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August 7, 2016

BIG 12
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BIG 12

Is there finally light at the end of the Big 12 expansion tunnel? Jason Williams of the Cincinnati Enquirer, citing sources , is reporting that BYU is the leagues top choice to add. While the Cougars appear to the Big 12’s first choice, Oklahoma and Texas may force the league to go in another direction.

NCAA
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NCAA

Two years ago, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC system officials talked about the breakthrough that helped them get to the bottom of a scheme of bogus classes that had lasted 18 years. They had just released a 131-page investigative report by a former top U.S. Justice Department official that made the strongest connection to date between the fake classes and athletes’ eligibility. What made it happen, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC system President Tom Ross said, was getting the cooperation of the two people behind the classes. Now, with UNC facing sanctions from the NCAA, the university wants the information provided by Julius Nyang’oro and Deborah Crowder excluded from an infractions hearing. Attorneys for UNC say those interviews conducted by Kenneth Wainstein and his team of lawyers didn’t follow NCAA standards. -DAN KANE, newsobserver.comRead More

 

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY
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VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY

VCU plans to have luxury suites in all four corners of the Siegel Center for the 2016-17 basketball season. The school built suites in the corners on the bench sides of the arena in 2014. Construction began last week on two similar suites on the opposite side, in sections 18 and 19, and 29 and 30. Each corner has two size suites. The larger suites rent for $60,000 per year. The smaller suites are $45,000. Each suite carries a three-year commitment. –richmond.comRead More

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Looking for a way to combat low attendance at football games late in the season, Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier knew he could get some heat for taking a game out of Huskie Stadium and moving it to U.S. Cellular Field in what is being dubbed the “Chi-town Showdown.” Although the Huskies will need to take a bus to their Nov. 9 home game against Toledo in the first game at the home of the White Sox, that’s something Frazier has plenty of experience with as a player. During his playing days at the University of Alabama from 1987-91, Frazier saw the Crimson Tide play 15 of their 26 home games away from the campus site in Tuscaloosa – instead, playing more than 50 miles away at Legion Field in Birmingham. -saukvalley.com, saukvalley.comRead More

NCAA
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NCAA

A federal judge on Friday denied a request by the NCAA and Football Bowl Subdivision conferences to dismiss class-action lawsuits challenging the association’s compensation limits to college athletes. The decision allows the plaintiffs, led in part by prominent attorney Jeffrey Kessler, to resume their attempt to let schools pay college athletes beyond cost of attendance. Because of a previous ruling in the Ed O’Bannon case, Kessler will have to argue — at least for now — that any extra money provided to players is tied to education. -Jon Solomon, cbssports.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
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UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Pitt has officially broken its all-time record for football season tickets sold, athletic director Scott Barnes announced Saturday via Twitter.  The school has sold over 53,775 season tickets for the Panthers’ upcoming football season, surpassing the previous record set in 2003 –– and achieving the goal Barnes set out for the program in February. “Our goal is to set an all-time record for season tickets at Heinz Field,” Barnes told the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. “You sometimes are challenged when you come out with a goal and you don’t meet the goal. We feel really comfortable in stating this.” Saturday’s milestone comes almost two months to the day Pitt’s athletic departmentsent out a letter –– signed by Barnes and head football coach Pat Narduzzi –– announcing 93 percent of season-ticket holders had renewed their subscriptions for the upcoming season, along with almost 10,000 new season tickets sold. –
Steve Rotstein, pittnews.comRead More

AUBURN UNIVERSITY
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Auburn self-reported 33 NCAA secondary violations over the past two academic years, records provided to AL.com show. The Auburn athletic department reported 16 secondary violations in 2014-15 and 17 in 2015-16, according to records provided to AL.com in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The most serious violation occurred in 2015-16, when a women’s basketball assistant coach provided $150 to a player when “her family had a financial hardship.” The player was declared ineligible until she was reinstated by the NCAA and the coach was placed on administrative leave and eventually resigned, records show. Given that circumstance and two of three Auburn assistant women’s basketball coaches returned from last season, the coach in question appears to be Sherill Baker, who is now at Kennesaw State. – James Crepea, al.comRead More

NCAA
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NCAA

The University of North Carolina’s response to the NCAA’s charges related to phony classes for athletes is an attempt to duck a punch. UNC claims the sports governing body has no jurisdiction regarding the quality or integrity of classes. That, the university says, is the province of UNC’s accrediting agency, not the NCAA. But on another level, the university’s argument is much more of a confrontation than an evasion. The university is testing the NCAA’s will and its powers. The outcome could undermine the governing body at a time when college football and basketball are at a turning point regarding the treatment of athletes and the role of the NCAA. Paul Haagen, a Duke law professor and co-director of Duke’s Center for Sports Law and Policy, says UNC’s challenge to the NCAA’s jurisdiction has taken college sports governance into “seriously uncharted territory.”  -NED BARNETT, newsobserver.comRead More

 

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
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UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

The idea of forming a committee has been the source of humor for a long time. Fred Allen, a comedian of yesteryear, once said, “A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing, but who, as a group, can meet and decide that nothing can be done.” But, in college basketball, that isn’t true. People take the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee oh so seriously. Its decisions about team selection, seeding and bracketing inspire endless speculation, analysis and reassessment. The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee even inspired a new field of study: bracketology. That he is about to serve on the Selection Committee thrills UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart. He called it among the “two or three things in college athletics” that administrators would like to experience. -JERRY TIPTON, kentucky.comRead More

 

KENT STATE UNIVERSITY
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KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University officials have been busy this summer implementing the first phases of the athletic department’s new strategic vision: “The Game Plan, 2016-2020.” The Game Plan was unveiled in March of this year, following a lengthy research process that began in October of 2014 with an assessment of the school’s athletic department by Collegiate Sports Associates. Suggestions, many driven by CSA’s findings, led to an initial plan created in September of 2015 by Kent State President Beverly J. Warren and Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen. They also used input from an oversight committee that included distinguished representatives from KSU, the community, alumni, donors and current and former student-athletes. Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

Two weeks ago, the University of New Mexico was hardly alone in expressing interest in the surprising news that the Big 12 Conference was considering adding as many as four members.  Fans debated whether the Lobos’ chances of inclusion in any potential expansion are realistic or not, but what is clear is the university wasn’t merely paying lip service to the idea. UNM on Friday released to the Journal a copy of that July 22 letter, which was signed by President Robert G. Frank and addressed to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. -Geoff Grammer, abqjournal.comRead More

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University and former football coach Art Briles each filed new motions this week to dismiss the civil rights lawsuit brought by former Baylor student Jasmin Hernandez. The motions to dismiss claim an individual school employee cannot be sued under Title IX and that the statute of limitations has passed for Hernandez to file suit. Documents also claim a university can’t be held liable for criminal acts perpetrated by students against other students off campus. Baylor and Briles had previously filed motions to dismiss in the case. This week’s filings are in response to Hernandez amending the lawsuit last month. –wacotrib.comRead More

NCAA
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NCAA

Something that hasn’t happened in 85 years, and possibly ever, will occur on Sept. 3. Arizona and Arizona State will play football games at the same time in the Valley. Preceding ASU’s 7:45 p.m. kickoff against Northern Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium will be the Wildcats’ 7:30 p.m. meeting with Brigham Young at University of Phoenix Stadium. The latter is the first game of a series involving the schools. Subsequent games will be in Tucson in 2018 and Las Vegas in 2021. Two more games were added last season: in Provo in 2026 and Tucson in 2027. The Wildcats saw this season’s contest as an opportunity to bring the program closer to their large alumni base in the Phoenix area. -Paola Boivin, azcentral sports- Read More

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE

The ACC’s possible expansion to a nine-game conference schedule may be arriving at a decision. The conference’s athletic directors are scheduled to have a conference call Friday and Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski said Saturday that he expects the issue will be on the agenda. Speaking at Tech’s media day, Bobinski brought up an intriguing alternative to the nine-game league schedule – keeping the league schedule at eight games but requiring that teams play two non-conference games against power-conference teams. The ACC already has a mandate that goes into effect in 2017 that league teams play one such game. -Ken Sugiura, ajc.comRead More

BIG 12
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BIG 12

The announcement last month that the Big 12 Conference is open to expanding by as many as four teams by 2017-18 has set off fevered jockeying among schools to land a home in the gilded community that is a power-five league. Citing sources, the Dallas Morning News reported last week that no school currently has the eight votes from among the 10 existing Big 12 universities to gain admission to the league. However, the paper reported the likely expansion candidates can be grouped in tiers from those with the best chance to the worst. -MARK STORY, kentucky.comRead More

 

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY
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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY

Gonzaga announced a 12-game nonconference schedule Friday, including neutral-court clashes against Arizona and Tennessee and home dates with San Diego State and Washington. However, the 2016-17 slate doesn’t include the Battle in Seattle, a fixture on the schedule since 2003. Gonzaga was close to securing a Big Ten opponent, but it didn’t work out. Roth stressed the importance of scheduling a marquee opponent, which essentially requires a return game. Facing lesser-known opponents has resulted in mediocre attendance — 9,140 for South Alabama in 2013 — and the potential for a résumé-damaging loss on a neutral floor. –seattletimes.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
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UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

Brenda Tracy, victim of an alleged rape she said happened in 1998 at Oregon State, will speak to the Oklahoma football team on Monday. Tracy said her attackers, two of whom were allegedly Beavers’ football players, drugged and sexually assaulted her during the early morning hours of June 24, 1998. All charges were dropped against Tracy’s alleged assailants and then-Oregon State head coach Mike Riley suspended the two players one game for the incident. – sportsday.dallasnews.comRead More

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

SIU women’s tennis coach Audra Anderson has been promoted to the director of tennis and will coach both teams this season, according to a news release from the school on Friday. Men’s tennis coach Dann Nelson was announced as the new head coach at Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Thursday in Edinburg, Texas. Nelson, the second-winningest coach in school history, went 122-110-1 at SIU with two Missouri Valley Conference championships (2009 and 2016). Jonny Rigby will serve as a graduate assistant with Anderson this year. -Todd Hefferman, thesouthern.comRead More

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

Tom Osborne spent two years helping decide which four college football teams would play for a national title, but that run has come to an end. Osborne was replaced on the College Football Playoff selection committee by former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr for the 2016 season, and the former Husker coach and athletic director recently spoke with ESPN about his time with the group. ESPN also received input from former USC athletic director Pat Haden, former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and Lt. Gen. Mike Gould — all of whom are no longer on the committee. –omaha.comRead More

EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY
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EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY

After 11 months and $14.6 million spent, the new Eastern New Mexico University multi-purpose stadium will be completely operational by Aug. 15. Officially called the Al Whitehead Field at Greyhound Stadium, named in honor of the biggest donor for the project, the stadium is set to house ENMU football, soccer and track and field, as well as Portales High School football.  -Matthew Asher, pntonline.comRead More

MIDLAND UNIVERSITY
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MIDLAND UNIVERSITY

Midland University announced Friday morning the addition of varsity men’s and women’s swimming for the 2017-2018 school year. As a university committed to creating opportunities for students to excel in competition while graduating in four years, Midland will now offer 31 varsity programs. Since 2009, Midland University has experienced record growth with students drawn to the institution’s unique four-year graduation guarantee and robust options for participation in athletics and the performing arts. Now home to more than 800 student-athletes and more than 250 opportunities in the performing arts, Midland guarantees students a path to on-time graduation as they advance their skills in the classroom and beyond. – fremonttribune.comRead More

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

San Jose State University and the Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) have forged an $8.7 million, 15-year partnership agreement to rename the football stadium.  Home of the Spartans” will host its first football game Sept. 10 against Portland State. The California State University Board of Trustees approved the stadium renaming and broader agreement at its July 19 meeting. “We are very pleased to extend and enhance our relationship with CEFCU to include the naming of the stadium. Since 2011, CEFCU has been a loyal partner with San Jose State Athletics and we’ve valued its presence in Spartan Stadium. Today’s announcement is a long-term extension of our ongoing relationship with CEFCU,” Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier said about the renaming of the 30,456-seat venue built in 1933. This is the only such agreement for a football stadium in the California State University system and one of three in the Mountain West Conference. Read More

 

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-MONROE
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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA-MONROE

ULM may have just opened its long awaited end zone football field house, but that doesn’t mean athletic director Brian Wickstrom is done with facility upgrades. Wickstrom and the ULM athletic department have a few new projects in mind on their half of Bayou Desiard. Wickstrom said a new training room, a new track at Brown Stadium and upgrades to the restrooms and concession areas at Fant-Ewing Coliseum are among his future priorities. -thenewsstar.com, thenewsstar.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA

Friday was football media day for the South Dakota Coyotes, but before the team gathered on the DakotaDome turf for the annual routine of photo shoots and interviews, USD officials gave the gathered media a tour of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, the new basketball facility which the Coyotes will open this season. When finished it will be a spectacular addition to the USD campus and one of the best basketball facilities in the Summit League, but while the Coyotes’ basketball and volleyball teams are the ones who’ll be playing on it, it became clear on Friday that the new facility will offer significant benefits to the football program as well. – Matt Zimmer, argusleader.comRead More

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

As the Purdue football team opens training camp this week, construction continues on the Football Performance Complex, the new everyday home of the Boilermakers. Shoring is in place to allow foundation work, and auger cast piles and aggregate piers are being installed to support concrete for the foundation of the building. At the same time, the installation of water lines and storm lines is complete in the area between the Mollenkopf Athletic Center and Brees Academic Performance Center, and communication lines now are being installed. -purdueexponent.orgRead More

VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY

The partnership between the Valparaiso University athletic department and Nike will continue through at least the 2020-21 school year, as the two entities announced today that they had reached an agreement to make Nike the official provider of Crusader uniforms and apparel for the next five years. Nike became the official provider for Valparaiso University athletics beginning with the 2009-10 school year, providing uniforms and apparel for all 21 Crusader programs. The new five-year contract between Valpo and Nike represents a significant increase in value to the Valpo athletic department. BSN Sports will serve as the supplier of Nike products to Valpo. Read More

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
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COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Colorado State Director of Athletics Joe Parker presented to the CSU System Board of Governors on Friday at its regular board meeting, and outlined positive financial progress for the department and significant increases in self-generated revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016. FY 16 self-generated revenue exceeded the budget target by $577,239. Self-generated revenue consists of items such as ticket sales, donor contributions, parking and concessions, sponsorships and apparel licensing and Mountain West and NCAA revenue distributions. The strong increase in self-generated revenue, disciplined spending on expenses, and growth in student enrollment leading to higher total student fee revenue contributed to a net reduction of $1,059,105 from the budgeted amount of University support for the Athletic Department. The department was budgeted to receive $4,028,447 in one-time University support for FY 16, but instead received $2,969,342. Of that amount, $769,000 was funded from payments due to the buyout of former head football coach Jim McElwain’s contract. Read More

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

The start of West Virginia University’s fall semester is only days away, and the start of football season isn’t far behind it. When the University of Missouri comes to town on Sept. 3, fans will get their first in-person look at upgrades to Milan Puskar Stadium, the home of WVU’s Mountaineer Field. WVU athletics officials unveiled the stadium Friday, showing how the upgrades to the stadium’s east side will make it easier for fans to enter the stadium and feel more comfortable once inside. For about $50 million, WVU officials have done a lot with the 36-year-old stadium, and they aren’t finished yet. -Jake Jarvis, wvgazettemail.comRead More

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
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UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

The Utah State athletic director is vowing to fully cooperate with a university investigation of how the school handled sexual assault allegations against a former player who was cut this week by the Atlanta Falcons. John Hartwell said in a statement Friday that his department takes sexual assault allegations seriously. Hartwell says football coach Matt Wells has a proven track record of disciplining players when necessary. Wells said Thursday he found out this week about the allegations. The allegations became public Thursday when the Falcons cut linebacker Torrey Green because they found out Utah authorities had investigated four allegations of sexual assault made against Green last year. – kutv.comRead More

August 5, 2016

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
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UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Sarah Reesman has worked in Mizzou’s athletics department for 23 years, and while the school looks to find its next athletics director, chancellor Hank Foley has appointed her to lead the department as interim AD. She’s the third person to hold that title since July 13 when Mack Rhoades was announced as the next AD at Baylor. On Friday, her first official day with the new title, Reesman spoke to the Post-Dispatch. -Dave Matter, Read More