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Notre Dame-NCAA: The Committee on Infractions upheld the vacation of records at Notre Dame during the 2012-13 & 2013-14 FB seasons due to student-athletes who competed while part of academic misconduct in South Bend. Fighting Irish President Rev. Jenkins with sharp words, "There is no precedent in previous NCAA cases for the decision to add a discretionary penalty of vacation of team records in a case of student-to-student cheating involving a part-time student worker who had no role in academic advising. […] The Committee simply failed to provide any rationale why it viewed the student-worker as an institutional representative in our case. This is more disturbing given that, in 2016, the member institutions of the NCAA amended the academic misconduct rules to make clear that students who serve in roles identical to that of the student in our case would not be considered institutional representatives. If the Committee members chose to depart both from precedent and the position adopted by the NCAA membership, it was incumbent on them to offer an explanation. They did not. […] To impose a severe penalty for this retroactive ineligibility establishes a dangerous precedent and turns the seminal concept of academic autonomy on its head. At best, the NCAA’s decision in this case creates a randomness of outcome based solely on how an institution chooses to define its honor code; at worst, it creates an incentive for colleges and universities to change their honor codes to avoid sanctions like that imposed here. […] The NCAA has not chosen to ignore academic autonomy; it has instead perverted it by divorcing it from its logical and necessary connection to the underlying educational purpose." Simply put, there's more in Jenkins' letter. (link);'s Dodd: "Jenkins' letter was a reminder that the school still carries quite a shillelagh. With so much money in the system, there has been vague talk for years about the top tier of universities breaking away from NCAA and keeping everything for themselves. Tuesday's decision does nothing to tamp down that talk. Athletic departments long ago became giant profit-driven corporate giants. You don't mess with that kind of brand and power with arbitrary infractions committee decisions made behind closed doors by professors better qualified at teaching chemistry than interpreting the NCAA rule book. The case involves two players who the NCAA says competed while ineligible due to academic help from a trainer. But all of it begs the question: What exactly is academic fraud?" (link); Here is the full release out of Indianapolis. (link)
One thing we won't see come out of the NCAA DI Transfer Working Group is allowing student-athletes to uproot & compete immediately with no parameters or conditions. To be clear, that option was never even on the table. What we will see the group consider over the next couple of months is a set of academic "benchmarks" that could lead to student-athletes moving on & playing immediately (possibly a 3.0 GPA), as well as allowing student-athletes out of their NLI if their respective head coach exits. The Collegiate Commissioners Association would have to be in the mix on the NLI decision. More: The current status quo will not be maintained, the group endorsed a national database of transfers & there are some exceptions. Maybe most importantly, the group, led by South Dakota State AD Sell, plans to have recommendations to the DI Council for a final vote in June. (linklink)'s Dodd crunched the numbers & finds last year's FB attendance figures across the FBS resulted in the biggest dip since 1983 as we lost 3.23% of butts in seats year-over-year. The raw decrease was 1,409 fewer in venue per game with four of five 'Power 5' leagues seeing losses. The Big Ten served as the lone stalwart (+0.01%). The narrative of "why" centers around students not attending with as much fervor as in the past & the "technology issue" referenced by former Sun Belt Commish/current FBA Executive Director Waters. Solutions already on the move include downsizing stadiums to create a more intimate environment & committing to more premium experiences for fans. Lots more data in the piece. (link)
Michigan State Interim Prez Engler calls ESPN's reporting on matters in East Lansing involving MBB HC Izzo & FB HC Dantonio "a sensationalized package of reporting that contained allegations and insinuations that we are now reviewing. The coaches were asked to refrain from comment while the reports were examined. That has been a burden that must be lifted." Also from Engler's open letter, "I hope that MSU can soon respond in full and affirm the integrity and probity that has been the hallmark of these two respected coaches." (link); Also notable from yesterday was the MSU faculty senate submission of a "no confidence" vote on the university's Board of Trustees. (link)
Oregon State AD Barnes rolls out a new strategic plan for the Beavers, appropriately titled, "Build the Dam." BEAVS: Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes. Strategic goals: 1) Lead the country in holistic student-athlete development; 2) Win championships, achieve post-season success & attain national recognition annually in all sports; 3) Generate the funds necessary to accomplish our strategic goals and align resources to achieve financial sustainability; 4) Demonstrate inclusive excellence by advancing diversity and equity in all that we do; 5) Activate Beaver Nation through strategic partnerships with our campus, our community, the Beaver State and the world; and, 6) Invest in the facilities and infrastructure necessary to compete at the highest level. Lots more, including strategies for each goal, step-by-step processes, plus committee assignments for each strategic goal. Super sharp digital layout of the plan. (link)
"I am aware of Arkansas State's position on this matter. We believe strongly in our standing and will not comment further as both parties' attorneys bring this to resolution. [...] I guess I would defer to my comment yesterday. I very strongly believe in our position. I know our attorneys are working with their attorneys and we'll get to a resolution." That's Miami (FL) AD James on the FB game contractual dispute with the Red Wolves stemming from last season's canceled game due to Hurricane Irma. Further in Coral Gables, James is "100% confident" the new indoor FB digs will be ready for the Canes to use in August & maybe even a bit earlier. (link)
Eastern Washington Interim AD Hickey notes the fine line she's walking as the temporary leader of the Eagles, but still wanting to move the department forward on key fronts. Hickey: "I’ve been given some directions from the president, but we’re still try to discover what that means. I’m the kind of person who wants to be all in, but how do I do that without being over overaggressive?" One item squarely on her plate is figuring out next year's FB schedule that is still in need of a game, preferably at home. On the question of if she'll be in the mix for the permanent gig, "I think that’s really not appropriate for me to speak to. I’m certainly open to that … but right now, what I owe the president is to bridge that gap, and I need to handle that first." (link)
The Courier Journal's Greer asks what's taking so long with Louisville's NCAA appeal of its MBB infractions, dives in on some research & finds, "A review of 21 infractions appeals over the past 10 years showed…the Infractions Appeals Committee averaged more than three months, or 94 days, between the hearing date and the final decision." The Cards are only around the 60-day mark as veteran Atlanta-based attorney Brown comments, "On these things, a more realistic timetable than 4-6 weeks is 2-3 months. […] Part of the effective punishment, if you will, is going through the process and being on pins and needles and waiting for the decision to come out and speculation of how bad it could be in the media." Chart of timelines at the bottom of the article. (link)
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Navy FB will travel 26,496 miles in the upcoming season, with trips to Honolulu (vs. Hawaii), San Diego (vs. Notre Dame), Dallas (vs. SMU), Orlando (vs. UCF) and New Orleans (vs. Tulane) among the destinations. Not only that, the Midshipmen will play a 13-game schedule, as well. HC Niumatalolo: "This is obviously a very difficult schedule when you look at the quality of the opposition, the travel and where some of these games fall in the schedule. I really like this team. Our entire program has to be totally committed to prepare for this very challenging schedule." AD Gladchuk on the return-game obligation with the Rainbow Warriors, a deal that was made when Navy was independent and trying to fill its home slate: "It's a long haul and a 13th game in a season that is extremely long to begin with. I don't believe I would do it going forward." Only Hawaii will travel more for its contests (38,578 miles). (link)
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During his transition from Central Connecticut State to Fairfield, Stags AD Schlickmann took the opportunity to survey every coach, administrator, staff member & student-athlete within his new department. Why? "The sense of cooperative buy-in to be generated from this effort cannot be overstated. Staff and student-athletes want, and need, to know decisions that involve their experience and well-being aren’t simply being brought down from on high and thrust upon them without having their voices heard. And it can’t just be a one-off.  Providing your staff and student-athletes a voice, and following up on the results, allows a leader to begin cultivating a culture of open, honest communication, and, ultimately, a sense of trust." Upon arrival in Fairfield, Schlickmann scheduled one-on-one meetings with every staff member to dig further & notes, "This exercise doesn’t just allow a new leader to learn about the state of the athletic department, but it also allows for honing of one’s own leadership style. The responses received will force you to adapt to the situation in which you now find yourself." Schlickmann didn't develop any early leadership plans until he was completely done with all the meetings & reviews, walks through specifics of how he administered the surveys, which questions led to the most insightful responses & more. There are also links to the actual surveys themselves within the article. (link)
#PACnet18 continued in Newport Beach (link - scroll down):
+ Lots of love for the Women Leaders panel that included, appropriately, Women Leaders in College Sports boss Phillips, Paciolan Prez/CEO Damron, Arkansas' Razorbacks Foundation CFO Veteto, Tulane Deputy AD Lebron, Spectra VP of Ticketing Holowaty & Army West Point Assoc. AD/SWA Menio. One tweet: "Emotion doesn’t have to be negative! Wise words from Jacque Holowaty on the Women Leaders panel."
+ Former MLB standout & Michigan student-athlete Abbott delivered a strong message of: Adjust, Determination, Accountability, Perseverance & Trust (ADAPT). 
+ Hopscotch's Horowitz: "Less is more with emails for NC State Athletics - only total e-blast is once every two weeks. 'People expect customization.' Also doing automated email follow-ups based on web pages visited and activities on site."
Missed this last week as Minnesota's Tucker Center rolled out its latest look at Women HCs for female sport programs across seven DI conferences (P5 + AAC + Big East). Some notable takeaways among a sea of data: For coaching changes last year, 46.1% went from one male HC to another, 19.8% were female to female transitions, 19.8% saw male to female & 14.3% female to male. Cincinnati & UCF were the only two institutions to receive 'A' grades (70-100%). Nine institutions got an 'F' with Syracuse & West Virginia at the very bottom percentage wise. Tons more. (link)
Personnel Notes: New Mexico brass "have decided not to consider head football coach Bob Davie's appeal of the 30-day suspension announced last week." (link); Pepperdine AD Potts will hire a new MBB HC as seven-year boss Wilson will step down. (link); Colorado State's investigation into on-leave MBB HC Eustachy is complete, next steps expected within a week. (link); Florida Atlantic FB HC Kiffin claims former Tennessee AD Currie told his agent, "Lane will never be the head coach as long as I’m the athletics director here." (link); Dartmouth AD Sheehy pegs East Tennessee State Men's Soccer HC Oshoniyi for the same role in Hanover. (link); Long Q&A with Duke MBB HC Krzyzewski. Of note on the retirement question, "That’s a good question because I don’t know the answer to it. Otherwise I would know. I’ve never been a great planner for the future. I’ve tried to live now. I think when you think of the past and the future, you now get shortchanged. And so I think I have to start thinking about that at some time. I don’t want to do it during the season. But I think I’ll be 71 (on Tuesday) and I’ll see how I felt after this season. Right now I’m in much better shape than I was last year. Because I’ve got everything replaced (he chuckled). And I feel good. I feel really good. The willingness to prepare to be good. I still want to do that." More. (link)
Under Armour released its Q4 results, which weren't so hot stateside (sales down 4%), but showed promise internationally (sales up 47%). Overall, revenue was up by 5% to $1.37B, helping the company's stock price to jump by a couple of bucks. CEO Plank: "In 2017, we were a loud company and a quiet brand. This year, Under Armour will be a quiet company and a loud brand." More restructuring is coming as $50M in contract terminations are expected in '18 to go along other cuts. Naturally, some analysts aren't convinced UA is on the right track. (link)
Disney/ESPN: Sky gets 128 English Premier League games per season in the 2019, 20, 21 & 22 campaigns at a total price tag of £3.5B. BT Sport secures 32 per season at a total of £885M. Two more packages of 20 games each are still on the market, but interestingly, the total haul for the EPL rights will end up less than those generated in 2015. Why is this update under the header of 'Disney/ESPN'? Fox's stake in Sky looks to be a key piece of Disney's acquisition push & now a large chunk of EPL rights could be under control of the Worldwide Leader in short order. (link, link); Stateside, 250 out-of-market MLS matches annually will now move to the new ESPN+ OTT play. Subscribers will go from paying $79 per year via the MLS to $5 per month ($60/yr) with ESPN. (link); Disney EVP Mayer says ESPN+ will also have 182 MLB games, plus house the entire library of 30 for 30s. (link)
The Connected Fan sponsored by From Now On
Here are the latest surveyed estimates of cord-cutting subscriber numbers. Top 5: Sling (2.3M - 43.4% of the market), DirecTV (1.2M - 22.64%), PlayStation Vue (600K - 11.32%), Hulu (450K - 8.49%) & YouTube TV (300K - 5.66%). The Diffusion Group's data shows 37% of OTT subscribers also still have a traditional pay TV account. (link)
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Don't look for Iowa to expand their sports portfolio anytime soon as Hawkeyes AD Barta says, "My answer is the same since I’ve been here (since 2006), we have 24 sports. If and until we’re funded at a competitive level in every sport that we currently have, it’s really hard for me to look a team in the eye and add another sport, especially when I might say to a couple of our teams, 'I just can’t fund you the way I’d like to'. Our budget is eighth in the Big Ten, so there are a lot of our sports where they’ll come to me, just about every sport will come to me, and say, 'Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, they have more. I need more. So, it would be really hard in that scenario to add a sport. The pie would have another piece out of it." Barta's comments come amid conversation on the growth of Ice Hockey and Iowa Men's Wrestling HC Brands' letter last summer to the NCAA Board of Governors asking the group to add women's wrestling to its list of "emerging sports." (link)
An Old Dominion-Middle Tennessee MBB match-up was recently broadcast via Facebook Live thanks to Stadium & generated more than 395K viewers, leading Monarchs AD Selig to remark, "I think Facebook will deliver considerably more viewers for our programming than over the air can and will. It will be a different fan, more casual and social. I think it’s a good move for our league to be with Facebook now and into the future." Could that be a hint on where Conference USA's rights are headed? Comparatively, the league's FB title game back in December on ESPN2 was viewed in 255K households. Important to note that the way a "view" is calculated on FB vs. TV isn't apples to apples, but the data here - and Selig's comments - are pretty eye-opening. (link)
MBB RPI: Debates continue over the metrics being used by the MBB Selection Committee. ESPN's Bilas: "They can look at a number of things. RPI is still used as the top metric for organizing info. A coaches’ committee asked for a composite. The NCAA decided to use RPI instead. Nothing wrong with Quads. But, Quads based upon RPI is flawed." (link, link); CBS & The FieldHouse analyst Davis: "Everyone agrees the RPI is trash but no one can quite articulate why. If you move to predictive models and incorporate margin of victory you are playing with fire." (link); 538's Silver: "Let's reverse the question—what's good about RPI? It isn't very predictive. It isn't theoretically coherent. It isn't empirically grounded. It doesn't even match the "eye test". It's a failure on every level. There's no reason to use it." (link)
A federal judge has dismissed parts of the Title IX lawsuit against Wichita State and Prez Bardo claiming retaliation against former VP of Student Affairs Robinson who was demoted and eventually terminated in 2015. Robinson claims he was fired for voicing concerns over the handling of sexual assault violations, including one involving a MBB student-athlete. The parts of the suit that deal with retaliation claims, due process denial and some of the defamation claims can proceed, but the school is "pleased" with the dismissal of the rest of the claims. (link); A former Coastal Carolina FB student-athlete, who was cleared of rape allegations but expelled by the school, is suing the university on the grounds that it failed to provided him a "meaningful standard of due process and equity, concerning the purported sexual assault allegation of rape." He seeks damages incurred by his dismissal, the school's findings to be reversed, his reputation restored, the record of the complaint to be permanently destroyed and readmission for this semester. (link)
Northwestern AD Phillips reflects on the tragic events at Northern Illinois 10 years ago when he served as AD for the Huskies & five NIU students lost their lives in a campus shooting. Perspective: "I think a lot about the families who lost sons and daughters. You just don't ever get over that. The senseless tragedy, the unspeakable evil. But it was also the coming together of a community against evil that would not prevail, that this horrific event would not define us, our community, our family and our future. […] That place means a lot to me, and any success I've had in my career, NIU is responsible for it. It made me a better person. Deep in my heart those families will always be with me and my family." During the same stretch, Phillips had decided to accept the offer to lead the Wildcats, but stayed in DeKalb for two more months, "My family and I needed to be in DeKalb with the people we loved and the community loved and the university we loved. I'll be forever grateful to Northwestern for understanding that." More. (link)
Also Noticed: CAA inks with CSMG for its licensing & branding efforts. (link); Georgia names its new FB indoor facility after former FB student-athlete & sports industry mover-and-shaker Payne. (link); TCU has started its $2M FB practice field improvements. (link); Not only did UTSA students not approve a new student fee arrangement for athletics, but now SGA secretary Meeker calls the athletic department's marketing campaign "corrupt and highly uninformative." (link); opendorse & the LPGA do a deal. (link); Check out some of the advertising in NYC for the Big Ten's coming MBB Tourney. (link); CBS Sports Network grows its broadcast support of the CIT. (link); Oklahoma State FB HC Gundy playing the saxophone in a marketing video for Valentine's Day. What a treasure. (link)
The Connected Fan sponsored by From Now On
GQ's Skipper says "The Secret to Being a Productive Human: Take More Breaks (and Naps!)" This is one of the lessons he gleaned from a Q&A with notable author Pink, who says "people spend too much time thinking about what and how we do things instead of when." To this point: "You're more likely to tweet something negative in the afternoon; you have a better chance of sticking to a new exercise regimen if you start on a Monday; and graduating from college in an economic downturn year might still be negatively affecting you more than a decade later." Pink says he has started thinking about breaks as part of his performance, not as a "deviation" from it. Even 1-2 minutes will suffice, take a walk, get some fresh air and put your phone away. Long read. (link)
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(Posted from most recent over the last 30 days)

(NEW!) Executive Director - Athletics Foundation (Georgia Southern University / Statesboro, GA): Georgia Southern University is accepting applications for the Executive Director-Athletic Foundation. EEO/AA/ADA/Veteran employer. More details HERE.

(NEW!) Assoc Director of Development and Internal Operations (University of Georgia Athletic Association / Athens, GA): Will support annual giving functions of The Georgia Bulldog Club;maintain a portfolio of major gift donors & prospects;Provide oversight of all TGBC gift & data entry; cultivate & steward donors. More details HERE.

Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services (University of North Texas / Denton, TX): Overseeing Student Services Center; includes academic support, staff, student services, & student-athlete development. Providing leadership executed through policies & processes for student athletes. More details HERE.

Director, Ticket Operations (Stanford University / Stanford, CA): The Director, Ticket Operations manages ticketing for 100+ regular season events, major tournaments and postseason events across many of Stanford’s 36 Division I varsity sports. More details HERE.

Assistant Coach, Men's Soccer (University of North Carolina Wilmington / Wilmington, NC): Assists the Head Coach in providing leadership for a NCAA Division I men’s soccer program. Assists with all aspects of the men’s soccer program. More details HERE.

Assistant Director of Athletics Communications (James Madison University / Harrisonburg, VA): Serve as communications contact for softball, volleyball, swimming and diving and in support of football with an emphasis on digital content & engagement. More details HERE.

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (University of California, Berkeley / Berkeley, CA): The University of California, Berkeley invites applications for the position of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Witt/Kieffer has been retained by the University to lead the search. More details HERE.

Senior Manager, Digital Media and Analytics (Paciolan / Irvine, CA): This is a senior marketing position that specializes in digital advertising, search marketing and analytics, advising and evaluating client marketing performance and reviewing digital properties. More details HERE.

Director of Ticket Operations (College Football Playoff / Irving, TX): The Director of Ticket Operations manages ticketing for the National Championship and all auxiliary events that take place in conjunction with the game. More details HERE.

Digital Marketing and Sales Coordinator (College Football Playoff / Irving, TX): The Digital Marketing and Sales Coordinator provides coordination and project management services with focus on promoting the brand and maximizing revenue. More details HERE.

Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities, Operations & Events (College of the Holy Cross / Worcester, MA): This position will provide leadership for the facilities, operations & events staff on a day-to-day basis in addition to oversight of athletics facilities, game operations and outside events. More details HERE.

Director of Athletics (Bucknell University / Lewisburg, PA): Bucknell University is a NCAA Division I school with outstanding academic and athletics tradition. Witt/Kieffer has been retained by Bucknell to lead the recruitment for its next Director of Athletics. More details HERE.

Assistant AD\Major Gifts or Director of Major Gifts (Temple University / Philadelphia, PA): The Assistant AD\Major Gifts or Director of Major Gifts will devise strategies and be responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of gifts up to $25,000 on an annual basis. More details HERE.

Assistant/Associate Director, Varsity O Association (University of Oklahoma - Norman / Norman, OK): Varsity O Association Asst/Assoc Dir will be responsible for advancing the mission of OU Athletics thru its extensive network of letter winners by providing opportunities to engage with the dept. More details HERE.

Assistant Director of Accounting - Athletics (Georgia Institute of Technology / Atlanta, GA): Responsible for receipt and timely recording of revenue related items, including ticketing & donor related income, while also assisting in daily operations by performing advanced financial functions. More details HERE.

Deputy Athletic Director (University of Delaware / Newark, DE): Act as the Chief Operating Officer and oversee the Intercollegiate and Recreation Services ongoing internal operations, maximize resumes & be responsible for the internal efficiency of the dep't. More details HERE.

Associate Athletic Director for Annual Giving (San Jose State University / San Jose, CA): The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with San José State University in the search for an Associate Athletic Director for Annual Giving. More details HERE.

Head Volleyball Coach and Associate in Physical Education (Columbia University / New York, NY): The Head Volleyball Coach is responsible for organizing and administering all aspects of the volleyball program. Quicklink: More details HERE.

Asst. Director of Marketing & Fan Experience (University of Oklahoma - Norman / Norman, OK): Asst. Director of Marketing & Fan Experience will advance the mission and values of OU Athletics by coordinating ticket sales efforts, directing advertising campaigns and executing game entertainment. More details HERE.

Senior Associate or Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs (University of California, Riverside / Riverside, CA): Liaison between the Athletics Director and all Athletics fundraising activities and revenue operations. Emphasis on enhancing UCR’s Division I relevancy, revenue generation and new market outreach. More details HERE.

Director of Clinical Counseling Services for Student-Athletes (Mississippi State University / Starkville, MS): Provision of general psychological services (evaluation, treatment and education) to student athletes. More details HERE.

Executive Director of Development/Assistant AD for Development (George Washington University / Washington D.C.): GW seeks a dynamic & strategic leader to join a high performing fund raising team as Exec. Director of Development. Will manage team and direct their development efforts to ensure fundraising success. More details HERE.

Director of Digital Media Services (Mid-American Conference / Cleveland, OH): Create video content that drives fan engagement and views of website and social media platforms. Serve as liaison for ESPN3 campus productions. Direct media relations activities for select sports. More details HERE.

Compliance Coordinator (Oral Roberts University / Tulsa, OK): The Compliance Coordinator will assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive program to ensure compliance with University, Summit League and NCAA rules and regulations. More details HERE.

Athletics Assistant Director for Business Operations (University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Las Vegas, NV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Athletics Assistant Director for Business Operations, Intercollegiate Athletics. More details HERE.

Assistant Director for Financial Reporting (University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Las Vegas, NV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Assistant Director for Financial Reporting, Intercollegiate Athletics [R0107169]. More details HERE.

Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Performance (CSUN / Northridge, CA): Responsibilities: Management and supervision of the Sports Performance staff, weight training facility, including development of policies and procedures for risk management, appropriate supervision. More details HERE.
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