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Appalachian State is the latest athletic department to join Collegiate Sports Connect. The Mountaineers become the fourth Sun Belt member to use Connect for a marketplace advantage. Want a demo of Connect? Click here.
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College Basketball Rankings Database… D1.ticker updates the MBB (HERE) and WBB (HERE) daily throughout the season. All the key rankings systems in one easy-to-consume location.
The NCAA appoints Interim SVP for Communications Lehe as VP for Communications, reporting to the newly created SVP for External Affairs. Incoming President Baker: "Gina has proven herself to be a strong leader with exceptional skills as a communications strategist and I am proud to have her as a member of my team. As I prepare to take office I've been impressed with Gina's work to make the NCAA's communications collaborative, inclusive and strategic. I look forward to hitting the ground running with her and the whole team soon." (link)
Hawai’i Provost Bruno and aio President/COO Eichor will co-chair the Rainbow Warriors’ AD search committee, which also includes WBB HC Beeman, Men’s VB HC Wade & FAR Sinnett among others. President Lassner: “The successful candidate will display impeccable integrity in their work and the creativity to ensure the financial sustainability of the country’s most isolated Division I athletics program. Our next athletics director must have the insight and agility to lead through the most dynamic and challenging period in the history of NCAA intercollegiate athletics.” Timeline: Materials due by the 10th of next month with a short list passed along to Lassner & then a hire recommendation to the Board of Regents in May. (link); The D1.dossier for UH is ready for those interested in the opening. (link)
CBS and Turner are no longer involved in Pac-12’s media rights negotiations, Action Network’s McMurphy reports. (link); Meanwhile, Big 12 Commissioner Yormark joins the Mercury News’ Wilner and JohnCanzano.com’s eponymous creator to chat about the Big 12’s media rights deal, the value of college basketball and the departure of Oklahoma and Texas, among other topics. Yormark insists the league did not leave money on the table by negotiating its media rights deal early, citing the changing landscape and crowded marketplace. “By going early, I was able to gain the attention of two of the biggest media brands in the world… and I think that decision today is looking better and better.” While saying he’s not specifically targeting Pac-12 schools, Yormark acknowledges: “Would I like to be a national conference in all the different time zones and from a geography standpoint have our Big 12 flag all over the country? 100%... we’ll see where we end up.” On the value of hoops in media rights and expansion: “I just think it’s undervalued. It’s been bundled with football. I think at some point in time that value proposition needs to change. … I think at the right time we’re going to be able to monetize that.” (link)
The Athletic’s Auerbach reports from the Johnson v. NCAA hearing: “One of the judges just asked NCAA counsel how it's possible that college athletes are NOT employees given how much control the schools and the NCAA over them, their time demands, etc.” One judge also asserts, per Auerbach, that an “athlete is more valuable to a university than a work-study student working in the cafeteria or library. The NCAA is defending itself in the Johnson case by pointing out that potential antitrust issues the NCAA face are not central to this case but are to the next case (House). The Johnson case is about whether or not athletes should be classified as employees and should receive hourly wages. The judges are asking about athletes' economic value (as evidenced by NIL deals, the value of media deals) and NCAA arguing that is not at issue in this case. A lot of questions from the judges about the restrictions that athletes face in terms of their class schedule/available majors. Judge points out that those restrictions exist for all athletes, not just football & men's basketball players.” (link); More from Auerbach: “One judge literally just came out and said college athletes are employees. Judge just asked if athletes can lose scholarships if they stop playing and/or if they're not renewed. ‘So, this coach has complete control over this young person.’ NCAA lawyer says he's not familiar with scholarship rules (??). … Judge asks plaintiffs' lawyer if athletes should have been employees in 1938. In short, lawyer says yes and maybe more so. Judge: ‘Why should we change it now?’ Plaintiffs' lawyer says that it's changed since the NCAA's actual formation and its rules that get ‘tighter and tighter’ each year. Also, economics of college sports have changed drastically since Board of Regents case.” (link)
+ Memphis has promoted Asst. AD for the Annual Fund Wiatr to Assoc. AD for Annual Fund & Women's Sports Revenue Initiatives. (link)
+ North Carolina promotes Volleyball AC Schall to HC. (link)
+ Georgetown taps Maryland AC Bonetti to take the reins as Volleyball HC. (link)
+ Georgia Volleyball HC Black’s extension last month came with a raise of $10K to $235K. A 2021 salary survey by the American Volleyball Coaches Association found average base salary for seven SEC women’s volleyball head coaches to be $212,857. (link)
Nebraska FB HC Rhule arrived in Lincoln just in time to add some of his own touches to the Huskers’ $165M FB complex, and while not complete, Rhule says his time with the Carolina Panthers opened his eyes to the value of infrared saunas and sensory deprivation tanks. “All of those things are good for players’ physical and mental health.” Huskers AD Alberts: “When you hire leadership, many times you can kind of judge him or her based on who they surround themselves with, what kind of talent they’re able to acquire. And clearly, coach Rhule added incredible firepower, not only to our football program, but I would argue to our entire athletic department.” (link)
Marquette MBB HC Smart tells CBS’ Norlander that Miami (FL) student-athlete Pack’s $800K NIL deal was a “watershed moment in transfer recruiting in our sport. It completely altered what other transfers wanted." Marquette was at the time recruiting four transfers, and practically overnight, the tone and expectations of those recruitments changed after the Pack news, Smart tells Norlander, adding that he didn’t like what he was hearing and not only stopped recruiting those four, he stopped recruiting DI transfers altogether last spring. “We made the decision: Hell no, we ain't doing that. First of all, it's illegal, but we're not prioritizing some guy that hasn't worn a uniform over Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro. … You ain't getting a lot of these guys unless they're getting some sort of bag. Number one, we weren't in position to do that. Number two, we're not comfortable doing that. Number three, we didn't want to ever prioritize some random guy… over our current players." Norlander says Smart will likely use the portal again, but for now Smart says the NCAA “has really mangled these rules. The way that's been viewed by the NCAA has even changed a couple of times since then (summer of 2021). It's like an alternate universe.” (link)
Texas A&M’s 12th Man Foundation is now accepting NIL-related donations via the 12th Man+ Fund. Donors who contribute $5K to $25K+ will receive an invitation to an annual NIL event while donors who give $25+ will receive “annual NIL content.” (link, link)
The USC-focused Tommy Group collective has launched and is being led by six Trojan alumni alums, fans and former athletes with USC ties, including former WR Johnson, former TE Holmes and entrepreneur Stromberg, among others. The group has already partnered with current Trojans QB Williams, and the collective says it has already worked with over 80 student-athletes on deals. Johnson: “We have an incredible opportunity at hand to tap into each of our professional expertises and personal networks to open up the world of personal branding, commercial deals and beyond to these kids in a major way. We’re not only setting the standard for NIL deals, we’re helping to strategically shape their futures.” (link, link)
High Point will add women’s rowing as the Panthers’ 17th varsity sport and plans to begin competition in the 2024-25 season. High Point will invest more than in the program over the next five years along with an additional capital investment to construct a new HPU Boat House. Panthers AD Hauser: “When you look at the last two programs we started at HPU (women's and men's lacrosse), both have quickly ascended to conference championships and national success in the NCAA Tournament. Rowing is the perfect fit at High Point University and with the amazing performance venue of Oak Hollow Lake, we are poised for greatness." (link)
The city of Knoxville and Aramark, Neyland Stadium's beer vendor, have agreed to terms that will allow beer to be sold next season at all Tennessee football games. As part of the agreement, Aramark has agreed to train all new and returning employees; donate $30K to the nonprofit Metro Drug Council; pay a $4,500 fine and $700 in administrative costs; and ensure only official Aramark employees check IDs this season, making sure to ask every customer to show one. (link)
UCLA forms the 42 Society exclusively for donors who contribute at least $100K annually to the Wooden Athletic Fund over a five-year period. Members' benefits include exclusive travel with the Bruins, Jordan Brand team gear, top priority for tickets to the MBB and WBB NCAA tournaments, UCLA football's bowl game and other postseason events. (link)
Ohio State cancels its home-and-home FB series with Washington that was scheduled for the 2024 and 2025 seasons and will pay the Huskies a $500K cancellation fee, per FBSchedules. (link)
Modern program building: Richmond starts its baseball campaign with three players already committed to play for other schools next season as graduates. Spiders P Neff is headed to Virginia Tech, his brother, a catcher, is bound for Villanova and P Mathes has committed to Georgia. Spiders HC Woodson says this type of movement is common these days and is attributable to a mix of the COVID year, players’ desires to try something new and academic tracks. “It hurts because those three guys are main cogs in our team, but for them, they’ve been here four years.” Mathes, who was drafted by Baltimore in the 2022 MLB Draft but opted to return, explains his decision: “COVID kind of messed everything up, made the transfer portal such a big thing. I've talked it over with my teammates. They're not worried about it, and I don't feel weird about it." If Mathes is drafted again in a more financially appealing position, he says he will skip next season at Georgia and turn pro. (link)
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(NEWEST!) Associate AD/Director, Athletics and Venue Marketing & Fan Engagement (OVG360 / University of Rhode Island Athletics & Ryan Center / Kingston, RI): Responsible for the oversight and management of the cross-functional URI Athletics Marketing and Venue Marketing Departments including Men’s and Women’s Basketball, FB, Olympic sports, & venue events. More details HERE.
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(NEW!) Assistant Women's Soccer Coach (Bucknell University / Lewisburg, PA): Bucknell University is seeking an Assistant Women's Soccer Coach who will be responsible for on-field coaching and recruitment of academically-qualified student-athletes. Apply at apptrkr.com/3909207 More details HERE.
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