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Former AAU coach Augustine, who was one of 10 initially arrested in the MBB-FBI probe, may have his charges dropped from the federal suit. Augustine was originally alleged to have played middle man for some prospective student-athletes & the programs at Louisville & Miami (FL). Some in the media are speculating Augustine could now be cooperating with authorities or that the legal standing in the case is shaky at best. The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment further on the development. (link)
SIDEARM Sports & CBS Interactive join hands for a deal that gives clients the ability to leverage SIDEARM's content management, mobile platform & creative design juice with CBS' video streaming & distribution capabilities. SIDEARM boss Rubin: "We’re really excited about this, our respective companies coming together in what we view as a true partnership in every sense of the word. Our schools without question will get the best of both worlds as our services and solutions in these areas will perfectly complement one another." CBS Sports Digital EVP/GM Gerttula: "... this partnership allows us to better serve the digital needs of an expanded roster of schools." (link)
Arkansas State is pressing Miami (FL) to either reschedule its canceled FB matchup from last season or pay the $650K buyout. If neither solution is advanced, the Red Wolves say they are "left with no choice other than to seek damages." ASU AD Mohajir says his camp made numerous attempts to satisfy the Hurricanes, including offering to pay for charter air travel to Jonesboro to relocate & play the game. Canes AD James: "We believe strongly in our standing and will not comment further as both parties' attorneys bring this to resolution." (link); Lots more & here's the full letter. (link)
The NCAA Board of Directors approved new guidelines for the enforcement staff to consider in cases of alleged unethical conduct, head coach responsibility, lack of institutional control & failure to monitor. In the case of head coach responsibility, examples are laid out for a commitment to compliance, commitment to communication & a commitment to monitoring. Of note, "These should not be viewed as a checklist or a so-called safe harbor. Instead, they are examples of factors the enforcement staff will consider in analyzing potential allegations." Lots more in the six-page doc. (link)
Paciolan's #PACnet18 is rolling in Newport Beach. Notre Dame AD Swarbrick delivered the keynote & in his opening remarks focused on key values for the Fighting Irish of building a sustainable culture, evolving & empowering traditions, faith, competitive excellence & the importance of community. Swarbrick also noted the outsized role of athletics in the higher education & repeatedly came back to, "Look past yourself and the ‘what’ for change and focus on the ‘why.’" I moderated the second part of Swarbrick's session where he pointed to a future unbundled TV model where fans will buy content by the game, though he also expects the current 'Power 5' conference structure to survive through the 2020s. Lots more from Swarbrick on the potential impact of the new federal tax plan, the student-athlete transfer debate (which he called "the issue" for 2018) & leadership axioms. (link - scroll down); Here's more from PACnet. (link)
Right up the street from PACnet is Recode's Code Media conference in Huntington Beach. Two interesting notes from yesterday: 1) Fox Networks CEO Rice on Fox's recent deal for the NFL's Thursday Night Football package, "You either have the most-watched content on television, or you don’t have it." Rice also points to Hulu adding more subs in the U.S. over the last quarters than Netflix & expects Hulu to have 20M total subs by the time the Disney-Fox deal closes. (link); 2) YouTube CEO Wojcicki notes her company has tried to bid on NFL streaming rights twice, only to lose both auctions. YouTube's pitch for live sports: "Scale — 1.5 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month — and that the company has seen millions of viewers tune in at one time for live events such as the recent SpaceX rocket launch." (link)
Latest SBJ: The financial mechanics of Fox's new Thursday Night Football deal with the NFL explored by media reporter Ourand. $550M in year 1, followed by 9% annual increases. Of note from MoffettNathanson: "While the deal is costly (and will likely be a drag on near-term numbers), Fox is banking on ‘Thursday Night Football’ to accelerate its retrans revenue growth to CBS, Fox’s monthly subscriber rate was projected to lag in the years ahead and now (bundled only with Fox News and FS1) will be expected to accelerate at a higher rate. Given the length of the deal (five years), New Fox will likely be able to drive a stronger negotiation with station groups than CBS and NBC could in the previous two-year deals." (link); Also, Fox may get another NFL Playoff Game as part of its new TNF deal, which could come at ESPN's expense. (link); On Location did $150M+ in revenue at the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. (link); The L.A. Dodgers are the latest to partner with Eventellect in an attempt to counteract ticket brokers. (link)
Fox Sports MBB personality Gottlieb pens for The Athletic where he uses the recent shoplifting incident involving the UCLA MBB student-athletes to reflect on his own mistakes made while a MBB student-athlete at Notre Dame. Gottlieb details the credit card stealing incidents and his struggles with depression, but also talks about overcoming those challenges to thrive in his later professional life. Gottlieb writes: “The criticism of those [UCLA] kids came hard and fast, always underscored by a seemingly simple question: How could they be so stupid? I knew, however, that the question was not so simple. That’s because 22 years ago, I did something stupid. And I knew exactly what those kids were feeling, because I will never forget how I felt when I got that fateful phone call exposing what I had done for all the world to see. ... So if I could talk to those UCLA kids who got caught shoplifting in China, I would say this: Do the right thing, bide your time and try to leave what happened behind. There’s no point trying to forget, because the world will never let you. But hopefully, your mistake will change you for the better, just as mine did.” (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
How are hotels using data to improve the guest experience? Hilton VP of Brand & Guest Technology Weiss points to privacy, energy sensing technology & an increased mobile-first approach. Interestingly, Weiss also notes the challenge of using TVs in hotel rooms, "We know an increasing number of our guests are streaming their own media. And we’ve all watched a 4K show on our tiny little iPhones and said there’s gotta be a better way to do this. Well of course there is, like letting them have access to their content on the guest room TV. But what we found were solutions in the market that allowed this were really clunky." A bit more. (link)
presented by Anthony Travel
Ole Miss AD Bjork will make a new MBB HC hire after the season as 12-year Rebels HC Kennedy will step down. Bjork: "As a Mississippian, when Ole Miss needed him, Coach Kennedy answered the call and came home and built this program into one of the most respected basketball programs in the country and the SEC. He changed the mindset and the culture of Ole Miss Basketball. This foundation will live on for a long time. We appreciate the hard work and dedication that he has given. We want to thank his family and want to wish them well in their future. They will always be a part of our program." (link)
A woman suing the University of Arizona on Title IX grounds has filed for former FB HC Rodriguez to be added to the suit. The overall lawsuit is in connection to former Wildcats FB student-athlete Bradford & now alleges Rodriguez "instituted and enforced a set of shadow policies," "intentionally created a climate in which 'Title IX did not exist' for the football program," and, acted with an "evil mind or reckless indifference" to claims of abuse by his student-athletes. More. (link)
The momentum behind new Nebraska FB HC Frost continues as ESPN's Sherman calls it "Frost Fever" & pens on the Huskers selling out their Spring Game in a mere two days. AD Moos: "This was a fan base that just a few months ago was fractured and, from my observation, filled with apathy. I think now it’s a legit feeling of, 'We’re going to get back to where we once were and where we feel is our rightful place -- and that’s in a position to compete for championships again.'" As for Frost, "Our goal is going to be simple. It’s going to be to get better, day by day to get better." More. (link)
More Personnel: Cornell AD Noel inks Big Red FB HC Archer to an extension that includes "additional performance-based incentives." No further details offered. (link); Longtime Davidson Baseball HC Cooke will hang up his spikes after the upcoming season. Top AC Taylor will take over the Wildcats after Cooke departs. (link); On-leave San Jose State Baseball HC Hawkins has officially resigned. (link); South Carolina MBB HC Martin fined $25K by the SEC for post-game comments directed at a specific official & for criticizing the league after a loss last Saturday. (link)
The Mountain West will host an esports tourney in Vegas alongside it's MBB post-season event dubbed the "MW eSports Showdown." Teams from Boise State & UNLV will compete in Overwatch, League of Legends & Rocket League over a three-day stretch. MWC Commish Thompson: "As a conference, we have never been reluctant to try new and different things, and I appreciate the encouragement and support of our University Presidents in bringing this exciting new initiative forward. Globally, esports is enjoying a boom in popularity - particularly among young people who are in the same age bracket as the students on our campuses. We are also seeing universities add eSports programming, technology and business to their curriculum offerings." (link)
Kentucky professor Thelin pens for Inside Higher Ed, "Paying College Athletes: How will colleges afford the price?" Points to notable on-going court cases & new federal tax language, "If college players can be paid, how much will they be paid? Even though advocates of paying student athletes invoke the rhetoric of 'fair market value,' it’s unlikely that new court rulings will open the floodgate to allow uncapped salaries for college athletes. A more probable scenario is that the courts will designate the conference as the crucial collective unit that works with its member universities to set ceilings and floors on player salaries. Conferences such as the Ivy League and the Patriot League, which play in NCAA Division I yet prohibit athletic grants in aid, obviously will not participate in the added commercialization of paying salaries to athletes. The Power Five Conferences will be likely participants. Between those two extremes, for other Division I conferences, athletic directors will pay a heavy price if they opt to pay players. After the euphoria of achieving partial gains in financial equity by allowing salaries for hardworking student athletes passes, the sobering reality is that even big-time college sports programs will be stretched in their budgets and conflicted in reconciling payment of student athletes with their educational mission." Lots more. Interesting read. (link)
The Connected Fan sponsored by From Now On
An interesting look at how ESPN's sales team markets to buyers & its online profile is one area of specific focus with messages like, "Need a 6th man for your brand?" And, "Double-digital ratings growth for NBA on ESPN across key demos." Upfront ad sales is part of the push, as is the coming ESPN Plus OTT play. ESPN SVP of Multimedia Sales Betron: "ESPN is a place where you can cume large audiences in a live environment." (link); Unilever is the latest mega-brand to consider pulling major dollars off digital media spends as CMO Weed calls some of the online environment "toxic." (link)
sponsored by From Now On
In what's been bubbling for a bit, DePaul's student newspaper takes a look at some within the university's alumni base who are pushing for longtime AD Lenti Ponsetto to step down. Money has been raised to purchase ads space in the campus newspaper & criticism is aimed at the lack of top-end success for MBB. Lenti Ponsetto: "As athletic director, I certainly realize fans are entitled to voice their opinions. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. Our men’s basketball team is a fine group of student-athletes who are terrific ambassadors for our university. The players and their coaches are working hard to improve every time the team takes to the court. All of our student-athletes make me proud every day with their many accomplishments — both in athletic competitions and in the classroom." (link)
Notable college baseball HCs, along with ABCA Executive Director Keilitz, met with Major League Baseball Commish Manfred on how the two entities can progress together. Lots of talk around the possibility of MLB funding a scholarship increase for the sport, hosting early season high-profile collegiate tourneys, playing a game in Omaha ahead of the College World Series, moving the MLB Draft to Omaha & potentially changing the dates to better coincide with the college game's post-season & more. TCU skipper Schlossnagle says he walked away from the discussions with confidence MLB really wants to get involved. Keilitz also notes an expectation of increased traction on the idea of adding another AC for coaching staffs & opposition to student-athlete transfer changes that would not include a year in residence. (link)
The SWAC is looking to possibly move its FB title game to the campus of the regular season champ. The change is being considered as the league looks to find a more financially sensible option for the post-season affair, which had been held recently in NRG Stadium in Houston. Grambling State AD Bryant: "When you break it down, it just doesn’t make economic sense, business sense. I feel comfortable going to another campus. What that does is, let’s say we host it here, whomever is coming here, the cost will be a lot less than going to Houston. It’s exciting in that way. Instead of having two institutions having to pay to go to Houston, it’s one (that’s traveling). Some of the particulars we’re working out is, does the conference pick up the travel for that team? None of these things have been decided, but you look at that and it could be a win-win for everybody." (link)
The Charleston Gazette-Mail's Smock says Conference USA MBB is a better product since the realignment moves in 2013-14, but unfortunately it's still just a one-bid NCAA Tourney league. The conference is up to 14th in the RPI, significant improvements from 23rd last season & 21st in 2015-16. Part of the solution has been the improvement of programs ranked at the bottom of the cohort as the average program RPI throughout the league is currently 193.6 against last year's 214.6. (link)
Purdue's first season of alcohol sales at Ross-Ade Stadium stacked $550K in gross revenue. Boilermakers AD Bobinski: "In general, it was very positive and it added to the game day experience. Fans responded to it. We’ve talked to our concessionaire group (Levy Restaurants) about how we can improve the operation so we don’t create bottlenecks and long lines that cause people to miss extended periods of the game. It was a really good start." Also, Purdue's opening season match-up with Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium generated a $805K check for both programs. (link)
Also Noticed: Interim Michigan State Prez Engler announces DLA Piper will represent the university in Washington D.C. in connection to the Nassar saga. DLA is led, in part, by former Michigan Governor Blanchard. (link); Penn State will host Nevada & San Jose State in 2020 non-conference FB home games, which means the Pitt series will have to wait. (link); Louisville MBB attendance is on pace for the lowest season total since 2001. (link); From Law360: "A New York appellate court has refused to dismiss a former Syracuse women's lacrosse player's suit accusing head coach Gary Gait of recklessly throwing a ball that struck her in the head, finding that a standard waiver she signed assuming risk of injury wasn't enough to..." (link); Quinnipiac is getting three new outdoor digital boards thanks to a deal with ANC. (link); Turnkey Search helped the Miami Marlins to hire a new President of Business Operations in former Golden State Warriors CMO Bowers. (link); Here's the schedule for this weekend's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. (link); USC FB student-athlete Lewis was arrested on domestic violence charges & has been suspended from the team. (link)
The Connected Fan sponsored by From Now On
Whether you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan or not, it's hard not to have been impressed with some of the play calls by Eagles HC Pederson during the Super Bowl. Here's an insightful piece from SI's King on how Pederson challenged his staff to search for & debate the best plays to put in each week's gameplay. King: "All season, every week, every offensive coach on the Eagles had an assignment: find a play or plays better than those on Pederson’s play sheet. So Groh, along with all the coaches, went to work. In a lonely room at the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Mall of America halfway across the country, Groh dove in one more time, on stacks-and-bunches plays and all others he thought might be valuable, to see if he could find one great third-down call that beat any of the third-down calls on Pederson’s play sheet. For the 22nd straight Monday of the 2017 NFL season, Groh looked for a better way, a better play. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Lots more. (link)
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(Posted from most recent over the last 30 days)

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: academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=65806. 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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