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September 29, 2016

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh have agreed to a four-game series in men’s basketball, Director of Athletics Shane Lyons announced today. The series will begin in Pittsburgh during the 2017-18 season before returning to Morgantown during the 2018-19 season. Pitt will be the home team in 2019-20, while WVU will play host to the final game of the four-game series in 2020-21. The last Backyard Brawl was played on Feb. 16, 2012, a 66-48 WVU win at Pitt. Next season, the two teams will meet for the 185th time in school history with WVU leading the all-time series 96-88. Specific game dates for each game in the series will be determined prior to each season. -Bob Huggins, Williamson Daily News. Read More.

PENN STATE
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PENN STATE

Penn State football coach James Franklin received a vote of confidence from athletic director Sandy Barbour on Wednesday, as she told the Altoona (Pa.) Mirror that the coach’s job is not in danger. In July, Barbour told ESPN and a small group of reporters that Franklin wasn’t on the hot seat any more than any other coach or athletic director in the country. She also said over the summer that Penn State did “pretty darn good” in the face of sanctions against the program but intimated that seven-win seasons would not be acceptable in the long term. Barbour tried to put those fears to rest Wednesday. Barbour did not immediately return a message from ESPN seeking comment. – Josh Moyer, ESPN. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM
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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM

UAB athletics director Mark Ingram and his athletics department carefully weighed apparel options as its contract with Nike was set to expire this summer. Despite his initial concerns, it didn’t take long for Ingram to be sold on Under Armour as UAB’s apparel provider. The contract, which was provided to AL.com through a public records request, stated that the seven-year agreement started on June 1, 2016, and runs through May 31, 2023. UAB’s product allowance will start at $1,075,000 and Under Armour will pay UAB a $50,000 rights fee each year. The contract can be renewed for an additional three years by mutually consenting in writing by Oct. 1, 2022. The average product allowance over the seven-year span is around $1,026,000; a number that Ingram said is around three to four times higher than its previous deal with Nike and a number significantly higher than what Nike and Adidas offered. -Drew Champlin, AL.com, Read More

NCAA
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NCAA

As the Division III Championships Committee sets its priorities for the next budget cycle, the division’s sport committee chairs have offered input on potential changes they would like to see implemented at championship events.The sport committee chairs joined the Championships Committee for a portion of its Sept. 11-13 meeting in Indianapolis. When polled about enhancements they hope to see in the future, many of the committee chairs indicated interest in receiving reimbursement for ground transportation costs incurred at championship sites. This would impact teams that fly to championships and rely on buses to commute within the host city, for instance. The chairs also indicated a need for a boost in funding for officiating at championship events, which has held steady for several years. Additionally, they asked that the Championships Committee consider building in a day of rest between the semifinals and final at team events. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

The Kansas City Star takes an inside KU’s $12 million basketball dorm, McCarthy Hall. The dorm, which opened in 2015 houses up to 16 basketball players and 17 other students who are not associated with the basketball program. The three story building was financed by private funds includes a half court, barbershop, team lounge and more. –See the video

HIGHER EDUCATION
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HIGHER EDUCATION

A judge on Wednesday rejected Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s attempt to replace the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees, issuing a strongly worded ruling calling the change inconsistent with state law and an invitation to future abuses of power. “The governance of public universities has been carefully structured to insulate institutions of higher education from the direct influence of partisan politics,” Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip J. Shepherd wrote in a 17-page opinion. “The governor’s assertion of the right to unilaterally abolish and recreate the Board of Trustees during the interim between legislative sessions is wholly inconsistent with the statutory framework of higher education in Kentucky.” The ruling is a major blow for Bevin, who in June called Louisville’s Board of Trustees dysfunctional while issuing executive orders to abolish the university’s 20-member board and create a new 13-member governing body. It is a victory for opponents of that move, many of whom had been concerned the executive action infringed on the university’s governance structure and academic legitimacy while imperiling its accreditation. -Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, Read More

GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
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GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY

The Grand Valley State women’s soccer team will face off against Tiffin at Lubbers Stadium in the team’s third conference match of the season as a part of the Friday Night Fútbol event Friday, Sept. 30. It will be the first time the GVSU women’s soccer team has played at Lubbers Stadium in the history of the program. While the players are excited for the large crowd, the change in venues could be a slight disadvantage for GVSU. The Lakers play a spread-out style of offense and utilizes the entire width of the field when they attack. The field at Lubbers Stadium will be narrower than what the team usually plays on. Either way, the GVSU players are all excited for the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd at Lubbers Stadium. -Josh Peick, Grand Valley Lanthorn. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

After being introduced as Florida’s new athletics director on Tuesday, Scott Stricklin said he intends to carry out Florida’s athletic facility upgrades as planned. Florida’s proposed “master plan” includes the construction of a new football complex as well as renovations to UF’s baseball and softball stadiums. The plan will cost about $100 million to complete, according to the University Athletic Association. Florida plans to fund as much as possible through donations, but UF president Kent Fuchs said Tuesday that if enough money isn’t raised, the university will take on debt to complete the project. -Ethan Bauer, Alligator. Read More.

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

For the last three seasons, tickets for a Rutgers gymnastics meet at its regular home facility, thebi Livingston Recreation Center, have been hard to come by. It’s that kind of enthusiasm that, Levine said, prompted Big Ten officials to consider staging their conference gymnastics championships at Rutgers two years ago. Next March, Rutgers will get the opportunity host a Big Ten championship event for just the second time since entering the conference in 2014. This season’s Big Ten Championships will be staged at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Saturday, March 18, 2017. -Keith Sargeant, NJ Advance Media. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
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UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

After sharing the Ivy League championship with Harvard and Dartmouth last season, the Penn Quakers have every reason to believe an outright Ivy League title is there for the taking in 2016. Penn welcomes back 12 starters, including seven on offense, and have more veteran offensive firepower back in the fold than any team in the Ivy League. The Penn Chapter of Uplifting Athletes is using its 2016 Ivy League season to support its mission of using college football as a platform to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport. The Penn Chapter started tackling rare diseases in 2015 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led Penn Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of fellow Quakers Dr. David Fajgenbaum and Kaleb Germinaro. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

A rape survivor and victims’ rights advocate said Wednesday that a potential solution to the recycling of sexual offenders among college sports programs, as with the recent cases at Baylor University, could be an NCAA-wide panel that would have sweeping authority to prevent offenders from campus-hopping in search of another place to play. Brenda Tracy, who in 1998 was raped by four men, including two Oregon State football players, and has become one of the most vocal advocates for changes in the manner in which college athletic departments deal with sexual offenders, said she has been named by NCAA president Mark Emmert to a committee that will discuss ways conferences, schools and the NCAA can deal with the aftermath of sexual assaults on campus.”The NCAA is such a big umbrella that this is an opportunity to take responsibility out of the hands of the athletic departments and presidents and coaches and have this very unbiased place that can deal with athletes,” Tracy said. “It takes the pressure off (university officials) and tells the athletes ‘I don’t have control over your future. You violate these rules, and you’re going back to the NCAA, and someone that you don’t know and who doesn’t know you is going to make a decision about you. You don’t have protection.’ “I think it could be a deterrent.” -David Barron, Houston Chronicle, Read More

NCAA
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NCAA

South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp faces Texas A&M this Saturday, so of course he had to weigh in on whether the Aggies should face the Longhorns again. Muschamp is rather familiar with the Aggies. He served as defensive coordinator for the Longhorns from 2008-10. As the University of Florida head coach in 2012, Muschamp faced A&M in its first game in the SEC. Muschamp also coached against A&M as the defensive coordinator for Auburn in 2015. In the summer of 2016, rumblings of the rivalry’s rebirth began to appear. In an interview with TexAgs.com, Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward said discussions about reforming the rivalry would begin at the proper time. -Carter Karels , Dallas News. Read More.

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
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LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Speaking to Culotta & The Fan on 104.5/104.9 ESPN-FM in Baton Rouge, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva insisted that he’ll run LSU’s search for a new coach, as he did in an interview with The Advocate earlier this week. “I’m the search,” he said flatly. He lauded interim coach Ed Orgeron for the sweeping changes he’s made throughout the program, and Alleva didn’t dismiss Orgeron’s potential of getting the full-time gig. “First three to four days, I think he’s done a great job of energizing the building and making some changes that will have some long term effect on the players,” he said. “I’m looking for a whole change in the cutlure of the program. Ed is instituting change, no doubt out it.” He told The Advocate in an interview Monday that he thinks of this as an “audition” for Orgeron. Alleva indicated that agents of coaches interested in the job have reached out to him. He did not reveal names. “Whoever we pick to lead this program going into the future is huge, not only to the athletic department but to the whole university and to the whole state, for that matter,” he said. -Ross Dellenger, The Advocate, Read More

BIG 12
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BIG 12

Former NFL star Ray Rice, who saw his career unwind in the aftermath of an aggravated assault indictment for punching his wife in an elevator, spoke out against domestic violence and sexual assault of women at the Big 12’s “State of College Athletics” forum on Wednesday alongside several key figures including league commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Rice, who has turned his life around in quest of an NFL redemption, said in his heyday he was “so concerned with being the man instead of being a man. … There are rules for life as a man, and the No. 1 rule is never put your hands on a woman.” – Scott Gleeson, USA Today Sports. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Nebraska coach Mike Riley said he expects Michael Rose-Ivey to represent himself well when he meets next week with Gov. Pete Ricketts, who criticized Rose-Ivey and two other football players for kneeling during the national anthem last weekend. “Let’s get the conversation started,” Riley said, smiling. “Michael will do great.” Rose-Ivey, Mohamed Barry and DaiShon Neal each took a knee during the anthem before the game at Northwestern to protest police brutality and racial injustice. After Ricketts said on his weekly radio show Monday that the players’ anthem protest was “disgraceful” and “disrespectful,” Rose-Ivey tweeted at the governor requesting a meeting. Ricketts tweeted back Tuesday night that he would arrange a meeting as soon as possible. A day for the meeting is still to be determined. Rose-Ivey requested that it be next week so it wouldn’t interfere with football game preparation. It’s unclear exactly what the governor and Rose-Ivey will discuss. Also Wednesday, university president Hank Bounds and chancellor Ronnie Green emailed students, faculty and staff to emphasize their support for the players’ exercise of their First Amendment rights in a peaceful demonstration. -Eric Olson, Newsday, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Outgoing UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has received plenty of grief in the past, sometimes from yours truly. Now, Foley deserves plenty of credit for getting a new landmark deal done with long-time head coach Kevin O’Sullivan.Fresh off yet another College World Series appearance this past season and thanks to some overtures from Texas after Augie Garrido resigned his post as head coach, the 47-year-old Goshen, N.Y., native is now one of the highest paid coaches in college baseball, with his new deal worth 10 years and $1.25 million annually, running through the 2025 season. While O’Sullivan’s overall package is worth that $1.25 million per year, he will receive a base salary of $386,500, along with $340,000 from equipment/apparel contracts, $282,500 in longevity and retention bonuses and $124,000 by way of other bonuses. The Gators skipper also received a $500,000 signing bonus. Florida and O’Sullivan finally are locked up for the long-term, and the overall salary and package is one to file away. College baseball head coach salaries continue to increase and O’Sullivan’s package is one of many that’ll be the gold standard moving forward. -Kendall Rogers, D1 Baseball, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

Miami Hurricanes football officially announced the Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility with a short video released last Friday, showing a blueprint and plans for the new $34 million facility. Students and community fans are excited for the new facility, which is an important addition to the program and its recruitment of new players. The facility will also include a recruiting suite, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, views of the other fields and connections to the Hecht Athletic Center weight room and the Schwartz Center’s player locker room. The new practice area is being funded completely by donors. The largest donation so far has been $14 million from billionaire real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer and his family. The donation, made in honor of Soffer’s mother, Carol, is the largest in UM athletics history. One million dollars has also been donated by Head Coach Mark Richt and his wife, Katharyn. Construction of the facility will only begin once the entire $34 million is raised. -Amy Grundleger, The Miami Hurricane. Read More.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman said he hopes to have a new AD in six to eight weeks, and that was two weeks ago. Two entities are working internally and externally. Hirshman assembled an on-campus advisory committee led by vice presidents Tom McCarron and Mary Ruth Carleton. He also hired North Carolina-based search firm Collegiate Sports Associates, which is run by Todd Turner, who was athletic director at Connecticut, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and most recently Washington in the mid-2000s. That figures to generate two pools of candidates: those with logical ties to SDSU, and those from elsewhere. The first group is more easily identifiable; the second is more discreet and likely will include candidates like Sterk, who remained essentially anonymous to the SDSU community until his hiring from Washington State in 2010. “This will be a confidential search from start to finish,” Hirshman said. “In today’s athletic director searches, every one is confidential and everyone expects confidentiality. So if we didn’t guarantee it to candidates, they wouldn’t enter the search. It would limit the pool dramatically.” That said, names have leaked out. Including Jenny Bramer, John David Wicker, Don Oberhelman, Brandon Martin, Josh Rebholz, Jeff Compher, Chris Kennedy, and Desiree-Reed Francois. -Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, Read More

ACC
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ACC

The ACC football title game will be moved to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, sources told ESPN. Kickoff will be Dec. 3 at either 7:45 p.m, on ESPN, or 8 p.m. on ABC. ACC officials visited Orlando on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the process in determining where to relocate the conference’s title game, sources said. One of the early obstacles for Orlando was a conflict with the Florida’s high school state football championships (Class 4A-1A), scheduled for Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 at Camping World Stadium. However, those games are expected to be moved to the following week, a source told ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson. -Brett McMurphy, ESPN, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

University of Wisconsin football assistant coaches could get a more equal share of postseason bonus pay under changes recommended for approval Wednesday by an Athletic Board committee. Some of that money moving toward the assistants would come out of what was coach Paul Chryst’s share of the bonus fund. The board’s Personnel Committee unanimously recommended a change from a bonus payment based on a percentage of each coach’s base salary to a system where coaches get a share based on the percentage of the coaching staff’s pooled base salary. Deputy athletic director Walter Dickey carried the request to the committee from Chryst, who approached the athletic department with his proposed change in April. Under a hypothetical example presented to the committee, instead of a $100,000 bonus for Chryst and a $13,980 bonus for a lower-paid assistant coach, both would get an equal share of the total $371,500 due to be paid under the bonus policy. That worked out to around $33,500. -Todd D. Milewski, Wisconsin State Journal, Read More

LAKE ERIE COLLEGE
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LAKE ERIE COLLEGE

Lake Erie College seeks a Director of Sports Information. Responsible for coordinating all relations and functions with local and regional media covering athletics, developing strategies to maximize media exposure for teams, student-athletes and the department of athletics. [email protected]

MERCER UNIVERSITY
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MERCER UNIVERSITY

Mercer University seeks a Director of Creative Services. The Director of Creative Services will serve as the lead researcher on digital and social strategy and best practices, as well as work with Media Relations, Video Production, and Marketing staffs on strategic plans for sport-specific social media accounts. This position will also be responsible for: setting measurable goals and tracking set metrics; preparing designs, artwork and other visuals in support of client needs and maintain consistency with design standards. Apply Here.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

Former San Diego State women’s basketball coach Beth Burns won her wrongful termination lawsuit against the university Wednesday, receiving a $3.35 million judgment from a San Diego Superior Court jury for whistleblower retaliation after complaining about potential Title IX violations. The trial lasted four weeks. The five-woman, seven-man jury deliberated two days before voting 9-3 in Burns’ favor – the minimum required in a California civil court – on the key question in the verdict instructions from Judge John Meyer. Burns was fired in April 2013, a month after her team won a school-record 27 games and nine months after SDSU granted her a contract extension through 2016-17 that paid her $220,000 per year plus benefits and bonuses. SDSU ultimately identified two central reasons for her termination – a video from a February 2013 home game in which Burns elbowed assistant coach Adam Barrett, seated to her immediate right, after a defensive lapse; and an internal investigation that chronicled an alleged “history” of mistreating subordinates. -Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, Read More

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

Beer and liquor sales raked in $40,000 for the UNM Athletics Department in the Lobos’ season-opening football game in early September, with a net profit of around $20,000 on the first night. Though it’s too early to tell how liquor sales will fare in future games, Deputy Athletic Director for External Operations Brad Hutchins, said the University is optimistic. Although it’s impossible to foresee how much UNM could make off the practice in the long run, the numbers from the first game, stretched over the entire 2016 football season, which includes six scheduled home games, comes out to a net profit of $120,000. -Brendon Gray, Daily Lobo, Read More

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Columbia University seeks Director of Development, Athletics. The Director of Development for Athletics is responsible for staffing all components of the current fundraising campaign as it relates to Columbia’s Athletic Program. This includes implementing the priorities for development activities, following cultivation and solicitation strategies and maintaining a personal portfolio of donor prospects at the major gifts level. Apply here

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS

Dallas-Fort Worth businessmen Trip Kuehne and Michael Sicuro evaluated UNT’s athletic program over the last few months after the departure of former athletic director Rick Villarreal. Kuehne and Sicuro turned over their report to UNT officials on Aug. 12. TheDenton Record-Chronicle obtained a copy of the 15-page report through an open records request that requires government agencies to share information with the public. The report is highly critical of the UNT athletic department after Villarreal’s 15-year tenure as athletic director. UNT President Neal Smatresk commissioned the report. Villarreal stepped down on June 20. The report listed several issues within the UNT athletic department, including: Poorly funded programs, Lack of adequate communication within the department, Poorly maintained or inadequate facilities, Lack of quality customer service, Reworking the department’s budget, Make an indoor facility a priority and put off baseball. -Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

University of Central Florida seeks Director of Compliance. In conjunction with the Athletics Compliance Office’s senior staff members, responsible for administering the implementation and management of a comprehensive athletics compliance program to include the development of policies and procedures for monitoring and maintaining strict compliance with all NCAA Division I, Conference, and University rules and regulations and the reporting of any violation of the rules to the appropriate office(s). Reviewing and approving compliance forms, reports, and documents (e.g. recruiting material, outside competition, camps & clinics, student-athlete employment, recruiting contacts and evaluations, occasional meals, etc.). Assisting with ensuring proper dissemination of NCAA, Conference, and University rules, interpretations, and legislation, and overseeing the completion of NCAA, Conference, and University compliance forms.  Conducting rules educational meetings and assisting in the development and presentation of educational materials for meetings with the University’s coaches, staff, administrators, student-athletes, and representatives of athletics interests. Apply here

September 28, 2016

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
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SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Daryl Gross remembers wearing a hard hat walking through an unfinished stadium at the Meadowlands before it opened six years ago, his mind racing thinking what this coliseum soon to be known as MetLife Stadium might provide.  For Gross, the venue served as the platform to enhance Syracuse University’s athletic profile in New York City, home to one of its largest alumni bases, and give its football program a chance to increase its visibility on a national scale.  A matter of time and circumstance created a perfect storm for Gross to pounce. Mark Lamping, President and CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Corporation, needed inventory for the new stadium, and Gross could pitch a regionally based football program that could attract big-name schools to play against it. – Nate Mink, syracuse.comRead More

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
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OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

After Oklahoma State donor T. Boone Pickens’ latest shot at Mike Gundy was circulated on Tuesday, I felt it necessary to be in Stillwater on Wednesday. I wanted to speak with OSU athletic department and football sources, checking on whether the Pickens comments resulted in a stress spike for Gundy or anyone else. Apparently, they didn’t. All parties report that it was a routine Wednesday, with Gundy preparing his football team for Saturday’s Big 12 clash with Texas and athletic department personnel doing what they typically do. Gundy had no response to Pickens’ statements, published in Kirk Bohls’ Austin American-Statesman blog. When asked whether there is a rift between himself and Gundy, Pickens replied, “I don’t know, but Mike doesn’t handle people relationships very well. And he gets mad about things. I’ve heard he’s written some notes about me that weren’t very complimentary.” What exactly would motivate Pickens to publicly slam the OSU coach? – Bill Haisten, Tulsa WorldRead More

CSUSM
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CSUSM

CSUSM has introduced a new sports performance program and Erik Blekeberg, professor of Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, has been hired as the head of the department.  As a Sports Performance Coach, Blekeberg will work with student athletes both physically and mentally. He will also train members of every sport in agility, balance, endurance and efficiency, helping them with body awareness. In addition to these workouts, he provides counseling in sports psychology and nutrition. Blekeberg began his career at San Diego State University, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness and Nutrition in 2007. He then went on to receive his Master’s at San Diego State University in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports and Exercise Psychology in 2010. -Sierra Silvas, csusmchronicle.comRead More