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July 25, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON

UTA Director of Athletics Jim Baker announced on Tuesday the beginning of a national search for a new head coach to lead the Maverick softball program and its continuing pursuit of competing for Sun Belt Conference championships and aspirations to be a national power in the NCAA Tournament. The Mavericks are coming off a season in which they returned to the postseason for the first time since 2003 after receiving an at-large bid into the National Invitational Softball Championship. The team reached the Sun Belt Championship semifinals for the first time since joining the conference in 2014. UTA’s 32-win season was the best since 2011 and has set the standard for a program that has been on the rise for the last five seasons. The expectation remains high with a wealth of talent in place to lead the program. – Read More

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

Internet TV service Pluto TV has acquired the assets of sports streaming company Eversport as part of its effort to bolster its live sports offerings. Eversport Founder & CEO Wayne Sieve confirmed Pluto has acquired all material assets of the company, including content rights, and has taken over operation of its platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pluto made a joint announcement last week with the Big Sky college athletics conference, a former Eversport client, about launching a dedicated Big Sky channel on Pluto’s free Internet TV service. Eversport previously operated WatchBigSky.com, where the conference streams upwards of 700 live sporting events annually. In addition to launching a channel for the conference, Pluto will continue to operate that site. – Alex Silverman, cablefax.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Josh Whitman is trying to make life easier for Illinois football coach Lovie Smith. Recently, the school announced plans for a $79.2 million practice facility expected to be finished in time for the 2019 season that will be located on the grass practice fields on the east side of Memorial Stadium. “We knew when we brought Coach in, you don’t make the kind of investment we’ve made in staffing and coaching in a football program and then stop. It doesn’t make any sense to just add one ingredient to the mix. You’ve got to add all of the ingredients. Certainly, the facilities are an important part.” Whitman visited other football facilities in the Big Ten and across the nation. During Whitman’s playing days in the late 1990s, the Illinois facilities were on par with most of the Big Ten. – Bob Asmussen, news-gazette.comRead More

ELON UNIVERSITY
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ELON UNIVERSITY

Elon University seeks Deputy Director of Athletics. This position will report directly to the Athletics Director and manage and supervise administrative areas and sports as assigned. The Deputy Director of Athletics will represent the Athletics Director when appropriate in other areas of the campus and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). – Apply Here

KEAN UNIVERSITY
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KEAN UNIVERSITY

Kean University head women’s lacrosse coach Jordan Trautman has announced her resignation after accepting the head coaching position at Division I Monmouth University. Trautman will become the sixth head coach in Hawks history when she begins her tenure on August 2nd. Trautman collected a 51-37 record in her five seasons at Kean and her teams appeared in the postseason in three of the five years at the helm of the program. The head coaching position at Kean was the first for Trautman, who came to Union after assistant coaching stops at Yale University and the United States Naval Academy.  While at Navy she worked with head coach Cindy Timchal, the NCAA’s all-time leader in career wins for any division, in men’s or women’s college lacrosse. – keanathletics.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

The University of Iowa is seeking permission to move forward with plans to demolish the half-century-old clubhouse on the Finkbine Golf Course and construct a new facility at quadruple the size. UI officials have asked the Iowa Board of Regents to approve the schematic design, project description and budget for a new, $10 million, two-level, 23,000-square-foot clubhouse and support facility. The regents’ Property and Facilities Committee will discuss the proposal during next week’s telephonic meeting. UI officials said the project would provide the university’s athletic program with “a suitable and peer-comparable facility” that would allow the university to host NCAA collegiate golf events. The existing facility would be raised once the new facility is occupied, and the cost for the project would be covered by gifts to the UI Department of Athletics, according to the proposal. – Jeff Charis-Carlson, press-citizen.com – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school. It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease that can cause a range of symptoms including memory loss. The report doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players; it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players’ repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before they died. Among those questions: How common is this? How many years of football are too many? What is the genetic risk? It’s also uncertain if some players’ lifestyle habits — alcohol, drugs, steroids, diet — might somehow contribute, McKee said. –  espn.comRead More

BIG TEN
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BIG TEN

Watch your step, Jim Harbaugh. The rest of you Big Ten coaches, too. Conference officials are tired of coaches who treat the sideline like a stage and rage like Hamlet over calls they don’t like — and they’re prepared, finally, to do something about it. Of the several rules changes in store for the 2017 season, stricter enforcement of the coach’s box may have the greatest impact of all. Violators are subject to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The consensus was that coaches literally crossed the line to make their points too often last season. The subject came to light most notably in the Michigan-Ohio State game last November, when an irate Harbaugh slammed his headset to the ground and threw a play sheet so far it ended up in the middle of the field.  – usatoday.comRead More

BIG TEN
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BIG TEN

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany on Tuesday defended the comprehensive recruiting reform package that has drawn criticism from many coaches around the country, especially how it alters the recruiting calendar. The NCAA’s Division I Council in April passed several reforms, including a new policy on official visits (paid for by the universities) that allows prospects to use them from April 1 of their junior year through the Sunday before the last Wednesday of June. Previously, official visits only took place after prospects began their senior year of high school. The council accelerated official visits to match up with an earlier signing date in mid-December, which the conference commissioners approved in June. – Adam Rittenberg, espn.comRead More

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
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PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour met the media Tuesday at Big Ten media days, providing updates on two contracts and a few other points. Barbour confirmed that wrestling coach Cael Sanderson has signed a long-term agreement. She did not give details. Penn State’s Board of Trustees requires the athletic department to release contract terms only for the athletic director, football coach and basketball coaches. Sanderson’s team last year won its sixth national championship since 2011. Barbour said that Penn State and James Franklin continue to talk about an extension to the six-year contract he signed in 2014. Now, it’s a matter of details. Penn State will sell beer and wine this fall in the Mount Nittany Club, its club-seat venue at Beaver Stadium. It will mark the first time alcohol will be sold at football games, outside of packages for private suiteholders. – Mark Wogenrich, mcall.comRead More

MARSHALL UNIVERSITY
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MARSHALL UNIVERSITY

Marshall University has reached an agreement with IMG College to extend its multimedia rights partnership through 2026, the school announced Tuesday. Marshall and IMG College, partners since 1998, were in the middle of a 10-year agreement that was to conclude in 2021.  The extension provides Marshall a substantial boost in revenue and IMG with exclusive rights to various new platforms and initiatives, including the creation of Marshall’s in-house athletics magazine, Thundering Herd Illustrated. As part of the agreement, IMG will continue overseeing exclusive management of the Thundering Herd IMG Radio Network, in-venue signage and promotions, video board features, hospitality, game day displays, digital solutions, television coaches’ shows and specials, publications, social media platforms and the right to grant use of Marshall Athletics marks and logos. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Jim Harbaugh took his Michigan football team to Italy this spring to see the sights, immerse themselves in the culture and bond with teammates. Harbaugh thought the trip was so successful, he is now in the process of planning next spring’s trip to France. Harbaugh said the trip to Rome was a huge success — an opportunity for his players to get to know each other on a different level and in a different country. He thinks the time spent together in Europe could carry over to the field this season. He even heard from fellow coaches that his trip has resonated with other programs as well. – Tom VanHaaren, espn.comRead More

NCAA
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NCAA

Everett Withers sits in his Texas State office and sighs. A second-year head coach, Withers is spending a chunk of this spring practice day addressing a subject he’s discussed repeatedly during a career that’s spanned four decades.  Withers, 54, doesn’t enjoy talking about his race – the repetition can be exhausting. But it’s also an obligation. Withers was one of just 16 minority head coaches in college football last season. After a round of 22 hires this offseason, that number remains at 16 (12.3 percent) in a sport where minorities make up 58.8 percent of the player pool, according to data from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES).There were only eight minority (6.7 percent) head coaches in the FBS during the 2007-08 calendar year despite 54.9 percent of student athletes identifying as minorities, according to NCAA data. Five years ago, in the 2011-12 academic year, there were 19 minority head coaches (16.5 percent) compared to 59.1 percent of student athletes identifying as minorities. – Chris Hummer, 247sports.comRead More

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
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LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

As part of LSU’s ongoing effort to enhance the fan experience at its athletic venues, the school announced it has partnered with Aramark to provide food and beverage services at all athletic facilities on campus. Aramark, which provides food and beverage service to more than 15 NCAA Division I athletic programs as well as 10 NFL, eight MLB, seven NHL and five NBA franchises, will manage all aspects of concessions for LSU’s eight campus venues, including Tiger Stadium, the Pete Maravich Center, Alex Box Stadium and Bernie Moore Track and Field Stadium. Those LSU fans going to Houston for the season-opener against BYU will be able to experience Aramark concessions as they provide food and beverage service at NRG Stadium. Aramark is also the food and beverage provider at SEC member institutions Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. – Read More

PAC 12
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PAC 12

When Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher declared the ACC “the premier conference in college football” at ACC media days, it could have been viewed as a dig at the SEC or, perhaps, the Big Ten. But the league that should heed Fisher’s message most is the Pac-12. Conferences in the era of the Bowl Championship Series and the College Football Playoff are measured by one variable: the ability to win national titles. The ACC has found the ideal formula. Not only has it won two national titles in the past four years, but it has done so with two different champions who are capable of continuing their success for years to come. In Florida State and Clemson, the ACC has two bona fide powers, propelled by top coaches and elite recruiting. No other conference can match the ACC’s model. The SEC pins its hopes on Alabama, the Big Ten on Ohio State, and the Big 12 on Oklahoma. – Adam Rittenberg, espn.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

The University of North Carolina will finally have its day in court. More than five years after the NCAA began investigating the school’s athletic department for its part in an academic scandal, officials are set to go before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions on Aug. 16. The two-day hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. In addition to Chancellor Carol Folt and Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham, the NCAA has requested the presence of football coach Larry Fedora, women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell and men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, among others. – Brant Wilkerson, greensboro.comRead More

OLE MISS
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OLE MISS

It was easy enough for Hugh Freeze and his army of longtime enablers in the Ole Miss administration to write off a stray one-minute, out-of-context phone call to an escort service in January 2016 as a misdial. Happens all the time, he said. But by early last week, Ole Miss officials knew the press was still pursuing the story and that Houston Nutt’s attorney, Thomas Mars, had raised it in e-mails to school officials that would eventually be released through the Mississippi Public Records Act. – Dan Wolken, USA Today. Read More.

ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY
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ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY

Robert Morris will spend the 2017-18 season as a member of the Northeast Conference for the 36th straight year. But questions about the school’s future and the mid-major landscape persist. Realignment still bubbles under the surface of college sports, from the largest FBS leagues down to conferences without football. That includes the Horizon League, where commissioner Jonathan LeCrone sees the league expanding to as many as 16 teams. Meanwhile, Robert Morris is in the midst of building a new arena and recreation center. The project is the capstone of a decade-long effort to enhance the school’s athletics program. –
Andrew Chiappazzi, Times Online. Read More.

MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Marty Bell is fresh off his best season as a head men’s basketball coach in Quincy, Illinois. He graduated his entire starting five and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Bell hopes to get the opportunity at Missouri Western. Bell became the third of four finalists to interview for Missouri Western’s A.D. position after Kurt McGuffin’s resignation in June. The process wraps up with Southwestern Oklahoma State A.D. Todd Thurman on Wednesday. – Brandon Zenner, News-Press Now. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

Cody Kalinowksi, a senior finance major, attends many UCF football and basketball games by paying hundreds of dollars—$14.32 per credit hour—through a student athletics fee tacked on his tuition. However, much like Kalinowski, many of the 64,000-plus students who enroll each year don’t know where that $172 per semester goes to and why they’re being charged. They’re becoming the standard among the 228 schools in Division I conferences, whose total revenue spiked by $503 million while their spending increased by $550 million in 2015, according to the USA Today’s NCAA Athletics Finance Database. – Brian Goins, Nicholson Student Media. Read More.

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

As Rutgers is studying playbooks and game plans during training camp, the NCAA Committee on Infractions will be studying its notes on Rutgers. Eleven days after NJ Advance Media reported that football coach Chris Ash and other Rutgers top officials joined ex-Rutgers employees to answer for seven allegations against the program under the previous athletics administration, Ash was asked for an update on the case at Big Ten Media Days. Still, Rutgers self-imposed sanctions include a one-year probation period with progress reports to the NCAA, a $5,000 fine, and recruiting restrictions that limit the number of off-campus recruiting days and official visits during the 2017-18 academic year. -Ryan Dunleavy, NJ. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

The University of Wisconsin athletic department will have a new provider of sports drinks for the second time in as many years. That appears to open the door for UW to have Gatorade branding on its sidelines this season and Pepsi drinks for sale at its concessions stands starting in 2018. Agreements need to be approved by the Board of Regents, which could call a special meeting to finalize the Gatorade deal before its next scheduled session in October. – Todd D. Milewski, State Journal. Read More.

COLLEGE SPORTS
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COLLEGE SPORTS

The world calls professional competitive video gaming “e-sports.” In the last couple of years, e-sports has become huge around the world with hundreds of millions tuning in to watch. In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, which is the live streaming video platform in online gaming broadcasts. The students have a practice facility where they will practice 20 hours a week and they have to maintain a certain grade point average in order to stay in the program. – Fox 5 NY. Read More.

ROGERS STATE UNIVERSITY
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ROGERS STATE UNIVERSITY

Rogers State Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Eddie Jackson announced his retirement effective August 1. After 30 years in higher education in the State of Oklahoma, Jackson will retire after spending nearly 12 years as a member of the Hillcat athletic department. Jackson was recognized by the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1985 and again by the OYMA in 1996. He was awarded the Outstanding Men’s Basketball Official in Oklahoma for 1990 and elected Coordinator of Northeast Area for College and Career Programs in 1996. Read More.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Construction crews have been busy in and around Reed Arena. In addition to installing groundbreaking true high-definition video screens inside the home of A&M’s basketball teams and volleyball team, the men’s basketball locker room at the Cox-McFerrin Center is in the process of a complete makeover. Between the two projects, A&M has spent a little more than $6.5 million on the recent renovations, according to contracts obtained by The Dallas Morning News through an open records requests. – Sports Day. Read More.

UCONN
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UCONN

Annie Fiorvanti, who has been a member of the UConn Office of Athletic Compliance staff since 2011, has been named Associate Director Of Athletics for Compliance Services. Fiorvanti will oversee and supervise UConn’s Office of Athletic Compliance, which has responsibility for institutional compliance with NCAA and conference regulations and also serves as the Division’s liaison with admissions, financial aid, housing and physical welfare of student-athletes. Fiorvanti will serve as part of Director of Athletics David Benedict’s leadership team. Read More.

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
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KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State men’s basketball coach Rob Senderoff isn’t the only person who will benefit from the contract extension he signed last month. Extra funds were added to the salary pools of both Senderoff and his assistant coaches, according to the contract, which was obtained by the Record-Courier through a public-record request. Senderoff’s base salary increased from $350,000 to $385,000, while the salary pool for his assistants will receive a $20,000 increase for the 2017-18 season. The assistants pool will then get $15,000 bumps for both the 2018-19 and the 2019-20 seasons. – Allen Moff, Record Pub. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
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UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

Matt Luke will receive a healthy bump in pay. On Monday, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork held a session with the Rebels’ media corps and shared how much Luke will make as Ole Miss’ interim coach. Bjork said Luke will earn $500,000 this season in addition to the $660,000 Luke was making as the program’s co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. – Andrew Astleford, SEC Country. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD
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UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

University of Hartford Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie has announced the hiring of Stacie Wentz as the department’s new Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field Coach. Wentz comes to Hartford from Assumption College, where she has led the Greyhounds to unprecedented success during the last four years. She will officially join Hawk Nation on Aug. 7. Read More.

LEES-MCRAE COLLEGE
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LEES-MCRAE COLLEGE

Mark Polsgrove has been selected as the Lees-McRae men’s basketball assistant coach, head coach Steve Hardin announced Monday afternoon. Polsgrove comes to Banner Elk after spending the past three years working for Appalachian State’s men’s basketball program in various capacities. Polsgrove spent this past season as the Director of Player Development for Appalachian State where he oversaw that area of the program. Read More.