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February 21, 2020

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO
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UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO

University at Buffalo football coach Lance Leipold has agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2024 season. UB announced the extension Friday morning for Leipold, who led the Bulls to their first bowl win in program history, a 31-9 win against Charlotte in the Bahamas Bowl in December. A UB athletic department spokesperson told The News that Leipold’s extension will remain under the same terms, with minor changes to the bonus structure. Under the terms of Leipold’s current contract, obtained by The News through a Freedom of Information Law request, he earns an annual base salary of $465,000 and additional compensation of $150,000, and bonuses ranging from $5,000 (annual APR rate) to $100,000 (participation in the College Football Playoff). -Rachel Lenzi, The Buffalo News. Read More.

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY
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WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY

Weber State University Athletics has named Meagan Thunell as the Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator for Wildcat Athletics. In her new role, Thunell will be responsible for student-athlete support services and will have specific sports supervision. She will also assist with academics and NCAA compliance. Thunell is a member of the Weber State Athletics Hall of Fame and moves to the new role after many years as a coach and standout player for the Weber State women’s soccer team. During the 2019 season, she served as the interim head coach for the Wildcat team and was also the Interim Senior Woman Administrator. Read More.

BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
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BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Waco and Baylor University officials are at least talking about the possibility of a downtown riverfront site for the school’s new $105-million basketball arena, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks who commented on the condition of anonymity. Baylor announced in May 2019 that it planned to use a portion of a record $100 million donation to help fund the Baylor Basketball Pavilion. The university said in May 2019 that the pavilion, with a projected capacity of 7,000 to 7,500, would be built on the south side of the Brazos River between the Baylor Ballpark and the Ferrell Center, but the source said Wednesday the discussions now underway revolve around a possible location near the proposed site of the city’s Riverfront Project. –KWTX. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA

The University of Nevada, Reno, is renovating the Wolf Pack’s home at Mackay Stadium. According to Nevada officials, the point behind this renovation is to correct issues that came with past renovations, specifically, a lack of American Disability Act requirements. During a town hall meeting at the Basin Street Club level of Mackay Stadium on Thursday evening, Nevada officials met with disabled fans and season ticket holders. According to Nevada spokesman, Chad Hartley, the renovation will meet ADA standards for Mackay Stadium’s size. After the renovation is complete in July 2020, there will be 138 ADA seats — which is two more seats than what Hartley said is the ADA standard. Looking at the universities filing with Nevada Board of Regents, this new renovation will cost $3.2 million. The prior renovation in 2016 cost around $2 million. Hartley said that this is due to the renovation having a different architect. -Zachary Slotemaker, news4. Read More.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
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SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

The Syracuse men’s basketball team moved one step closer to missing the NCAA Tournament when it lost to Louisville on Wednesday night, continuing a deeper slide than the program has seen in decades. Part of the swoon has been caused by sanctions levied by the NCAA. Early departures to the NBA have contributed. All of those facts have generated plenty of conversation — and plenty of different opinions — about the current trajectory of the men’s basketball program. Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack had previously-scheduled interviews with members of the local media on Thursday. “There’s so much more parity across the sport. You see it this year. We’re in a conference that’s incredibly competitive. We’ve lost, what, five conference games by 14 points or something like that? Win a few more of those and we’re an NCAA Tournament team. But we didn’t. Reality is reality.” ” I’ll sit down with Coach after the season and talk those things through. We’ll identify if there are areas we can do better and talk about how we do that.” -Chris Carlson, syracuse.com. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Michigan state representative and Democrat Joe Tate was a three-year starting offensive lineman at Michigan State and a co-captain in 2003. Michigan state representative and Republican Brandt Iden was a tennis player at Kalamazoo College. Brandt has introduced House Bill 5217. Tate has introduced House Bill 5218. Together they are pushing legislation in Michigan to allow college student-athletes to earn compensation for their name, image and likeness, protecting their rights without risking their status as college athletes. It is similar to the Fair Pay to Play Act signed into California law last October. The two Michigan bills passed 8-1 in the House Oversight Committee voting in January and will next be reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee before going to the House floor. Originally, Tate and Iden hoped to have the policy go into effect this July, but House Oversight Committee members approved an amendment that moved the starting date to Dec. 1, 2021, well ahead of California’s law. -Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

The association on Tuesday called such a rule adjustment a “potential change” as it claims to be merely seeking “feedback” at this time. In reality, the speed at which this discussion has progressed is rocking the college athletics world. That an NCAA working group is considering submitting a recommendation as soon as April suggests a sea change. “I think this surprised a lot of people,” said Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. “There was some kind of epiphany that happened.” Still, while this is a huge step for the NCAA, there are a number of issues and hurdles that need to be considered before transfer legislation can be passed: Transfer releases, Roster management, Academic Progress Rate, Tampering. -Dennis Dodd, cbssports. Read More.

PENN STATE
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PENN STATE

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics reported a small dip in revenues in 2018-19, as well as a drop of $6 million in profits in its annual report filed with the NCAA. Overall revenues for Penn State athletics were $164.5 million in its most recently completed fiscal year, a decline of about $840,000 from 2107-18. Football expenses increased $1.021 million over the past year, led by jumps in compensation for coaches (up about $1.6 million, to $15.76 million) and staff (up about $945,000, to $5.27 million). Included in that figure are bowl bonuses and approximately $900,000 in new, additional federal excise taxes Penn State must pay on any coaches salaries above $1 million. The biggest jump in athletics’ costs came in coaches and staff overall compensation — salaries, bonuses and benefits — and new hirings. Those labor costs increased 10.6% in that one-year period, from $55.7 million to $61.6 million in 2018-19— an increase of nearly $5.9 million. -Mike Poorman, StateCollege.com. Read More.

SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Earlier this week LSU announced it would have its spring game on Southern University’s campus as the turf is replaced at Tiger Stadium. Southern athletic director Roman Banks spoke with Matt Moscona of “After Further Review” on 104.5 FM ESPN in Baton Rouge about the unique move. Below is a portion of their conversation. On when did LSU first contacted about this possibility, “Well, you know, for us, I’m pretty sure they promised each other places. But, you know, we’ve been in a conversation with them for about over a month now as it relates today.” On whether Southern incur an extra cost, or will LSU compensate Southern for that cost, “These are the things that we have to say that, you know, obviously they have costs that they were going to be in they stadium, and we have costs. So we’ll sit down and go through the details. And we’ll try to make sure that both teams have what they need.” –The Advocate. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Just weeks before much of last season’s No. 2 ranked football recruiting class signed with Georgia, an airplane that Bulldog coaches had used for trips to make their pitch to prospects was sold. Shepherd Aviation of Texas purchased the seven-seat King Air plane for $1.4 million from the Georgia Athletic Association on Nov. 23, 2018, according to the school. Now, it might get back into having its own airplane. “I expect to get with the president next month to talk about opportunities,” athletic director Greg McGarity said this week. “Our intention was to go through a couple of cycles and have a financial review at the end of those cycles to figure out what’s the best path moving forward in our aviation efforts.” McGarity said in 2018 that investing in a new aircraft would cost $8 million to $10 million. -Marc Weiszer, OnlineAthens. Read More.

NC STATE
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NC STATE

The Carolina Hurricanes scored on their goal of landing an NHL Stadium Series event last week when the league announced that it is bringing an outdoor hockey game to Raleigh on Feb. 20, 2021. But they couldn’t have done it without an assist from NC State. According to Corrigan, however, State’s most significant contribution in the process leading up to the awarding of the Stadium Series game was simply providing the okay to let the event take place. While benefits of hosting an outdoor game in Raleigh are obvious from the Hurricanes’ perspective, Corrigan said that there’s also plenty to gain for the Wolfpack. Not all of them are financial, although the AD made it clear that State “isn’t going to do anything where we’re going to lose money.” The university and its athletic programs will get plenty of valuable — and free — exposure during the course of the event’s national television broadcast. -Brett Friedlander, si. Read More.

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
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OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

O’Brate Stadium, named for its primary benefactor Cecil O’Brate, will open when OSU faces TCU on March 20. As the grounds crew grooms the field for its debut, it also must maintain upkeep of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, where the Cowboys have played since 1981. Because of delays at O’Brate Stadium, OSU will play every home nonconference game this season at Allie P., starting Friday with a series against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Kevin Klintworth, senior associate athletic director, said the new ballpark costs $70 million in design and construction. Klintworth said weather-induced construction delays and intentions to open the stadium in spring instead of winter led to the athletic department’s decision to wait until Big 12 play. -Hallie Hart, Ocolly. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Tuesday’s announcement that Georgia and Clemson would open the 2021 season in Charlotte seemed to come out of the blue. But Bulldog athletic director Greg McGarity told UGASports Wednesday there was a little more to it, behind the scenes. McGarity said he was initially approached by Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich about the possibility of playing the game. “Dan and I have known each for years, and we were just in a conversation earlier about football scheduling.” The decision didn’t come cheap. In order to schedule the game, Georgia had to pay San Jose State a buyout of $1.8 million to cancel the game. “In the end, we would not have been able to do this deal had the financial numbers not worked out for 2021. So, while we will have a 1.8 million payment to San Jose State, we’ll make up for that and more in 2021 with the Clemson game,” McGarity said. -Anthony Dasher, UGAsports. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

The president of the University of Michigan apologized Thursday to “anyone who was harmed” by a late doctor after several former students said he molested them during medical exams at the school, including one man who said the university didn’t respond when he reported the abuse decades ago, and an Olympic wrestler who said the physician’s reputation for such conduct was well known among his teammates. University president Mark Schlissel opened a meeting of the school’s board of regents Thursday by reading a prepared statement about Anderson, who died in 2008. “The patient-physician relationship involves a solemn commitment and trust,” he said. “The allegations are highly disturbing. On behalf of the university, I apologize to anyone who was harmed by Dr. Anderson.” –ESPN. Read More.

MARSHALL UNIVERSITY
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MARSHALL UNIVERSITY

The highly anticipated Marshall University baseball stadium will be completed later than first anticipated after initial construction bids for the project came in higher than expected, athletic director Mike Hamrick reported to the university Board of Governors athletic committee Wednesday. The bids for construction of the project were put out in December and came back higher than what the athletic department was comfortable with — about $28 million. The original estimate was between $18 and $20 million. The completion date was originally set for March 2021, but Hamrick said it’s too early to give a new estimate for completion. -Taylor Stuck, Charleston Gazette-Mail. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

UNM Athletics Director Eddie Nunez held a round table discussion with members of the media on Thursday. He covered a variety of topics, including the Lobo basketball program. This season, Carlton Bragg was kicked off the team following a DWI arrest and sexual misconduct allegation. J.J. Caldwell was suspended indefinitely following allegations that he hit a woman. Despite the incidents off the court, Nunez said he still has confidence in coach Paul Weir. “I support Paul Weir but I also understand that every coach, no matter who it is, he’s always going to be held accountable,” Nunez said. -Lee Faria, KOB 4. Read More.

February 20, 2020

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Arizona State University officials have acknowledged that allegations an athletic booster allegedly harassed three women married to members of the athletic department “could have been resolved in a quicker timeframe.” The school said in a statement released to Yahoo Sports that an outside investigation determined the booster subjected the three women to “unwelcome comments and physical contact.” It has since canceled the booster’s season tickets and informed him he is no longer welcome at university events. ASU released the statement in response to an 11-page legal claim filed in Arizona this week. The notice of claim alleges multiple Arizona State officials waited nearly five months to investigate claims of “assault and sexual harassment” of the wives of three Arizona State athletic department staff members. -Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports. Read More.

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY IRVINE
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CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY IRVINE

After more than six years of service leading the athletics department at Concordia University Irvine, Director of Athletics Mo Roberson, has resigned to pursue other professional opportunities. Roberson originally joined CUI in 2013 as an Assistant Athletics Director and was later promoted to Director of Athletics in March of 2016. During his tenure, he helped lead CUI’s transition from NAIA to NCAA DII. Tim Odle will serve as the Interim Director of Athletics for CUI for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Read More.

CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY
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CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

Horizon League reporter Bob McDonald recently discovered that former Cleveland State University men’s basketball coach Dennis Felton has sued the school over his dismissal last year. The wrongful termination lawsuit itself isn’t very interesting, but the university’s termination letter to Felton, included as an exhibit in CSU’s response, is. The termination letter (below) lays out those claims, but it includes so much more. In it, CSU Athletic Director Scott Garrett alleged, among others: That Felton mishandled or failed to report to the Office of Institutional Equity a possible instance of dating violence by a member of the team, that Felton hired to assistant coaches with previous discipline issues by the NCAA. One of those assistants, while at CSU, asked a player for $25,000. -Vince Grzegorek, clevescene. Read More.

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO
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UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO

Tunney Murchie made the single largest donation in UB women’s basketball history on Tuesday. Murchie, a 1975 graduate of UB and former player and assistant coach for the UB hockey team, donated $100,000 to help fund the team’s summer tour to Spain. Over the 10-day tour, the team will travel to Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia and compete in three games. UB set a fundraising goal of $150,000 for the trip, so the donation will help defray the majority of the cost. Murchie is currently the owner and president of Lackawanna Products Corporation in Clarence. -Justin Weiss, The Spectrum. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO

Why is the University of Northern Colorado supporting an athletics program — and one whose wins-column success across the board is largely middling — at the same time as its budgetary constraints are eliciting the layoffs of as many as 65 university staff? The truth, like it so often is, is quite a bit more nuanced. Feinstein told a dissenter at a faculty senate meeting days after the announcement directly, cutting football tomorrow would not solve the budgetary problems being faced by the university. What’s instructive, though, is where the money comes from — and what it brings in. First, the source of the money. Of the $12.3 million, $5.1 million is external funding — donations, ticket sales and shared conference and NCAA revenue. That’s coming to the department totally independent of university-originated funding. Another $2 million is from student fees, or the money enrolled students pay on top of their tuition to go to the school. -Cuyler Meade, Greeley Tribune. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

East Carolina and Marshall have been granted a waiver by the NCAA to play their season opener on Aug. 29 — a week earlier than originally scheduled — at ECU’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium as a tribute to the 75 people who died almost 50 years ago in the Marshall plane crash. Jon Gilbert, East Carolina’s athletic director, said ESPN has committed to televising the 50th anniversary game on one of its networks. “We plan to invite family members of the players from both teams who played in the game,” Gilbert told ESPN. Included in the waiver letter submitted to the NCAA by East Carolina, in conjunction with Marshall, was a bio of every person who lost his or her life in the crash. -Chris Low, ESPN. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
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UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

University of Wyoming officials are working to fill the hole in the school’s football schedule with the announcement that Clemson will not play the Cowboys as scheduled in 2021. But the University of Wyoming will be well-compensated for the cancellation. “Clemson will pay Wyoming $1.1 million to buy out its contract to play the Cowboys during the 2021 season, according to the contract signed by both parties in July of 2013,” the Greenville News reported. UW Athletic Director Tom Burman said the university is holding off on making formal comment on Clemson’s decision until a replacement game can be scheduled. -Bob Geha, Cowboy State Daily. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
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UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

The Tennessean sat down recently with Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer to discuss a range of topics. On settling into his role as AD in Knoxville, “I feel settled. The first three months, really, I just kind of listened and walked around and tried to get started on what our culture was going to look like, trying to evaluate people.” “We changed some responsibilities and challenged everybody, ‘Hey, let’s be a team. If we have issues, we’ll close the door and we’ll talk about them. If we can resolve them, we will. And if we can’t, then change is not a terrible thing all the time.’ On Tennessee’s basketball program, “Rick Barnes has brought – while we were struggling so much – the seasons he had the last two years honestly kind of held everything together. ‘Hey, we can still be champions.’ On his own role with the football program, “Sure, I see things, good and otherwise. Coach Pruitt and his staff have been great about if I see something, I tell them. Now I’m not allowed to coach on the field, just so we’re all clear on that.” -Gentry Estes, The Tennessean. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball and football programs committed coaching violations, according to an agreement released by the Division I Committee on Infractions. The university and NCAA enforcement staff agreed the former head men’s basketball coach instructed and allowed three noncoaching staff members to perform coaching duties, resulting in the program exceeding the number of permissible coaches. The agreement said the former men’s basketball coach developed an alert system to ensure noncoaching staff would not be caught on the practice floor coaching student-athletes. The former head coach also ordered the deletion of practice video in an apparent attempt to prevent the administration from confirming violations had occurred. -Emily James, NCAA. Read More.

DUKE UNIVERSITY
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DUKE UNIVERSITY

Duke University Athletics has signed a 12-year extension with Learfield IMG College, the Blue Devils’ exclusive multimedia rights holder. The recently agreed upon contract expires June 30, 2032. “To be sure, we are exceedingly proud to extend our relationship with Learfield IMG College, by far the very best in class, and truly believe this partnership is paramount per our highly aspirational success for our 650-plus student-athletes,” said Kevin White, Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics. Duke Athletics and Learfield IMG College have been partners since July, 2009. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
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UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

The University of Idaho Athletics department are anticipating to have an operating deficit of about $2 million this year in their auxiliary fund, Business Manager for Athletics Thomas Zimmer said. Auxiliary Services include departments within the university that bring in revenue such as the VandalStore, Housing and Residence Life and others. Zimmer said while Athletics’ expenses have stayed relatively level in the past years, the amount of money they’re bringing in has gone down. This is largely due to Idaho Football’s switch to the Big Sky Conference in April of 2016. – Alexandra Brizee, uiargonaut. Read More.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
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NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

Northern Illinois University Athletics has initiated the public phase of a fundraising campaign to provide multiple enhancements to its baseball facility, while also honoring two of the greatest coaches in the history of Huskie Baseball, NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier announced Wednesday. The four-phase plan includes the installation of an artificial turf infield, bullpen and dugout renovations, replacing the outfield grass with turf, adding lights, and the replacement of the current bleachers with a new grandstand, press box, permanent restrooms and concessions area. In addition, the plan includes a new indoor hitting facility with covered bullpens. Read More.

UTEP
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UTEP

Beginning this season, , 7 p.m. kickoffs will return to the Sun Bowl for the first three games versus Texas Tech (Sept. 5), NM State (Sept. 26) and Southern Miss (Oct. 17). The final three games of the season against North Texas (Oct. 31), FIU (Nov. 7) and UAB (Nov. 21) will start at 2 p.m. The Miners are set to host a pair of Southwest rivals (Texas Tech and NM State) in the month of September as they aim to take a big step forward in year three under the direction of head coach Dana Dimel. Fans now have the opportunity to renew their UTEP Football Season Tickets, or request new season tickets for the 2020 season. –cbs4local. Read More.

USC
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USC

On January 17, 2020, USCFootball.com reported that USC was actively trying to replace Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) program UC Davis on its 2021 football schedule with a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent. We have now received confirmation from USC athletic director Mike Bohn that UC Davis has been informed that the game is canceled. “Well, I’m happy to tell you that we have informed UC Davis that we intended to cancel that game,” Bohn said. “We are in the final stages of formalizing an agreement with another FBS opponent to replace UC Davis, and I have to give our donors and fans a lot of the credit.” -Ryan Abraham, 247sports. Read More.


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