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Appalachian State is the latest athletic department to join Collegiate Sports Connect. The Mountaineers become the fourth Sun Belt member to use Connect for a marketplace advantage. Want a demo of Connect? Click here.
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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 next Friday. (link)
The Athletic’s Mandel and Olson report the latest from the realignment front, noting Big 12 Commissioner Yormark is “deep in discussions with Gonzaga, but sources involved in the process indicated he wants clarity on the Pac-12’s situation before making that move.” They also report that “multiple people familiar with the Pac-12’s board members expressed doubt that their schools would switch conferences unless it’s for a substantially better deal. School presidents, not ADs, authorize realignment decisions, and the Pac-12’s prioritize academic and cultural fits more than most.” Those presidents, however, “have not yet reached a consensus about inviting San Diego State, SMU or other expansion candidates, sources briefed on the discussions said. … Those sources believe if Yormark can convince the leadership at two Pac-12 schools (of Arizona, Arizona State, Utah & Colorado) to join the Big 12, that might be all it takes to land all four and pull the conference apart.” (link)
The Mercury News’ Wilner predicts the Pac-12’s media rights deal will be in place by the first day of April; however, he has downgraded the league’s odds of survival from 67% to 62%, “and they will continue to decrease by a half-point every week that comes and goes without a deal. If the end of March arrives and the same state of uncertainty still exists, then survival will be favored over extinction by merely a field goal.” Wilner’s target number per school per year: $29.7M.” As for who will acquire the rights, Wilner believes “ESPN, Apple and Amazon are keenly interested in the content, with the possible existence of a fourth entity. An X factor, essentially. … Our sense is the presidents don’t look at the streaming giants with the wariness that might exist in other conferences. They would view partnerships as enhancing deeper connections than mere broadcast agreements.” Finally, regarding expansion, Wilner handicaps the chances of adding two schools at 50%, zero schools at 45% and four schools at 5%. (link)
A group of Hawai’i alumni & current students are pushing to increase the size & diversity of the search committee responsible for hiring a new AD. However, former UH FB student-athlete Untermann adds: “People that are on that committee are the right people who care, who know the university, and who know what we need. I think if we held them accountable, that would be more productive.” (link); Meanwhile, the Hawai’i Board of Regents will hold a meeting next week during which members will discuss their role in evaluating President Lassner, who was recently criticized by three state senators. As of now, board officials say they plan to evaluate Lassner like they always do near the end of the academic year. (link)
The Football Rules Committee has officially proposed timing rules changes intended to “modestly reduce the number of plays in the game, something the committee will study closely during the 2023 season.” As reported over the last couple weeks, the rules changes include a running clock after first downs (except in the last two minutes of a half), prohibiting consecutive timeouts and carrying over penalties in the first and third quarters to the second and fourth quarters, respectively, rather than playing an untimed down. Other committee clarifications include establishing guidelines for second-half warmup activities, including requiring teams to wait until the field is made available to return and having designated areas of the field to warm up, as well as prohibiting drones from being above the playing or team areas while the teams are on the field. The Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the recommendations on April 20. (link)
On3 CEO Terry: “Continuing to hear that it is more likely than not a Federal NIL bill will happen this yr. Federal law superseding all State NIL law will bring competitive balance -- could be the single most important next step for NIL. What is ridiculous is adding any teeth of enforcement in [recruiting] inducements without clearly defining when HS athletes can receive $ or sign deals. Collectives and schools want clarity, but laws/rules have to be real-world functional, or we will return to the days of under-the-table deals.” Heitner Legal’s namesake responds by asking whether Terry is referring to drafted legislation or President Biden signing an actual bill into law. “If you’re hearing the latter, then that’s very much news to me.” (link)
LSU released the following statement after gymnastics student-athlete Dunne promoted Caktus Artificial Intelligence, which is used by students to automate homework, on her TikTok account: “At LSU, our professors and students are empowered to use technology for learning and pursuing the highest standards of academic integrity. However, using AI to produce work that a student then represents as one’s own could result in a charge of academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.” (link)
+ Toledo Senior Assoc. AD/SWA Andrews announces her retirement after 21 years with the Rockets. (link)
+ UCLA NIL Coordinator Lopes agrees to become USC’s first on-campus NIL GM through the Trojans’ partnership with Altius Sports Partners. (link)
Cal is implementing steps “outside of the scope of the investigation” of former Swimming & Diving HC McKeever, The Orange County Register’s Reid reports, adding that Asst. Vice Chancellor Mogulof “declined to respond directly when asked on Thursday if those steps included investigating Jim Knowlton, Cal’s athletic director, and Jennifer Simon-O’Neill, the school’s executive [senior] associate athletic director[/chief of staff & SWA] and a long-time friend of McKeever’s who had direct supervision over the Golden Bears women’s swimming program for years.” Mogulof did say, however, that “we won’t confirm that an investigation is ongoing nor will we contest or challenge any reporting that suggests as much.” Reid adds: “The weeks following the firing and release of the report have seen prominent financial donors to the university and its athletic program joining current and former Golden Bears swimmers and their parents in calling for the immediate dismissal of Knowlton and Simon-O’Neill.” (link)
Coaches Wire: Hardwood…
+ High Point and MBB HC Smith agree to part ways. (link)
+ Pitt AD Lyke will hire a new WBB HC. (link)
+ Arizona MBB HC Lloyd qualified for a $40K bonus as the Wildcats defeated USC for their 25th win of the season, USA Today’s Berkowitz reports. Additionally, Utah Valley HC Madsen earlier this week picked up a $10K bonus for clinching the regular season WAC title as well as a $10K bonus for season wins. Madsen has earned a total of $25K in bonuses this season. (link)
Coaches Wire: Football…
+ UCLA FB HC Kelly inks an extension through 2027. Bruins AD Jarmond: “The football program is on an upward trajectory, both on the field and in the classroom. Coach Kelly and his staff have done a tremendous job developing young men as demonstrated by their academic excellence." Financial details have yet to be specified. (link)
+ Contract details for new Coastal Carolina FB HC Beck are now public as he’ll earn a total of up to $2.35M this year that includes a $1M base. Notably: “Beck’s contract increases $50,000 annually for every winning season record. If CCU terminates Beck’s contract without cause – without violations of the contract that warrant a firing – prior to Dec. 31, Beck is due 50% of the base salary due for the remaining contract. If the school terminates Beck’s contract without cause between Jan. 1, 2024 and Jan. 1, 2026, he is due 75% of the remaining salary. He’s due the full remaining salary if his contract is terminated without cause between Jan. 1, 2026 and Dec. 31, 2027, when the contract expires. If Beck leaves for an FBS or pro football coaching position before Dec. 31, 2026, he will owe CCU $3 million. If he leaves for another Group of Five college coaching position, he will owe $1.5 million. Beck’s penalties for leaving are reduced by 50% if neither (CCU Chair of Athletics/Executive Director of Football) Moglia nor (CCU President) Benson are still in their positions.” More, including bonus stipulations. (link)
“They gave them more of the resources in terms of a disparate distribution of wealth. Gonzaga earned it because they were the ones pulling down the cash. And now, when I arrived back in the league on this campus, I see that all that has really motivated others — to not hold them back. It’s, how do we emulate them? I’m shocked at how much better the league is from top to bottom. [...] The formula actually works to make it competitive. It incentivizes schools to really get after it.” That’s San Francisco AD Williams on his return to the WCC after a 10-plus-year hiatus coincided with the continued rise of the Gonzaga MBB machine. Loyola Marymount AD Pintens adds context to the league’s overall growth: “It really offends everyone in this league when people talk badly about Gonzaga and say, ‘Oh, they play in a league that doesn’t count, that the games don’t matter.’ I don’t think we’re at that point anymore.” (link)
As the ACC MBB Tournament comes to Greensboro, Mayor Vaughan acknowledges there is a bittersweetness to it with the conference preparing to relocate its HQ to Charlotte. “Of course there are mixed emotions. We hate to see the office go to Charlotte. But really, it is the tournaments that bring in the money. … We get better every single year. We look forward to a long, continued relationship with the ACC. We really do the best tournaments, and I think they recognize that.” The News & Observer’s Carter reports that the “back-to-back weeks of hosting the men’s and women’s ACC tournaments are expected to deliver to Greensboro an economic impact of approximately $21M.” The WBB tournament accounts for about $7.4M, while the MBB tournament accounts for roughly $13.6M. (link)
Stadium’s Goodman shares a full video of “everything that happened that led up to DeeJuan Pruitt throwing one of the worst sucker punches that you'll ever see in the SIU-Edwardsville vs. UT Martin” OVC Tournament game last night. (link); Goodman also notes UT Martin student-athlete Miguel, the recipient of the punch, was taken to the hospital and has been suspended for tonight’s quarterfinal game against Tennessee Tech, as he was deemed to be the instigator. “To clarify: NCAA rules state players will be suspended for a game if they are ejected for fighting. UT Martin’s Rifen Miguel and Jalen Myers both suspended for tonight’s game while SIUE’s DeeJuan Pruitt will miss the first game of next season.” (link)
Houston this offseason will remodel the locker rooms at the Guy V. Lewis Development facility for the MBB and WBB teams, Pawd Slama Jama’s Yanez reports. (link)
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