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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)
Freshly minted SIU Edwardsville AD Gavin has agreed to a four-year contract with an annual salary of $205K and various bonus opportunities, per CollegeAD. Gavin would earn a $5K bonus if the Cougars raise $500K or more annually, a $7,500 bonus for raising $750K, $10K if the Cougars raise $1M, $12,500 for raising $2M and $15K for raising $3M. Gavin can also receive a $5K bonus if the Cougars reach $200K in ticket sales or $100K in basketball ticket sales. If SIUE terminates Gavin’s contract without cause, he would be owed the lesser of 12 months of base pay or the remainder of his contract. Should Gavin leave for another NCAA post without obtaining permission from SIUE, he would owe the balance of his salary for the remainder of his term. (link)
WCC Commissioner-elect Jasckson talks about several topics, including what the conference will look for in the event realignment winds start to blow once again: “One is, does the school align with our current members’ values, education standards? Then secondly, and candidly, what resources do they bring to the conference? Are they a net add or does it just make us a status quo? I think if any potential institution meets one or either of those criteria, it’s something we owe it to ourselves to consider.” Jackson also says it’s “imperative we are creative in exploring ways we can bring about more national visibility to the conference, identify new revenue streams and improve our policies and our operations in an effort to help our schools win championships.” (link)
West Virginia AD Baker fields several questions from WVUSports.com. On football scheduling: “No program I am aware of that has made huge strides recently has done that by playing a highly difficult, top-five-type, nonconference schedule. … If you look at what has happened at Baylor, TCU and Kansas State, all of them have tried to come out of nonconference with good records with some confidence and are healthy, and then they get ready for conference play. You are balancing that by trying to play games that are meaningful to fans and are of interest to fans, and I get that and that's all part of the equation, but I think you can do those things without putting your team at a disadvantage.” Lots more. (link)
Franklin County (KY) Circuit Court Judge Shepherd has agreed with the OVC’s motion to impose sanctions on Eastern Kentucky following the Colonels’ exit in 2021, explaining: “This Court has bent over backward to give EKU the opportunity to comply with its orders, but it appears that EKU has now repeatedly failed to produce relevant emails, or a privilege log for documents it seeks to withhold under a claim of privilege. It appears to the Court that there has been no good faith effort to obtain and produce the relevant emails from private email accounts of EKU regents, officers and employees.” The OVC was seeking a $1M exit fee from EKU, but the court will reserve a ruling on the amount to be imposed pending a resolution of all issues related to the discovery dispute. EKU will be required to pay for the OVC’s attorney fees. (link)
Iowa State Senator Sweeney (R-27): “This afternoon I took to the Senate Floor to discuss the current situation at the University of Iowa. I have called on the Senate to hold the Board of Regents Budget until [Hawkeyes AD Barta] either resigns or is fired. Iowa taxpayers expect & demand accountability.” (link); Iowa State Auditor Sand says he spoke with Hawkeyes AD Barta to inform him of his position and assumed the other two members of the three-person panel would vote in line with him. Ultimately, they did not, citing the uneasiness of singling out Barta. However, Sand remained unmoved. “The point at the end of the day is, you’ve had four tries to understand that discrimination is bad, Gary, and the fact that you can’t understand that means we need to find a new AD. This is terrible stuff that is happening to people and we should take a stand to stop it, not just because it would save us money but I think we should care about people.” (link)
+ CollegeAD reports Loyola Chicago has named Minnesota Senior Academic Advisor Nelson as Assoc. AD for Academic Services. The Ramblers staff directory confirms the move. (link)
+ Check out The Wire on Collegiate Sports Connect to see additional administrative talent moves at Tulane, Colorado, South Dakota, Central Michigan, Marshall, Florida, NC State & Brown. (link)
+ Wisconsin has parted ways with Men’s Ice Hockey HC Granato. (link)
+ Bryant WBB HC Burke steps down after 32 seasons leading the Bulldogs. (link)
+ Siena Baseball HC Rossi is calling it a career after 54 seasons leading the Saints. AC Sheridan will take over for the remainder of the season when Rossi departs on March 20. As you might imagine, Rossi is the longest tenured head coach in NCAA Division I Baseball history. (link)
+ Hofstra names Lewis and Clark (DIII) Golf HC Johnson as Women’s Golf HC in Hempstead. (link)
+ Louisiana MBB HC Marlin has earned a $20K bonus and an automatic one-year extension by winning the Sun Belt and securing an NCAA bid, per USA Today’s Berkowitz. (link)
+ Former Eastern Washington WBB HC Schuller is suing the university and outgoing Eagles AD Hickey, alleging that Hickey exhibited "a discriminatory animus" against older employees and coaches, specifically women. Schuller contends Hickey told her “not to bother” with the SWA position after she expressed interest in 2018, and according to the suit, Hickey hired "a less qualified, 39-year-old woman" for the role. Schuller also notes she was paid $110K while former MBB HC Legans was paid $130K despite Schuller having 17 years of experience and Legans having never been an HC. (link)
+ Clemson has opened the Allen N. Reeves Clemson Athletics Branding (CAB) Institute to provide student-athletes with facilities and resources for branding, marketing, sponsorship, content creation and more. The 12K-sq-ft, two-story facility now features two photo and video studios, an audio studio, editing space, conference room and the office of NIL Coordinator Davies. The facility (photos included) will provide student-athletes with indispensable real-world experience, according to Davies, who adds: “They’re getting an education that a lot of business schools don’t get to give young people as far as actually being in the midst of doing these deals and negotiating for themselves, and we’re giving them all the tools we can to make sure our players are in control of these transactions.” (link)
+ Western Michigan has installed student-athlete refueling stations inside University Arena, Lawson Ice Arena, the Seelye Center, and the Bill Brown Alumni Football Center. Lots of pictures. (link)
The Big Ten WBB Tourney late last week at the Target Center in Minneapolis drew record-breaking crowds, thanks in large part to Iowa supporters: “Sunday's announced attendance of 9,505 spectators set a Big Ten women's tournament record for any single session. That's more than the 9,417 who attended the 2014 title game in Indianapolis. The tournament featured three of the 10 largest single-session crowds in the tournament's 30-year history. Sunday's crowd set a tournament record for all sessions. The 9,375 who attended Saturday's semifinal session and Friday's 8,577 quarterfinal-session attendance set records as well.” The league also sold out of Championship merchandise in under 10 minutes. (link)
According to researchers from Stanford, Columbia and Mount Sinai, air pollution levels that fall within the Air Quality Index (AQI)’s good-to-moderate classifications were associated with slower race times for 5k runners. Mt. Sinai Asst. Professor/study co-author DeFelice: “These findings reinforce the accumulating research indicating that even low-level air pollution can hold people back from achieving optimal performance across various domains, including athletics and cognitive ability.” First author/Stanford Researcher Cusick hopes the study will help convince the NCAA to change its current policies on air pollution. Currently, the NCAA calls for competitions to be canceled or moved indoors in instances when the AQI is in the “hazardous” zone. Cusick: “Also, the NCAA may want to consider lowering the thresholds to be at more moderate levels, considering the fact that athletes are at a very high risk of inhaling pollutants even more deeply than the average person who’s just walking around.” (link)
Stanford men’s cross country student-athlete Hicks has agreed to an NIL deal with Nike through which he will be paid to promote Nike products on social media and through appearances. Runner’s World reports the deal, facilitated by Flynn Sports Management, is worth between $50K and $150K per year. Hicks on how this will impact his decision to go pro: “At the end of the day, my decision will always be dictated by the goals of the program, my personal goals as an athlete, and the incredible group of guys I get to live and train with out here.” (link)
The Memphis-focused 901 Fund is expanding to include all Tigers sports. 901 Fund board member Presley: “We are extremely proud of what 901 Fund has been able to accomplish in just one year with the men’s and women’s basketball team as well as football. … Now that we can expand NIL to all 18 programs and provide even more resources for our charity partners, I believe we will see incredible connections made between our city and University of Memphis athletes.” (link)
+ The NCAA “made some tweaks to host site policies around alcohol sales to allow for hard seltzer and cider to be sold in addition to beer/wine,” Fox Sports’ Fischer observes. (link)
+ College sports TV scheduling guru Sarzyniak takes a first pass at forecasting what Week 0 and Week 1 will look like for the upcoming FB season. (link)
+ Goldman Sachs Asset Management is among “at least a handful” of suitors for Subway, according to Sky News’ Kleinman, who reports Bain Capital, TDR Capital and TPG have also lodged interest. Subway is reportedly seeking a sale of an estimated $10B. (link)
+ Former U.S. Treasury Secretary/Harvard President Emeritus Summers: “The process of bringing down inflation will bring on a recession at some stage, as it almost always has in the past.” And sticking with the economy-as-airplane analogy, Summers suggests it could “hit an air pocket in a few months,” adding: “I don’t think there’s any question that we do not yet have inflation on a secure glide path anywhere near down to the 2% [Fed target] level. And until the Fed can be confident of that, it’s going to have to be tightening rather than easing.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Mount St. Mary's AD Robinson will retire this August, concluding her 15-year tenure leading the Mountaineers. President Trainor: "The entire Mount community is grateful to Lynne Phelan Robinson for her 15 years as director of Mount Athletics and 42 years of tremendous service to the university. Her commitment to the success of student-athletes both on the playing fields and in the classroom has touched countless lives. Following an impressive coaching career, she entered sports administration to help lead the university's move to Division I in the Northeast Conference and is retiring after a successful transition to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference." (link)
The WCC makes it official, naming Big East Executive Associate Commissioner for MBB Jackson as its next commissioner, effective April 24. Gonzaga President/WCC Presidents Council Chair McCulloh: “Stu Jackson possesses the vision and values that will continue to elevate the West Coast Conference and we are thrilled to welcome him as the WCC’s new Commissioner. His wealth of leadership experience and drive stood out with the search committee among a deep pool of candidates. Stu is the perfect Commissioner to lead the WCC during an important time in the national collegiate landscape.” (link)
Legalese in the Hawkeye State…
+ A group of former Iowa FB student-athletes, who had filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the university, have agreed to a $4.175M settlement with the university. The Iowa Department of Management’s State Appeal Board approved the settlement by a 2-1 vote, and the agreement calls for UI to pay $2.175M with the state picking up the remaining $2M. State Auditor Sand, one of the three appeal board members, indicated he would oppose using taxpayer funds for the settlement unless Hawkeyes AD Barta was ousted, saying: “Under Gary Barta’s leadership at the University of Iowa Athletics Department, we’ve had the Peter Gray scandal plus three instances of discrimination totaling nearly $7M in damages. After the largest settlement (a $6.6M payout from discrimination lawsuit involving former Field Hockey HC Greisbaum and retaliation against her partner, Meyer), Barta asserted no wrong was done. Now we have a new matter for $4M more, and for the first time they want part paid from the taxpayers’ general fund, even though they now collect tens of millions annually through the Big Ten TV deal. Enough is enough." (link, link)
+ Hawkeyes FB HC Ferentz expresses his disappointment over the settlement, which he says was reached without coaches’ knowledge. Ferentz believes the case would’ve been dismissed with prejudice before a trial, adding: “Unfortunately, this settlement was reached between the plaintiffs’ attorneys and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office before the judge had an opportunity to rule on the motion [to dismiss]. We have been told the reason for this settlement is financial. As part of the settlement, the coaches named were dismissed from the lawsuit and there is no admission of any wrongdoing. For more than two years, our program has been unfairly and negatively impacted by these allegations. Members of the staff had their character and reputation tarnished by former members of our team who said things, then recanted many statements when questioned under oath.” (link)
ESPN’s Thamel cites a Pac-12 source as saying a streaming-only media deal is a non-starter, while noting a “streaming platform sublicensing to traditional television is a potential path, as Apple and Amazon have been linked to the league as streaming suitors.” Meanwhile, Thamel notes realignment questions linger, as “there has been at least minimal contact between the Big 12 and the Four Corner schools -- Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. That contact has emerged to varying degrees and via various methods, depending on the school. … Even with a deal, questions linger. If the Pac-12 can figure out a short-term tourniquet contract, will both Oregon and Washington agree to a traditional grant of rights that comes with it? There's a temporary air around the league, with a short deal seemingly building a bridge for schools to retest their market value in three or four years.” Furthermore, Big East Commissioner Tranghese adds his perspective: “There's something I've learned about membership -- don't trust anyone. Everyone is going to do what they think is in their best interest. … That's the world college athletics has been living in for a long time." More from Thamel. (link)
Stanford AD Muir explains the thinking behind his refusal to endorse a collective, telling the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ingemi: “We know they’re out there, and we’re gonna let the market dictate as they form and see where that goes from there. But we’re not endorsing any collective. If we’re behind (one of them) we’ve got to make sure to endorse equity across the board. We’ve just stayed out of that fray, and so that’s why you don’t see Stanford formally endorsing a collective.” Muir goes on to call it “disconcerting” to learn of so many collectives dedicated only to FB or MBB. “I know other schools that touted that they’re doing collective across all sports, but I’m just not hearing of the deal flow like you’re hearing in those two sports.” (link)
+ The Oklahoma Board of Regents will address several athletics facilities projects during tomorrow’s meeting, including $175M for the Football Operations Facilities; $75M for the Student-Athlete Success Center; $9.5M in locker room renovations at the Lloyd Noble Center, $45M in improvements to L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park; and $47.9M in softball updates and improvements. (link)
+ The Richmond City Council approved $3.5M in repairs for The Diamond, the home baseball field of VCU and MiLB’s Richmond Flying Squirrels, despite the venue having a shelf-life of just two more years before it’s demolished. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Holter notes the push for funding comes after an inspection failed to meet MLB’s standards. “In order to be in compliance with league standards by next season, the city would need to build a second enclosed batting and hitting tunnel, renovate both locker rooms and make structural repairs to the roof, which was ‘found to have concrete spalling and cracking.’” (link)
+ Columbia has unveiled the Lisa Landau Carnoy Lounge in the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Fitness Center. (link)
SBJ’s Smith profiles South Carolina WBB HC Staley, who insists her seven-year, $22.4M contract is about more than just money. “It represents equal pay and because of that, I think it was fair, but it also was groundbreaking. It was more to help other people in my position, not just coaches, but women, Black women, all across the country, that get paid less than their counterparts. I didn’t feel like it was self-serving; I just thought it was the right thing to do.” Smith notes that during her time in Columbia, Staley has “not only brought attention to fair-pay issues with her new contract, she shed light on smaller, albeit important, equity issues like budgeting, meals, workout gear, apparel and anything else that can be counted or made equitable.” Full profile. (link)
Former multi-stop NBA HC/current TNT NBA analyst Van Gundy is expected to replace NBA Hall of Famer Miller on CBS/Turner’s March Madness MBB coverage, per the New York Post’s Marchand, who reports Miller “made the decision to give up the tournament, which allows him a little more of a break in his NBA commitments.” (link); Former Villanova MBB HC Wright will join the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on CBS this Sunday alongside host Gumbel and analysts Davis and Kellogg. (link)
More Hardwood Movement…
+ Xavier and WBB HC Moore mutually agree to part ways after four seasons. (link)
+ NJIT parts ways with MBB HC Kennedy, per Stadium’s Goodman. (link)
+ Northwestern AD Gragg says the Wildcats plan to extend MBB HC Collins’ contract after the season. (link)
Maryland finished FY22 with a $6.8M budget shortfall after spending $5.7M to buy out the contracts of former MBB HC Turgeon and two former FB ACs. In fact, Terps Assoc. AD for Strategic Communications Yellin tells the Baltimore Sun’s Barker that the FY22 deficit “is solely due to the men’s basketball coaching transition.” (link)
It’s been 20 years since the NCAA introduced its corporate champion and partner program, which included media and marketing rights for March Madness and other college championships together for the first time, and SBJ’s Smith observes that the program “rolls into [this year’s] March Madness with a robust program of three longtime champions — AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola — and 13 partners. Coke’s deal has lasted 20-plus years — the first iteration of it was valued at $500M over 11 years — and it is still going strong.” CBS SVP for Sakes and Marketing Simko: “Having relationships that in some cases go out two decades or more, that’s really given us the opportunity to grow and innovate around them. You’re able to build a trust as you go down this journey together and develop friendships. Having that level of trust, where we’re talking about how to help one another’s business as opposed to transactions, is really where you’re trying to get to.” Warner Bros. Discovery EVP for Ad Sales Diament adds: “When you have partners that have been around a long time, that doesn’t mean you can’t innovate or that things don’t evolve. You’re still in a position to try new things even though you might have had that partner for a long time. The media landscape changes. Social media changes.” (link)
Deals, Deals, Deals…
+ The ACC is partnering with Elevate Sports Ventures, which will provide the league with business intelligence and analytics, revenue optimization, ticket and experiential ticket package strategy, sales and distribution, and fan experience solutions. Elevate will use the data from a full-potential study of the WBB and MBB championships to inform its strategy. ACC Commissioner Phillips: “Elevate, powered by its analytics, brings a wealth of experience in business intelligence and technology that will only further enhance our future ticketing strategies.” (link, link)
+ The MAAC reaches an agreement to hold its hoops championships at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall through 2026. (link)
+ North Florida taps BDB Collegiate Solutions to assist in growing its corporate partnership program. (link)
+ FIU and SureAthlete announce a partnership whereby SureAthlete will provide the Panthers baseball coaching staff with “real-time communication coaching tools, development solutions and analytics to elevate team communication, accelerate athlete development and improve talent evaluation analysis.” (link)
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