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August 12, 2019

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

Melissa Stokes, Missouri State University’s head volleyball coach, has announced her resignation, effective Aug. 12, 2019. The announcement came following an independent investigation by Spencer Fane LLP, which concluded that NCAA violations had occurred within the volleyball program. These violations included allowing a non-qualifier to accompany the team during a foreign tour without personally paying all costs associated with the tour and allowing currently enrolled athletes to participate as campers in Stokes’ volleyball camps. As a result of the investigation’s findings, the university is in the process of self-reporting the NCAA violations found during the inquiry. Associate head coach Manolo Concepcion has been named interim head coach, effective immediately. A national search for the head coach position will be conducted at the end of the 2019 season. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Former University of Louisville board of trustees chairman J. David Grissom said under oath last month that former U of L President James Ramsey told him that a university trustee was the “cash source” for payments to strippers who danced for and had sex with Louisville basketball players and recruits in a campus dorm. Grissom’s assertion in the Katina Powell sex scandal – which Ramsey’s lawyer unequivocally denies – came during a July 26 deposition in the financial fraud lawsuit U of L and its nonprofit foundation are prosecuting against Ramsey and a handful of former top aides. -Chris Otts, wdrb. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

When Debbie Yow took the job as North Carolina State’s athletics director in 2010, the challenges weren’t limited to football and men’s basketball, both of which had been languishing at the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Yow made the case that better performance across the board, even in sports most fans didn’t pay attention to, would establish a culture of competitive excellence throughout the department. In the intervening years, N.C. State changed football and basketball coaches with varying degrees of success. But as new television revenue rolled in from the ACC, she also entered N.C. State into a different kind of arms race happening among Power Five athletics departments by spending significantly more money on coaches in so-called non-revenue sports. -Dan Wolken, Steve Berkowitz and Tess DeMeyer, USA Today. Read More.

APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Monday the hire of Makini Thompson as Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator for Appalachian State University. Thompson, a former All-American volleyball student-athlete at Florida State with experience in collegiate coaching and athletics administration, comes to Boone after most recently serving as the Seminoles’ Assistant AD for Administration. “We are excited to welcome Makini to the App State family,” Gillin said. Read More.

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Rutgers’ athletics fundraising arm announced a new capital campaign Monday designed to build up its donor base in support of scholarships and the department’s operating budget. The new R Fund initiative, titled “The Bells Must Ring” in honor of the tradition of the Old Queens Bell on the New Brunswick campus, kicks off four months after Rutgers reached its $100 million fundraising goal for the “R Big Ten Build,” which began in 2016. “Rutgers Nation makes those bells ring by building a championship culture,” senior associate athletic director for development Carly Northup said in a release. -James Kratch, NJ. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA

Ongoing renovations to the DakotaDome means there will be a reduced number of tickets available to the public and limited seating for students, who are being relocated to the east side of the dome. For fans who are unable to get in, South Dakota athletic director David Herbster and his staff are working to secure alternative viewing options. “Right now we’re looking at how do we provide an option for the students, because for them, it will be first come, first served. There are some things we’re trying to put into place so they can continue that tailgate whether it’s here (at USD) or that we provide some alternatives downtown, places for them to go.” Herbser stated. “We also have that portable video board that we’ve utilized in the tailgate area. I think that will be an option, to show the game outside, for fans who can’t come inside.” he added. -Brian Haenchen, Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Read More.

LONG BEACH STATE UNIVERSITY
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LONG BEACH STATE UNIVERSITY

Long Beach State has announced the hiring of Erica Piurkowski to lead the school’s NCAA compliance efforts as the Associate Athletics Director for Compliance. “We are very excited to welcome Erica as Associate Athletics Director for Compliance,” said Director of Athletics Andy Fee. Piurkowski has an extensive background in collegiate compliance, and spent the last ten years with increasing responsibility in the UNLV Compliance Office. In her most recent role as Assistant Athletics Director of Compliance, Piurkowski was in charge or rules education, submission of waivers, and the supervision of other compliance staff in addition to other responsibilities. Read More.

LAMAR UNIVERSITY
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LAMAR UNIVERSITY

Beginning for the 2019 football season Lamar University has approved the sale of beer to the general public at all football games announced LU Director of Athletics Marco Born Monday morning. In addition to football games, beer will also be sold at basketball and baseball games. “We will never stop looking for ways to enhance the amenities at Provost Umphrey Stadium,” said Born. There will be ID stations set up at all four entrances to the stadium where fans will receive a wristband. No beer will be served without a wristband. Fans will be limited to two beers per person during any trip in line with the sale of beer ending at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Division II has pledged financial support for a proposed pilot program aimed at increasing the number of African-American male student-athletes pursuing careers in medicine and biomedical research. At a meeting this week in Indianapolis, the Division II Presidents Council approved a proposal to earmark approximately $300,000 of Division II surplus funds annually to support a three-year pilot program in anticipated collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Institutes of Health. In total, the division has earmarked $900,000 for the project. -Rachel Stark-Mason, NCAA. Read More.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
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CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Central Michigan Athletics is making some exciting changes to football gamedays this fall to provide a great experience for our fans. The most substantial change is that Fabiano Brothers Tailgate Village is headed to the south end of The Island, moving this premier area to the heart of the pregame action. Tailgate Village features the U.S. Army concert series, the Soaring Eagle Club, and corporate and group tailgating opportunities. The area also includes sponsor displays and giveaways. Read More.

August 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The University of New Mexico’s new ticketing system, which officially launches later this month with the football opener at home against Sam Houston State in Dreamstyle Stadium, will allow fans to use their mobile devices to scan tickets at the gate instead of paper versions. It’s but the latest innovation in what has been a drastic overhaul of UNM’s ticketing office the last few months. Driven by a new partnership with ticketing services agency Paciolan, the athletic department has broken away from the rest of the university to create its own system that integrates the Lobo Club, athletics and the overall fan experience. -Will Webber, Santa Fe New Mexican. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Small entrepreneurs now have a way to ‘legally’ peddle their handmade Husker crafts. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is offering a crafter’s license. For $150, crafters would be able to sell up to 500 items or $2,500 annually. Previously, all businesses could only apply for the standard license, which cost $1,000 for the application fee, plus royalties. NU licensing and branding officials said when it comes to trademark law, they take it very seriously. “Husker, Huskers, Cornhuskers even the word Nebraska if it is our protected color scheme which is red, white and black, we do have a trademark for that,” NU’s director of licensing and branding Lonna Hendrichs said. -Andrew Ozaki, KETV. Read More.

ECU
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ECU

In one response to the Cherry Bekaert assessment report on East Carolina University finances and athletics, ECU interim chancellor Dan Gerlach did not mince his words in guaranteeing that the Pirates leaving the American Athletic Conference is not an option. “No. Hell no,” said Gerlach, who emphasized that Connecticut’s plan to leave the AAC is costing the Huskies $17 million in exit fees, during an ECU special Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 1. “That is not on the table to do that with us. That is money we would not be able to spend on anything else for the student experience.” -Ronnie Woodward, Reflector. Read More.

CHATTANOOGA
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CHATTANOOGA

The long-planned project to renovate and expand the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s football and athletic training facilities with a new stand-alone building now has a new cost estimate: $22 million. Last week, State Building Commission members approved increasing cost estimates for the project from $20 million to $22 million, the latest in a series of increases as the project evolved. Meanwhile, state officials later this month are scheduled to select a designer expected to begin turning concepts into reality. -Andy Sher, Times Free Press. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Given the legalization of sports wagering in Iowa, Hawkeyes head football coach Kirk Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta discuss how it will affect college programs. “It’s always been an industry,” Ferentz said at Iowa Media Day on August 9. “It’s always been something we’ve got to be cognizant of I think and educate our players on. So I really don’t think the approach changes. I don’t see how it changes at all. “We educate, educate, educate,” added Barta. “I would just say…this popped into my head, so pun intended. We’re doubling-down on education. We have to make sure that our student-athletes are reminded at ways that gambling can intervene into your life, so we’re educating our student-athletes.” -Dan Vasko, ourquadcities. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Erika Barnes still gets nervous on NCAA Softball Selection Sunday. Barnes knows what it’s like to be a softball player waiting to find out if you are playing in the postseason, where you are playing and if you are hosting. She’s worked at Arizona for 14 years and been a senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Arizona since 2013. However, on May 12, Barnes found out what it’s like to be on another side of the equation — as a member of the D-I Women’s Softball Committee, the group that selects who’s in and where they play. During the selection show she was sitting in the Denver Airport on a layover, waiting to fly back to Tucson — and she was experiencing that same feeling she gets every year. “I was super anxious watching the show — for Arizona and wanting to see the (other) team’s reactions,” said Barnes, whose term on the committee ends in August 2022. -PJ Brown, Arizona Daily Star. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
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UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

Last Thursday, in her first visit to the University of Idaho since being named athletics director the day before in Boise, Terry Gawlik poked her head in offices and briefly introduced herself as she made her way down a hall in the Kibbie Dome’s east end. These were the first steps on what she acknowledged is a steep learning curve. In addition to greeting the troops, Gawlik was adept enough to carefully answer questions pertaining to gaps in her knowledge about the challenges facing her at Idaho. Her initial impression in her first full day in the Vandals’ athletics department was in line with her belief that the strength of a college sports program is its people. -Peter Harriman, The Spokesman-review. Read More.

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
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UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

It’s hard to imagine there has ever been a better time to be the athletic director at Utah State University than right now. The football team is not only coming off an 11-2 season that featured a bowl victory and a top-25 finish, but the Aggies, despite a coaching change, are expected to be a contender for the Mountain West title again in 2019. “I would say we’ve made some great progress. Obviously the finishes in football and men’s basketball this past year were tremendous. We were one of five schools to finish in the final AP Top 25 in both football and men’s basketball, and when you look at the other schools that accomplished that” Hartwell stated. -Jeff Hunter, Deseret News. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

It’s no secret that the NCAA has been under fire for the way that it governs players. Many have argued that it exploits student-athletes under the guise of amateurism and prevents their ability to play professional sports. And its latest potential move to set new rules for basketball agents looking to represent college athletes has dredged up all of those bad feelings and pushed them back into the spotlight. The big one here is the requirement of a bachelor’s degree. Almost instantly the new mandate got the nickname of the ‘The Rich Paul Rule,’ by NBA players and sports journalists alike, as they appear to be aimed at removing agents like 37-year old agent Rich Paul who did not attend college. -Bridgette Webb, Yahoo Sports. Read More.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

The Extra Point Club gathered at the Tucker Civic Center Friday night to celebrate its 40th anniversary of behind-the-scenes support of FSU since it was started in 1979 by Bowden’s wife, Ann. The Extra Point Club was created as a group of women tasked with promoting the spirit and tradition in the FSU football program in the early Bowden days upon its creation. Membership was capped at 200 people with plenty more who wanted in, but were turned away. Before FSU had fabric banners which the football team ran through to enter the field before every game, the EPC was tasked with holding a design competition between the sororities for creating humongous paper banners for each FSU home game. Ann Bowden and Bill Durham led the charge to formally introduce Osceola and Renegade on the FSU sidelines in 1978. The EPC also donated the first thousand dollars towards the construction of the now-iconic Unconquered Statue located outside Doak Campbell Stadium. -Curt Weiler, Tallahassee Democrat. Read More.

NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

There are few areas that New Mexico State athletics can move the needle from a budget standpoint. But in Fiscal Year 2019, Mario Moccia’s department excelled in fundraising and ticket revenue. “I think almost every sport was up,” NM State athletics director Mario Moccia said. New Mexico State had a $326,000 surplus in ticket sales last year, which is the most in Moccia’s five years. Athletics budgeted for $1.2 million in ticket sales last year and sold $1.53 million. “I think we sharpened up our marketing focus a little bit and geared it toward people buying tickets,” Moccia said. -Jason Groves, Las Cruces Sun-News. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

The University of Iowa is looking to tap into other events as its $89.9 million renovation to the north end zone of Kinnick Stadium nears completion. Assistant athletics director for facilities Damian Simcox said he expects the renovation to “come down to the last week” until the beginning of the college football season. Most of the remaining work is finishing touches, Simcox said. “If we end up playing a game tomorrow, we’d be ready tomorrow,” Simcox said. Weddings, business meetings, university events and recruiting events are among events the Hawkeyes can now host along the north end zone. “That’s a source (of income) that we didn’t have before,” said Matt Henderson, one of UI’s senior associate athletics directors. -The Gazette. Read More.

August 9, 2019

OHIO UNIVERSITY
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OHIO UNIVERSITY

As Ohio continues its search for a new athletic director the university has announced the final applicant for the vacant post. Julie Cromer, who currently serves as senior deputy athletics director and SWA at the University of Arkansas, will be the fourth and final candidate to visit the Athens campus. Along with Cromer, Vanderbilt’s Jason Grooms, Mississippi State’s Jared Benko, and Ohio State’s Diana Sabau were the other candidates to visit campus. –Read More

BYU
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BYU

It turns out Yoeli Childs’ return to BYU basketball for his senior season isn’t all roses after all. The NCAA, when reinstating Childs’ eligibility after he withdrew from the NBA Draft, has suspended the star forward for nine games to open the 2019-20 season, the school announced Friday. NCAA rules allow underclassmen to enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent to arrange workouts and travel, but later withdraw from the draft and cut ties with the agent, allowing them to return to school and keep eligibility. Agents are allowed to cover certain expenses during that time. This is a process most recently used by players like Childs and Weber State guard Jerrick Harding. But in Childs’ case, the NCAA “determined that Childs’ signing with an agent was impermissible due to the fact that he signed before filing paperwork required by the NCAA,” the statement from BYU said. BYU appealed the suspension to no avail.  – BRETT HEIN, standard – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

The University of Virginia today announced a set of new procedures that will strengthen its process for the admission of student-athletes. The policy enhancements, currently being implemented, were recommended as part of a comprehensive review of the University’s processes and admission decisions of student-athletes during the last four years. “Athletics at UVA are rightfully a source of pride for the University, which is due to the hard and conscientious work by remarkable coaches, administrators and student-athletes,” President Jim Ryan said. Following the March announcement of federal criminal charges related to college admissions practices involving student-athletes at several universities, UVA committed to review its admissions procedures for student-athletes. While UVA was not implicated in the federal investigation, it chose to conduct the review to ensure that its process has not been compromised by the misconduct at issue in those cases and that it is aligned with best practices across the country. UVA’s confidential review was conducted by Timothy Heaphy, who serves as University counsel and is a former U.S. attorney.  – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Alabama coach Nick Saban would like to see schools from Power 5 conferences play at least 10 games a year against Power 5 foes and/or Notre Dame in the regular season, and he said his program is working to make that happen on future schedules. And with growing concern about declining college football attendance numbers, Saban said it’s time the sport starts thinking more about the fans. Saban said the model Alabama is discussing would be to play one nonconference Power 5 game annually as part of a home-and-home series and another at a neutral site. That’s as long as the SEC sticks with just eight conference games. The ACC and SEC are the only Power 5 leagues that play eight regular-season conference games, while the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 each play nine. Saban has previously said he would be in favor of playing nine conference games in the SEC.  This season, of Alabama’s four nonconference games, only the neutral-site season opener against Duke is against a Power 5 school.  – Chris Low, espn – Read More

COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY
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COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY

As the College of William and Mary’s athletic program strives for excellence equal in caliber to the school’s highly-regarded academic experience, it cites gender equity as a challenge and a priority. The program’s 2018 strategic review, which used data from January through July 2018, alluded to gender equity as it addressed shortcomings and ultimate roadblocks to success. The program is undertaking an external review of its Title IX status, Athletic Director Samantha Huge said. Achieving gender equity — or coming close to it — is a goal she hopes to meet by 2025. According to a draft of William and Mary Athletics’ strategic plan, which is expected to be released in the fall, the department will seek to “adjust team rosters and funding to improve the balance of opportunity and support across men’s and women’s teams, reducing the size of the participation gap each year.” The plan defines gender equity as providing appropriate opportunities for women and men who want to compete at the intercollegiate level considering participation, facilities and student-athlete support. – SaraRose Martin, vagazette – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar is walking out as the Independence Bowl’s title sponsor. The 2019 bowl game will be the last year as the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl. “As we kick-off our third and final year as the title sponsor for the Independence Bowl, we want to thank the Independence Bowl Foundation team for making this partnership such a great experience,” said Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Founder and CEO Brandon Landry in a news release. “As a Louisiana-founded brand, we have enjoyed supporting not only the local community, but the state as a whole, and we’re looking forward to seeing the continued success of bowl week and the long-standing tradition of post-season football in Northwest Louisiana. – ksla – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
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UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

To provide more in-game social opportunities for the student body, Ole Miss is testing party decks at the top of the student section in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for the 2019 season. The eight temporary party decks – four on each side of the videoboard – will feature awnings for shade, televisions, charging stations, fans and pub tables along with plenty of space for students to socialize and watch the game. Each platform has a capacity of 100 students. Only those with an Ole Miss student ticket are eligible for the party deck credentials. Student season ticket sales are ongoing, and students should visit Students.OleMissTix.com or call 888-732-TKTS to secure theirs while supplies last. As we have all seen firsthand at The Pavilion and Swayze Field, as well as throughout our fan research, the ability to socialize with friends is crucial to our students’ gameday experience, and the new party decks will provide a similar environment to those other venues,” said Keith Carter, Ole Miss interim athletics director.  – Read More

CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY
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CHICAGO STATE UNIVERSITY

Former Bears and Notre Dame star Chris Zorich was terminated without cause from his position as Chicago State athletic director, according to documents the Tribune obtained. The university announced July 30 it had parted ways with Zorich, whom it hired in May 2018. Chicago State did not respond to questions from the Tribune about the reason for his departure, and the documents the Tribune obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request did not reveal why he was fired. Zorich declined to comment when the Tribune reached him Thursday. The separation agreement between Zorich and Chicago State states: “I have been informed that the University has decided to terminate my employment. As stated in Section 5.2 of my employment agreement, this termination is without cause.” The documents show the university agreed to pay Zorich a lump sum of six months of his salary ($67,500) plus payment for vacation time owed ($10,450.49). – SHANNON RYAN, chicagotribune – Read More


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