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As you know, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions upheld penalties handed down to Louisville as a result of indiscretions by former MBB Director of Operations McGee & others connected to the program. The 2013 National Championship will be vacated - a first in the Final Four era - as will all records from 2011-12 through 2014-15 that involved the ineligible student-athletes. 
+ Interim Prez Postel started his remarks yesterday by directly stating the NCAA is wrong in its final decision. However, Postel & Interim AD Tyra did not think attempting to further fight is worth the time or money. Postel: "The pain this decision has created for our fans and our players were not involved in the events in question is perhaps the most regretful result of this determination." (link)
+ Here's the full NCAA response. (link)
+ Here's Postel's letter to the U of L fanbase. Of note, "First and foremost, we are a university. However painful, this situation gives us the opportunity to turn the corner. We will move forward in an open, transparent and collaborative way. We will need your help to do so." (link)
+ Postel noted the financial figure of $600K that would be repaid as a result of the sanctions, though the Courier Journal's Greer has run the numbers & thinks the total could be far greater. (link)
+ Looks like former Cards MBB HC Pitino will have a statement today. (link)
+ Leading local media voice, WDRB's Crawford: "What this university, and its fans, and its athletics program should keep in mind, even in the midst of dealing with all this, is that while these kinds of things alter the memory and legacy of the university and the basketball program, they need not define it. Time does heal these things – but only if we make the best use of that time moving forward, only if at some point we turn loose of the bitterness and defensiveness and just accept things for what they were, and resolve to be better moving forward. That’s all anyone can do." (link)
+ Leading national voice, Yahoo's Forde, who calls Louisville home: "So the takeaway is this: Don’t have your staffers engage in appalling stuff. If they do and get caught, the sanctions could be massive — up to and including taking down a national championship banner. And if you don’t think that’s a painful penalty, come to Louisville and ask the fans how they’re feeling right about now." (link)
More news from the Derby City as Louisville looks to move forward with the hire of a permanent AD. The university committee charged with assisting on the process has now grown to 15 with the additions of Senior Assoc. AD for Compliance Carns, former Trustee Rechter, current Trustee Burse, former Churchill Downs Prez/CEO Meeker & the new chairman of the U of L Foundation Reed. As the Courier Journal's Sullivan aptly notes, "Interim AD Vince Tyra remains a popular choice for the position," though the committee says it will be thorough. Also, still no word on a search firm of record, though Sullivan reports that decision is down to three & could be made later this week. (link)
Maine is another of the 28 institutions looking to hire a new boss & local media personality Solari pens for the Bangor Daily News noting the selection "might be the most critical hire they ever make." Rationale: "Teams often struggle to eke out winning records, rarely compete for conference titles, and fan interest throughout the state is waning. Many facilities need updating and of course money is tight. Some Black Bear loyalists are disgruntled with ticket prices, games in Portland, and the dissolution of long time 'Friends' groups. The new AD will face some challenges for sure. […] It will take an amazing, innovative and dynamic person to figure out how to fix facilities, field competitive teams, and keep all of the sports intact. Yes, I mean trying to keep football and baseball, sports which many northeast schools have folded in recent times." More. (link)
Former Tennessee AD Hamilton continues his series of conversations with ADs around the nation & caught up with Iowa boss Barta. The pair went in on Barta's leave for health reasons & how his staff compensated, concerns on money's influence in college athletics, plus notable summer retreats with fellow ADs & how those occasions helped to develop a perspective of leadership in the AD chair. Barta: "The greatness of college athletics far outweighs the challenges. [...] My favorite part of the job is in the locker room after a victory...because I know how are those student-athletes have worked to earn that win." (link)
Much of Arkansas State's lawsuit against Miami (FL) seeking the game contract's $650K buyout focuses on whether or not the 2017 canceled contest in Jonesboro was "impossible to play." The contract has a "Force Majeure" clause that makes it void if "an unforeseen catastrophe" renders the game impossible to play. ASU AD Mohajir: "I talked to a lot of Florida schools when the whole process was going through. So, I know what they all did. I'm not going to say what they told me." Canes AD James said the earliest the Canes could return to Jonesboro is 2024, but Mohajir consulted Gridiron and questioned why UM couldn't fulfill the contract in 2020 or 2021, as the Canes have openings both years. James contends that is "impossible given Miami's prior scheduling agreements" and Mohajir responds that the proposed 2024 matchup is "detrimental and harmful to ASU" as it would be a 10-year gap in the series. Mohajir: "A decade-plus apart doesn't work for us. It just doesn't work for us -- that's it." (link)
Hampton's exit from the MEAC for the Big South has turned a bit ugly as HU brass claim conference leadership has been heavy handed in dealing with the situation. Though the Pirates were late notifying the league of its exit plans, conference guidelines do not stipulate specific exit fee parameters, but a $250K penalty has been levied for violations of the bylaws. Hampton SVP Harris believes the league has told other members not to schedule the Pirates for any non-conference match-ups as another piece of drama & a requirement from Norfolk of playing four more years of FB within the league could be "unreasonable restraints on trade and anti-competitive activities." (link)
Facility Updates: A plan to replace Hawaii's aging Aloha Stadium gets a $10M commitment from state government to execute an environmental study & master plan on how a new facility could work. The Honolulu Star Advertiser's Lewis: "What the eventual price tag might look like when — and if — the state gets around to building a new stadium is anybody’s guess, but the one certainty is that it has become a “race” against money as well as time." (link); Virginia has received a "generous commitment" from an anonymous donor that will see Baseball's Davenport Field renamed to Davenport Field at Disharoon Park. (link); The Tampa Bay Times' Knight believes construction on USF's new indoor FB complex must start this year as "Too much is at stake for the school to nudge this necessity into the ensuing decade. The collegiate arms race is too intense, and such facilities are too critical in recruiting's grudge wars." (link)
How does your department redeem winners for in-game promotions? At Appalachian State, Zaxby's sponsors a free chicken deal if an opposing hoops student-athlete misses two free throws with under eight minutes to play in a game. Of course, that's exactly what happened during a tilt with Troy last Saturday. Students were required to show their IDs at the restaurant to get the freebies & naturally, more students showed up than actually attended the game. Zaxby's franchisee Goode says it's not the students' fault & he'll continue to support the Mountaineers. (link)
Experiencing the World presented by Anthony Travel
U.S. Women's Bobsled pilot Meyers Taylor searches far & wide in college athletics to identify future members of the national team, including scouting Softball games & leveraging the expertise of Strength & Conditioning coaches throughout the nation. "It’s a sport that lends well to conversion. And it lends well to athletes who have that multi-sport background because you’re athletic, you’re able to pick up new skills quickly and that’s really what it takes to be a bobsledder. As a brakeman you can come in in a short amount of time and win medals. But even if you never make an Olympic team, even if you don’t win a medal or a world championship medal, you have the chance to travel around the world and represent your country. This is the most amazing thing I could ever think of doing and who knows, you might make an Olympic team as well." (link)
presented by Anthony Travel
Haven't been able to find a full research review, but the NCAA's Research arm tweeted yesterday on the rates of HC turnover for men's & women's programs around the DI landscape. Top 5 on the women's side: Water Polo (21% HC turnover in 2016-17), Beach Volleyball (19%), Rowing (19%), Gymnastics (16%) & Bowling (15%). Men: FBS HCs (19%), Wrestling (16%), Ice Hockey (15%), Basketball (14%) & FCS leaders (14%). (link)
The curious case of exited Mississippi State Baseball HC Cannizaro includes his statement on the way out, "I had a wonderful opportunity at Mississippi State, but unfortunately I made some poor decisions. I hope Mississippi State University and all of the fans and people affected will one day forgive me." The Clarion Ledger's Sammon follows with, "Some inside and around the department said they were blindsided when news broke late Monday night. It was just days ago when school officials were endorsing him on Twitter for his appearances in light-hearted videos involving staffers and MSU’s other teams. Now, instead of being the guy who endeared himself to many and led Mississippi State to Omaha, Cannizaro has put the Bulldogs in a bind." D1Baseball's Rogers points to reports of an inappropriate relations with a former athletic department employee. (linklink, link)
Current Florida AD & former Mississippi State boss Stricklin, as well as FB HC Mullen, have been added to the lawsuit involving Oxford-based retailer Rebel Rags on conspiracy claims. NCAA investigator Sheridan is also now named in the suit. The overall situation, broken down into nuanced terms in the article, is connected to Ole Miss' NCAA infractions situation. More. (link)
Still no official word on the status of on leave Colorado State MBB HC Eustachy. Junior student-athlete Nixon says the squad hasn't heard from Rams AD Parker or anyone else within the athletic department since a team meeting two weeks ago. The Loveland Report Herald's Star believes the hold up is due to Eustachy's $2.9M buyout if he's let go without cause. Interim HC Herl provides more perspective, "In the position we're in now, if something changes tomorrow, then we'll take that on head on. As of now, we're trying to go forward and keep it normal, keep it routine with these guys, but still keep them on their toes. As far as (a conclusion to Eustachy's situation) goes, these guys have a million other things going on, from class to probably girl situations and everything else (other than) thinking about that."(link)
Yahoo's Forde with the second part of his 'Forde Minutes,' points to five MBB programs that are surging: N.C. State, Penn State, UCLA, Utah & Baylor. Gets some interesting comments from Wichita State HC Marshall after the Shockers' big win at Cincinnati on Sunday, "They play with a little chip on their shoulder. I coach with a little chip on my shoulder. It’s no secret. We’d like to recruit bigger and better players, but we’re not going to get into the slop. We’re not even going to approach the slop." Forde also caught up with Gonzaga's Few, who says a week off between the conference tourney & the NCAA's first weekend - like Big Ten squads will also do this year - has always been beneficial for rest, recovery & installing some new sets. (link)
More Personnel: Montana Senior Assoc. AD/SWA Gee another added to the DI Council starting this year. (link); Michigan State turns to former state Chief Justice Young Jr. to aid with investigations connected to the Nassar saga. (link); William & Mary has its first female Prez in Smith College (DIII) Provost Rowe who will begin July 1st. (link); Cincinnati Dean of the College of Business Szymanski selected as the new Prez at North Florida. (link); Akron brass are scrambling to keep Prez Wilson as he prepares for his interview for the same gig at UCF. (link); The Idaho State Prez search is down to five, most notably including Weber State Prez Wight. (link); Notre Dame has its new Women's Soccer HC in program assistant & former Liberty/Western Michigan HC Norman. (link)
The Connected Fan sponsored by From Now On
Facebook consumption is down somewhat sharply. Across all adults 18+ the dip is over 4% year over year, but broken down the numbers are more startling: 18-20 (-5%), 21-24 (-15%), 25-29 (-22%), 30-34 (-23%). More. (link, link); Looks like Snapchat is testing GIPHY sticker integration, a set default skin tone for emojis, plus new tabs for Group chats & Stories from friends. (link)
sponsored by From Now On
Former Northeastern AD Roby is profiled, as his 10-year run as AD came to a close last month. His career is highlighted by 20-straight semesters of student-athletes achieving a 3.0 GPA or better, a graduation rate of 93% in 2016, instilling community service ambitions in others, and, of course, ending the 30-year Beanpot drought for Men's Hockey last week. MBB HC Coen: "I will forever remember him for his lofty principles, his sense of fairness, his unwavering advocacy for student-athlete welfare, and his compassion for his coaches. He consistently tried to improve this university and, more importantly, make the world a better place." Roby: "We’ve built what I think is a really successful athletics program that has the best of both athletics and academic values. I've had a good run, and it's time for somebody else to appreciate that." (link)
Somewhat inconsequential on the national-scale, but incredibly important locally, is the process by which numbers are retired at individual institutions. For Washington AD Cohen it's a topic front & center as the Huskies celebrated & retired the jersey of former MBB standout & current NBA star Thomas last weekend. Cohen: "A jersey retirement is usually a unique honor because it’s our highest honor and yet we really don’t have a formal process for it. We have a policy, and the policy is extraordinarily ambitious. Over the course of time throughout the department’s history there have been times when people have had their jersey retired even though they didn’t technically fit the policy because there’s some discretion written in there for the athletic director." Cohen also says former WBB stud Plum is "on the horizon." (link)
Southern Illinois' cumulative operational deficit rose from $4.7M in 2013 to $19.6M in June 2017, due in part to a FY13 $8.6M loan from the university system to SIU athletics to help pay off renovations for SIU Arena, Saluki Stadium and Itchy Jones Stadium. During that time, FB lost $9.4M, including $2.6M in 2017, while MBB cost the university $966K, WBB $998K and other sports combined to add $4.8M to the overall debt last year. Chancellor Montemagno: "Since arriving in August, I have been closely looking at the very challenging and complex financial situation facing Saluki athletics. The deficit has greatly increased over the last five years and answers to stemming the tide are difficult to find. ... The university must take an in-depth review of Saluki athletics to create a plan that will first lead to realizing a balanced budget on an annual basis and then address the significant long-term deficit position while maintaining our position as a competitive NCAA Division I program." Reduced student fee revenue and a dip in university subsidies are also part of the picture. (link)
Forbes contributor Ching: "Firing A Struggling Coach Often Fails To Solve A College Football Program's Attendance Problem." Ching backs that statement up with stats: 9-of-16 FBS programs that made a change in HC before the 2017 season saw attendance drop last fall, including Cal (down 21.6%), Ole Miss (down 6,279 fans), Texas (down 5,103) and Baylor (down 2,008). Lots more data here on the overall downturn of CFB attendance on the whole. (link); The Herald-Dispatch's Landon doesn't expect reduced FB ticket prices to help attendance at Marshall, which just suffered its worst home attendance average in 21 years. Landon: "That's because there isn't just a disconnection between Marshall's football program and the Huntington community. Instead, there's a disconnection between college football and fans, in general." (link)
A bit late on this, though it's been hard to find good reads that aren't behind huge pay walls, as the push by NCAA attorneys to reduce the plaintiff legal awards in the O'Bannon case. The main eye-opener here is NCAA lawyer Curtner arguing the student-athletes adopted "A ‘Game of Thrones’ approach. There was no middle ground. They’re entitled to nothing." Plaintiff attorney Massey: "We think this court has established that it’s OK to lose sometimes. You don’t have to win every single claim in order to be entitled fees for all of the claims." More. (link)
Also Noticed: Vanderbilt ready for its "VU Black Girl Magic" series of events to celebrate former VU female student-athletes as part of Black History Month. Tennessee State AD Phillips part of the first cohort. Commodores Deputy AD Lee: "We want to connect the past with the present and make sure our kids understand just how many people came before them and paved the way." (link); Gonzaga AD Roth says Zags MBB will return to Seattle for a premier non-conference tilt once renovations are done to KeyArena. (link); Tulane is pushing to double its membership in the Green Wave Club with its new "Wave 100" initiative. (link); Kentucky Baseball set a regular-season single-game home attendance record of 4,118 packed into Cliff Hagan Stadium for the season opener as unseasonably warm temperatures made for a great day of watching baseball in the Bluegrass. (link); Auburn adding alcohol sales at Baseball games. (link); Minnesota adding oars to its FB helmets for next season. (link)
Wall Street Journal reporter Al-Muslim: "You Negotiated a Great Deal. That Could Hurt Your Next One." Based on research from Virginia Tech Associate Professor Becker and MIT Associate Professor Curhan, "People who negotiate back-to-back with different parties, such as those who work in purchasing, sales, real estate and recruitment, should take a break between negotiations if possible, ideally waiting until the next day to begin a new set of talks." Further, Curhan advises a lengthy evaluation period after each negotiation while Becker suggests tailoring strategies to each situation. (link)
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