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October 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

For the first time in at least 10 seasons (the Journal has collected such data dating to the 2010 season), it appears the Lobo football team will hit its ticket revenue projection this season. Through two of six home games, UNM has collected “around $800,000” in ticket revenue, according to UNM Deputy Athletic Director David Williams, or about 84 percent of the revenue it was projecting to get for the entire season ($955,000). This season, knowing it had the “odd years” benefit of the alternating in-state rivalry game with NMSU being in Albuquerque, it took last year’s actual collected revenue and added a modest $75,000 to the projection, which appears well within reach with four games remaining. “Yes, we feel good about reaching the $955k budgeted number,” Williams wrote in an email. -Geoff Grammer, abqjournal. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Josh Whitman remains confident about Illinois one day fielding a Division I hockey team. But when that happens is anyone’s guess. “It’s been a long and winding road that continues to be long and winding,” the UI athletic director said Thursday during Busey’s 67th Economic Forum. “There are a lot of different partners around the table,” he added. Whitman touched on a number of related topics at Thursday’s event, held at the I Hotel and Conference Center. Those included the prospects of a downtown Champaign hockey arena, about which Champaign Planning and Development Department Bruce Knight said: “Our mantra on a daily basis is, ‘It’s a complicated project.’” -Ben Zigterman, The News-Gazette. Read More.

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO
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UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO

The marketplace for coaches and staff is seeing explosive growth at every level of college sports, putting mid-major Division I programs like UB with talented coaches in a challenging position. UB’s athletic department in the 2017-18 fiscal year dedicated 36.9 percent of its expenses, totaling more than $15 million, to coaches and staff, according to a USA Today database. Five years earlier, that figure was 29.6%. It’s the highest percentage of athletic department expenses devoted to salaries among the four Division I State University of New York athletic programs, ahead of Binghamton (31.3%), Albany (29.9%) and Stony Brook (25.1%). However, Alnutt says he’s more concerned with being competitive with Mid-American Conference schools, and UB ranks third in the conference in percentage of expenses to salaries, despite UB having the highest athletic revenue and expenses among MAC schools. Bowling Green spends 40.2 percent on salaries and Kent State is at 38.3 percent. -Rachel Lenzi, The Buffalo News. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos has a vision for the mega-football facility that will be a jewel of the downtown campus. He has a lot of visions for the project, actually. In considering various aspects, Moos emphasizes the size of players nowadays — for instance, 6-foot-7, 320-pound offensive tackles routinely found on college football rosters. Players are only going to get bigger in years to come, Moos told the Journal Star on Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview in his North Stadium office. Moos said a design team hasn’t been officially determined for the project that was formally announced Sept. 27. However, he noted John Johnson, his senior deputy athletic director, has ample experience in the details — no matter how small — that are integral to such a facility, having spent untold hours on a similar project during their years together at Washington State. -Steven Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star. Read More.

BYU
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BYU

For any athletic director, there may be no bigger decision than hiring a new head football coach or head basketball coach. The job security and legacy of athletic directors are intertwined with these choices. But at BYU, the hiring process is different than at other schools. “The process at BYU is a process that’s pretty consistent from sport to sport,” Holmoe said on the day Pope was hired last spring. “I’m very familiar with it and so is Brian. We pretty much knew the boundaries and pushed them to the limits.” Head coaches for all sports at BYU must be active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a practice that Holmoe reconfirmed the day Pope was hired. That protocol automatically limits the pool of potential candidates, and that’s one reason why BYU, unlike many schools, doesn’t use a search firm to find a new coach. -Jeff Call, DeseretNews. Read More.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

K-State Athletics is budgeted to remain one of just eight athletics departments in the nation, and the only one in Kansas, that receives no funding from its associated university or student fees. Athletics’s released its annual report this week, including the budget for the fiscal year of Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020. According the report, this will be Atheltics’s 10th straight year with a balanced budget. Football ticket revenue is projected to reach $12.4 million, about 15 percent of the expected $83.5 million in revenue. Men’s basketball ticket sales are planned to account for 3.58 percent, or almost $3 million. The $83,550,78 budget amounts to a $1.4 million increase from last year. -Nathan Enserro, kstatecollegian. Read More.

October 10, 2019

BIG SKY CONFERENCE
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BIG SKY CONFERENCE

What kind of impact would something like the Fair Pay to Play law have on student-athletes in the Big Sky Conference — particularly at Montana and Montana State — should these benefits become permissible? “Philosophically I’m in favor of a student-athlete being treated like all other students. If I’m sitting next to someone that’s a world-class violinist and they can sell their records and make money, then if I’m an athlete why can’t I sell tee shirts with my name on the back, whether that’s in Montana or anywhere else? Philosophically I’m in favor of that,” stated Big Sky Commissioner Tom Wistrcill. “But it’s not life-changing money. We’re not talking about millions of dollars for any of our student-athletes. We just have to figure out some way to prevent the abuses.” Both Wistrcill and Montana State athletic director Leon Costello took similar positions regarding the consequences of state-by-state legislation. Costello said there needs to be a uniform policy. “The NCAA rulebook works because we’re all abiding by the same rules,” he said. “If each state has their own rule or own law as they have it, it doesn’t work, and there’s no way to regulate or manage it.” – Greg Rachac, KPVI 6, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The University of New Mexico is hoping new changes will help draw more fans to The Pit this basketball season. UNM Athletics says it doesn’t have a specific goal for season ticket sales, but claims it’s on target to match last year’s 8,700. “We’re right around 7,200 right now,” UNM Deputy AD David Williams said. “We have some other programs that are still in the process of being worked. Cumulus is still selling their ‘sweet deals,’ which allows you to get the tickets for 50 percent off.” This follows the Lobos’ two worst years for attendance in The Pit’s history, averaging around 11,000 fans a game. Compare that to the 2013-2014 season when an average of more than 15,000 people filled the arena. To improve the fan experience this year, the Lobos have a new, more user-friendly system for people to buy and scan their tickets from their phones. – Jackie Kent, KRQE, Read More

CAL
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CAL

A former Cal women’s soccer player filed a civil lawsuit against the college and her former coach, alleging gender discrimination in violation of Title IX after she was dismissed from the team. Renee Thomas, a sophomore from Laguna Beach whose attorney pointed out was named the Bears’ most improved player last year, is claiming she was unjustly dropped from the soccer team in April by coach Neil McGuire. The lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Oakland by Thomas’ attorney, noted civil rights lawyer Dan Siegel, seeks punitive damages as well as Thomas’ reinstatement to the women’s team. Thomas was one of five non-scholarship women’s players released from Cal’s team, court documents show. The women’s team failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in the coach’s 12 years in Berkeley. Siegel is alleging a Title IX violation by the school, including McGuire and athletic director Jim Knowlton, saying Smith “was not treated similarly as male athletes who played soccer.” Her attorney said it’s uncommon for players to be released, let alone five women being let go while just one seldom-used player was dismissed from the men’s team. – Jon Becker, Marin Independent Journal, Read More

COLORADO COLLEGE
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COLORADO COLLEGE

The hockey program at Colorado College is planning an on-campus move to a smaller rink. Starting in 1948, Broadmoor World Arena was the site of the first 10 NCAA hockey tournaments. The 3,900-seat arena served as the home rink for the Colorado College hockey program, and the Tigers won their only two NCAA hockey titles, in 1950 and 1957, on home ice. Now, the Edward J. Robson Arena on campus will be the new home of Tigers hockey starting in 2021. With an enrollment of 2,000 students, which is roughly the size of some of the larger Twin Cities high schools, new Tigers athletic director Lesley Irvine thinks the rink, which will have just 3,000 permanent seats, will provide an ideal setting for the future of CC hockey. “The national trend is to just build smaller. You want to create (ticket) demand and provide an intimate experience,” said Irvine. “It’s a space that fits us really well when you think about the uniqueness of Colorado College and the intimacy of that experience. We thought that was a number where we could strive to fill that arena on a game-by-game basis, and provide an atmosphere that our student-athletes would love playing in.” – Jess Myers, INFORUM, Read More

DREXEL UNIVERSITY
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DREXEL UNIVERSITY

The Drexel University Athletic Department has announced a number of promotions and new additions to its staff. Andrew Flanigan joins the recreation department as the assistant athletic trainer for club sports. Jim Foley has been named the department’s coordinator for tickets and operations, while Matt Wurzburger is the new assistant director of athletic communications. Kevin Doi and Kelsi Lidge, two former Drexel basketball players, will join their former teams as graduate assistants. Mary Fung-A-Fat, a former squash player, will now serve as a part-time assistant for John White’s team. Mary Conroy and Jenna Helton join the Achieve Center staff. Conroy is a recent Drexel graduate that played on the field hockey team. Current Drexel staff members who have been promoted include Allison Campbell (manager, marketing & fan engagement), AJ DiGennaro (manager, business development), Glen Gremmel (assistant director, facilities & operations) and Brigita Roemer (assistant strength & conditioning coach). In addition, Eric Weber is now the director of athletic video services. – Read More

WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
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WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY

Western Kentucky has partnered with Operation Hat Trick to create WKU-themed military apparel for the first time ever. “We always do a game where we appreciate our military, but we never really got the ball rolling like we wanted to with this gear,” stated Olivia Higgins, assistant AD for WKU marketing. “Of course when we knew Army was coming to our campus, we were like we have get this rolling.” They did, joining forces with the non-profit organization to produce unique hats and t-shirts for purchase, with some of the proceeds going to veterans in need. – Matt Foster, WNKY 40, Read More

CAL
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CAL

Cal’s volleyball team will have to travel across the Bay for a home match Friday night due to the PG&E power outages throughout the region. The university’s athletics department announced Thursday that it is moving the match to Stanford’s Maples Pavilion, though it will still be televised on the Pac-12 Networks in the Bay Area and in Arizona. Officials moved the match up to 5 p.m. Stanford will then take on Arizona in its home match at 8 p.m. – Michael Nowels, East Bay Times, Read More

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

ESPN networks will present upwards of 3,100 men’s college basketball games during the 2019-20 season. Building off a momentous 2018-19 season, ESPN is poised to bring the best players, matchups and stories to viewers across 840 games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ABC, ESPNEWS, SEC Network, ACC Network (ACCN), Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and Longhorn Network. An additional 2,300 games will be available on ESPN3, SEC Network +, ACCNX and ESPN+ – including more than 1,500 on ESPN+ alone. With more than 5,000 men’s and women’s college basketball matchups throughout the season, ESPN networks bring top-tier and unprecedented coverage of the sport to fans everywhere. – Anna Negron, ESPN Pressroom, Read More

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
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OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Oklahoma State baseball will open O’Brate Stadium on March 20, 2020, for the Cowboys’ Big 12 Conference opener against TCU. Named after major benefactor Cecil O’Brate, the new home of Cowboy baseball will include approximately 3,500 permanent seats, 11 suites and 400 premium seats in dedicated club and suite areas. Seating can be expanded to 8,000 as needed. Other features include: A “training triangle” area comprised of an indoor facility, a pitching lab and an artificial turf infield that allows the Cowboys to practice year-round, regardless of weather conditions, without having to utilize the ballpark’s main natural grass playing surface. A 7,400-square-foot locker room and player lounge, as well as a nutrition center and a tiered-seating classroom. An operations center that houses a sports medicine area, additional training space and a baseball-specific laundry center and equipment room. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

In 2018, the University of Georgia Athletic Association agreed to build a $3.1 million clubhouse for the team. One year later, the 7,000-square-foot building is complete. It features a new locker room, offices, meeting rooms, a sports medicine room, and uniform storage and laundry facilities. On Wednesday, the new Georgia equestrian clubhouse was officially revealed in a ceremony at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Georgia. UGA’s team has won six National Collegiate Equestrian Association team championships. – Alyssa Beebe, The Red & Black, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
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UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON

For the first time since 1998-99, the University of Houston Men’s Basketball program has sold out of season tickets for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Fans who missed securing season tickets still have opportunities to see the Cougars inside the Fertitta Center this season, as single-game tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Oct. 14. Last season, more than 100,000 fans poured into the Fertitta Center to help lead the Cougars to a 15-1 home record in their new $60-million home facility, including a nation’s best 33 straight home wins dating back to the 2017-18 season at one point. – Read More

SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY
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SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

Saint Joseph’s University Director of Athletics Jill Bodensteiner announced four additions and three promotions in the external affairs department on Thursday afternoon. Jasmine Cannady has been named Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Fan Experience, while Jack Jumper ’09 has been promoted to Director of Athletics Communications and Joe Greenwich and Nikki Philpot ’13 have been promoted to full-time Assistant Directors of Athletics Communications. Additionally, Avery Marz ’18 and Brendan Roach ’19 have been named Athletics Communications Graduate Assistants, while Mike Jolaoso has been named a Graduate Assistant for Athletics Marketing. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

Plans will move forward to renovate the south end zone of Camp Randall Stadium. According to an email sent Thursday to UW-Madison alumni and athletic supporters, Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced the Camp Randall Future project launched a website for people to preview the upcoming renovation. The Camp Randall renovation project, labeled the CR Future project, started with feedback from Badgers ticket-holders and national customer service trends. “This is a historic and exciting day for Wisconsin Athletics as we look forward to the next chapter of Camp Randall Stadium,” said Alvarez. The project will be funded with state-bonded dollars, private donations and revenue associated with new premium seating options. An architect has yet to be selected, but UW-Madison is expecting to have one in place by the end of 2019. –WMTV. Read More.

USC
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USC

Could Reggie Bush be welcomed back to USC in the near future? The short answer is yes, he could be if the university chooses to make it happen. There is potential for USC to formally open its doors to the former Trojans star after nearly a decade of distance following stiff NCAA sanctions for improper benefits the running back and his family received while he was in school. Among those sanctions handed down in 2010, USC had to permanently disassociate from one of its most popular football players and one who was integral to the program’s rise to the top of college football a decade and a half ago. The parameters have shifted, though, as USC interim athletic director Dave Roberts explained Wednesday in an interview with TrojanSports.com. -Ryan Young, TrojanSports. Read More. 

PURDUE UNIVERSITY
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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

A ban on sports wagering on Purdue teams will be in place for students, staff, faculty and contractors in time for Purdue’s football game Oct. 19 against Iowa, after Purdue trustees agreed on a policy thought to be just the second of its kind in the nation. Trustee Mike Berghoff said campus leaders weren’t comfortable with the idea that the campus community could now legally bet on student-athletes in their classrooms, in their residence halls and in their dining halls. “We really wanted to get ahead of this,” Berghoff said. The policy approved Friday morning came with instructions to Purdue legal and compliance staff to hash out the final guidelines, including how the policy would be enforced, the penalties and what it would mean for betting on March Madness pools and other more casual, social settings. -Dave Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

Kansas coach Bill Self said the university plans to strongly take on the NCAA and he looks forward to rewriting the narrative on a probe against his program — when the time is right. “We’re going to fight them (the NCAA),” Self told reporters on Wednesday at Kansas’ media day for the 2019-20 season. The Jayhawks received the NCAA notice of allegations late last month accusing the school of major violations tied to recruiting and a responsibility charge leveled against Self, along with a lack of institutional control. “There is still a story that hasn’t been told, and that’s our story,” Self said. -Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY. Read More.

CONFERENCE USA
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CONFERENCE USA

Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced today that Ryan has entered into an agreement to be the title sponsor for the 2019 C-USA Football Championship. Ryan, a leading global tax services and software provider, becomes the Official Corporate Tax Services Firm of Conference USA and will continue its title sponsorship of the annual football championship through 2021. As part of the agreement, Ryan will receive marketing and brand activation at all C-USA Championships, including the 2020 C-USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Read More.

MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
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MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE

The Mid-American Conference (MAC) Council of Student Athletes (COSA) are celebrating Diversity & Inclusion Week with an anti-bullying theme through Saturday, Oct. 12th. Across MAC campuses this week, all 12 institutions have created specific campus plans to support the MAC Diversity & Inclusion Week with the focus this year on anti-bullying within their own campus community. This is just another example of MAC student-athletes providing leadership and attention to anti-bullying and #TakingMACtion on their respective campus. “I continue to be impressed with the leadership of our student-athletes and the attention they are bringing to our diversity and inclusion initiative and specifically anti-bullying,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
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UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS

The University of Memphis released an outside firm’s report into the women’s basketball program after allegations of harassment and abuse surfaced. Four months ago, the university hired The Pictor Group to conduct an extensive review of the program, and since then they have spoken with current and former staff members along with student athletes. Higher up, the Pictor Group claimed that the school and former athletic director Tom Bowen hadn’t done their job when it came to supporting the program. They specifically noted that the women’s basketball facilities were not on par with those of the men’s. The report concluded 11 recommendations for program management, and 13 recommendations for McFerrin moving forward, although it stops short of saying that she should be relieved of duty. The university said they are now taking steps to address these issues. -Eryn Taylor and Peter Fleischer, wreg. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Kenneth Miles has been named executive senior associate athletic director at the University of Michigan, as announced today (Thursday, Oct. 10) by Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. Miles, who will begin his duties Nov. 4, will lead the athletic department’s Academic Success Program. Miles comes to Ann Arbor following 11 years at Louisiana State University as the assistant vice chancellor and executive director of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes. “I was thrilled to accept the search committee’s recommendation, and I extended an offer to Kenneth Miles to lead our Academic Success Program,” said Manuel. Read More.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

The Texas A&M swimming & diving programs have announced the ground breaking of a facility renovation project to upgrade the current team spaces. Construction has begun on the new Anne & Henry B. “Hank” Paup ’70 Aquatic Center that has come together as a product of tremendous fundraising by 12th Man Foundation. While the Aggies will remain in the same location, the facility project will provide significant upgrades and additions that will allow the teams to be in a central location and feature new locker rooms, coaches offices, an athletic training room area, dryland training space and fueling station. The most noticeable change will be the addition of a highly-visible exterior lobby that will provide student-athletes, coaches and fans with a designated entrance, separate from that of the main REC. The lobby will showcase A&M’s history and accomplishments, featuring graphics and a large, built-in trophy case. Read More.

UMASS
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UMASS

University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford announced on Thursday that women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi has received a two-year contract extension, effective through the 2023-24 season. Verdi, entering his fourth season at UMass in 2019-20, has led a resurgence of the program in his first three years and guided the Minutewomen to results not seen in over a decade. “Tory has invested a great deal of time and energy in advancing our women’s basketball program and we are very pleased with the results after three years,” said Bamford. The word ‘momentum’ has been used around UMass recently to describe the upward trajectory of several Minutemen and Minutewomen teams and Verdi’s program has lived up to the billing, showing drastic improvement both on the court and in the classroom. Read More.

MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY
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MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY

Tanner Stines, Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Operations, has been promoted to Senior Associate AD, Director of Athletics Bruce Hemphill has announced. Stines is in his fifth season in the McNeese athletics administration. As the Chief of Finance and External Operations, Stines oversees business affairs, team travel and scheduling, human resources, marketing/ticketing and game operations, while providing senior level administration support to the athletic department. He works closely with the Director of Athletics on the oversight of all capital projects daily, and has been integral in managing many of the new facilities upgrades to campus. Read More.

CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY
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CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

Cleveland State was a late addition to the 2019 college basketball coaching carousel as the university hired former Florida State assistant Dennis Gates to be its head coach. Gates signed a five-year contract worth $1.45 million in total base salary with Cleveland State and Stadium obtained a copy of the contract via public records request. Gates will make $280,000 in base salary during the 2019-20 season and his base salary will increase by $5,000 in each subsequent year. He’ll also receive $25,000 annually in additional compensation, bringing his 2019-20 compensation to $305,000, ignoring any other benefits and prior to any performance-based incentives. Gates will have the opportunity to earn retention bonuses of $25,000 if he’s still employed by Cleveland State on April 15, 2023 and April 15, 2024. He will receive a monthly vehicle stipend of $600. -Andy Wittry, watchstadium. Read More.


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