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D1.dossiers... The D1.dossier for the AD opening at Long Beach State is available for those interested in living on the West Coast. $249 for an entire year of subscription and access to all dossiers. South Carolina State is up next & will be ready by Friday. (link)
Stadium's Goodman reports Big East Executive Associate Commissioner for Men's Basketball Jackson will be named the new West Coast Conference commissioner today. More in D1.ticker later today. (link)
New Orleans AD Duncan joins Pomona-Pitzer (DIII) AD Merrill for a conversation about work-life balance. Duncan says one example of being intentional about avoiding burnout for the Privateers is to send staffers home early during the winter season when the MBB and WBB teams – the Privateers’ only winter sports programs – are out of town. “That’s a small thing, but I think they’ll be appreciative. If you’re working long weekends – like communications people or trainers probably spend the most hours – do they not work on Monday or just come in late…just have some flexibility with that schedule. And then make sure that we’re intentional with our summers, supporting people to take some time away from the office. And that’s a big planning time, but we have to work around that to make sure people understand that we appreciate them and then they aren’t burning the candle too much at both ends.” Full interview. (link)
“You’ll hear [conference] commissioners say television partners don’t run the show, but let’s not kid each other; those billions talk,” one industry source tells Saturday Tradition’s Hayes about the Big Ten’s football scheduling strategy. Assuming a nine-game league slate with three permanent opponents and six rotating opponents, Hayes asks: “How does the Big Ten add USC and UCLA — two prime television properties — and not match them with at least 1 permanent opponent (if not more) against its current top three properties (Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State)?” A Big Ten AD tells Hayes that one model which has been floated would pair Ohio State with UCLA and Michigan with USC and adds: “Our rivalry games are who we are, and the goal is to build more of those. But honestly, we’re fighting over the three (permanent games) right now.” The industry source adds: “There will be a handful of choices, in both the Big Ten and SEC, that some teams just aren’t going to like. That’s the pushback right now.” (link)
Coaches Movement: Hardwood…
+ Bowling Green has parted ways with MBB HC Huger. (link)
+ Austin Peay parts ways with MBB HC James after two seasons. (link)
+ Texas Tech has suspended MBB HC Adams while it investigates an “inappropriate, unacceptable, and racially insensitive comment” made last week to a student-athletes, according to Stadium’s Goodman and other sources. Adams tells Goodman that his statements were not racist and that he was quoting a bible verse which stated there was “always a master and a servant.” Adams: “I said that in the Bible that Jesus talks about how we all have bosses, and we all are servants. … One of my coaches said it bothered the player. I explained to them. I didn’t apologize.” Goodman notes the school is also investigating an alleged incident from earlier this season in which Adams spit on a player. Adams tells Goodman he had gone to the doctor, had a bad cough and slobbered on the player during the game. Adams also says he has no recollection of saying that “I can spit on you whenever I want to,” as one person has alleged. (link)
USA Today’s Berkowitz rounds up more hoops HC bonuses: Virginia Tech WBB HC Brooks earns $30K ($10K for ACC tourney title + $20K for NCAA tournament bid). He now has $50K in on-court bonuses so far. South Carolina WBB HC Staley’s SEC tournament victory earns her another $50K, bringing her total to $165K in bonuses this season. Kennesaw State MBB HC Abdur-Rahim collects $17,500 ($7500 for ASUN tournament title, $10K for NCAA bid). He now has $30K in bonuses for the season. Iowa WBB HC Bluder qualifies for $60K ($25K for B1G tourney, $35K + contract extension for NCAA bid) in bonuses and an automatic one-year contract extension set to be worth over $1.1M and guaranteed for more than $850K. Washington State WBB HC Ethridge picks up $35K ($25K for Pac-12 title and $10K for an NCAA tournament berth) following the Cougars’ win. UNC Asheville’s Big South title gets MBB HC Morrell a $5K bonus, bringing his tally to $8,500 so far. (link)
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Zeise brings a different perspective to the tension surrounding Alabama’s MBB program: “The reason he (Crimson Tide student-athlete Miller) wasn’t charged with anything is because prosecutors said he didn’t commit a crime and therefore they had nothing to charge him with.[...] The dumb stuff Oats said in his press conference and Miller’s choice of pregame announcement rituals were missteps and worthy of criticism. They came off as cavalier and completely disregarding the seriousness of the incident in question. Those, however, are separate from the actual issue of whether Miller should be allowed to play basketball for Alabama. And the answer to that question is unequivocally yes, he should. And the criticism for Oats and Alabama for continuing to stand behind Miller is misguided. For one thing, why do we do this thing where we want to hold basketball coaches to a higher standard than we do prosecutors and district attorneys?” More. (link)
Ohio State has earned the top overall seed in the NCAA women’s ice hockey tournament. Minnesota, Colgate, Yale and Northeastern round out the top five. (link)
Bowling Green is the latest department to partner with Collegiate Sports Connect for its administrative talent identification & desired compensation database. Connect now features more than 7,600 administrator profiles with thousands having been added to hiring projects by the 30+ departments leveraging the technology. Partners can search by area of expertise, number of years of experience, desired compensation range, background connections to specific schools or conferences & lots more. Click the second link if you’d like to set up a demo of Connect. (link - BGSU, link - Connect demo)
Connect’s softball content series continues with Louisiana Deputy AD/SWA Leger, who joins D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle to discuss the Ragin’ Cajuns’ strategies in areas such as fan engagement, facilities investments, promoting the sport throughout the state, the evolution of the program’s ticket model and pricing, how NIL is impacting recruiting for Group of 5 programs and lots more. The full conversation is now available on Connect. (link)
Have a look at the progress Michigan is making on the construction of new videoboards at the Big House. U-M EVP/CFO Chatas notes the project was initially approved at $41M, but after all of the bid packs came in, we anticipate the cost to be closer to $37M.” (link)
Netflix’s success with Formula 1: Drive to Survive, The Last Dance and other sports documentaries – as well as their investment in Break Point and Full Swing – prove that the company needs live sports, per Front Office Sports’ Greenberg, who adds the important qualifier that it just may not need to broadcast them right now. Bill Russell: Legend Director Pollard: “Netflix understands that they want to have a foothold from a global perspective. I think they understood, particularly with the success of ‘The Last Dance,’ that there was an audience for these kinds of sports documentaries.” Greenberg: “Not committing to live sports rights may be an economic decision for Netflix — but its symbiosis with live sports, and our continued appetite for its packaged drama and storytelling, dictates it doesn’t need them.” (link)
In case you missed Sunday's email...
Multiple reports have NBA Commissioner Silver as a prime candidate to succeed Disney boss Iger when the time comes. Silver’s current contract with the league runs through 2024. Front Office Sports’ Greenberg: “While FOS’ source was unable to speak to the other names on the reported shortlist —which includes Candle Media co-founder and co-CEO Kevin Mayer, and Disney co-chairman Dana Walden — they clarified that Silver is only being considered for the top position, and cannot serve on Disney’s board due to the NBA’s broadcast partnership with the media giant causing a conflict of interest.” (link)
Georgia FB HC Smart, following the arrest of two players in the past two weeks for street-racing offenses, does not feel there is a culture problem in his program. “Absolutely not. I would say we're far from it. When you talk to people outside our program that come into it, they talk about what a great culture we do have -- and we do an incredible job. Because I've got a lot of outside entities that come into our program and pour into these young men. Do we have perfect young men and women and players? Not necessarily. But I promise you this, that's the intent: for us to grow these guys and get them better. And I feel really good about the culture within our program. … I mean, there [are] laws in place for these things, to prevent it for a reason. And we want to educate our players in every way, every part of our organization. We're constantly looking for a better way in whatever that is, health and safety included. I talked about drugs and alcohol, talked about gambling, talked about racing in cars and high speeds. You have to educate your players and you have to make sure they understand the risks and dangers of that, and that's something that we've tried to do.” (link)
Alabama FB HC Saban weighs in on the league’s future scheduling format, pointing out he has always been in favor of playing more conference games, “but if you play more games, I think you have to get the three fixed [opponents] right. They’re giving us Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. I don’t know how they come to that [decision].” Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger: “The SEC was expected to choose a team’s three permanent opponents based on primary and secondary rivalries, geographical footprints and, most importantly, balance and parity. The conference is using a 10-year success metric to strike the fairest blend of permanent opponents for each team, Saban says.” Saban adds: “Well, some of those years, Tennessee wasn’t as good as they’ve been in the previous 10 years, but now they are as good as they used to be before those 10 years. We got three teams and two of them are in the top 10 and the other is in the top 10 a lot. Look historically over a 25-year history, and the three best teams in the East are Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. You look historically at 25 years, Alabama, LSU and Auburn are the three best teams in the West. So we’re playing them all.” (link)
+ Baylor President Livingstone has been named as chair of the American Council on Education Board of Directors. Livingstone, who is the current vice chair of ACE, will serve until September 2024. (link)
+ Former Miami (FL) Senior Assoc. AD for Administration/Chief Diversity Officer Myles Payne has been named the new AD at Fort Valley State (DII). (link)
Officials didn’t notice that Old Dominion WBB had six players on the court for a basket-scoring play in the final seconds of their Sun Belt Conference tournament quarterfinal, 86-83 victory over Troy. League Commissioner Gill after the fact: “I apologize to head coach Chanda Rigby, the Troy women's basketball student-athletes and the Troy community for the manner in which the end of the game was officiated. No one wants a game to end this way -- especially during the postseason.” Of note from ESPN’s Voepel: “The league said that once the violation occurred when ODU inbounded the ball, Troy -- still down by one -- should have been awarded two free throws, followed by a throw-in at the point of interruption. However, the violation is not included on the list of calls a coach may appeal using replay and had to be recognized before the officials left the visual confines of the playing court. Because it wasn't, there was no way to overturn the result.” Trojans HC Rigby: “Things happen. But I don't agree with the fact that it wasn't correctable. Back in the day before technology, maybe this call would stand true once the officials leave the floor. With reviewable evidence, everyone is going to see it. I don't want the officials to be shown in a bad light. I wanted to give them a chance to correct it. Just like how I wanted my players to have a chance.” (link)
In the event New Mexico’s MBB squad’s postseason plans involve the NIT, the Pit would be able to host “at least a couple of men’s or women’s postseason games” without the venue’s annual PBR Bullriding event causing a scheduling conflict this year. The school has submitted the necessary paperwork to host a first- and/or second-round men’s game in the NIT, but Lobos HC Pitino observes: “Obviously we want to go to the NCAA Tournament. Everybody dreams of that, you know? I think we’ve put ourselves in a position – and I know it’s a dreaded (word), NIT, it’s like so frowned upon, which I’m confused, but that’s a different rant for another day. But we’ve put ourselves in a position to be in the postseason. … To be able to do that in Year 2, they haven’t been there in eight years, is terrific.” (link)
USA Today’s Berkowitz reveals bonus updates for the weekend. For Men’s Basketball: Clemson HC Brownell $200K for the Tigers’ No. 3 seed in upcoming ACC Tournament; San Jose State HC Miles $40K for a combo of securing a winning record in the MWC and top-five finish in the league; North Texas HC McCasland moves to $17,500 in bonuses with the Mean Green’s 25th W on the year; SEMO HC Korn $10K for OVC Tourney win. For Women’s Basketball: Texas HC Schaefer $50K for share of Big 12 regular season; Virginia Tech HC Brooks $10K for Hokies spot in the ACC tournament finals. (link)
JohnCanzano.com’s founder with a nugget on the recent week of Pac-12 media rights rumors & the potential involvement of Ion: “Careful with what you read. Don’t blame you for asking. There are a few entities out there attempting to undermine the Pac-12 with a pile of negative propaganda. Consulting firms definitely have agendas and love to whisper in the ears of media members. I listen to the firms when they call, but always fact check. Not everyone does. For the Pac-12, I still think it’s likely to be some combination of ESPN, Apple, Amazon. I was told on Friday by a source that FOX could still come in and grab a football game here or there.” (link)
Extra Points’ Brown catches up with UCF Director of Sports Turf and Grounds Sample, who recently rose to the challenge of removing parrots from the field during a Bradley v. Gardner-Webb softball matchup in Orlando. Sample tells Brown that “we’ve had honeybee swarms before, and we did once have to remove some raccoons from the football stadium before a game started. … But never exotic birds. These parrots, of course, aren’t native to Florida. They were someone’s pets.” Luckily, Sample says that shortly after recovering the birds, he was able to reunite them with their owners “about a hundred yards outside the ballpark.” Some are born great. Others have greatness thrust upon them. (link)
NOBULL CMO Meleney explains the company’s decision to sign on as the official training and apparel sponsor of the NFL Combine, telling The Athletic’s Kaplan: “We feel like the combine has as much if not more potential to reach the same scale as the draft and some of these other events throughout the year. Because it’s really compelling content, and where else can you go see the fastest athletes in the world be tested in their 40 times or max out their bench press? To us, that’s as exciting as them walking across the stage. And we feel like fans would love that.” Kaplan points out that each participant in the combine receives a kit with 46 items that NOBULL values at $2,783.14. “Other than cleats, which NOBULL does not make, this is the apparel each combine athlete wears while participating. So assuming each of the 325 attendees gets a kit, that’s nearly a $1M expenditure right there, which doesn’t include gear given to everybody who is on the field during the combine and team front-office officials.” The company also has current NIL deals with Kentucky QB Levis and Kansas State RB Vaughn. (link)
Differing opinions on AI from Twitter/Tesla/SpaceX CEO Musk and Microsoft Co-Founder Gates. Musk says AI is “quite dangerous technology,” adding: “I fear I may have done some things to accelerate it. … OpenAI was created as an open-source (which is why I named it ‘Open’ AI), nonprofit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended at all.” Gates, meanwhile, downplays concerns: “There’s all these people trying to make the A.I. look stupid. You have to provoke it quite a bit, so it’s not clear who should be blamed, you know, if you sit there and provoke a bit. The improvement over the next two years in terms of the accuracy and the capabilities will be very rapid.” (link)
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