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Latest MBB-FBI developments: 
+ Steptoe & Johnson's Kelly, outside counsel for Arizona, says his firm already conducted a probe into Wildcats student-athlete Ayton & found he didn't accept any money from agents. Kelly: "Not a shred of evidence has been adduced suggesting otherwise, which federal investigators and the NCAA officials have acknowledged." (link)
+ Pac-12 Hotline's Wilner with a key note, "To answer any questions on timing: Miller's contract was done post-Byrne/pre-Heeke." (link)
+ Article from USA Today's Schnell: "Professional thing for Sean Miller to do would be step away from Arizona." (link)
+ Michigan State HC Izzo after yesterday's win over Wisconsin on standout student-athlete Bridges, "(The NCAA) cleared him to play or I wouldn’t have played him. So he’s cleared to play. There was one major issue with the, I think, $400 that we and they have found to be completely not true as of what we know now. […] I was not involved in this thing at all. This was our compliance people and the NCAA. I thought they moved quickly on (that) Miles Bridges was not involved in this at all. … There’s no hall passes in this. It was probably for a good reason." (link)
+ The latest from Yahoo's Thamel points to recruiting questions surrounding LSU HC Wade. However, Tigers AD Alleva states, "After talking to my staff we have had no contact from the NCAA regarding any irregularities." (link)
+ ESPN's Goodman: "Imagine being an athletic director who has a coaching change over next couple months, trying to figure out who to hire and whether they are in the clear of FBI probe or any other wrongdoing ... Even more than usual will hire search firms in an attempt to gain 'cover.'" (link)
+ CBSSports' Dodd: "Just talked to one NCAA legal troubleshooter who is clearing his current docket of cases to get ready for flood of calls from school/coach clients re basketball scandal." (link)
+ 538's Silver: "The NCAA keeps pretending it has a supply-side problem when it obviously has a demand-side problem instead. The top ~40-50 NCAA basketball players are worth millions to their programs but work for nothing. So of course there's a black market to barter or bribe for their services." (link)
+ Detroit Pistons HC Van Gundy: "The NCAA is one of the worst organizations — maybe the worst organization — in sports. They certainly don’t care about the athlete. They’re going to act like they’re appalled by all these things going on in college basketball. Please, it’s ridiculous and it’s all coming down on the coaches. […] People that were against (players) coming out (of high school) made a lot of excuses, but I think a lot of it was racist. I’ve never heard anybody go up in arms about (minor-league baseball or hockey). They are not making big money and they’re white kids primarily and nobody has a problem. But all of a sudden you’ve got a black kid that wants to come out of high school and make millions. That’s a bad decision, but bypassing college to go play for $800 a month in minor-league baseball? That’s a fine decision? What the hell is going on?" (link)
A $200K base & a variety of bonuses worth one to four weeks of salary is the general compensation plan for new Northern Arizona AD Marlow. Termination on either side of the table equals 50% of the remaining base. Marlow's $200K ranks third in the Big Sky behind Sacramento State's Orr ($250,008) & Weber State's Bovee ($202,271). A selection of bonus terms: National titles (four weeks pay), top-three Big Sky finish in FB (two weeks), league championships other than FB (one week), department GPA of 3.0 (one week) up to 3.5 (three weeks), APR of 960 (one week) up to 980 (three weeks). (link)
NCAA EVP for Regulatory Affairs & Strategic Partnerships Luck from the Collegiate Sports Summit on his path through college athletics. Of note: "As you progress in your career, you need to be able to speak fluently in many different spaces. [...] Sports is a people business, if you don’t like people, you won’t be well situated within the industry. [...] As a leader, you’ll never get everything right, you have to own up to your mistakes. [...] There are no secrets that differentiate working college sports from any other industry, you have to work hard and treat people well." More. (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
USA Today's Wolken suggests basketball should move to the Winter Olympics as he wraps up his coverage from South Korea. Quite simply, Wolken argues it makes the most sense to include winter's most popular global sport in the Winter version of the Olympics. "No, it’s not a 'sport practiced on snow or ice,' which is the standard established in the Olympic charter for inclusion in the Winter Games. But let’s be real here. When it comes to an organization that is now putting the Winter Olympics in places where it doesn’t really snow (hello, Beijing 2022) and allows Russian athletes to compete while the country itself is technically banned, they seem to give themselves an awful lot of wiggle room when it’s convenient." Additionally, Wolken believes the switch would bring additional needed star power to the Winter Games & disrupting the NBA schedule once every four years wouldn't be that big of a deal. (link)
presented by Anthony Travel
Eleven years certainly over-indexes on the average tenure length for ADs these days as Rhode Island's Bjorn reflects on his run in Kingston that began in 2007 with the difficult process of cutting four sports. "I learned a ton. I learned a lot about transparency and the business. My philosophy right then – six, seven months on the job – [was that] if we took the cut across the board, we would’ve struggled in everything. We decided to basically cut off that limb." Bjorn points to his time at UMass as helpful for understanding how to navigate the politics of a small state & believes Rams FB is on the right track, "Football takes a lot of time to rebuild. We’re playing in the best league in the country and trying to fund our program accordingly." More, including, "We can never, ever stop asking what's next." (link)
Fresno State Interim boss Robertello: "My focus right now is on the day-to-day work that needs to be done in our athletics program in moving our folks forward, but like I’ve said, I’m very happy in Fresno and hope to be here long term." Fresno's student newspaper runs through developments on Robertello's watch, including the "reprioritization" of funding with major renovations to Bulldog Stadium not the only key focus point. "We’ve got great student-athletes, great coaches and a great community. You put all those things together, and I think the sky’s the limit for us." (link); Bulldogs MBB HC Terry credits Robertello for squaring away a charter for his squad to & from Colorado Springs for tonight's rescheduled tip with Air Force. Notable: "This trip will cost about $60,000, but Fresno State is getting $15,000 from Air Force." Fresno State already spent $20K on commercial flights for the trip in January. (link)
San Diego MBB HC Smith was arrested at the Oakland airport on domestic violence charges stemming from an alleged situation involving a female at the team's hotel in San Francisco. Statement from the university: "We are aware of the report of allegations related to Lamont Smith. We have very few details at the time, but we will be gathering information and will be commencing an investigation into the matter." Smith was reportedly released on a $115K bail. (link, link)
USA Today's Berkowitz on new HC bonuses earned: Oregon WBB's Graves ($25K) for the Pac-12 regular season title, $20K for Florida State WBB boss Semrau for her squad's ACC crown, $10K for Nevada MBB's Musselman for the same in the Mountain West, Purdue MBB's Painter ($28.5K) for finishing tied for second in the Big Ten, Houston MBB's Sampson ($10K) for his program's 22nd win, Northern Kentucky MBB's Brannen ($10K) for winning Horizon League, $10K for Cincinnati MBB's Cronin for the Bearcats' 25th regular season triumph. (link)
Within Sports Illustrated media columnist Deitsch's latest piece, "I’ve been told that a number of female employees at ESPN have started sharing their salaries privately with each other in an effort to get a better sense of the company’s overall salary structure—and to better get leverage when contracts come up. While talent agents have a good idea of the financial marketplace at sports networks, the on-air talent and producers are not always aware of who is making what at a company. This will be especially valuable for ESPN female on-air reporters and commentators come contract time as traditionally males in those positions have been paid far more than women in Bristol (in some cases, I’ve heard, six figures more), even with ESPN’s leadership position of giving women prominent front-facing roles." Deitsch covers a bunch of Winter Olympics media topics, as well. (link)
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esports, esports, esports, esports, esports. My spellcheck still doesn't recognize "esports" as a word, but Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Nealy certainly identifies it as an opportunity as engadget's Conditt dives into the burgeoning space. Nealy: "My perception was this out-of-shape kid that's eating Cheetos and playing a game, and can't talk socially, and is a basket case athletically. No, these are normal kids. ...This is just a different avenue. They're smart, intelligent and very capable individuals that have found a niche and are doing something that they enjoy doing. […] We at the Fiesta Bowl, we are known as one of the premier college-bowl games. Which is true -- we wouldn't have just done this if we didn't think this was a serious situation." Intersport's Melcher, tasked with assisting the NCAA with its esports future, "We are seeing that 30 percent of formalized programs are in student services, 30 percent are in athletics, 20 percent are in an academic house setting where there is game design or computer design. I think that is part of the process, seeing if this is a space that [the NCAA] should become involved in, and how, if possible." (link)
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Division I FB attendance numbers dipped 1,409/school year-over-year and the SEC suffered the worst of it, averaging 2,433 less fans in 2017 than 2016. Florida AD Stricklin on his 1,131 decrease: "There are multiple components to it and winning is certainly a huge component. We're on track with last year's season ticket sales" (49K) and "with the excitement of a new coach I think we'll be stable or even see a bump." Stricklin also points to kickoff times, traffic & parking, alcohol sales, wireless capabilities and ticket prices as major factors in the attendance numbers. SEC Commish Sankey points out that stadiums around the league were still at 98% capacity, despite the drop in turnstyle numbers. (link)
Toledo AD O'Brien on his newly released 2018 Football schedule: "It's a fantastic schedule." The seven-game home slate includes visits from Miami (FL), Bowling Green, Buffalo, Ball State, VMI, Nevada and Central Michigan. The Blade columnist Briggs, however, questions the MAC's strategy: "The league’s sellout to ESPN — and its jumble of late-season, midweek games — assures it will stick it to its two most important constituencies: The players and the communities that subsidize its product. It’s just a matter of who feels more of the pain. This season, it literally will be the Rockets (and Ball State). For the second time in three years, Toledo is set play back-to-back conference games on short rest. The Rockets will host Buffalo on Oct. 20, a Saturday, then play at Western Michigan on Oct. 25, a Thursday, followed by a home game against Ball State on Oct. 31, a Wednesday. Ball State faces the same squeeze. Sorry, that’s indefensible. Can you imagine if a big-time conference tried to pull that stunt? Even the NFL — which requires the occasional Sunday-to-Thursday turnaround but of course compensates the players who hate it millions of dollars — never would allow this. The MAC can’t talk a big game on player safety in this climate, then, with a straight face, ask amateur athletes to smash each other silly three times in 12 days in the name of cheap programming for ESPN." (link)
A bill heard by a state of Washington House committee last week would require universities to be more transparent about athletics spending. The Board of Trustees/Regents would have to approve the annual athletics budget at a public meeting at the start of the fiscal year and departments that overspend would have to create a plan to reduce costs, post the plan on their website and thereafter get advanced approval for most expenditures $250K+ that are outside of the annual budget. Senator Billig (D-Spokane) is the bill's sponsor: "I think we all want to make sure that the investments are responsible. You may agree on some of the decisions that are made on athletic spending or not, but it’s hard to disagree that those decisions should be made out in the open." Washington and Washington State have both suffered deficits in recent years. (link)
Around Higher Ed: Bowling Green removes the interim tag and announces alum Rogers will be the school's 12th president, with a $424.5K annual salary through 2022. (link); The search for UCF's next president is down to four finalists: UCF Provost Whittaker, Purdue EVP Garimella, North Dakota Prez Kennedy and Akron Prez Wilson. The BoT plans to select the next leader on March 9. (link)
Also Noticed: Tragic news from Washington State as Director of Strength & Conditioning Lang passed away from an apparent heart attack. WSU WBB cancelled its tip with Stanford yesterday as a result. (link); More bad news, this one from Aspen, as notable NBA agent Fegan was killed in a car crash in Colorado. (link); South Carolina Governor McMaster over the weekend: "Anything short of a full retraction & apology from @SEC and @Mizzou is an insult to every South Carolinian.  @dawnstaley is GOLD MEDAL role model for our daughters and sons. We stand with Dawn. #TeamSC" (link); The Austin Peay-Murray State MBB tilt in Clarksville on Saturday night was postponed by three hours as a tornado damaged the roof of Winfield Dunn Center. Fans, student-athletes & coaches took shelter in hallways & offices. (link); Arizona State is partnering with Major League Baseball to go "zero waste" at Sun Devil home games this season. (link); Under Armour boss Plank is selling his Washington D.C. home for $29.5M. (link)
MarketWatch's Watts breaks down seven highlights from Warren Buffett's 17-page Berkshire Hathaway investor letter. 1. Deal-making CEOs (are the reason it is hard to find stand-alone companies to buy at a "sensible" price); 2. On leverage and sleeping well ("It is insane to risk what you have and need in order to obtain what you don't need"); 3. Stop on in (plug for Berkshire's 38.6% stake in Pilot Flying J & lots of love for the Haslam family); 4. Liquidity and the 'kindness of strangers' (don't rely on that kindness and make sure you can withstand economic discontinuities); 5. 'In America' (still believes the very long-term outlook for the U.S. economy is "undeniably bullish"); 6. Watch those fees ("Performance comes, performance goes. Fees never falter."); and 7. 'Willingness to look foolish' (focus on fundamentals and be willing to look foolish for a sustained period of time). (link); Here's Buffett's entire letter. (link)
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(Posted from most recent over the last 30 days)

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.

Assistant Coach, Cheer (University of Texas Athletics / Austin, TX): Assist the Head Coach in the leadership and management of the Cheer program and to achieve successful outcomes. 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.

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.
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