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The story of the day comes early as Yahoo's Thamel & Forde reviewed thousands of pages of documents in the MBB-FBI case from ASM Sports records, "There’s potential impermissible benefits and preferential treatment for players and families of players at Duke, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan State, USC, Alabama and a host of other schools. The documents link some of the sport’s biggest current stars – Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Alabama’s Collin Sexton and Duke’s Wendell Carter – to specific potential extra benefits for either the athletes or their family members. The amounts tied to all of the players in the case range from basic meals to tens of thousands of dollars." There's a ton here, but other schools noted: N.C. State, Seton Hall, LSU, Maryland, Washington, Utah, South Carolina, Xavier, Clemson, Notre Dame, Virginia, Vanderbilt & Iowa State. Xavier HC Mack: "I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates. He plays no role in the recruitment of potential student athletes on Xavier’s behalf. Beyond that, our staff has never created a path for him to foster a relationship with any of our student-athletes while enrolled at Xavier. Any suggestion that I or anyone on my staff utilized Andy Miller to provide even the slightest of financial benefits to a Xavier student-athlete is grossly misinformed. We are prepared to cooperate with any and all investigations at any level." Lots more. (link)
Florida A&M has a new permanent AD as interim boss Eason gets the nod. Prez Robinson: "I have been pleased with his ability to make critical and timely decisions in athletics." Florida State AD Wilcox: "John is a man of unquestioned character who will not only improve the program from the ground up, but he will do it the right way and build it on a very solid foundation." As for Eason, the longtime FB AC at the likes of Georgia & FSU, who is also a FAMU alum, "It’s exciting to me. I am going to enjoy it. I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to doing it. […] I see opportunities here to do some great things." No word yet on contract terms. (link)
The search at Charlotte is down to two: Penn State Deputy AD/COO Esten & Florida Executive Assoc. AD for External Affairs Hill. Both finalists will be on campus next week with the expectation of university Chancellor Dubois making a decision in March & both fit the description of one type of leader Dubois said he'd like to hire. Turnkey is aiding the 49ers' process. (link)
As you likely saw, South Carolina WBB HC Staley has filed a defamation lawsuit against Missouri AD Sterk for comments he made in a radio interview about the playing conditions in Columbia. Staley is requesting "no more than" $75K as a settlement. Sterk has also been fined $25K by the league as SEC Commish Sankey notes, "While we always appreciate a healthy level of competitive intensity on the court, there is no place in this league for discord inside or outside of the arena. I have had multiple conversations over the past few weeks with representatives of both schools about the problems emanating from their January 28 game and it has been my desire for those issues to be mutually resolved between the athletic programs and individuals involved. Unfortunately, a mutual resolution does not appear imminent. Our hope is that we can direct our focus back where it belongs – on our student-athletes and on-court competition." South Carolina's game management procedures will also get a thorough review by conference officials. (link, link); MU Chancellor Cartwright & System Prez Choi in a joint statement, "We remain confident in University of Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk. Since he came here in August 2016, Jim has exhibited a passion for our student athletes and their success and safety both on and off the court. He has proven himself to be an excellent administrator." (link)
The contract for new Texas AD Del Conte is seven years in length at a base compensation rate this year of $1.3M. That number increases to $1.57M in 2024, plus a retention bonus of $400K on August 31 of '24. The Longhorns are also paying TCU $1M to buyout Del Conte's agreement in Ft. Worth. Further from Austin, FB DC Orlando is now slated to make $1.7M as the number of ACs around the nation over the $1.5M mark continues to grow. (link)
Michigan AD Manuel sits with 1.Question co-host @TaiMBrown to discuss his perspective on making sure all Wolverine sport programs are equally celebrated in a media environment where FB dominates headlines. Developing a strong internal culture of respect & recognition for all student-athletes is a core piece of the conversation. Manuel: "You just do it; in internal discussions and to the press. I know a lot of people want to hear about the 'big' sports but I always talk about the other sports first…the successes on and of the field…before I talk about the sports the press wants to hear about." (link)
"UCR is on the rise, and making the coaching change was just a small part of what we needed to do to make sure we’re pushing the program in the right direction." That's UC Riverside AD Smith Jones on her decision to make a change atop the Highlanders MBB program. Smith Jones touches on some angst connected to the situation, "Well, you know what, it’s been a humbling experience. I really care about the people in this community. I’m a part of this community. I have kids in the school system. They’re hearing about it. I’m dealing with it every day. But these are the decisions that athletic directors have to make, and anybody in leadership, so they’re never easy decisions." A bit more, including so much interest in the job that she can't keep her phone charged up & an expectation of making an offer the first week of March. (link)
UNLV gets a $1M commitment toward its coming Fertitta FB Complex. Overall fundraising for the new digs is up to $23M for the project that looks to cost $28M with an opening in 2019. (link); Pittsburgh launches an enhancement fund initiative to revamp the Willis Academic Center. No indication on how much the Panthers want/need, but the link does include a handful of renderings, which look to have been done by DLA.  (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
How many of you stayed up to watch the U.S. Women's National Hockey team beat Canada in a six-round shootout to win the Gold earlier this week? Five members of the squad have also played for the Boston College women's team, including current Eagles student-athletes Barnes, Flanagan and Keller. (link); If you're a TSA Pre-check traveler, you will now be able to use "fast pass" entrances at Barclays Arena thanks to a new partnership with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and IDentoGO by IDEMIA. (link
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LSU boss Alleva inks another letter to the Tigers fanbase, says of FB's recruiting process & recent signing haul, "Building a roster is about setting priorities and executing a vision. Coach O is doing exactly that – not just with talent but with a talented roster purpose-built to compete for championships in the SEC. To do that, Coach O made clear the priorities for this recruiting class – bolster the offensive and defensive lines with top talent and depth, keep home Louisiana's best and improve the passing game." Alleva then runs through on- and off-court/field accomplishments by a number of programs, closes with, "At LSU Athletics, our goal is to provide the best possible environment in which our student-athletes can excel on and off the field of play. We are doing that at an elite level and I have never been prouder of our student-athletes than I am today." (link)
Looks like Louisville has already taken some steps to remove items celebrating the 2013 MBB National Championship as the title trophy is gone from the KFC Yum! Center, a photo mural outside MBB's locker room was taken down, as was the championship banner from the rafters of the facility. Still remaining - and presumably much more difficult to remove - are pieces of the Final Four center court that hang in the facility's main entryway. (link, link, link)
CBSSports' Dodd explains "Why Jimbo Fisher ultimately stiff-armed FSU for Texas A&M." If the $75M guaranteed wasn't enough, his pre-existing relationship with Aggies AD Woodward didn't hurt. Woodward's opinion: "I'm not going to put words in Jimbo's mouth, but there are resource issues in the ACC versus the SEC." Not much out of Fisher himself on the choice, other than his emphasis on recruiting the state of Texas and the statement "This can be everything you want here." Dodd also points to agent Sexton's influence on the financial aspects of the deal. (link)
ESPN's Anderson goes long on the shoplifting incident involving three UCLA MBB student-athletes earlier this year: the better-known Ball and his lesser-known teammates Hill and Riley. Much of the piece focuses on Hill and Riley before the China trip, but concedes: "The players' names and reputations are, for the moment, hostages to the tyranny of search engine optimization. Rather than contributing to a steadily improving team in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid ... Riley and Hill remain known mostly as role players in a wacky international incident -- mere fodder for headlines, for segments on sports-debate shows, for the Balls' reality show on Facebook." Hill: "I hope that this mistake will not define me as a person. I don't want to be known for this dumb mistake." Riley: "I want to start off by saying how embarrassed and ashamed I am. I feel terrible, and I'm sorry to everybody who I have let down." (link)
More Personnel: Delaware State, which is without a permanent AD, will hire new MBB & WBB HCs. (link); ESPN's Ley asks if former Mississippi State Baseball HC Cannizaro will ever coach again, to which fellow ESPNer McGee responds "He is probably black listed within the industry."(link); Big 12 Commish Bowlsby on recent comments by West Virginia MBB HC Huggins: "There are proper channels within the Conference structure to handle officiating concerns. Coach Huggins' public comments are contrary to the Conference's Sportsmanship standards." (link); Nicholls State FB HC Rebowe gets a four-year extension. (link); Georgia Southern Swim & Dive HC Thomas resigns. (link); Elon AD Blank hires Texas Tech boss Payne as his new Women's Soccer HC. (link); Former Texas Track HC Sategna's dismissal was "without cause." (link); More MBB HC bonuses earned, as documented by USA Today's Berkowitz. (link); Kentucky Baseball HC Mingione on Mississippi State rumblings, "I don’t see that happening. Lexington is our home. I fell in love with this place back in 2005...There’s really nothing to talk about with Mississippi State." (link); ESPN college FB headliner Herbstreit to help anchor NFL Draft coverage. (link); Cal State Bakersfield AD Siegfried hires TCU AC Vecchio as new Women's Soccer HC for the Roadrunners. (link)
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CBS Sports Digital EVP & GM Gerttula on the recent deal with SIDEARM, "What made this partnership appealing is we get to play to our strengths, each of our relative strengths. Specifically, that’s web and mobile hosting management for Sidearm, and for CBS Advanced Media, that’s video and ad operations. We each get to take advantage of those strengths across a broader roster of clients…and ultimately provide a better service level across the board, as we’re each doing what we do best. […] We view this as a significant partnership for CBSi Advanced Media. For us, this is the key step to becoming a more significant player in the streaming space for live sports events, with those 14,000 live events." More. (link); Snapchat expects to launch 80 new original shows on the platform this year. (link); The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference will not allow attendees to share comments from a panel with former President Obama during or after the session. Wowza. (link)
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Interestingly, as Penn State Deputy AD/COO Esten is a confirmed finalist at Charlotte, Buffalo's SB Nation outlet lists Esten as a highly-desirable candidate for the Bulls if UB selects a new boss that doesn't already have university ties. Others: UConn Deputy AD Cegles, Cincinnati Executive Senior Assoc. AD/AVP for Development Hatcher, as well as UCF Executive Assoc. AD/VP for Athletics Fundraising & Ticketing Wright. Article author Johnson points to the need for fundraising experience, leadership chops from a large institution/athletic department & on-field/court success. (link)
More waves in Chicago around DePaul AD Lenti Ponsetto & MBB HC Leitao as the Sun Times' Greenberg says the pair is dealing with "unprecedented heat" from segments of the Blue Demons fanbase. Former MBB All-American Aguirre: "If you’d have told me back when I was playing there that this would be the [current] state of DePaul basketball, it would’ve been unconscionable. I would’ve said, 'You’re out of your mind.' Just think about it. Would you ever have guessed this? No. It’s unimaginable." Greenberg also points to the social media hashtags that are calling for Lenti Ponsetto to make changes. No comment from the department. (link)
Facility Updates: Providence AD Driscoll frustrated after the MBB postponement on Wednesday night with Seton Hall due to an unplayable court in the Dunkin' Donuts Center, "It’s really concerning because I thought we had things under control. I was assured that all the systems were in place, that we had the air conditioning on the right level. So we have to figure it out." (link); Alabama set to spend $21M to upgrade its Aquatics Center. (link); Virginia Tech's work on Baseball's English Field won't quite be done in time for next week's home opener, meaning fans will have to sit on amphitheater-style seats down the left field line. Weather is the culprit, per Senior Assoc. AD for Facilities & Operations Gabbard. Other pieces of the $18M worth of work are ready to roll. (link); Oklahoma State Softball has a brand new locker room. (link)
Legal Matters: Reports indicate Michigan State MBB HC Izzo was in the loop on the housing move for two notable former Spartans student-athletes who were connected to an alleged sexual assault back in 2010. The university may not have followed its own protocols in changing the housing situation for the student-athletes as no hearing was held. More. (link); Looks like the sexual assault case involving three former MSU FB student-athletes is headed to trial. (link); Baylor officials respond to claims its leadership deleted emails related to the Title IX lawsuits, call the latest filing "serious accusations that lack any reasonable basis in fact." (link); From Law360: "Two Seventh Circuit judges considering whether to revive a proposed class action against DraftKings and FanDuel over their use of college athletes’ likenesses said Thursday they likely need the state of Indiana to weigh in on whether exemptions in its right of publicity law cover fantasy..." Sorry, big pay wall. (link)
In advance of several upcoming staged student protests, which some school district administrators are saying will earn involved students a suspension from school, several college admissions officers declared this week that such suspensions will not be held against applicants to their respective universities. MIT (DIII) Dean of Admissions and Financial Services Schmill: "We have already informed those who asked that, in this case, a disciplinary action associated with meaningful, peaceful participation in a protest will not negatively impact their admissions decision, because we would not view it as inappropriate or lacking integrity on its face. The purpose of this blog post is to communicate that fact more broadly and explain our reasoning as to why. We have long held that students should not make decisions based on what they think will get them into college, but instead based on values and interests that are important to them. We believe students should follow compasses over maps, pursuing points of direction rather than specific destinations and trusting they will end up where they belong. As such, we always encourage students to undertake whatever course of action in life is most meaningful to, and consistent with, their own principles, and not prioritize how it might impact their college applications." (link)
Also Noticed: Tragic news from Marshall as FB student-athlete Aaron has passed away due to gunshot wounds suffered on New Year's Day. (link); Interim Michigan State Prez Engler says he'll donate his salary of $510K back to the university for the duration of his leadership stint. (link); Around 100 protesters demonstrated outside Illinois' State Farm Center last night on Chief Illiniwek developments. (link); A decision could come very soon from the Higher Learning Commission as Grand Canyon is pushing to go non-profit. (link); Drexel MBB completed one of the most historic comebacks in MBB history last night as the Dragons were down by 34 at one point to Delaware before surging back for a win. (link)
Former Marquette/Indiana MBB HC Crean pens for Sports Illustrated about his year away from the sidelines, during which time he has attended practices, meetings and games of a bevy of different sports teams and figures, including the New England Patriots, the L.A. Chargers, the Philadelphia 76ers and others. "What’s next for me after this time of exploration? Who knows? I started this year with no goal other than to learn as much from as many people as I could, to go behind the scenes to see how organizations operate and leaders lead. At times it’s been humbling. I’ve seen strong management and thought about situations I could have handled better. It’s also been validating—Hey, we did that, too or That’s how I handled a similar challenge. But when you have a growth mind-set, you want to get better, you want to add some skills and processes, you want to incorporate new ideas—and not be afraid to delete old ideas that may no longer be effective. If I return to coaching next season, I’ll be more aware that hard work doesn’t have to be drudgery. From LeBron James and Tom Brady working out, to Jim Harbaugh meeting with his coordinators, I was reminded that long hours can co-exist with joy. I’m going to be much better at remembering that the best meetings and the best culture make clear that everyone’s opinion matters. I’ll be more economical in my words. ... Maybe most of all, I’m not going to discount being there. It’s instructive to talk to people and to read books and to watch from afar. But it doesn’t replicate being there—in the room, behind the scenes, in live situations in real time. It’s not just what you see and hear, it’s what you feel." (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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