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Watch: Thirty-five minutes with NCAA Prez Emmert, Stanford AD Muir & Minnesota Prez Kaler on the state of MBB, hosted by notable media personality Katz. Sorry, haven't watched the whole thing yet, but will & provide notes tomorrow. Including it today as some of you may want to go ahead & dive in. (link)
The Pac-12's Task Force is done with its review of the MBB landscape, comes with some key recommendations: 1) End one-and-done, but allow student-athletes who go undrafted to return to school; 2) Create a new enforcement unit independent of the NCAA; 3) Push for the NCAA to take control of the summer recruiting circuit; 4) "The Conference calls for full disclosure of the terms of shoe and apparel contracts with coaches and universities"; and, 5) Allow access to agents starting in high school, as well as a mentorship program for elite prospective student-athletes. (link - release, link - Commish Scott interview); Here's the full report. (link)
BIG EAST Commish Ackerman gets a three-year contract extension that could keep her atop the league through the end of June 2021. Providence Prez Rev. Shanley: "Val understands the business and marketing aspects of sports at all levels, and how they intersect with the product on the court. Based on the popularity of and attendance at the most recent BIG EAST Tournament this past week, I would say the conference is very healthy and in great hands. Val’s contract extension is well-deserved." Ackerman: "I’m very proud of what we’ve done to fulfill the vision of our Presidents in re-establishing the conference as a leader on the national college sports landscape," continues by lauding her staff & looking forward to more accomplishments in the years ahead. (link)
Another extension, this one for Bradley AD Reynolds, through the 2022-23 academic year & also comes with a new VP designation. BU Prez Roberts says the VP addition shows the integration of athletics & academics in Peoria. More from Roberts, "Chris is truly a star who has rebuilt a strong culture of success at Bradley University based on solid values and a commitment to doing everything with class. We are extremely fortunate to have someone who is such an exceptional leader heading up our athletic program. This extension will make it clear to Chris and everyone else associated with Bradley Athletics that we want him here for a long time to come." (linklink)
UCF professor & noted academic voice Lapchick pens for ESPN in review of his annual "Keeping Score When It Counts: Academic Progress/Graduation Success Rate Study of 2018 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament Teams." The overall GSR for Women's programs participating is at an all-time high of 92% (+2% from last year), while the Men's cohort is back up to 78% with only four programs total from both groups not hitting the 50% mark. Also, "An important milestone achieved by the men's tournament teams this year was that 2018 marked the first year that not a single team fell below the NCAA's benchmark of a 930 APR. There was only one women's team that fell below this standard." Lots more. (link); Here are the full reports for the MBB & WBB Tourneys (link - Women's, link - Men's)
Yahoo's Eisenberg runs through benefits for MBB programs & their overall institutions for those who pull major upsets in the Tourney. Focuses on Lehigh (2012), Florida Gulf Coast (2013), Georgia State (2015) & Middle Tennessee (2016) on the data points of increased media exposure, freshman applications, alumni donations & tickets/merch sales, as well as attendance bumps. Georgia State AD Cobb says GSU tried to do an overall assessment, which ended up being "pointless" as March Madness clamor can have such a wide positive net impact. FGCU did $500K more yoy in merchandise & apparel sales after its deep run & produced nearly 60% of the university's entire exposure value just in the month of March. MTSU VP of Marketing & Communications Oppman: "The instantaneous viral nature of this upset was like watching a rocket blast off in front of you. It’s a remarkable thing to behold. We can try to assess the value of the exposure, but from a brand awareness standpoint, it’s priceless. It’s not something money can buy." More. (link)
Data seems to be a trend this morning (even more below) & Yahoo's Thamel gets in on the action with a look at "disappearing" NCAA MBB Tournament at-large access for mid-majors. Thesis: "The nine at-large bids from smaller leagues (outside the 'Power 5' + the BIG EAST & AAC) over the past three years is a stark comparison to the 28 at-large bids for teams outside the top leagues in a three-year span from 2012 to 2014." WaPo contributor Stevens, who has kept deep metrics on the tournament for a decade-plus, "There’s clearly been a shift of some kind. It’s partially a consolidation of leagues, but partially the committee’s evaluation process has changed to some extent. Not to [oversimplify] things, but it’s come down to quantity of high-end victories." Of course, securing high-end games for mid-majors is another point of contention given growing league schedules for power conferences. Middle Tennessee AD Massaro & HC Davis with thoughts. Article includes a very useful chart of at-larges per conference over the last 18 years. (link)
Speaking of the scheduling conundrum for mid-majors, Old Dominion AD Selig says the Monarchs will "consider anything to improve our non-conference schedule," including guarantee games & 2-for-1s that ODU has shied away from in the past. Selig on MTSU's snub, "It’s just extremely frustrating that the system is what it is and it continues to get worse." (link); On the other side of the scheduling coin is Oklahoma as MBB Director of Operations Shepherd discusses how to design the most advantageous slate for the Sooners. "Often people might shoot to get two marquee opponents, but the challenge in that is you're not exactly sure who is going to be at what level in any given year, based on the number of people that leave." (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
The arms race in college athletics applies to everything from new & improved facilities to full cost of attendance & extra meal benefits. Many of you have invested in some of the very best nutritional options for your student-athletes & here's a good read & look at the lengths to which the Philadelphia 76ers are doing the same in the world of pro hoops. With an executive chef that prepares personalized meals good enough that sharpshooter & former Duke student-athlete Redick calls the 76ers options "a top-10 Philadelphia restaurant." 76ers GM/Prez of BB Ops Colangelo actually found the teams chef when he was working at the highly-acclaimed Parc Restaurant in Philly. Excellent photo series also included. (link)
presented by Anthony Travel
AthleticDirectorU's Boettger takes a close look at recent MBB attendance tends & centers on percent-to-capacity as a key metric. Notable findings: "To some surprise, head coaching changes aren’t closely correlated to increasing or decreasing attendance numbers, according to our research. In fact, only one major program highlighted in our research showed a strong positive correlation between winning percentage and percentage of filled seats in the five years after the end of a specified coaching tenure. […] Recruiting has been proven to have a substantial impact on team attendance, though. Since 2011, 63.6% of programs that had a 24/7 Sports top 15 recruit saw an increase in its seats filled percentage the following year. […] The Big West has seen the biggest leap in percentage of seats filled since 2010, a 4.4% increase, followed by the West Coast Conference (3.2%), Big East (1.3%) and Big Ten (0.2%)." (link)
Ted Valentine might not be working the NCAA MBB Tourney for reasons that can be debated up & down, but the process for which officials do get an assignment is quite thorough. 1) NCAA Supervisor of Officials Collins starts the season with a list of around 275 potentials that are submitted by each league; 2) Collins & four others watch & review games throughout the season that includes a grade for which Tourney round the referee is qualified to work; 3) Right before the post-season, Collins & his team reduced the list from ~275 to 110, then down to an even 100; and, 4) Final Four officials will be notified the Monday after Regional play. Collins on last year's Tourney, "When they blew the whistle, they were 94.5 percent accurate. When you include when they didn’t blow the whistle, it was still 90." (link)
Kentucky MBB HC Calipari gets the spotlight treatment in GQ & it's a long read that starts & ends in church. Lots here, but of note, "I’m not a fan of the NCAA. I don’t think they make decisions for the kids. They make decisions for bureaucracy and for their structure. […] The Cleveland thing was real and if I had done that, I probably would have been fired like the guy [David Blatt] that was there. … LeBron wasn’t on the team at that point, and I hope it would have been the same decision. But the opportunity to coach one of the great players of all time would be appealing. […] I don’t really think about [the NBA], to be honest with you." More. (link)
The Courier-Journal's Estes: "College basketball's biggest question: Is it possible to win without cheating?" Estes references the outgoing presser for former Georgia MBB HC Fox, "You can win doing it the right way. You have to have everything aligned to do that. You really do. But it can still be done. But it's impossible unless everything else is lined up for you. […] I'm not saying that my tenure ended here at Georgia because everybody else was cheating. I'm going to worry about what we did. I'll let you guys worry about everybody else, but it's a challenging time certainly in college basketball right now, and the frustrating thing a little bit has been that only a tiny bit of what occurs has been exposed. That's the disheartening thing for the game of basketball." Estes' opinion, "With misdeeds so often obscured, no one outside of the sport can be certain who is cheating in basketball and who is not. We can suspect. But we don’t really know." (link)
More Personnel: ESPN's Goodman says we'll get the announcement of Ole Miss AD Bjork hiring Middle Tennessee MBB HC Davis at some point this week. (link); Washington State AD Chun is on the clock with his first major HC hire in Pullman, a new WBB leader. (link); UConn WBB HC Auriemma on potential coaching the Men's side in Storrs, "If I do that, I’ve got to start all over like I’m 35 years old again; kill myself. I mean, would I do it? I could do it. Would I enjoy doing it? I would enjoy it. Do I want to do it? No." (link); Connecticut's Higher Education Committee says it won't push any additional funding to the university if it has to pay the freight for former UConn MBB HC Ollie's $10M buyout. (link); Western Carolina AD Eaton points to all-time high fundraising numbers & a state-wide tuition reduction plan that should make his MBB HC opening more attractive. (link); Pitt AD Lyke is using the services of longtime MBB HC Fogler to find the right new MBB HC. (link); Southern Utah AD Corum is also in queue for a new WBB HC. (link); Evansville AD Spencer now in search mode for his Men's program. (link); Add Boston U. AD Marrochello to the WBB list. (link); USA Today's Berkowitz notes some MBB HCs in the Tourney who could earn major bonuses with more wins: Arizona State's Hurley can get $50K for a win tonight, $75K for another & $100K for making the Sweet 16 on an escalation scale. $10K per win for Nevada's Musselman & South Dakota State's Otzelberger. (link)
For $3 a tip - or $20 for the entire package - March Madness viewers can watch 21 games in virtual reality this March. From Variety: "In the app, viewers can select the camera they want to watch from or choose fully produced VR coverage incorporating multiple courtside cameras and audio from inside the arena. […] NCAA March Madness Live VR also will include an interactive bracket that is updated throughout the tournament, as well as full-length game replays, highlights from all games in 2D and VR, and video-on-demand that includes behind-the-scene access, coach and player interviews and other content." (link); The Big East is the latest league to jump on the Esports train as it will host the Big East Esports Invitational Powered by ESL over the next month. (link)
sponsored by From Now On
"We’re right around $8 million raised and we can phase it. We think the indoor [facility] will be around $15 million so we’re getting close to being able to go out and secure the loan there and the operations would be the remainder of that to get to about $40 million. As we progress in fundraising, that project will progress. But the way it’s been received in a very, very short period of time by our donors has been fantastic." That's USF AD Harlan on the new indoor FB play in Tampa. Harlan also mentions progress on conversations about a new on-campus FB stadium for the Bulls with two studies due sometime this summer, "we’re going to take all that data together; the board of trustees and the president and really make some decisions." (link)
Duke FB HC Cutcliffe on the expanding size of support staffs around the sport, "It doesn’t bother me that some of the haves have these huge staffs. We don’t have that, but to be honest, if they start trying to (limit that), somebody’s just going to do something else. I think it’s a waste of our time." More Cutcliffe: "Sometimes, the biggest challenge we have is people who get involved in writing the legislation should include more people that function in that world." Big 12 Commish & NCAA Oversight Committee Chair Bowlsby: "So instead of telling people how many they can have, we’re going down the path of describing duties. What coaches have said to us is, 'We want a fair game on Saturday, and we want a fair week during preparation and practice.' So those are the things that we’ve kind of gone after." (link)
The NCAA spends $15M on transportation for the Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments and here is a deep dive into the inner workings of Iowa-based Short's Travel Management, the travel agency that since 2003 has served as home base for all travel-related activities for the tourneys. NCAA Director of Travel and Insurance Sheely also profiled. Really long and interesting read about coordinating the 200+ flights, 460+ buses and 20K+ air passengers involved with the post season during the month of March. (link)
Miller v. Minnesota Duluth: On day six of the trial, attorneys on both sides tried to build their case for possible damages to be awarded. One expert testified that former UMD Women's Hockey HC Miller suffered $3M in lost compensation and wages since her termination in 2014 while another described Miller's employment-seeking efforts since then as "passive" and "inadequate" as she has submitted less than one job application per month in the three years since. The university's attorney pegged the loss at $430K, citing that Miller told Chancellor Black and AD Berlo that she only wanted a two-year extension before retiring. Miller's attorneys rested their case yesterday morning and any further testimony in the trial is expected to wrap up today. (link)
Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Stack blames Q4 struggles on Under Armour sales. Same-store sales at Dick's were down 2% during the holidays and the revenue of $2.66B fell just shy of $2.74B projections. Stack: "Our apparel business compared flat. Within apparel, strong sales growth came from Adidas, Calia and Patagonia which was offset by significant weakness in the Under Armour brand as expanded distribution and a highly promotional environment impacted its sales. ... Under Armour will come back. Kevin and his team are focused on fixing the business." Dick's is Under Armour's largest customer. UA's North America Prez LaRose: "The North American retail landscape continues to evolve and we value the relationships we have with each of our wholesale partners. We continue to position our business to best serve Under Armour consumers wherever and whenever they choose our brand." (link)
Also Noticed: New Mexico FB will move forward with its $676K locker room enhancement project after all. Lobos AD Nunez notes the majority of the funds are donor, not state-driven. (link); Wisconsin-Green Bay joins hands with The Aspire Group. (link); Standout USC MBB student-athlete Metu sat out last night's NIT opener to avoid injury in advance of the NBA Draft. (link); Evansville brass say they'll again bid on the OVC MBB Tourney after producing a $700K net. (link); Indiana moving forward with its new Cross Country course. (link); From Law360: "A defensive end for the New England Patriots is claiming in a Texas state court suit that The Professional Athlete Insurance Group PLLC misled him about the terms of a “loss of value” policy and has wrongfully failed to pay a claim after he was injured (in college)…" (link); Buffalo Wild Wings is ready to activate again around March Madness, here's its full plan. (link); Very useful metric comparison from KPI Sports lining up BPI, KenPom, Sagarin, RPI, KPI, SOR & more for all those who made the MBB Tourney & a handful that did not. Certainly looks like RPI was devalued on balance this year. (link)
The Energy Project Prez & CEO Schwartz pens for the Harvard Business Review: Create a Growth Culture, Not a Performance-Obsessed One. Building a growth culture requires a mix of individual and organizational components: 1) An environment that feels safe - leaders need to be role models here; 2) Focus on continuous learning; 3) Time-limited, manageable experiments with new behaviors; 4) Continuous feedback across the entire organization. "By contrast, a performance-driven culture often exacerbates people’s fears by creating up a zero-sum game in which people are either succeeding or failing and 'winners' quickly get weeded out from 'losers'. ... A performance culture asks, 'How much energy can we mobilize?' and the answer is only a finite amount. A growth culture asks, 'How much energy can we liberate?' and the answer is infinite." (link)
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(Posted from most recent over the last 30 days)

(NEW!) Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance (University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Las Vegas, NV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance [R0108335]. More details HERE.

(NEW!) Director of Multimedia Integration (University of Oregon / Eugene, OR): The Director of Multimedia Integration will be responsible for creating, managing and maintaining dynamic content that strategically enhances the brand of the University of Oregon Athletic Department. More details HERE.

(NEW!) Associate Director/Communications (Social Media & Web Development) (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): The candidate will serve as a full-time member of the athletics communications staff with primary focus on social media. Administers communications activities for one or more Olympic sports. More details HERE.

(NEW!) Assistant Director of Athletic Communications (Campbell University / Buies Creek, NC): This person will serve as the primary graphic designer for the Campbell Department of Athletics and assist with implementing public relations services for assigned sports. More details HERE.

Executive Associate Athletics Director (University Athletic Association, Inc. / Gainesville, FL): The Executive Associate AD, External Relations will provide administrative oversight, vision and leadership for assigned departments and sports at the University Athletic Assoc at the Univ of Florida. More details HERE.

Director of Athletic Communications (James Madison University / Harrisonburg, VA): Position will coordinate communications, media relations and sports information strategies of JMU Athletics. More details HERE.

Assistant Director of Development & Internal Operations (University of Georgia Athletic Association / Athens, GA): This position manages and coordinates the processing of all athletic priority seating related to major gifts, provides support in managing data, points and acknowledgements sent to TGBC donors. More details HERE.

General Manager of Ticket Sales (Air Force Academy Athletics Corporation / Colorado Springs, CO): The General Manager (GM) of Ticket Sales will drive ticket revenue in support of Air Force Athletics. More details HERE.

Director of Development - Athletics (Iowa State University Foundation / Ames, IA): Join the Athletics development team at Iowa State University Foundation to connect donors’ philanthropic interests with unit priorities and make an impact in moving the Cyclone program forward. More details HERE.

Assistant Director, Ohio Bobcat Club (Ohio University / Athens, OH): This position will focus on assisting the Associate Director with the day-to-day operations of the annual campaign. More details HERE.

Associate Director/Communications (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): Administer all media relations for baseball and serve as secondary contact with football and other sports. Will also oversee social media & content generation for assigned sports. More details HERE.

Assistant Athletic Director for Public Relations (University of Washington / Seattle, WA): This position will oversee the Athletic Communications team, strategic and critical messaging, and special projects. For complete details, see and apply to job #153755. More details HERE.

Assoc. Director of Stewardship (University of Tennessee Foundation / Knoxville, TN): Reporting to the Dir. of Development, the role will work with the TN Fund staff, manage, develop, & implement a comprehensive donor relations program. Use keyword 1800000099 to learn more & apply. More details HERE.

Assistant Director of Development (The Razorback Foundation, Inc. (University of Arkansas) / Fayetteville, AR): This position will serve in the advancement of all fundraising activities, including annual fund, major giving, & planned gifts, as well as oversight of our Collegiate & Young Alumni Programs. More details HERE.

Associate Philanthropy Officer – Tyee Club (University of Washington / Seattle, WA): Washington Athletics seeks an Associate Philanthropy Officer-Tyee Club. This position will have dual functions in Philanthropy and Discovery. For complete details and to apply, see UW Hires #151487. More details HERE.

Assistant Athletics Director of Facilities & Operations (Florida International University / Miami, FL): Oversees athletic facility management & upkeep to FIU Athletic facilities. Provides overall direction & supervision in the management & operation of Athletic facilities except FIU Football Stadium. More details HERE.

Managing Director for Athletics Fundraising (Dartmouth College / Hanover, NH): Dartmouth College seeks a Managing Director for Athletics Fundraising. For full job description and to apply: PI101423969. More details HERE.

Director of Athletic Development (University of Arkansas at Little Rock / Little Rock, AR): Serves as Little Rock Athletic's major gift officer, along with managing the Trojan Athletic Association (TAA). This position will also be responsible for the success of all athletic special events. More details HERE.

Director of Creative Services (University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill, NC): Position serves as team leader of Creative Services, & will establish a multimedia strategy for the Athletic Department, focused on digital content creation & social media presence. More details HERE

Data Analyst (The Rams Club - University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill, NC): Are you looking for an opportunity to drive targeted marketing strategies and accomplish business objectives using data in a fun and collaborative work environment? More details HERE.

Assistant Athletic Director, Marketing and Fan Development (University of Nevada, Las Vegas / Las Vegas, NV): The University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Assistant Athletic Director, Marketing and Fan Development, UNLV Intercollegiate Athletics [R0108140]. More details HERE.

Sports Business Lecturer (Arizona State College of Law, Sports Law & Business / Phoenix, AZ): 4-6 courses per year, including marketing; analytics; business strategy and executive decisions; sports economics; and sports finance. The Lecturer will also advise master’s degree and J.D. students. More details HERE.

Senior Director, Ticket Sales & Development (12th Man Foundation / College Station, TX): The Senior Director will serve as the manager of the Ticket Sales & Development staff. This position will be expected to lead, contribute to, and support special projects and initiatives as directed. More details HERE.

Assistant/Associate Director, Athletics Stewardship (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): Manage stewardship of gifts of $1 million or more, creating unique experiences and meaningful communications for high potential prospects supporting endowment, capital projects and other priorities. More details HERE.

Assistant Director, Athletics Events and Donor Relations (Boston College / Chestnut Hill, MA): Work with the Sr. Assoc Dir of Athletic Stewardship, Director of Athletics, Fundraisers, Coaches and University Advancement to manage events that support engagement, cultivation, and investment. More details HERE.

General Manager (Tailgate Guys / State College, PA): Opportunity to join the Tailgate Guys team as GM of a significant property in the Company’s portfolio. The GM will oversee all sales & operations with opportunities for growth in the NE Region. More details HERE.

Head Football Equipment Manager (University of Richmond / Richmond, VA): The Head Football Equipment Manager procures, maintains, and oversees athletic equipment for the Division I football program at the University of Richmond. More details HERE.

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.

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.

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.
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