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#10: Watch: San Diego State AD Wicker, clad in a red & black scarf, talks about the on-going Mission Valley facility development plan. Lots of great renderings & design elements shared as part of Wicker's interview. Something I didn't know: Over 50% of the space will be park & paseo (def: a plaza or walkway for strolling) spaces. Wicker: "I think it's important to recognize that it's a community stadium. We're building it for the community of San Diego because we know that no one else is probably going to come back in and build a new stadium anytime soon and we want to address the full needs of the community." More. (link)
#9: Some changes to the Executive Staff in College Park as Maryland AD Evans names former Terps staffer turned Under Armour Dir. of Global FB and North American Sports Marketing Flynn Senior Assoc. AD for Internal Operations and Senior Assoc. AD for Academics & Student Development Sherburne adds SWA to her title. (link)
#8: G5 AD EvaluationForgotten 5's Butler introduces a new rubric for evaluating the performance of 'Group of 5' ADs based on salary, revenue, number of years at the institution, sport sponsorship portfolio, competitiveness of revenue & non-revenue programs & post-season success "instances." No mention of facility projects or fundraising acumen, academic progress or Compliance trending. Interesting, I suppose, but half-baked, to be sure. (link); Butler's first review is a Part I on Texas State AD Teis, "57 total conference titles (3.8 NRCTs per year), which puts him at 6th best out of 31 current peer ADs who have been in their position for 3 years or more." (link); Here's the shared Google Sheet of all Butler's data. (link)
#7: The Washington Post's Maese & Stubbs release a number of new allegations against on leave Maryland FB HC Durkin, former Strength & Conditioning boss Court & other Terps officials, after talking to former student-athletes & players. The mother of a former student-athlete anonymously delivered a letter to UMD leaders back in December of 2016 that called out Durkin, "The fact that he allows his coaches to psychologically, physically, and emotionally abuse the athletes is paving the way for a multi-million dollar civil lawsuit against the school and the coaches, alleging assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress." Former student-athletes point to Durkin & Court playing favorites & bestowing gear, food & massages for those in his circle, while those outside "were fed hot dogs and beans." Video taping student-athletes throwing up in trash cans during workouts was allegedly a thing, as was showing highlights of animals killing each other during team meals & in the training room. In another reported instance, Durkin reportedly used derogatory insults toward a student-athlete as he laid on a training table with full body cramps. Others interviewed continue to support Durkin & his methods. Terps AD Evans: "These allegations, if true, are unacceptable. We will not tolerate any behavior that is detrimental to the mental or physical well-being of our student-athletes. When the commission completes its charge, we will act decisively and take all actions necessary to ensure the safety of our student-athletes." Lots more. (link)
#6: Indiana reveals its first-ever "brand and uniform guidelines" that identify nine characteristics of "Who We Are" as an athletic department: 1) We are smart; 2) We are the spirit of Indiana; 3) We are innovative; 4) We are proud; 5) We are inclusive; 6) We are fair; 7) We are tenacious; 8) We are excellent; and 9) We are champions. Hoosiers AD Glass: "This exciting, unique project, months in the making, has been a goal of mine for quite some time. We have mindfully set out in detail who we are and how that should be communicated, including importantly – but not only – through the uniforms worn by our students who participate in intercollegiate athletics. These guidelines will not only secure our desire for what has been an all-too-elusive 'uniformity' in our uniforms, but will enable us and our partners to consistently present IU Athletics consistent with our core values." No names on the back of jerseys in any sports, will add championship stars on uniforms for programs that have won national titles and the "liberal" use of traditional IU marks. (link)
#5: Florida's FB equipment truck blew a tire on the way home from Starkville, causing a small fire. No injuries to humans, but the side of the truck has seen better days. (link)
#4: Memphis: The Tigers opened their MBB season in front of a sold-out crown in the FedEx Forum as it was the first public show under new HC & UM legend Hardaway. More than 18K tickets sold for the event. (link); Check-out the all black court used for the event. (link)
#3: USA Today's annual FB HC compensation database hits the wire, thanks to the work of headliner Berkowitz, et al. Here's the overall database. (link); USAT first executed this idea in 2006 when 42 HCs were above $1M & one was above $3M. Now: 44 are making $3M+ & 13 at $5M+. (link); 30 schools have buyouts of $10M+ if their HC gets bounced on December 1st without cause. Four SECs in the Top 10 of overall amounts. (link); The USAT's Schad believes these are the five deals that provide the "least value" for the schools. However, doesn't look like there's was any consideration of top-end winning benefits for the institution: 1) Texas A&M's Fisher; 2) Iowa's Ferentz; 3) Auburn'sMalzahn; 4) Ohio State's Meyer; and, 5) Illinois' Smith. (link); At the other end of the spectrum, the five "best values": 1) San Diego State's Long; 2) LSU's Orgeron; 3) Alabama's Saban; 4) Appalachian State's Satterfield; and, 5) USF's Strong. (link); Really cool graphics of Saban's coaching tree with the nine HCs connected to him slated to make a cumulative $32.6M this year. (link); USAT's Wolken digs into the deal for Michigan'sHarbaugh, specifically the split-dollar life insurance portion, "Currently, the policy would provide Harbaugh’s estate a death benefit of a little more than $75 million, from which Michigan would get repayment for the premium loans, plus interest. But there’s a longer-haul feature: Using present dollar values and assuming Michigan pays all of the scheduled premiums, Harbaugh would be able to draw more than $1.2 million a year in tax-free income from the policy’s accumulated cash value from age 70 through age 84 – and the death benefit would still be more than $32 million, minus the roughly $20 million in loans and interest Michigan would be owed. The dollars likely will be worth much less in those years than they are now, but it’s still an attractive setup." Attorney Speyer explains it as a standard corporate perk. More. (link); Unique perks & incentives for Clemson's Swinney & UConn's Edsall (linklink)
#2: The Athletic's Jenks profiles Washington AD Cohen, whose authenticity has lit her path despite her doubts over the years she could, according to Jenks, "do the job her way." Jenks goes on to explain that male leaders told her she was too passionate or too emotional; therefore, she must be too weak. Or, on the other side of the coin, she was a "bulldog" and thus too aggressive. Still, she acknowledges that her passion can sometimes be a detriment as she recalls a moment during a UW-Stanford FB game last year when a fan began shouting obscenities at QB Browning. After laying into the fan, Cohen recollects: "I don’t think he knew who I was, thank God. And then everybody is like, ‘I think we should get you off the field,’ and we got me off the field and we survived!” She also recalls deciding what to wear for the FB game in Utah earlier this month, something Jenks notes is a "seemingly benign decision made more complicated by her gender and personality." Her explanation as Jenks provides it could be illustrative of her charisma, as she chose to dress comfortably on a hot day. Cohen explains: "I knew somebody was going to perceive it like that wasn’t professional enough or that I’m not dressed like an athletic director is supposed to be dressed." She adds: "Well, wait a second, who decides what the standard is? I get to be somebody now that gets to set the tone, so why do I have to limit it anymore?” Even in his own interaction with her, Jenks notes she has a "crazy, innate ability to connect with people, and after 20 minutes, I was telling her things I barely talk about with my own family. It was like she had cast a charm on me." Full profile. (link)
#1: Stadium hoops headliner Goodman reports LIU Brooklyn AD Cohen will no longer lead the Blackbirds. No word from the university yet, though Cohen is no longer listed in the department directory, which may be all the indication we ever get. The move could be in connection to the announcement earlier in the week of the coming merger between LIU Brooklyn & LIU Post (DII). (link)
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