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D1.dossiers... 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 Friday. (link)
More from former NCAA President Emmert’s exit interview with D1.ticker/Connect’s Fischer as Emmert observes it’s a particularly daunting task in the current political climate to get Congress to agree on anything complicated but notes incoming President Baker’s political connections and experience should help in that regard. “It is utterly essential that we have some national legislation passed that creates a landscape – just an ecosystem – that college sports can operate in. You get critics out there [saying], ‘Well, the NCAA is just begging for Congress to solve its problems.’ That’s not true at all. But the legal environment right now won’t allow the NCAA to solve those problems without some change in that environment. It can’t run college sports with 30 or 40 different state rules around NIL or pay-for-play or anything else, and that’s where it’s heading right now.” (link)
Former UC Davis AD/current Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Blue pens an open letter to NCAA President Baker in which he cites Baker’s experience as a leader who has tackled nuanced, multilayered problems in healthcare and government as perhaps his most important asset. “The problems in college sports today are similar in the sense that differentiating between symptom, proximate cause, and root cause is not straightforward. … [but] their symptoms have become increasingly apparent.” Blue breaks down several examples of problems facing the industry with their root and proximate causes. For instance, the current challenges associated with regulating NIL, Blue contends, can be attributed to the financial system which underpins the industry. Specifically, “since there is no for-profit incentive to control costs, athletics department spending invariably grows in lockstep with revenue.” Spending limits, Blue goes on to argue, would not be anti-competitive and would, in fact, have the opposite effect, as evidenced by the structures of professional sports leagues, who “specifically choose to configure their leagues with heavily regulated financial systems because of the associated competitive and commercial benefits.” Lots more on AthleticDirectorU. (link)
As the Longhorn Network is eventually folded into the SEC Network, Texas AD Del Conte says he believes live games in sports like volleyball, baseball and softball will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN+ and the SEC Network. “As I currently look at it right now, our goal is to put all 175 events on the platform. [...] I think we'll ease our way the first year in. We’ve got to come back and build a studio right now. … It’s about a $20M project to build that entire studio out and then hire the talent because we will produce and put all the games on ourselves and then they'll just provide us that platform. The good thing is we have Longhorn Network and a lot of its staff that we can roll over.” (link)
Texas A&M AD Bjork on the SEC FB scheduling model: “The first thing is, let’s get to a nine-game decision. We support nine games. We want that to happen. Hopefully we can get there. Let’s sort out the College Football Playoff calendar – do you go to Week Zero? And then we can start seeing models on when we would play Texas.” Bjork also tells Gig ‘Em 247 the department is working with the city of Bryan on an indoor tennis facility. “It would look like an A&M facility. It would be branded. The courts would be at the highest level for USTA ratings and the things that you need to host high-level championships.” The Aggies are also looking into possibly renovating the Mitchell Tennis Center. “Locker rooms, player lounges, coaches offices, maybe some spectator things, maybe updating some graphics. We just redid the courts last year. Video board is relatively new. It is a great complex.” (link)
+ Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is expected to make a decision on its new AD this week, per CollegeAD. (link)
+ Pittsburgh has named Duke Director of Internal Operations Hodges as Assoc. AD for Administration, CollegeAD reports. Her Twitter bio confirms the move. (link)
+ Sports Illustrated’s Johnson identifies the most influential Black leaders in college football. Administrators included: Outgoing Big Ten Commissioner Warren, Ohio State AD Smith, UCLA AD Jarmond, Virginia AD Williams, CIAA (DII) Commissioner McWilliams Parker, SWAC Commissioner McClelland, SIAC (DII) Commissioner Holloman, MEAC Commissioner Stills, Sun Belt Commissioner Gill, Fiesta Bowl CEO/Executive Director Moses & Celebration Bowl Executive Director Grant. (link)
+ Nearly half of College of Charleston MBB HC Kelsey’s new $1.1M salary will come from private funds, according to the school. (link)
+ Kansas MBB HC Self has assured himself at least $50K in bonus money after winning at least a share of another Big 12 championship. (link)
+ Florida State OC Atkins inks a multiyear contract that will pay him $1.15M this season, $1.25M in 2024-25 and $1.3M in 2025-26. (link)
+ USA Today’s Toppmeyer tells SEC Network host Finebaum that one advantage former Tennessee HC Pruitt may have – if he has one – regarding the NCAA’s investigation into recruiting violations, could be that UT did not terminate former AD Fulmer and instead publicly insisted he was unaware of what was happening. In so doing, Toppmeyer posits that lends some credibility to Pruitt’s argument that he was unaware of any violations. “I would say, ‘Hey, if the athletic director, who spent many, many years running the football program, is very close to the football program as the AD, if he didn’t know any of this was going on, isn’t it plausible that the head coach didn’t know some of this was going on?’” (link)
+ Saturday’s Virginia-North Carolina MBB Matchup averaged 1.9M viewers on ESPN, making it the most-watched game of the week. Viewership peaked at 2.1M viewers. To date, MBB games on ESPN are averaging 949K viewers, a 7% YoY increase. Overall, 54 matchups have eclipsed the 1M mark. (link)
+ Saturday’s Kentucky-Auburn MBB matchup drew 1.7M viewers to CBS, per SBJ’s Karp. (link)
Earth is being moved and framing installed as construction continues on Davidson’s $54.5M football stadium, which is set to be complete in time for the 2024 season to kick off. To date, the Wildcats have raised $43M for the project, and AD Clunie is confident the entire sum will be raised by the time it’s finished. Have a look at the progress. (link)
Police last night removed more than two dozen Detroit Mercy students from under the Purdue-Fort Wayne basket and sent them to the upper bowl after one student reportedly told MBB student-athlete Chong Qui that “your mother doesn’t love you,” The Detroit News’ Paul reports. The student told Paul he was trying to get into Chong Qui’s head and was apparently unaware that Chong Qui’s mother was murdered when he was four. Titans AD Vowels: "No place for comments like that at any venue. I am glad university public safety and our staff acted swiftly to move the student section away from the student-athletes." (link)
A survey conducted by Maryland’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism and Howard Center for Investigative Journalism could only confirm that 23% of the 145 DI athletic departments it surveyed have published sports betting policies. Meanwhile, Capital News Services’ O’Keefe points out among the respondents who have addressed gambling, bans on betting are rare. Meanwhile, the study notes that sportsbooks made their deals with marketing companies representing the schools, such as Playfly, which represents Michigan State, Maryland and LSU and did not respond to interview requests from the Povich and Howard centers. As a private company, Playfly is also not subject to public records requests, and Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association Executive Director Snyder remarks: “Sports betting is a huge industry, and the public needs to understand how that’s affecting their publicly funded universities. I think it’s very convenient that there are no public records.” Lots more. (link, link)
There are currently four sports betting bills winding their way through Georgia’s state legislature, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Prabhu points out they fall into two categories: those which contend gambling can only be legalized via a constitutional amendment and those which argue sports betting should be considered a lottery game without a referendum. Supporters of the legislation estimate sports betting could bring anywhere from $30M to $100M in revenue to the state each year, while critics assert that those figures are exaggerated. All four bills have bipartisan support. (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
An internal memo from the ACC indicates that “we must be prepared to negotiate and possibly compromise” on allowing a form of pay-for-play,” according to On3’s Wittry, who also notes the December 13 missive outlines five “must-haves” for the Power 5 in any potential federal solution. Those must-haves include preventing student-athletes from being classified as employees; granting athletes their NIL rights in media telecasts of competition; and NIL or third-party payments being used as “recruiting or participating inducements.” Additionally, Wittry reports, the P5 conferences want federal legislation to preempt state laws, as well as to provide “legal liability protection for following these provisions of the new law, at least prospectively.” Further, the memo identifies additional student-athlete support, healthcare benefits for student-athletes and enforcement of laws in new legislation as “what we consider, and what the Senate will consider, the price to obtain our ‘Must Haves’ above. In other words, we must be prepared to negotiate and possibly compromise on items … in order to arrive at a bill that can pass the Senate and be signed by the President.” More. (link)
California Baptist has received a $28.5M gift – the largest in the university's history – from Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler. In recognition of the gift, the Lancers will name the events center in their honor. President Ellis: “The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center will be a reminder of how their generosity will impact CBU for generations to come.” The donation was not earmarked for a particular use. (link)
NCAA National Coordinator of FB Officials Shaw tells ESPN’s Dinich the rules changes being considered this week could shorten the average length of football games by seven to eight minutes and eight plays. “A year or so ago, we began to pivot away from just worrying about the clock to the number of plays per game, student-athlete exposures, and that has really become more the direction now, led by our commissioners. With the focus on player health and safety and the College Football Playoff and extended playoff, which could create more games for players, it's appropriate to look at what are these numbers of student-athlete exposures?" Tulane AD Dannen, who chairs the Competition Committee, says there’s been “very little opposition” to the rule changes but adds that more research is needed. “While the idea of reducing plays makes a lot of sense, I don't know that anyone knows what the nominal number of plays is. I consider the three proposals that are alive here as maybe a starting point, not necessarily the end.” (link)
Baylor AD Rhoades talks about the “mess and chaos” of NIL: “The only thing that will fundamentally and legally work is for there to be better legislation that will preempt [these] laws and put everyone on equal ground. Then you have to back it with some kind of clearing out that all this runs through along with separate enforcement so that people can be held accountable for doing NIL the wrong way. It's a real disadvantage, the schools like Baylor, that are doing it right. That is okay. We will continue to fight, scratch and claw. We have great coaches and staff. We are certainly evolving in the space and I like where we are at." (link)
Coastal Carolina Chair of Athletics/former FB HC Moglia in a guest column for Sportico predicts the “Power 5 will break away from the NCAA within the next three years.” If P5 schools do break away to form their own entity, Moglia suggests they could hire an outside executive committee whose members are unaffiliated with the schools. “That committee would have one job: Do what’s in the best interest of college athletics, one sport at a time, beginning with football, and then basketball. This committee would be charged with negotiating TV deals on behalf of the Power 5, and with devising rules around NIL, player transfers and player compensation. … The NCAA has shown over and over it simply can’t handle the pressure. Instead, athletics directors and conferences need to help guide that process. And as those football programs become more like businesses, they need to bring in business people to run them.” (link)
Sportico’s McCann contextualizes the NIL sanctions levied against Miami (FL) last week, noting that while the violations were “unremarkable, the committee elevated their importance by warning they could trigger dissociation of an NIL-tied booster. The NCAA might be signaling a willingness to litigate potential challenges brought by disassociated boosters, recruits and athletes who are denied NIL opportunities.” McCann explains this could open the door for NIL supporters to sue the NCAA. “Unlike an NCAA member school, which contractually agrees to follow NCAA rules and its administration of rules, a booster isn’t in contract with the NCAA. A booster thus hasn’t contractually relinquished any potential claims. To that end, an expelled booster could sue the NCAA under antitrust law, violation of a state NIL statute, tortious interference and suppressing First Amendment rights.” Athliance CEO Schoenthal, however, tells On3’s Prisbell that the NCAA may welcome such lawsuits because both sides will be entitled to discovery. “If the right case is brought, there are certainly going to be implicating emails and text messages, which is going to allow the NCAA to say, ‘See, we told you so.’” (link, link)
The Athletic’s Auerbach catches up with several stakeholders to discuss the evolution of the Committee on Infractions and the enforcement process. Outgoing MAAC Commissioner Ensor contends the “enterprise is at a crossroads. There’s so much revenue flowing into certain elements of the membership that we have to really think about how we’re going to manage the enterprise if we cannot enforce rules in a fair and equitable manner. There are too many riches available at the end of the (rainbow) for some of the folks that go out and break the rules. We have to have a risk-reward system here in place, and right now there’s no risk to them because we haven’t really had strong enforcement, in my mind, for a while.” More. (link)
Speaking of which, former Tennessee FB ACs Neidermeyer and Felton, along with former Director of Player Personnel Hughes and student assistant Magness, are set to receive show-cause penalties of three-to-five years in negotiated resolutions with the Committee on Infractions for their role in alleged recruiting violations. From the NCAA: “The school and other individuals involved in the case have contested either the alleged violations, the application of certain penalties, or both, and that portion of the case will be considered by the Committee on Infractions during a hearing, after which the committee will release its full decision.” (link, link)
Coaches Corner: Hardwood…
+ Alabama MBB HC Oats has taken the blame for student-athlete Miller’s intro over the weekend, saying: “That situation is on me. We addressed as a team and as soon as I brought it up to them, they immediately understood how it could be interpreted and we all felt awful about it. They explained to me that it's like when TSA checks you before you get on a plane and now Brandon's cleared for takeoff. We, as the adults in the room, should have been more sensitive to how it could have been interpreted. I dropped the ball. That's it. I dropped the ball on it. We've addressed it. I can assure you that it won't happen again." (link)
+ Missouri State AD Moats appears to give a vote of confidence to MBB HC Ford, tweeting that there is “much to be excited for now and in the future under Coach Ford's leadership.” The Springfield News-Leader’s Wheeler reports that “there had been speculation for the entirety of Ford's fifth season as head coach that it could be his last if the team didn't rise above expectations. In recent weeks, sources have told the News-Leader that coaches had expressed interest in the job if it was to become open.” (link)
Coaches Corner: Not Hardwood…
+ Rider names LIU Field Hockey AC Govannicci as the Broncs’ new HC. (link)
+ Austin Peay extends FB HC Walden for another year through the 2025 season. ESPN’s Thamel reports the “new season salary reaches $300K and there’s a significant jump in assistant salary pool.” (link)
+ Richmond inks FB HC Huesman to a multiyear extension, the details of which have yet to be specified. (link)
+ CBS/247Sports’ Pate points out college football coaches' jobs have become exponentially more difficult, prompting many to leave for the NFL. “You’re having to recruit three or four high school classes simultaneous to recruiting your own college class to stay on campus. And then you’re also having to master the NIL game, which is the slipperiest of slopes. You’re having to do all that and also fulfill your coaching duties.” 247’s Marcello subsequently points out that 19 FBS ACs (and counting) have left for NFL jobs this offseason. (link)
Online ticketing platform AudienceView is currently down due to technical difficulties after a nation-wide data breach reported by the company last week that includes payment information for individuals who have used the platform since early February. (link); Per the athletic departments at Northern Michigan and New Orleans, the “system is not expected to be able to resume normal operations for 5-7 days,” and will therefore impact events this weekend. (link, link); Virginia Tech police are reportedly investigating a potential instance of credit card fraud that may have occurred on the AudienceView Campus platform. Hokies Director of News and Information Owczarski: “A number of our students made Virginia Tech Police aware that their credit cards had been hacked into and there were charges against their credit cards that were not their own.” The school is currently working with students and AudienceView to resolve the issue. (link); The issue has also impacted Buffalo, which notes AudienceView reported a data breach that could have impacted up to 292 customers. The company says it will provide “further details along with free credit-monitoring services.” (link)
NCAA Assoc. Director for Division I Championships Bedics tells The Golf Channel’s Romine that 70% of women’s golf coaches who responded to a survey indicated they were in favor of the .500 rule for teams to qualify for regional postseason play, which will take effect with the 2024-25 season. "It opens up opportunities. There are coaches who say there's no way their teams can get inside the bubble even if they win every event. This opens up scheduling a little bit and could allow some teams to maybe get invitations to some tournaments to compete against teams that they normally wouldn't." Romine notes the rule is unpopular among top 50 programs, with Georgia HC Brewer, who was displeased that there was no formal rebuttal period, explaining: “We’ve been fighting it for a decade. We have data, and it's there. ... Teams ranked 150 and below think they need it to get in good tournaments. They just need to get better." (link)
Presidents & Chancellors in the News…
+ Ohio has narrowed the search for its next president down to Ball State Provost Rivera-Mills, Marshall Provost Mukherjee and Louisville Provost/Executive Vice President Gonzalez. (link)
+ Brown President Paxson’s contract will run through June 30, 2026, one year longer than previously announced. (link)
Deals, Deals, Deals…
+ USF partners with Athlete Network to engage current and former student-athletes on the latter’s digital platform. (link)
+ The BIG EAST will utilize ShotTracker technology in the broadcast of its WBB tournament. (link)
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