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#10: The Big 12 will renew its media rights deal with ESPN and Fox through 2030-31, per SBJ's Smith and Ourand, who report the new deal, which starts in 2024-25, increases the league’s annual payout from $220M to $380M. ESPN will get “the top four football picks each season, six of the top eight picks, eight of the top 12 picks and 12 of the top 20 picks. As part of the deal, ESPN will also get the rights to the Big 12 football championship game and the basketball championship game. The Big 12’s parity helped convince Fox, whose package includes 26 football games per season that will run on Fox broadcast network and FS1, to do the deal.” (link); ESPN's Thamel adds notable details: "It's safe to project the overall per-school revenue increasing to nearly $50 million starting in 2025-26. That number could well be much bigger depending on money the 12-team College Football Playoff delivers. [...] This extension will mark the end of what's known as third-tier rights for the Big 12, in which schools controlled certain game inventory. Instead, those third-tier rights will be distributed to ESPN, which means the schools no longer have to sell them." (link)
#9: Queens MBB HC Leonard was booked on DWI & other charges in Gastonia, NC on the 30th of last month. (link)
#8: Video footage shows Michigan FB student-athlete McBurrows being punched and kicked by multiple Michigan State FB student-athletes in the tunnel after yesterday's game. Wolverines AD Manuel said police are investigating what UM FB HC Harbaugh calls an "assault on two of his players." Manuel: "What happened after the game is completely unacceptable. I've talked to the commissioner, he's looking into it. The police are also looking into it, because they've seen the video and they're addressing it. We will leave it in their hands, but this is not how we should interact after a game. This is not the way another team should grab a player and do what they did, it's completely and utterly unacceptable. We will let the Big Ten and law enforcement handle it, but this is not what a rivalry should be about." (link, link)
#7: Check out Indiana's new WBB locker room. (link)
#6: The fracas last weekend in Ann Arbor wasn't the only one of note around the country as Women’s Soccer student-athletes from LSU and Ole Miss were issued red cards after a fight broke out during the first-round SEC tourney matchup. (link)
#5: Tennessee sideline reporter & full-time athletics staffer Funderburg reportedly resigned last week due to social media posts that "surfaced showing her writing racial slurs in 2013 and 2014. She was 17 or 18 years old at the time of those posts." More from Knox News: "UT did not provide a reason for her departure because a spokesperson said she resigned." (link)
#4: Former Utah State AD Hartwell is apologizing after video has surfaced of him repeating part of a vulgar joke told by a donor while he was away at an Aggies bowl game in 2019. According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Tanner, an anonymous group brought the video to the attention of USU administrators in August, calling Hartwell’s conduct “abhorrent.” In a statement, Hartwell explains he did not say the joke in front of student-athletes, though he acknowledges that some may have overheard it. Hartwell adds: “Repeating his words, which were vulgar and foul, was my mistake. I should not have repeated them even in a one-on-one conversation. ... I apologize that any of our football student-athletes who were in the hotel lobby heard such an uncharacteristic comment come out of my mouth.” Hartwell also says he was made aware of the video a year later and showed it to President Cockett, who told him “there wasn’t anything on that video that concerned her and to not worry about it.” A USU spokesperson says Cockett met with Hartwell and “addressed her concerns about his behavior and set expectations for the future.” (link)
#3: We've waited a year for this: BYU AD Holmoe went with a Hollywood-grade Yoda for his Halloween costume. More from the Deseret News' McDonald on how Holmoe pulls off such elaborate costumes, including a video of adjunct BYU theatre professor Hollingshaus' hand in it all. Hollingshaus, who has created custom pieces involving casting on Holmoe's face and who will spend up to four hours getting him ready: "I’m always excited. What are we gonna try next? What do we think we could get Tom to do? What will he let me glue on his face?" (link, link)
#2: From ESPN’s Thamel: “Spoke to Utah State AD John Hartwell. He said he resigned from Utah State last night to move his family back to the South. ‘We had a great run at Utah State,’ he told ESPN. ‘It’s time to make sure my family comes first.’” CollegeAD broke the news of Hartwell exiting Logan. (link); Utah State President Cockett on the departure of Hartwell: “We have made great progress at USU building a positive and supportive culture throughout the university, including within USU Athletics, and we will stay focused on that goal. This change in leadership will continue the momentum we have already built. In this search, we will be looking for an experienced leader who believes in collaboration with university leadership to advance the mission and vision of the institution through athletics and will continue to actively engage in USU’s work to improve the campus culture.” (link)
#1: Mississippi State AD Cohen has stepped down for the same post at Auburn, according to Sports Illustrated’s Dellenger and others. Dellenger notes Cohen will be the third former Mississippi State AD who is now at another SEC school, joining Florida AD Stricklin and Alabama AD Byrne. Also from Dellenger: “If you are looking for one reason John Cohen left his alma mater (there are plenty), I’ve got three letters for you: N-I-L. Auburn’s collective has raised, or at least has pledged, around $13M in NIL. Mississippi State is way behind.” (link, link); Dellenger also indicates Cohen has inked a five-year deal with Auburn worth $1.5M annually, more than double former Tigers AD Greene’s $625K salary and a $400K increase over Cohen’s Salary at MSU. (link)
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