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Keep up with the latest news, jobs, transactions and more from college athletic directors and athletic departments across the country.

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August 17, 2018

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Michael Franzese knows a fixed game when he sees one. “I usually do [recognize it], yes,” the former New York mobster said. “Especially garbage points.” Remember that the next time you see a late, seemingly meaningless touchdown or a field goal that winds up covering the point spread or affecting the over/under. Follows is a detailed description of how to fix a game, via Franzese 1. Start with an athlete who gets “upside down” — loses a lot of money with a bookie. 2. Present a way for them to get even: Shave points. 3. Attempt to get in the pocket of the referees officiating the game. 4. Be smart with your bets. – Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

The news that Oregon and Michigan State agreed to a home-and-home series in 2029-30 generated strong reaction, just not the reaction you might expect. On Twitter, fans seemed more interested in mocking the timeframe — why not just sign a deal for the 2040 season? — than praising the matchup itself. I discussed the development briefly with John Canzano on his Bald-Faced Truth radio show in Portland, but it warrants a deeper dive. Non-conference schedules are far more complicated, and require far more work, than fans might realize. Oregon has two goals when formulating its non-conference schedule, and they don’t easily align easily. – Jon Wilner, Mercury News. Read More.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation into how Ohio State University officials responded to allegations of sexual abuse by a now-deceased doctor who worked for its athletic department, the school said. The investigation by the U.S. Department of Education will focus on what school officials knew about alleged crimes by the late Dr. Richard Strauss, OSU said on Thursday in a statement. – Reuters, NY Times. Read More.

USC
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USC

New University of Southern California Athletic Director Lynn Swann talks about raising money, mentoring student athletes, and knowing when to stay out of the way. Coming back to USC today is really a joy. It’s a great pleasure for me to engage with the athletes, to work with the coaches, to work with the staff in managing people, and to help move the university forward. We have a solid core of people and it begins with our staff. We’ve got a great chief financial officer in a gentleman by the name of Steve Lopes. He’s been a great partner to me and a great asset to the university. – Sport Business Daily. Read More.

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Mississippi State President Mark E. Keenum is the new chair of the College Football Playoff Board of Managers. Keenum was selected after being the Southeastern Conference representative on the board since 2015. The CFP is the four-team playoff that determines the sport’s national championship at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. The Board of Managers oversees the administrative operations of the College Football Playoff. There are 11 members, including one from each of the 10 FBS conferences and one from Notre Dame. – Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

College coaches in Texas and across the country are fanning out, like they do every spring, to high school football stadiums and basketball courts to recruit the most promising players to their teams. But over the past decade, the cost of doing that has mounted. At eight public schools in Texas that participate in the highest level of college sports, recruiting costs have increased 131 percent on average since the 2007-2008 academic year, according to financial reports filed with the NCAA. Last year, those schools funneled a combined $9.8 million into recruiting the best high school players to their teams. – Hannon Najmabadi and Daniel Levitt, The Texas Tribune. Read More.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

The president of Ohio State University said the school’s ongoing investigation involving the football program and coach Urban Meyer “will be finished when it’s finished.” Ohio State placed Meyer on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 after the ex-wife of former assistant coach Zach Smith accused Meyer of mishandling past domestic assault allegations she made against Smith. The university appointed a special working group to review those allegations on Aug. 5. The investigation was expected to conclude two weeks later, this coming Sunday. – Dan Murphy, ESPN. Read More.

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

Following a national search, the Seward County athletic department has announced the hiring of Tony Trifonov to become the eighth head coach for the Lady Saints volleyball program. Trifonov comes to Seward following a twenty-one-year stint with NCAA Division I Florida A&M University. Over his twenty-one-year career with the Rattlers, Trifonov accumulated a 378-218 overall record, while going a stunning 206-10 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, winning the MEAC nineteen times. From 2001-2008, the Rattlers won 112 consecutive conference matches, the third longest streak in NCAA history. – Rattlernation. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

NCAA recently enacted a set of sweeping reforms that provide modest benefits to the small percentage of student-athletes that pursue a professional basketball career, but experts say the changes do not adequately address the serious issues at the center of a federal corruption probe into college basketball. The National Collegiate Athletic Association said last week it will now allow certain college basketball players and certain “elite” high school players, as determined by USA Basketball, to speak with NCAA-certified agents during the offseason. – Zachary Zagger, Law360. Read More.

KENYON COLLEGE
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KENYON COLLEGE

Jill McCartney, Kenyon College’s Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation, announced recently the hiring of Brett Worsham, who joins the Athletics Department staff as the Director of Strength and Conditioning/Assistant Director of the Kenyon Athletic Center. Worsham is slated to begin his duties Monday, August 20. Worsham comes to Kenyon after a brief stint as the Graduate Assistant for Sport Performance at Salisbury University in Maryland. He worked with six different varsity programs at Salisbury and also assisted with management of the Fitness Center and Maggs Recreational Facility. Read More.

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
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UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

Utah State University Athletics announced Thursday the addition of the Blue A Society, which is a new major gifts program. A minimum pledge of $25,000 over a five-year period or donating an annual cash gift of $25,000 or more qualifies one as a Blue A Society member. “It is with tremendous excitement that we announce a new major gifts program for USU Athletics – the Blue A Society,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell. “This philanthropic giving program will drive operational and sport specific revenues for our athletics program, enhancing the student-athlete experience, while also positioning our teams for greater competitive success.” Read More.

UNC CHARLOTTE
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UNC CHARLOTTE

Jerry Richardson isn’t going away quietly. In the case of his name at the UNC Charlotte football stadium, and a statue erected outside the Carolina Panthers’ NFL stadium, he isn’t going away at all. On Thursday, the university disclosed a decision reached this week by its 13-member trustees board to keep the name of Jerry Richardson Stadium at the school’s 15,000-seat home field for its football team. The NFL fined Richardson $2.75 million last month, just before the Panthers team founder sold the franchise for $2.275 billion, a penalty levied in response to what a league-mandated investigation determined were “substantiated” allegations of sexual and racial harassment against Richardson. Those allegations surfaced in December in a Sports Illustrated report. – Erik Spanberg, Bizjournals. Read More.

NC STATE
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NC STATE

N.C. State is working on a new contract for basketball coach Kevin Keatts. The deal will likely include an extra year and a raise for Keatts, who led the Wolfpack to 21 wins and the NCAA tournament in his first season in 2017-18. N.C. State has already reworked the contracts for Keatts’ assistants James Johnson and Takayo Siddle. Keatts, 46, had an automatic rollover in his original contract, signed in 2017, for a $100,000 raise and a one-year extension. His current deal is worth about $2.3 million annually and runs through the 2023-24 season. A new deal would likely include a seventh year. – Joe Giglio, Heraldsun. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

The Hurricanes on Friday held their first practice inside their new 83,000-square-foot Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility. The football team’s official Twitter account posted a video of players walking into the practice facility from a short pathway that connects to the locker room and weight room. The air-conditioned facility has two fields, one 80 yards long and the other 40 yards, the smaller field underneath the mezzanine where Richt’s office will be. It gives the Hurricanes flexibility to their practice schedule — and a needed refuge when inclement weather hits. – Jordan Mcpherson, Miamiherald. Read More.

UCLA
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UCLA

Wallis Annenberg Stadium at UCLA will have its grand opening Friday evening followed by a women’s nonconference soccer game between the Bruins and Long Beach State. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. on Wilson Plaza, just outside of the stadium. The grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting will begin at 5:30 p.m. The 2,145-seat stadium is located at the previously named North Athletic Field, where the Bruins men’s and women’s soccer teams played selected home games from 1967-99, after which home games were moved to Drake Stadium. The new stadium was made possible thanks to a $5 million lead gift from the Annenberg Foundation, which support the arts, community, education, global issues and development of nonprofit organizations. – My News LA. Read More.

GOSHEN COLLEGE
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GOSHEN COLLEGE

Goshen College has named Harold Watson athletic director. He most recently served as assistant athletic director for strategic marketing at Georgia Southern University. Previously, Watson held a similar position for three years at Armstrong State University before the school consolidated with Georgia Southern. Goshen College Provost Ken Newbold says “our search committee focused on finding a leader that had a clear vision for the athletic department, supports the college’s five core values and is committed to providing an excellent experience for our student-athletes. – Dan McGowan, insideindianabusiness. Read More.

UVA-WISE
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UVA-WISE

Director of Athletics Kendall Rainey announced Darrell-Dingus Ely has been named the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications. Ely formerly served for eight years as the director of athletic media relations at his alma mater. He oversees media relations for all 13 sports offered by the College and serves as the primary media contact for football, baseball, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, women’s golf and men’s golf. His tenure in the department began as a volunteer assistant before becoming a student assistant. Read More.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Southern Illinois University is preparing to unveil its first women’s soccer team next fall, but it won’t mean anything toward the school’s Title IX compliance in the upcoming school year. Following a complaint issued in 2017 by former women’s tennis coach Judy Auld and a former player, Molly Card Deckmann, the U.S. Office of Civil Rights found the school was in violation. SIU added women’s soccer to help get back in compliance, but faces a critical year, interim athletic director Jerry Kill said. “We gotta show progress,” Kill said. “We got soccer a locker room, and we’re building soccer offices down there. We had to show progress to Title IX, and once you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, they come in every year to make sure. A lot of people don’t understand that a lot of it comes down to numbers, roster sizes. This year is gonna be tough on us.” The complaint, which came after SIU dropped men’s and women’s tennis and reduced the amount of scholarships for the men’s swimming and diving program from 9.9 to 6.0 in 2017-18, alleged the school’s participation opportunities were not “substantially proportionate” to the enrollment. An independent study funded by SIU found that the Salukis offered seven percent less roster spots to female athletes compared to the percentage of full-time female undergraduate students in 2015-16. The study called that “significant.” -Todd Hefferman, The Southern, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Carla Williams, whose term as UVa athletic director officially began last December, spoke to the Roanoke Valley Sports Club without notes for 30 minutes before answering about a dozen questions. When I interviewed for this job, I interviewed for Jim Ryan and Teresa Sullivan. I basically had two presidents for the last eight months. [Ryan is] wonderful. He’s a sports fan. He’s a runner. He watches sports and already has several of our sporting events on his calendar. “I think he’ll be another great supporter of athletics. He’s already said to me, ‘Let me help with fundraising.’ He’s seen the plans. He knows what we need.” Williams said that she has been devoting considerable time to a master plan for facilities. “A lot of people thought that when [John Paul Jones Arena] was built that University Hall was empty,” Williams said, “but there are more than 400 student-athletes in there and a lot of staff members.” Demolition of University Hall, which opened in 1965, is scheduled for November 2019. Williams also addressed the UVa football facilities and particularly the McCue Center weight room. “What we’re doing at Virginia is not an arms race,” she said. “I was part of an arms race at Georgia and an arms race is when you have what you need and you continue to build because competitors are doing that. “For us, our construction is to meet a need, not just for recruiting but for our current student-athletes. Five years from now, I hope we have a football operations center and I hope we have an Olympic sports operation center.” -Doug Doughty, Roanoke Times, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The University of New Mexico Board of Regents will meet again at 1 p.m. today to consider a contentious proposal to cut four sports and alter the rosters of others. In a widely criticized move, the board voted 6-0 on July 19 to cut men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball and the men’s and women’s ski teams and drastically change rosters for women’s swimming and diving and men’s track and field. UNM President Garnett Stokes and Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez proposed the cuts last month, calling them necessary to address years of financial and federal Title IX gender equity shortcomings. An opinion issued last week by the state Attorney General’s Office that the gathering violated the Open Meetings Act has prompted the regents to schedule today’s do-over, one many hope will lead to a different result. Attorney General Hector Balderas also strongly urged UNM to get more public input before any new vote. On Wednesday, UNM posted online more than 500 pages of documents it says were used in making the decision on what sports to eliminate. UNM has not said definitively if it plans a new vote today, but the agenda posted for the meeting does list the issue as an action item. -Geoff Grammer, Albuquerque Journal, Read More

NIU
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NIU

As the 2018-19 academic and athletic year nears, NIU atheltic director Sean Frazier is back with a new installment of Frazier’s Corner. In addition to giving updates on season tickets and the fall teams getting set to embark on a new season, Frazier also announced the promotions of two staff members. Senior Associate Athletic Director John Cheney will now have the title of Executive Associate Athletic Director, which better encompasses the expanded role he has taken on in the areas of ticket sales and football administration over the past year. In addition, Lisa Stocksdale will now be an Associate Athletic Director and will take on additional duties as sport administrator for our men’s and women’s tennis programs, in addition to her work as our human resources contact and with the Huskie Athletic Fund. –Read More

August 16, 2018

BYU
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BYU

Getting around LaVell Edwards Stadium will be a bit easier in the future. BYU announced Wednesday that it will be making several improvements to the stadium at the end of the 2018 season, but won’t increase its capacity, which currently sits at 63,470. Most notably, BYU will add structural sections at the four corners of the stadium to connect the stands at the mezzanine level. The sections, which will not include seating, will let fans walk between the stands without having to return to ground level. An artistic rendering of the plan is not yet available but should be within the next few months, according to a school news release. The project is still in the design process and construction will begin at the latter end of the football season, but will not impact game-day access. It is the first major renovation since 2012, when new LED video boards replaced the existing scoreboards in the north and south end zones and video ribbons were added that stretched along the top of the north and south stands. – Jay Drew, sltrib – Read More

ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY
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ALCORN STATE UNIVERSITY

The Mississippi Court of Appeals has reinstated a nearly decade-old lawsuit against Alcorn State University by the school’s former head football coach. The appeals court on Thursday reversed a 2016 decision by a circuit judge throwing out the case. The court said former coach Ernest Jones Jones should have been allowed to pursue a claim that Alcorn breached his contract by firing him without cause in early 2009. Also, the court said Jones’ claim against then-athletic director Darren Hamilton, who initiated the firing, should have been allowed to go forward. Jones’ attorney, Jim Waide of Tupelo, said the Court of Appeals also decided that a university employee may sue an employer for breach of contract and is not limited to the administrative review provided by statute. In late 2008, Jones filed his initial lawsuit over the school’s plan to fire him. Alcorn said in January 2009 that Jones was fired for “malfeasance and contumacious conduct,” which is often referred to as misconduct. – Jimmie E. Gates, clarionledger – Read More

BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY
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BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY

Boise State University got approval to acquire the property necessary to construct its new baseball stadium including an eight-unit apartment complex and two other properties that may be seized under eminent domain. On Thursday, the Idaho State Board of Education unanimously approved the university’s desire to acquire three parcels in the area north of Beacon Avenue, between Euclid and Denver avenues. The entire stadium is projected to cost between $8 million and $10 million, in addition to the $500,000 in engineering costs approved by the State Board of Education at the end of June.  The new stadium is tentatively set for a home opener against Seattle University in March 2020. Boise State has reached a “tentative agreement” on the eight-unit apartment complex at 1104-1108 S. Grant Ave., but has been unsuccessful in negotiations with the owners of a four-unit apartment complex at 1116-1122 W. Beacon St. and a surface parking lot at 1101 S. Denver Ave. – MARGARET CARMEL, idahopress – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

One year before University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair died after collapsing at a team workout, the school’s athletic department submitted a proposal that would have fundamentally changed how health care was delivered to athletes, a drastic overhaul aimed at better aligning the school with NCAArecommendations. But the plan was never implemented, its recommendations nixed by Maryland President Wallace Loh, according to three people with knowledge of the situation. Kevin Anderson, Maryland’s athletic director at the time, sent a memo to Loh dated May 19, 2017, that spelled out the changes the athletic department aimed to make in its management of athlete injuries and illnesses, calling for the school to establish an independent medical care model. The memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post, also called for athletic trainers to report to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and to be autonomous from any influence by the school’s athletic department. – Roman Stubbs, Rick Maese, chicagotribune – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

In this age of legal sports gambling, college athletics’ power brokers have been speaking in code. “My greatest concerns really start with the integrity of our games.” — Ross Bjork, Ole Miss athletic director “We need to continue to educate [players] about the challenges associated with gambling and the importance of the integrity of the game.” — Jim Delany, Big Ten commissioner “For us, the integrity of our games is of the utmost importance.” — Greg Sankey, SEC commissioner “I think the ultimate question with us is how do you protect the players and the integrity of the game?” — John Swofford, ACC commissioner. Notice a trend? During their remarks to the media in the just-completed round of preseason media days, each Power Five commissioner mentioned the word “integrity” at least once in regards to gambling. The word has become a repository for the unknown or a shortcut to the inevitable. Just don’t ask those worried about integrity to define it. – Dennis Dodd, cbssports  – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Marty McNair, the father of late Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair, told ESPN on Thursday that football coach DJ Durkin should be fired because he didn’t deliver on his recruiting promise — simply taking care of Jordan. In an interview with ESPN at the Algonquin Hotel, Marty McNair and Jordan’s mother, Tonya Wilson, openly grieved the June 13 death of their son as they talked about his final practice on May 29, which ultimately led to heatstroke. Speaking publicly Thursday for the first time, Jordan’s parents shared the whirlwind of emotions they’ve experienced as they have learned — piece-by-piece — what happened to their son at his final workout. Marty McNair and Wilson established the Jordan McNair Foundation in June in memory of their son. Its purpose is to educate student-athletes, parents and the football community on the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and heatstroke. McNair said the money Jordan had in his bank account was donated to scholarships, and Jordan’s old cell phone number is now used as the line for the foundation. – Heather Dinich, espn – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, usually a regionally convenient meeting of ACC and SEC teams, found one side of this year’s matchup much farther away. The Washington Huskies will fly about 2,200 miles from Seattle to play Auburn in the Sept. 1 game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, marking the first time a Pac-12 team appears in Atlanta’s 10-year-old season-opening event. “More often than not, we’re going to continue to do ACC-SEC,” said Gary Stokan, the president and CEO of Peach Bowl Inc., which runs the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. “It’s tough to get the Pac-12 to come all the way across the country.” This year proved to be an exception, Stokan said, because Washington needed a high-profile non-conference game, and its coach was familiar with the Atlanta event. Petersen was interested, having had a good experience in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff at his previous job. He brought his Boise State team here in 2011 to open the season against Georgia. Boise State, the first team from outside the ACC or SEC to play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, beat the Bulldogs 35-21 — another signature win for Petersen’s formidable program.  –  Tim Tucker, ajc – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
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UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

The University of Idaho has issued a statement on the state Board of Ed’s firing of UI Athletic Director Rob Spear today, saying its leadership “respects this decision” and Pete Isakson will continue to serve as acting athletic director “for the foreseeable future.” Here’s the full statement: “The Idaho State Board of Education, sitting as the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho, made a difficult decision today about the university’s athletic director. University leadership respects this decision and will work closely with the board and, with the support of our university community, will continue to move our great institute forward in a positive and productive way. Pete Isakson has been serving the university well as acting athletic director during this difficult time. He will continue in this role for the foreseeable future.” – Betsy Russell, idahopress – Read More

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Jerry Kill was in New Jersey, headed to the airport to catch a flight to Georgia on Wednesday. SIU’s interim athletic director/special assistant to the chancellor has been on the move since taking over for Tommy Bell in late April. He has hired 16 of the 23 spots he targeted, including new head coaches for the track and cross country program (Rosalind Joseph), women’s golf (Danielle Kaufman) and the new women’s soccer team (Grant Williams) that will begin play next fall.  And as much as Kill loves Southern Illinois, he knows being the athletic director is about raising money as much as spending it in the right places. The athletic department, which was tasked with raising $6.5 million by December 2019 as part of the $75 million Forever SIU campaign announced in January, has already reached that goal. Kill is actively trying to secure naming rights, which could bring millions of dollars to athletics, for the SIU Arena, Saluki Stadium, and locker rooms of SIU’s 17 sports (the NCAA counts indoor and outdoor track separately). – TODD HEFFERMAN, thesouthern – Read More