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February 18, 2018

WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY
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WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY

The Wright State Swimming and Diving team continues to tread water with their future in jeopardy. The University plans to cut the team after the season as part of its ongoing push to find financial stability. The athletes find themselves stuck in a battle with the school’s board of trustees. They are desperately trying to save their team from the financial chopping block. The school chose to cut the program in May of last year, but the athletes were able to raise enough money to compete for one more season. In a letter from University President Cheryl Schrader to the team, she called the sport unprofitable. Team members like Ryan Schultz want proof. The team and their consultants believe the school makes roughly $250,000 in revenue from the team off tuition plus room and board, and more than $500,000 from the Athletic Department’s Federal Filings. – Michael Sullivan, abc22now.comRead More

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY
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VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

VCU Athletics last week shined a spotlight on its sexual assault protocol in wake of the ongoing Larry Nassar trial. Myriad universities across the country have looked inward in response to this national crisis. The entire Michigan State University athletic department — where Nassar was employed — is under NCAA investigation. VCU Athletics stated the program works closely with the University to maintain a culture conducive to reporting instances of sexual assault or misconduct, raising awareness of the prevalence of these instances, and eradicating such behavior altogether from the community. The Athletic program conducts annual programming that includes education, training, workshops and guest speakers. The department has actively participated in the “It’s On Us” movement, a national campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. As part of this initiative, the VCU Athletics has held an assortment of events aimed at educating students and staff on the correct protocol for handling instances of sexual misconduct. – commonwealthtimes.orgRead More

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Buoyed by turnaround season, Purdue bucked a trend in college football by increasing attendance by more 13,000 fans per game in 2017 — and, in the process, banked an extra $2.5 million in revenue compared to 2016. Attendance at the FBS level was down overall last season by 1,409 fans per game, according to NCAA stats . CBS Sports reported it was the largest year-to-year decrease since 1983. While media rights deals with television networks bring hundreds of millions of dollars into major college football programs, the bulk of which goes to schools in the Power Five, game-day revenue is still important. Purdue, for example, made more than $8,700,479 in revenue for its six home games in 2017, according to the school. That was an increase of $2,563,903 over 2016, when the Boilermakers played seven games at Ross-Ade Stadium. – RALPH D. RUSSO, theeagle.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS

The North Texas Student Government Association announced another delay Friday night in unveiling the results of a vote on an increase in the fee students pay to help support the school’s athletic program. UNT students voted on the proposal from Tuesday through through 5 p.m. Thursday. The results were expected to be announced Friday evening. The proposal would increase the school’s student athletic fee from $10 per semester credit hour to $16.25 while also decreasing a student services fee $2 per credit hour. If the fee hike is approved, the result would be an increase of $4.25 per semester credit hour. A student taking 15 hours of classes would see their fees rise $63.75 per semester and $127.50 per year. UNT officials said in the days leading up to the election the additional funds would be used to improve facilities, travel and recruiting budgets in addition to increasing marketing and promotions aimed at students. – Brett Vito, dentonrc.comRead More

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
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CHARLESTON SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Charleston Southern Athletic Director Hank Small announced the promotion of Chad Scott as the new Assistant Athletic Director of Student-Athlete Development, as announced on Thursday morning. Scott, in his sixth year with the Buccaneers, previously served as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at CSU since joining the Bucs in 2012. His promotion comes as an acknowledgement of his time at CSU, as well as his role in the development and implementation of the new Charleston Southern Athletic Performance Meeting Center. Scott welcomed the opportunity to join the athletic department senior staff and looks forward to continuing to invest in the lives of the student-athletes on a personal level. His experience working closely with both the student-athletes and the athletic administration is a huge boon to the CSU athletic department. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
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UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Davis Hendrickson, who helped secure funds for the University of Illinois’ $170 million renovation of the State Farm Center basketball arena, has joined the Pitt athletic department as an assistant athletic director for premium sales and development. His role in the renovation of Illinois’ basketball arena included procuring major gifts and generating sales of premium seats. Additionally, Hendrickson worked closely with donors and the Illinois ticket office as a watchdog for customer service. Hendrickson, hired in January after five years at Illinois, will be responsible for premium season ticket sales, including suites and club access for Pitt football and men’s basketball. He is also responsible for identifying new donors and cultivating existing ones.  – JERRY DIPAOLA, triblive.comRead More

BRYN ATHYN COLLEGE
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BRYN ATHYN COLLEGE

Bryn Athyn College has named David Sheaffer as the director of tennis and head coach of the men’s team and James Howell as the women’s team’s head coach on Friday. The announcement was made by Bryn Athyn College Director of Athletics Matt Kennedy. Sheaffer comes to Bryn Athyn after a very successful nine-year run at fellow North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) institution Penn State Abington. At the helm of the men’s program, Sheaffer was a three-time NEAC Coach of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016) and led the Nittany Lions to a 70-49 overall record, 27-11 against the NEAC. Abington won the NEAC West Tournament in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and claimed the regular season crown in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Under his tutelage, two Nittany Lions earned the conference’s player of the year award (Mohammed Ammouni – 2015, 2016 and Michael Litz – 2017) and four players were selected as the rookie of the year (James Howell – 2012, Mike Herman – 2014, Ammouni – 2015, Litz – 2017). – Read More

EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
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EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

ECU’s major athletics project, the $55-million reconstruction of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is on schedule and within budget, athletics officials told the university’s trustees on Thursday at their quarterly meeting. The project, scheduled for completion in 2019, involves an approximately 90,000-square foot renovation, including a new press box, loge seating, suites, a club level, Pirate Club, a ticket office, vertical circulation and associated support spaces. In addition, Scales Field House is being renovated to accommodate team locker rooms, offices, and academic spaces. The first floor of Ward Sports Medicine also is being renovated to include the football locker room, lounge, meeting rooms, and athletics training, McLamb said. As of this week, 33 of the project’s 36 construction packages have been opened and are on time, according to J.J. McLamb, senior associate athletic director.  – Michael Abramowitz, reflector.com Read More

DREXEL UNIVERSITY
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DREXEL UNIVERSITY

A planned $3.5 million renovation of the Vidas Athletic Complex has received a major boost with a generous $1 million challenge from Drexel University Trustee Jim Bean ’91 and his wife, Christine. The project will transform the Complex’s lower field, which is the training and competition ground for some of Drexel’s winningest Division I teams – men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer. The renovations will give these deserving student-athletes a professional playing field, with a stadium-like look, that matches their skills, talents and ambitions. The Beans’ challenge creates a matching opportunity for gifts toward the Vidas improvement project. All gifts and commitments $25,000 and above will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1 million, enabling donors to double the impact of their gifts.  – Read More

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
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OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Oregon State University on Thursday announced a policy change that could alter the participation standards for athletes with histories of past misconduct. Coming eight months after news that OSU pitcher Luke Heimlich pleaded guilty in 2012 to sex abuse, OSU’s new rule will require that all new and continuing students self-report past felony convictions and if they are registered sex offenders prior to the fall 2018 term. The announcement from the school said a university committee will “conduct a confidential case-by-case review of each of the self-disclosing students’ situations.” The release did not specify who will be on the committee. According to university spokesman Steve Clark, the OSU dean of student life then will “determine any extracurricular engagement and participation limitations or requirements needed for safety involving a self-disclosed student.” – Danny Moran, oregonlive.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

The University of Wisconsin athletic board on Friday approved a $3 price increase for student football tickets, to $27, for the 2018 season. UW linebacker Arrington Farrar, speaking before the vote, expressed concern that the student section is mostly empty before kickoff. He suggested including the prices in student fees and making the seats first-come, first-served. Athletic director Barry Alvarez interjected that there are plans to examine ways to encourage students to get to the stadium earlier and ensure the sections are filled more quickly. The board also passed a spending authority of $143,546,390 for UW athletics for the 2018-’19 academic year. That figure is an increase of more than $11 million from the current year ($132,441,623). UW officials project revenue to be $143,694,000 for a net margin of $147,610. The significant factors behind the increase in expenses are salaries and fringe benefits, financial aid and capital projects. – jsonline.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON

The SBI is investigating UNCW women’s head soccer coach Paul Cairney, who has been on paid administrative leave since early December. New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David confirmed the inquiry started on Feb. 5 at the request of his office and the police chief for UNCW and sheriff’s office. Cairney has been on leave after an allegation of sexual misconduct dating back to 1997 surfaced on social media. In 2007, the sheriff’s office investigated the claim, but closed the case after the alleged victim declined to pursue charges. When contacted again last month, the woman stated she did not want to pursue criminal actionagainst Cairney. David did not explain in the statement why the request was made two months after the university’s investigation started. – wect.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
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UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

On Feb. 5, Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk sent an email to all 550 student-athletes under his watch and addressed the recent news about Larry Nassar, the former sports medicine doctor at Michigan State who was convicted of sexually abusing female students. While the Nassar cloud hangs over the Big Ten school as the latest major controversy to ensnare a prominent college athletics department, Sterk is taking steps on his campus to avoid becoming the next Michigan State, the next Baylor, the next Penn State. In his letter to Mizzou athletes, Sterk encouraged them to share concerns with their coaches, administrators and the department’s two staff psychologists. In the coming weeks, Sterk plans to meet with every team to personally address the Nassar story. – Dave Matter, stltoday.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

Bulls athletic director Mark Harlan sat down Thursday morning to chat about a smorgasbord of topics, from the proposed USF Football Center to football scheduling to his own future. Here are excerpts from that Q&A: Coach Charlie Strong made a pretty impassioned talk to the Board of Trustees regarding the on-campus football facility. What’s the next step? “I thought Charlie did a great job in front of our Board of Trustees. I was up at the NCAA transfer working group (in Indianapolis), so I was unable to attend. But I was on the phone so I got to listen to his passionate (address). There is a process in all of this, and because of our successful fundraising to date — close to $7 million raised — we were at a point where we could feel comfortable going out with the RFP (Request for Proposals) for design for both the indoor (facility) and also the operations together, because we want the same designer to do both. –  Joey Knight, tampabay.comRead More

NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

Debra Hicks, chair of the New Mexico State University Board of Regents, is aware of statements made by her counterpart up north. In an Albuquerque Journal report, University of New Mexico Regents President Rob Doughty suggested last week that UNM should consider forgiving the athletic department’s $4.7 million debt to the university in an effort to “allow the department to move forward unencumbered if it demonstrates it has successfully aligned spending with revenue.” The NMSU Athletics Department has it’s own $4,101,810 debt to the main campus. Hicks said the NMSU Board is watching with keen interest as to how UNM proceeds. The NMSU athletics deficit was first addressed in 2009, as the Aggies made the transition to the Western Athletic Conference in 2005 and the department was given the blessing from university administration to “invest” in the program to compete with coaching salaries, recruiting budgets and athletic budgets. – Jason Groves, lcsun-news.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the athletic department’s ticket office and senior staff are brainstorming ways to fill up the Badgers’ student section more quickly before football games — a problem in recent years despite success on the field. A vote on the increase of student football ticket prices at Friday’s UW Athletic Board meeting led to a discussion on the issue. The price increase — moving the per-game cost from $24 to $27, the first bump in six years — did pass at the meeting, but not before Badgers inside linebacker Arrington Farrar voiced his concern over UW’s late-arriving students at Camp Randall Stadium. Farrar, who recently joined the board as a student-athlete representative, suggested that UW include football ticket prices in student fees and said a first-come, first-serve policy on game day would force students to arrive early in order to guarantee a spot in the stadium. – JASON GALLOWAY, host.madison.comRead More

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
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UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

Utah State Assistant Vice President and Deputy Athletics Director for External Affairs Coleman Barnes has announced Sarah Landes as the Assistant Director of Development for Aggies Unlimited, the fundraising unit for Utah State Athletics. Landes will oversee the execution of events put on by Aggies Unlimited, including both the Aggie Auction and the Big Blue Golf Classic alumni golf tournament. The native of Edmond, Okla., will also assist USU Director of Development Jessica Dickinson with annual giving, stewardship and other special events. She previously worked with Aggie Sports Properties for close to two years. – Read More

ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

Arkansas State has sued Miami and is seeking $650,000 in damages for failing to reschedule the football game in Jonesboro that was canceled in September because of concerns about Hurricane Irma. The lawsuit was filed in Craighead County District Court late Friday afternoon, and Arkansas State says Miami has “refused to timely and reasonably reschedule the game in years in which it has openings.”  Miami was scheduled to play at Arkansas State on Sept. 9 as part of a two-game contract that saw the Red Wolves travel to face the Hurricanes in 2014. However, because of travel issues ahead of Hurricane Irma, the game was canceled — despite Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir offering to play the game a day earlier and aid with travel and accommodations. – apnews.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

On Wednesday, Mad Chatter focused on NU’s NCAA tournament resumé and the flaw in the RPI (nonconference strength of schedule) that could doom Tim Miles. The basis for that opinion wasn’t Nebraska’s predicament. I’ve found the “non-con SOS” category troubling for many years and a frequent source of mis-seedings. Anyway, a reader forwarded the column to Bruce Rasmussen, selection committee chairman and Creighton athletic director, who responded with an extraordinary defense of the committee’s work. He didn’t request that I print it, but I asked him if I could. With his permission, I’m going to share the meat of it today. – Dirk Chatelain, omaha.comRead More

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Two weeks ago, Bill Beekman said he was unsure who Michigan State’s next athletic director would be. The answer was staring at him in the mirror. Beekman, Michigan State’s vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees, was appointed interim athletic director on Feb. 5 by interim president John Engler. Beekman, who doesn’t have previous athletic administration experience, took over the department during a chaotic time. The NCAA on Jan. 23 announced it was investigating the university for how it handled sexual assault complaints involving former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar. The following day, Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon resigned, and athletic director Mark Hollis did the same two days later. The NCAA’s letter of inquiry sent to Michigan State noted Nassar’s “appalling assaults,” including against university athletes. – Matt Wenzel, mlive.com Read More

February 16, 2018

CONCORDIA COLLEGE
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CONCORDIA COLLEGE

Concordia College Director of Athletics Kathy Laoutaris ’93 has named John DiRico as head men’s soccer coach on Thursday morning. DiRico comes to Concordia after 24 years at Dowling College from 1992-2015 and was most recently head coach at Five Towns College. During his tenure at Dowling, DiRico compiled an impressive 286-124-52 overall record helping transform the men’s soccer program into an elite national title contender. The 2006 season saw DiRico win the NCAA Division II National Championship with a 22-0-2 record as it was Dowling’s first-ever NCAA Championship in any sport. Read More.

CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
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CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY

Chris Gannon has been named head coach of the Creighton University men’s and women’s cross country programs, McCormick Endowed Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen announced on Thursday. Gannon coached Skutt Catholic High School to a Boys Cross Country state title in 2017 and a runner-up finish on the Girls side in his only year with the SkyHawks. He also served as head coach of the track program while at Skutt. Prior to taking the job at Skutt, Gannon served as the head track & field coach at Gross Catholic from 2007-14, and was running coach and co-founder of Run Omaha Coaching. Read More.

DREXEL UNIVERSITY
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DREXEL UNIVERSITY

A planned $3.5 million renovation of the Vidas Athletic Complex has received a major boost with a generous $1 million challenge from Drexel University Trustee Jim Bean ’91 and his wife, Christine. The project will transform the Complex’s lower field, which is the training and competition ground for some of Drexel’s winningest Division I teams – men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer. The renovations will give these deserving student-athletes a professional playing field, with a stadium-like look, that matches their skills, talents and ambitions. Read More.

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY
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NIAGARA UNIVERSITY

Vilis Ozols, who led the Niagara University volleyball program for five seasons, has resigned from his position as head coach to take the same position at Siena College. Ozols compiled an overall record of 61-89 and a 45-45 MAAC record. Niagara finished the 2017 season with an 18-10 overall record and a 14-4 MAAC record to earn a No. 2 seed in the 2017 MAAC Tournament. Niagara’s 18 wins are the fourth most in program history and its win percentage (.642) is also fourth best in program history. Read More.

MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE
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MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

The Mississippi College athletic department was pleased to unveil a brand new LED video board in A.E. Wood Coliseum on Wednesday (Feb. 14) night for the basketball games between MC and West Florida. The board was made possible through the generous contributions of Oscar Miskelly of Miskelly Furniture and former Choctaw baseball great Bob Boyte of Bob Boyte Honda. The boards were installed by GoBrightLEDs, which is based out of Clermont, Fla. Brian Whitehead, the company’s owner, was very hands-on throughout the entire process and made sure to give MC the highest quality product. – MS News Now, Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

The University of Virginia Foundation is ready to move forward on renovations to one of its high-profile properties. Members of the foundation presented eight renovation plans to the Planning and Coordination Council on Thursday, February 15. The plans include a new golf practice facility and a redesign of Birdwood Golf Course. In addition to renovating the golf course, the University of Virginia will also be making an addition to the squash facility at the Boar’s Head Resort and adding a new facility for UVA’s varsity men’s and women’s tennis. – Emmy Freedman, NBC29. Read More.

BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY
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BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY

Boise State’s basketball venue will get a new name in 2019-20 — ending a 15-year run as Taco Bell Arena. The Taco Bell name has been on the building formerly known as The Pavilion since August 2004 as part of a $4 million naming rights agreement. That deal expires July 31, 2019, and the local company that signed it has informed Boise State that it doesn’t plan to renew. The contract called for about $200,000 per year in cash for the first 10 years and about $225,000 per year the last five years. The rest of the value came in the form of scholarship money, in-kind marketing and advertising and in-kind promotional items. In addition to the arena rights, ES-O-En received football and basketball tickets and other perks. – Chadd Cripe and Rachel Roberts, Bonner County Daily Bee. Read More.

SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE
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SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE

The Seminole State College of Florida Athletics Department recently announced the addition of men’s and women’s cross country to its list of sports programs. Starting Fall 2018, both teams will begin intercollegiate competition in the sport. According to Esser, there is a long “to-do” list regarding the addition of the new athletic program, including hiring a new coach, recruiting student-athletes, securing gear and uniforms, and creating schedules. He plans to have a coach hired for both teams by the end of Spring Term 2018. Read More.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
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MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

MTSU is planning significant athletic upgrades that would include a new facility for the football team and one for multi-sport indoor practice use. The master plan, outlined in a report from MTSU’s Finance and Personnel Committee meeting on Jan. 25, involves the creation of an entry plaza that gives way to a “True Blue” athletic district that would serve as a hub between venues. In between the new football facility and Murphy Center would sit the proposed athletic district, allowing easier access into both while connecting the Greenland Lot to Floyd Stadium. – Erik Bacharach, USA TODAY. Read More.

SPORTS BUSINESS
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SPORTS BUSINESS

Athletic wear brand Under Armour, which exclusively offers clothing in the promo market through alphabroder (asi/34063), announced a 3% increase in total sales for 2017, bringing revenues to $5 billion overall. Total fourth quarter sales were $1.4 billion, an increase of 5% compared to 2016’s fourth quarter and exceeding analysts’ expectations of $1.3 billion. Despite the growth, Under Armour reported a net loss of $88 million in the fourth quarter, compared to net income of $103 million for the same time last year. For its 2018 fiscal outlook, Under Armour expects sales to grow at a low single-digit percentage rate. Although there is expected to be a mid-single-digit decline in North American sales, the company anticipates international sales growth of more than 25%. – John Corrigan, Asicentral. Read More.