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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 opportunities with the Thunderbirds is now available. $249 for an entire year of subscription. Eastern Washington’s AD post is up next. (link)
D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer is joined by NCAA VP for WBB Holzman to discuss the state of the sport, the upcoming NCAA tournament, media rights and more. Holzman says of the current WBB recruiting calendar that HCs have been positive in their feedback “because they’ve been in lockstep with the Oversight Committee as those changes have moved forward. In particular, they talk about trying to find the sweet spot of coaches still being available on campus for their current student-athletes…but also the right type of opportunities to get out there and evaluate prospects. And the third bucket they focus on is their own wellbeing and finding the right balance between the work and the recovery they need also.” Watch the full conversation on Connect. (link)
South Carolina unsurprisingly takes the overall No. 1 spot on the list of the top 16 WBB seeds, which the WBB Committee released last night. Indiana, Stanford and Utah are slotted as the other No. 1 seeds, respectively. (link)
Former Hawai’i FB HC Jones on the university’s current AD search: “What we need right now at the University of Hawaii is an outside thinker, we need somebody that thinks out of the box. [...] If we don’t think out of the box on this ... if we’re not thinking that way, then I’m not sure the UH football program will survive.” Jones also questioned the UH’s search committee for a lack of diversity. (link)
Hampton officially introduced newly appointed AD Henderson, who said there’s “not a lot I haven’t seen” during his time in college athletics, adding: “I've been at the FCS level. I've been at the FBS level. I've been in the Ivy League. … The question is how do we take all of those things and adapt them to Hampton?” Henderson also said his goal is to ingratiate Hampton more in the Peninsula. "If you want to go watch quality Division I athletics, why not come to Hampton games? We want to be the choice when you're looking for something to do with the family, looking for somewhere to spend your disposable income, we want to be that place." (link, link)
Northern Illinois AD Frazier says there’s “no such thing as standing still” when it comes to realignment. “You’re either moving forward or you're moving back. And I see this whole landscape as it shifts through…there’s going to be a ripple effect as we take a look at the big dollar-driven media rights deals, the expansion of the College Football Playoff. There’s all that. For me to tell you it’s not going to affect us would be naive. And then the other side of that is how do we adapt? One of the things we do have in the MAC is the most stable conference in the country…but at the end of the day, based on the different changes we just talked about with the Transformation Committee, based on the need to make sure that we have sustainable financial practices and making sure that we are supporting student-athletes, change is here, and we have to make sure all our institutions are prepping for that.” (link)
Washington State President Schulz will retain oversight of athletics after WSU corrected a component in its OneWSU reorganization which had placed the department under the aegis of WSU-Pullman Chancellor Chilton. Schulz: "I have an opportunity to serve as head of the Pac-12 board in a year ... so I'm going to be resuming or continuing my role. [Cougars AD Chun] will report to me. There is just too much going on nationally and at Elizabeth's request, I'm going to be doing this for the next several years. … And we've been working on this for a couple months, this was not an abrupt thing." (link)
USCAH CEO Borchers joins Connect/MB Sports’ Banker for a discussion about the landscape surrounding mental health for student-athletes from the youth level up to the college level and what administrators need to keep in mind about this increasingly urgent topic. Borchers: “Unfortunately, I think some of the ‘professionalization’ of youth sport and certainly professionalization of adolescent sport or high school sport – as that has happened, we’ve seen the need for further development with mental wellness. I think one of the areas we’ve really focused on is coach education. It’s really clear that athletes spend so much time with their coaches, and they’re so influential to athletes, especially in youth sport and in high school sport, that the ability to provide resources to coaches to help athletes understand some of this normal development is so important … [and we know] that it has to start earlier than when we get to college.” Lots more in the full discussion, now live on Connect. (link)
+ Oklahoma AD Castiglione will name OU VP for Marketing and Communications Dilbeck as a replacement for former Sooners Assoc. AD for Strategic Initiatives Bailey, CollegeAD reports, adding that Dilbeck is expected to have an Executive Assoc. AD title when she comes aboard. (link)
+ LEARFIELD EVP of Digital Content/SIDEARM Sports Founder/President Rubin has been named as the recipient of this year’s Keith Jackson Eternal Flame Award, while ESPN analyst Antonelli will be recognized with the Jake Wade Award, College Sports Communicators, announces. (link)
+ The following schools also made administrative moves: College of Charleston, Davidson, Charlotte, Georgia, Florida & App State. Check them all out on The Wire at Collegiate Sports Connect. (link)
+ ESPN’s Borzello offers a snapshot of the current MBB HC turnover possibilities. One factor in the mix is whether former Texas HC Beard will find a landing spot this offseason, and Borzello believes that “even if a return this cycle is deemed too quick for some, he'll be back in college basketball soon.” Possible openings he foresees include the posts at Cal, Georgetown, Stanford, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech, while he’s keeping an eye on the situations at Clemson, St. John’s, Nebraska, Washington, Arizona State and UCF. More. (link)
+ Michigan FB HC Harbaugh on his relationship with Wolverines AD Manuel: “I feel like it’s a great relationship. It’s one of those narratives that seemed to be out there, but I have a great relationship with Warde Manuel and he’s been great for our athletic department and our university. Nothing but good. I trust Warde; he trusts me. As far as any kind of contract situation, we don’t even talk about that. I just ask, ‘Do you want me here at Michigan?’ after every season.” (link)
WV News’ Hertzel points out that West Virginia over the last five years has played at just 73.4% of its FB games stadium capacity. “Of the 14 teams that will make up the ‘new Big 12’ competing this year before Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC, that is lower than any schools other than Kansas and Houston.” Specifically, Hertzel reports WVU has gone from an average of 58,158 five years ago to 47,658 last year. Mountaineers AD Baker notes attendance issues are a trend nationally, not just in Morgantown, adding: “Most people have not had the same kind of crowds post-COVID as they had pre-COVID. Some people (fans) just got out of going. The fans are the lifeblood of our program and we understand that. … You have to take into account a lot of things when you are looking at the raw data in terms of who was the opponent, when did those games fall, there are a lot of anomalies. You have to be careful not to read too much into a single snapshot.” (link)
Crakes Media’s namesake submits the “Pac-12 is staying as-is because there’s no other options. They’ll take [the money] available & move ahead to future realignment in 3-4 years. Hope is they won’t have to completely jump behind streaming paywall that accounts for only 4% of all video minutes consumed across all platforms.” (link)
+ Northern Iowa has received a $750K gift commitment from alumnus Hemmen and his wife to support the UNI-Dome renovation. (link)
+ Wichita State has received $250K lead gifts from former MBB star/current Toronto Raptors G VanVleet and Shockers supporters Steve and Regine Feilmeier, as well as $100K gift from Ricky and Jeanie Brotherton to support the Charles Koch Arena Weight Room renovation. The project includes new Shocker-branded Sorinex strength equipment, performance flooring, turf, and a nutrition fueling station, along with force plates, laser timing gates, NBA combine testing equipment, velocity-based training, dynamometers, goniometers, body composition analysis, and heart rate monitoring technology, among other features. (link)
+ Check out Fanatics’ new NYC office. (link)
+ Iowa State adds South Dakota to its 2030 home FB slate. (link)
+ Live Nation reported $16.7B in revenue last year, a 44% increase from 2019. (link)
+ Kentucky State Representative Gentry (D-Louisville) tells WLKY’s Vanderhoff that “we have just enough” votes in the House and Senate to pass a sports gambling bill. Vanderhoff notes the bill “removes provisions to allow fantasy sports wagering and online poker, which supporters hope will make the bill more palatable.” As has been the case with previous drafts, this legislation gives horse racing tracks control of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks as well as websites and apps, with the Horse Racing Commission providing regulatory oversight. (link)
+ The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.7% annual rate from October through December, a downgrade from the previous estimate of 2.9%. High Frequency Economics Chief U.S. Economist Farooqi: “From the Fed's perspective, a slowdown in the economy is anticipated and will be welcome news. However, even as growth slows, a focus on lowering elevated inflation means rates will move up further and will remain higher for longer.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
SIU Edwardsville taps Wisconsin-Parkside (DII) AD Gavin for the same role, effective April 17. Chancellor Minor: “Andrew brings a wealth of diverse experiences that will help SIUE realize its ambition to graduate champions. It is clear that he has the capacity to improve the competitiveness of our athletics program while supporting SIUE coaches and staff, and most importantly our student athletes.” (link)
Notre Dame AD Swarbrick covered several topics during a live chat with university relations, including the importance of the FUND (Friends of the University of Notre Dame) collective, created by former Fighting Irish QB Quinn. Swarbrick notes the department is emphasizing that the deals student-athletes sign are “true transactions and not pay-for-play,” adding “We just don’t want to go there. We don’t need to go there. … Some of our most interesting [NIL] opportunities right now surround the launching of businesses where a young person has an idea of patentable technology or a new company, and we have a way to help them develop that as well as deciding to do a photoshoot for someone.” Swarbrick goes on to say he’s “never felt better about our independent status — both its value to the university and our ability to maintain it. The expansion of the College Football Playoff, a 12-team playoff with six at-large positions, gives us a fair opportunity to get into the postseason. The opportunity to have a committed broadcast partner gives us an opportunity to be independent.” (link)
Oklahoma AD Castiglione says internal groups that were already preparing for the Sooners’ transition to the SEC have accelerated their timelines. “It’s a pretty wide-ranging group of topics that our staff and subcommittees have been studying, comparing and analyzing over the past year-plus. There are certain things that will obviously we will be very ready for. There are some that we will use this next year to accelerate. … We also have to keep a focus on how we’re playing in the Big 12. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves in the wrong way. And we have to respect the conference, the quality of opponents that we’re going to face, we have some new places we’re going to travel.” (link)
Sportico’s McCann pens an open letter to incoming NCAA President Baker in which he advises Baker to choose a different tack when it comes to amateurism, citing the various legal losses the NCAA has suffered as well as portents of further setbacks from the NLRB. “The first step is to figure out why the NCAA has been losing in court. The answer might be simple: Judges don’t like blanket and inflexible prohibitions on player compensation. … Second, while the NCAA’s instinct has long been to litigate until the end, that approach seems unwise in Johnson and House. To be sure, the drive to litigate is to prevent courts from changing long standing amateurism rules. But the financial ramifications of losing either Johnson or House would be astronomical, as the NCAA and its members would not only need to change rules but pay current and former athletes for past and ongoing damages. You might, as pro leagues are more inclined to do, explore the possibility of settlements. … But if the NCAA instead waits for a court to declare college athletes as employees or waits for the NLRB to find that the NCAA is a joint employer of college athletes, the ruling could apply across the board, all at once, and in ways that you won’t control. Instead of leading the way, you and the NCAA would be at the mercy of the government.” Full letter. (link)
Arizona State AD Anderson says he could see a world where the Pac-12 finalizes a media rights deal in the next two or three weeks but adds: “Assurances is a very strong word. Guarantees, assurances, can you promise? I can’t, I can’t speculate. … We’ve just been forced like everyone else, unfortunately, to let this thing play out because we’re not directly in the driver’s seat. That being said, we have confidence our commissioners and our presidents and chancellors are going to get to a place where a media rights deal and a grant of rights is done. It may not be the projections originally contemplated but will be a solid enough financial situation to keep this conference together and then (we will) really work hard to move forward positively.” (link)
On3’s Prisbell hears from one TV executive who contextualizes the Pac-12’s media rights negotiations by pointing out the top three or four brands in a typical conference account for 50% of viewership. “The networks will pay you whatever you need them to pay you for top inventory. What they don’t want to do anymore is pay $9M a game for Michigan-Ohio State and also pay $9M a game for Rutgers-Maryland.” Meanwhile, former CBS Sports President Pilson believes the league should still value the exposure of linear over the potential short-term windfall of streaming. “If your linear offer is 80% of your streaming offer, you go linear. If it’s 40%, now it is a lot more difficult choice.” Pilson is also unconvinced adding San Diego State and SMU “would make any difference at all,” from a TV standpoint, whether it’s linear or streaming; however, another source argues that since future Pac-12 deals likely would be heavy with subscription-driven streaming platforms, possessing as much live inventory as possible is necessary, and SDSU and SMU provide that inventory. More from Prisbell. (link)
+ UMBC names CUNY/Bronx Community College AD Peloquin as Assoc. AD for Facilities and Events Management. (link)
+ Northwestern State taps Mount Olive (DII) Men’s Soccer HC Brophy for the same post. (link)
+ Missouri has parted ways with Tennis HC Wootton and elevated AC Turati to the interim role for the remainder of the season. (link)
+ Michigan FB HC Harbaugh insists his relationship with Wolverines AD Manuel is “great” and suggests anything to the contrary is a media narrative, according to Saturday Tradition’s Davis. (link)
The 2022 TIDES DI FBS Leadership College Racial and Gender Report Card issued an overall grade of D+ for the year, with racial hiring earning a C and gender hiring earning an F. The percentage of ADs of color increased from 16.9% to 22.9% YoY, and of the 7.6% of women ADs, Duke AD King, UTSA AD Campos, Virginia AD Williams and Vanderbilt AD Lee were the only women of color. White men held 72.5% of the 131 AD positions at FBS schools, while 13% were held by Black or African American men and 3.1% were held by Hispanic or Latino men. For the fourth consecutive year, there were two Black men who held FBS conference commissioner positions in Big Ten Commissioner Warren and Sun Belt Commissioner Gill. Conference USA Commissioner MacLeod is FBS’ only commissioner who is a woman. (link)
Tennessee’s master plan includes a hotel next to Neyland Stadium along with other facility expansions and renovations, according to a presentation the UT System Board of Regents will hear this week. The hotel is listed as a "near-term" priority, meaning it would come into fruition within five years of the campus' 10-year-plus master plan, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel’s Thomas and Sparks. (link)
Oklahoma finished FY22 with a $1.3M surplus, bringing in $177.3M in revenue against $175.99M in expenses. Ticket sales accounted for $47M in revenue, while contributions totaled $37.1M and media rights distributions accounted for $30M. Additionally, the Sooners earned $11.1M in licensing and royalties along with bowl-generated revenue from the Big 12. OU spent $33.2M in coaching salaries, $248M in support staff pay, $17.2M in athletic student aid, $9.1M on team travel and $4.7M on recruiting. The department reported $6.4M in “excess transfer” to the institution, its largest total ever. Finally, the report shows $192.2M in total athletics-related debt with a $10.4M annual debt service. (link)
Vermont will need $87M to complete its multipurpose athletics facility that includes the Tarrant Center, the future home of the Catamounts’ MBB and WBB teams. UVM has identified $39M in funding from school resources, and according to a working group, the remaining $48M “would need to come through additional philanthropy, partnerships, and other alternative funding.” The anticipated total cost of the entire project, which also includes renovations and updates to Gutterson Fieldhouse, a wellness and recreation center for the general student body, and increased space for individual fitness, now stands at approximately $154.2M, which is $59.2M more than originally authorized for the budget, per the Burlington Free Press’ Abrami. Catamounts AD Schulman: “The good news is that there is real alignment between the Board of Trustees, university leadership and all of us in the athletic department — about how critical this project is and we’re committed to finding solutions to be able to move forward with it as soon as possible.” (link)
+ The Alabama-Florida State softball game at the Clearwater Invitational drew 549K viewers on ESPN, making it the second most-watched game in the tournament’s history. ESPN notes females accounted for 38% of all viewers. (link)
+ Citing S&P Market Intelligence, Octagon SVP for Media Rights Mao notes the Longhorn Network has been “unprofitable since at least 2020, with less than 4M channel subscribers as of 2022. The original deal for LHN was signed thru '30/'31, but a change was expected with Texas moving to the SEC.” According to the accompanying graphic, subscriber count peaked at 7.1M in 2017 before dropping incrementally each year. (link)
+ NBA Hall of Famer Barkley says he’s been approached by CNN and that the network is “trying to pair Gayle King and me. We don’t have anything set in stone. I’m only considering it because of my respect for Gayle.” On whether a potential Barkley-King program would be daily, Barkley tells the New York Post’s Marchand: “That is never going to happen.” (link)
Deals, Deals, Deals…
+ Lamar partners with INFLCR to launch the CardiNIL Exchange. (link)
+ Oklahoma is the latest to partner with Athlete Network. (link)
+ The Brandr Group is partnering with Octane5 to launch the Licensed Player Product (LPP) security and identity program, which will use QR codes on hang tags to authenticate licensed apparel. (link)
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