The Lindahl Academic Center is a student-athlete focused environment dedicated to guiding student-athletes to graduation. Join our team! Job ID 353882. More details HERE.
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