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D1.dossiers... Hawaii is now available, for those interested in the island life. Dossiers for seven other Athletic Director openings are also ready for you. $249 for an entire year of subscription. Stay tuned for the dossier for Southern Utah’s Senior Assoc. AD for Administration opening. (link)
New Mexico State’s MBB program has been indefinitely shut down with the coaching staff placed on administrative leave due to allegations of “hazing a teammate on more than one occasion, source told @Stadium. Police report was filed in the last 24 hours. That triggered the indefinite shutdown of the program.” The NMSU Board of Regents released a statement on the matter: “The New Mexico State University Board of Regents were informed this evening of the suspension of operations for the men’s basketball program. The board supports the action taken by the university leaders and is confident a full and thorough investigation will be conducted.” The Aggies were due to play at California Baptist today, a tip that will not happen. (link, link)
Mountain West Commissioner Nevarez during a visit to Boise State yesterday: “We’re ready for scenario A, B, C, D — Armageddon. [...] Even if we lose a couple schools, we’ll be OK [...] There’s no shortage of schools interested in joining us, and whenever you’re in the market, it’s good to have market power.” Nevarez went on to say expanding to 16 schools makes her nervous, believes 10 to 12 is the league’s sweet spot, per the Idaho Statesman’s Counts. (link)
The newest alliance in college athletics is the Power Four, the MEAC, SWAC, CIAA (DII) and SIAC (DII), which was launched late last year. The commissioners of the Power Four meet monthly to collaborate on considerations for future legislation, funding and corporate dollars, third-party promoters and more. MEAC Commissioner Stills: “I think some of the problems, too, is corporate America telling us what we need instead of asking us what we need. They want to be involved with esports, and say ‘We’re going to give you scholarships.’ Scholarships only hit one or two people. You’re not leaving a legacy when the institution needs infrastructure to put together an esports lab or center with equipment, so that everybody’s playing on the same platform, where you have coaches that help with recruitment as you tie that to STEM on the academic side and other elements. That’s what we need.” As for collaboration between the MEAC and SWAC, neither commissioner has plans for a merger. More. (link)
SBJ’s Ourand: “There is a sports rights bubble, and the sports rights bubble is going to burst. And it’s not going to affect the haves. The NFL is still going to get paid…the NBA is sitting pretty, hockey just got paid. The Pac-12 rights are up right now, and you can see with this Disney announcement…they’re going to make hard decisions about what sports matter. Really, what are essential sports and not essential sports? And if you’re ESPN, essential sports are the NFL, the NBA, the ACC, SEC, Big 12 – does the Pac-12 sneak in there? I’m beginning to think that there might be more problems.” The New York Post’s Marchand adds that he believes Amazon wants the number one game, not the “tonnage,” and “I definitely think they’re not going to overpay for it. You want to get paid if you end up on streaming exclusively, especially your top games, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.” (link)
Our deepest condolences to the East Carolina family as longtime “Voice of the Pirates” Charles unexpectedly passed away Friday morning in New Orleans while accompanying the MBB team on its trip to Tulane, which will not be played as scheduled. (link, link)
Oklahoma State AD Weiberg on the early exits of Texas & Oklahoma from the Big 12: “I think the end result was what everyone wanted. We knew how this was going to end, so the question was what does it look like and what’s fair to everyone involved. And I feel good that they reached that as best they could. Now we have the answers to those questions. I think that’s what allows us to move forward now, into the future, knowing what it’s going to look like. I think it’s great for the Big 12 Conference and for Oklahoma State.” (link)
More quality sit downs from the NCAA Convention, as D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer caught up with Alabama State AD Cable to discuss his approach on the DI Council, taking advantage of this moment for HBCUs, building a culture within the department and lots more. Cable tells Fischer the Transformation Committee’s report affords athletic departments the clarity to put forward a “more viable plan” and says “when you look at our conference and look at the amount of revenue that’s being shared among member institutions, it puts us in a better space to take those resources and streamline them to address the needs and requirements set forth by the Transformation Committee.” Check out the full Q&A on Connect. (link)
ESPN’s counterprogramming on Sunday will feature the WBB matchup between South Carolina and LSU, which tips at 2 PM ET and “runs headfirst into the pregame window” of Super Bowl LVII, The Athletic’s Deitsch reports. ESPN VP for Production Lowry, who oversees WBB production, tells Deitsch she recognized the game in this time slot could pit the last two unbeaten teams in the country against one another. “When I did realize it, I looked at it and thought, ‘Well, the good news is the game is at 2:00 in the afternoon, and 2:00 in the afternoon on Super Bowl Sunday is a pretty good window to me because it’s before you really get into the nitty-gritty of the football pregame. I think women’s basketball fans have the opportunity to watch both. They’re going to be able to watch the Super Bowl, some of the pregame, and watch this game, too.” Additionally, Lowry says ESPN will put some new touches on the game, including new camera angles and using the stats department to feed specialty stats to broadcasters. (link)
+ Eastern Illinois AD Michael promotes Women’s Soccer AC Bennett up to the HC spot. (link)
+ Washington’s FB AC salary pool increased from $5.745M in 2022 to roughly $7.483M this year, according to the Seattle Times’ Vorel, who provides the following context: “Just six public programs surpassed $7.483M in assistant coach salaries last season” (according to USA Today’s college football salary database): Ohio State ($8.833M), LSU ($8.555M), Georgia ($8.4M), Alabama ($8.36M), Texas A&M ($7.98M) and Texas ($7.93M). Huskies OC Grubb will see the biggest increase with his salary going from $1.02M to $2M. (link)
Appalachian State AD Gillin joins Playfly’s On The Fly podcast to discuss a number of topics, including his career path and how the Mountaineers have achieved so much success while pulling off some memorable upsets over the years. Gillin notes the FB team’s success in the early 2000s, which included back-to-back-to back national championships from 2005-07 and a win over Michigan in Ann Arbor occurred before his time, but “you can’t put a price on history and tradition over time. You can’t just snap your fingers. … One of the things we’ve been very fortunate of is we’ve had a rich history of tradition and success, I think culture, certainly the culture that Jerry Moore built here, and then that just carried over.” Specifically, Gillin emphasizes the importance of being intentional about fostering that mentality. “We recruit student-athletes that fit and it’s hard to define, but there is a fit up here in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s not for everybody, but if you want to come get a world-class education and play for championships, this is a place people come and they come with a chip on their shoulder and they play hard.” Full podcast. (link)
Syracuse.com’s Carlson ponders if Syracuse should be worried about potential NIL violations, especially under the revised NIL guidance and charging standard, regarding booster Weitsman, who is notable for flying recruits in to sit courtside and publicly offering six to seven-figure NIL deals. Cuse updated its NIL policy earlier this week, with AD Wildhack claiming no violations have occurred, adding: “It’s a complex time. The ground rules are relatively broad. When the ground rules are broad they are subject to interpretation by different experts. […] There is so much gray. There is 98 percent gray. We’re trying to navigate that.” Carlson asked numerous NIL experts for their thoughts on Weitsman’s actions, with “Ten believed Weitsman’s actions might be enough to trigger an inquiry from the NCAA under its new focus. […] Two of the experts said they believed Weitsman was technically abiding by NCAA rules.” (link)
Shares of Adidas are down 41% in the last year, and CNBC’s Bercetche says the “catalyst” is the fact that the company has “warned that it could swing to a loss this year.”Adidas indicated “operating losses could amount” to $748M “should it fail to sell its inventory of Yeezy shoes designed in conjunction with disgraced rapper Kanye West.” Bercetche adds: “It makes you wonder whether this period of the big brands, the big retailers, signing up to do these partnerships … is actually coming to an end now.” (link)
+ Vanderbilt gets slapped with a $250K fine by the SEC for Commodores fans storming the court after the MBB team upset Tennessee. It is the fourth fine incurred by the school for fans “entering the competition area.” (link)
+ From The Athletic’s Dochterman: “Thursday night’s matchup between No. 2 Indiana and No. 5 Iowa delivered 325,000 viewers, making it the most-watched women’s basketball telecast in Big Ten Network history. Previous record of 286,000 viewers was set during the 2022 Big Ten WBB Tournament between Iowa and Nebraska.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Hawaii will provide an update on its upcoming AD search next week “describing the process that will be used and the timing of everything.” (link); The D1.dossier for Hawaii is now available along with Prairie View A&M (key note below), Colgate, George Mason and more. New Ball State AD Mitchell: “Possessing information lacks true value if it’s not pertinent, and D1.dossier offers a competitive advantage because it provides the right information to prospective candidates to help them prepare for an interview and the job itself when hired. I developed my unique outline to help get ready for my interviews at Ball State while using the D1.dossier feature. I found the information to be relevant and comprehensive. D1.dossiers is a must-have resource for college coaches and administrators.” (link)
SEC Commissioner Sankey joined SEC analysts McElroy and Cubelic on their radio show this morning to talk about Texas and Oklahoma’s early arrival. As it relates to scheduling as a whole and not just for football, Sankey notes two things: The addition of UT and OU restores rivalries, such as Texas-Texas A&M and Missouri-Oklahoma. Also: “Remember, we really haven’t expanded our geographic reach. Our longest trip will be from Columbia, South Carolina, to Austin, Texas, which is about 80 miles or so than our current longest trip. … You realize that’s actually shorter than what will be the shortest trip for the LA schools when they move to the Big Ten. So, we’ve tried to honor the fact that we have to schedule” Olympic sports. Full interview. (link)
JohnCanzano.com’s namesake and The Mercury News’ Wilner examine a lack of “congruency of vision” which besets some Pac-12 member institutions. Using Cal as an example, Canzano notes the Golden Bears spent roughly $650K on travel last year while many other schools spent over $1M. Wilner adds things like NIL, the transfer portal and other issues facing college athletics are “almost weeding out who really cares and who doesn’t care from a campus perspective.” The two also kick around some more expansion ideas, with Wilner suggesting, merely as a trip down “Hypothetical Lane,” Tulane and Rice as potential additions in the central time zone along with SMU before getting even more in the weeds: “You add San Diego State in every sport. You add SMU in football and you add Gonzaga in basketball.” Canzano: “I don’t think Gonzaga to the Big 12 or SEC makes sense at all. I think if they’re going to make a move, the Pac-12 is the place to go. The question then becomes are Washington and Oregon going to be okay with Gonzaga coming into the conference?” Full podcast. (link)
+ Prairie View A&M President Simmons will leave the position early, noting that she did not want to serve as president “in name only” after Texas A&M System Chancellor Sharp informed her that all departing university presidents in the system could not hire senior staff or deans unless they were serving on an interim basis. An interim president will be appointed to serve until incoming President LeGrande arrives from her current position at VCU. (link)
+ New Orleans President Nicklow is a finalist for the same position at Florida Tech (DII). (link)
+ North Dakota elevated Asst. AD of Marketing Letofsky to Assoc. AD of Marketing and Communications. (link)
The DI Committee on Academics will reinstate the Academic Performance Program in 2024-25, with possible penalties set to resume based on the data released in spring 2024. Horizon League Assoc. Commissioner of Governance, Compliance and Legal Strategies Kumke, who co-chaired a review of the program states the review “confirmed that the model is effective in promoting an atmosphere of academic excellence and success.” Central Michigan President/Committee Chair Davies adds: “Some teams encounter difficulties with achieving a 930 due to various challenges on campus, but we have resources and programs in place to offer academic support. It is important for us to help educate schools about these resources, and we strongly believe in the value of Accelerating Academic Success Program grants for limited-resource institutions to help teams achieve academic success.” Of note: “The committee also discussed a referral from the Board of Directors to examine progress-toward-degree requirements for transfer student-athletes. The committee agreed that student-athletes should have to meet all such requirements, including percentage-of-degree benchmarks, at their previous school to become immediately eligible for competition. This endorsement will move to the Division I Council for final consideration.” (link)
+ Our deepest condolences to Tarleton, who mourn the passing of FB AC Martinez Friday morning. (link)
+ UT Arlington has parted ways with MBB HC Young, per Stadium’s Goodman. (link)
+ McNeese AD Schroyer reinstated T&F HC Gilroy to full duties following an investigation involving another T&F employee. (link)
+ Central Michigan has reached a “tentative agreement” to pay former Gymnastics HC Reighard $350K to settle the latter’s age discrimination lawsuit against the school. The news comes after Reighard’s attorneys obtained emails indicating CMU President Davies – who said he was not involved in Reighard’s firing – had input on the decision, as reported previously. CMU in a statement: “While we are confident the facts support CMU’s actions in this case, settling this matter now allows CMU to avoid ongoing litigation and costs, and to focus on its academic mission and support for students.” (link)
Georgia is reorganizing the seating at Stegeman Coliseum and will extend the student section to be more towards the center of the court “where they can make an impact on the game,” according to Bulldogs AD Brooks. The re-seating will also bring additional premium seating to the horseshoe end of the arena, and UGA is considering the possibility of adding loge seats, but those may not be in place until the 2024-2025 season. The Athens Banner-Herald’s Weiszer: “While season ticket prices will remain the same, Georgia will increase the per-seat contribution for 20% of its seats with the remaining 80% staying the same or decreasing. Georgia has just over 4,900 season ticket holders this year.” (link)
Mount St. Mary’s has launched a $50M university-wide fundraising campaign, which includes a focus on athletics as one of its three focal points. From the school’s announcement: “The university has doubled the number of athletes in its NCAA Division I programs in just six years and netted 17 conference titles and nine NCAA tournament appearances in that same period. Athletic facilities need to be updated so this success can continue, especially in the more competitive environment of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).” Among other initiatives, the Mountaineers are looking to construct the Rooney Athletic Performance Center, which will house multi-use courts, student and Mount community workout and fitness spaces and campus recreation offices. (link)
Drake’s new $19.5M, 4K-seat multi-purpose stadium will be known as Mediacom Stadium while the playing surface will be named Albaugh Field in recognition of local businessman Albaugh’s contributions to the project. The stadium will be operated in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools, which will use the facility for football, soccer and other school activities. (link)
More Facility Features…
+ Check out the renderings for Purdue’s $6.7M renovation to Mackey Arena, which includes an overhaul of 11K-sq. ft. for MBB and WBB locker room suites and the 2,400-sq. ft. John Wooden Club. Construction on the project, designed by DLR Group, is expected to begin in the coming weeks. (link)
+ Wake Forest is installing a new AstroTurf playing surface at Kentner Stadium (field hockey) and FieldTurf at Truist Field. (link)
The ACC distributed a memo to league ADs, MBB/WBB HCs and MBB committee members addressing “unacceptable conduct during and after games, and public comments that are not in line with the ACC’s Sportsmanship Principle.” The memo, addressed from Commissioner Philips, was sent approximately 36 hours after Syracuse MBB HC Boeheim made allegations about ACC programs “buying” teams with NIL deals. ACC penalties for violating the Sportsmanship Principle include fines to individuals or institutions up to $25K, public or private reprimands and suspensions. (link)
UCF ended FY22 with a $20.1M surplus on $89.2M in revenues and $69M in operating expenses. Ticket revenue increased 183% year-over-year to $5.78M, with donations up 86% to $14.3M. The Knights also reported a $7.78M distribution from the AAC and $24.6M in direct institutional support. On the other side of the ledger, UCF recruiting expenses were up 311% to $1M with $14.7M in coaching salaries including $6.6M in bonuses. (link)
Tulsa’s NIL marketplace on Opendorse debuted yesterday, coinciding with the announcement of Hurricane Impact Inc., Golden Hurricane Sports Properties Allied NIL and the Tulsa Academic Enhancement Award, and Golden Hurricanes AD Dickson notes: “We are committed to providing our student-athletes with the best resources possible to maximize their NIL opportunities. We have confidence that Opendorse, Hurricane Impact Collective and GHSP Allied NIL will assist our student-athletes in that regard.” (link)
St. John’s in partnership with Upstream will offer Red Storm fans who attend the MBB game against Providence at Madison Square Garden this Saturday an exclusive NFT that features Johnny Thunderbird in recognition of Johnnie’s Day. Only 526 digital collectibles will be available to claim. (link)
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