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November 16, 2017

HAMPTON UNIVERSITY
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HAMPTON UNIVERSITY

Hampton University announced this morning that it will join the Big South Conference next season. Hampton, one of the nation’s most academically prestigious historically black colleges and universities, will leave MEAC in July. That means next fall, for the first time in more than a century of athletics, Hampton will not complete in an HBCU league. The Big South has no other HBCU members. Tennessee State, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, is the only other Division I HBCU not playing in a historically black league. Although most MEAC schools are in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Washington, D.C., the league also has two members in Florida. Big South schools are confined to Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. -Harry Minium, Virginian-Pilot, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

According to the termination letter, Long will receive all salary and incentive compensation earned through Wednesday. A UA spokesman said Long’s incentive compensation would total $90,000 but that the figure could change. “Going forward, consistent with the relevant provisions of Mr. Long’s employment agreement, the University will pay Mr. Long $1 million per year for the remainder of his contract through June 30, 2022 (prorated for the remainder of fiscal year 2018) in monthly sums of $83,333.33 up to a maximum of $4.625 million, all of which is subject to mitigation if Mr. Long is later employed and/or receives compensation elsewhere,” spokesman Mark Rushing said. Rushing added that the payments will come from Athletic Department and private funds. Under his most recent contract amendment, Long is paid an annual salary of $750,000 from the university. A personal-services agreement with the Razorback Foundation also guarantees Long annual payments of $250,000 in private funds. Long can also earn up to $1.1 million in private funds if he meets certain benchmarks, such as achieving a graduation success rate for all student athletes of more than 75 percent or maintaining good citizenship. In fiscal 2017, which ended June 30, Long made $1.37 million because he hit certain benchmarks, including winning five Southeastern Conference championships in cross country and track. -Aziaz Musa, Whole Hog Sports, Read More

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

WVU alumnus Herbert Sanger and his wife, Rita, made a $1 million donation to the WVU athletic department. The gift from the Sangers, who reside in Knoxville, Tenn., will endow scholarships to support the men’s basketball team. “Athletic scholarships are vital to the success of our athletic program. I want to thank Herb and Rita for another generous gift to our endowment fund,” WVU athletics director Shane Lyons said. “We started this journey on the basis that there are 13 scholarships available for basketball, and we felt that was a manageable number for us and others to endow scholarships for the entire men’s basketball program,” Herb Sanger said. “We’ve also donated other funds to the university, and we’ve tried to direct it all to continuing benefits such as scholarships.” –Read More

ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY
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ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY

Zach Schroeder has moved into a new role with the Illinois State Athletics Department, as he has earned the role of Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing as announced by ISU Director of Athletics Larry Lyons. In his new role as Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing, Schroeder will direct the creative efforts of the athletics department by developing and implementing marketing and promotional plans and managing advertising plans. These efforts all lead to the promotion and implementation of a positive game-day fan experience for all Redbird sports. Schroeder joined Illinois State in 2012 as a Graduate Assistant in Marketing and Promotions and before serving as the Assistant Director of Marketing and most recently as the Director of Marketing and Fan Experience. –Read More

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

The Mountain West (MW) and broadcast partner ESPN announced today the television broadcast details for the 2017 Mountain West Football Championship Game, which will be played Saturday, December 2. For the second consecutive year, the championship game will be televised live on ESPN beginning at 5:45 p.m. Mountain Time/4:45 p.m. Pacific Time. The game features the regular-season winners of the Mountain and West Divisions. The championship game is hosted by the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee ranking. –Read More

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY
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ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

Academy of Art University seeks Associate Athletic Director, Compliance & Student Athlete Development.  The Associate Athletic Director for Compliance & Student Athlete Development is responsible for the overall development, implementation, and review of the institution’s compliance program and student-athlete development.  – Apply Here

UTEP
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UTEP

NewsChannel 9 has learned that only two finalists remain in the running to replace retiring UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull. Sources confirm to KTSM that Lisa Campos, one of three finalists for the job, has withdrawn her name from consideration. She, along with Citadel Athletic Director Jim Senter and UTEP Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Park, were the last three candidates vying for the position. Sources also confirm that Campos is now a finalist for the athletic director position at UT San Antonio. Campos is currently Northern Arizona’s Vice President of Athletics and was considered the front-runner for the job. -Victor Venegas, NewsChannel 9, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
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UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

The Athletics Department at the University of Montana is short $600,000 in scholarship money for the 2019 fiscal year, but campus officials said UM will find a way to patch the hole. “It’s something that is fixable,” said Ryan Martin, associate athletics director. The shortfall is due to increases in campus costs of about 20 percent along with the relatively newer scholarships for softball, Martin said. In the past six years, he said costs have risen in nonresident tuition, fees, residence halls, and meal plans, and UM started softball, where scholarships cost about $350,000. “We’ve done a good job generating more money to cover these costs, but from FY12 to now, the amount the department spends on scholarships has gone from around $3.7 million to $5.5 million,” Martin said. For the current 2018 fiscal year, Martin said the department dipped into its reserves to cover scholarships and other costs to the tune of $600,000 to $700,000. With reserves depleted, it is going to find another way to address the gap for the next school year. -Keila Szpaller, Missoulian, Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Two men who allegedly schemed to funnel money to the families of two University of Louisville basketball recruits pleaded not guilty Wednesday in federal court. Adidas executive James Gatto and sports agent Christian Dawkins were among eight men who entered pleas this week as part of a federal probe into college basketball recruiting that was unveiled in three criminal complaints in late September. A New York grand jury opted last week to return indictments on eight of the 10 initially arrested as part of the investigation, which alleges bribery and corruption in college basketball recruiting that involved coaches, agents, players and their families, and apparel company executives. On Wednesday, six men entered pleas during arraignments in the Southern District of New York: Gatto, Dawkins, Adidas consultant Merl Code, Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson, Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans and University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland. Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person and Rashan Michel, an apparel company owner, pleaded not guilty during a Tuesday arraignment. -Justin Sayers, Louisville Courier-Journal, Read More

November 15, 2017

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
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MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Minnesota State Athletics has announced that Nick Lewis as been named Director of Marketing. Lewis joins the Mavericks after spending the last three years at KEYC News 12 in Mankato where he served as Digital Content Specialist/Social Media Director. At KEYC he created, scheduled, monitored and analyzed advertisement campaigns for the station and its clients and revamped the digital sales strategy which doubled digital sales revenue. A 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, Lewis also interned at KARE-TV in Golden Valley, Minn., from 2012-2014. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

A little more than seven hours after his firing became official, former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long released a statement through the University of Arkansas. Here is his letter, in full: My family and I would like to thank the University community, Fayetteville community, all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as the friends we have made across the great State of Arkansas. My wife Fanny and I have raised two wonderful daughters in Fayetteville, one of which has her name etched in Senior Walk. For my family, this will always be home. I want to thank our outstanding coaches for their efforts on behalf of our student-athletes. Our coaches are not only great teachers but also care deeply about our students and worked tirelessly to achieve our mission of assisting student-athletes in reaching their full potential through intercollegiate athletics. – Andrew Hutchinson, 247sports.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND

John P. Hardt comes to the University of Richmond from Bucknell, but he already feels at home in the River City thanks to his youngest daughter, Madeline. Wednesday afternoon, the university introduced Hardt as their next Director of Athletics, effective January 1st, 2018. He revealed during opening remarks and regards that his youngest daughter, Madeline, graduated from Richmond in 2016. While it was a big influence on his decision to look into joining the Richmond Spiders athletic department, he points out the high standard of academic and athletic success as well as the support throughout the university made it irresistible to stay away from another challenge in his career. Hardt has spent the last 17 years as Athletic Director for the Bison and served as chair of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Committee (2006-07), in August he was selected as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee. He has been a member of that committee for three years. – Chip Brierre, wric.comRead More

PAC-12
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PAC-12

The three UCLA men’s basketball student-athletes involved in the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China are on a flight back home to Los Angeles, and the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities. We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university. We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities. We also want to acknowledge UCLA’s significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes. Finally, we want to thank the President, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution. Despite this unfortunate incident, it is important to underscore that thanks to our hosts and partners – most notably Alibaba and the Federation University Sports China – the student-athletes from UCLA and Georgia Tech had memorable cultural, educational and athletic experiences that will enrich their lives and provide lifetime memories. – Read More

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

A week before John Eason got the call to be Florida A&M’s interim athletic director, he was relaxing on his back porch in Bogart, Ga, listening to the rain and completing what was next after retirement.  Eason, who was dealing with the death of his sister at the time, said he asked God, “Is there anything else?” FAMU interim President Larry Robinson provided an answer, calling the 72-year-old former FAMU football player and former Florida State assistant coach out of retirement and asking him to see the Rattlers’ athletic department through yet another tough time.  Eason said he doesn’t know how long he’ll be FAMU’s interim AD — he’ll be the eighth head of the department in the last decade — but he wants his time with the Rattlers to be remembered.  Eason believes he’s up to the task of steering FAMU in the right direction. On Wednesday, he was officially introduced as the school’s interim athletic director. – Jordan Culver, tallahassee.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND

John Hardt’s connection with the University of Richmond started years before the school and Hardt first made contact about the position of athletics director. His daughter, Madeline, is a 2016 UR graduate. Keith Gill stepped down as Richmond’s athletics director in May. Madeline was among the first to inform Hardt that UR had a vacancy. Hardt was introduced as Richmond’s vice president and director of athletics Wednesday, and he recalled his daughter calling him the day Gill resigned and saying, “Dad, you should be interested. Richmond’s a great place. The Spiders are great. I love the Spiders. You’d make a great Spider AD.” She kept contacting her father during subsequent months, repeating the message. Hardt, Bucknell’s director of athletics for 18 years, starts at UR in January, and said the move involved “a bit of a bittersweet decision.” He leaves strong relationships, a successful legacy, and a school at which he was comfortable. – JOHN O’CONNOR, richmond.com Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Up to $10 million in improvements are needed for War Memorial Stadium to continue hosting Arkansas Razorbacks football games, according to documents and emails exchanged between officials of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. The documents, obtained through an open-records request, detail several improvements UA officials say are needed to bring the stadium in line with fan demands, meet needs of TV partners and support potential changes to Southeastern Conference regulations. There is no record of any official recommendations pertaining to stadium upgrades. UA has played annually at the stadium since it opened in 1948, but the Razorbacks’ future there is in doubt after a contract between the parties ends in 2018. UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz and Athletic Director Jeff Long made PowerPoint presentations regarding games at War Memorial Stadium to individual members of the UA board of trustees and Gov. Asa Hutchinson in late October, according to the documents. – Matt Jones, wholehogsports.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

After 20 hours of practice, 15 hours of class and a four hour game against a tough competitor, Olive Sagopolu finds he needs to just sit down and play his ukulele. This is how senior University of Wisconsin defensive tackle Olive Sagapolu prefers to unwind when life as a student-athlete gets frantic. The native Samoan learned to play the ukulele when he was 6-years-old and has not stopped since. Most of what he plays is from his childhood in Pago Pago but sometimes he treats his roommates to more familiar selections like Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” College can present a variety of stressors, causing many students to experience mental health issues or disorders, and student athletes are no exception. Whether it be anxiety, work overload or depression, student athletes face many of the issues non-athlete, UW students encounter. – KRISTEN LARSON, badgerherald.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
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UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Kentucky Sports Radio and its operators, Matt Jones and Drew Franklin, have asked a federal judge in Nebraska to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by NCAA basketball official John Higgins, arguing the state has no jurisdiction over them. Higgins sued the University of Kentucky fan media outlet last month, claiming he and his family were harmed when his personal and business information was shared online and on the radio after UK’s postseason loss to North Carolina. As a result, Higgins argued, fans gave his business negative reviews and made threats to him and his loved ones. But attorneys on behalf of KSR, Jones and Franklin argue they have no contacts in Nebraska and did not target any “activities towards readers or listeners in the state,” and asked the judge to dismiss. If the lawsuit should continue, Omaha attorney Michael Cox argued in the motion, it should be moved to Kentucky. – Jason Riley, wdrb.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF CHARLESTON
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UNIVERSITY OF CHARLESTON

Several of the University of Charleston’s athletic teams soon will have homes much closer to campus. UC announced Wednesday plans to build the Welch Athletic Complex, a $4 million project that will be home to the Golden Eagles baseball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams. The complex will be named after outgoing UC President Ed Welch, who will retire in June. “This is the last missing link as far as developing our facilities,” UC athletic director Bren Stevens said. “This is what we need, I think, as we try to establish ourselves as a Division II destination. We need that facility on campus. To have all those sports on campus would be a game-changer for us.” The Welch Complex will be built on the current site of Triana Field, the home of Charleston’s baseball team, and will be expanded to land closer to the university’s campus. – Derek Redd, wvgazettemail.comRead More

HIGHER EDUCATION
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HIGHER EDUCATION

After 15 years as president of Boise State University, Bob Kustra announced Wednesday he will retire on June 30. During Kustra’s tenure, Boise State has seen record enrollment and $450 million in construction on campus including the Environmental Research Building, the Micron Business and Economics Building and the Norco Building along with new student housing and athletic facilities, according to the university. Kustra was an early supporter for the creation of the College of Western Idaho in Nampa. Kustra also expanded Boise State’s graduate school and launched the School of Public Service and the College of Innovation and Design. – idahopress.com – Read More

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

The College Football Playoff Committee has announced that former University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long will remain as a member of its selection committee. College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock made the announcement Wednesday afternoon via the following statement: “In consultation with the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, the College Football Playoff management committee today voted unanimously to ask Jeff Long, the former Director of Athletics for the University of Arkansas, to continue his service as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee. Mr. Long has accepted the invitation and he will serve for the remainder of this season.” – arkansasmatters.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting returned home, where they may be disciplined by the school as a result of the international scandal. Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley arrived at Los Angeles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon after a 12-hour flight from Shanghai. They ignored reporters’ shouted questions while making their way through a horde of media outside and getting into a van that took off from the departure level. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.” The players were detained in Hangzhou for questioning following allegations of shoplifting last week before the 23rd-ranked Bruins beat Georgia Tech in their season-opening game in Shanghai as part of the Pac-12 China game. The rest of the UCLA team returned home last Saturday. – businessinsider.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPSTATE
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPSTATE

Big news is coming for USC Upstate. Big South. USC Upstate is leaving the Atlantic Sun Conference and will be joining the Big South Conference, effective July 1, 2018 pending a vote Dec. 19 by the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees. “We have received notification from the Big South Conference that we have been granted full membership,” said Brendan Kelly, USC Upstate chancellor. “We’ll start next season, which means we’ll be exiting the Atlantic Sun Conference after this season is over. I couldn’t be more pleased about that development because it creates an entirely different experience for our student athletes.” USC Upstate has been in the Atlantic Sun since 2007, when it made the move from NCAA Division II to Division I. Travel in the league, which has seven teams, has been not only expensive for the university, but also keeps students out of the classrooms. Teams are spread out from Florida (four teams) to New Jersey. – Todd Shanesy, goupstate.comRead More

BIG EAST
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BIG EAST

Consider this Val Ackerman’s return to espnW.com. After stepping down from her position as WNBA president in 2005, Ackerman took on what she calls a “hodgepodge of activities”: consulting, teaching, serving on boards and, yes, writing for espnW. This is a one-time thing, though. Ackerman’s full-time gig as Big East commissioner keeps her plenty busy. Hired in the summer of 2013, her role marks the latest chapter in a lifetime in sports. Ackerman was a star athlete growing up in New Jersey on the heels of Title IX. She played basketball at the University of Virginia, splitting the team’s only full scholarship with another player her first year. – Val Ackerman, ESPN. Read More.

NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY
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NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY

Director of Athletics Matt Roan announced Tuesday that Tommy Harold was relieved of his duties after five seasons as head volleyball coach. Roan thanked Harold for his service and wished him well moving forward. He says the university is excited to find the program’s next leader. The 2017 Nicholls volleyball squad finished 4-25 overall, including 2-14 in Southland Conference play. Harold took over the program in 2013 and one year later put the Colonels in their first SLC Tournament. The Colonels’ overall record during his five-year tenure was 36-111 (17-65 SLC). – The Olympian. Read More.

MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
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MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Montana State men’s basketball attendance hit a 37-year low in 2014-15. Head coach Brian Fish was in his first season. The team won seven games. Since averaging 1,665 at home games that year — two Division I schools averaged per game what MSU netted in 14 contests — the Bobcats’ attendance increased in consecutive seasons for the first time since the mid-90s. In 12 straight years until 1998, they averaged more than 5,000. While the men’s program is cultivating its fan base, more than 18,000 regularly fill Bobcat Stadium on Saturdays. – Paul Schwedelson, Chronicle Sports. Read More.

FRESNO STATE UNIVERSITY
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FRESNO STATE UNIVERSITY

Fresno State Senior Associate Athletics Director Carrie Coll announced on Tuesday that Alisha Parker has been named the Director of Sports Nutrition for Fresno State Athletics. Fresno State Athletics is introducing the Director of Sports Nutrition position for the first time this year. Parker will work closely with the sports medicine staff and strength and conditioning staff in support of the nutritional goals of the Bulldogcoaches and student-athletes. Within this collaborative group, they will work to enhance the overall objective of meeting the sports performance goals of all the department’s intercollegiate athletic teams. Read More.

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

Since its re-establishment in 2014, the women’s track and field team at San Jose State has been track and field-less. Instead of a traditional practice field, the team runs around on dried piles of yellowing vomit left rotting from the previous weekend. According to the San Jose State Athletic South Campus master plan, $5 million would be needed to build a permanent practice facility for the women’s team. But the plans to build a track and field facility have been delayed, again. The facility was supposed to be built by 2018 but that date was canceled. The players have stopped getting their hopes up and say they don’t buy into SJSU Athletics’ visions anymore. – Lindsey Boyd, The Spear. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

The University of Arkansas appointed an interim director of athletics following the departure of Jeff Long on Wednesday morning. The university announced Julie C. Peoples would assume the position. Peoples has been with the University of Arkansas for four years and serves as associate vice chancellor of athletics, according to the Arkansas Razorbacks website. – NWA homepage. Read More.

LAMAR UNIVERSITY
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LAMAR UNIVERSITY

Alan Edwards has resigned from his position as Lamar University head volleyball coach announced Director of Athletics Jason Henderson Tuesday afternoon. Edwards has served as the head volleyball coach for the past four seasons. The decision to step down comes after the Cardinals finished the 2017 season with a 4-22 (.154) overall record and a 2-14 (.125) mark in Southland Conference matches. – KBMT. Read More.