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#10: The Athletic's Deitsch notes ESPN's Herbstreit criticized Ohio State Saturday night, but didn't mention HC Meyer much, which Deitsch calls a "protection attitude" around HCs. ESPN EVP of Programming & Scheduling Magnus writes back to Deitsch on Twitter, "I mean this not as a criticism but as a suggestion. You should really spend the time to completely understand college sports and media from a 360 degree perspecive. Top to bottom...Power 5 to D3.  You might be surprised by what you discover.  It will take time...so be prepared." (link);
#9: Louisville AD Tyra has already commented on his view of Cardinals FB at the moment, but what I found interesting in this piece is Tyra saying he watches every FB game again on Sunday mornings to get perspectives he missed from being on-site. On Athletic Association board member Meeker's comments a couple of weeks back that U of L doesn't have the money to make a FB move, "Tom and I discussed his comment. My guess is he’d like to retract that in the sense that we really haven’t discussed that at the board level. [...] We ended last year with a slight surplus. While the settlements have taken a ding out our funds, we try to be thoughtful and make the right financial decisions. Tom and I had not had a discussion prior to that. That was his own assertion." (link); Long Facebook post by the daughter of Cards FB HC Petrino on the difficulties of a football family during a tough season, "However, I am just in shock at how quickly it seems everyone has turned against us. I’ve really been struggling with it." More. (link)
#8: On the heels of UCF AD White once again pushing on the college football establishment, here's an interesting read, "How A Lottery Can Fix College Football’s Non-Conference Scheduling Problem." Issue: "The heart of the problem is that in a sport with a 12-game regular season in what is essentially a 130-team league, the out-of-conference season is scheduled by the schools themselves, and not by a central body." Solution: A televised draw every April that's similar to soccer's World Cup & groups teams based on power rankings. "It’s not perfect, but overall this format produces a tournament schedule ensuring competitive and geographical balance, transparency, and the right amount of quirky and random match-ups. It also lends itself well to a dramatic TV spectacle complete with ritzy settings, celebrity hosts, guest pickers, and plenty of analysis and reaction. [...] ...relinquishing scheduling duties to this style of draw would produce fairer schedules while also embracing the sport’s love of attention and spectacle." Lots, lots more including plenty of charts, "veto chips," simulated schedules & statistical comparisons to real schedules. (link)
#7: FootballScoop's Roussel reports on "friction" at Ohio State between Bucks AD Smith & FB HC Meyer "that hasn't been present in previous years." ESPN analyst & former OSU student-athlete Herbstreit says he's concerned about the anguished & erratic behavior of Meyer on the sidelines. Roussel: "Certainly the investigation in August in connection with the Zach Smith/Urban Meyer issues were a challenge for Ohio State’s leadership. It will be interesting to see if there is additional fallout later this academic year that helps to resolve some of this friction….stay tuned." (link)
#6: Michigan Women's Gymnastics AC Vetere resigned after a misdemeanor charge of indecent conduct. (link)
#5: SMU AD Hart hires Temple Assoc. AD for Major Gifts Adee to serve as the new Senior Assoc. AD for Executive Affairs on The Hilltop. Responsibilities: Strategic planning, Title IX, equity & inclusion, business/finance, HR, legal affairs, life skills, professional development & special projects. Sport Administrator Oversight: MBB. (link)
#4: Yahoo's Thamel continues to deliver the goods from the Pac-12. This time it's text messages from Washington State FB HC Leach to conference leaders after a no-call targeting situation that involved Cougars quarterback Minshew against USC. Leach to Commish Scott, "Don’t ever waste my time, making me sit through some sanctimonious speech or demonstration on player safety or targeting if you are going to continue to alibi what happened last Friday. The Pac-12 cannot say with any credibility, that they are actually trying to protect student athletes." In another, Leach suggested General Counsel/SVP of Business Affairs Dixon was trying to influence game outcomes, to which Dixon replied, "Mike don’t ever again accuse [me of] of manipulating wins and losses. Please show this text to your AD and have him give me a call." Another from Leach to Scott, "So are you going to get fined 10,000$ (sic) for making those comments? If not, why don’t you just send me the 10,000$ (sic) that you fined me and we will call it even." Scott: "I’m not following you. You may want to speak to your AD, who I spoke to yesterday." More. (link); Arizona State FB DC Gonzales after Thursday night's loss to Stanford, "I'm probably going to get in trouble, but that's as unfair a football game as I've ever been a part of. A couple of those penalties, if they call it both ways, it's fine, but they weren't, and I don't agree with them. They're mugging our guys and they don't call it." (link)
#3: CBSSports.com's Dodd with a headlining piece on the impact an NCAA loss in the Alston case could have on conference alignment. Notre Dame boss Swarbrick: "It would be fascinating. It would be a disaster … but fascinating. I think there is a very significant chance that ruling would produce a new wave of conference realignment." The theory goes that since conferences would have the right to set additional compensation structures for student-athletes, like-minded & resource-similar schools would look to cluster together for marketplace positioning benefits. Notable media consultant Bevilacqua has a different view, "I think it goes to a 64-team super division. "I think there's going to be realignment. The driver of realignment isn't going to be free market of player services [via the Alston trial], but it will be when the next TV deals come up. [...] There's a lot of good models out there with pro sports. Half the revenue goes to labor. If you're talking about Power Five, college sports is about the size of the NBA, $8 billion a year. The NBA is paying their players $4 billion out of the $8 billion. These [college] guys are paid a scholarship. At some point, you make a deal and say, 'I can't give you 50 percent but, you know, I'll give you 10 or 15 percent.' That's $1 billion dollars." An unnamed 'Power 5' Commish tells Dodd he believes the NCAA will lose the Alston proceedings. More. (link)
#2: UCF AD White submits a letter to ESPN College GameDay countering comments on the show from Saturday concerning the Knights' 20-game winning streak & challenge of gaining CFP access. White: "College Football has become a subjective popularity contest. The Knights represent all of the teams who – for reasons of history, geography or politics — are left out of the club. These factors will not define our bright future. Our student-athletes don't want anything given to them ... they just want a chance. No one likes having their accomplishments disrespected. UCF fans are knowledgeable and passionate, and I applaud them for using social media to have their voices heard." White closes by noting how the AAC is a partner of ESPN, asks if the Worldwide Leader will help fix a broken model. (link)
#1: MBB-FBI: Guilty on all counts is the headline. Sentencing scheduled for March 5th as all three defendants will remain out on bond. Max for each: Dawkins - 200 years, Gatto & Code - 80 years. (linklink); Earlier in the day Kansas said it will hold student-athlete De Sousa out of action indefinitely. KU Chancellor Girod & AD Long also released a statement after the verdict that included, "So, what now? First, we will await guidance from prosecutors as to next steps regarding the criminal matter. Second, once the Justice Department clears us to move forward, we will work with the NCAA to vigorously review new information presented during the trial. Third, we will continue to review the eligibility of all our student-athletes to ensure that they meet the eligibility standards of the NCAA and KU. Finally, while we have made no decision regarding a long-term contract extension with our apparel partner, adidas, we continue to evaluate our options. There is no timetable for a decision." Jayhawks HC Self says he & his staff don't offer prospective student-athletes anything beyond the benefits of playing in Lawrence, "I have total confidence in all members of my staff, including the one you mentioned, and feel as strongly about that today as I did five, 10, 15 years ago." (linklinklink); Yahoo's Wetzel points to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Diskant as now the most powerful man in MBB. Moving forward, "The U.S. Attorney’s Office could also attempt to flip any or all of the people still involved and go after even more prominent names – potentially including the prominent head coaches who have thus far escaped prosecution. At this point, there is no one in basketball that doesn’t respect, if not outright fear, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York." Other attorneys Wetzel talked to wonder if this is the beginning or end of the drama. (link); Sports Illustrated legal expert McCann analyzes the outcome, notes that only 7% of appeals in federal cases are reversed. The trio has 30 days to file notice that it plans to appeal & the process would likely last over a year. McCann says others awaiting trial may now be more motivated to take a plea deal and, in big bold letters, "NCAA AMATEURISM RULES SUDDENLY GAIN THE POWER OF DETERRENCE." (link)
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