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September 22, 2019

NCAA
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NCAA

The University of Connecticut was selected to serve as one of four hosts for the second annual NCAA College Basketball Academies, which will take place July 20-26, 2020. UConn, which served as one of the hosts at the inaugural events two months ago, will be joined by the University of Utah, Wichita State University and Winthrop University as the sites for 2020. Created as a result of recommendations made by the Commission on College Basketball, the College Basketball Academies are intended to give prospective student-athletes a glimpse into the college basketball experience while allowing college coaches from across the country to evaluate players from the high school classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023. “We’re thrilled to bring the Academy back to Storrs, and equally excited to have Salt Lake City, Wichita and Rock Hill on board as well,” said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball. –thehrr. Read More.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

The older members of Kansas State’s social media team like to tell a story about how little creativity they used to have in their jobs. It goes like this: one of them pulled out a phone to film K-State football players arriving for a stadium walk through the night before a road game several years ago. The footage was meant to be shared on Twitter so fans back home would know the Wildcats had reached their destination. They share this story not to criticize the private — and successful — ways of K-State’s previous coaching staff, but to illustrate just how much things have changed in the social-media department now that Chris Klieman is in charge. The difference was most obvious during Klieman’s first three games as coach. Moments after the Wildcats opened the season with a win over Nicholls, K-State tweeted out videos of Wyatt Hubert presenting Klieman with a game ball and quarterback Skylar Thompson emotionally addressing the team. After the Bowling Green win, fans got to watch Klieman’s postgame speech. -Kellis Robinett, The Wichita Eagle. Read More.

MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY
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MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY

The Murray State athletic department has partnered with Racer Dining to improve gameday for students. Athletic Director Kevin Saal wants to bring convenience to students who attend games. “Collectively, Racer Dining and Murray State Athletics want to provide a first-class gameday experience,” Saal said. Currently, students can only use Flex at Roy Stewart Stadium and the CFSB Center, but Saal and the respective departments are working to expand that to other locations. Saal wants to make the gameday atmosphere better not only for students, but the student-athletes as well. He expects many more promotions similar to this to help bring not only student attendance up but overall attendance up in every sport. –The Murray State News. Read More.

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

A former Michigan State football staffer is suing head coach Mark Dantonio among others for unlawful arrest and wrongful termination, according to an article on ESPN.com on Thursday. Former recruiting director Curtis Blackwell, who’s bringing the suit, said under oath that Dantonio “ignored his assistants’ warnings while recruiting a player who subsequently was convicted of sexually assaulting a fellow student on campus and that important information was omitted from an investigation into how the athletic department handled a pair of sexual misconduct allegations involving football players,” according to the article. Some of the claims are directly related to the dismissal and eventual prison sentence of former Wayne football player Auston Robertson. –The Journal Gazette. Read More.

MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
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MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY

After six seasons as Montana State men’s tennis head coach, Jared Burnham has accepted a similar position at Eastern Washington. Also on Wednesday, MSU athletic director Leon Costello announced the appointment of Trey Morris as assistant coach. Burnham arrived at MSU prior to the 2013 season after nine seasons as the head coach at Weber State, and led the Bobcats to their first regular season title since 2006 in that campaign. He was named 2013 Big Sky coach of the year. “I appreciate Jared’s years of service at Montana State,” Costello said in a program news release. Costello indicated that the search for Burnham’s replacement begins immediately. –Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

A new policy restricting admission of Texas students to one gate Saturday made for a two-hour wait and a block-long line outside Royal-Memorial Stadium, leaving student sections less than half-full through most of the first half. Texas made the change this week in response to what one official called a student “stampede” before the LSU game. “We recognize we have some things to fix,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said earlier in the week. -Kevin Sherrington, The Dallas Morning News. Read More. 

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

New Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork is no fan of conference games at neutral sites – and that likely has the A&M series with Arkansas at AT&T Stadium on borrowed time. The current contract between the two schools and AT&T Stadium runs through 2024. The two schools, who have played in Arlington since 2014, meet next Saturday. Bjork says he has spoken in general terms with Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek about his feelings. Because of its commitment to play games in Arlington and Little Rock, Arkansas only has two SEC games in Fayetteville this season – Auburn and Mississippi State. He said he is aware of the importance of the Dallas market but feels A&M already has a good footprint in the region. Bjork said he would have no problem with playing a one-off non-conference game at a neutral site if that opportunity presented himself. -Chuck Carlton, The Dallas Morning News. Read More.

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Washington State University says it’s back in the black after eliminating a $30 million deficit in its main operating budget, though the athletics department continues to overspend. The university said it closed the 2019 fiscal year, which ended June 30, with a balance of about $7.8 million, marking the first time it has broken even or had leftover funds since 2013. The board of regents credited President Kirk Schulz, who started the job in 2016, with a series of proposals aimed at raising donations and reducing spending. On Friday, the university said the department’s annual operating deficit was about $7.1 million in fiscal 2019, down from about $13.7 million in fiscal 2014. The department is on track to stop overspending by 2024, the university said. -Chad Sokol, The Spokesman-Review. Read More.

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

The new policy could be piloted with the 2019-2020 home basketball season that begins in late October. Southeast now joins a growing number of institutions offering the sale of alcohol to spectators in general seating areas of collegiate athletic events. Alcohol sales will be managed by the Show Me Center management and will require a liquor license through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation or a contracted state-licensed vendor, Mangels said. Risk management practices to be given future consideration include additional security at events, designated alcohol-free seating sections, limits on numbers of drinks sold per customer and cups for serving so bottles or cans do not become projectiles, Mangels said. The revised policy and procedures also define parameters for tailgate functions at home football games involving the consumption of alcohol. Read More.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
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SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Less than two years after endowing a $1 million donation to the Syracuse University Athletics Department, John and Laura Lally are ready to give to the school again. This time, the gift is what school officials are referring to as “transformative.” During halftime of the Syracuse University vs. Western Michigan football game, Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud and Director of Athletics John Wildhack presented a commemorative football to the Lallys in recognition of a gift commitment of $25 million to support Syracuse University athletics. The donation is among the single largest that the school has ever received. -Ethan Powers, Clarence Bee. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
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UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII

University of Hawai’i Athletics Director David Matlin has hired Joël Kusnierz as the head coach of the Rainbow Warriors tennis team. Kusnierz is just the third men’s tennis head coach in Hawai’i history and takes over the program following a 16-year tenure of former head coach John Nelson, who retired last month.’ Kusnierz has served as UH’s assistant coach the past three seasons. During that time, he has helped coach eight players who earned multiple Big West awards—including last year’s BWC Freshman of the Year, Andre Ilagan. –khon2. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Traditional media and social media jumped to fear-based assumptions when news broke that the University of Alabama had launched an app designed to collect information from student consumers at Crimson Tide football games. In fact, the New York Times ran an article critical of the app on September 12 that included in its headline the term “Orwellabama.” The New York Times article included quotes from a privacy watchdog attorney named Adam Schwartz who identified Alabama’s new tech as “very alarming” because students were asked to “give up their privacy.” Schwartz told the Times that “a public university is a teacher, telling students what is proper in a democratic society.” Reached for comment, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne drew comparisons between what the school is doing with its sports fan app and the attendance-checking apps used in classrooms. He also noted that Alabama is not alone in the use of attendance-checking apps for tracking student consumption of intercollegiate athletics. -Thomas Baker, forbes. Read More.

September 20, 2019

FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY
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FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY

With all the bids tallied and tickets totaled, the 10th annual Tiger Auction and Dinner was another record-setting event for FHSU Athletics. Following the sale of 93 live items and 239 silent items, alongside dinner and raffle tickets, the FHSU Athletic Department raised a net total of $377,402, eclipsing 2018′s record total of $343,000. 668 supporters were in attendance, 80 more than the previous high set last year. Funds from this year’s Live Auction Item #40 will address improvements to numerous athletics facilities. The list includes new basketball goals inside Gross Memorial Coliseum, an expansion of the wrestling practice room, a new wrestling mat, NFL style goalposts (uprights) at Lewis Field, upgraded speakers and a new scoreboard at Tiger Stadium (softball), backstop netting and new batting cages at Larks Park (baseball) and acoustical upgrades to two of the auxiliary gyms in Cunningham Hall. – The Hays Daily News, Read More

NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Don’t expect beer at the Fargodome during Bison games anytime soon. “We’ve had brief discussions about it every year for the past several years, but most of our conversations recently are about logistics and space availability inside the dome so that if alcohol sales ever do become a reality during Bison games, the experience can be a positive one for fans,” said Fargodome general manager Rob Sobolik. The Fargo Dome Authority has been talking about changes its members would like to see in the building, which opened in 1992. Expanded concourses, bathrooms, seating and entrances are all likely possibilities. Plans are on hold as dome officials work with advisers to hammer out financing options for the project, which could cost as much as $50 million. NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said his department has had conversations about beer sales in both the dome and the school’s on-campus basketball arena, the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, but hasn’t pushed the topic. He agreed dome renovations might have to come before beer sales are approved. – Mike McFeely, Inforum, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Members of the Iowa band said they experienced and witnessed abuse by some Iowa State fans during Saturday’s game between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones. It was after the end of the game when Corey Knopp told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he was pushed by an adult Iowa State fan. “A fan shoved me out of his way as we were marching in formation back to the buses,” Knopp told The Gazette in an interview. “He decided to cut through the band and shoved me out of his way. I yelled, ‘Do not put your hands on me sir,’ and he yelled back, ‘[expletive] you.’ ” Another member of the band told the Gazette that she witnessed physical and verbal abuse from some Cyclone fans and that multiple members of the band have bruises — and one even has fractured ribs — from contact by fans and thrown items. – Nick Bromberg, Yahoo Sports, Read More

WEST VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY

West Virginia State University Athletics announced a partnership with Catapult Sports on Friday afternoon. WVSU will utilize Catapult’s GPS-based wearable technology in workouts and competitions this season. The Catapult vests contain lightweight GPS pods that report metric data that measures intensity and changes in heart rate, speed, distance, and load on the athletes to better monitor players’ exertion over the course of a workout. The data collected and inserted into a software that helps inform an athlete on how to improve their performance. Catapult Sports currently works with more than 2,500 teams that include the likes of Clemson University, Duke University, the Dallas Mavericks, the Buffalo Bills, and English Premier League club Newcastle United. – Blake A. Whitener, WSAZ 3, Read More

NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Northwestern State’s licensing agreement with CLC has delivered record-breaking revenues to the athletic department in each of the first two quarters of 2019. Official Northwestern State logos are trademarked, and as such, persons/vendors wishing to sell branded NSU items must be licensed through licensing and brand management partner CLC (formerly Learfield). The Northwestern State Athletic Department constantly is looking for new vendors willing to invest in its brand, as well as working with current vendors to offer a wider variety of NSU branded items to consumers. After forging new partnerships with alumni-owned businesses Cane River Brewing Company of Natchitoches and Cayenne Marketing of Shreveport (a vendor for the NSU alumni-owned business Simply Chic Boutique), the athletic department expects revenues to continue to rise. – Jason Pugh, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

The NCAA is preparing to issue a notice of allegations that details multiple major violations in the Kansas men’s basketball program. The notice will come after a summer of speculation following a top NCAA official saying the organization would make findings against schools involved in a pay-for-play recruiting scheme investigated by the FBI. When asked for comment, Dan Beckler, associate KU athletic director for public relations, told The Star that KU Athletics had not received any notification from the NCAA. Kansas was among the schools associated with Adidas that were named during the federal investigation that led to the N.C. State notice of allegations. ESPN recently reported that NCAA investigators were also working on cases at Arizona, Auburn, Creighton, Louisville, LSU and USC. – Jesse Newell and Steve Vockrodt, The Kansas City Star, Read More

NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia announced an agreement with ESPN Events on Friday, securing the postseason future for Aggie football through the 2020-25 bowl game cycle. “New Mexico State University and our football program are excited to enter into an agreement with the New Mexico Bowl from 2020 through 2025,” said Moccia. “The proximity of the game from our campus as well as Albuquerque and the surrounding areas having the largest population of NM State alumni in the country outside of Doña Ana County is a perfect opportunity for our football program and Aggie Nation.” The six-year deal gives the New Mexico Bowl, which is owned by ESPN Events, the opportunity to select the Aggies should it be eligible for a bowl game whether or not the Mountain West or Conference USA fields enough teams for postseason play. In addition, the agreement gives NM State the opportunity play in a myriad of other bowl games owned by ESPN Events as well. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
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UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

They lost their son to a battle that no one knew he was even going through, and now, Mark and Kym Hilinski are doing their best to make sure no one else has to experience that same pain and loss. A sophomore starting quarterback at Washington State, Tyler Hilinski was found dead in his apartment in January 2018. The cause of death was found to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The Hilinskis now spend their lives traveling the country, raising awareness and funds for mental health issues, specifically among athletes. That mission brought them to Ole Miss this week. They operate a non-profit foundation called Hilinski’s Hope, with the goal of “Keeping Tyler’s memory alive and generating the funding necessary to support programs that will help destigmatize mental illness.” -Nathanael Gabler, The Oxford Eagle. Read More.

UNC WILMINGTON
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UNC WILMINGTON

UNCW Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass will help provide direction on a national level to all NCAA Division I men’s golf teams as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee. Bass was selected to the seven-member committee this week and will serve through August of 2023. The committee is responsible for the selection and seeding of the competing golf teams in the NCAA Regional Championships. Bass will also attend annual meetings with the Golf Coaches Association of America regarding NCAA Championship format, scoring, media, and factors influencing NCAA men’s golf. Bass is the only athletic director on the committee and joins four head coaches, one senior associate athletic director and one conference representative in the advisory group. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The Rio Grande Rivalry on Saturday isn’t just a big deal for the Lobos and Aggies football teams. The afternoon game at Dreamstyle Stadium is certainly just as huge for the University of New Mexico’s athletic department when it comes to attendance and meeting NCAA requirements for Football Bowl Subdivision programs.  UNM must average 15,000 in attendance over its six home games this season to qualify for the NCAA requirement to average 15,000 once in a two-year period, and this means 2018 and 2019. If the Lobos fail to meet the NCAA’s minimum requirement, they can fall into noncompliance, UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez said, and could potentially be ruled ineligible for postseason football competition in 2020. However, hosting the Aggies gives hope for this season. “It’s big because we need at least 18,000,” said Williams. -STEVE VIRGEN Steve Virgen, AlbuquerqueJournal. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

From $174 million in facility upgrades, to spending more money on recruiting than any other FBS program, to paying Smart and his assistant coaches more than $13 million per season, the Georgia athletic department is making the financial investment many believed it needed to compete with Alabama in the SEC and with other traditional powers nationally. “I think the investment that you’re starting to see right now is really an effort to catch up,” said former Bulldogs quarterback Eric Zeier, who now works as an analyst on the school’s radio network. In only three seasons, Smart, a former Georgia defensive back and longtime Alabama defensive coordinator, has transformed the program into his vision of what it should be. In most cases, the administration has given him everything he needs to do it. -Mark Schlabach, ESPN. Read More.

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

WVU makes its debut on ESPN’s streaming platform and the conference’s designated channel in Saturday’s 4:30 p.m. game at Kansas. Meanwhile, Lyons is sorting through reactions, and WVU drafted a universal response to send back to the folks who are reaching out for one reason or another about this situation. “There aren’t as many,” Lyons told 247Sports. “We’re not responding to every individual situation, either.” An important part of understanding this seemingly sudden arrangement between the conference and the network is that it isn’t that sudden. The Big 12 and ESPN agreed to take their television partnership to ESPN+ back in April, and that, of course, came after considerable planning. Lyons said “nothing has changed” and this was the plan from the beginning. -Mike Casazza, 247sports. Read More.

AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY
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AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY

Eric Elliot, who has been the Director of Fan Engagement and Creative Services at Louisiana-Monroe the past three seasons, will join the Austin Peay State University athletics department as its Director of Digital Media, effective Monday. Elliott takes over following Tyler Davis’ departure in May. Upon joining the Governors athletics department, Elliot will oversee the department’s digital and social communications strategy. He also will oversee the advancement of the Governors’ visual and brand identity on both digital media and marketing collateral. Read More.

UMASS
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UMASS

UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford announced a handful of new football games Thursday for future schedules. Among them are three more games that will each earn the Minutemen over $1 million for taking the field. The Minutemen, who play as an independent, have games already scheduled into the 2028 season and have eight games where they’ll make over a million. Here are their upcoming seven-digit paydays in chronological order: 2019: Nov. 16 at Northwestern: $1.2 million – UMass got $1.3 for playing Rutgers earlier this season; 2020: Nov. 14 at Auburn: $1.9 million – This was a record when it was initially scheduled; 2021: Sept. 4 at Pittsburgh: $1.3 million – This is one of the newly announced games, Oct. 23 at Florida State: $1.5 million – Another newly scheduled game; 2022
Nov. 19 at Texas A&M: $1.7 million – Kyle Field is the fourth largest stadium in the FBS with a capacity of 102,733; 2023: Sept. 2 at Auburn- $1.95 million This is the most UMass has ever received for a game and would be more than any visiting team in the country received in 2019. Nov. 11 at Penn State: $1.6 million The contract also calls for the creation of a home and home men’s basketball series; 2024: Nov. 23 at Georgia: $1.9 million – This will be UMass’ second trip to Sanford Stadium where they played in 2018. -Matt Vautour, masslive. Read More.

MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY
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MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY

The Mary Baldwin University Department of Athletics announced that Christy Shelton has been named associate director of athletics. In addition to the new title, Shelton remains the head softball coach and senior woman administrator. Shelton, who is a graduate of Mary Baldwin, joined the department in 1999 and helped create the softball program in 2001 before taking over as head coach in 2004. Since then, she has acquired the title of senior woman administrator (SWA), the highest-ranking woman in each NCAA athletics department or conference office, and manages facility and business operations in the department. In her new role, she will continue to oversee administrative functions and serve on the department leadership team. Read More.

PAC 12
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PAC 12

Though the Pac-12 has an enviable TV footprint, with five of the top 17 markets in the country it doesn’t translate to the balance sheet under the terms of its television deals. The chasm is likely to widen each year until 2024. That’s how long the Pac-12 will have to wait to see if Scott’s big bet pays off: the decision not to partner with ESPN or Fox in forming the Pac-12 Network while waiting to cash in on a bidding war for all its TV rights when they expire — At the moment, it has been a costly decision. Not only is the conference left with far less money, it also has far lower viewership because cable and satellite companies aren’t compelled by a partner like ESPN or Fox to take the Pac-12 Network as part of a bundle of sports networks. As a result, the Pac-12 Network, which was introduced seven years ago, is in only 18 million homes, less than a third of the audience for the SEC Network and the Big Ten Network, and about half of that for A.C.C. Network, which started in August. -Billy Witz, The New York Times. Read More.

PENN STATE
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PENN STATE

Penn State’s new four-zoned traffic pattern for Nittany Lion home football games came under some heavy scrutiny prior to last Saturday’s contest with Pitt thanks to frustrating backups on certain routes leading to Beaver Stadium. Of particular note was extremely slow-moving traffic on Atherton Street, with some travelers arriving from the west/north reporting that it took as long as an hour and 45 minutes to travel about 3.5 miles through the business district. Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour vowed that fans will see improvements in time for the next Nittany Lion home game — when Purdue visits Oct. 5. “We’ve made changes from week to week — we’ll make more changes going into our next home game after being away for a few weeks — and we’ll get it right,” Barbour said. -Mark Brennan, 247sports. Read More.

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY
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IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

Idaho State’s football game Saturday at Northern Iowa will be a historic occasion — the first time the Bengals play a nonconference matchup against an FCS team since 2008, when they hosted North Dakota, then in the Great West Conference. For over a decade, ISU’s nonconference schedule has been made up of FBS opponents — so-called “money games” that bring Idaho State a lot of revenue, in exchange for an almost-guaranteed loss — and Division II teams that allow the Bengals to get a home game on their nonconference schedule. But according to athletic director Pauline Thiros, those schedules will soon be a thing of the past. “We are scheduling with the postseason in mind,” Thiros said. -Andrew Houghton, IdahoStateJournal. Read More.


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