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Clemson AD Neff acknowledges that “we did have a concerted shift of mentality or maybe shift of assertiveness [regarding NIL] in the fall, and you saw that with videos and things like that. … No one has chosen to come to Clemson because of NIL, but we want to be sure that we’re really invested there and, now that that’s available, that’s part of it. I know I’ve talked a lot about it for the past year as far as being bold and aggressive with that. I know I’m a younger guy and probably think that way on a lot of different things. I think we’ve had a measured and appropriate position from an NIL standpoint, but we’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep turning the spicket, so to speak. Playing with integrity. Playing by the rules. That’s without question. But I think the external prominence is going to continue to show itself.” Neff goes on to note that President Clements’ “consistency of messaging with our donors that he, I and IPTAY need to have of where NIL fits, how it works and where we need you. The institutional message on that is what we talk a lot about.” (link); Neff also says the Tigers are in the “design process” of expanding the MBB and WBB facilities and expects to get the first phase of approval in the spring. The project will add an additional practice court that will essentially give both teams their own courts and includes the addition of a nutrition area, expanded recruiting areas and coaches’ offices. (link)
Horizon League Commissioner Roe Lach sits down with AthleticDirectorU’s Brown to analyze industry changes, through the context of the Tuckman Model of “storming, forming, norming, performing.” Roe Lach observes that the amount of changes in the last five years has “been extraordinary. The governance structure when Division I changed nearly a decade ago, that was significant, because I remember the good old days when each institution had one vote and came together…I think what was realized was Division I is pretty different, so the one institution-one vote doesn’t really work for some of the members, so we moved into weighted voting. And then we also created a process that, candidly, was more inclusive from a sport standpoint and other groups.” Still, Roe Lach notes that even though the process was internally driven, “people still stormed, formed, normed and then I think we got to somewhat performing. I’m sure many would take issue with that because most governance structures aren’t categorized as highly performing, but for the most part we achieved the goals the division set out with.” In the last five years, the changes have been largely driven by external factors, and Roe Lach notes that has resulted in a longer storming phase. “I think we’re somewhat norming now…[but] in my 25 years, it’s the most change that those of us who work in college sports have had to try to navigate and then, frankly, lead.” Full interview. (link)
Wichita State AD Saal joins D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle to chat about the Shockers’ master facility plan, including the $17.5M renovation of Wilkins Stadium, his first six months as AD, what’s in store for 2023 and more. On the importance of the renovations in recruiting: “It’s really about recruitment, retention and the ability to efficiently develop our student-athletes and create a great student-athlete experience. We think it’s definitely going to be a separator for us in our league, regionally and nationally so we can continue our run of NCAA regionals and then ultimately the goal is to get to a Super Regional and get to Oklahoma City.” The full Q&A is now on Connect. (link)
New on Connect: Long Island AD Martinov joins D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle to discuss the addition of a women’s acrobatics and tumbling program. Martinov explains that by becoming just the eighth DI program to add the sport, it “gives us a little bit of advantage in recruiting and bringing exceptional student-athletes to LIU.” Martinov also notes the Sharks are committed to the travel involved with launching the new program, adding: “At the same time, we don’t have unlimited funds for every sport, so we’ll develop a very competitive schedule that allows us to travel, be out there across the U.S., be able to be visible and help our recruiting from that standpoint because that is an important part that all of our programs provide for us, is that ability to be visible.” Full conversation on Connect. (link)
Colorado State has issued an apology to Utah State and Aggies MBB student-athlete Shulga after some Rams fans chanted “Russia” at the Ukrainian-born guard during Saturday’s game. CSU: “On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State. This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community. Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State." Shulga subsequently released a statement through USU in which he expressed appreciation for CSU and Rams HC Medved’s “immediate support and understanding following the disappointing events during last night's game.” (link, link)
Carolina Panthers owner Tepper last week remarked that “I think it's a mistake to have a CEO-type head coach” in reference to Nebraska FB HC Rhule. The Omaha World-Herald’s McKewon subsequently observes that “Tepper and [legendary Panthers WR] Smith’s critiques read like recommendation letters for the job Rhule took at Nebraska. CEO? Yes please. Control over the entire operation? Sign NU up. Mike Riley played figurehead but didn’t have Rhule’s roster aggression — or his total control of the operation. Scott Frost had that, but clearly struggled to juggle the roles of a chairman and football wonk in love with the playsheet. Rhule coaches his coaches, some of whom once played for him. And, in a bit of underrated story, he’s assembled a massive support staff. Rhule added 39 new players to the roster? Including strength coaches, he has an analyst/graduate assistant/support staff of 39, too.” While some teams’ coaching staffs are “in flux,” McKewon notes that a staff that size would be tops in the Big Ten and trails only Texas (40) nationally. (link)
Have a look at the progress Weber State is making on renovations to the east side of Stewart Stadium. Wildcats AD Crompton says the project entails completely replacing the bleachers, track, playing surface and the practice surface on lower campus. “Those things have served us well but it’s time to be replaced.” (link)
CNN’s Woodyatt contends that women “remain significantly underrepresented within sport and exercise science research” when it comes to concussions, adding that women “may be more susceptible to concussion, and they also have worse and prolonged symptoms after their injury than men, according to a review of 25 studies of sport-related concussion published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.” Woodyatt also points out that U.S. track cyclist Catlin and British snowboarder Soutter took their own lives at the ages of 23 and 18, respectively. Both had previously sustained serious head injuries while training. According to a 2021 study examining papers from some of the most influential sports medical journals found that only 6% of the studies were solely focused on women, compared with 31% of studies that included just men. (link)
+ Florida A&M adds DII aspirant Lincoln (CA) to its 2023 home FB slate. (link)
+ IMF Managing Director Georgieva tells 60 Minutes: “The U.S. economy is also going to slow down this year. But, at least based on the data we have today, we think U.S. would be able to go through the year narrowly avoiding falling into recession.” On whether she believes the Fed should continue raising interest rates: “Our advice to the Fed is to stay the course until core inflation starts turning down.” (link)
+ We can expect to see fewer crypto ads in this year’s Super Bowl, as CNN’s Morrow observes that “of the four crypto or crypto-affiliated companies that advertised in the Super Bowl last year, one (FTX) has collapsed completely. The others (Coinbase, Crypto.com and eToro) have fought against industry headwinds. Shares of Coinbase, the only publicly traded company in the group, have fallen more than 60% since its ‘floating QR code’ ad became one of the most talked-about spots.” (link)
+ Take good care of your iPhone because Apple CEO Cook suggests the price point could be going up, telling investors: “I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category.” According to Bloomberg, Apple has been considering adding a “higher-end iPhone” to its lineup as well as launching a new top-end brand called the Ultra, a name the company has already used for its smartwatch and the top-tier version of its M1 processor. (link, link)
In case you missed Sunday's email...
Syracuse MBB HC Boeheim rarely holds back and didn’t this time when he was asked about the state of the college game: “This is an awful place we're in in college basketball. Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn't give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami (FL) bought a team. ... It's like, 'Really, this is where we are?' That's really where we are, and it's only going to get worse.” Will he be back on the sidelines next season? The 78-year-old Boeheim: “I have no other plans. Listen, this has been the question of the day for 15 years. This isn't a new question. It's just the calendar going, 'Well, he's 78.' It's just the calendar. If it wasn't the calendar, if I was 65, no one would be saying anything. And I'm not going to retire just because it's the calendar. Anything can happen. Anything, literally. We'll just see what happens. I don't say anything because I don't know.” (link); Wake Forest MBB HC Forbes takes exception to Boeheim’s accusations, “He's wrong. He's one thousand percent wrong. I don't have one player on my team that got NIL to come here. That's a fact. I've NEVER had a player come here for NIL.” (link)
The Orlando Sentinel’s Bianchi wonders if UCF’s move to the Big 12 will bring the juxtaposition of heightened excitement - and donor support - by fans, but less top-end competitive results as the Knights family are used to. UCF AD Mohajir has a different view: “We’re not tiptoeing into the Big 12. We’re going in to win it — this year, next year, every single year. ... From a fan standpoint, being optimistic is always a good thing.” Also of interest, Bianchi writes that Knights FB HC Malzahn has publicly stated he’s handed off some responsibilities within his program - like play-calling duties - to spend more time raising money. (link)
Washington AD Cohen stands by MBB student-athlete Bajema, on whom the Pac-12 imposed a one-game suspension for what it perceived as a “dirty play” in the UCLA game on Thursday night, when Bajema made contact with Bruins’ MBB student-athlete Bona. Cohen: “We were surprised and are extremely disappointed with the decision to suspend Cole Bajema for our game Saturday at USC. Cole has demonstrated character and sportsmanship during his three years competing in the Pac-12. We stand in support of Cole and look forward to him returning to the court next week.” (link)
Arizona State sports historian Jackson pens a guest column for Sportico in which she contends the NCAA should “go bigger” if it wants Congress to take action. “Become a leader in the redesign of Olympic sport and American sport in the United States. … Embrace what you never have been, but could be: A federated sport-by-sport organization working alongside the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and each sport’s national governing body to better serve athletes and bring coherence and consistency to each sport.” Jackson acknowledges there are risks associated with such a pivot, including the potential for the NCAA to cease existing in its current form,” but argues that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as sport-specific NGBs could oversee their respective sports at the collegiate level. Meanwhile, “pursuing an antitrust exemption to obtain a national standard for NIL and ensure athletes are not classified as employees reveals that the ‘transformation’ you seek is no transformation at all.” More. (link)
Kansas State football recently moved into the new $32.5M Shamrock Practice Facility and held the official ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. Big 12 Commissioner Yormark was in attendance for the event, which was open to the public. The new building allows for players to walk there from the locker room, has an improved artificial turf and a separate outdoor practice field. Plenty of photos in the first link and the second link is a video tour of the new digs. (link, link)
Yesterday’s crowd of 14K+ at Madison Square Garden for Rutgers-Michigan State MBB was decidedly Scarlet Knights bent in another sign of the program’s growth under HC Pikiell. RU President Holloway: “A sports program, if you’re doing it right, can be an amazing thing for the community. This puts our name out there.” Scarlet Knights AD Hobbs on the recent contract extension for Pikiell: “We want Steve to know Rutgers is the place we want him to be.” (link)
Queens Charlotte AD Swarthout discusses several topics with The Charlotte Observer, including what it’s like to be a DI AD, about which she says: “College athletics is a lifestyle. It’s not a job, it is a lifestyle. So the ability to integrate yourself into the campus and the campus community, and everything that you do in the department, and your family, I think is really pivotal. Because, it’s a 24/7 job, to be honest with you. I get calls early in the morning, sometimes, in the middle of the night, sometimes late at night, every day of the week. … But you will never find a more powerful profession when you are surrounded by people who constantly want to get better every single day.” Swarthout also offers advice for girls and women seeking careers in sports. “The first thing is to open as many doors as you can, and walk through those doors. Find mentors that are going to help open those doors and lift you up. … You’re gonna have setbacks, but keep going forward. And if you have a goal, go get it. Go get it and find other people who are going to help support that goal ... that mission and that vision that you’ve set out for yourself.” (link)
Now live on Connect: D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle is joined by Ivy League Deputy Executive Director Campbell-McGovern, Columbia FB HC Bagnoli and Penn FB student-athlete Malcome about the Ivy League’s recent all-star FB game in Tokyo. The trio talk about the process behind partnering with Japan’s National Football Association (NFA) for the game, how the Ivy team was selected, the experiences the student-athletes participated in, the level of talent in Japan and whether future contests are in the works. (link)
East Carolina AD Gilbert tells the Board of Trustees at the February meeting that the Pirates sold 15,835 tickets for the 2022 football season, while baseball season tickets have sold out for the second year in a row. (link)
Denver Senior Assoc. AD for External Operations and Service Field talks about what it’s like to work in a male-dominated industry, telling the DU Clarion that “males are very strong voices, but I think us as women can have just as strong voices with reasoning to back it up and I think that’s where we win the day sometimes. I also think men and women just out of nature think differently and at times you need both at the table to make a decision and so it’s important to have those different perspectives.” Field also says of the differences between working with men and women: “I would say men are less sensitive than women. I know it’s not a surprise, but I would say it’s all about your approach. These things don’t come right away, and you need to be in it for a while. I have had to learn what to let go and what to not let go.” More. (link)
Forbes’ Nietzel reports that 11 of the top 20 colleges in America, as ranked by Forbes, will be led by a woman or person of color by next fall, “marking a milestone in the demographics of the presidencies at the nation’s most highly esteemed institutions. The new leadership profile has emerged following a spate of presidential resignations, retirements and replacements at prestigious universities during the past 18 months. … One indication of the magnitude of this leadership change is that six of the eight Ivy League institutions, all of which made Forbes’s top 20, will be led by a woman.” While progress is being made, Nietzel says just 22% of the 130 Carnegie R1 institutions had a woman in the top position of president, chancellor or system head in 2022, “despite the fact that women have been earning the majority of Ph.D.s in the U.S. for about a decade. … The gap is much wider for women of color, where only 5% of the institutions had a woman of color in the top executive position, despite the fact that about one in five Ph.D. earners is a woman of color.” (link)
+ SBJ reports that Adidas Global Head of Marketing Free "has left her role." No word from either side on the move and it is unknown who will replace her. (link)
+ Check out the new ‘This Is SportsCenter’ spot which debuted during last night’s Duke vs. North Carolina MBB game. Longtime ESPN announcer Storm and USA Track & Field Olympic Gold Medalist/former Kentucky student-athlete McLaughlin are featured. (link)
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