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June 27, 2016

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

Kenneth Jones has seen every Florida A&M football game played at Bragg Memorial Stadium over the last 30 years. For the first time in three decades, Jones will be sitting in the stands with his family when the Rattlers take the field at Bragg. The 54-year-old associate professor of journalism at FAMU stepped down after the 2015 season as FAMU’s “Voice of Bragg,” saying he wished to spend some more time with his family. FAMU’s athletic department recently announced its plans to replace Kenneth Jones as the “Voice of Bragg.” Vaughn Wilson, director of Rattler Productions, will shoot a reality show that will serve as the audition process for applicants interested in the job. -Jordan Culver, Tallahassee Democrat, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
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UNIVERSITY OF OREGON

On Friday, the gates will open at Hayward Field for the 2016 Olympic Trials, marking the third straight time — and sixth overall — the U.S. team for the Summer Games will be decided in Eugene. Approximately 1,100 athletes will descend on the city over the two next weeks, vying for spots on the team heading to Rio de Janeiro in August. They’ll compete in an expanded Hayward Field, with temporary seating boosting capacity from 10,500 to nearly 22,000 for the nine days of competition from July 1-10. -Chris Hanson, The Register-Guard, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS

A pair of consultants North Texas has hired to evaluate the school’s athletic program will meet with fans and boosters tonight. Trip Kuehne and Michael Sicuro will conduct the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the club level of Apogee Stadium. Kuehne and Sicuro were hired to evaluate the program in the wake of Rick Villarreal stepping down as the school’s athletic director this spring after more than 15 years at the university. -Brett Vito, Denton Record Chronicle, Read More

June 26, 2016

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Saluki Athletics will unveil a brand-new website on July 1, Director of Athletics Tommy Bell announced Saturday. The official site, siusalukis.com, is undergoing a complete transformation that includes numerous fan-friendly features, plus a new ticketing system. “The new website is designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout,” Bell said. “The site has been redesigned from the ground up, and built to more easily allow our fans to engage and interact with our multimedia content and social media platforms.” – thesouthern.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
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UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO

Changes are taking place rapidly around USF’s athletics facilities of late, and Negoesco Stadium, the home of Dons men’s and women’s soccer, is the latest to undergo a significant project. A brand new artificial turf surface is being installed on Negoesco Stadium in the months leading up to the 2016 season. Coming on the heels of the opening of the new Benedetti Diamond this past spring, the new surface at Negoesco Stadium won’t be a major overhaul, but a valuable upgrade nonetheless. The new AstroTurf playing surface will replace the former artificial surface that had been in use for eight years, and will feature a “green” natural infill consisting of a pumice-like material specially formulated for soccer facilities. Again, following the example of Benedetti Diamond’s all-natural organic infill – which is the first of its kind in Division I baseball – and fitting USF’s vision of leading the way in sustainable athletic facility technology. Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long has a rosier long-term outlook for the financial futures of major college athletics than some analysts. In an April story in USA Today under the headline “Can college athletics continue to spend like this?”, economist Andrew Zimbalist suggested major college athletics could be facing the bursting of an economic bubble. Zimbalist argued the current rate of spending among schools in the Power 5 conferences — reported by USA Today as rising $332 million in 2015 for the 50 public schools in the Power 5 vs. a rise of $304 million in revenue for those schools in that time span — is unsustainable. “There are big-time things leading it to pop,” Zimbalist told USA Today, which cited ongoing lawsuits related to athlete compensation, the potential for concussion lawsuits and other issues as potential destabilizing factors. -Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.comRead More

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Mark Wasikowski, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the Universities of Oregon, Arizona, Florida as well as Southeast Missouri State during his career, has been selected as the new head coach of Purdue baseball, athletics director Morgan Burke has announced. Wasikowski has played and coached in the College World Series. He has helped lead teams to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances during a successful 20-year run as an assistant coach. He also won an NCAA championship as the starting third baseman and a captain on Pepperdine’s 1992 College World Series team. Wasikowski (pronounced WAZ-uh-COW-ski) played for and worked under three-time national Coach of the Year Andy Lopez for a combined 18 years. He was part of Lopez’s coaching staffs at both Florida (1998-2001) and Arizona (2001-11) before joining George Horton’s staff at Oregon in the summer of 2011, spending five seasons with Horton in Eugene. Wasikowski was an assistant coach on Arizona’s 2004 College World Series team, the same year that Horton led Cal State Fullerton to the national title. Read More

NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Don’t expect any announcements soon that North Dakota State’s football team is moving up the NCAA Division I ladder. “NDSU athletics is exactly where it ought to be,” NDSU president Dean Bresciani said this week. In a lengthy interview in his office that focused mostly on the university’s budget and an expected 10 percent reduction in funding from the state, I also asked Bresciani whether NDSU had plans to move up soon to the Football Bowl Subdivision, a higher level than the current Football Championship Subdivision in which the Bison compete. And compete successfully. NDSU has won the past five FCS national championships. That’s had some fans and media pushing for the Bison to move up to higher competition. – Mike McFeely, thedickinsonpress.com Read More

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Columbia University has hired 17-time University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year Scott Donie to be the next head coach of the Columbia diving program, Director of Athletics and Intercollegiate Athletics Peter Pilling announced today. “We are very excited to welcome Scott and his family to Columbia,” said Pilling. “His experience as both a very successful collegiate coach and as a world-class diver, along with his familiarity with the City of New York, will be a great asset to our student-athletes. We are confident that he is the perfect person to enhance and grow the diving program’s foundation so successfully built by Gordon Spencer.” Donie arrives to Morningside Heights boasting an unprecedented 16 seasons at the helm of the New York University diving program. At NYU, he coached nine divers to a combined 19 All-America honors. Last season, Donie produced NCAA National Championship qualifiers and UAA Champions in both the men’s and women’s divisions. Donie went on to be named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and UAA Championships men’s and women’s Diving Coach of the Meet. Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

The University of Arkansas, for the first time, is operating with an athletic budget exceeding $100 million as it heads into the 2016-2017 fiscal year. “I think it’s the strongest financial position we’ve had in the history of Razorback athletics,” said Athletic Director Jeff Long, who will enter his ninth year at Arkansas in September. “We have had revenues of over $100 million in the past, but this is the first time we’ve budgeted for it. We expect to exceed budget in revenues.” A public records request filed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette showed the department has had a budget of $105,736,950 approved by the board of trustees for the fiscal year, which begins July 1. – Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.comRead More

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Mississippi State Athletic Director Scott Stricklin takes pride in his Bulldog teams. It doesn’t take long to realize that fact when entering into a conversation with hymn In six years at the head of the MSU athletic department, Stricklin has guided State to arguably its most successful period ever. The wins kept piling up in the 2015-16 athletic year. Last Monday while speaking to the Starkville Rotary Club, Stricklin expressed his happiness with MSU’s continued rise. “Every year, there seems to be a list of accomplishments,” Stricklin said. “This year, the level to which so many of our sports and student athletes and coaches achieved is historic. We had half of our sports make postseason play. The last couple of years, we’ve had even more than that, but the ones that did make postseason play didn’t just show up. They came, they competed and they advanced. We had five different sports finish in the top 16 in the country in their respective sport.”-JOEL COLEMAN, starkvilledailynews.comRead More

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
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BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

For decades, BYU has fought to compete at the highest levels of college athletics while upholding its longstanding commitment to keep the Sabbath Day holy by not competing on Sundays. Is the Sunday play issue a major factor that’s keeping the Cougars out of a Power 5 conference? While the answer to that question isn’t clear right now, there’s no doubt that BYU’s unbending refusal to compromise on Sunday play has stirred up controversy in the past and has prevented its athletes from competing in certain cases. -Jeff Call, Deseret NewsRead More

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY
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OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

There was no opportunity to play, but Debbie Harmison White didn’t let that stop her. By the time she was a teenager, she probably knew as much about football as those who played it. Such are the perks of growing up a coach’s daughter. Dick Harmison often brought his work home, and his only daughter absorbed it. If you’re picturing Bill Yoast’s daughter from “Remember the Titans,” bingo. “I remember watching my father break down film, and it just fascinated me,” White said. “I don’t know what it was. But everything it took to put together a team just fascinated me.” -Dave Johnson, dailypress.comRead More

AIR FORCE ACADEMY
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AIR FORCE ACADEMY

The Pentagon’s inspector general found that a former Air Force Academy boss hindered an investigation into athlete misconduct by shielding football coach Troy Calhoun from questioning, but determined that the issue didn’t rise to the level of “impeding the investigation.” While critical of former superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the 32-page report obtained by The Gazette on Friday is silent on the school’s cadet informant program and cleared the academy on allegations of special treatment for a football player suspected of drug use and an officer’s interference in a sexual assault case. The report was posted on the Defense Department Inspector General’s website Friday morning, but was later removed without explanation. “This report has been temporarily removed and will be uploaded as soon as possible,” the website said. –military.comRead More

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
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COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

How is passion defined? Well, when many young people spend time to work on a project without being compensated, that’s a good gauge of passion. Without a doubt, Josh Dolan — President of Ram Ruckus — and Jacob Hintzman — lead marketer — are passionate about athletics at Colorado State University. More specifically, they’re enthusiastic, driven to be the ones who re-establish a student fan base at CSU. “That’s how this all started,” Dolan explained in an hour-long, exclusive interview Thursday. “We were at the Wyoming basketball game (at Moby Arena in February). There were a decent amount of people there but we didn’t do anything. We just did our typical chants. I was like, ‘This is so stupid, especially with a school of 35,000 people.’ So, we emailed Tony Frank, not expecting anything. And he emailed the Athletic Director Joe Parker, who emailed his assistant AD to set up a meeting. We had a meeting with him and it went super well. He was like, ‘Get me a board.’ So, there’s a board now of 10 people…And more will be joining soon. -Rich Kurtzman,  bsndenver.comRead More

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
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CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

Clemson University students were informed last week that they won’t be required to pay a $225 fee to secure season tickets in one of the 9,000 lower-bowl seats for football at Memorial Stadium. A proposal to adopt the student fee was met with resistance when introduced in April, with more than 9,000 students signing a petition of opposition. “We’ve met with students and continue to have conversations with students,” said Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s athletic department spokesperson. “Clemson will continue to be the only school in the ACC and SEC to not have a student cost for tickets nor a student fee.” -Scott Keepfer, independentmail.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The former second in command in the UNM Athletics Department who announced in early November that he would be leaving to take a job with the United States Tennis Association in Florida has quietly remained on the school’s payroll and was given a new job in January as a “professional consultant.” UNM this week confirmed former deputy athletic director Tim Cass, who is now the general manager of the USTA’s National Campus in Orlando, started a two-year agreement on Jan. 24 with the title of “professional consultant” earning an annual salary of $23,776. -Geoff Grammer, abqjournal.comRead More

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

As Scott Stricklin sits at his desk in the Bryan Building on an early summer morning, a mockup of the new court for Humphrey Coliseum sits in front of him.  The Mississippi State Director of Athletics is always busy with something, whether it’s fielding a phone call, talking to his staff or answering an email from fans. But facilities are always a big concern with him, mainly because it drives college athletics. That’s why he is always thinking about facilities, no matter the sport.  “You’re constantly evaluating, looking and planning,” Stricklin said. “You kind of do that with every facility you have. If you’re not doing that, then it’s real easy to feel like you’re getting behind, not just behind others, but behind where you need to be to make your program as good as it can be.” -Ben Wait, cdispatchRead More

OHIO UNIVERSITY
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OHIO UNIVERSITY

A new academic center at the heart of Ohio University’s athletic fields is in the design phase after approval by the Ohio University Board of Trustees on Friday. The board recognized opposition by representatives of the Faculty Senate in their report from Thursday’s Resources Committee meeting in which the naming, design resolution and site approval for the Perry & Sandy Sook Academic Center were presented. All but one of the board members voted in favor of the plan approval and design phase, which will cost $620,000, according to a memo to the board from Deborah Shaffer, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer. -Susan Tebben, athensmessenger.comRead More

MERCER UNIVERSITY
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MERCER UNIVERSITY

Friday was a long time coming for Mercer baseball head coach Craig Gibson as the program broke ground on its new home. OrthoGeorgia Park, which will be built on the site of the current Claude Smith Field, will seat 1,500 and feature new dugouts, concession stands, restrooms and press box, along with two open-air suites. “It’s a great day for us, our baseball program, the campus, the university, the athletic department, and a lot of people have played a big part of it: OrthoGeorgia, (athletics director) Jim Cole, president (Bill) Underwood,” Gibson said. “It’s an exciting day for Mercer baseball, for sure. I met with Jim a couple of weeks ago, and he was asking what our next phase was. And I really think it’s the facility.” -Daniel Shirley, macon.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
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UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Nearly 900 season ticket holders got a look on Saturday at the upgraded Commonwealth Stadium.  Staff members from UK’s athletic department gave groups tours of the stadium, including the press box, UK locker room and recruiting room. “I just hope they get an understanding of what the big picture is,” UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart said. Barnhart said the $120 million upgrades, plus the new UK football training complex, mean the Wildcats have some of the best facilities in the country. –wkyt.comRead More

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

It was just a typical Friday night in Starkville, but the stands and the berm at the Mississippi State Soccer Field were filled to near capacity.  Granted the football team was hosting Louisiana Tech the next day in a homecoming clash, but fans of the Bulldog soccer team were in full force. A record crowd of 1,327 fans saw MSU lose 2-1 to Florida Oct. 16, 2015. It was a disappointing loss, but the crowd support was the focal point.  The support is a byproduct of the relationship between MSU and the City of Starkville.  “The athletic department’s focus on facilities and fan experience has really increased interest in those smaller sports,” Greater Starkville Development Partnership Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Gregory said. “They’ve done a great job with soccer and softball to get younger girls in the community involved through inviting local softball and soccer teams to come out.” -Ben Wait, cdispatch.comRead More

 

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

When former Ball State football coach Pete Lembo first arrived in Muncie — perhaps still a bit unfamiliar with the state of Mid-American Conference athletics — the guy was thrilled. Complaints and concerns about not having an indoor practice facility or the program’s inability to raise funds for a new coaching complex didn’t faze him. “Quite frankly, I was pleasantly surprised when I got here to see all the space that is available,” Lembo told The Star Press back in 2010, referring to the 40-yard turf field inside the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center. But that was Lembo speaking after coaching for five seasons at Lehigh in the Patriot League and five seasons at Elon in the Southern Conference, where things were more quaint, less extravagant, whatever. The point is that back then, Lembo was content with what Ball State had to offer. -Dakota Crawford, thestarpress.comRead More

BIG TEN CONFERENCE

It’s almost like they’re printing money. A deal between ESPN and the Big Ten Conference, reported last week by the Sports Business Journal, is expected to give the league a total media rights package worth $2.6 billion over six years. For the University of Iowa and other member schools, that arrangement could result in an annual distribution share approaching $50 million. -Andrew Logue, desmoinesregister.comRead More

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University and former football coach Art Briles on Friday acknowledged “serious shortcomings” in the school’s response to allegations of sexual assault by football players. Baylor and Briles also have mutually agreed to terminate his employment, the school said in a news release. Briles reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the school last week. “Both parties acknowledge that there were serious shortcomings in the response to reports of sexual violence by some student-athletes, including deficiencies in University processes and the delegation of disciplinary responsibilities with the football program,” the news release said. “Baylor is addressing these shortcomings and making ongoing improvements. -Mark Schlabach, ESPNRead More

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
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UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

Former Middlebury Union High School star Sarah Dalton has been hired as the next head coach of the University of Vermont women’s lacrosse team, the school announced Friday afternoon. A fourth-year assistant and offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Dalton takes over for Jen Johnson, who parted ways with UVM last month after 12 seasons. Dalton, a Cornwall native, will be formally introduced some time next week, UVM said. A 2004 Middlebury grad, Dalton shined at Boston University, where she finished her Terrier career as the program’s career and single-season leader in both goals and points. She was also named America East Conference player of the year twice and was a member of the U.S. national development squad from 2008-10. –burlingtonfreepress.comRead More

JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY
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JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY

As expected, Jacksonville University promoted longtime Dolphins’ assistant baseball coach Chris Hayes to its head coaching position Friday morning in hopes he will continue the turnaround begun this season by former boss Tim Montez. Earlier, sources told the Times-Union that Hayes, whose ties to the JU program date back to his playing days as a third baseman, was the presumptive choice from the moment the school administration elected to not renew Montez’s contract after three years. -Gene Frenette,  jacksonville.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
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UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

Another podium, another speech, another shovel. Spence Eccles, a former All-American skier-turned-Utah superbooster, has been to many of these groundbreakings now. His name rests on the Utes’ football stadium, on the football facility, the student life center, the tennis courts and soon a ski team building — the latest project that officially began construction Wednesday. Along with a line of school administrators, coaches and other donors, he gently scooped out soil at the site where a $2.3 million building will rise in the coming year. But while the crowd wilted in the June heat, the 81-year-old’s enthusiasm was unyielding. -KYLE GOON, The Salt Lake TribuneRead more

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Former Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman received more than half a million dollars following his departure from the university, according to a payment agreement provided to The Dallas Morning News. Hyman received $576,190.59 in February because of termination by the university “without cause,” according to the payout information obtained through an open records request. When Hyman’s departure was announced in January, a press release stated that he was “leaving his position” at his university but did not cite a specific reason. – Ben Baby, sportsday.dallasnews.comRead More

FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
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FORT VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY

Today President Paul Jones accepted the resignation of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Joshua Murfree.  “We are most appreciative of his accomplishments and loyalty to the institution and department during his tenure, and his upbeat personality and positive attitude will be missed,” Jones said.
“Moving forward, we look to not only build upon the strong athletic success the teams have had in competition over the past few years, but also to placing major emphasis on compliance and fundraising,” he said. “It is vital to Fort Valley State’s infrastructure that our student athletes not only win on the field, in the classroom and in life after athletics, but also that we attract funding for scholarships that support our students in their academic degree pursuit(s).” The university will name an acting athletics director within the next few days and will immediately begin a search for a permanent replacement as well. Dr. Murfree will remain at the institution until the end of July to assist with the transition. Read More

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