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D1.dossiers... Southern Utah has a Senior Associate AD for Administration opening on new AD Doug Knuth's staff. The dossier for the opportunity is now available. $249 for an entire year of subscription. Eastern Washington's AD post is up next. (link)
The Men’s Basketball Selection Committee released its Top 16 yesterday before the hardwood action began. Top four seeds: Alabama, Houston, Purdue & Kansas. Next four: Texas, Arizona, Baylor & UCLA. Third quartet: Tennessee, Virginia, Iowa State & Kansas State. Fourth quartet: Indiana, Marquette, Gonzaga & Xavier. Bradley AD/committee chair Reynolds with the company lines: “We judge each team on its own merits. [...] We could see some change. It will be interesting to see how the next three weeks unfold.” (link, link)
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Graney contends that the Big 12 should be the future conference home for UNLV. Rebels AD Harper: “Nothing new at this point. Obviously, we hold true to the (Mountain West), the conference we’re in now. At the same time, we hold true to living in Las Vegas and the Sports Capital of the World and the things we bring to the table as a very attractive institution.” Graney: Harper actually has deep ties to the Big 12. He’s from Texas and played at Kansas State when the league was the Big Eight. He was then an assistant athletic director at the university when expansion arrived in 1994. He also worked in the Pac-10 and saw that league transition into the Pac-12. His contacts are countless. He isn’t overly worried about the insinuation that UNLV and a Power Five league wouldn’t marry due to the school’s not-so-successful football program, citing its attractive facilities in the Fertitta Football Complex and Allegiant Stadium. The Rebels also have a new coach in Barry Odom, who won some at a major college level when at Missouri. … So for now, UNLV sits and waits and works behind the scenes to best position itself. To sell the country’s 40th-ranked market as one capable of bringing enough interested eyes to the equation. As one in an ever-growing professional sports town. As one prepared for such a jump.” (link)
JohnCanzano.com’s namesake on the Pac-12’s media deal(s) progress: “It prompted me to reach out to a few well-placed Pac-12 sources late on Friday. I posed the question as an analogy, though. If the Pac-12’s media-rights negotiation were a baseball game, what inning would it be in? The answer, from a source, came back: ‘… seventh.’ Top of the inning? Or bottom? Game going to go quickly? Or drag some? Can we get a pitch clock? As long as it’s not extra innings, I’m good with that.“ Also, Canzano on the potential of Fresno State heading to the Big 12: “I lived and worked in Fresno early in my newspaper career. It struck me as a midwestern town in the middle of California. Great people. A lot of pride. Agricultural community that sits geographically between LA and the Bay Area and captures 1.7 million TV households. Fresno State looks like a no-brainer for the Big 12.” (link)
Buffalo reported $40.192M in revenue against $39.537M in expenses for FY22, the highest total in both categories among all MAC schools (Eastern Michigan data not available) according to Sportico’s College Athletic Departments Financial Database. Student fees ($10.0M), guarantee games ($1.32M from Nebraska, among them), donations ($1.10M), ticket sales ($1.01M), and licensing, etc ($938K) were the biggest money makers. On the flipside, coaching salaries ($7.27M), team travel ($3.24M), recruiting ($757K), and guarantee game payments ($459K) were the largest expenses for the Bulls last year. (link)
UConn could see $24M worth of work to Rentschler Field over the next two years if the Connecticut lawmakers approve a public-funding vehicle worth $12M in each of the next two years. What you need to know: “...renovations at Rentschler — new roofing, concrete repairs and technology upgrades, among them — that would form the foundation of a larger, $63 million plan. The overall plan would stretch out over five years and was developed by a high-profile sports stadium consultant last year aimed at ensuring the venue, which turns 20 this year, keeps up with evolving Division I standards.” However, House Republican leader Candelora says Rentschler needs love, but he’s also concerned about the Huskies overall budget situation: “The bigger question, I think, that we would have to seek answers to is the level of deficiency that UConn has been running over the past year and how we fix that operating deficiency before we start continued investments in the programs. A $53 million deficit is very troubling and problematic.” (link)
Cleveland State generated more than $470K as part of its Giving Day, $136K of which will go toward upgrades for Woodling Gym projected to total $1M. Vikings AD Garrett: “It’s a 50-year old building that needs lots of attention. [...] We’ll pick off projects one by one as we raise the dollars.” Enhancement plans include a new sound system, branding & graphics, technology items, new furniture for study areas, locker room revamps, weight room & training rooms, plus a new interactive lobby. (link)
New Hampshire Governor Sununu outlined two one-time capital investment proposals for projects at UNH: renovations to the Whittemore Center (home to the hockey squads) and the establishment of a Blockchain Quality Assurance Center at the UNH-Interoperability Lab. The proposed $8M state investment in Whittemore will help complete an ongoing $30M renovation to the facility. Wildcats’ AD Rich: “There are benefits to both the state and UNH with a revitalized Whittemore Center. This investment in one of the state’s largest venues for sporting and entertainment events will help bring more visitors and revenue to the state of New Hampshire. It will be a great asset for attracting and retaining outstanding student-athletes while also driving admissions and building pride in our state and the university.” (link)
Iowa State plans to ask the Iowa Board of Regents this week for its blessing on a $12M renovation of the Scheman Building, including the lobby, events spaces and bathrooms. According to Senior Assoc. AD/Operations Jorgensen, it's the athletic department's goal to create a club space for athletic-related events within Scheman similar to Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum. No formal timeline, but nothing would start until the end of the 2023-24 basketball season. Originally slated to be part of a larger project covered by revenues from the planned CYTown entertainment district, it looks like the Cyclones will pick up the tab for this particular upgrade, instead. (link)
The Illinois State Board of Trustees approved a $550K overhaul to the athletics business offices. Details: “The work in CEFCU Arena, on Room 150, will allow the athletics business office to move into there, in turn allowing the women’s basketball and volleyball offices to move into the former athletics business office. The move is meant to ensure the women’s offices are in line with the men’s basketball office size.” (link)
Ray and Lynne Pernsteiner, parents of the late former Jacksonville student-athlete Julia Pernsteiner who committed suicide in her dorm room in November 2021, are suing the school and former Track & Field/XC HC Grigg for “berating and bullying her.” The wrongful-death lawsuit cites JU negligence as well as breach of contract and failure to follow requirements of Title IX protection against sex discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The suit also accuses Grigg, who resigned in July, of intentional infliction of emotional distress and says JU shares responsibility for harm Grigg did. He dismissed Pernsteiner from the team two months prior to her death. (link)
The MBB game between North Florida and Austin Peay yesterday in Clarksville ended in a fight between student-athletes from both squads. The incident was triggered by Ospreys’ forward Aybar fouling Govs’ counterpart Copeland in an attempted blocked shot in the closing seconds of the game, which was met by a host of Austin Peay players rising to Copeland’s defense. It took arena security, UNF coaches and players to pull Aybar away, and he made one attempt to break free. The melee was broken up within 40 seconds and the teams were ordered to go to their locker rooms. The doors to both locker rooms share a common hallway and ClarksvilleNow.com reports players from both teams confronted each other there. The statements from both camps indicate their disappointment in the events and say they will work with ASUN officials to determine next steps. (link)
Philanthropic donations to higher education increased by 12.5% last fiscal year to a total of $59.5B, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which notes the YoY increase is the largest since 2000. In FY21, giving rose 7%, after declining by less than 1% the year prior. Broken down by donor, 61% of charitable donations came from organizations, 22% came from alumni and 16% came from individuals who were not alumni. Total charitable gifts across all sectors in the U.S. hit a record-breaking $485B in calendar year 2021, according to the latest report from the Giving USA Foundation and the Lilly Family School. (link)
+Tamaya Ventures, a firm owned by the Pueblo of the Santa Ana, announces an NIL partnership with three New Mexico student-athletes: XC runner Upshaw (Navajo); WBB player Chavez (Cochiti/Laguna); and WBB player Bates (San Felipe Pueblo/Sioux/Navajo). Each student-athlete has their own custom line of merchandise and the NIL agreement is the first of its kind between a tribal owned entity and Native American DI student-athletes. (link)
+ Nicholls and Sacramento State announce a home-and-home FB series for 2023 (Thibodaux) and 2024 (Sacramento). (link)
+ Dayton adds Central State (DII) to its 2023 home FB slate. (link)
In case you missed Saturday's email...
As reports circulate on UNC Wilmington’s next AD, the university has called a special meeting of its Board of Trustees on Monday at 10am ET. Of note: “The primary business to be transacted will be discussed in closed session, consistent with the Open Meetings Act.” (link)
Hawai’i Assoc. AD for Internal Operations/SWA Manin says she’s interested in becoming the new AD for the Rainbow Warriors as former longtime Assoc. AD McNamara indicates he won’t pursue the opening & notable politician/former Hawai’i High School Athletic Association boss Amemiya, who finished second to outgoing UH AD Matlin during the 2015 hiring process, offers a “no comment” on his candidacy. Former Hawai’i AD Jay details some challenges for whomever becomes the new leader: “But you got to have hope that this new stadium and the whole business entertainment district happens sooner than later because they need a home, they need a place to play. And I think that’s what I hope for the next athletic director who’s gonna be able to have to take that problem on. [...] You got to take a look at the funding of the program. Where can you get help? I know in the last couple of years they were able to get some funding from from state government and the legislature and things, but when it comes right down to it, the university has to support the program and that’s gonna have to come with more financial support and things, or else you end up falling behind and in your competitiveness and your attractiveness in terms of having the kids come there to the islands.” (link)
Arizona AD Heeke joins Playfly’s On The Fly podcast to discuss a number of topics, including hiring coaches, his career path, building a program and the future of the Wildcats athletic department. Heeke says of that future amid a changing landscape: “There is a lot of growth going on here. Expansion in facilities. We’ve been very focused on facility growth and putting our programs in a position to be successful from that perspective. We have a great team here. It’s a transitionary time in college athletics. The newness, the change, not just the pure focus, you gotta be a bit nimble to support your programs and your coaches. I think the enterprise itself is changing and we’ve tried to be that way. We’ve got to be progressive in our nature, maybe changing some of that traditional organizational structural side to meet the new needs of college athletics. Now let me say this, I’m a college athletics believer. The model, the college athletics model, there’s nothing greater than it…but we have to be an organization that meets the new and changing needs of student-athletes or the enterprise itself.” Full podcast. (link)
+ UCF scores a $5M+ anonymous gift from a former Knights baseball student-athlete, $4M of which will go toward the baseball program with the rest supporting the Sharon and Marc Hagle Gateway, UCF's Football Campus. (link)
+ More diamond sport donations as Oklahoma announces a $1.2M gift from the estate of late Sooners baseball student-athlete Stephenson. “In addition to impacting upcoming enhancements to OU's baseball facilities, this meaningful gift also fulfills the Kimrey Family Matching Gift Challenge.” (link)
UC Irvine WBB is 20-5 (12-2) & in second place in the Big West, but can’t play its next two games - today at UC Davis & Monday versus Cal Poly - due to not having enough student-athletes available as a byproduct of continued injury challenges. Per Big West rules, both tips will be considered no contests. (link)
NC State extends Football HC Doeren for one year, which could keep him with the Wolfpack through the 2027 season. No change in the financial terms, with Doeren set to make $5M annually. (link)
With a “nonstop calendar, endless roster churn, the Name, Image and Likeness deluge, social media-fueled stress [and] ballooning paychecks,” The Athletic’s Hamilton submits that “you have an explanation for the imminent end of septuagenarians on the [MBB HC] sideline. It’s not that coaches with plenty of tread left on their tires are less ambitious or less pathologically competitive. They simply don’t have to deal with a job that’s getting more and more complicated for as long as the old guard did, if they don’t want to. And they probably don’t want to.” Providence HC Cooley confirms he is in that camp, telling Hamilton: “I will not be on the sideline when I’m in my 70s, for sure. Guaranteed. I definitely will not be coaching like that. If I do, you personally come slap me.” Northwestern HC Collins adds: “It’s a lot. And you take it on, and it’s great. But the offseasons now have become more taxing than the season. It is what it is. We’re not complaining. But for 365 days of the year, you’re working. I just don’t think you’re going to see the 40-year sustainability.” More. (link)
Colorado FB HC Sanders’ effect on the program has not excluded the nutrition and food coaches and players are served, as Buffs Assoc. AD for Performance Nutrition Anderson explains: “I appreciate when people have really high standards. (Sanders) has very high standards on how things can be executed. I know my team also has very high standards, but everybody gets – especially at the end of about 24 weeks of grinding – you fall off a little bit. Now, it’s like, ‘All right, game on all the time.’” Buffs AD George adds: “I think in some ways, we had become complacent (as an athletics department). I think the only way you get better is getting out of your comfort zone. In Deion’s case, he came in here and his style is different than any coach we’ve had and it’s gonna push people a little bit.” (link)
More from Sanders as his remarks last week to NFL Network’s Eisen have started making the rounds, particularly those relating to what he looks for when recruiting certain positions. Sanders: “Well, we have different attributes. Smart, tough, fast, disciplined with character. Now, quarterbacks are different. We want mother, father. Dual parent. We want that kid to be 3.5 [GPA] and up. Because he has to be smart. Not bad decisions off the field, at all. Because he has to be a leader of men. … Defensive linemen is totally opposite. Single mama, trying to get it, he’s on free lunch. I’m talking about just trying to make it. He’s trying to rescue mama. Like mama barely made the flight. And I want him to just go get it. It’s a whole different attribute that you look for in different positions. And we have that stuff just chronicled. We know what we want, and we go get it." (link)
An external review by ABST Law into the North Dakota State cheer program found “lack of support by NDSU Athletics, lack of respect and access to athletic trainers and team practice safety concerns,” per Valley News Live’s Walling, who added the team did not have access to the Sanford Health Athletic Complex or weight room and limited access to athletic trainers. Bison AD Larsen: “The report highlights an important issue within our athletics department that, while our cheer team is composed of serious athletes, the team is not a competition team. As a result, the resources available to the cheer team differ from the resources available to competition sports. That being said, we need to do a better job clarifying roles/expectations and improving communications within the athletics department regarding the cheer team. We will take time to process the report and will implement improvements before the start of the new season.” (link)
In the latest edition of ‘Can your AD do this,’ Cleveland State boss Garrett joins the pep band on his trombone. Akron AD Guthrie chimes in on the tweet of the video saying he has always wanted to join the band on the drums, to which Garrett replies “We will play together when we finally get our teams to face off!” Might this be a new scheduling strategy? (link)
Well this is wild. NBA Commissioner Silver demos the new NBA app, which allows fans to insert themselves into NBA highlights. Silver takes a full body scan of broadcaster Rashad to create his Avatar, then demonstrates Rashad making all the moves of Los Angeles Lakers’ Horton-Tucker, including a monster slam. (link)
PENN Entertainment has purchased the remaining 64% of Barstool Sports for $388M. PENN Entertainment CEO/President Snowden: “Barstool is a proven, powerful media brand with an authentic voice and vast, loyal audience that provides us with a strong top of funnel for new customer acquisition and organic cross-selling opportunities across our growing interactive division. Barstool, combined with theScore’s reach and highly engaged user base, creates a massive digital footprint and ecosystem that will serve to propel Barstool Sportsbook and our uniquely integrated media and gaming business. Further, the Barstool Sportsbook will greatly benefit from the upcoming migration to our proprietary technology stack, a move that will significantly enhance the overall product offering and deliver meaningful upside.” (link)
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