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November 14, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

There was nothing wrong with the University of Oregon’s response to rape allegations leveled against a UO basketball player last year, UO President Michael Schill shot back at U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Monday. Wyden publicly questioned that response last week, following an article in Sports Illustrated that examined the case involving Kavell Bigby-Williams, and suggested that the university violated its own policies for student sexual misconduct cases. Ultimately, police declined to bring criminal charges against Bigby-Williams, who claimed the sex was consensual. The university’s written “standard operating procedures” for sexual misconduct cases that the SI article leaned on “are not strict policies that require absolute adherence, nor should there be,” the UO’s formal response to Wyden states. “A certain amount of flexibility is required to allow our professionals to respond to the totality of the information present and the unique circumstances that arise in various cases.” In the Bigby-Williams case, Schill wrote that a key consideration for UO staff was that the alleged victim in Wyoming “was clear and consistent” that she wanted “no action (to) be taken” against Bigby-Williams. -Saul Hubbard, Register-Guard, Read More

November 13, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

The University of Kansas plans to ask state higher education officials Wednesday to approve plans for a $26 million indoor football practice facility, a request reflecting a big increase in the projected cost since the announcement in September of a three-phase overhaul of Memorial Stadium. Originally, KU marketed the practice center as a $15 million piece of a five-year, $315 million upgrade of football facilities in Lawrence. The $15 million estimate was still listed Monday on a KU website, but a university official said that information was in error. The correct figure for the practice building is $26 million and the football modernization package will cost $326 million, said Jim Marchiony, spokesman for KU’s athletic department. During a meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents in Wichita, KU Chancellor Doug Girod is scheduled to outline justification for a 90,000-square-foot building to be located on the site of outdoor practice fields adjacent to Memorial Stadium. – Tim Carpenter, cjonline.comRead More

SPORTS BUSINESS
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SPORTS BUSINESS

A group of student activists at the University of Washington decided to “just do it”—and after successfully protesting, they got athletic apparel giant Nike to agree to let a third-party watchdog group, Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), inspect factories overseas that make Husky and UW-branded clothing for workplace safety violations. It’s a big deal for worker’s rights—UW President Ana Mari Cauce says the contract is the first of its kind in the country, and can serve as a model for other colleges and universities as well. It was all part of a coordinated national effort by labor rights group United Students Against Sweatshops, which has been campaigning against Nike and organizing global strikes at factories around the world. This spring at the annual Board of Regent’s meeting, dozens of UW students showed up to protest the sneaker company’s labor practices and urge for more factory inspections.  – Amber Cortes, thestranger.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS

After his team’s thrilling win over UMass Sunday, Harvard coach Tommy Amaker expressed hope that the Minutemen and Crimson, who completed the current contract for a home-and-home series, would continued to play. “Every time we’ve been able to lock horns as they say with UMass, in all the games we’ve played in this series have been hard-fought games, have been possession games, have been exciting games and I think this has to top all of that in terms of the ending,” he said. “But it’s always been this way and we’re hopeful we can continue this amazing series.” UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford thought extending the series was likely. In fact when he’s working on future schedules, he’s doing so under the assumption that there will be an annual game with the Crimson. – MATT VAUTOUR, gazettenet.comRead More

FRESNO STATE UNIVERSITY
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FRESNO STATE UNIVERSITY

Former Fresno State athletics director Jim Bartko, who resigned his position on Nov. 6 citing personal reasons, released a statement through The Bee on Monday thanking the community for its support and its support of Bulldogs’ athletics while shedding little light on his decision to step away after nearly three years on the job. The statement in full: “These last few days, while gut wrenching in so many respects, have restored my belief that Fresno is full of solid, decent people who are unconditional in their love of others and their embrace of what’s right. “To those of you who have reached out – many fans, donors, friends, non-fans, neighbors, and acquaintances – I am so grateful and humbled. My call-outs to people of extreme character and kindness in the Valley would take many pages. – ROBERT KUWADA AND MAREK WARSZAWSKIfresnobee.com – Read More

EASTERN COLLEGE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
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EASTERN COLLEGE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Fans of college athletics now have a new venue for catching the action. The Eastern College Athletic Conference has launched the ECAC Network, a streaming platform that includes live sports action, as well as other sports, campus and lifestyle entertainment. Developed in partnership with Media Realm, the ECAC Network is a web-based application that may be accessed on mobile devices. The network will be free to users during its initial launch phase. It will include the latest streaming technology for live and on-demand content, and community engagement through social media. “The ECAC Network is a big step forward in delivering a compelling experience for fans across the conference and a powerful tool for our member schools to amplify their sports and campus experiences,” Dan Coonan, ECAC commissioner, said in a statement. “Bringing to life rich campus cultures and dynamic social media engagement really symbolizes what this conference has always been about.” –  Chris Bosak, newstimes.comRead More

UCLA
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UCLA

Chinese lawyers agreed on one thing last week when discussing the complicated case of three UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in Hangzhou, China, where they were visiting to play a game against Georgia Tech. The quickest path to leniency and expediency through the strict and arbitrary Chinese criminal justice system was simple: Have President Donald Trump lobby Chinese President Xi Jinping during Trump’s visit last week to the country. “President Trump can beg mercy to his Chinese counterpart,” Wen Yu, a lawyer based in the South China city of Guangzhou, told Yahoo Sports. Trump probably didn’t “beg” for anything, but the Washington Post reported Monday he did raise the issue with Xi, according to spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump “personally” asked Xi “to help resolve the case,” the Post reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official. – Dan Wetzel, sports.yahoo.comRead More

PENN STATE
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PENN STATE

A Penn State football season ticket will cost more next year. The athletic department has announced an increase in season tickets for the first time since 2009. Prices on all seats in Beaver Stadium, including the Mount Nittany Club and Suites, will bump up $35 ($5 per game) in 2018. The price of a public season ticket will now be $420 with renewals now underway. The Nittany Lions’ 2018 home schedule will feature Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Maryland. Non-conference opponents Appalachian State and Kent State also will play in Beaver Stadium. The price for car parking purchased on game day in stadium lots also will rise to $60 (cash only). Car and bus season parking and advance single game parking will remain the same in 2018. Fans are encouraged to purchase single game car parking for $20 online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-NITTANY or in-person at the Bryce Jordan Center starting next spring. – Frank Bodani, ydr.comRead More

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is being praised for the improvements it has implemented following the release of a 2016 report, which found school officials failed to cultivate a safe campus environment and the football program acted as if it were “above the rules”. Baylor has been at the forefront of severely mishandled and misreported sexual assault allegations for the last six years now with student lawsuits claiming 31 athletes committed 52 rapes between 2011 and 2014. Several settlements have been reached with victims and some perpetrators are behind bars. Now, the Title IX experts who investigated Baylor’s shortcomings in the 2016 report, say the school has complied with its 105 recommendations for improved campus safety and reporting of sexual assaults. Attorneys Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie Gomez, who worked for Pepper Hamilton LLP at the time the 2016 report was released, issued another report verifying the changes made by the school. – Amy Rock, campussafetymagazine.comRead More

SPORTS BUSINESS
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SPORTS BUSINESS

Welcome to the sixth episode of Full-Court Finance, a podcast from Zacks Investment Research focused on the intersection of sports, business, and the stock market. On this week’s episode, we take an in-depth look at Under Armour’s UAA climb from startup to multibillion-dollar sports apparel powerhouse, and why its fortunes changed so quickly. Shares of Under Armour have fallen off a cliff in 2017, and Kevin Plank’s company recently posted its first quarterly sales decline since going public more than a decade ago. The reasons behind Under Armour’s third-quarter slump range from shifting domestic shopping habits, to declining sales at sports retailers such as Foot Locker FL and Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS , as well as consumers’ newfound love for athleisure. – Benjamin Rains, nasdaq.comRead More

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

USA Triathlon is partnering with Arizona State on an innovative program designed to boost men’s elite performance to the Olympic level. Project Podium will be based at ASU, providing a training home for a men’s team of 12-16 athletes, at least half under age 25. The triathletes will be able to attend ASU either in person or online and are eligible for scholarship funds from USA Triathlon based on performance history. ASU is offering use of its athletic facilities as well as sports medicine, strength and conditioning, academic and nutrition support. Harris has a strong connection with ASU, his alma mater, from his previous job as athletic chief operating officer. He left to join USA Triathlon in August. ASU President Michael Crow and Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson consistently advocated for the university using its resources to become a training mecca for Olympic athletes.  – Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral.comRead More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

The University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin hockey teams have agreed to play a pair of Big Ten games at the United Center in Chicago, beginning with this season’s game on Jan. 21, 2018. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. CT and will air on NBCSN. The teams will also play one of Wisconsin’s home games at the United Center in 2018-19.  For Notre Dame, it will mark a return to the site of the 2017 Frozen Four as the Irish used a strong second semester run to advance to the Frozen Four for the third time in program history (and the third time in the last 10 seasons). “Bringing as many marquee hockey games to the United Center is something the Chicago Blackhawks are passionate about and that is emphasized by hosting the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin,” said John McDonough, Chicago Blackhawks President & CEO. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
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UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

When Rick Barnes heard on Sunday that Tennessee was firing head football coach Butch Jones, his stomach dropped. Barnes talked at length about the Jones era ending on Sunday, expectations in college athletics, negativity on social media and what’s demanded of coaches while speaking to the QB Club crowd at Calhoun’s on the River. In five seasons at Tennessee, Jones led the Vols to a 34-27 record. He went 14-24 in SEC play. Tennessee went 9-4 in both 2015 and 2016 and won three straight bowl games before a 4-6 record this season, including a winless 0-6 mark in league play, led to Jones being fired Sunday morning. Hart was hired as Tennessee’s athletic director in 2011. He fired Derek Dooley late in the 2012 season and hired Jones away from Cincinnati on Dec. 7, 2012. In three seasons at Tennessee, Dooley managed to go just 15-21 with a 4-19 SEC record, before Jones was hired to rebuild the program. – Grant Ramey, 247sports.comRead More

AUBURN UNIVERSITY
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Two members of the Auburn men’s basketball support staff have been placed on administrative leave as a result of the university’s investigation into the program, the athletics department announced Monday. Special assistant Jordan VerHulst and video coordinator Frankie Sullivan will remain away from the program “until further notice.” “The Auburn Athletics Department has placed men’s basketball support staff members Jordan VerHulst and Frankie Sullivan on administrative leave until further notice based upon the University’s ongoing investigation into the men’s basketball program,” the full athletics department statement reads. VerHulst is going into his fourth season as a member of head coach Bruce Pearl’s staff and first as a special assistant to the head coach.  Sullivan, who played for the Tigers from 2009-13, served as a graduate manager for the past two seasons before taking on the role of video coordinator. – ​ Josh Vitale, oanow.comRead More

UCLA
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UCLA

The three UCLA basketball players enmeshed in a legal fiasco in China emerged publicly for the first time Monday and a spokesman insisted they are “doing fine.” LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley walked out of Hangzhou’s Hyatt Regency health club in Bruins workout gear and lumbered toward the elevators. Chris Carlson, UCLA associate athletic director, accompanied them. A top White House spokesman confirmed Monday that President Trump, while in Beijing, had asked China’s leader, Xi Jinping, to look into the case. Trump, who left Beijing on Friday for Vietnam and the Philippines, requested that Xi ensure the case is resolved quickly and that the three freshman players are treated fairly, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a telephone interview. The fact that Trump raised the players’ case with Xi was first reported by the Washington Post.  – Matthew DeButts , Jessica Meyers, latimes.comRead More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

The news that Tennessee parted ways with coach Butch Jones on Sunday afternoon pushed the college football carousel into overdrive. But the fundamental problem with the Tennessee job – and a strong reason why athletic director John Currie was queasy about firing Jones until it became obvious he had to – is that Florida is set to dictate the market. The rest of the SEC – Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Ole Miss – can line up behind the Gators in their upcoming searches. Tennessee has been a second-tier program essentially since the decline of Phil Fulmer in the mid-2000s. The emergence of Alabama as the SEC’s alpha dog, the SEC West’s push to dominance and losing 12 of 13 to Florida on the field have solidified Tennessee into SEC also-ran status. To figure out who Tennessee will hire, it’s necessary to start by peeking at how Scott Stricklin’s first major search as Florida’s athletic director is going. – Pete Thamel, sports.yahoo.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

First-year Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said he’s intent to stick with Mike Riley through the end of this season despite growing public pressure to fire the third-year football coach now — after a 54-21 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. Riley is 19-17 at Nebraska as the Cornhuskers (4-6, 3-4 Big Ten) prepare to play at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday. Nebraska has missed a bowl game just twice since 1961 and will play its Nov. 24 finale against Iowa to avoid a fourth straight home loss for the first time since 1968 and ’69. Moos was hired last month after the September firing of AD Shawn Eichorst. Formerly at Washington State and Oregon, Moos said at his introductory news conference that he would wait until the conclusion of this season to announce any decision on the future of this coaching staff. – Mitch Sherman, espn.comRead More

GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
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GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY

Grand Valley State University seeks an athletic marketing and promotions director. This position is responsible for athletic marketing operation, serving as liaison for corporate partners at orientations, managing marketing office, marketing assets, and assisting with the hiring and training of student marketing internship program and Overseeing development and implementation of the Laker Nation Mobile App. Apply here.

MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE
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MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

Mississippi College, a member of NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference, is accepting applications for the position of Head Volleyball Coach. The individual selected will be responsible for the operation and management of the women’s volleyball program including but not limited to: scheduling, budgeting, recruiting, fundraising, practice and game planning as well as supporting other athletic department activities. email: jones01@mc.edu

UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MERCY
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UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MERCY

Detroit Mercy’s University Advancement Division announced a new giving competition titled “Clash of the Titans” to help support Detroit Mercy’s NCAA Division I athletic teams. This special fundraiser runs from Nov. 7 to Dec. 5, 2017. The goals of this effort are to increase financial support for teams from alumni and friends and create a friendly competition to determine which Detroit Mercy Division I team can raise the most funds to support specific program needs. Read More.

PACE UNIVERSITY
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PACE UNIVERSITY

Mark Brown is the director of Pace Athletics. Given all the goals that our sports teams are both scoring and accomplishing, Brown asked a few questions about the department’s recent accomplishments and plans for future success. “Our teams are as competitive as they have ever been now—some even nationally. We are also growing a culture of philanthropy amongst our alumni and have seen significant growth with respect to donor participation and donor dollars. I sure hope these trends continue.” Read More.

PAC 12
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PAC 12

The schedule has caused significant big-picture, post-season havoc in what is quickly becoming a forgettable fall for Pac-12 football. The season began with quarterbacks in the spotlight and teams in the playoff chase but has deteriorated to the point that the Pac-12 is the only Power Five conference unofficially eliminated from playoff contention.  The Pac-12’s approach has not changes over the years even though the process has gotten more complex … more fraught with potential problems … due to the weeknight games and the creation of the football championship game. – Jon Wilner. Mercury News. Read More.

WINTHROP UNIVERSITY
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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY

A new five-year contract extension for men’s basketball head coach Pat Kelsey will run through 2022, Winthrop Athletics announced today. Winthrop men’s basketball embarks on the 2017-18 campaign on Friday, Nov. 10 versus Southern Illinois. Kelsey owns a 102-59 overall record at Winthrop entering his sixth season at the helm. The Eagles are coming off a 26-7 finish in 2016-17 which saw them win their second consecutive Big South regular season championship and their 11th Big South Tournament title, including four straight appearances in the conference championship game. Read More.

EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
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EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

Just moments before its men’s basketball team opens the 2017-18 season, the ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Friday that it has extended the contract of head coach Steve Forbes through the 2021-22 season. Forbes, whose Buccaneers made their 10th trip all time to the NCAA Tournament a year ago after winning both a Southern Conference regular season and tournament championships, has guided ETSU to a league high 51 wins over the last two seasons. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

University of Minnesota seeks an assistant director of athletic communications. This position reports directly to the Assistant Athletic Director of Communications and is responsible for coordinating communications activities for Golden Gopher athletic department and sports programs. email: employ@umn.edu

URBANA UNIVERSITY
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URBANA UNIVERSITY

Urbana Executive Director of Athletics Larry Cox announced Wednesday the hiring of Brett Smith as the school’s Head Men’s Wrestling Coach. Smith will begin his duties on Nov. 14. UU announced the addition of three Division II programs earlier this year including men’s wrestling, men’s volleyball and acrobatics and tumbling. Smith spent the past year as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Seton Hill University, a D-II program located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was a four-year letterwinner at SHU, where he is currently pursuing an MBA degree. Read More.

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

ESPN is bringing “SportsCenter” to Snapchat in a twice-daily show — running at just a fraction of the length of its TV progenitor and with a cast of more dressed-down, millennial hosts. Under the two-year pact with Snap, the Disney-owned sports programmer is angling to reach a younger, mobile-centric demo with the “SportsCenter” offshoot, employing a new riff on the 38-year-old franchise’s format that combines news, highlights and hot takes from the day in sports. ESPN’s launch of “SportsCenter” on Snapchat comes as more layoffs are expected at the sports programmer, which plans to axe 100 positions later this fall, according to a Sports Illustrated report. It’s also gearing up for the launch of ESPN Plus, a direct-to-consumer streaming service slated to launch in the spring of 2018. – Todd Spangler, Variety. Read More.

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
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GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

The University asked a judge to throw out a pay discrimination lawsuit against the athletic department last week. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit against GW in September claiming the University’s athletic department paid Sara Williams, the former executive assistant to the athletic director, about $40,000 less annually than a male coworker in a similar position. GW claimed the commission’s case should be thrown out because the EEOC didn’t offer enough evidence to prove equal pay violations or discrimination in the hiring process, according to the motion filed in D.C.’s U.S. District Court Tuesday. The commission filed the suit in September after Williams, who is currently employed by GW’s Business Management and Analysis Group, submitted a complaint to the EEOC alleging the University violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII – which prohibits employee sex discrimination, while Williams worked for athletic director Patrick Nero between August 2014 and December 2016. Just over a month after the complaint was filed, the University responded with a 24-page motion arguing Williams did not formally apply for the position. The motion also cited that the EEOC did not offer sufficient evidence of unequal pay, so the allegations of “adverse employment action” should be dismissed. -Matt Cullen, GW Hatchet, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS

A successful few days for the North Texas athletic department were also lucrative for Seth Littrell and athletic director Wren Baker. Both earned bonuses, according to their contracts. Littrell also reached trigger in his deal that will guarantee his base salary for the duration of his five-year deal. Littrell will receive a $35,000 bonus for guiding UNT to the title game. There is an additional $35,000 bonus Littrell will earn for guiding UNT to a bowl game. Littrell reached a third incentive when UNT beat UTEP based on the number of games the Mean Green have won this season. He will receive an additional $20,000 for reaching his incentive for winning six conference games or seven total. Baker reached a $10,000 incentive when UNT became bowl-eligible with its sixth win last week with a win over Louisiana Tech. He also receives $2,000 for each conference title UNT wins in sports other than football and basketball. UNT won the regular season C-USA title in volleyball over the weekend and took home the league’s postseason tournament title in soccer a few days ago.  -Brett Vito, Denton Record-Chronicle, Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Senate Republicans’ tax reform proposal has added a new worry for many colleges watching the progress of legislation in Congress: taxes on income unrelated to their core academic mission, including licensing royalties, which are significant at many institutions. The proposal broadens the unrelated business income tax — a tax on the activities of an exempt entity unrelated to its charitable mission — to apply to a broader range of activities by colleges. The Senate plan makes two key changes to the tax, known as UBIT, that are serious concerns for colleges. It would apply the tax to royalties generated from a university’s name or logo, income that is currently exempt. And the Senate bill would require colleges with more than one business activity unrelated to their core academic mission to count them separately for tax purposes, a change with serious repercussions for those institutions, higher ed groups say. Those activities could include rental of lab facilities to users not connected to the university, athletic events, use of golf courses or rec centers by alumni, and sales from special events for the general public. -Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, Read More