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D1.dossiers... Southern Utah has a Senior Associate AD for Administration opening on new AD Doug Knuth's staff. The dossier for opportunities with the Thunderbirds is now available. $249 for an entire year of subscription. Eastern Washington’s AD post is up next. (link)
Alabama AD Byrne explains to ESPN’s Davis and Thamel the decision to allow MBB student-athlete Miller to remain on the team was made after a “conversation between myself, Nate Oats, conversation with myself and the president. We have legal counsel involved for the university. We have our different offices within the university that are at least aware of it. We had normal conversations like we do for other issues. That information was shared collectively and collectively we decided that Brandon was able to play.” Byrne did note that the school was unaware of Miles’ text message request to Miller asking the freshman forward to bring Miles’ gun to the scene, saying: “Here’s what we know: Brandon was not there for the verbal altercation. Brandon was already on his way to pick up Darius when Darius texted him. Brandon never left his vehicle and was not involved in the collection of the weapon. The shooting occurred just seconds after Brandon arrived. Brandon has been a fully cooperating witness and is not a suspect. … From the get-go we knew Brandon and Jaden were both at the scene. We knew they were cooperating. And we were told early on they were not suspects. That was the information we had fairly quickly on that Sunday once the process began.” (link, link); Full podcast. (link)
Incoming Atlantic Hockey Association and College Hockey America Commissioner Morgan sits down with College Hockey News to discuss her new role and says of potential expansion or a split into divisions: “I think anything is on the table, right? Like I told you before, I don't know what I don't know. And so I think that you have to look at what the access ratios are to access into tournaments, but as a single-sport conference we also have to be very cognizant about the long-term viability of our sport and this program. I think that we’d want to make sure that we looked at any cause-and-effect relationship, not to jeopardize the future of access and what that might look like. … Regarding members, I think if you look at the sheer numbers on the CHA side, on the women's side, there's more [expansion] opportunity just based on how many exist right now. … On the men's side, with Robert Morris coming back, you have 11 core members. And so that's an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, you know, even numbers make easier brackets and things that just make less headaches and scheduling.’” Full interview. (link)
CollegeAD has the details of freshly minted UNC Wilmington AD Oblinger’s four-year contract, which includes a $255K base salary and a $20K relocation allowance. Should UNCW let Oblinger go without cause, the school would owe him his remaining base salary for the remaining term of his contract. If Oblinger decides to leave for a new job, he would owe 50% of his remaining salary. (link)
Grambling State and Adidas agree to a five-year extension of their apparel sponsorship agreement, effective July 1. The partnership includes annual funding to support hiring a fellow from the McLendon Foundation Minority Leadership Initiative; access and support for participating in the NIL Affiliate Network student-athletes; and inclusion in future Adidas brand campaigns, including Remember the Why and Honoring Black Excellence. (link)
New Mexico State will refund MBB season ticket holders for the canceled portion of the season. Aggies AD Moccia announced fans may either receive a refund or use their refund amount as a credit for a future purchase. (link)
Illinois will reduce FB season ticket prices by an average of 17% through the FamILLy First initiative, which will also lower prices for several portions of the stadium by more than 35%. Illini AD Whitman: “As we move into the 2023 season and beyond, we must continue to activate our passionate Illini fan base. For us to achieve the goals we have for Illinois Football, we need everyone to participate.” (link)
The Arizona Daily Star’s Hansen observes that Pac-12 MBB teams are averaging 6,249 fans for home games this season, marking the lowest total since 1983-84 (6,237). “How bad is that? It’s about 52% of capacity. Eliminate Arizona from the mix, and the remaining Pac-12 teams average 5,399 per home game, or roughly 47% capacity. … With UCLA scheduled to bolt for the Big Ten in 2024, it makes one wonder if Arizona would be better off and more appreciated moving to the Big 12, if and when an offer is made. For a basketball-centric city like Tucson, Pac-12 basketball will be greatly diminished without the Bruins.” (link)
Average announced attendance for Minnesota men’s hockey games this year is 8,980, good for the highest mark in six seasons. Scanned attendance is 6,768, also the highest in six years and a 36.5% YoY increase. (link)
+ Syracuse taps Saint Joseph’s Field Hockey HC Farquhar for the same role. (link)
+ Wichita State will pay former Baseball HC Wedge a total of $675K, roughly half the money remaining on his contract, in equal installments over the next 10 months, according to the terms of a settlement agreement. (link)
Connect/MB Sports’ Banker talks with Concordia (MI) (NAIA) Athletic Training Program Director Neal about his NATA task force on student-athlete mental health, the importance of awareness for coaches, how physical injuries impact mental health, the latest research on the topic and lots more. Neal emphasizes it’s important to understand the student-athlete before a problem arises. “You have to know what their normal traits are.” It’s important also to monitor the “five horsemen” of mental health unwellness, which Neal identifies as anger, fear, guilt, loneliness and perfectionism. “If you see these things, your antenna should probably go up because they’re an indicator of potential mental health disorders. And then you may want to try and approach the person and see if they want to go and speak to a mental health care professional.” The full Q&A is now on Connect. (link)
NCAA correspondent Katz catches up with EPIC Risk Management CEO Buck, whose firm is providing members with educational programming on gambling, and Cincinnati Assoc. AD for Compliance & Administration Wright, who talks about programming from the campus level. Wright says having someone talk about the risks associated with gambling using real-world experience is more impactful than posters and PowerPoint presentations. “We received a lot of positive feedback from our student-athletes based on the presentation. And it wasn’t a lecture. It was somebody who got up there and really tried to interact with the student-athletes to tell his story and make sure it doesn’t become theirs.” Full interview. (link)
+ New Hampshire will install 18 Fulcrum, full-range coaxial loudspeakers in the Whittemore Center at a cost of $450K. (link)
+ Bayou Traditions, LSU’s official collective, announces a partnership with MatchPoint, which will serve as the collective’s administrator. (link)
+ Baylor-Kansas on ESPN was the most-watched MBB game of last weekend, averaging 1.6M viewers. Duke-Syracuse (1.3M), North Carolina-NC State (1.1M) and North Carolina-Miami (FL) (1M) were the network’s other most-viewed matchups. (link)
+ Former Navy baseball student-athlete Song will report to the Philadelphia Phillies spring training camp after transferring his status with the Navy from active duty to selected reserves. Song was denied a waiver by the Department of Defense in 2019 to forgo his military obligation and has served on active duty since. (link)
+ Several Florida fans were removed from their courtside seats last night following an incident in which one fan wrapped his arm around the neck of Kentucky MBB student-athlete Wallace. (link)
+ Smart people on inflation: Reuters: “Markets, bracing for a ‘no landing’ scenario where global economic growth is resilient and inflation stays higher for longer, are dialing back appetite for both risk assets and government debt.” (link); New York Fed President Williams reiterates the central bank is “absolutely” committed to seeing through its goal of 2% inflation. “Our job is clear: our job is to make sure we restore price stability, which is truly the foundation of a strong economy.” (link); St. Louis Fed President Bullard: “I think markets have overpriced a recession in the second half of 2022 and overpriced a recession in the first half of 2023 and maybe they are overpricing the chances of a recession in the second half of 2023. It kind of seems like the U.S. economy might be more resilient than markets thought, let’s say, six to eight weeks ago. … We have a good shot at beating inflation in 2023.” (link)
Yesterday's Evening Standard...
Texas AD Del Conte says DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium will get new LED lighting and an upgrade to concessions this spring and summer. Upgrades will include 22 more concession areas, particularly in the upper deck, and Del Conte says the lighting “needs a steady diet of night games for this to work,” and he anticipates that will happen in the SEC. Additionally, he says a new baseball video board should be ready for SEC play, a new tennis video board for this spring, and a 10K-sq-ft FB recruiting lounge will be completed this summer at the Moncrief Neuhaus Athletic Center. (link)
Iowa State AD Pollard on being forced to play last night’s MBB game against Texas on the Longhorn Network: “Can’t leave soon enough. [...] To get (the early exit) finalized allows us to move forward and be a lot more productive. Quite frankly, having that hanging out there made you do double of everything. A 14-team schedule and then a 12-team schedule. You had to do that for all sports. It caused a lot of extra work. Now having it finalized is nice. We can put it behind us and have more streamlined meetings where you don't feel like 'okay, for this part of the meeting you need to leave the room.’” (link)
As Montana State continues to level up its facilities amid one of its most successful athletic periods “in a generation,” according to MTN Sports’ Rachac, Bobcats AD Costello explains the improvements didn’t happen overnight and were made possible by being aligned with and supported by university administration. “We’re ahead of the game maybe from where I thought we would be. I think it’s gone very well. But I think the one thing that I really see is — what’s the word? — justification.” Despite raising the Bobcats’ profile, Costello says his ambitions as of right now don’t extend beyond Bozeman. “I think across the board in this business you can get caught up in what’s out there. I think over the last seven years I’ve been able to see how good we have it here. No matter where it is, it’s going to be really hard to match what we have.” (link)
Tuscaloosa-based attorney Standridge, who represents Alabama MBB student-athlete Miller, has released a statement clarifying Miller’s alleged involvement in the fatal shooting that has implicated former teammate Miles. In part: “Brandon never got out of his vehicle or interacted with anyone in Ms. Harris’ party. … Brandon never touched the gun, was not involved in its exchange to Mr. Davis in any way, and never knew that illegal activity involving the gun would occur.” Regarding allegations that Miller used his vehicle to block that of the victim’s, Standridge submits that Miller was already parked there when the vehicle pulled up behind him. “The street was never blocked by Brandon’s vehicle. Gunfire erupted shortly after the Jeep arrived and Brandon’s vehicle was struck by bullets fired from one of the guns. Brandon quickly left the area when gunfire erupted." More. (link)
+ Towson names Old Dominion Executive Senior Assoc. AD for Development and Revenue Generation Cegles as Deputy AD. (link)
+ East Tennessee State President Noland has been appointed to a four-year term to represent the Southern Conference on the DI Board of Directors. (link)
+ Knight Commission board member Bernard has been named co-chair, succeeding Zimpher, who has completed her eight-year term. The commission has also added Stavvy COO/former America East Commissioner Huchthausen, Washington sport medicine professor Harmon and Quinnipiac President Olian as members. (link)
+ Titus & Tate co-host Titus will join Barstool Sports and host a new show called The Mark Titus Show. (link)
The Athletic’s Vannini posits the Pac-12 is “nearing dire straits right now” in terms of its media rights negotiations after news that Apple+ has emerged as a potential landing spot. While he suspects the Pac-12 will be fine in the short term, Vannini notes the Pac-12 may be a “canary in the coal mine for college conferences outside what is becoming the Power 2 of the Big Ten and SEC. Streaming won’t be the answer to saving college football as we know it. We know this because streaming isn’t saving TV.” Apple and Amazon, Vannini asserts, do not provide the type of leverage the Pac-12 needs because a “move to heavy streaming would dramatically decrease game viewership and threaten to speed the conference into irrelevancy. In a sport based around recruiting and donors, people need to find your games easily. ESPN knows this. It’s why Conference USA rushed back to ESPN as part of its new TV deal and away from streaming places like Stadium.” (link)
SBJ’s Ourand weighs in on the Pac-12 media rights negotiations: “Here’s the problem the Pac-12 faces: There was a good deal to be had six months ago. … In the ensuing six months, all of the traditional television stations,” including CBS, Fox and NBC have filled much of their available slots for college football, while ESPN is “becoming a lot more cost-conscious. There are the must-have programming, which the NBA falls in, the NFL falls in, certain big college conferences fall in. Right now, it doesn’t look like the Pac-12 is falling into that.” Furthermore, Wall Street is no longer prioritizing gaining subscribers. “They want to see profits. So, whereas you had all of these streaming companies competing against each other to drive up the prices in bidding wars, now they have to have a lot more discernment. … The big question mark is with Apple. Will Apple want to do a deal with…all of the Pac-12 rights, with the Pac-12 Networks, with the actual conference itself that will mirror what they’re doing with the MLS.” (link)
Gonzaga needs a bidding war as it considers its next move in the realignment landscape, according to JohnCanzano.com’s maestro, who notes: “Gonzaga isn’t yet ready to leave the WCC. But the Bulldogs are apparently kicking the tires.” Canzano goes on to point out the Zags have averaged 657K viewers for MBB games over the past three seasons, while the “typical Pac-12 team averages about 200K viewers.” Furthermore, the Zags have earned more MBB tournament units than anyone in the country over the past five years. But, the Bulldogs don’t play football, which has left the Pac-12 with a lukewarm desire to invite them into the fold. Canzano concludes, however, that the Pac-12 “should look hard at Gonzaga. Not just because the Big 12 is, but because the school is located within the conference’s footprint and offers a way to replace UCLA’s brand and success in men’s hoops.” One media industry source adds: “If you’re the Pac-12, I think you’re crazy not to look at a brand that would drive value.” (link)
ESPN VP of Production Lowry announces that in addition to the WBB national championship game airing on ABC for the first time, so will the hour-long pregame show, the Dallas Morning News’ Assimakopoulos (real name) reports. (link)
Take a sneak peek at what Augustana’s new Midco Arena will look like, including the rink, puck-shooting room, soccer locker room, training room and strength and conditioning center for all student-athletes. (link)
The Central Arkansas WBB team will end its season due to roster attribution. The Sugar Bears began the season with 10 student-athletes and, because of departures and injuries, currently have just five players available for competition. (link)
D1Baseball’s Rogers reports the “NCAA Student-Athlete Experience Committee has indicated it will support a blanket waiver for the next year to increase the Roster Limit to 40 and Increase Scholly Counters to 32. This is expected to be approved by the NCAA Legislative Relief Committee in mid-March. … Right now, 27 players get 11.7 scholarships divided up. This would allow 32 players to get 11.7 divided up. This waiver, however, would ONLY be for the next year. The NCAA Division I Baseball Management Committee is expected to be formed this summer, and would then 'formally' approve and make this an ironclad change for Division I.” (link, link)
+ In the 10 months since the Clemson-focused TigerImpact collective launched last April, it has grown its war chest of $5.5M from three dozen “big-money donors” to $8.3M in commitments from over 200 donors, the Post and Courier’s Blau reports, adding that the collective expected to have 75 student-athlete “ambassadors” on contract as of this week. The goal is to have 100 student-athletes representing all sports in the fold before the collective’s one-year anniversary. (link)
+ The Light It Blue collective has launched to support Utah State student-athletes. (link)
Iona MBB HC Pitino tells CBS’ Norlander he would like to coach for another five or six years, explaining that “I still exercise like a demon. I still get after it.” With some high-profile jobs potentially coming open, Pitino says it would take “someplace really, really special with the type of president that I have here” for him to leave the Gaels. “Now, it's easy. I got exonerated by the NCAA, they said you didn't do anything, now it's easy to hire me. But Seamus Carey didn't have that guarantee. … If I wanted to leave, it would be a job that I thought could get to a Final Four. It would be a great place where I want to live, but I don't see it happening. I don't see it happening. I'm really tied into these kids. And they came because of me." (link)
Former Duke MBB HC Krzyzewski talks about his next phase with The Athletic’s Marks, telling him he’s not living in the past or resting on previous accomplishments. “When I say I don’t miss it, it doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. I just think I squeezed every bit of joy from that sponge, you know?” Krzyzewski does still speak with ACC Commissioner Phillips and NABC Executive Director Robinson about what he believes is a lack of direction within college athletics and tells Marks: “In the history of our game, in the NCAA, by the time any bit of legislation did the circuitous route of going through however many damn committees it goes through, when it finally gets to the committee that’s making the decision, there has never been a coach in the room explaining the ramifications. It’s idiotic.” If individuals from the NCAA were to approach him about being more involved with the industry’s next steps, Coach K says he’d “like to know what it is. Like, I’m not a big Knight Commission person. I think some of those things are, come on — you’ve never done anything. If you would’ve done something, you would foresee that these things are happening.” Lots more. (link)
More Coaches Corner…
+ Nebraska removes the interim tag from Track & Field HC St. Clair’s title. (link)
+ Boston U. signs Men’s Lacrosse HC Polley to a multiyear extension. (link)
+ Adidas and MLS are extending their partnership with a new six-year, $830M deal through 2030. Sportico’s Novy-Williams observes the new pact is the “latest sign of growth for the league,” which now has an average club valuation of $582M, led by LAFC’s $900M valuation. (link)
+ A new sports betting bill in Kentucky could create up to 27 sports wagering apps through nine horse racetrack licensees. PlayUSA’s Kredell: “The sponsor tells me that, even with the two-thirds threshold in odd years, the House has the votes and the Senate may only be a vote or two away.” (link)
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