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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)
North Carolina AD Cunningham joins the chorus in calling for an unequal distribution of revenue within the ACC. “Equal distribution was very appropriate, particularly when you had eight schools in your league. As your league expands, the footprint expands, the number of sports that you offer differs, the overall value to the league and its media markets is different, and I think some of us are starting to suggest we need to re-examine that and take a look at where is the value and how do we distribute the money differently so that we can ensure the teams that want to invest the most, the schools that want to invest the most will be rewarded for that investment. That discussion is just beginning.” (link)
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Chair/CEO Silberwasser says WBD is “very committed” to the NCAA Tournament. “I mean very committed. We have a very longstanding partnership since 2011. We have a deal with the NCAA and with CBS that goes for many more years. It is one of our premier events. Our strategy on sports may be slightly different, we don’t have a sports network, per se, so we need to be disciplined and very choiceful about the things that we agree to do and want to do. But once we do, once that becomes part of our portfolio, we go all in.” CBS Sports Chair McManus also weighs in: “I think the pattern that is in place works really well for the partnership. And I don’t see it changing in the future.” (link)
The Athletic’s Shea assesses what it means for the WBB championship to air on ABC this year, and former Founding Director of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport Kane puts it in context: “They didn’t make this decision out of the kindness of their heart. They’ve seen the growth of women’s college basketball. It generated a great deal of fan interest and marketing potential. … It lets everyone know they consider this to be a legitimate enterprise. It creates more momentum for women’s sports in general and basketball in particular.” rEvolution EVP Mann agrees that it’s a “milestone moment” for women’s sports. “I would expect this year’s numbers to grow past what was achieved last year and set up continued momentum for ESPN/ABC headed into 2024, the last year of their NCAA championships package. Next year I would expect the championship game to move to prime time as well.” (link)
Former ESPN President/Meadowlark Media Co-Founder & CEO Skipper believes the Pac-12 and ACC should merge into a 24-team conference with a western division, “and their ACC Network footprint would expand to the West Coast. You could probably force a renegotiation with ESPN for a new deal, and you could solve both problems. The ACC would get more money and expand its footprint and compete with the SEC and the Big Ten.” Skipper goes on to point out the ACC Network has contracts with distributors that pay an “in-conference fee and pay an out-of-conference fee based on states, and that is not negotiable. That is enforceable and suddenly all of those subscribers – it’s a declining universe – there’s still 15M subscribers in that footprint give or take and they would suddenly be paying a couple of bucks a year for the ACC Network.” Full interview, including Skipper’s thoughts on Florida State’s positioning. (link)
Extra Points’ Brown examines more than two dozen AD contracts ranging from Power 5 schools to mid-majors to analyze their common elements and finds that their complexity is reflective of how complicated these jobs have become. “An AD contract can easily run north of 20 pages. Some of that is probably because of boilerplate language required in large university systems, but this is also not a job that can easily fit into a three paragraph job description. At Eastern Kentucky or UTSA, for example, just the job duties section alone takes over three pages.” One commonality among the deals is how incentives are structured, as Brown points out they often include LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup performances, academic achievement, team-specific achievement, fundraising targets and ticket sales. Among the perks often included, Brown observes that a country club membership is the most common. While some ADs remarked to Brown that they don’t actually use their memberships, several explained how having access to a “‘third space’ can be a major benefit for an AD’s family. Many of these clubs have activities for kids, can create a built-in social network for a family that just moved in, and also give everybody a little bit of space. At the local bar, maybe somebody asks why you haven’t fired the baseball coach yet. At the club, maybe that happens a little bit less.” Lots more from Brown. (link)
As expected, the Oklahoma Board of Regents approved several athletics facilities projects during yesterday’s meeting, including $175M for the Football Operations Facility; $75M for the Student-Athlete Success Center; $47M in softball updates and improvements; $45M in improvements to L. Dale Mitchell Baseball Park; $13.75 million for improvements to Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center; and $9.5M in suite renovations at the Lloyd Noble Center. The board also approved contract extensions and/or raises for the majority of the Sooners’ FB ACs. (link)
+ Chicago State Deputy AD/COO Poole is stepping down to take over as COO of the Minnesota Aurora Football Club, CollegeAD reports. (link)
+ SBJ’s Smith observes that Georgia Tech’s hiring of new Executive Assoc. AD/CRO Nieves highlights a trend of revenue-dedicated roles in athletic departments. Nieves tells Smith that LEARFIELD and other multimedia rights holders have aggressively hired administrators from the university side to better help them understand the complexities of working on campus & how his hire is one of the opposite variety. “So, this is an opportunity for someone like myself with a broad array of third-party experience to help the schools maximize their deals.” (link)
+ UT Arlington Assoc. AD for External Relations Trimborn has accepted a position outside college athletics, per CollegeAD. He is no longer listed on the Mavs staff directory. (link)
+ HomeTown Ticketing taps Getaroom.com CEO Davis for the same role. (link)
+ Butler AD Collier hires Indiana Tech (NAIA) Men’s Volleyball HC Kyle Shondell to lead the Bulldogs Women’s Volleyball program. Shondell is the son of Purdue Women’s Volleyball HC Dave Shondell. (link)
+ Providence and WBB HC Crowley have mutually agreed to part ways after seven seasons. (link)
+ Louisville wrapped up its MBB season with a record of 4-28, but Cardinals AD Heird tells Leo Weekly’s Sullivan that HC Payne’s job is safe. “I think the vision of what Kenny is trying to accomplish gives me the most reassurances.” (link)
+ College of Charleston’s CAA championship and NCAA Tournament bid triggers a $25K bonus for MBB HC Kelsey, who has now earned $50K in bonuses this season, per USA Today’s Berkowitz. (link); Other MBB HC bonuses, per Berkowitz: $10K for UCLA HC Cronin winning Pac-12 MBB COY, bringing his total so far to $35K; $50K for Texas A&M HC Williams for being named SEC COY; and for Northern Kentucky HC Horn for winning the Horizon League Tourney, he adds $15K and a one-year extension, which will be worth $460K. (link)
+ Duke received $3.9M in gifts to support women’s sports through its 50 for 50 campaign, and achieved its goal of securing 50 gifts of at least $50K. (link)
+ American raised $217,892 from 3,256 donors during its annual giving day. (link)
+ North Dakota State Assoc. AD/Team Makers Executive Director Lang talks about the Bison’s banner fundraising year and the strategy behind bringing in $7.9M in donations, the success of Charitable Gaming, whose proceeds benefit athletic scholarships, how the department is approaching NIL, the culture of Bison athletics and more with D1.ticker/Connect’s Eargle. The full Q&A is now live on Connect. (link)
Here’s your full list of the 47 Wrestling student-athletes who were selected as at-large entrants to the Division I Wrestling Championships coming up in Tulsa. 283 others qualified through their respective conference tournaments. Seedings & full tourney bracket will be announced tonight at 8pm ET. (link)
Clemson clarifies that the CAB, its new NIL facility, is open to all student-athletes, telling On3: “While we are still finalizing the logistics of the spaces in regards to NIL use, the areas are operational for athletic department use." (link)
The Colorado-focused Buffs4Life collective will match Alston awards for FB walk-on student-athletes. “We are providing $2K NIL deals to each Colorado football nonscholarship student-athlete, matching the Alston benefits their full-scholarship teammates receive.” (link)
Brown WBB student-athlete Kirk and former Bears men’s tennis student-athlete Choh have filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit alleging the Ivy League’s policy of not awarding athletic scholarships violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. Plaintiffs’ attorney Cramer: “We hope that this lawsuit will bring Ivy League athletics into the 21st century by subjecting these universities’ treatment of Ivy League athletes to the antitrust laws, just as the courts have applied such laws to all other NCAA Division I athletic programs. (link)
+ Federal Reserve Chair Powell warns interest rate hikes may be higher than previously expected as the central bank continues to grapple with inflation: “Although inflation has been moderating in recent months, the process of getting inflation back down to 2% has a long way to go and is likely to be bumpy.” (link)
+ Vivid Seats posted a net income of $71M in FY22, up from a $19.1M loss the previous year, according to SBJ’s McCormick, who adds: “Vivid’s gross order value (the total transactional amount of marketplace orders) was up 33% year-over-year to $3.2B, while revenue was also higher from FY21, climbing 35% to $600.3M, both company records. … The company listed $264.9M in net debt, down from more than $460M a year ago, while cash and cash equivalents is $251.5M. Sports ticket sales revenue dropped 11% year-over-year, though concert ticket sales rose 7%.” (link)
+ Dick’s Sporting Goods recorded net sales of $12.37B for 2022, up 0.6% from 2021. The company also reported full year 2022 earnings per diluted share of $10.78 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share of $12.04. Additionally, the annualized dividend increased to $4 per share, an uptick of 105% compared to $1.95 per share in 2022. (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
NCAA President Baker joins NCAA correspondent Katz to discuss his priorities, the balance of handling different institutions, navigating the Power 5, working with committees, NIL, student-athlete mental health and more. Baker reiterates his call for more transparency around NIL, explaining there is more the federal government and the NCAA can do to establish standards. “For example, there probably ought to be uniform standard contracts, you probably ought to have to register your contracts, you probably ought to have to get certified to be an agent. … And, boy, I’ll tell you, the noise coming from the schools about the lack of any accountability or transparency around this is pretty intense.” Baker says of the NCAA’s role in mental health that the organization can use the momentum around the topic to drive more “distributable capabilities out to people, and I think that’s a big role we can play. And we can be a convener of a lot of the best thoughts and the best thinking on this and then push it out and make it available to people.” Full interview. (link)
Alabama FB HC Saban talks with Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger about NIL and the current landscape of college sports, says U.S. senators Tuberville (R-AL) and Manchin (D-WV) are making progress on federal legislation and explains he’s spoken with them but is not “trying to spearhead a solution. I’m just trying to help provide information to [the senators] so they know what the issues really are. I’m trying to also direct them to people I think can input the solution, like Greg Sankey and those kinds of people. Everybody needs to look at the issue from 1,000 feet. I don’t want to take opportunities away from players. I just think the mechanisms around how they get those opportunities need to be more standard for everyone.” (link, link)
Arizona AD Heeke talks about his experience on the MBB Selection Committee and the need to get the seed lines right, telling the Arizona Daily Star’s Pascoe that “it’s very important to the 1-, 2- and 3-seeds that the 10, 11 and 12 are in the right spots. Most people will say, `Oh, they're an AQ, so just put them in at the 15.' Well, if you're the 2 (seed) you might be saying, 'That's not a 15.’” Heeke also notes that the NET is sometimes misunderstood. “The NET is the primary driver for the committee to begin to categorize teams. We use all those other metrics, but you have to watch the basketball to understand the styles of play, how they are offensively and how they're going to play as you get down further down the road. Those are important pieces. You need to understand the game. You can't do that just on metrics. … [Some teams] don't have as many Q1 wins, but look at what they did, look at how they scheduled in preseason. Look if they challenged themselves and won the games they were supposed to win.” Other teams have more opportunities for Quad 1 wins, and Heeke comments: “You’ve got to compare those multiple-bid leagues with other multiple-bid conferences. It's a lot of stuff.” Lots more. (link)
ESPN’s Thamel reports that no vote on any matter will emerge from the Colorado Board of Regents’ executive session tomorrow, during which the Pac-12 will be discussed. “Colorado law states that votes must come in a public session.” Thamel noted yesterday that the board’s executive session agenda included a discussion item concerning “legal advice on a specific matter – athletics update on the Pac-12.” (link)
The USF Board of Trustees has approved the use of up to $22M to design the Bulls’ on-campus football stadium. The design-build agreement states that the project needs to be "significantly completed" by the start of the 2026 season. If it isn’t, firms Populous and Barton Malow will be responsible for paying $2M for each game where the stadium is not available to use. A final price tag on the stadium itself is yet to be determined, but Board Chair Weatherford last month said it would be a “multi-hundred-million-dollar stadium.” (link)
Oklahoma AD Castiglione says the Sooners are working with a group of city and county leaders who have approached OU about “the reconsideration of an off-campus new arena that is part of an entertainment district. The site is land still owned by the [OU Foundation]. … This group has been working to really do its own deep dive study. … The responses are being analyzed, and that will be used in conjunction with the other work done in the feasibility study. Part of the feasibility study was to hire an architect to do a high-level schematic on how this entertainment district would operate and be set and positioned…how it interacts with other elements that are either already there, under construction or planned for construction and how the whole model creates an economic impact for the community of Norman.” Castiglione expects that process to culminate before the regents meet in June. (link)
Baylor inks a 10-year agreement with Playfly Sports Properties through which “Playfly will take over complete management of Baylor Athletics' multimedia rights on June 1, 2023.” As part of the agreement, Playfly will fund a full-time data and analytics team member. Bears AD Rhoades: “The relationship with Playfly will help us continue to elevate our brand, while creating new sponsorship opportunities through innovative methods.” (link)
+ Florida State AD Alford has been appointed to the DI Baseball Committee. (link)
+ Colorado Mesa (DII) names former San Francisco AD McDermott as Interim AD. (link)
+ Sacred Heart selects Seton Hall Asst. AD for Development Hale as its new Senior Assoc. AD for Athletic Advancement. (link)
+ Here are the CBS/Turner broadcast teams for this year’s NCAA MBB Tourney. (link)
Cincinnati provides an update on its $100M Day One Ready campaign, which has so far raised over $84M. As the Bearcats’ first day in the Big 12 draws closer, UC reports it will break ground this spring on a new indoor practice facility that will feature a 120-yard field, nutrition station, weight room and sports medicine offices, among other amenities. Additionally, an endowment and additional support have been established to provide funding for access to mental health and wellness services, and funding has been secured for the performance nutrition department, including the hiring of a Director of Performance Nutrition Dillon Frees and the addition of two more registered dieticians. Full progress report. (link)
The Athletic’s Vannini boards the FOIA Express to examine the contracts of 20 new FB HCs and unpack the perks therein. One unique provision in Colorado FB HC Sanders’ contract allows him to keep his side deal with Under Armour “as long as it is deemed not conflict” with CU’s Nike deal. Coach Prime’s contract also has a section which states that Sanders retains rights to “trademarks, logos, copyrights, and catchphrases” with which he is already associated and adds: “If the University intends to use the catchphrases for commercial purposes, Parties will work together to develop a mutually agreeable revenue share.” Also from Vannini: “The top buyout goes to (new Louisville HC) Brohm, whose six-year contract is fully guaranteed for salary and retention bonuses with no offset, meaning the buyout starts at almost $40M if he’s fired without cause. The deal for Nebraska’s Rhule would pay him 90% of the remaining term based on his monthly salary at the time, but that is subject to offset from his next job. … On the flip side, Brohm would owe just $1M if he left Louisville.” Lots more, including bans on sports betting, country club memberships and other odds and ends. (link)
Coaches Wire, continued…
+ Cincinnati WBB HC Clark-Heard will not return next season. (link)
+ William & Mary extends FB HC London through the 2027 season. (link)
+ Purdue Men’s Swimming & Diving HC Ross announces his retirement after 38 years at the helm. (link)
Deals, Deals & More Deals…
+ Toledo has retained Oak View Group to help secure a naming rights partnership for the Glass Bowl. (link)
+ UCLA inks a multiyear apparel agreement with HanesBrands beginning in 2024. (link)
Viewership of the Big Ten WBB Tournament was up +25% YoY, averaging 150K viewers per game, while the regular season was up +19% on the Big Ten Network. This year marks the second consecutive season of record viewership for the regular season and tournament on BTN. Iowa’s matchup with Maryland was the most-watched game in the tournament, drawing 380K viewers, while the 325K viewers who watched the Hawkeyes’ take on Indiana represented the high mark for the regular season. (link)
The Big 12 has tapped musician/composer P.L. to create the first-ever Big 12 basketball anthem titled No Nights Off. Commissioner Yormark: “As the Big 12 Conference continues to thrive at the intersection of sport and culture, we recognize the significant role music can play. With this new anthem, we wanted to create something that excites our student-athletes and showcases the new heights the Big 12 Conference is reaching.” (link)
The Loyola Chicago-focused Keepers of the Culture collective has launched to support the Ramblers MBB team. Ramblers AD Watson: “The focus of the collective — initially, as we get this started — is on men’s basketball. That’s not something that we’re hiding from. That’s our focus out of the gate. Where this thing goes with our other sports, we’ll see down the road. Initially, right now, the focus is with our men’s basketball program.” (link)
Spending on NIL deals with college athletes is expected to hit $1.14B from July of last year through June 2023, up from $917M in the previous 12 months, according to Opendorse; however, the Wall Street Journal’s Coffee points out that brands’ strategies vary widely given the inconsistent nature of the enterprise. One hurdle for national advertisers, for example, remains access to players, and Altius Sports Partners CEO Schwab explains: “What [advertisers are] saying to us is … ‘How do we get to the athletes, because they don’t have agents? Do we call compliance at these schools? Do we call the parents? Do we DM them on Twitter?’” More. (link)
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