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March 11, 2019

TROY UNIVERSITY
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TROY UNIVERSITY

Troy Senior Vice Chancellor for Athletics Jeremy McClain announced Monday a change in leadership in the men’s basketball program as head coach Phil Cunningham has been relieved of his duties following his sixth season at Troy. ‘I want to thank Phil Cunningham and his staff for their dedication to Troy University,” McClain said. Cunningham took over the Troy program in 2013 and guided the Trojans an 80-111 record in his six seasons at the helm of the program. McClain and Troy will begin a national search immediately for the program’s seventh head men’s basketball coach. Read More.

NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

The North Dakota State Athletic Department and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Maren Walseth have mutually agreed to part ways, director of athletics Matt Larsen announced Monday, March 11. Walseth had a 40-106 record in five seasons with the Bison, including a 19-59 record in The Summit League. She led the Bison to an 11-18 record and sixth-place finish as a rookie head coach in 2014-15 after spending seven years as an assistant coach at Penn State and three years at Navy. The Bison finished 7-22 this year and placed seventh in the league for the third straight season.Larsen said a national search will begin immediately for a new head coach. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND

University of Richmond Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hardt announced a change in the leadership of the Spider women’s basketball program as head coach Michael Shafer will not be retained. A national search for Shafer’s successor will begin immediately. “We would like to thank Michael Shafer for his hard work and dedication to our university and the Spider women’s basketball program during the past 14 years,” Hardt said. Shafer is the second-longest tenured coach in Richmond women’s basketball history and produced a 223-214 record in his 14 seasons at the helm. This year, Richmond is coming off a 9-21 mark, the lowest win total for the Spiders since the 1985-86 season (seven). Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

After decades of public resistance to legalized sports betting — including six years as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against New Jersey that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court — the NCAA is moving to address sports betting integrity in new ways. “Sports wagering is going to have a dramatic impact on everything we do in college sports,” said NCAA executive Mark Emmert at the organization’s annual convention in January and first reported by the Associated Press. “It’s going to threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways unless we are willing to act boldly and strongly.” -Ryan Rodenberg, ESPN. Read More.

CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY
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CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY

Cleveland State University paid for its $13.7 million sports program last year mostly through student fees, the school reported in its financial filing with the NCAA for the 2017-2018 school year. The school charged $11.7 million in student fees for sports, plus provided $32,365 in “direct institutional support” to athletics. This includes, according to NCAA reporting requirements, any support the school provided to the athletic department from state money, tuition, tuition discounts, federal work study programs and more. The total subsidy amounted to 86 percent of Cleveland State’s sports budget. Based on CSU’s total enrollment, the subsidy of nearly $12 million amounted to $845 per student. -Rich Exner, cleveland. Read More.

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY
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NIAGARA UNIVERSITY

Niagara has fired coach Chris Casey four days after the Purple Eagles closed a 13-19 season with a first-round loss at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. Casey was fired Monday. He finished with a 64-129 overall record and went 39-77 in conference play during six years as coach. It was a tenure during which the Purple Eagles had just one winning season, going 19-14 in 2017-18 and earning an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The Purple Eagles failed to advance past the MAAC Tournament quarterfinals in each of Casey’s six seasons. –seattletimes. Read More.

FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY
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FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY

Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann announced on Monday that he has initiated a change in the leadership of the Men’s Basketball program, commencing a search to replace Head Coach Sydney Johnson. “I want to thank Coach Johnson for his commitment to Fairfield. He has led our program with integrity, served as a great mentor to our student-athletes and been a valued member of the University community,” said Schlickmann. In eight seasons as the Stags’ Head Coach, Johnson compiled a 116-147 record overall and a 68-84 record in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. Fairfield reached the MAAC Championship finals in 2012 and 2018. During Johnson’s tenure, the MAAC recognized 17 student-athletes for All-Conference or major award accolades. A national search is underway to fill the Head Men’s Basketball Coach Position. Assisting Fairfield with the search will be Ventura Partners, Inc. led by Katy Young Staudt. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

The University of Wisconsin and Legends today announced a first-of-its kind, multi-year partnership between the school’s athletic department and Legends, to streamline initiatives across general ticketing, premium seating, annual fundraising, marketing and business intelligence capabilities into one integrated platform. Legends will continue to assist Wisconsin with planning of the upcoming renovation of Camp Randall Stadium. In addition, Legends will be responsible for all sales and marketing, planning and premium seating strategy. Legends will also implement its robust technology, data and analytics structure to complement and support across every element of the partnership. –markets.businessinsider. Read More.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE

John Swofford, the commissioner of the ACC since 1997, has taken the league into places that would have been hard to imagine when he was playing quarterback for North Carolina in 1970. Swofford’s league brings its showpiece event to Charlotte this week, as the ACC men’s basketball tournament is played in the Queen City for the first time since 2008. Swofford and I spoke on the phone recently, talking about everything from sports gambling to Charlotte’s role in future big ACC events to his thoughts on UNC’s “back to the future” hiring of football coach Mack Brown. As for his own retirement, Swofford, 70, said he’s “not there yet, but we’ll see down the road.” -Scott Fowler, heraldonline. Read More.

CAL POLY
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CAL POLY

Fired Cal Poly men’s basketball Coach Joe Callero will receive a $137,000 buyout for the remaining year on his contract, which will be absorbed by the university’s athletic budget. Athletic Director Don Oberhelman held a press conference Sunday night, announcing the next steps for the program and team, which finished in last place this season in the Big West Conference after Saturday night’s 92-82 loss to rival UC Santa Barbara. Callero’s buyout will essentially cover about half of his total yearly base salary, Oberhelman said, which was $268,386 in 2018, according to the Sacramento Bee’s public employee salary database, making Callero the highest paid athletic coach at Cal Poly. -Nick Wilson, sanluisobispo. Read More.

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
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WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Washington State athletic director Patrick Chun likes what Cougar athletics accomplished in his first year on the job, and sees even better things ahead. Last week, Chun was one of four FBS-level athletic directors to win the Under Armour AD of the Year Award. Chun answered questions to get his assessment of Cougar athletics. Among them are: The athletic program has set records for GPA the past two semesters (3.08 and 3.11). What do you attribute that to? ” always say that’s a reflection of our environment and our coaches. Core values is what attracts people. One thing I believe in, and I have made it clear to our coaches, is we are never going to be great if we don’t do what we need to do academically, and compete academically.”; The athletic department had a $68 million deficit as of last June. What is your plan to change that? “We have a five-year budget recovery plan. We stretch our resources farther and the results are pretty amazing. In Year One, it is taking a firm evaluation of our staff and retooling our revenue lines. The majority of the changes we have made in athletics have been on the revenue side of the house. It’s our Cougar Athletic Fund, our corporate sponsorships, our marketing, our PR, our branding and social media.”; Give a couple of reasons why Cougar fans should be excited about the future of WSU athletics. “No. 1, there is no place like Washington State in this country and I think that is indicative of what happened on “GameDay” on October 20. No. 2, the sky is so high for Washington State.” -Scott Hanson, seattletimes. Read More.

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

Fox is attempting to mimic its big-name NFL and MLB studio-show success by loading up with marquee hires to make a potential run at ESPN’s “College GameDay,” The Post has learned. Fox has signed what it feels, as one source put it, is a “Mount Rushmore of college football over the last 15 years,” for its new, yet-to-be-named Saturday morning pregame show that will air on network TV. Sources say Fox has hired former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and one of the greatest running backs in the college game’s history, Reggie Bush, for its new team. Meyer and Bush will join Bush’s former USC teammate and fellow Heisman winner Matt Leinart, ex-Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and host Rob Stone for the show that will air at 11 a.m. Saturdays on Fox, beginning in the fall. Leinart and Stone were on FS1’s pregame, while Quinn is moving from games to the studio. -Andrew Marchand, nypost. Read More.

MERCER UNIVERSITY
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MERCER UNIVERSITY

Mercer Director of Athletics Jim Cole announced Monday that men’s basketball head coach Bob Hoffman has been relieved of his duties, effective immediately. Cole and Hoffman met Monday morning to discuss the status of the program. At this time Cole informed Hoffman that a change in leadership would take place. “Coach Hoffman has made an indelible mark on the Mercer basketball program,” Cole said. A national search for the Bears’ next head coach is underway. Cole will have no further comment until a new head coach is hired. Read More.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
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GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Georgia Southern University will not renew the contract of Eagle women’s basketball coach Kip Drown for the 2019-20 season, athletic director Tom Kleinlein announced Sunday. “I appreciate the effort of Kip Drown over the past four seasons with our women’s basketball program and want to thank him for leading the Eagles, both on and off the court,” Kleinlein said. “We will begin a national search for a new leader of our program.” Assistant coach Lisa Jackson has been named the interim coach, and national search for a replacement will begin immediately. –savannahnow. Read More.

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
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WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY

John Currie was named the sixth athletic director in the history of Wake Forest last Monday, following the retirement of current AD Ron Wellman. The changeover is officially set to take place on May 1. He was known for accomplishing great facility improvements during his time in Manhattan, Kansas, launching $210 million in improvements all of which was funded without the use of state tax, tuition or general fee monies. As final installment of the Q&A session with new Wake Forest Athletic Director John Currie, here are among the answered questions he stated before the media: On what transparency equates to in terms of running an athletic program, Currie: “One of the things we did when we first went to K State — they had all these financial problems, so we started printing our budget on a card. Then we did the same thing at Tennessee. I don’t think I invented that, but there are a lot of schools that do that now, especially public schools. They have copied us.”; on the unlikely proposition of seeing budget cards with a private school like wake forest, and how he plans to be transparent with the fans and the press, Currie: “There’s obviously institutional policies on how things are shared. You know that better than I. Hopefully, you won’t get me in trouble on my first day, Les. I think standing up with people and talking about our challenges and opportunities is part of that transparency.” -Les Johns,  247sports. Read More.

BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY
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BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY

Bowling Green State University paid for the majority of its $24.4 million sports program last year with student fees and other university contributions from non-athletic sources, the school reported in its financial filing with the NCAA for the 2017-2018 school year. Included in the reported subsidy is $12.8 million from student fees and $1.2 million allocated to the athletic department by the university in “direct institutional support.” This includes, according to NCAA reporting requirements, any support the school provided to the athletic department from state money, tuition, tuition discounts, federal work study programs and more. The total subsidy amounted to 57 percent of Bowling Green’s sports budget. Based on BG’s total enrollment, the $14 million subsidy amounted to $872 per student. -Rich Exner, cleveland. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Count the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga among state universities interested in a bill now moving through the state legislature that’s aimed at allowing alcohol sales at public college sports venues including UTC’s 12,000-seat McKenzie Arena. Bill sponsors are mostly talking allowing sales of alcoholic beverages for non-athletic events, such as concerts at UT in Knoxville’s Boling-Thompson Arena and Neyland Stadium as their main goal. The bill designates any public higher education facility designed, sanctioned and used for sporting events as a “sports authority facility” for purposes of on-premises sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages, according to a legislative analysis. In fact, The Tennessee Higher Education Commission reports there are about 50 such facilities in Tennessee that could meet the definition of a “sports authority facility” as it’s currently listed in state law. Richard Brown, UTC’s executive vice chancellor for finance and administration, said in a statement Friday the university is interested in the possibility of selling alcohol at non-sports entertainment events. “Absolutely,” Brown said. “I think it makes McKenzie Arena more competitive and attractive to clients who come in and utilize the facility.” this year’s bill is a follow-up to a 2018 law that allowed Middle Tennessee State University, which competes in Conference USA and is under the NCAA, to sell alcohol, which it now does in the form of beer and wine at its on-campus football and basketball games. -Andy Sher, Times Free Press, Read More

PENN
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PENN

Last Friday, former Penn men’s basketball star and coach Jerome Allen testified in Miami federal court that he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Philip Esformes, a Miami Beach executive and father of current Wharton senior Morris Esformes. Between 2013 and 2015, Esformes bribed Allen to recruit his son as a basketball player in order to facilitate his acceptance into Wharton. In October 2018, Allen pleaded guilty to bribery charges in a federal district court, admitting that he had accepted money from Esformes to advocate for his son. “We were extremely disappointed to learn that Jerome Allen, former head men’s basketball coach at Penn, accepted payments to recruit a potential student-athlete to Penn and concealed that conduct from the Athletic Department and University administration,” Kevin Bonner, Penn’s Associate Athletic Director of Administration and Strategic Communications, said in a statement. “The University has been cooperating fully with the government and the NCAA so that the matter is appropriately redressed.” Esformes is facing charges of fraud after obtaining $1 billion in a Medicare-related scheme. A portion of this money was used to bribe Allen, who is serving as a government witness in Esformes’ trial. “I accepted the money to help Morris Esformes get into the school,” Allen testified in Miami federal court. “I got his son into Penn; I got his son into Wharton. None of that would have happened without me.” Allen acknowledged that without the bribes, Esformes’ son would not have made the basketball team. In 2013, Allen made several trips to Miami to meet with Esformes and his son. Allen received $10,000 in cash, hidden in a brown envelope, from Esformes each time. -Bianca Serbin, Daily Penn, Read More

LSU
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LSU

Will Wade missed out on cutting down a piece of the Maravich Center’s nets after LSU basketball’s SEC regular-season championship-clinching win Saturday night. And the second-year coach is also having tens of thousands of dollars in bonuses — and likely much more — withheld from him amid his indefinite suspension. According to his contract with the university, Wade is prohibited from collecting that money — as well as any other incentive compensation, supplemental compensation or benefits owed to him — while suspended. Wade was indefinitely suspended from the team Friday after declining to meet with university officials about comments he reportedly made in a wiretapped phone call with a federally convicted college hoops middleman about an offer made to a recruit, believed to be freshman guard Javonte Smart. LSU officials asked Wade to “provide further information and explanation regarding what was reported through the media,” Robert Munson, senior associate athletic director at LSU, told The Advocate Friday night. “He respectfully declined to do so, resulting in a suspension until more information can be gathered and reviewed.” While Wade will still receive his $400,000 base salary for the season, this means he won’t get his SEC championship bonus unless the suspension “is resolved” in his favor, according to the language in his contract. Altogether, Wade could lose out on $800,000 of postseason, recognition and academic achievement bonuses while under suspension, and $550,000 of that could come just from LSU’s postseason success, as LSU officials have said the Tigers will not skip out on the SEC or NCAA tournaments. –The Advocate, Read More

TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
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TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY

Texas Tech University’s sports have boomed over the past two years, and so has the athletic department’s financial status. Jonathan Botros, the athletic department’s chief financial officer said due to increased revenue and donations, they have begun to stand on their own. “For the first time in Texas Tech history, we really have received no institutional support,” said Botros. In 2017, the department received $2,528,505 in direct institutional support or unrestricted funds allocated to the athletics department by the university. In 2018, they only received $13,539. Botros said despite less funding for the university, they are still bringing in more revenue due to the success of the sporting programs. This revenue was generated from concession and ticket sales and private donations, merchandise, and advertising, to name a few. -Victoria Larned, Everything Lubbock, Read More

March 10, 2019

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

Ownership of two high-end production trucks along with its longtime relationship with the league and ESPN made it the perfect partner to continue working behind the scenes on broadcasts when the ACC Network launches on Aug. 22. “We got a very, very good — lucrative — production contract from ESPN,” Raycom CEO Jimmy Rayburn said. Not only will Raycom remain in a production role, but it will also continue to serve as the league’s digital partner, help develop some programming on the ACC Network and manage the league’s rights. “Raycom will still be around and still be a factor,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. -Brant Wilkerson, greensboro. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
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UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Arizona coach Sean Miller, one of the game’s big names ensnared in the federal investigation into college basketball corruption, grew emotional in a speech to fans following his team’s 72-64 home loss to rival Arizona State. “The fan bases that we’re often compared to, the giants of the college basketball game — Kentucky in Rupp Arena, Phog Allen Fieldhouse with Kansas, you can fill in the blanks of the other places — but there’s no place that’s more magical,” he said to cheers from the McKale Center crowd. “There’s no fans in the world that are more loyal. And it has been an amazing honor to coach in McKale Center for the last 10 years,” he said. “Thank you for everything.” –ESPN. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Friday night by judge Claudia Wilken. In her injunction in the Ninth Circuit Court for the Northern District of California, Wilken ruled the NCAA was in violation of antitrust law regarding compensation for football and men’s and women’s basketball players. Wilken’s ruling said the NCAA could not limit compensation or benefits “related to education.” It became immediately obvious those three words can be broadly interpreted. While, on the surface, the ruling probably means more scholarship money for postgraduate degrees and more school supplies for athletes in general, it fell short of the plaintiffs’ desire for athletes to be eligible for uncapped compensation. Still, the plaintiffs — a class of athletes led by former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston — claimed the ruling was “monumental.” The NCAA argued the ruling would lead to pay-for-play. -Dennis Dodd, cbssports. Read More.

VCU
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VCU

When Ed McLaughlin was named VCU’s athletic director in July 2012, the men’s basketball team was already a season and a half into a Siegel Center sellout streak that was born in January 2011. There have been 116 more men’s basketball games on Broad Street since McLaughlin arrived at VCU, and all have had the same thing in common. McLaughlin hasn’t seen a game at the Siegel Center during his tenure that wasn’t sold out. “It’s pretty humbling in a lot of ways, to realize how much our community has supported this team through three different coaches and all the transition we’ve had,” McLaughlin said. -Wayne Epps Jr., richmond. Read More.

ULM
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ULM

Upon further review, the date of the 2019 season opener between Grambling State and Louisiana-Monroe will not be moved. The game will kickoff Saturday, Aug. 31, the original date the two I-20 neighbors signed the guarantee game contract more than two years ago, at Malone Stadium. Kickoff time has been set for 7 p.m. “After meaningful discussions with the Grambling State administration, it has been determined that the 2019 football season opener will be played as originally scheduled on Saturday, August 31st,” ULM Interim Athletics Director Scott McDonald said. -Cory Diaz, Monroe News Star. Read More.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY CARBONDALE
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY CARBONDALE

Barry Hinson, the dean of Valley coaches and fourth in conference history in league victories, stepped away from the Salukis in a tearful goodbye at the end of his postgame press conference. Third-seeded SIU lost to sixth-seeded Northern Iowa 61-58 in the final quarterfinal of the day at the Enterprise Center to end a 17-15 season. The Salukis finished third in the MVC with a 10-8 record and said goodbye to six seniors. Hinson has one year left on his contract, which runs through the 2019-2020 season, after signing an extension in 2016. He makes about $350,000 a year, plus annual university increases and incentives, but his buyout for next season is only $175,000. It is not clear yet if SIU will pay Hinson the remaining amount of his deal or have made an agreement. -Todd Hefferman, The Southern. Read More.

FRESNO STATE
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FRESNO STATE

Bulldogs continue to struggle to generate much fan interest, renewing questions whether an athletic department struggling to support 21 sports programs has the staffing and resources to promote and market its teams. Through 16 home games Fresno State has an announced total attendance of 91,099, or 5,694 per game counting tickets sold or distributed through trade-outs or promotions. Fresno State would have to cram close to 12,000 into the Save Mart Center on Saturday to avoid setting a record-low average attendance at the 15,096-seat arena for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the past eight seasons. Worse, the actual attendance at games this season is significantly lower – the number of tickets scanned at entry gates is 50,004, or just 3,125 per game. -Robert Kuwada, fresnobee. Read More.

FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE
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FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE

The Florida Southern College Athletic Department announced on Friday there will be a club-level ice hockey team that is tentatively scheduled to start play at the start of the 2019-20 academic year. The team will compete as a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and will play their home games at the Lakeland Ice Arena, which is slated to open this summer. “We at Lakeland Ice Arena are very excited about the partnership with Florida Southern College to bring ice hockey at a collegiate level to Polk County,” Lakeland Ice Arena owner Paul Granville said in a press release. -Ray Beasock, The Ledger. Read More.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Assistant coaches Preston Murphy of Creighton and Corey Barker of TCU have been placed on administrative leave by their schools after each was accused of taking a $6,000 bribe from an aspiring sports agent to send prospective clients his way. Athletic directors Bruce Rasmussen of Creighton and Jeremiah Donati of TCU announced their decisions Friday. The teams finish the regular season Saturday, with Creighton playing Georgetown at home and TCU visiting Texas. Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that, in a federal court filing in the Southern District of New York, Christopher Dawkins allegedly paid $6,000 to an assistant from schools in Nebraska and Texas in July 2017. Yahoo, citing anonymous sources, identified the assistants as Murphy and Barker. –bellinghamherald. Read More.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
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KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY

The criticism of Currie sure seems ridiculous now, especially if you pause and consider the $230 million he raised for K-State and $210 million in facilities improvements delivered under his leadership from 2009-17. Gratified as he might be for all those involved, though, Currie worried that even saying he was proud might sound arrogant. Especially when it comes to a school and town he loved and to where the youngest of his three children, Mary-Dell, still hopes the family will return. “We won a lot, we built a lot of buildings, we had a great team (to work with),” he said. “It was just a really neat place. It was fun to be part of it.” -Vahe Gregorian, kansascity. Read More.

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