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#10: For the first time in bowl game history a corn hole game is part of the student-athlete gift package (Cheez-It Bowl). Electronics & watches, as usual, prime on the lists of many games. Personalized bobbleheads are another new snazzy gift. Full list here. (link)
#9: SBJ's Smith & Ourand hit the wire with news the AAC is asking some of its members to consider signing a grant of rights that could deliver more cash than other league partners as part of the next major media deal. It's obviously also a hedge against potential 'Power 5' expansion that could gobble up some AAC brands. No specific word on which schools may have been offered the incentive. Of note, "The AAC’s current seven-year, $126 million package with ESPN expires in 2020. A new deal could be three to four times higher, but only if the top AAC schools commit to stay in the conference, sources said." 3x to 4x would equal $6M to $8M per year. (link)
#8: Under Armour Senior Director of Marketing Jones, a mainstay for a number of years on the college scene, along with SVP of Global Marketing Kuehl, have exited UA after "an internal review of their department's spending." The move happened last Thursday & WSJ's Safdar adds, "The funds at issue included events, gifts to athletes and nights out, the people said, and some were costs that were approved in previous years." As you may recall, Jones left UA for CAA back in 2014, only to return to Baltimore in 2016. (link)
#7: Louisville AD Tyra will jump right back into another search as Men's Soccer HC Lolla steps down on the grounds of being "called out of my success because there is something that I need to go to." (link)
#6: In the first of what one would presume to be many similar deals, Fanatics gets fully in the college game with a 10-year, $23M pact with Oregon. Officially beings in January of 2020 & includes a $1.5M signing bonus & $21.5M in guaranteed royalties to be "split evenly between the school’s general fund and its athletics department." Nike keeps IP rights to the 'O' & any uniform-related look. Key, from Bloomberg's Novy-Williams, "Previously, the university managed deals with about 300 licensees one by one, with no upfront guarantee on sales. Under this new model, Fanatics will handle all of that itself, combining its licensing, manufacturing, design and delivery capabilities into one service." Fanatics EVP Eiler: "The goal would be to replicate this model where it makes sense for universities that want to think progressively about their future, connecting them closer to their fans than they’ve ever been before." (link)
#5: There seems to be some drama at Oklahoma as new OU Prez Gallogly inherited a seemingly undesirable budget situation in Norman from former Prez Boren. Following an open letter Boren penned in the summer to defend the state of affairs he left the institution, Gallogly reportedly told an intermediate, "You tell him that I am the meanest son of a bitch he has ever seen, and if he ever crosses me again, I will destroy him." Well then. More. (link); Oklahoma Prez Gallogly's denial: "I have never threatened [former OU prez] Dave Boren. That is false." (link)
#4: New Mexico AD Nunez comments on the exit & buyout of Deputy AD Hutchins, "The reality is, now's the time I've got to starting putting other pieces together & this is just one of those steps. [...] We understand the financial situation that we are in, but it’s a matter of us trying to continue to move this program in the direction that I came in here with to make this place better." KRQE's Tate says he traded text messages with Hutchins, who agreed with Nunez's rationale. (link); More details on the separation terms between New Mexico & Deputy AD Hutchins. The $175K buyout will be paid over 14 months at $14,583.34 per month. Hutchins membership at Tanoan Country Club will be paid through June & he can convert some remaining sick days to cash. Looks like Lobos AD Nunez informed Hutchins back in the Fall he wasn't part of the plans moving forward. (link)
#3: 247 Sports' Crawford ranks the Top 20 FB facility portfolios in the nation & while I can assure you you'll take umbrage with the standings, it's a pretty solid single-location resource to compare & contrast all the bells & whistles around the industry. Northwestern's new digs come in at #20, while Clemson tops the chart at #1. (link)
#2: Air Force brass select Holy Cross AD Pine as the next leader of the Falcons. Pine, who previously spent time at Army West Point, "The Air Force Academy is a special place, and I am excited for the opportunity to lead the athletics department at this elite institution. This is a tremendous time to build upon the foundation that is already in place within the athletics department." AFA Lt. Gen. Silveria: "I said from the beginning we needed to do this deliberately, the right way, in order to find the best person for such a dynamic and impactful role." (link)
#1: SBJ's Smith broke the news Tuesday that Vanderbilt had selected NBA G League Prez Turner as its new AD. VU Chancellor Zeppos on his hire, "Malcolm is a proven executive with deep expertise in multiple business disciplines including management, marketing and development across the sports landscape of teams, leagues, facilities and major events. […] Malcolm is a problem solver with a unique ability to bring people together around a common vision. I am confident that he will have an immediate and profound impact on the Commodores’ success as an elite athletics program by building new relationships and new sources of revenue, while recruiting and retaining extraordinarily talented coaches, students and staff." Korn Ferry with the assist. (linklink); The Tennessean's Sparks gets more from Zeppos, "If you look back and say, 'What was (college athletics) like in 2002, and what is it like today?' I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined or predicted (the differences). So what I really wanted was somebody who could, as we say, skate to where the puck is going. The business background was very important to me. But the strategic thinking and ability to say, 'This is where this should be going,' was very, very important to me." Turner points to his background in consulting - both at Wasserman & OnSport - as key to quickly digging in & identifying core issues to be addressed. (link)
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