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#10: A PhD candidate at Iowa developed a mathematical model that predicts with 70% accuracy where a high school FB player will attend college using nothing but basic biographical information and the prospective student-athlete’s Twitter account. Kristina Bigbsy’s analysis found that the likelihood a recruit would commit to a school increased 300% if the recruit tweeted a hashtag about the school. Other findings included the likelihood of committing went up 47% for every coach the prospective student-athlete followed from a given school and when a coach follows a recruit, the chances increases 40%. Bigbsy: "If you really want to see where someone is committing, you shouldn’t overlook [social media] data. ... The most significant actions online are the actions the athlete is doing. Who is he following? What is he tweeting? What hashtags is he using?" Commence with trying to game the system, FB staffs. (link)
#9: Here is a video of new North Dakota AD Chaves' first day and a detailed itinerary, complete with mealtime company, photos of the process and a trip to the MBB game at NDSU. (linklink)
#8: Check out Michigan's new 32K square foot weight room. $21M pricetag. (link)
#7: More FOIA results from Fayetteville, as emails revealed Arkansas Senior Assoc. AD for External Operations & Strategic Communications Freet promised Razorback Foundation Executive Director Varady that the athletic department would help collect more money from students. One of Freet's communications to Varady: "We have a full-time marketing and communication teams, while RFI does not. Even if it's outside our job description, we need to go above and beyond whenever possible." More details here on ways Freet and the department are doing just that. (link); New Hogs AD Yurachek will have a different group sit with him in the stands for home MBB games this season as he gets to know those involved in his new post. First up were members of the media for the LSU game last week, Saturday was a longtime season ticket holder and future dates with student government reps, faculty, and Junior Razorback members are on the calendar. (link)
#6: Alabama sent a four-page letter to Outkick the Coverage's Travis threatening to sue him if he didn't stop selling his "Aloha, Bit**es" t-shirt. Travis first designed the shirt after the success of former Oregon QB Mariota and revamped it in honor of Tide student-athlete Tagovailoa. No one should be surprised by Travis' response: "The A on our shirt is definitely not the Alabama A that you have trademarked and copyrighted, it is just a cursive A. Moreover no one thinks an Outkick shirt is licensed by Alabama. [...] Is it your contention that Alabama controls the use of all cursive letter A’s on all shirts? Would you like to design and email the site a cursive A that would be permissible to use? I’d be interested to see your version and would be potentially willing to change our A to one you deem more appropriate if it works on the shirt. If you’d like us to add a disclaimer that says the shirts aren’t licensed or endorsed by Alabama — or publish your letter on Outkick saying the same — I’m happy to do that as well. But as a lawyer who has worked in trademark and copyright law I’m not sure what claim you guys have here. You don’t have a copyright on our cursive version of the letter A or any claim on the phrases used on the shirt." More. (link)
#5: Logos embedded into facemasks as the next uniform innovation? This has to be a joke, no? (link)
#4: Florida Atlantic AD Chun will head from one corner of the nation to the other to take over the Cougars portfolio. Former WSU FB student-athlete & search committee member Thompson: "He interviewed early and he woke us all up. And then, he was the leader. I’m a very happy guy. He was far and away my favorite. He’s impressive. We got the best one. Kirk Schulz hired the best candidate. He went national, and the list of candidates we had was so impressive." (link)
#3: Michigan State Prez Simon was in attendance Wednesday at the Nassar sentencing hearing. Simon, when initially surrounded by the media, "This is their stories and their lived experiences with their words, and I’m not going to challenge those words because it’s important for them to say their words today in their own way. This is not the place for that conversation, and I won’t be engaged in that here." Lots more from Simon, including the statement that she fired Nassar the very day she initially learned of his behavior. (link); The Detroit News goes deep on 14 MSU employees who were reportedly informed of Nassar's actions in the two decades leading up to his arrest. (link)
#2: SBJ brings the goods in its latest edition, starting with a bit of news that the Learfield-IMG College deal is undergoing a "second request" as the Department of Justice asks for more information. Also of note in relation to Learfield, COO Jenkins is set to exit to become CEO of Patron, a provider of technology solutions for arts & culture organizations & is primarily owned by Providence Equity Partners. (link); SBJ's Smith & Ourand team up to pen on ESPN's presence & commitment to the CFP National Championship as interim boss Bodenheimer was in awe of the spectacle, "This is our Super Bowl. This is as big as anything we do." SVP of Event & Studio Production Druley on the Megacast: "This is the biggest day of production for our company." (link); ESPN EVP of Programming & Scheduling Magnus says the Worldwide Leader is committed to keeping as much college content in its grips & positions the new ESPN Plus OTT play, along with some linear slots, as an attractive option for 'Group of 5' & mid-major leagues. Magnus: "There’s a lot of college content that could be produced, packaged and presented in a much better way. Most of it is not aggregated and not branded. […] Conferences still crave the reach on over-the-air or widely distributed channels, but the flip side is that they crave a comprehensive offering for fans and families." (link); An interesting nugget on former/outgoing ADs Jacobs (Auburn), Long (Arkansas) & Currie (Tennessee), "One said he’s eager to jump back into another AD job, while another is contemplating six months or a year off." (link)
#1: The wire started lighting up Wednesday night that Auburn brass was set to hire Buffalo AD Greene to lead the Tigers. USA Today's Wolken has confirmed the move, but notes AU's board still needs to officially approve the selection. Wolken: "He will be the third African-American athletic director in SEC history, following Damon Evans, formerly of Georgia, and David Williams at Vanderbilt. He'll be the first hired from outside the institution, as both Evans and Williams were already working at their respective schools before being elevated to athletic director." (link); USA Today's Berkowitz adds some money context, says Greene will owe UB a buyout of "nearly $350,000." (link)
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