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October 10, 2019

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.

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
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UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

Miami Athletics announced Wednesday the hiring of Dr. Renae Myles Payne as the department’s new Senior Associate Athletic Director, Administration. Myles Payne, who reports to the Deputy Athletic Director/Chief Operating Officer, will be responsible for the direct oversight, policy development, budget and personnel management of video services, equipment, swimming and diving and golf. She will also provide oversight and leadership to all aspects of sports administration within the department including game contracts, budgets, scheduling, team rules. Myles Payne, who boasts 20 years of experience in college athletics, comes to UM from Winthrop University, where she served as Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations and Senior Woman Administrator for three years. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
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UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

On the heels of back-to-back Big Sky Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances, the Montana men’s basketball team is now in line for a major facilities upgrade. The program is set to receive not only a renovated locker room, but an expanded space that will feature a players’ lounge, coaches’ locker room and a team meeting room. The Montana athletics department announced the plan on Wednesday, which also includes new, expanded space for the Hackney Athletic Equipment Center. “We want to make sure we are doing projects that directly impact student-athlete success,” Montana athletics director Kent Haslam said. –MontanaSports. Read More.

OHIO UNIVERSITY
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OHIO UNIVERSITY

Julie Cromer has been one of the busiest employees on campus for the last month. The former University of Arkansas senior deputy athletics director was hired as Ohio University’s new athletic director in August and has spent the last month compiling interviews, listening to alumni and observing the student-athlete environment. “It’s only been about a month, but it feels like it’s been longer,” Cromer said in an interview with The Post. Since Cromer walked into The Convo and stepped inside her new office overlooking Shafer Street and Richland Avenue for her first official day on Aug. 31, she’s had over two dozen meetings with personnel within the athletic department and has talked with hundreds of alumni donors, student-athlete leadership groups and coaches. All of that has been part of her “100 Day Plan,” which she established to immerse herself into the culture within the Ohio athletic department. -Anthony Poisal, The Post. Read More.

USC
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USC

As Dave Roberts sees it, all of this is only temporary. One month after Lynn Swann abruptly resigned and Roberts was appointed interim athletic director, a few framed family photos are the only sign the university’s former vice president of athletics compliance has taken up residence here at all. He’s hesitant to change much else. But while he remains atop the department temporarily, Roberts made clear in an interview with The Times that he won’t be the one to make a decision on the future of embattled football coach Clay Helton. Or anyone else, for that matter. To make such a major move, Roberts said, would be “unfair” to whomever is hired as Swann’s replacement. -Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times. Read More.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

As part of its commitment to the Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, K-State Athletics today announced that it will offer sales of beer and wine to all public areas of Bramlage Coliseum during men’s and women’s basketball games beginning this season. “We want to continue to find ways to make the experience for our fans at our events more attractive and we feel expanding our beer and wine sales to Bramlage for basketball games will do that,” Athletics Director Gene Taylor said. Fans must be at least 21 years of age and present a valid state ID or driver’s license to purchase alcohol. Sodexo personnel will verify age and provide a wristband to those guests of age, who will be permitted to purchase up to two drinks per transaction. –ksal. Read More.

October 9, 2019

UCLA
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UCLA

UCLA Coach Mick Cronin signed a six-year contract with the university in May that has a contract term through March 31, 2025, as he replaces former UCLA Coach Steve Alford. Cronin will earn an annual base salary of $300,000, plus an annual talent fee that starts in $3.2 million and increases by $100,000 in each subsequent year of the contract. He’ll receive a one-time hiring bonus of $2 million if he remains UCLA’s head coach through March 31, 2020. Cronin can also earn annual compensation up to $250,000 from camps/clinics conducted during the holidays and/or the summer. His bonuses are capped at $300,000 annually. – Andy Wittry, Stadium, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

University of Texas AD Chris Del Conte recently sat down for an interview with Sporting News. “I’m a big fan of R&D: rip off and duplicate. But when I was at TCU, I would come here and just realize that we are surrounded by an urban campus and our parking garages and our tailgating is not going to be the same as A&M or Iowa State or K-State. We didn’t have a bunch of land. So I really went to Disneyland and studied what they do. The idea that you start your experience when the ticket renewal happens, how it’s packaged. When you come to the hotel, how you’re greeted. And when you come to the park, the sights, the smells, everything — it’s much more than the rides. It’s the whole experience. So you think of an athletic program, what does that provide you? So we lowered concession prices and said, ‘Timeout. We’re going to have a completely value-driven idea.’ I took every one of those ideas (from previous institutions in which he served) and said, ‘We’re going to create Bevo’s Boulevard to try to create a place where it’s a gathering point in front of the stadium.’ So we took bits and pieces over the years and morphed it into what we could do here and it’s caught on. – John E. Hoover, Sporting News, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
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UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA

On the heels of back-to-back Big Sky Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances, the Montana men’s basketball team is now in line for a major facilities upgrade. The program is set to receive not only a renovated locker room, but an expanded space that will feature a players’ lounge, coaches’ locker room and a team meeting room. The Montana athletics department announced the plan on Wednesday, which also includes new, expanded space for the Hackney Athletic Equipment Center. The biggest change will simply be more space. The current locker room allows for the student-athletes to change and shower but little else. The renovation will nearly triple the team’s area, expanding from approximately 1,200 square feet to 2,900 and provide a much-needed team meeting area. Montana is in the home stretch of the fundraising campaign, and is nearly to its $2 million goal to complete the project. – Montana Sports, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
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UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

Kentucky Coach John Calipari broke his public silence on the California law permitting college players to profit off their names, images and likenesses in commercial endorsements. Calipari said, “These kids, their name and likeness is theirs. They own it.” But when host Matt Jones asked if Calipari fully supported the idea of college players working as commercial pitchmen and pitchwomen, the UK coach cited complications that made a direct answer difficult. “You can’t just say, ‘yeah, I’m for this,’” Calipari said. “Now, you can say that if you’re being political and acting like you’re getting ahead of this. But the reality of it is what exactly are you talking about you’re for? ‘Well, I’m for the players.’ Really? I think it’s going to have to be settled in (the U.S.) Congress,” he said, “and the reason is because whatever the NCAA does will not be enough.” Calipari also cautioned against ringing approval of a law permitting college athletes to profit off their names, images and likenesses. He said “unintended consequences” could arise. For instance, he said a rule allowing players to transfer once without penalty after their freshman years led to major college basketball programs poaching players from mid-major teams. – Jerry Tipton, Kentucky Sports, Read More

NCAA
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NCAA

A  Florida state representative submitted a bill that aims to provide name, image and likeness rights to college athletes, something that could benefit Florida, Florida State, Miami, UCF and plenty of other Sunshine State universities in the near future. Similar to the law passed in California, those athletes would have the ability to profit off such things as autographs, endorsements and commercials. That is potentially one hell of a recruiting advantage. The biggest difference? The Florida bill could become law in a mere 6 ½ months on July 1, 2020. The California law doesn’t go into effect until January 2023. Similar bills are pending in at least 11 states. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh said this week that he “wouldn’t be against” athletes being granted these rights. He proposed cutting football scholarships in half (from 85 to 42). Players would be paid the scholarship plus an additional $100,000. “If you did that across all sports, that budget could stay the same and be financially feasible,” Harbaugh said. “Everyone is going to do what they want to do,” said a Gators source. “What we gotta do is, how do we use this to our advantage?” – Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

The University of Georgia is receiving $1 million in cash annually under its current contract with Nike. The 10-year contract extension signed back in 2014 pays the Bulldogs $1.3 million more per year than its previous deal with the company. UGA receives on average $2.8 million worth of product per year. The deal, which includes a $2 million signing bonus, is set to expire in 2024 and is worth over $40 million. Georgia Tech isn’t far behind, collecting $3.1 million annually in its deal with adidas. While Tech isn’t receiving as much cash compensation ($200,000 annually) as UGA, the Yellow Jackets receive loads of product — valued at about $2.9 million on average annually. Georgia State University agreed to a seven-year contract worth $2.7 million with Under Armour in 2016. The school receives an average of $392,857 worth of gear per year. Georgia Southern extended its contract with Adidas in 2016. The current seven-year deal, which is worth over $2 million, pays GS $50,000 in cash per year and provides $275,000 worth of product annually. In 2016, Kennesaw State signed a seven-year contract with adidas. The deal is worth over $2.3 million and provides KSU with $340,000 worth of product per year. A $100,000 signing bonus is also included in the deal, which is an extension from a previous agreement in 2012. – Eric Jackson, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Read More

NCAA
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NCAA

USA TODAY Sports has talked with numerous top football and basketball recruits, junior college coaches and recruiting influencers since Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California’s bill into law in late September to weigh the potential effect of endorsements in recruiting. One consensus was clear: Prepare for massive change in how recruiting is done. Experts said boosters’ recruiting presence would increase — and come out from under the rug — if name, image and likeness compensation is allowed. Sonny Vaccaro, a former Nike, adidas and Reebok marketing executive doesn’t see that as a bad thing. In a free market-driven system like this, he said, prospects would get the money they deserve, and schools with passionate boosters willing to shell out funds could become larger players in recruiting. “In basketball, you only need one or two of those son of a guns,” Vaccaro said. “That would allow basketball to tighten up. The little school could beat the big school.” Hank Plona, the head basketball coach at Indian Hills, a junior college powerhouse in rural Iowa, could see name, image and likeness compensation helping schools without football, such as Marquette and Xavier. That allows boosters and local companies to focus their contributions on basketball. – Matthew Bain, USA TODAY, Read More

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

Michael Thompson Jr. has been named Deputy Athletic Director for External Relations and Business Development, Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork announced Wednesday. Widely recognized for his innovative practices in business development and revenue advancement, Thompson comes to Texas A&M following a nine-year tenure at Ole Miss where he most recently served in a similar role alongside Bjork since 2018.  – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
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UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Bangor Savings Bank has announced a five-year partnership with University of Maine Athletics. The partnership places Bangor Savings Bank as the lead sponsor of UMaine sports. The relationship is effective immediately and sports fans will likely notice Bangor Savings Bank branding at the UMaine homecoming football game later this month. – Spencer Roberts, WABI 5, Read More

ACC
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ACC

ACC commissioner John Swofford gave Georgia Tech a measure of support in its expected bid to appeal the men’s basketball team’s postseason ban, a penalty levied by the NCAA’s infractions committee two weeks ago for major rules violations. “Candidly, I was surprised at the postseason thing,” Swofford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday at the league’s Operation Basketball media event in Charlotte. “I didn’t expect that. But I’m also not inside the case with the (infractions) committee. And I felt that Georgia Tech had addressed the issues very appropriately.” More broadly, Swofford expressed his confidence in the overall direction of Tech’s athletic department under Stansbury’s leadership. Calling Tech “an important institution to this league” for its academic stature and history of “doing things the right way athletically,” Swofford said he believed that the athletic department would make its way through its different challenges. – Ken Sugiura, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Read More

UNIVERSITY OF SAINT JOSEPH
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UNIVERSITY OF SAINT JOSEPH

The former associate athletic director at the University of St. Joseph has filed a federal lawsuit against longtime UConn basketball coach and current St. Joseph coach Jim Calhoun and his long-time assistant Glen Miller alleging sexual discrimination over disparaging comments they made about her including Calhoun calling her “hot” and Miller telling her he’d “swipe left.” The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Jaclyn Piscitelli against the university also names former athletic director Bill Cardarelli for failing to take any action when she brought allegations against Calhoun to him and alleges that the former UConn basketball coach turned the athletic department into a “male-dominated, hostile work environment” for any females. The 13-page complaint highlights several examples of what Piscitelli said was degrading treatment by Calhoun and Miller towards females. On example is called the “K-cup” incident. -Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant. Read More.

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

A federal judge’s ruling means Michigan State University head football coach Mark Dantonio will have to sit down for a deposition in a lawsuit filed against him by a former staffer. The Detroit News reports a federal judge in Grand Rapids ruled Dantonio can wait until after the season ends to be deposed by attorneys for Curtis Blackwell. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody rejected Dantonio’s attorneys request to limit the length and scope of his deposition. Dantonio can be questioned for up to seven hours, according to the ruling. No questions will be off limits, including ones about the recruitment of Auston Robertson. –wilx. Read More.

ALMA COLLEGE
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ALMA COLLEGE

Sarah Dehring, associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Alma College, has been named the school’s athletic director following a national search. She has served as the interim athletic director since June 2019. Dehring will be responsible for the overall development and general management of Alma’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, effective immediately, announces Jeff Abernathy, Alma College president. “Sarah’s experiences as a student-athlete, NCAA Division III coach and athletics administrator, her emphasis on student-athlete development and her loyalty to Alma College make her a strong match for leading our athletic program,” says Abernathy. Dehring came to Alma College in 2011 as head volleyball coach. Read More.

PAC-12
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PAC-12

Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott on Tuesday blasted California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, saying it would siphon money from nonrevenue college sports programs while predominantly benefiting high-profile male athletes.
“There’s no doubt in my mind from everything I know in my experience that 99%, plus or minus, will go to men, not to women,” Scott said. Speaking at the Pac-12’s basketball media day at conference headquarters, Scott said the bill signed into law late last month by California Gov. Gavin Newsom would drain money from Olympic sports, diminishing their resources. Scott said his basis for claiming the bill that allows college athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness would primarily benefit males comes from Forbes’ annual survey of the top-100 grossing athletes in the world. -Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times. Read More.

MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY
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MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY

As a record-breaking tight end for the Spartan football team in the mid-1980s, Todd Saylor knows how much alumni support can mean to student-athletes. The Angola native is challenging others to help raise money for a new athletic stadium for Manchester University by matching gifts up to $100,000, according to a news release from MU. A groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium is 9 a.m. Saturday during homecoming. In addition to the Saylor Press Box, the new stadium will feature artificial turf widely used in university and professional stadiums that allows teams to practice outside from early spring to late fall, relieving demand on the school’s physical education and recreation center. The current football field is used only about 50 hours a year, while the new stadium will be used at least 1,500 hours a year, according to Rick Espeset, MU athletic director. –Times Union Online. Read More.

BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY
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BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY

Bellarmine University academic advisor Natalie Cousin has accepted the newly created position of Assistant Director for Academic & Support Services for Student-Athletes at the university, Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt announced Wednesday. Cousin will work in the newly formed Center for Academic and Support Services for Student-Athletes, which is charged with launching an advising model for student-athletes that will create academic and co-curricular plans, connect student-athletes with resources and opportunities, and serve as a source of ongoing support through student-athletes academic careers. Read More.

October 8, 2019

SPORTS TECHNOLOGY
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SPORTS TECHNOLOGY

Fans attending Ohio State’s home match up against Michigan State on October 5 used more Wi-Fi than two Super Bowls and a Final Four. The Buckeyes/Spartans match up set a new No. 1 all-time Wi-Fi usage record. Attendees used more Wi-Fi in Ohio Stadium that night than Super Bowl 52, 53 and the Men’s Final Four. Wi-Fi was installed in Ohio Stadium over the summer. – Sarah Wynn, ABC 6, Read More

MERCER UNIVERSITY
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MERCER UNIVERSITY

Mercer Senior Associate Athletics Director Brian Gerrity announced the hiring of Alexis Ward as the Special Events and Operations Coordinator for the Mercer Athletic Foundation (MAF) on Monday. Ward joins the staff after two years with Athletes in Action at Georgia Southern University. Athletes in Action is an international sports organization focused on equipping athletes, coaches and sport-minded individuals to grow their relationship with Jesus.  – Read More

SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY
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SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

As St. Joseph’s University’s athletic contract with Nike nears its end in August 2020, the department of athletics is weighing a shift in sponsorship with a final decision to come in the next two weeks. “The department of athletics has many loyal corporate and individual sponsors, including Nike and its partner BSN Sports,” said Jill Bodensteiner J.D., director of athletics. “The current agreement with Nike and BSN is nearing the end of its term, and so the Department of Athletics is conducting its due diligence with respect to the future of our footwear and apparel partner.” This summer, representatives from three companies, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, arrived at St. Joe’s to present bids to the university outlining why they should be the Hawks’ next sponsor, Bodensteiner said. They followed up a week later with official proposals. – Pat Taddei, The Hawk Newspaper, Read More

UCF
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UCF

UCF is raising football season-ticket prices for the first time in three years. Season-ticket holders received renewal information last week that included an average 15% bump in ticket prices for the seven-game 2020 home slate. As a result of the extra game beyond this season’s six home contests, many fans will pay less per game but more on their final bill. UCF athletics director Danny White said, “Due to the tremendous demand for season tickets, including a wait list, and with the addition of a seventh home game, the time was right for an increase in season ticket pricing. It is important that we continue to make wise economic decisions that enable us to compete within our conference, within our state and across the NCAA.” – Iliana Limon Romero, Orlando Sentinel, Read More

ACC
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ACC

The idea of college athletes receiving pay for endorsement deals is something that should be standardized and not a matter of a regionalized approach, Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford said Tuesday. “I don’t think this is the end of college athletics by any means,” Swofford said during the annual ACC Operation Basketball. “What we need is something national.” On the surface, Swofford said the California law — also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act — seems “extreme.” He said an open-minded approach from college administrators is the best avenue. The ACC chief said adjustments were made a few years ago when a cost-of-attendance model was put in place, giving athletes additional financial support. “We’ve been resilient in the past and we will be now and we will be in the future,” Swofford said. – Bob Sutton, Times News, Read More

UNLV
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UNLV

UNLV and Switch announced Tuesday that they have entered into a multi-year technology initiative focused on sports-science, data analytics, and student-athlete success. This collaboration, enabled by a substantial financial commitment from Switch, is motivated by a mutual aspiration to establish Las Vegas as the world’s epicenter of sports. Switch, the global technology infrastructure corporation that develops hyperscale data center ecosystems for enterprise colocation, differentiated multi-cloud, and industry-leading telecommunications solutions, sees the relationship with UNLV Athletics as accelerating its entry into sports, and health and wellness research. Anchoring the relationship is the soon-to-be Switch Sports Science Studio located in the heart of UNLV’s planned Center for Student-Athlete Excellence. The Excellence Center will provide holistic services fundamental to the success of student-athletes with the Switch Studio to represent an interdisciplinary, leading edge context to drive sports performance. – Read More

AUBURN UNIVERSITY
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Count Auburn men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl among the college coaches who back California’s recently passed Fair Pay to Play Act. Just hours after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski came out in support of the California law that will permit college athletes to earn money off their name, image and likeness, Auburn’s sixth-year head coach offered his own thoughts on the legislation. “I do agree that what they’ve got to do is they’ve got to take the system that they have and make it better,” Pearl said. “Find a way to have the athletes be able to benefit from their image and their likeness without changing the whole system. I think there’s a way to make it better. I think they’re on the right track, and I hope they’ll find a way to do that.” Pearl believes the NCAA has already made progress over the years to improve the student-athlete experience in terms of benefiting from a “true scholarship,” but added that there’s a nuanced way to approach the matter and improve the NCAA system while allowing players to rightfully benefit off their name, likeness and image. – Tom Green, Alabama.com, Read More


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