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Now live on Connect: D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer talks with NCAA SVP for Championships Comstock about a number of topics from the national office, including postseason expansion, if and how NIL figures into championship planning, how much the NCAA can take advantage of international events that come to the U.S., concerns from NGBs and lots more. “As we continue to develop the Transformation Committee work, what we think is going to happen is we’ll develop a sports management committee for each of the sports. I think that will help us have increased student-athlete voice, but also voice from each of the national governing bodies. … What I’ve been talking about is let’s be sport-specific and sport-centric and think about not just the general advancement of the championships, but let’s be very specific in how can we enhance and help and support each of our 24 sports.” Watch the whole convo. (link)
“Think about this script. You’ve got the basketball doing what they’re doing. Final Four here. Big 12 transition. You could not have created a better road map of momentum and excitement around a program than what we have right now, and it starts with what Kelvin has done with basketball.” That’s Houston AD Pezman as the Cougars set a MBB attendance record with 7,730 fans last weekend and UH preps for a move to the Big 12. What has been the impact of the move on FB? “In basically four days, we sold 3,400 new season tickets. These are not renewals. These are people that are calling in and buying new product for football. We’re seeing that deposit pressure in such a cool, meaningful way.” (link)
Texas A&M AD Bjork provides more context on the 12th Man Foundation’s addition of the 12th Man+ Fund for NIL purposes: “Why did the 12th Man Foundation do it now? I think it’s just a combination of kind of where the market is, right? I mean, everybody’s looking for validity. Everybody’s got donors who are interested in supporting NIL. … People were looking for, like, an official outlet that they could trust. [...] I heard from several colleagues last week, asking questions. [...] Hey, look. There’s a lot of info on our website, the 12th Man website. It’s all out in the open. You know, there’s nothing to hide.” More from On3’s Wittry, including this statement from the NCAA: “Texas A&M notified the NCAA that an NIL-related announcement was upcoming. However, the NCAA did not review or approve any concept prior to the announcement.” (link)
The D1.dossier for the AD opening at Eastern Washington is available for those interested in preparing for the gig in Cheney. $249 for an entire year of subscription and access to all dossiers. Long Beach State is up next & will be ready no later than next Friday. (link)
+ Michigan Executive Assoc. AD for Development Fraumann is exiting Ann Arbor to become the new SVP for Advancement & External Relations at DePaul. Fraumann was also the MBB sport administrator for the Wolverines. Official start date: April 3rd. DHR assisted with the search. (link, link)
+ South Dakota has hired Central Michigan Assoc. AD for Capital Projects, Facilities and Events Beam as its new Assoc. AD for Facilities & Events, per CollegeAD. His LinkedIn bio indicates his new role with the Coyotes will be that of Asst. AD for Facilities & Events. (link)
+ More administrative moves at Cal, UNLV, UTSA, Arkansas, Tulsa, CLC, Cal Poly, the Big 12, Coastal Carolina, UAB & James Madison can be found on The Wire at Collegiate Sports Connect. (link)
+ The Athletic is discontinuing its beat coverage of Washington & Virginia Tech. Here’s betting headliners Caple & Bitter won’t be on the sidelines long. (link, link)
Grand Canyon teases a new “GCU” word mark is coming soon for the Lopes, which is described as, “sharp, agile, unique.” Check out the video. (link)
Quick nugget from the Miami Herald’s Jackson: “Despite a 5-7 season, (Miami (FL)) football increased season ticket prices by an average of 7 percent. The Canes’ football budget increased significantly last season with the hiring of Cristobal and a pricey staff, and attendance didn’t increase enough to offset those costs.” (link)
The Iowa Board of Regents has authorized Iowa State to plan up to $12M in renovations to the Scheman Building. The Cyclones plan to update the building’s event space, which includes the creation of club space similar to Johnny's at Hilton Coliseum. Have a look at some of the renderings. (link)
Nebraska will attempt to set a Volleyball attendance record in August with a ‘Volleyball Day in Nebraska’ doubleheader. The Huskers will host Nebraska-Omaha in Memorial Stadium, with Nebraska-Kearney (DII) and Wayne State (NE) (DII) serving as the opening match. Huskers HC Cook: "This is going to be a special day for the sport of volleyball in this state. At Nebraska we're always aiming to 'Dream Big' and raise the bar, and there can't be a much bigger way to do that than to play a match outdoors in a 90,000-seat football stadium. We're excited that we're going to be able to include three other local schools as well to make it a statewide celebration. A Nebraska volleyball ticket is one of the hardest tickets in town to get, so we're pumped that this match will give so many more fans an opportunity to come watch us play and be part of a historic day." (link)
Want to know how seriously the new pitch clock in college baseball is being implemented? Yesterday’s LSU-Kansas State tilt literally ended on a timer violation called on a Wildcats batter who took too long to get situated during a 1-2 count with two outs. LSU was up 7-3, KSU had a man on first. (link)
Advertisers that include the NCAA MBB Tournament in their campaigns receive as much as 87% greater reach than those that do not, according to an Effectv study, which notes commercials airing during coverage on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV are 55% more likely to be seen in “light TV-viewing households.” Comcast Advertising Executive Director of Insights Flood: “With March Madness, advertisers are reaching viewers who would not otherwise be seeing TV advertising. Incremental reach is on everyone’s mind in 2023, and this event provides an opportunity to reach audiences more than twice as efficiently as an average ad. This is an opportunity that can benefit advertisers of all sizes. … Given the fragmentation in TV viewing today, this is an incredibly powerful tool for advertisers.” (link)
Michigan law professor Mortenson parses the draconian language of Florida Governor DeSantis’ higher education bill, which prohibits universities from spending any money to fund pedagogy, programming, or activities that “espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion” and gives faculty hiring authority to governing boards or presidents, who may not delegate any aspect of hiring decisions to any group of faculty, among other measures. Extra Points’ Brown: “It may not happen this year, but eventually, Florida's political meddling in their universities is going to become an athletic recruiting talking point. Assistants at other schools are going to bring this stuff up when talking to non-white parents.” (link)
The USGA has launched the U.S. National Development Program, which will “identify, train, develop, fund and support the nation’s most promising junior players – regardless of cultural, geographical or financial background – to ensure that American golf is the global leader in the game.” USGA CEO Whan: “Today, nearly every other competitive golf country in the world offers a national development program to foster and develop its elite junior talent. The United States is at a huge competitive disadvantage in this regard, as we simply ask our athletes, parents and coaches to forge their own path, without any unified national guidance or financial support. … Today, that ends. Today, we start building a junior development program that will ensure a stronger American pipeline of diverse, high-potential talent.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Florida State AD Alford met with the FSU Board of Trustees today and explained he and other administrators are in “deep discussions” about how to close the revenue gap (presumably with the Big Ten and SEC). A trustee, per the Tampa Bay Times’ Baker, also asked how much it would cost for the Seminoles to leave the ACC, to which VP for Legal Affairs/General Counsel Egan responded by saying it would essentially equate to $120M. FSU President McCullough, meanwhile, opined that the legal challenges facing the NCAA threaten to take away from fans and compared the current state of affairs to “watching an airplane crash into a train wreck.” (link, link); Alford also told trustees FSU contributes roughly 15% of the value in the ACC’s media rights deal but receives just 7% of distributions while also noting ACC teams are set to receive $30M fewer via media rights distributions than the SEC peers over the next several years. “At the end of the day, if something’s not done, we cannot be $30M behind every year.” (link)
In the same vein, Clemson AD Neff tells The Post and Courier’s Blau: “Is it time revenue distribution within conferences, or at least the ACC, is done differently? Yeah, I’ve been very active in those conversations within the league and continue to expect to take a leadership role in our desire for that to be a changed circumstance. Urgently.” ACC Commissioner Phillips comments “All options are on the table” as Neff notes on the possible timing: “I think nearer-term, from a budgeting cycle, etc., expect it to not be an imminent change, but that it come(s) with a timeline that comes with a nearer-term plan ability. No specific date. But it’s a very active conversation. The commissioner has been very forward in leading that and encouraging the ADs to look at it and, obviously, how we report up through our presidents group. It’s very top of mind for all those groups in the ACC.” (link)
Action Network’s McMurphy reports that “Apple still has not made a formal offer for the Pac-12's media rights, but ION television has emerged as a potential Pac-12 partner. ION TV is owned by E.W. Scripps Company, which has 61 local TV stations nationwide & launched Scripps Sports this year.” (link); Meanwhile, “ION/Scripps Sports is not involved in the Pac-12's TV negotiations, a source with direct knowledge of the situation” per The Athletic’s Mandel. (link)
Miami (FL) WBB HC Meier violated NCAA rules when she “facilitated impermissible contact between two prospects and a booster,” according to an agreement released by the Committee on Infractions. Prescribed NCAA penalties include a $5K fine plus 1% of the WBB budget, a 7% reduction in the number of WBB official visits for 2022-23, a three-week prohibition against recruiting communications by women's basketball staff beginning with the open date of the Transfer Portal, and a three-game suspension for Meier, which she has already served. (link); The Athletic’s Auerbach removes any doubt about the identities of those involved: “(Fresno State transfers Haley and Hanna Cavinder) and a well-known Hurricanes booster (John Ruiz).” COI Chair/USC VP for Athletic Compliance Roberts says the goal was not to “put a green light on [that behavior],” and asked how if this ruling doesn’t do that, Roberts responds: “Not with that header on it. I think that’s a pretty good stop sign. You better be thinking before you do something.” Roberts also notes: “My understanding is that a hell of a lot of these collectives are absolutely [offering] inducements. The question is, is Enforcement going to take up these cases, and can they get the information, the evidence, to bring those [cases] to us? If the evidence can be found, we’re going to have a lot more cases.” (link, link); You can guess what Ruiz’s response was. (link)
Tennessee Baseball HC Vitello will sit out this weekend’s series against Dayton in what multiple sources indicate is a self-imposed suspension. According to GoVols247’s McKee, UT shortstop/Kansas transfer Ahuna is still ineligible to play. Vitello on Ahuna’s on-field future: “No, I don’t have a specific update. I know professionals from different entities are working on it, which makes me feel as good as I can and hopefully him as good as he can about it. People that are way more professional than me and a lot of people that are looking out for the kid’s sole interest. Hopefully, an update soon but I don’t have something specific now.” (link)
+ Ole Miss has parted ways with MBB HC Davis. Rebels AD Carter: “No one wanted to bring a title home to Mississippi more than him, and we appreciate the passion for that goal that he shared with our team every day. As he has throughout his career, Coach Davis worked tirelessly to produce a winner, and we wish him, Betty and his family the very best in the future." AC Case will serve as Acting HC for the remainder of the season. (link)
+ Murray State inks Baseball HC Skirka to an extension that would keep him with the Racers through the 2025 campaign. (link)
+ Quinnipiac Field Hockey HC Main will retire after the spring season, concluding her 28 year tenure leading the Bobcats. (link)
Connect announces Albany as its newest institutional partner. Connect President/Co-Founder Turner: “Not only does Connect give you the opportunity to control your professional profile and present yourself to prospective employers how you want, but by joining the Connect community you will also have access to exclusive industry-specific content created by the D1.ticker and other first-of-its-kind coverage around our industry. Our goal is to have every Division 1 institution as a search client by 2023. My message to our industry and the professionals who work in it is to sign up for a profile and take advantage of this wonderful resource.” (link)
Texas Tech has unveiled renderings of its ongoing south end zone and Dustin R. Womble Football Center project. With an estimated price tag of $220M, the project is the largest facility investment in the athletics department’s history and includes 300K combined square feet of space for player development areas such as the Scovell Family Locker Room, an expanded strength and conditioning weight room and a multi-purpose walkthrough room. The new renderings also depict the loge boxes and gameday suite options for the south end zone. So far, TTU has raised $87M of its $100M goal for the project. Feast your eye-tongues on these facility biscuits (have a look). (link)
The Marshall Board of Governors and Athletic Committee this week heard updates for future facilities plans, which include the new $28M baseball stadium, on which construction has started and is expected to be finished in March 2024. Development of a new Marshall hoops practice facility in Gullickson Hall has been completed; roughly $5M in video board upgrades are coming to Joan C. Edwards Stadium, the Hoops Family Soccer Complex and the Dot Hicks Softball Complex; upgrades for next year include development of a $3M beach volleyball complex on the MU campus and improvements to weight training and training table facilities; and big-ticket items for future consideration include construction of an outdoor track at a cost of $5M as well as $6M in possible upgrades to the Hoops Family Soccer Complex. (link)
Our best wishes go out to the Delaware State women’s bowling team after its bus veered off the highway and overturned in Virginia, sending 10 members and the bus driver to the hospital. HBCU Gameday reports two passengers were airlifted to hospitals, but the injuries are not life-threatening. The driver of the bus has been charged with reckless driving. The team was on its way to the MEAC Championship. (link)
+ Baylor receives a $3.7M donation from Jay and Jenny Allison to name the Development Center at BU’s new hoops pavilion and fund scholarships. The 223K sq.-ft. Foster Pavilion is expected to open in January 2024, with the new Allison Development Center set to open later that summer. (link)
+ Lipscomb raised over $500K to fund its new Weightroom 2.0 project during its Day of Giving. (link)
BYU is partnering with AI-powered video content producer WSC Sports to deliver real-time highlights across BYU’s platforms. Cougars Assoc. AD for Creative Strategy Hutchins: “Having immediate access to their own content has opened up an entirely new field of opportunities for our athletes, and this technology is an invaluable resource for BYU Athletics. Athletic departments are notoriously lean and WSC’s tools have enabled our staff to service and provide personalized content to more teams and student-athletes at a volume that would simply not be possible without WSC.” (link)
+ The Kentucky Senate has passed a law that would make many types of hazing by fraternities, sororities or athletic teams a felony. (link)
+ The Patriot League has issued a one-weekend suspension to Loyola (MD) Swimming AC Kennedy for “a violation of the Patriot League’s Code of Conduct.” (link)
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(NEWEST!) Commissioner (Southern Athletic Association / Atlanta, GA): The SAA seeks a commissioner with strong leadership and communication skills, an understanding of the national landscape of NCAA Division III, and a passion for building and promoting the achievements (DIII) More details HERE.
(NEW!) Senior Associate Director of Development, Athletics (University of Chicago / Chicago, IL): Leads the athletics fundraising team, setting and implementing fundraising goals, strategies and priorities in collaboration with colleagues in Athletics, Alumni Relations & Development (ARD)... (DIII) More details HERE.
(NEW!) Associate AD / Senior Director of Development (ASU Foundation / Tempe, AZ): Senior fundraising professional with management responsibilities who will design and implement innovative programs focused on assuring long-term financial support for Sun Devil Athletics. More details HERE
(NEW!) Assistant Director of Student Services, Tutoring (Vanderbilt University / Nashville, TN): This position is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the tutoring program within the Student Services area of the Department of Athletics. More details HERE.
(NEW!) Coordinator Athletics Compliance (Arizona State University / Tempe, AZ): Educating and internal monitoring activities for a variety of areas to assist ASU and SDA in meeting goals and objectives with strict adherence to NCAA, Pac- 12 Conference, and University rules. More details HERE.
(NEW!) Women's Volleyball Coach (Oregon Institute of Technology / Klamath Falls, OR): The Oregon Tech Athletics Department is accepting applications for the 12-month, full time position of Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at the Klamath Falls Campus of Oregon Institute of Technology. (NAIA) More details HERE.
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