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August 18, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

With all of the fresh new faces coming to the University of Arkansas, Razorback Athletics is trying to pump up the game day experience. Rick Thorpe is the Deputy Director of Razorback Athletics for External Engagement. He said the athletic department has been working since January to make plans for the upcoming season. Starting with the announcement of expanding alcohol sales into the general seating area to adding Hogtown Street Festival. HogTown Street Festival is a new free pregame event on Maple Street just north of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, will start four hours prior to each game and conclude 30 minutes prior to kickoff. -Lauren Krakau, KNWA. Read More.

EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY
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EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY

Eastern New Mexico University’s search for a new athletic director began with 38 candidates in early summer, and that has since been pared down by more than 90 percent. ENMU recently announced three finalists — Michael Scarano, John Lewis and Casey Lish — for the position, which came open in late June when then-athletic director Greg Waggoner submitted his resignation. All three finalists have been invited onto campus for in-person interviews, and are slated to be there this coming week. Early Saturday afternoon, university president Jeff Elwell reiterated what he had said a week earlier — that he hoped to have an offer extended by Aug. 31. -Peter Stein, The Eastern New Mexico News. Read More.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

San Diego State’s new stadium took another step from concept to reality on Saturday when the school unveiled updated design development renderings during the SDSU football team’s annual Fan Fest event at SDCCU Stadium. “It’s the first opportunity to see what the stadium will actually look like,” said John David Wicker, SDSU’s director of athletics. The 35,000-seat stadium includes three levels along the sidelines that Wicker said will bring fans much closer to the action on the field. Other notable features include standing-room-only viewing areas, large concourse areas on the northeast side for various activities and a food truck area on the north end. -Kirk Kenney, The San Diego Union-Tribune. Read More.

NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

New Mexico State athletics balanced its Fiscal Year 2019 budget, but it didn’t come without dipping into hard earned reserves and taxing the individual programs. Director of Athletics Mario Moccia believes that the addition of three football guarantee games this year will provide some breathing room in FY20. It was the ninth time in the past 10 years NM State’s athletics budget has balanced, but it shrinks an already thin margin for error. In order to balance the FY19 budget, Moccia’s department needed to dip into individual program fundraising accounts and department reserves to the tune of $1.8 million, of which $500,000 came out of department savings, nearly depleting the three-year old rainy day fund. -Jason Groves, Las Cruces Sun-News. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

AD Damon Evans delivered the message to the players following Thursday’s practice and then reiterated it to the public during an appearance on 105.7 The Fan a day later. “Obviously last year was very, very difficult for our program as a whole,” Evans said Friday. “We’re moving forward. I’m excited about the opportunities for these young men on this team, but at the same time as I told them yesterday when I had a chance to speak to the team, we’ve got to never forget.” Evans has high expectations for the program’s long-term future, but he simply wants to be competitive this season. -Josh Stirn, 247sports. Read More.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork explained to the WSJ that things are different for this generation of football fans. “Then alcohol is a part of it because it’s typically in a space like that,” Bjork said. “Just going to a game, sitting in your seat, that’s more traditional.” Although some schools such as West Virginia turned to alcohol sales in part because of concerns about alcohol related issues before, during, and after games, the school also added another $500,000 to its coffers. That doesn’t sound like a lot in an era when schools such as A&M can generate $200 million in revenue annually but it might have a multiplier effect in terms of getting more people into the stadium who wouldn’t just buy tickets but also merchandise and other concessions…and spread the word about how entertaining the college football experience could be. “The evolution we’re in now is all about the fan experience—safe atmospheres but providing something for everyone,” said Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork. “The alcohol piece provides that something for everyone.” -Jeff Tarpley, 247sports. Read More.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE

From concept to reality, the ACC Network has been a decade in the making. Ten years of collective effort guided by one man’s unwavering resolve. Ten years of milestones interrupted by one stunning setback. Most telling were a football transformation, covert expansion and public commitment. And through it all, a business relationship became an enduring friendship. “It’s historic,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said of the network’s Aug. 22 launch, “and you don’t get to be a part of (history) very often. So it’s big. It’s big for the league. It’s been fun.” Swofford is traveling to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters Thursday and will be featured as the network goes live at 7 p.m. -David Teel, dailypress. Read More.

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Washington State is partnering with HBO for a new weekly behind-the-scenes show during the 2019 college football season, the school confirmed Saturday. Four schools were reportedly being considered for the Hard Knocks style show. Alabama, Arizona and Penn State were all in negotiations with the network along with the Cougars. “This should be fun!” Washington State football tweeted Saturday as part of the announcement. HBO is currently following the Raiders through the 2019 preseason during the hit show Hard Knocks’ 14th season. -Emily Caron, si. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Newly released evidence in the federal government’s criminal case against attorney Michael Avenatti suggests employees at Nike were paying high-profile college basketball prospects’ handlers and families tens of thousands of dollars in under-the-table payments. In an email on July 30, 2016, Carlton DeBose — the director of Nike’s EYBL grassroots basketball division — wrote that bidding for top players reached as much as $100,000. In the email to Nico Harrison, the company’s vice president of North American basketball operations, DeBose suggested Nike was still at a disadvantage against competitors such as Adidas and Under Armour in efforts to secure top prospects. -Mark Schlabach, ESPN. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

The NCAA and conferences opening appellate brief in the Alston antitrust case points to three specific, substantive errors made by the district court.First, the O’Bannon decision upheld the NCAA’s financial aid and cost of attendance rules just four years ago. Second, the court’s Alston ruling contradicted precedent that has recognized the important distinction between professional athletes who are paid employees and student-athletes who are not. Finally, the court established a permanent injunction that allows the court to micromanage the rule-making and policy decisions of our governing boards, schools and conferences. The NCAA and conferences look forward to presenting their case before the federal appellate court. –NCAA. Read More.

August 16, 2019

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
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IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Last week the department noted that it bettered its all-time season ticket total and, at that time, Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard challenged the fans to reach 45,000 sales. The Athletics Department announced Friday that it has added to the school record total of season football tickets sold, passing the 45,000 level for the first time ever. The Cyclone Athletics Ticket Office continues to accept season ticket orders. Single-game ticket sales began Thursday. Iowa State opens the season with home games against UNI (Aug. 31), Iowa (Sept. 14) and ULM (Sept. 21). – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT
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UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

New filings related to the arbitration process involving UConn and former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie show that both sides in the case plan to depose of several more people connected to the program including former standout Jalen Adams and his father. Ollie maintains that the school did not have just cause in firing him from the program and owes him the more than $10 million of his remaining salary. Motions filed in recent days call for nine people to be deposed of, all of which appear to be granted or on track to be. The NCAA found Ollie did not fully cooperate in the infractions process and had concerns over management of the program. The program is on a two-year probation and had to vacate victories from the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. This week the arbitrator in the dispute ruled that Ollie is protected by a union contract, meaning it could be more difficult to prove there was cause for firing the coach. The case is currently on the court short calendar for Aug. 26. – Dan Brechlin, HARTFORD COURANT, Read More

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
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SOUTH CAROLINA STATE

Director of Athletics Stacy Danley has announced the hiring of Dr. Monique Carroll as the deputy AD for internal operations/senior women’s administrator for the Department of Athletics at South Carolina State University. Carroll came to South Carolina State after a nine-year stint at Prairie View A&M, most recently serving as associate athletic director for external operations. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts Athletics announced the addition of Director of Broadcasting Jay Burnham and Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations Anthony Rosati on Friday. Additionally, Alan Pandiani has been elevated into the role of Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations while Alyssa Leonard has been promoted to Assistant Director of Athletics for Marketing and Fan Experience. Burnham, who originally joined the department as the men’s basketball play-by-play broadcaster in Nov. 2018. Rosati’s joined the Massachusetts staff from the University of Connecticut where he served as the Director of Athletic Facilities and Graphic Enhancements. Pandiani also serves as the athletic department’s liaison to Learfield IMG College’s UMass Sports Properties. – Read More 

DUKE UNIVERSITY
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DUKE UNIVERSITY

Accused extortionist Michael Avenatti filed a motion in court earlier this week alleging “corruption and the use of under-the-table payouts to elite high school players within Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball (EYBL) division,” according to Yahoo! Sports. As part of the filing, Avenatti cited records of text messages between EYBL executives that showed a willingness to do “whatever may be needed for the Zion/Romeo situations”.  For their part, Duke responded to the allegations that Zion Williamson was involved in any payments that would have jeopardized his amateur status in a statement provided to Action Network’s Darren Rovell through Deputy Director of Athletics for Men’s Basketball Jon Jackson. Avenatti threatened to “disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetuated by @Nike…” on Twitter, then was arrested and charged with attempting to extort Nike for monetary gain. Nike released in a statement that it will continue cooperating with the investigation. – Adam Rowe, The Devil’s Den, Read More

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY
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OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

Old Dominion S.B. Ballard Stadium’s $70 million-plus project has created an appealing, modestly sized venue — capacity is 22,480 with room to expand — teeming with fan amenities. Ballard Stadium, like ODU basketball’s Constant Center, will long be a community asset and source of university pride. ODU’s Foreman Field was the home of the Monarch’s football team for 10 years before it was demolished after last season. ODU hosts Virginia and Wake Forest next year, and most home games are sold out. Amenities include improved concessions, expanded concourses and seats, improved student section, additional restrooms, a club for 388 high-end donors and a video board that Athletic Director Wood Selig envisions showing everything from Wilder’s pregame locker-room speech to out-of-town highlights. The Monarchs’ open up at Ballard against Norfolk State on Aug. 31. – David Teel, The Virginian-Pilot, Read More

OHIO UNIVERSITY
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OHIO UNIVERSITY

Julie Cromer, who comes to Ohio from the University of Arkansas, was introduced by university President Duane Nellis on Friday morning at the Sook Academic Center at Peden Stadium, concluding a national search for long-time athletic director Jim Schaus’ replacement. Throughout the interview process, Cromer was not only impressed by the recent successes of Ohio Athletics, she was “most impacted” by her meetings with student-athletes. “There’s a great foundation here. My job is to come in and continue to support the things that are working and find the ways we can make incremental and substantive change,” Cromer said. “But it’s also an opportunity to bring some new energy and fresh perspective to the department.” However, in the big picture, the appointment of Cromer to athletic director is not only a big step for her career, but also the Ohio athletic department as a whole. Cromer understands what it means to be the first female athletic director in Athens. “I recognize the historical significance for us here at this university, but this university has a rich culture of inclusion…I’m not the first “first” on this campus,” Cromer said. “There are also a lot of talented women that have worked in college athletics for a very long time. Cromer’s first day as athletic director will be August 31. -Taylor Jedrzejek, WOUB, Read More

HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY
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HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY

High Point University is currently seeking a full-time Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communication. This position effectively oversees all aspects of the Communications Department, with primary focuses in the following areas: Media Relations, Publications, Internet, Social Media, Branding, Multimedia, Budget Management and Staff Supervision. –NCAA. Apply Here.

NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTHWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

The Northwestern State Athletic Department announced Friday it has received approval to sell beer and spiked seltzers during football games at Turpin Stadium for the 2019 football season. Northwestern State also will sell the same offerings at baseball and softball games in 2020. The addition of beer sales follows a growing national trend across college athletics, including the Southeastern Conference’s decision in May to lift its longtime ban on stadium-wide alcohol sales, which had been the only such ban among any major FBS conference. Read More.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

Following the third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four seasons for K-State women’s basketball, head coach Jeff Mittie has agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2023-24 season, Director of Athletics Gene Taylor announced on Friday (August 16). The extension was unanimously approved by the K-State Athletics, Inc., Board of Directors. “Coach Mittie and his staff have done an outstanding job with our women’s basketball program,” Taylor said. Under Mittie’s guidance, Kansas State has reached the postseason in five straight seasons and amassed a record of 100-66 (.602). He is the second head coach in program history – Lynn Hickey – to reach postseason play in their first five seasons with the Wildcats. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
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UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Lynn Coutts is set to leave her position in the UMaine athletics department after four years, according to the University of Maine. Coutts has a long history with UMaine, starting in 1983 when she joined the UMaine softball team, earning All-American honors in 1987. She stepped in to her position in the athletics office in 2015, after serving as head softball coach starting in November 2010. -John Wagoner, foxbangor. Read More.

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
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METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) welcomes its fellows for the 2019-20 academic year: Mathew Gonzalez, Michael Ionta and Kelsey Nugent. The three recent college graduates will be an integral part of planning and executing the conference’s championships, ancillary events and day-to-day operations. “The MAAC is thrilled to welcome Mathew, Michael and Kelsey to the team,” said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. Past participants in the program have gone on to work full-time at the conference office, member institutions and various Division I athletic departments throughout the country. Read More.

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY

Southeastern Louisiana Director of Athletics Jay Artigues announced Friday the creation of the new digital Southeastern Sports Network (SSN) through a partnership with BlueFrame Technology. “In today’s world, the access that digital technology provides for fans is key and we wanted to elevate what we offer,” Artigues said. The use of BlueFrame’s revolutionary Production Truck software provides for a digital network website along with the ability to leverage existing Southeastern social media accounts on applications for television and mobile devices, including Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku (TV), iOS and Android (mobile). In addition to online viewing at www.LionSports.net, fans will now be able to access a free video stream of game broadcasts through both the existing Lions GameDay Experience mobile app and Southeastern’s YouTube channel. Read More.

ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF
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ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF

The University of Arkansas At Pine Bluff Athletics Department and Keemotion have formed a partnership to enhance the UAPB volleyball, women’s basketball, and men’s basketball programs. Keemotion’s technology will allow all three Golden Lions teams to video record their practice sessions at the touch of a button using artificial intelligence and have instant film study with their respective teams. Additionally, the Keemotion system will also allow the ability to video stream volleyball, women’s basketball, and men’s basketball contests online through uapblionsroar.com. UAPB is the first Southwestern Athletic Conference school to partner with Keemotion. Read More.

TULANE UNIVERSITY
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TULANE UNIVERSITY

Tulane Football fans attending home games at Yulman Stadium for the 2019 season will notice a reduction in food and beverage prices at many of the venue’s concessions stands. The new pricing gives fans the ability to purchase some of their favorite gameday snacks and drinks at a fan-friendly rate. “The feedback we received through surveys our athletics department conducted with our fanbase made this plan a high priority,” Tulane senior associate athletics director Chris Maitre said. Hot dogs, candy, peanuts and bottled water will be available for $2 each, while popcorn and select domestic draft beers will be offered at $3 each. Nachos will also cost $3 with various add-ons (salsa, chili, extra cheese) for just $1. Read More.

CAL
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CAL

Cal fans can expect a number of enhancements to their gameday experience when they visit California Memorial Stadium this fall to attend Golden Bear football games. Among the changes being implemented are the addition of metal detectors to screen for prohibited items at all entrances to the facility, expanded beer and wine service, and new fan assistance booths to help guests with any questions they may have during visits to the stadium. Earlier this summer, Cal Athletics announced a number of activities, promotions and giveaways for the 2019 season, including the return of pregame concerts at Tailgate Town, bobbleheads for the Oregon State and USC games, and the largest t-shirt toss ever in the Bay Area for the North Texas contest. Read More.

COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
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COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY

The university is trying to rectify the situation, but it has been dealt a significant setback in its plans to build a $5 million soccer facility for use by the men’s and women’s teams. Nearly $3.5 million was coming from the Student Housing Foundation, Senior Vice President of Finance David Frost told the Board of Trustees. Then $1.5 million was going to be provided by private donors. The largest donor has backed out of the proposal, putting the project as designed in jeopardy, according to CCU director of athletics Matt Hogue. “It’s a need we need to address,” Hogue said. “We’ve got to get into a better situation for them in terms of a facility, and we’ve known that for some time.” -Alan Blondin and Tyler Fleming, MyrtleBeachOnline. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Athletic directors at the Big 4 schools face the challenge of figuring out where their athletic programs fit into a crowded sports landscape in Western New York. How can their schools connect to the sports fans in a major league city dominated by the Buffalo Bills and Sabres? That topic was the starting point of a roundtable discussion that The Buffalo News recently hosted to examine “The State of College Sports” with Athletic Directors Mark Alnutt from the University at Buffalo, Bill Maher from Canisius, Simon Gray from Niagara and Tim Kenney from St. Bonaventure. The complexities of being an athletic director involve roles in administration, marketing, fundraising accounting and psychology. The athletic directors offered their thoughts on the various elements that face the position, face each athletic department and face each school. -Rachel Lenzi, buffalonews. Read More.

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Two Daktronics LED video boards have been installed at Holloway Gymnasium this summer: one on both the north and south walls of the facility. Both are 26 feet wide by 11.5 feet high with a 6-millimeter display, the same as the Mackey Arena center-hung video board, according to Purdue sports officials. “We are so fortunate to play in a wonderful facility with Belin Court in Holloway Gymnasium,” Purdue volleyball head coach Dave Shondell said in a press release. The video boards were made possible thanks to a lead gift by the Vorst family. –The Exponent. Read More.

CLEMSON UNIVERSITY
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CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

In the decade since Dabo Swinney became head coach of the Clemson Tigers football team, the entire program has skyrocketed in many ways. Among the biggest changes is Clemson’s budget for recruiting players. According to The Greenville News, Clemson spent $292,595 in its yearly budget for 2009-’10 on football recruiting in Swinney’s first season as head coach. After seven double-digit win seasons, six bowl wins and a national championship, the Tigers spent $2.9 million on recruiting during the 2018-’19 academic year. -Matt Johnson, Sportsnaut. Read More.


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