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Latest MBB-FBI storylines:
+ Arizona HC Miller vehemently denies ESPN's report, "I have never knowingly violated NCAA rules while serving as head coach of this great program. [...] Any reporting to the contrary is inaccurate, false, and defamatory. I’m outraged by the media statements that have been made, and the acceptance that these statements were true." The Worldwide Leader has corrected its story around the Wildcats a handful of times, but still stands by its reporting. (link)
+ Arizona Prez Robbins: "At this time, we have no reason to believe that Coach Miller violated NCAA rules or any laws regarding the allegation reported in the media. […] (Miller) was very forthcoming and with all the data that we have through all the multiple investigations — including the FBI investigation, the Department of Justice, consultation with the NCAA, our own internal advisers, attorneys and our outside counsel — I was convinced that there was nothing to prove, that Coach Miller had done anything wrong." (link)
+ Sports Illustrated legal expert McCann indicates there's no proof of Miller on a wiretap, says Miller & Wildcats student-athlete Ayton could sue ESPN on the grounds of defamation, but "odds would not favor them." More McCann: "For one, both Miller and Ayton are public figures, which means they would have to prove that defamation occurred with “actual malice.” This requirement would obligate Miller and Ayton to not only establish that false and damaging information has been published about them, but that such information was published by those who knew it was false. Media reporting on the allegations appears to be based on leakers, who presumably relayed the allegations as credible information. The leakers themselves would also be difficult to sue. Although their identities could become known, they are not presently known. Also, information gathered in litigation is often regarded as exempt from defamation claims." (link)
+ Texas HC Smart: "I think there's some flaws in that as well because obviously in college there's a strong connection between the school and the sponsors. But the time is coming where there will be less regulation on just everything with these guys. Because the way the model works right now, obviously the regulation is not working." (link)
+ Arizona State Prez Crow: "I’m a big believer that people coming in from high school should really focus on learning to be a student, and then developing their athletic ability to a higher level. We shouldn’t be a place where somehow we’re a semi-pro, half-college this, half-college that ...  It’s all college. It’s college basketball. There’s a deep fundamental problem that we have to solve." (link)
USC Upstate AD Freire & Interim MBB HC Perry both dismissed without cause, though points to allegations of harassment surrounding Freire that Perry had discussed with university leadership. In one claim, Spartans Volleyball HC Calloway says she refused Freire's advances & asked he be kept away from her program. Freire: "All of these allegations are false, and I intend to defend my reputation and my ability to do my job. I believe that now is not the time and, with all due respect, the newspaper is not the place." More. (link)
Sun Belt-ESPN: A new TV deal that stretches through 2027-28 includes 500+ contests per year on the ESPN family of networks with a large majority via digital properties. FB's inaugural championship game will get top billing in December & all FB, MBB & WBB games will get full broadcasts. Maybe most importantly for the overall ecosystem, many options will live behind ESPN+'s new paywall of $4.99 per month, serving as a very interesting initial case study for conference rights living behind a subscription-only option. Commish Benson calls it "one of the most historic announcements since the Sun Belt’s founding in 1976." (link, link); Here's a sizzle reel. (link); Here's the full teleconference. (link)
Lots of buzz yesterday around this development as USA Today's Wolken got to it first: All signs point to Florida Atlantic hiring Missouri Deputy AD for External Relations as the new AD in Boca. Wolken's report was later confirmed by publisher DeArmound. Wolken: "White’s imminent hiring as an FBS athletics director continues the lineage of what has become one of the most prominent families in college athletics." (link)
Korn Ferry will assist Louisville with its AD search for a process that many here in the Derby City & around the nation expect to end where it starts, with Interim AD Tyra. Marquette AD Scholl comments on being a part of a Korn Ferry search in the past when he secured the Golden Eagles' job, says a month's time is reasonable to hire a new boss. U of L Interim Prez Postel previously called the process an "aggressive search" & one that he believes can be completed quickly. (link)
New Charlotte boss Hill Q&As with the Charlotte Observer, "I’m absolutely a servant leader. I believe that if you have an inverted pyramid in the athletic department, I’m at the bottom. It’s my job to serve the student-athletes, the coaches and the staff, to provide resources they need. I believe in people and investing in people. If people understand you care for their happiness, the more they will want to do great things." Hill continues by noting it'll take some time to fully understand all the hurdles for the 49ers, says he'll dive right into the MBB situation, expects to ramp up on the external side of the game with social media being a key focus. How to improve attendance? Winning + connection with fans. (link)
Miami (FL) AD James reviews the state of his department a bit, believes FB is closing the gap on the elite programs in the sport, has full confidence in how MBB HC Larrañaga is running his Canes, understands FB student-athletes leaving early for the NFL, but wants them to return to finish their degrees. On FB's new indoor digs, "We’re adding in the things that will make it among the best facilities in the country. Maybe some of the things that aren’t necessary to practicing, we hold off maybe on a video board [for example]. A video board we want to use in there for all the different events we have going on; that might be something we hold off because we don’t have the funding. That’s why it’s important we have everyone step up and do what they can to help with the facility because we want to have it done and ready to go by the start and I’m confident we’ll be there." (link)
Big East Commish Ackerman communicates the lessons she's learned after five years of remaking the league: 1) Having a core identify & set of values ("Our brand is built on basketball success, academic excellence and student-athlete well-being, all enduring attributes that will serve as a framework in the next five years and beyond.); 2) Importance of teamwork ("We wouldn't have gotten the league re-launched without an extraordinary group effort, and we'll need that collaborative spirit to maintain our relevance on the national landscape as we look to the future.); and, 3) The enduring appeal of hoops ("The game brings out incredible passion, and Villanova's national championship in 2016 really drove that home."). A bit more from Ackerman on five-year reflections. (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
The Summit League hoops tourneys are ready to go in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the 10th consecutive year & Commish Douple notes the event's growth over the last decade, "Here we are talking about 2019 and we only have a few hundred tickets left in the lower bowl. There is no other mid-major that could talk about that, or a Power Five (conference) that could talk about that. [...] The selling point when everyone came here is that there was interest. We had sponsorship interest, we had fan interest, we had media interest. Folks like that, even the ones that have to fly in every year. Their teams like playing in front of big crowds regardless of it’s a hostile environment." Over the last nine years, combined average attendance per session for MBB & WBB is 5,298. (link)
presented by Anthony Travel
Colorado State AD Parker pens a note to the Rams fanbase on the process around the exit of former MBB HC Eustachy, "Given a choice between 'right' and 'fast,' we really don’t have a choice: these decisions are too important to be driven by anything other than a fair and thorough process. […] At every stage of this process and throughout those discussions we were guided by our No. 1 principle of putting student-athletes first and foremost and ensuring a culture that supports our student-athletes academically, personally, and athletically. […] Let me be clear: We have followed up on every allegation of misconduct brought to our attention, and if the responses of our student-athletes warranted an earlier climate assessment, we would not have hesitated to conduct one. When it became evident we needed to look further into the climate of our program, we immediately took that step, and despite what some have suggested, the timing of that assessment was in no way influenced by the program’s won-loss record. That is just not how CSU Athletics operates." More. (link)
Mark Hawaii off the list of those exploring Mountain West hoops membership as UH AD Matlin indicates he's had no such conversations with league brass. Matlin: "We're not exploring it. [...] We’re happy with our two conference affiliations, the Mountain West for football and the Big West for our other sports. We feel it is working well and we have good partnerships, plural." (link)
As expected, Hampton & the MEAC look to be headed to mediation as HU SVP Harris requested in a letter around one week ago, "A mediator could help identify the best interests of both parties and focus on reaching an agreement that meets their needs. An experienced mediator understands that sometimes the best outcomes have little to do with bylaws, legal rights, financial interests, or the probable results of a trial. Rather, they listen and try to discern the important, underlying issues with an appreciation for the unique perspectives of each party. … Particularly in disputes involving any kind of separation, where the emotions of the parties are running high, mediation is often a reasonable and sound option." Hampton's proposal is for the two parties to split costs of the mediation process 50-50. (link)
Southern Miss Prez Bennett says the university has no other options than to ask the Hattiesburg City Council for its help to secure funding for upgrades to Reed Green Coliseum. Bennett points to increased institutional competitiveness if the facility can be enhanced, which there's been little of since its initial opening in 1965. Golden Eagles AD Gilbert hits another angle, "We do look at Reed Green as a community asset. There are multiple things the facility can do for the community." (link); LSU rolls out initial renderings of its coming FB Operations Building that's expected to be online before the 2019 campaign. (link)
Hartwick is moving Men's Soccer down to the DIII ranks & discontinuing Women's Water Polo altogether. These two programs were the only two the Hawks had competing at the DI level & in a letter to the campus community declining success was pointed to as a mitigating factor. Also, "Competing in two NCAA divisions is rare, and the decision to continue to play in two NCAA divisions has been reviewed a number of times over the last several decades. Even though it is a challenging decision, the Board has decided that this 2017-18 season will be the final one for DI competition at Hartwick." (link)
More Personnel: Boston College AD Jarmond will hire a new WBB HC (link); Longwood AD Austin transitions Softball HC Riley into the role of Special Advisor to the AD with a focus on synergy between coaches & administrators. (link); Learfield's Campus+ teams adds three VPs in former Ohio State AVP of Business Advancement Kossoff, longtime industry sales executive Shull & big brand sponsorship veteran Winneker. (link); On leave New Mexico FB HC Davie will end up losing just 4% of his annual pay during the 30-day suspension. (link); Attorneys for former Arizona FB HC Rodriguez are sharing his program's full staff handbook. Scroll to the bottom. (link); Michigan AD Manuel goes with USC AHC Klein as the new Women's Soccer boss in Ann Arbor. (link); Lake Superior State Men's Hockey HC Whitten gets a four-year contract extension that could keep him with the Lakers through the 2022 season. (link); Northwestern State AD Burke gives Volleyball HC Kiracofe a three-year extension. (link); South Dakota State FB HC Stieglemeier apologetic for a DUI he received back in January. (link)
New Lafayette AD Freeman will spend the first semester in Easton getting to know the student-athletes and staff, but has already introduced her five-goal platform: competitive excellence, academic excellence, a positive student athlete experience, campus integration and integrity. Freeman: "Before I can develop plans and strategies, I need to assess and listen and learn first. I know there is probably a lot of opportunities to expand programs, to change programs and to add programs. If we need to expand or improve programs, we will. We are going to take advantage of all of our resources to make sure we are doing what we need to do. ... I want us to have a winning tradition. I want our student athletes to have successful experiences… I want our students to be strong students, engaged in the campus community, pursuing their career and doing fantastic things on campus outside of their sport…I want [student athletes] to say that this was the best decision [they] ever made." (link)
The UT Chattanooga student paper profiles Mocs AD Wharton, who points to investments in people, facilities and student support as key factors for future success. Wharton: "First and foremost, we can’t lose sight that we’re all educators. At the end of the day, everything we do is to educate students and student-athletes. The first thing you do is hire people of high character. I don’t want to microwave any of our programs just to win immediately. We need to build and sustain success. ... We have great coaches, we live in a great town, and I believe that a large amount of our alumni live within a 150 mile radius so that’s an opportunity to go and engage with them and ask them to invest." On future scheduling opportunities as crowd-generators: "I’d love to have an SEC team play football here, or have Tennessee or Georgia to come in and play basketball here in McKenzie Arena." (link)
USF is pushing to improve its branding look as university CMO Hice notes, "It doesn't have a theme. It doesn't really say anything." There are more than 80 slogans, shades of green and gold and logos across campus, but Hice hopes this one sticks: BE BOLD. BE BULLISH. Lots more on the history of the name, colors and mascot, including confusion to outsiders of the actual location of the school, as Tampa is not exactly in "south" Florida. To that end "The University of South Florida Tampa Bay" is being considered as an official name change. From an athletics standpoint, Senior Assoc. AD for External Relations Goodrich offered this: "We haven’t yet seen the kids come up who say, 'When I was 10 years old I sat on my dad’s lap when we beat Notre Dame, and now I’m 30 years old and I’m buying tickets and I’m going to love USF forever.' [When that happens] this place is going to explode." (link)
Since 2003, the NHL's outdoor hockey games have seen 33K+ fans fill the stands of at least 24 different games. The Naval Academy gets its shot at hosting this weekend and though Air Force knows it has a turn in the future, the details haven't been finalized. A statement from the Falcons: "When the NHL announced they were going to play a game at Navy, they also announced it would hopefully begin a series of games at the other academies. The NHL has put forth no time frame, but it’s their intent to complete the series at some point and we anticipate Air Force will be part of ongoing discussions." (link)
IMG College Licensing & Penn State will continue working together in a partnership that stretches back to 1994. Over the past three years, Nittany Lion royalties have advanced by 48% & last year PSU product was in 2,400 retail locations. IMG College Licensing Managing Director Moss points to the university's commitment to corporate & social responsibility as a highlight of working with the venerable brand. (link)
Also Noticed: Illinois AD Whitman took to Twitter after both of his basketball programs bowed out of the Big Ten Tourneys early: "So proud of hard work done & foundation laid in last 12 months by the great people involved in our @IlliniMBB and @IlliniWBB programs. Proud of our players for their trust & grace during transition. Proud of our coaches for their vision, leadership & integrity. Proud of our fans for their faith & commitment. My heartfelt thanks to all. Short-term struggle yields long-term strength. Believe in what is happening with our #ILLINI. When we reach our goals, it will be so much more meaningful because we got there TOGETHER. We are writing one of the great stories in the history of college sports, and the ending is even better than you can imagine. Thanks to ALL for your efforts and support to help us make it happen. I am one proud #ILLINI.  [blue and orange diamond emojis] forever. #WeWillWin" (link); Pitt MBB suffered its worst home attendance average in program history, drawing an average of just 4,117 this season, down from 8,327 a year ago. (link); Pac-12 Networks and DAZN Canada announce a multi-year partnership that will bring more U.S. college sports to fans across Canada, adding another OTT partner to Pac-12 Networks list. (link); Pac-12 Sirius XM channel (373) will launch March 5, two days before the league's MBB Tourney tips off in Vegas. (link); More on Sirius from ESPNU Radio guy Packer: "SiriusXM has reached agreements to create new channels exclusively for the ACC, SEC & PAC-12. Beginning Monday I’ll be co-hosting 'ACC in the AM' with @WesDurham. It’s a daily show (7-10am) on Channel 371. I’ll continue to host 'OffCampus' as well." (link); Iowa will spend $2M on more repairs to Kinnick Stadium, specifically structural maintenance in the east stands. Work should be completed by August 15. (link); Radford now has branded debit cards in a partnership with Union Bank & Trust. (link)
The Ringer's Conn explains how Virginia MBB HC Bennett has turned the Cavs into the college basketball version of the San Antonio Spurs. Thesis: "The best team in college basketball might not send a single player to the NBA this June. The most consistent program in the ACC over the past half decade has recruited only one McDonald’s All American in that span. The University of Virginia has a coach who once swore he’d never go into the profession, and a collection of players who were chosen, in part, for their ability to cope with losing. Under head coach Tony Bennett, the Cavaliers have built a program that seems to feed on itself, turning midlevel recruits into incubating redshirts into ACC stars. They have forged a culture that perpetuates success, regardless of the individuals on the floor, like college basketball’s version of the San Antonio Spurs. They are tough and deep and efficient, among the favorites to win a national championship in April." Lots more. (link)
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(Posted from most recent over the last 30 days)

(NEW!) Director of Creative Services (University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill, NC): Position serves as team leader of Creative Services, & will establish a multimedia strategy for the Athletic Department, focused on digital content creation & social media presence. More details HERE.

(NEW!) Data Analyst (The Rams Club - University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill, NC): Are you looking for an opportunity to drive targeted marketing strategies and accomplish business objectives using data in a fun and collaborative work environment? More details HERE.

Assistant Athletic Director, Marketing and Fan Development (University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Las Vegas, NV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Assistant Athletic Director, Marketing and Fan Development, UNLV Intercollegiate Athletics [R0108140]. More details HERE.

Sports Business Lecturer (Arizona State College of Law, Sports Law & Business / Phoenix, AZ): 4-6 courses per year, including marketing; analytics; business strategy and executive decisions; sports economics; and sports finance. The Lecturer will also advise master’s degree and J.D. students. More details HERE.

Senior Director, Ticket Sales & Development (12th Man Foundation / College Station, TX): The Senior Director will serve as the manager of the Ticket Sales & Development staff. This position will be expected to lead, contribute to, and support special projects and initiatives as directed. More details HERE.

Assistant/Associate Director, Athletics Stewardship (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): Manage stewardship of gifts of $1 million or more, creating unique experiences and meaningful communications for high potential prospects supporting endowment, capital projects and other priorities. More details HERE.

Assistant Director, Athletics Events and Donor Relations (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): Work with the Sr. Assoc Dir of Athletic Stewardship, Director of Athletics, Fundraisers, Coaches and University Advancement to manage events that support engagement, cultivation, and investment. More details HERE.

General Manager (Tailgate Guys / State College, PA): Opportunity to join the Tailgate Guys team as GM of a significant property in the Company’s portfolio. The GM will oversee all sales & operations with opportunities for growth in the NE Region. More details HERE.

Head Football Equipment Manager (University of Richmond / Richmond, VA): The Head Football Equipment Manager procures, maintains, and oversees athletic equipment for the Division I football program at the University of Richmond. More details HERE.

Director of Annual Giving (University of Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns / Lafayette, LA): Reports to the Executive Director for the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation (RCAF) while managing the annual fundraising campaign; be responsible for all social media and website coordination. More details HERE.

Athletic Trainer - Women's Soccer (University of Oklahoma - Norman / Norman, OK): The Women’s Soccer Athletic Trainer is responsible for injury prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of Oklahoma Women’s Soccer student-athletes. More details HERE.

Assistant Vice President of Ticketing (12th Man Foundation / College Station, TX): With the goal of providing an exceptional sales and customer service process, this position will manage and administer ticket operations, while working closely with the Texas A&M Athletics Department. More details HERE.

Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services (Iowa State University / Ames, IA): A member of the Director of Athletics’ Senior Management team. Dual reports to the Faculty Athletics Representative. Supervises the Offices of Student-Athlete Development and Athletics Compliance. More details HERE.

Associate Athletic Director- Facilities (Northwestern University / Evanston, IL): Northwestern Athletics and Recreation is accepting applications for an Associate Athletics Director for Facilities. The job description can be viewed at Job ID: 33006. More details HERE.

Associate Athletics Director for Facility and Event Operations (Pennsylvania State University / University Park, PA): Penn State University Intercollegiate Athletics is seeking an Associate Athletics Director for Facility and Event Operations. Please view full job description at More details HERE.

Senior Account Executive for Georgetown Sports Properties (Georgetown Sports Properties / Washington, DC): The Sr. Account Executive will develop, sell, and manage all aspects of fully integrated corporate sponsorship packages for Georgetown Sports Properties. More details HERE.

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.

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.
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