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December 17, 2018

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker has officially hired his offensive and defensive coordinators. On Saturday, CU announced that Jay Johnson has been hired as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while Tyson Summers has been hired as defensive coordinator. Both hires were reported earlier this week, but not announced until Saturday as CU had to wait for background checks to clear. -Brian Howell, Colorado Daily. Read More.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

As the fifth edition of the Playoff nears kickoff, the conversation about whether and when it will expand continues to heat up. It’s constant fodder for talk radio, but especially this month, in the weeks after the annual selection of the four-team bracket, with a fresh set of results to argue over, we hear calls for change. The Power Five conference commissioners – who created the Playoff and would make any alterations – say they remain largely satisfied, that it is working as intended. And although some say they would not be opposed to considering something different at some point, they see no reason – and insist there is no impetus – to explore significant change now. -George Schroeder, USA Today. Read More.

ELON UNIVERSITY
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ELON UNIVERSITY

Tony Trisciani, assistant head football coach and defensive coordinator, has been named the 23rd head football coach in Elon’s history. The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Dave Blank on Monday, Dec. 17. Trisciani will be formally introduced as head coach to the Elon community and media in a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday in the Walker Room of Alumni Field House – wfmynews2. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
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UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

The University of Denver seeks a Director of Finance. The Director of Finance is responsible for all of the budget, finance, accounting, and reporting functions for the Division of Athletics and Recreation and all of its Division I Intercollegiate Athletic Programs. This position also directs the preparation of the annual NCAA Agreed Upon Procedures and the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Report (EADA). –Learn More

NEWBURY COLLEGE
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NEWBURY COLLEGE

On Friday Newbury joined a steady drip of small private liberal arts institutions succumbing to financial pressures and falling enrollment. It announced it will close at the end of the spring 2019 semester. Administrators and trustees at Newbury are still exploring the possibility of a partnership to keep the doors open. Nonetheless, they want prospective students, current students, faculty members and staff members to have time to plan for their futures, said the college’s president, Joseph Chillo, in a statement. “Accordingly, we are providing this notice, before we are legally required to do so, because it is the right thing to do,” Chillo said. “Our people, the dignity of our mission, and the legacy of the institution are our most important concerns of today.” Newbury College is an NCAA Division III member with the Nighthawks currently competing in the New England Collegiate Conference. -Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, Read More

SUN BELT CONFERENCE
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SUN BELT CONFERENCE

Karl Benson has long been beating the drum in favor of a broader path to the national championship game, so he understands why people are pushing for expansion of the four-team College Football Playoff semifinals. “We’ve always been looking for greater access,” said Benson. Before he was commissioner of the Sun Belt, he was in charge of the Western Athletic Conference. In the late 1990s, he championed for the little guy, challenging what was then known as the Bowl Alliance. The alliance was created to give teams from a few of the more powerful conferences — the SEC, Big Eight, Southwest, ACC and Big East — a chance to play in a series of bowl games in order to determine a national champion. Fearing government oversight repercussions, the Bowl Alliance reformed into the Bowl Championship Series, which allowed a sliver of increased access to conferences such as the WAC. “And that’s when the first-ever access point was established,” Benson recalled. It’s worth mentioning that Benson, much like the rest of his conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, is a member of the management committee that oversees the day-to-day operations of the College Football Playoff. “We’ve always been looking for greater access and anyone who asks if we prefer an eight-team playoff, I said if it creates greater access for the Sun Belt Conference, of course I would have to support that. But we also know that that decision isn’t going to be made by the five non-guaranteed conferences. That decision is going to be in the hands of the Power 5 conferences and rightfully so,” Benson said. -Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel, Read More

December 16, 2018

BYU
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BYU

It’s been three years since BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe announced the hiring of Kalani Sitake as the head coach of the football program. Sitake has experienced one winning season and one losing season. Right now, near the end of his third year at the helm, the Cougars have a 6-6 record as they get set to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Western Michigan Friday (2 p.m. MST, ESPN) in Boise. The outcome, of course, will determine whether 2018 will go down as a winning (7-6) or losing (6-7) season. -Jeff Call, Deseret News. Read More.

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

David Rasmussen, who has 10 years of NCAA Division I experience in college athletics compliance, accepted the position of senior associate athletics director for compliance at San José State University. Marie Tuite, the Spartans’ director of athletics, made the announcement. Further strengthening the department’s commitment to its core value of following NCAA and conference rules and regulations, Ryan Merz was promoted from interim assistant athletics director for compliance to assistant athletics director for compliance. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA

The Nevada athletics department announced Saturday that it will add a men’s cross country team next fall and discontinue its sponsorship of rifle as an intercollegiate program following the 2018-19 season. The Wolf Pack will add men’s cross country as an official sport as part of the Mountain West Conference and NCAA beginning in the fall of 2019. -Reno Gazette Journal. Read More.

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

With the NCAA’s decision to increase the permitted number of football coaches for its programs, Michigan State University needs more office space and plans to spend $6.7 million adding that space to the Skandalaris Football Center. The money for the project is expected to come from donations or debt financing that would be repaid from donations, according to the authorization to plan memorandum. MSU trustees authorized the administration to proceed with the upgrades to the Skandalaris Football Facility and The Demmer Family Hall of History during a board meeting Friday. Construction is slated to begin in January and be substantially complete by August. -Madison O’Connor and RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal. Read More.

WINTHROP UNIVERSITY
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WINTHROP UNIVERSITY

Ken Halpin, Winthrop University’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics and athletics director, has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Council. The Division I Council is a high-level group responsible for the day-to-day decision-making for Division I athletics. The council is comprised of practitioners who work daily in Division I athletics, and it has primary legislative authority for Division I. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
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UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has heard the growing chatter about an expanded College Football Playoff and thinks his undefeated football team might be helping to speed up that conversation. Kelly said he has no insider information about the future format of college football’s postseason, but he does think that the conference commissioners and decision-makers of the sport are now more willing to consider the idea of adding more teams to the mix. Count Kelly among those in favor of moving to an eight-team format if expansion does occur. He said Saturday that having eight teams would leave a place for all of the Power 5 conference champions as well as ample at-large bids for independent schools such as Notre Dame. -Dan Murphy, ESPN. Read More.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Over and over, as the Ohio State athletic director devised his fallback plan in case Urban Meyer retired after the season, he quietly compared his top in-house candidate — offensive coordinator Ryan Day — against four names, including two with a distinct northwest Ohio connection. Unwittingly in Smith’s scope were former Toledo and current Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, former Bowling Green and current Syracuse coach Dino Babers, retired Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, and a current NFL coach, an industry source told The Blade. –The Blade. Read More.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY
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STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir issued an apology on Saturday, a few hours after a post on Twitter showed a drawing on the whiteboard in the Cardinal women’s volleyball locker room depicting the Stanford tree — the Cardinal mascot — making a crude gesture toward Herbie Husker, the Nebraska mascot. Shortly after the Cardinal won the five-set match over Nebraska at the Target Center, NCAA Volleyball posted a celebratory photo from inside the Cardinal locker room. The tweet was deleted, but not before several Twitter users took screen shots and shared them on Twitter. -Vicki L. Friedman, ESPN. Read More.

UIC
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UIC

If Illinois dismisses Lovie Smith without cause after his sixth or seventh year on the job, it would owe him $1 million, under the terms of his revised contract. That’s a fraction of the $12 million buyout Smith’s contract called for following this past season, his third as Illini football coach. Smith’s annual compensation in his final two years of the deal remains the same as it is for years 3-6: $4 million. The buyouts also remain the same for 2019 ($4 million) and 2020 ($2 million), plus any remaining portion of his salary for that contract year, before dropping to a flat $1 million in both 2021 and 2022. If Smith is let go in 2023, during the final year of the revised deal — a rarity in major college football — Illinois would only owe him pro-rated compensation. – Bob Asmussen, The News Gazette. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

There will be a price to pay for the cancelation of the Texas A&M and Boston College men’s basketball team scheduled for Dec. 8 at Reed Arena. According to the game contract obtained by The Eagle through an open records request, the program in breach of contract must pay $100,000 to the other party as a form of “reasonable compensation for such breach.” The money is a payment of “liquidated damages” and is not a penalty, the contract states. A&M officials and legal council are scheduled to meet sometime next week to analyze the contract and decide what the program’s next steps will be, according to senior associate athletic director Justin Moore. There is no immediate rush to come to a decision, Moore said. -Travis Brown, The Eagle. Read More.

INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
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INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY

ISU athletics has long been held back by its smaller budget in comparison to its conference peers. That hasn’t changed as ISU’s athletic budget, coaching salaries and many other measures still place the Sycamores in the bottom half, if not the bottom, of the Missouri Valley Conference. However, there have been encouraging signs of engagement on the part of athletics under ISU Director Of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales and it’s been most felt in the success ISU has had raising money for specific goals. The coherence of the fundraising structure, and a unified vision, have helped created new revenue streams for ISU athletics. -Todd Aaron Golden, Tribune-Star. Read More.

UCONN
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UCONN

With Morrone Stadium officially demolished, UConn’s new baseball, soccer and softball stadiums in the “Athletics District” of campus will soon turn from just computer renderings to real, physical structures. And that’s music to athletic director David Benedict’s ears. Here’s the latest information about each stadium: Soccer Stadium, is expected to be ready in time for the start of the 2020 season, meaning both the Huskies’ soccer teams play off-campus in 2019. The school will announce the official location in the coming weeks, though the new Dillon Stadium appears to be the frontrunner.; Baseball, will move across the street to the location of the current soccer practice field behind Freitas Ice Forum and the site of Morrone Stadium. Since it will be in a new spot, construction doesn’t need to wait for the end of the baseball season in June 2019. Because of this, the new stadium is expected to be ready for the start of the 2020 season.; and Softball, new stadium will have 500 permanent seats behind home plate, 250 of which will be seatbacks, with a press box on top. -Daniel Connolly – The UConn Blog. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Gonzaga coach Mark Few expressed disappointment that the NCAA’s investigation of the federal corruption trials hasn’t sped up punishment for teams named in court and media reports. He’s not alone. A number of coaches have echoed Few’s sentiment. Few said he is one voice among many who share his frustration. The NCAA’s enforcement division and NCAA President Mark Emmert actually share those concerns and would love to see the process move faster, too. But it cannot. The NCAA membership has never been in favor of giving one entity or individual absolute power, which is how the Association ended up with the current model.  -Andy Katz, NCAA. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

Interim AD Mitchell tasked with re-evaluating entire USM athletic department.Sources close to the situation tell the Hattiesburg American it could be three to six months, or longer, before University President Rodney Bennett names a successor to Jon Gilbert, who resigned last Monday after just a year on the job. While that process – complete with a listening tour for supporters in at least three states – continues, there’s another round of self-evaluation going on at the ground level within the athletic department. -Tyler Cleveland, Clarion Ledger. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Rick and David Kueber, leading Planet Fitness franchisees and co-founders of Sun Tan City, have committed $3 million toward the expansion of the University of Louisville’s campus training facility for men’s and women’s basketball and women’s lacrosse. In recognition of the donation, the currently named YUM! Center practice facility on the UofL campus will be renamed the Planet Fitness – Kueber Center, a move approved by the UofL Board of Trustees on Thursday. Brands will exit their current naming rights agreement for the practice facility at the end of the year and provide a $625,000 gift to close their commitment. In addition to naming the training facility, the current Green Lot parking at Cardinal Stadium will be named the Planet Fitness Purple Lot. –WHAS11. Read More.

SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
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SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Syracuse University athletics is on a roll. The football team under third-year head coach Dino Babers finished 9-3 and will face No. 15 West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28. The Orange ranked as high as No. 12 this season. The men’s basketball team under the forever young Jim Boeheim, 74, is coming off another Sweet 16 run and got off to a 7-2 start after opening the year ranked No. 16 in the AP Top 25. Women’s basketball and volleyball and men’s lacrosse and cross country continue to make headlines, along with many other less-publicized SU teams. -Leo Roth, Democrat and Chronicle. Read More.

December 14, 2018

ROGERS STATE UNIVERSITY
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ROGERS STATE UNIVERSITY

Rogers State University seeks Director of Communications/Assistant AD for Communications. The Director of Communications/Assistant Athletic Director will serve as a liaison to members of the media, write news releases and game notes and compile statistics for athletic events. The ideal candidate will be flexible, enjoy working with a variety of sports and activities and will represent the University and the Athletic Department in a highly professional manner. – Apply Here

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Ohio State University seeks Compliance Coordinator. The Compliance Coordinator serves as a member of the compliance team that is committed to excellence and advancing the Department of Athletics through its strategic plan. This position works in conjunction with the compliance staff to implement NCAA, Big Ten, and The Ohio State University regulations. – Apply Here

ECU
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ECU

New ECU athletics director Jon Gilbert is inheriting a number of items at East Carolina – some good and bad. One of the biggest areas of concern is the Pirates’ relationship with long-time foe Virginia Tech going forward. It was just this past season in September when ECU backed out and cancelled a road game at Virginia Tech on its own due to safety concerns with Hurricane Florence bearing down on the east coast. The two schools had been in discussions throughout the week in regards to whether or not the game should be played. Virginia Tech wanted to wait until Wednesday, Sept. 12 to see the hurricane’s updated track before making a final call on the game in Blacksburg. But ECU officials, having dealt with similar storms that have ravaged Eastern North Carolina in the past, opted to take the precautionary route and cancel the game on its own. The Pirate football team then traveled to Florida to avoid getting stuck in the path of the storm ahead of the following weekend’s game at South Florida. – STEPHEN IGOE, 247sports – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON
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UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

The University of Akron Department of Athletics is proud to announce that former NFL quarterback and Ohio native Tom Arth has been named the Zips’ head football coach. The hiring is pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees. He will be introduced at press conference on Monday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. on the Huntington Club level (5th floor) of InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field.  The public is invited to meet the newest Zips’ coach.  The press conference will also be streamed live on www.GoZips.com as well as Facebook Live on the Akron Zips’ main page. “We are excited to welcome Tom Arth to The University of Akron,” Director of Athletics Larry Williams said. “Tom’s experience in leading two programs, his ties to Northeast Ohio, his tremendous football IQ, and his passion for developing student-athletes for their future endeavors made him the perfect candidate to elevate our program.” Arth takes the reins at Akron after two seasons at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. – Read More

JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY
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JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY

James Madison Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne awarded Curt Cignetti a six-year contract to be the eighth head coach in the history of the JMU football program on Friday. Cignetti has climbed the ladder throughout a 36-year football coaching career that has included multiple Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) stops and a 67-26 record (.720) in eight years as a head coach, six at NCAA Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania followed by the last two at Elon. “After a thorough and extensive search, it was the clear choice for the search committee to appoint Curt Cignetti as the next head coach at James Madison,” Bourne said. “In our discussions, he impressed with both his deep knowledge of the game as well as his intel regarding the current state of our program at JMU.  The Phoenix achieved a six-win turnaround in Cignetti’s first season, going 8-4 after a 2-9 ledger the year prior. Cignetti was named Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year as Elon finished second in the CAA, at 6-2, dropped a tough 28-27 decision to Furman in the First Round of the FCS Playoffs and finished 20th in the national rankings. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod has said KU is officially in “stand-down mode” when it comes to figuring out whether KU basketball coaches acted improperly in the recruiting scandal that is gripping the sport. The reason, Girod told the Journal-World in November, is because the University of Kansas was awaiting direction from the NCAA. But now, university officials are struggling to show that the NCAA ever asked KU to stand down in the matter or otherwise delay launching its own internal investigation into basketball recruiting practices. After Girod made his comments in November, the Journal-World began asking for additional details about the instructions the NCAA had given KU. Ultimately, the Journal-World filed an open records request seeking any documents that directed KU to refrain from launching its own investigation. KU officials this week responded by saying that neither the university nor the athletic department had any such documents from either the NCAA or the U.S. Department of Justice, which is responsible for prosecuting the case and which thus far has netted convictions of three individuals connected to KU’s apparel sponsor, Adidas. – Chad Lawhorn, kusports – Read More

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Rutgers University has settled a lawsuit with former swim coach Petra Martin, paying her $725,000 and publicly exonerating her of allegations that she had bullied athletes or created a toxic culture within the swim team. NJ.com reports that Rutgers reached the settlement on Friday, agreeing to pay Martin about three times what her terminated contract would have paid out over the final two and a half years of her contract. Rutgers fired Martin in November of 2017. An NJ.com report at the time quoted several swimmers and parents who alleged that Martin had “shamed athletes over their weight, used abusive language during training sessions and demanded they stop using medication prescribed by their doctors for anxiety and other issues.” Martin denied the allegations, and the school said it had investigated the complaints and that their investigation “did not reveal any violation of university policy.” Now, Rutgers athletics director Patrick Hobbs is required to write Martin a letter of recommendation for future employment as part of the settlement terms. –  JARED ANDERSON, swimswam – Read More

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
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IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard sees a lot of himself in his football coach, Matt Campbell. Both are fierce competitors. Both delight in proving people wrong. And both take absolutely nothing for granted. The list of similarities could extend far beyond those three, of course, but boil it down to this general list: Growth is a mindset. Progress is an ongoing process that never ends. Character drives success — and helps one navigate through challenging moments in life. Pollard was gracious and candid and as insightful as ever during our 33-minute talk. He answered all of my sometimes rambling and often inelegantly-phrased questions with typical aplomb. If you read long enough, which you’d be wise to do, you’ll see that Pollard is begrudgingly “OK” with the loss to Texas in football this season. He explains why perfectly, in my opinion — and points to how it likely points to even brighter days to come. – Rob Gray, Cyclone Fanatic. Read More.

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