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‘College AD News’ Articles

News from all over College Athletics

College AD Podcast: A New GameDay with host Cody Junot interviewing Austin Peay AD Gerald Harrison












Gerald Harrison Austin Peay Athletic Director (17:48)

APSU President Dr. Alisa White introduced Gerald Harrison as Austin Peay State University’s 14th athletics director, July 30, 2018.

Gerald Harrison

Harrison obtained his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee in 2001. Professionally, he is a member of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics, 1A Athletics Director Institute, Duke/Fuqua Leadership Academy and the American Football Coaches Association.

Harrison is married to the former Lisa Addison, a former Austin Peay track and field standout.

Milestone achievements in the classroom, in competition and in fundraising filled Harrison’s first season at Austin Peay. By the time his one-year anniversary arrived in 2019, the Governors enjoyed their best-ever finish in the Ohio Valley Conference’s Commissioners Cup, earned a department-record 3.15 grade-point average and raised a record $3 million through fundraising and corporate sponsorships.

The Governors strong showing in the OVC Commissioner’s Cup included its regular-season championship volleyball and women’s tennis programs. In addition, the Governors baseball team and women’s outdoor track and field teams each posted Top 3 regular-season finishes. Austin Peay also saw Top 5 finishes from men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s golf, softball, women’s indoor track and field and women’s golf.

Those successes carried over into the classroom with the Governors surpassing a 3.0 GPA in both the fall and spring, running its streak of such semesters to a record four straight. Austin Peay also saw record numbers of student-athletes recognized on both the OVC Academic Medal of Honor (32) and OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll (126). Nationally, three Govs student-athletes earned CoSIDA Academic All-American recognition.

Harrison then announced a record fundraising year for Governors athletics. The department generated $2.5 million through its annual giving platforms while the partnership with Peak Sports Management resulted in a record-breaking $1.0 million in asset acquisitions. Harrison also has turned an eye to future fundraising performance with the creation of the Monocle Society to recognize overall giving by Austin Peay donors.

Harrison arrived at Austin Peay after spending 10 years in Durham, North Carolina at Duke University, serving in various capacities. He arrived as the Assistant Director of Athletics for Football Development, which coincided with head coach David Cutcliffe’s arrival at Duke and the Blue Devils ascent from perennial ACC doormat to perennial bowl participant. After not earning a bowl bid since 1994, the Blue Devils broke through with five appearances in six seasons, including a 10-win campaign in 2013 that resulted in Cutcliffe earning the second of back-to-back ACC Coach of the Year honors and myriad National Coach of the Year awards.

By then, Harrison had advanced to the role of Associate Director of Athletics for Human Resources, although he maintained direct sport oversight for football while adding fencing and myriad inner-department staffs including sports medicine, equipment and strength and conditioning. During this time, he spearheaded a major reorganization of staff contracts, including a two-way binding clause for multi-year deals and was part of the Executive Budget Committee.

In addition to budgetary work, Harrison fostered an inclusive environment at Duke, increasing the number or women and minorities in University athletics administration by nearly 20 percent during this time. That earned him Duke’s Diversion Equity and Inclusion Award in Fall 2012. He also served as a member of the ACC’s Conference Committee on Equity.

From 2013 until his departure for Austin Peay, Harrison served as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Affairs at Duke. In that role he served as a member of the Director of Athletics’ Executive Leadership team responsible for the oversight of human resources, professional development, equipment, maintaining oversight of football and fencing and the Integrative Performance Excellence Initiative, encompassing a wide array of departments from sports performance to athlete mental health to better serve Duke athletes.

During this stretch, Harrison helped seek and secure funding, planning, design and construction for a multi-year, $100-million renovation project to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium, which completed its latest phase to the fan amenities area in 2017. He also created the Director of Football Marketing position to increase revenue associated with Duke football and continued his work in the diversity realm by introducing the Open Door Initiative in 2013, giving minority college students a chance to intern at Duke for eight weeks during the summer.

As Duke’s long-time liaison for fencing during his tenure, Harrison served as a member and Chair of the NCAA Fencing Committee and was Chairman of the ACC Fencing Committee upon his departure. On campus, he also served as a member of the Duke Employees’ Retirement Plan Board, managing the pension plan of all Duke employees.

Prior to Duke, Harrison was an integral member of the Tennessee football program during the latter days of College Football Hall of Famer and current Tennessee athletics director Phillip Fulmer’s tenure as head coach. From 2001-04, he served as Director of Community Relations for the Vols, enhancing the student-athletes’ presence in the community through service projects and educational programs; his Go V.O.L.S. (Volunteering Outstanding Leadership and Service) program resulted in over 1,200 hours community service in 2003 and 2004.

From 2005-07, Harrison was Director of High School Relations for the Vols, managing an annual budget of $1 million to provide support to each member of the football coaching staff pertaining to their recruiting efforts. In this role, he implemented cutting-edge recruiting practices involving city, campus and athletic leaders, yielding top-15 recruiting classes each year and increasing participants and revenue to the Phillip Fulmer Football Camps by 15 percent each year.




College AD News: Michigan Athletics projecting a $26.1 Million deficit

Michigan Athletics is Looking at a $26.1 Million Deficit in 2021 Fiscal Year

The University of Michigan’s athletic department projects a $26.1 million deficit for the 2021 fiscal year. The athletic department projected the deficit based on operating revenues of $135.8 million and operating expenses of $161.9 million.

The expected deficit is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Athletic director Warde Manuel presented the department’s operating budget at Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting, hosted virtually via Zoom. The university’s overall budget was voted down by the Board, who split the vote, 4-4. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the athletics budget would change when the overall budget is approved.

Here’s some of what Manuel highlighted in his presentation:

  • The athletic department projects that revenues from spectator admissions will decrease $29.2 million between the 2020 fiscal year and the 2021 fiscal year “due to lower anticipated attendance for all sports.”
  • Preferred seat contributions are projected to decrease $17 million, due to both lower anticipated attendance and potential refunds.
  • Total revenues are expected to decline close to $65 million, Manuel said.

Expenses are also expected to decrease. Salaries, wages and benefits are projected to decrease $6 million because of “various expense reduction initiatives.” Team and game expenses are projected to decrease $6.5 million, for the same reason.

The COVID-19 pandemic also affected Michigan’s 2020 fiscal year. As the outbreak occurred in mid-March, halting all athletics (including ongoing winter and spring sports such as men’s and women’s basketball, softball and baseball), conference distributions decreased $5.3 million because of reduced NCAA revenues and “potential for reduced television contract revenues.” Preferred seat contributions decreased $2.7 million compared to the 2020 fiscal year budget because of “extended payment timelines and uncertainty regarding next year’s competitions.” Expenses for the 2020 fiscal year also decreased by nearly $8 million, according to Manuel, because of reduced operations and the cancellation of spring team activities.

and now the day’s news…

The Day’s News

  • The ACC announced Thursday that commissioner John Swofford, who took charge of the conference in 1997, will retire in June 2021.
  • Swofford, 71, will have spent 24 years leading one of the top leagues in college athletics.
  • Swofford’s successor has not been named, and he will remain in his role and assist in the transition to the new conference commissioner.

Louisiana Extends AD Bryan Maggard’s Contract

  • The contract for Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard has been extended five years, the University and Dr. E. Joseph Savoie announced on Thursday. Originally hired to lead the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Feb. 1, 2017, Maggard’s contract will now run through February 2025, with no other contract terms changing.
  • The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors approved this extension today.
  • “Dr. Maggard has made important improvements and advancements with Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics during his time on campus,” President Savoie said. “This contract extension reflects that, and we are all excited to see our sports programs maintain this momentum. Our student-athletes, staff and community will continue to benefit from the department’s commitment to academic achievement and athletic excellence in the years to come under his leadership.”
  • On June 4th DePaul University Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto announced his retirement. The next day DePaul president A. Gabriel Esteban promised a national search for DePaul’s new Athletic Director and hoped to have a hire in place by the end of the summer
  • Today the university announced the formation of a search committee to represent the DePaul campus community in the national search for the next Director of Athletics.
  • The committee will be headed up by DePaul Chief of Staff Steve Stoute. The ultimate goal of the committee is to provide Esteban with recommendations of finalist candidates for the role. The university expects to have the new director of athletics in place by Sept. 1, 2020.
  • Jacksonville University has laid off four employees in its athletic department, from a total of 41.
  • Athletic department spokesman Matt Moretti said he could not release the names or positions but said none of the four were coaches.
  • The layoffs were part of a university-wide reduction of around 10 percent of its employees. The university had previously instituted a series of furloughs in the spring.
  • Western Illinois University Athletics will suspend its swimming and diving program effective immediately. The decision to suspend was due to challenges related to COVID-19, which impacted the search for a head coach, recruitment, and the department’s budget.
  • All athletics scholarships will be honored for the affected student-athletes who wish to return to Western Illinois University and will be guaranteed through the remainder of their athletic eligibility period. Signed national letters of intent and financial aid agreements for the 2020-21 academic year will also be honored.
  • A year of belt tightening is ahead for Georgia Tech. With revenues from ticket sales projected to fall by 40%, the athletic department will have to pare spending that already has been frugal. Lewis presented an $80.5 million balanced budget to the board, which was approved. It is 4% smaller than the budget for fiscal year 2020, which ends June 30.
  • The salary budget will be cut by $3.2 million, from $32.5 million to $29.3 million, a 10% decrease. The reduction will be achieved through tiered furloughs and a “critical review of all positions,” according to a budget document.
  • The furlough program was authorized by the University System of Georgia’s board of regents for the state’s colleges and universities because of an expected drop in state revenues because of COVID-19.
  • Marshall University’s athletic director, head football coach and head basketball coach will be among those taking a pay cut at the university beginning July 4 as part of pandemic-related budget reductions.
  • The three top earners of the athletic department will join 142 others on campus who will see a salary reduction as part of the first phase of budget reductions for the university, said Athletic Director Mike Hamrick on Wednesday during a meeting of the university Board of Governors Athletic Committee.
  • According to the latest figures available from the state public employee salary database, head football coach Doc Holliday’s total compensation was $789,367; head men’s basketball coach Dan D’Antoni’s total compensation was $550,000; and Hamrick’s total compensation was $310,979.96.
  • The Division I Council extended the recruiting dead period in all sports through Aug. 31. The Council met virtually Thursday afternoon.
  • The full Council and the Council Coordination Committee will continue to review the recruiting dead periods on a regular basis. A dead period precludes all in-person recruiting. Phone calls and correspondence can continue to occur.
  • Council members also granted a waiver to modifying the start date for preseason practice in sports other than football. Fall preseasons generally begin a specific number of days prior to the first scheduled regular season contest. The waiver allows teams to count back from the first day contests are allowed, instead of a team’s actual scheduled first contest.
  • At least three Power 5 conferences are considering pushing back their football championship games, if necessary, to allow space for potential makeup games to be played if there are in-season cancellations due to COVID-19.
  • Pushing back those title games by one week — to the weekend of Dec. 12 — would mean that Dec. 5 would be an open date for all members of their leagues. That flexibility could allow the Power 5 to make up any conference games that are canceled due to outbreaks within a roster or other unexpected events this fall as college football attempts to play a season amid a pandemic.
  • CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in an interview Wednesday night that “whatever comes, the committee will be ready for it.” He said he wasn’t sure how much advance notice teams involved would need to have, though he emphasized the need for flexibility.
  • The North Dakota Legislature’s Budget Section on Thursday gave approval for a $5 million renovation of the Ellig Sports Complex to be paid for by private funds. It passed unanimously without discussion.
  • The fact the project came before the Legislature in a time of a pandemic is more of a coincidence, said NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen. That said, it’s still a sign NDSU has no interest in letting the success of the men’s and women’s programs slide because of facilities.
  • Larsen said the hope is to break ground in the spring of 2021 so it will be completed in time when NDSU is scheduled to host the Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the spring of 2022.
  • Austin Peay State University’s athletics department, courtesy of the generous support from its donors, announced plans to reconfigure the current indoor tennis center into an indoor practice facility to benefit the department’s student-athletes.
  • The new indoor practice facility will provide more than 26,000 square feet of practice space. The surface, installed by Shaw Sports Turf, will be a grass-like material with a sand/rubber infill similar in an updated version of the surface at Fortera Stadium.
  • Upon the completion of the indoor practice facility, it will be just the fourth all-sport indoor practice facility in the Ohio Valley Conference, joining Eastern Illinois, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State.
  • While the indoor practice facility’s primary users will be the Governors’ baseball, softball, football, and track and field programs, the facility will be available to the more than 300 Austin Peay student-athletes.
  • Texas Tech University has agreed to a four-year contract extension with Under Armour, Inc. to remain the exclusive official outfitter of the Red Raiders. The new agreement extends the partnership through June 30, 2024.
  • Under Armour will continue to design and supply the footwear, apparel and equipment for training and gameday uniforms for each of Texas Tech’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. The partnership also includes integration into the brand’s marketing, social media, in-store and grassroots activations.
  • Under Armour became the exclusive outfitter for Texas Tech Athletics on July 1, 2009, marking the first department-wide apparel provider in school history. The brand began its relationship with Texas Tech Athletics in 2006 as the official outfitter of the Red Raider football program.
  • Football coaches Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach were part of a contingent from Ole Miss and Mississippi State addressing the state legislature Thursday and lobbying for the Confederate emblem to be removed from the Mississippi flag.
  • “We removed the flag from our campus five years ago, so we’ve made it clear that it doesn’t represent who we are at Ole Miss,” Kiffin told ESPN. Kiffin, who was hired by Ole Miss in December, told ESPN earlier this month that he “fully supported” the wishes of his players to have a statue of a saluting Confederate soldier moved from its spot on Ole Miss’ campus.

Media Exposure of 2019 Western Kentucky Football Season Valued at $35M

  • WKU Football’s remarkable turnaround season in 2019 brought tremendous exposure to the program, athletic department and university. A new analysis has valued that media/marketing exposure at nearly $35 million.
  • The study completed by Joyce Julius and Associates, Inc. – which takes into account national television, television news coverage, print media, internet news and social media from Aug. 1, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2020 – valued the exposure generated by WKU Football in that window at $34,880,591.60.
  • That valuation is based on how much the exposure would cost in the open market if purchased at current marketing rates. “This study brings great perspective to the positive impact of WKU Athletics in many areas,” Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said.
  • North Texas has adjusted its COVID-19 testing protocol for athletes in the wake of a spike in cases across the state and in Denton County. Each athlete who reports to UNT for summer workouts is now being administered a nasal swab test for COVID-19.
  • UNT previously gave its athletes a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies upon their return to campus. Antibodies show that a person has recovered from a COVID-19 infection or been exposed to the virus. The nasal swab test detects an active infection.
  • UNT previously administered nasal swab tests to athletes only if they tested positive on the antibody test or showed symptoms of COVID-19. UNT officials have now gone back and administered swab tests to its athletes who were among the first to report back to campus and did not undergo the swab test upon their return.
  • Grand Canyon’s entire men’s basketball team has been placed in quarantine after four players and two support staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. All 14 players and two student managers are in quarantine at a designated on-campus residence hall for the next two weeks.
  • Players began reporting for voluntary individual workouts last week and were quarantined for 72 hours pending results of coronavirus tests and physicals. Four players who were asymptomatic tested positive at the end of the 72 hours and remained in quarantine while contact tracing was conducted.
  • University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics John Cunningham learned early in his career that he would need to be able to adapt quickly. But nothing could have prepared him for the past three months.
  • Professionally, Cunningham had to make difficult but necessary tweaks to the athletic department’s budget now that payouts from postseason tournaments were much lower than anticipated.
  • One of those tweaks was eliminating the men’s soccer program in April. “When the pandemic hit and COVID-19 came about, it really caused myself and my team here, along with the president, to take a step back and really evaluate what our department was going to look like long term and what we could handle from a student-athlete standpoint,” Cunningham said.
  • The entire football team is set to be on campus this week as players begin preparation for the 2020 season. Student-athletes are being tested for COVID-19 by UC sports medicine staff, and Cunningham said there are tracking programs, health check-in measures and social distancing education presentations for both the athletes and their parents. The football team is scheduled to open its season against Austin Peay Sept. 3 at Nippert Stadium. Cunningham said he’s hopeful that will happen.
  • Michigan State has paused its season ticket sales for football as it works to limit attendance if and when the Spartans play this fall. MSU athletic director Bill Beekman reiterated in a statement Wednesday the university’s plan for admission and remains in flux but likely will reduce the number of fans allowed in Spartan Stadium.
  • The Spartans are scheduled to open the season Sept. 5 at home against Northwestern. MSU is giving those who already paid for season tickets three options: opt out and convert their payments to donations to the Spartan Fund; roll over their payments for 2021 and not attend this fall or receive full refunds for the upcoming season.
  • Also, the option still exists for those who paid and do want tickets or have paid deposit to proceed as planned and wait for revised procedures. No action is required.
  • UC Davis’ $50 million student-athlete performance center got its official start Wednesday morning — not to mention a new name — in a virtual groundbreaking ceremony featuring a host of Aggie officials, alums and coaches.
  • The Edwards Family Athletic Center — so named in recognition of UC Davis alumni Diane and Bruce Edwards’ largest single donation to Aggie sports — was dedicated featuring live shovel-turning ceremonies, recorded testimonies and new details about the 50,000-square-foot-project.
  • The Edwards Family Athletic Center itself will be 38,000 square feet of training space, sports medicine facilities, an auditorium, office space and classrooms. The adjacent 16,000-square-foot Bob Foster Team Center also will receive rehabilitation work.
  • An amended complaint to a lawsuit that was filed in April, which alleged former DePaul softball head coach Eugene Lenti had verbally and physically abused his players and an assistant coach, was filed on Tuesday, according to a document obtained by The DePaulia.
  • Unlike the first complaint, which was filed with the Cook County Circuit court by sports psychologist Jenny Conviser, this new one was filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.  It’s unclear as of right now why DePaul requested to move locations.
  • Conviser is accusing DePaul of wrongful retaliation under Title IX, breach of contract, defamation and false light, based on her mandatory involvement in reporting that Lenti had physically abused his female assistant coach and abused his female players.
  • Improved health and safety measures, added convenience, contactless points of entry, security and ease of flow through the gates are just some of the benefits Eagle football fans will experience this fall as the Georgia Southern Athletics Department makes the move to mobile ticketing, starting with the 2020 football season.
  • Georgia Southern Athletics has offered mobile ticketing for the past few years for several sports and during that time, the department has seen a dramatic increase in the number of fans utilizing mobile tickets.
  • Upon receipt, fans are encouraged to download all mobile tickets and parking passes to their Apple Wallet or Android Google Play as stadium interference may slow the ability to use email or internet on mobile devices. Fans will still be able to print tickets or parking at home and bring them to games for scanning if they do not have a mobile device capable of downloading tickets.
  • Following a national search, Northeastern State University has tabbed Matt Cochran as its Director of Athletics, according to Dr. Steve Turner, NSU President.
  • Cochran has been the interim AD on four separate occasions during his tenure, and was elevated from his position as the senior associate athletics director where he was responsible for compliance and internal operations.
  • A veteran in the NSU Athletics Department for nearly a quarter-century, Cochran becomes just the seventh athletic director in school history and replaces Tony Duckworth who resigned in December of 2019.
  • UCLA Athletics announced today the launch of the Bruin Support Program, consisting of two options to ensure flexibility and security for its football and men’s basketball season-ticket holders ahead of the upcoming Wednesday, July 1 renewal deadline.
  • The department is working closely with local and state health officials to develop guidelines that ensure the safest possible environments at the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom during the 2020-21 athletic year.
  • Understanding of concerns posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, season-ticket holders have been presented the choice of supporting in “Bruin Spirit” while renewing their seats for the 2021-22 seasons now at 2019-20 pricing.
  • CSU announces plans for phased returns to men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, and volleyball.
  • Abiding by a nearly identical plan to the CSU athletes on the gridiron, basketball and volleyball players can return to Moby Arena for mandatory health/COVID-19 examinations on June 29 before deemed “eligible to resume voluntary strength and conditioning workouts” on July 6 –– according to CSU’s recent press release.
  • Also, on July 6, women’s basketball and women’s soccer will commence physical exams prior to beginning to weight-lifting and cardio exercises on July 13.
And that’s that.

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College AD News, The Nightcap: Morehouse cancels Fall Sports

Friday, June 26, 2020

Morehouse College Cancels Fall Sports Due to COVID-19

“Like all of the decisions we’ve made related to COVID-19, this was a difficult one but was made with the health and well-being of our students and community in mind,” - David A. Thomas, Morehouse College President 

Morehouse College, a prominent Historically Black College or University (HBCU), announced Friday that it has canceled all fall sports for 2020. In the letter, school President Thomas states that “teams travel to other NCAA institutions and cannot compete without breaking from social distancing guidelines still maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“It follows my intention to maintain a safe campus in hopes that our students will be able to return in August. Our Maroon Tiger teams travel to other NCAA institutions and cannot compete without breaking from social distancing guidelines still maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sporting events also invite individuals to our campus who will not be subject to the testing and monitoring that we plan to implement for our students, faculty, and staff.”

Morehouse is located in Atlanta and plays in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). The decision does not apply to sports played during the upcoming Winter and Spring athletic seasons.

“I know this news will be most disappointing to our scholar-athletes, especially our seniors,” Thomas said. “I can only ask for your understanding and respect for the fact that the College is prioritizing your health and safety ahead of all else. We are committed to the principle that our athletes are first and foremost students. Each one was admitted to Morehouse with the expectation that he has the intellectual ability and commitment to finish his degree studies here. We will support each scholar-athlete to realize that central goal that brought him to Morehouse. Our dedicated academic support for our athletes and maintenance of NCAA and SIAC compliance standards will also continue.”

The Morehouse Maroon Tigers were scheduled to play in the Gulf Coast Challenge, held a Ladd-Peebles stadium, in September against the Miles College Bears.

According to CBS Sports, the news that the Maroon Tigers will not play in 2020 is another sign that college football could be in jeopardy. Division III Bowdoin College has canceled all of its fall sports including football, and the Southern Heritage Classic between Jackson State and Tennessee State and Southern’s matchup vs. Florida A&M have also been canceled due to safety precautions.

and now the day’s news…

The Day’s News

  • According to a report from the Knox News Sentinel, agenda materials from a recent Board of Trustees meeting indicated that the athletic department is projecting a loss of $10.1 million in the coming fiscal year. The budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year was set at $139.6 million. Next year’s looks like it will be set at around $129.5.
  • The News Sentinel also reports that the projection for the upcoming year does include football being played in Neyland Stadium with fans in the stands. Still, the athletic department thinks it will be a much more lean year in terms of revenue, due to the pandemic.
  • That is indicated in the ticket revenue projections in the budget, which predicts $29.8 million for all sports combined. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, the total projected ticket revenue was set at $37 million.
  • An internal forecast projects IU athletics to require a cost savings of nearly $12 million for the coming fiscal year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — and that forecast suggests the shortfall can be covered without reductions in staff or sports.
  • According to a departmental memo obtained by IndyStar, Indiana’s athletic department will need to implement measures to save approximately 10% on expenses that would otherwise project to $118,915,508 for the coming fiscal year. That would require a necessary savings of approximately $11.8 million.
  • Helping to address the projected shortfall: AD-in-waiting Scott Dolson, AD Fred Glass, football coach Tom Allen and men’s basketball coach Archie Miller — four of the department’s highest earners — will each donate 10% of their salary back to the department in the coming fiscal year.
  • As Eastern Washington faces major campuswide budget cuts due to a confluence of the coronavirus and declining enrollment that began years before the pandemic, its athletic department has been faced with several belt-tightening decisions.
  • Eastern athletics were already facing a $5.9 million deficit, and, to prevent further debt, were set to take a 3% cut for the 2020-2021 academic year before the coronavirus shut down college athletics in March.
  • The department has since been asked to take an additional 20% cut – an estimated $2.1 million – and could face more, forcing the administration to trim the fat from what’s widely considered bone compared with many other Big Sky Conference members’ athletic budgets.
  • Coaches and administrators making $100,000 or more face a 10% pay cut. Anyone making between $50,000 to $100,000 will take a 5% cut and those making less than $50,000 will take a 3% cut.

Oregon, Oregon State to Drop ‘Civil War’ Rivalry Name

  • The name of the state’s longest collegiate athletic rivalry will be changed. Athletic Department Officials from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University have mutually agreed to no longer refer to their rivalry games as ‘The Civil War’. This decision is effective immediately and includes all athletic competitions in the 2020-2021 academic year and in the years ahead.
  • The schools made the decision following discussions with university officials and input from current and former student-athletes from both schools.
  • “Changing this name is overdue as it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter.”
  • Nearly 1,500 Big Sky student-athletes, coaches, and athletics department staff members joined “A Conversation for All,” a one-hour virtual forum that the conference hosted Wednesday exclusively for its membership as the launch of a comprehensive slate of diversity and inclusion programming that will focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • The first of a forthcoming series of candid conversations in which league members can participate, this forum is one of several initiatives the Big Sky Conference will debut during the 2020-21 academic year to build community support, increase knowledge, provide practical takeaways, and empower participants’ efforts on equity, diversity, and inclusion plans through the conference office and its member institutions.
  • “We are committed to making a change and improving the lives of our student-athletes and everyone we touch through awareness efforts and actions that will combat racism and other social justice issues,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “Being inclusive and empowering our student-athletes are two of our conference’s core values, and everyone in the Big Sky is ready to engage on a deeper level to do just that during a time where it’s needed more than ever.”
  • The National College Players Association, an advocacy group for student-athlete rights, asked members of Congress in a letter sent on Thursday to “pursue broad-based reform” instead of adopting into law bills that would preempt any state-level compensation for student-athletes, according to a copy of the letter provided to USA TODAY Sports.
  • The letter comes after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced which sets a deadline for the NCAA to establish a new setup no later than June 30, 2021, would supersede NIL laws passed by state legislatures in California, Colorado and Florida, and grant the NCAA wide latitude to decide which types of endorsement deals to allow.
  • The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has announced the addition Bethune-Cookman University as a full member effective with the 2021-22 academic year. The decision was reached during the executive meeting of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
  • Bethune-Cookman was a member of the Southeastern Athletic Conference before joining the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 1950 and then the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1979.
New NCAA Group Works on Uniform DI Transfer Rule 

  • Division I is making strides toward a uniform transfer rule that provides more flexibility for student-athletes, which the Division I Council resolved to adopt by January 2021.
  • The Division I Council Coordination Committee expanded the Transfer Waiver Working Group, formed last fall to study and recommend changes to the waiver process, to include additional members from the Committee on Academics, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Council standing committees. The group’s charge also expanded, and it will be the main governance body working with Division I schools and conferences to develop a comprehensive package.
  • The newly reconstituted Working Group on Transfers will study issues that impact transfers and work to put forward a uniform concept that achieves this fairness, helps student-athletes be academically successfully at their new institution and ensures other rules adequately account for a more flexible transfer environment.
  • The NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program will grow by two sports this August, as acrobatics and tumbling and women’s wrestling are now approved in all three divisions. Additionally, STUNT has received a recommendation from the Committee on Women’s Athletics to join the program.
  • Acrobatics and tumbling and women’s wrestling were recently approved for the emerging sports program in Division I and were approved in Divisions II and III in January.
  • Both sports will join equestrian, rugby and triathlon as emerging sports Aug. 1. Acrobatics and tumbling anticipates 30 NCAA schools will sponsor the sport in 2020-21, while women’s wrestling will be sponsored by about 35 schools.

Arizona President: Campus Won’t Open Under Current COVID-19 Conditions

  • University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said Thursday that if he had to decide at this time, the university wouldn’t reopen for on-campus classes because COVID-19 cases are increasing too quickly.
  • “If I had to say today, would we open? No,” Robbins said during a weekly update on the university’s COVID-19 response.
  • Intensive care units at hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients now, he said. If the university could test, trace and treat cases, along with encouraging hand-washing, social distancing and face coverings, and go back to flattening the curve of cases, then Robbins said he could feel comfortable moving forward with opening campus again.

Boise State Extends Campus Closure, Delays Workouts Again

  • Boise State University has extended its campus facilities closure through at least July 5 in response to a rash of positive tests for the coronavirus. That means football summer workouts won’t be able to resume until at least July 6, the athletic department confirmed Friday.
  • Boise State announced the original closure Monday, which was scheduled to run Tuesday through Sunday. That was after being notified of eight “positive or presumed positive” COVID-19 test results, according to a university email to the campus community.
  • The decision to close campus facilities is the result of the increase in infections as well as a number of compounding factors, according to the email, including ones the university said it can’t control.
  • The Kansas men’s basketball program is delaying its return to campus by roughly two weeks, KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World late Thursday night. Originally aiming for a July 6 return — as allowed by Big 12 Conference guidelines — the Jayhawks now are shooting to be back in Lawrence by July 19.
  • Per NCAA rules, KU’s coaches cannot start working with players in person until July 20, so any basketball activity done by Self’s players before then would have been voluntary anyway. “I personally didn’t think the reward outweighed the risk this early if you can’t work with them,” Self told the Journal-World. “That was our thinking.”
ULM Head Football Coach Signs 2-Year Extension 

  • University of Louisiana at Monroe head football coach Matt Viator has signed a 2-year contract extension through the 2022 season, according to an announcement made Thursday, June 25 by Athletics Director Scott McDonald.
  • Viator’s contract extension was approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System Thursday.
  • All other components of the contract remain the same.
  • Attorney General Mike Hunter today sent a four-page letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, denouncing the punitive, and totally unwarranted, severe punishment of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) men’s basketball program.
  • In the letter, the attorney general writes that despite the university’s full cooperation throughout the investigation, the NCAA didn’t provide sufficient explanation for such a harsh penalty, even when the governing body admits that the incident involved one corrupt associate basketball coach, who was working independently and without the university’s knowledge.
  • Attorney General Hunter said harshly punishing universities that cooperate or self-report incidents could cause universities to stonewall future investigations, rather than cooperate.

Tulane Announces Mobile Ticketing for 2020-21

  • Tulane University Athletics announced today that the department will transition to mobile ticketing for the fall of 2020 to enhance the safety and convenience for all fans that attend Green Wave athletic events. The introduction of mobile ticketing will limit the physical contact between fans and game day staff.
  • The new mobile ticketing process will also significantly reduce ticket fraud and loss of tickets to provide a seamless venue-entry experience.
  • Although ticket buyers will no longer have the option to print their tickets at home, the new mobile ticketing system will provide quick and safe ticket delivery of season, mini-plan and single-game tickets via smartphones and the Tulane Green Wave app. Fans will enjoy the flexibility of being able to immediately transfer tickets to friends or family.
  • In a recent interview, senior associate athletics director Blake Sasaki said that San Jose State is formally preparing for multiple different scenarios for football and fall sports regarding fan attendance and timing.
  • “We’re looking at every scenario that could possibly happen this fall, whether it’s playing with a full crowd, playing with limited crowds, playing a delayed season, [or] playing a season in the spring. There’s probably five or six different scenarios, and we’ve been working tirelessly every week on what those scenarios look like,” said Sasaki.
  • University of Missouri’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has founded a new group to help advance and foster diversity and inclusiveness, announced Thursday by Director of Athletics Jim Sterk.
  • The Mizzou Athletics Committee on Inclusive Excellence (MACIE) will strive to provide a welcoming environment for all Mizzou student-athletes, coaches and staff while focusing on four specific areas: training and education, hiring and recruiting practices, community and affinity groups, and MU inclusive excellence framework.
  • MACIE’s goal is to serve as an entry point into making real change across Mizzou Athletics relative to inclusion through greater dialogue, increased knowledge and awareness, and diversification of its staff.
  • Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said he’ll be isolating from his wife, Catherine, a cancer survivor, once football camp opens for the team on July 12, and doesn’t expect to return home until the season concludes.
  • Clawson said doctors told Catherine that, due to a reduced white blood cell count, she is at a higher risk for complications should she contract COVID-19. Catherine Clawson underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer in 2017.
  • Clawson said Catherine is now cancer-free and in good health, but the two decided the only safe response would be to remain separated once coaches resume face-to-face interactions with players.
FAMU Gets Closer to $750K Fundraising Goal 

  • Florida A&M University Athletics and the Rattler Athletic Fund received the largest gift in the history of the department. This $100,000 gift highlights a historic week for the “ALL IN” campaign and moves the department closer to the Phase I goal of $750,000.
  • With the $100,000 gift towards the “ALL IN” campaign, the department has now surpassed the $300,000 mark during Phase I of the renovations project.
  • The Football Operations Center/Field House has gotten a much-needed facelift with painting, graphics. Lockers in the home and visiting locker rooms have been removed with plans to install new lockers and new flooring. Phase I of the renovations will continue with replacing the roof, upgrades to the Weight room/Sports Performance Center, equipment room and Athletic Training room. These improvements will provide Rattler student-athletes with training and recovery facilities that will allow them to perform at a championship level and recover during that process.
And that’s that. 

Stay up with the latest industry happenings throughout the rest of the evening by visiting ADNews and following @CollegeAD on twitter.

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College AD News: Historic Change at the University of Cincinnati


Cincinnati Votes to Remove Schott Name from Baseball Stadium

Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion.” - President Neville G. Pinto, University of Cincinnati

Acting on a recommendation by President Neville G. Pinto, the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees unanimously voted to remove the name of the late Cincinnati Reds owner and philanthropist Marge Schott from the university’s baseball stadium and a second space.

My recommendation to the board to remove her name is grounded in the firm belief that speaking out against exclusion is as essential as speaking up for inclusion. I hope this action serves as an enduring reminder that we cannot remain silent or indifferent when it comes to prejudice, hate or inequity. More than ever, our world needs us to convert our values into real and lasting action,” President Pinto said.

In the wake of widespread protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a recent petition drive, to try and get Schott’s name off of the baseball team’s stadium, was started by Bearcats alum and former student-athlete Jordan Ramey. It garnered 9,598 signatures as of June 17.

As a community of former and current players, staff, students, alums, and Cincinnatians alike, we will not be promoting her, or her legacy any longer,” Ramey wrote on the petition. “We demand change for the betterment of society, and to push the values that represent what we believe in as a community.”

In its resolution, the board explained that Schott’s name would be removed from the baseball stadium and another space in the archives’ library, effective immediately. The board resolution continued, “We want to say, unequivocally, we stand with President Pinto and our campus community in our collective fight to end racism, inequality and indifference. The change we want to see starts with us.

The Schott name on the baseball stadium dated back to 2006, two years after her death following a $2 million donation to the UC Athletics Varsity Village project by the Marge and Charles Schott Foundation.

UC Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Bleuzette Marshall said she  appreciates President Pinto, Chairman Brown and the Board of Trustees “for listening to our community, leading with conviction and taking action.”

As an employee and as an alumna, I’m encouraged and energized by this demonstrable commitment to creating a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment.  We are living our values,” Marshall added.

Over the years, there have been periodic calls to remove Schott’s name from the stadium from students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community because of Schott’s record of racist language and her comments concerning Adolf Hitler. Her actions led to her suspension for one year and eventual removal by Major League Baseball from her day-to-day control of the Reds from 1996 to 1998.

In recent weeks as civil rights protests grew in number and attendance following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the push to remove her name from the stadium was renewed.

I am proud of our Bearcats, both current student-athletes and alumni, for speaking up on this,” said Athletics Director John Cunningham, who arrived at UC in January. “I also want to thank our Board of Trustees for listening and making this change.

and now the day’s news…

The Day’s News

Chicago State Votes to Cancel Baseball Program

  • Chicago State on Monday became the second Division I athletic department to cut baseball. CSU athletic director Elliott Charles proposed cutting baseball and adding men’s soccer, and the university’s Board of Trustees approved the measure, 5-2.
  • Charles estimated that the institution will save $500K annually from cutting baseball but didn’t say the cost of adding soccer. While the overwhelming thought coming into the summer was that mass cancellations would be seen for many college baseball programs, that hasn’t been the case.
  • Chicago State’s news is disappointing but not surprising. The Cougars have struggled to make progress since the program was launched back in 1965. CSU has had just four winning seasons in 55 years and have not eclipsed the 20-win mark since 1991. They went 10-41 last season before beginning the 2020 campaign with a 2-16 record.

Charlotte 49ers Release New Logo

  • The Charlotte 49ers pulled back the curtains Tuesday of the rebranding that will feature new logos around campus, in athletic facilities and on uniforms and merchandise.
  • The 49ers are replacing their familiar “C pick” (which has been the 49ers’ primary logo since 2000) with what they’ve called the “all-in C.” It features a gold-mining pick inside a 9-degree, forward-slanting “C” with beveled corners. The secondary logo features the letters “CLT,” and two more logos read “9ers” and “49ers.” Those logos have the mining pick worked into the “9.” Also, the 49ers’ primary color of green has been changed to a slightly darker hue.
  • Said AD Mike Hill, “We wanted it to resonate with our student-athletes and with recruitable-aged students — not just athletes — so that our university and athletics program is seen as an exciting choice for them.”

Southern Utah Discontinues Men’s and Women’s Tennis Programs

  • Southern Utah University and the Thunderbird Athletic Department have announced their decision to discontinue the men’s and women’s tennis programs, effective immediately. Among the 11 regular members of the Big Sky Conference, a clear majority sponsor either 14 or 15 sports; SUU sponsors 17.
  • This decision to discontinue tennis allows SUU to fall more in-line with the rest of the conference, focus its available resources on the remaining 15 sports, and provide a more competitive experience to the student-athletes.
  • Recent legislation passed by the Big Sky Conference gives member institutions more flexibility in regards to what sports they will sponsor, allowing this to be done without changing SUU’s status as a full-time member of the league.
  • The Athletic Department will work to ensure that all student-athletes who wish to continue their tennis careers find a place where they can play next year. The University will continue to honor all athletic scholarships awarded members of the tennis teams who decide to remain at SUU to continue their studies.

Robert Morris Joins MAC As Affiliate Member

  • Robert Morris University announced Tuesday that the Department of Athletics will join the Mid-American Conference (MAC) as an affiliate member in women’s lacrosse in 2020-21.
  • Beginning in 2021, the MAC will have six members with women’s lacrosse, including core institutions Akron (Akron, Ohio), Central Michigan (Mount Pleasant, Mich.) and Kent State (Kent, Ohio) and affiliate members Detroit-Mercy (Detroit, Mich.), Robert Morris and Youngstown State (Youngstown, Ohio). The following year, Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti, Mich.) will add women’s lacrosse to increase MAC membership to seven for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • “I am pleased to welcome Robert Morris University as an affiliate member in women’s lacrosse beginning with the 2020-21 season,” MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher said. “Robert Morris is a wonderful institution with a long history in the sport of women’s lacrosse. We look forward to its association with the Mid-American Conference.”

Texas’s Kathy Harston named to NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee

  • Kathy Harston, Texas Senior Associate Athletics Director for Sports Programs, has been appointed to a four-year term to serve on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee. Harston’s term will run through July 2024.
  • The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Competition Committee will review the following areas and, as appropriate, develop and recommend strategic principles in order to maintain the women’s college basketball game true to its original rules – playable, watchable, popular and relevant: student-athlete health and safety, sportsmanship, integrity, game operations, game presentation, technology and statistical trends.
  • In her current role at Texas, Harston is responsible for sport administration of six programs, including day-to-day oversight of women’s basketball.

Concordia University Irvine Names Crystal Rosenthal Director of Athletics

  • Concordia University Irvine is pleased to announce the promotion of head softball coach Crystal Rosenthal to full-time athletics director. Rosenthal has served as the interim director of athletics since late March. A CUI alum and former student-athlete on the Eagles softball team, Rosenthal will also continue to serve as CUI softball head coach for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.
  • A 2008 CUI Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Rosenthal has spent over two decades evolving in various roles at Concordia. She earned her bachelor’s in history and political science from Concordia, graduating in 2000, and earned her master’s in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia in 2006.
  • After playing softball for the Eagles, she joined the coaching staff as an assistant under head coach Frank Rizzo before taking over for him in 2009.
  • Former athletes from the tennis, track and field and men’s golf teams have spearheaded fundraising efforts in an attempt to show the university that, instead of needing to eliminate sports, outside financial supporters are eager to lend a hand.
  • With UConn facing deficit projections ranging from $47-129 million, a problem exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the athletic department has been tasked with finding ways to reduce its subsidy by 25 percent, or $10 million, over three years.
  • Andrew Dubs, alum, says track and field alumni collected $27,000 in pledges after an initial Zoom group call to field interest. In all, 240 potential donors have staked their financial commitment, and Dubs’ understanding is that the $1.6 million raised so far would be enough to cover a substantial portion of the program’s expenses over the next five years.

East Tennessee State Asks Athletes to Sign ‘Pledge’ Upon Return to Campus

  • East Tennessee State athletes will be asked to commit to a pledge when they begin to arrive on campus in earnest next month, the university’s athletic director said Monday.
  • Scott Carter said the school will not have athletes sign any kind of coronavirus waiver releasing the university from liability as practices begin. Instead, they’ll be asked to pledge to do the right things to mitigate the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • “We’ve been working on a pledge, an ETSU Buccaneer pledge, saying, ‘I pledge to be a good teammate,’ and asking all of our young people to commit to that and take care of themselves, their teammates and one another,” Carter said during a videoconference.

Texas Tech Moves to Mobile Ticketing Starting With 2020 Football Season

  • Texas Tech announced Monday it will only utilize mobile tickets beginning with the 2020 football season, a move that will also apply to men’s and women’s basketball as well as Red Raider Baseball.
  • As part of the policy change, season ticket holders will no longer receive a printed ticket booklet each summer or have the option to print at home. Instead, season ticket holders as well as those who purchase single-game passes or mini-plans will all receive their tickets via mobile delivery.
  • Prior to each home game, ticket holders will download their mobile tickets to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay account, which will then be scanned by a gate attendant upon entry into Jones AT&T Stadium. Beginning with the 2020 football season, season ticket holders will have access to My Account 2.0 via their ticketing account.

Michigan State Delays Construction at Spartan Stadium

  • With the fiscal year coming to a close June 30, MSU President Samuel Stanley on Monday published an update on the coronavirus’ effect on the university’s pocketbook.
  • MSU is estimating a loss of approximately $300 million for the upcoming fiscal year, “however, the budget situation continues to change,” Stanley wrote.
  • To soften the economic blow, MSU is delaying or reconsidering a number of construction projects, including some upgrades to athletics facilities. Munn Ice Arena’s “addition 3” has been deferred in the construction phase. That project has a budget/current estimate of $23,235,000. The renovated offices at the Skandalaris Football Center are still in progress, originally scheduled to be finished in August.

Miami Lawyer Explains College Football’s COVID-19 Liabilities

  • The Tampa Bay Times asked attorney Aron Raskas to help explain potential liability risks with college football preparations for an uncertain 2020 season.
  • On the biggest questions that schools are having to answer from a liability standpoint, Raskas said “For someone to try to attribute liability to someone else, you have to establish four things: Someone has to have had a duty to do something. They had to have breached that duty by not acting in conformance with the standard of care. That breach of duty would have to have proximately caused the injury, and then someone had to have suffered damages.”
  • On issue regarding waivers, ” They’re not calling it a waiver of liability. I suspect that if someone brought a lawsuit against them, they would probably be waving that pledge in front of the court saying the person signed this pledge. They presumably are explaining the risks to people — not that anyone alive in this day and age doesn’t understand by now. It could be something that a program could later turn to and say, “You understood the risk, and you decided to do it, so you can’t come and look at us.””
  • On the question if liability of states less restrictive as to fans is more than other states, “I think you are correct that they could be taking on more liability. Remember, it all comes down to the standard of care. That’s the legal term. What is the standard of care these days?..(if) someone brings a lawsuit, they’re going to point to that and say you violated the standard of care.

Mid-Major Conferences Brace for Cuts in Budgets

  • While FBS programs need football to balance the books, mid-major schools largely rely on student fees and campus subsidies to fund their athletic departments. That reality has left mid-major conference administrators across the nation at the whim of factors beyond their control.
  • At non-FBS schools, which account for roughly two-thirds of the NCAA’s 353 Division I members, athletic economic recovery will depend on student bodies returning to campus, not just sports. “The cuts and the decisions that are being made right now in our league … are very serious and deep,” West Coast Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez said.
  • Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee echoed that uncertainty. When comparing mid-major conference schools without a football program to FBS institutions, Fee isn’t sure who is in a more precarious spot.
  • Boise State has closed campus facilities, including those for athletics, for the remainder of the week amid an increase in “community-based” coronavirus cases, the school said Monday.
  • In a school news release, Boise State said eight positive or presumed positive coronavirus cases were discovered across campus. “I’m very appreciative of the way our department has stepped up to provide the safest environment within our facilities for our entire staff and student-athletes,” Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey said in a statement on social media.
  • The closure includes the stoppage of the Broncos’ voluntary football workouts. The facilities will be closed through Sunday.

Portion of $1.5 Million Gift to Arizona to Fund Scholarships for Senior Athletes

  • The University of Arizona received a $1.5 million private donation last week, a portion of which will aid the athletic department. Andrew and Kristen Braccia donated the money in support of UA president Robert C. Robbins’ fall-semester reentry plan, the school announced.
  • The Braccias donated $200,000 to Robbins’ COVID-19 testing, research and reentry fund, according to the news release. Robbins plans to implement a test, trace and treat strategy that would enable at least a partial resumption of in-person classes starting in late August.
  • Another portion of the gift, $300,000, will be used to fund scholarships for spring-sport “super seniors” who were granted an additional season of eligibility after the coronavirus pandemic halted sports in mid-March. The school estimates that $600,000 will be needed to cover the scholarships of all the super seniors across all sports.

AD Heather Lyke On Pitt’s Issues Caused by Pandemic

  • Faced with the possibility of canceling football games, losing revenue and limiting crowds at Heinz Field — perhaps even the sellout expected for Notre Dame — Heather Lyke said Tuesday that Pitt can “weather this storm” created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • “We are going to rely on our university to continue to support us through this time,” she said. Yet, she acknowledged the current reality: “If we can’t host fans, obviously, that’s a huge source of revenue for us in football and basketball, but primarily football.”
  • The first issue may be dealing with the possibility of coronavirus testing turning up positive results, either among Pitt players and staff or the upcoming opponent. If games need to be rescheduled or canceled for that reason, Lyke said priority will be given to playing the scheduled ACC games. Lyke said limiting the number of people attending games at Heinz Field also may be necessary, creating the uncomfortable possibility of turning away fans.

Georgia Tech Considers Limiting Football Attendance This Fall

  • In a videoconference meeting with the athletic association board Thursday, Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury reported that the department was planning for four attendance scenarios to comply with possible social-distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic. They include a plan for playing games near full capacity, two reduced-attendance configurations and one for no fans.
  • Stansbury described the two intermediate models as “moderate social distancing” and “strict social distancing.” An athletic department spokesman said Tuesday that Tech was not ready to publicly share more detail on the attendance plans. The coming fiscal year’s revenue projections were based on a model assuming 50% attendance.
  • “I think what’s ultimately going to happen is, because all institutions are really looking to their governors’ offices, their (university) systems and their local public-health officials for guidance on what either the limitations are or the best practices are or what is going to be allowed, we’ve got to be ready for everything,” Stansbury said.

Penn State President Talks Stadium Attendance This Fall

  • Penn State President Eric Barron doesn’t see Beaver Stadium or any athletics facility coming close to full capacity, he said during a virtual town hall for university faculty and staff on Monday.
  • “We have athletes that are beginning to return,” Barron said. “That is not a message on what to expect in the fall. That’s a message on our concern that should we be able to return to the field of play, that our athletes are physically fit, have had appropriate nutrition and we’re not putting them at risk because of a last-minute decision.”
  • Penn State is currently in the second phase of returning student-athletes to campus after beginning that process in early June. The first phase included roughly 75 football players while the second phase includes more football players as well as members of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Grambling President: Bayou Classic to Remain in New Orleans For Now

  • A formal contingency plan for the annual regular season finale showdown between rivals Grambling State and Southern was one of a few topics of discussion during the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors virtual summer meeting Tuesday.
  • GSU President Rick Gallot told The News-Star that the universities, working in conjunction with the New Orleans Convention Company Inc., are not close to finalizing any changes to the game, one of HCBU football’s premier contests, scheduled for Nov. 28.
  • “The game is still scheduled, and we have not made any decisions to change that,” Gallot said Tuesday afternoon. “It remains to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Unless something happens to change that, it’ll be played in New Orleans on that date.”

UMass AD On Preparing for Football Amidst Pandemic

  • UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford said UMass is planning as if everything is still on the table, headlined by a full football season with fans in the stands.
  • Bamford said they’ll be ready to play in front of no fans and will have a contingency in place for no season or one cut short too.
  • “We’re moving in the direction to have a season and preparing for that. But the last two weeks have really concerned me,” Bamford said. “The spike (in infections) in a number of states where we have opponents is concerning. But every day we learn something new about this virus and the way it’s affecting our lives. There’s no deadline. There could be something that pops up the day before we play our first (football) game against UConn and (Husky A.D.) David Benedict and I could get on the phone and say it doesn’t make any sense for us to play this game right now.”

Texas State AD on Danny Kaspar Investigation

  • Nearly four weeks ago, former Texas State point guard Jaylen Shead tweeted about his experience playing for head men’s basketball coach Danny Kaspar and the racially insensitive comments he had to endure.
  • Director of Athletics Larry Teis announced in a statement the next day after Shead’s June 4 tweet that the school was launching an investigation, and while many have since spoken out publicly in support of both Shead and Kaspar, there have been no specifics on who will be interviewed for the investigation or how long it might take. The only detail Teis was able to share was that, at his request, the case is being handled by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX.
  • “We are responsible for investigating any complaint that involves any sort of discrimination, such as sex discrimination or race discrimination,” said Alexandria Hatcher, J.D., who serves as the school’s Title IX coordinator. “Any of those issues that come on our campus are brought to our office and we investigate them and do an investigative report and then disseminate those reports to the proper parties.”

Tulane Athletics & SAAC Announce Green Wave For All

  • The Tulane Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Department of Athletics announced today the creation of Green Wave Justice for All, a blueprint to discuss, promote, and exemplify diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice within Tulane Athletics, Tulane University, the greater New Orleans community, the United States and throughout the world. In addition, Ben Wiener Director of Athletics Troy Dannen announced that Mónica Lebrón, Deputy Athletics Director and Chief Operating Officer, will serve as the department’s Chief Diversity Officer.
  • Green Wave Justice for All was created by Tulane student-athletes and administrators after several discussions within the department including a Black student-athlete forum, an open forum for all student-athletes and an open forum with the entire athletic department. These forums provided student-athletes and staff voices to be heard and were instrumental in the creation of the action plan to create change within the Department of Athletics.
  • “It is clear that we all have a long way to go to ensure social justice and true equality and that process begins with each of us,” said Dannen. “I applaud our student-athletes for taking the initiative to engage in sometimes difficult and uncomfortable conversations that eventually led to the creation of Green Wave Justice for All. This will be an ongoing program that we hope will continue to evolve. I also want to thank Mónica for agreeing to step up and serve as our first Chief Diversity Officer.”

Proposed Technology Rule For Indoor, Outdoor Track & Field

  • The use of technology to view video during track and field competitions is among the recommended rules changes supported by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Rules Committee.
  • Committee members, who met by videoconference last week, proposed that only coaches could use hand-held technology devices for purposes of video review in field events and for timing in running events. Competitors could view the video with their coaches provided they did so in a specific area designated by meet management. The area would have to be in a location that does not interfere with other ongoing competition.
  • The committee believes this allowed use of technology would align NCAA track and field competition with other national and international governing bodies in the sport.
And that’s that.

Stay up with the latest industry happenings throughout the rest of the evening by visiting ADNews and following @CollegeAD on twitter.

Get the information you need today, to better take on tomorrow.


-The CollegeAD Staff-






College AD Nightcap


SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland Talks with CollegeAD About the Addition of Florida A&M as Full Member

“Obviously, the name brand of Florida A&M joining the name brands we have in the SWAC is a win for us and a win for them. When this started, our initial indication to them was yes, if FAMU is leaving their conference and looking for a conference to go to, we would be open. This really was FAMU doing their due diligence.” - Dr. Charles McClelland, SWAC Commissioner

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will add Florida A&M University as a full member effective with the 2021-22 academic year.

“They really held a lot of what they were doing close to their vest, I actually did not think FAMU was joining the conference until they held the vote, I was somewhat unsure. The majority of the credit goes to AD Kortne Gosha, President Robinson and the Board of Trustees.”

The Rattlers sponsor 14 varsity sports at the Division I level, with all 14 of those sports sponsored by the Southwestern Athletic Conference: football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, baseball, softball, men’s golf, women’s volleyball and women’s bowling. But McClelland says it’s FAMU’s academic success that excites him most.

“The thing we are most excited about, that they will bring to the league, is the academic representation of Florida A&M. They are bringing in one of the best business schools in the nation, one of the best pharmacy schools in the nation, and one of the best Law Schools, from an academic standpoint it’s a tremendous asset to the Southwestern Athletic Conference. From a competitive standpoint they are strong across the board, it makes our league extremely competitive.”

And of course, there is what FAMU brings to the SWAC’s already legendary halftime shows.

“One of the things we’ve always prided ourselves on in the SWAC is the halftime show, the marching 100 fits right in, as a matter of fact, there’s been more going back and forth about who’s best on social media. It fits right in with our competition. They have been a natural fit for us in this process of evaluation.”

With the addition of FAMU the SWAC will now have 11 teams competing in football and that will mean some creative scheduling solutions.

“As far as scheduling, we have a couple of different models that we are looking at. You can have uneven division and have a team float between the eastern and western division. We are also looking at having divisional play without having division. They would play all of the teams currently in the eastern division, they have an 8 game schedule within the Southwestern Athletic Conference. They will be five games with teams in the east and then go play three games in the western division but instead of having an eastern division champion playing the western division champion, we’d just take the top two teams. There are a couple of models out there we are studying. The fun part about it is we have some time to work these things out, we’ve put a committee together and will have scheduling models out in the next two to two and a half months.”

Overall, McClelland says they are a great fit for the conference and he’s excited to see how the relationship develops.

“42 of the last 43 years we’ve led attendance and now we are bringing in the 10th ranked school as far as FCS attendance, it’s only going to throw us into the stratosphere.”

and now on to the day’s news…

The Day’s News

  • The University of Houston Department of Athletics is immediately suspending all voluntary workouts for student-athletes, out of an abundance of caution. The decision, made in consultation with internal and external medical experts, comes after six symptomatic UH student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 along with the increase in the number of positive tests in the greater Houston area over the last week.
  • The impacted students have been placed in isolation and contact tracing procedures have been initiated following protocol.
  • UH Athletics is adapting its protocols to include repetitive COVID-19 testing as a component of any resumption of workouts on campus.
  • During this pause in voluntary workouts, UH Athletics will continue its stringent cleaning and sanitization protocols in all facilities.
  • A new Florida law will allow college athletes in the state to make money from endorsements starting next summer.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill Friday afternoon, adding an expected increase in urgency to the nationwide movement toward creating more opportunities for athletes to benefit from the billions of dollars generated each year by the college sports industry.
  • In a response to legislative action in other states, the NCAA has taken recent steps toward revising rules that currently prohibit student-athletes throughout the country from accepting money from third-party sources. Florida’s law puts additional pressure on NCAA leaders by significantly shrinking the timeline for them to enact the type of uniform, national changes they say they prefer.
  • Florida’s law is similar to those passed in California and Colorado in the past 10 month.

The America East Officially Adds NJIT

  • The America East Conference’s Board of Presidents on Friday formally elected New Jersey Institute of Technology as a full conference member, effective for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • NJIT will officially join the conference as its 10th member institution on July 1, 2020.
  • The NCAA Board of Governors released a statement on social activism on Friday afternoon.
  • “President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change. The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement.”
  • “We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action through safe and peaceful protest. We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights.”
  • “Further, we encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and to designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens.”
  • NCAA Board of Governors releases statement on social activism in relation to racial discrimination happening in the society.
  • “President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change. The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement.”
  • They encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens.
  • Athletes at the University of Texas are using their positions to advocate for campus-wide change.
  • In a letter posted Friday by numerous football players and other athletes across multiple sports at the school, the students said they want Texas to rename certain buildings across campus, add a black athletic history exhibit to the school’s athletic hall of fame and for UT to find a new song for athletes to sing in place of the “Eyes of Texas.”
  • Until those changes are made, the athletes said they will participate in all required team activities to prep for the 2020 season but will sit out all “recruitment of incoming players or other alumni events.”
  • Fresno State announced on Friday that it is furloughing about 55 Athletic Corporation employees for a period of two weeks due to a sharp decline in revenues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Included in the furloughs are a number of employees in academic support, strength and conditioning, athletic training, marketing, communications, ticketing, compliance and equipment.
  • In addition, athletics director Terry Tumey has voluntarily taken a 25% cut in the portion of his salary paid by the Athletic Corporation. The Bulldogs’ highest-paid coaches are classified differently and unable to take a voluntary reduction, a source within the department said.
  • University support, which accounted for $20.9 million of its $49.8 million in revenues last year, could be cut by $3 million or more, enough to cover operating expenses for a number of men’s and women’s sports programs.
  • At Friday’s University of Louisville Athletics Association board meeting, athletic director Vince Tyra introduced the department’s 2020-21 budget, which featured a $9 million decrease in expected revenue.
  • Last year Louisville’s operating revenue budget was $104.35 million, but because of the virus shutdown, Tyra projected $95.1 million in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
  • That number includes cuts all around, but it is expected to even out with the athletic department’s expenditure budget, the proposal details. Part of the expense cuts were already reported including salary reductions among coaches, furloughs and more.
  • How UConn’s athletic department plans to trim its athletic budget will not be known until the full Board of Trustees meeting on June 24.
  • The board’s financial affairs committee opted Friday to delay discussion on athletics. The athletic department must cut about $10 million from its expenditures over the next three years, in order to meet demands to lower the university’s athletic subsidy from $40 million to $30 million.
  • Athletic director David Benedict will present his proposal, perhaps with various options, to the full Board of Trustees on June 24. It is expected that several of UConn’s 24 varsity sports will be eliminated in any proposal he submits.
  • The golf and tennis programs have received financial support from alumns in the form of long-term pledges. The track program has raised more than $1.5 million.
  • Following the NCAA’s announcement encouraging all members schools to designate November 3, 2020, as a day off from athletics activity, the MAC is working to move a football game scheduled for that day.
  • Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced late Friday, the league along with its television partner ESPN are working to move the Buffalo-NIU contest that is scheduled.
  • Citing the economic importance of college football, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan sent a letter this week urging NCAA President Mark Emmert to proceed with the 2020 season despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Duncan, a former Clemson football player, told Emmert that “small businesses located near college towns like Clemson struggle during the off-season, and the COVID-19 pandemic has severely exacerbated the lull in business.”
  • “College football is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the end of the crisis — bringing Americans back together in groups to celebrate our shared liberty and national identity,” he wrote. “So our message to you is a simple one — We are ready for some football!”
  • New York Giants assistant coach Bret Bielema, who previously served as University of Arkansas head football coach, filed a $7 million lawsuit against the Arkansas Razorback Foundation.
  • Sportico has obtained the civil cover sheet for the lawsuit, which will be litigated in Arkansas federal court. The case could become key precedent for duty to mitigate clauses in coaches’ contracts.
  • Bielema contends that the Razorback Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity that fundraises and supports Arkansas Athletics, breached a contractual obligation to pay him about $12 million. This monetary amount reflects a buyout agreement that Bielema signed in January 2018 in the aftermath of him being fired.
  • The Foundation’s unwillingness to pay Bielema stems from its conclusion that the former Big Ten coach of the year has willfully refused to mitigate the amount of money owed to him.
  • University of Northern Colorado Athletics and its official medical partner, Banner Medical Group have developed a comprehensive plan for the phased return of student-athletes to athletic facilities for voluntary in-person individual workouts to begin on Monday, June 15.
  • The phased approach allows the safest accommodation of small groups of student-athletes to have access to training facilities for in-person voluntary workouts and follows all State of Colorado, Weld County and NCAA Division I Council guidelines.
  • Key guidelines are in place for student-athletes and staff as they return to campus.  The first phase of returning student-athletes to the athletic facilities will be the fall sports (football, soccer, volleyball).
  • The construction on the Carrier Dome is “right on course,” according to the Athletics Director at Syracuse University.
  • Athletics Director John Wildhack said there’s a lot of work going on internally in the building, preparing for later this summer when the new roof is installed.
  • “Once that’s up, it’s the center-hung scoreboard, new lighting, new sound, etc., that type of thing,” said Wildhack. “I think the key headline to take away is we’re right on course right now.”
  • The project was deemed essential and continued throughout pandemic shut down orders. The goal from the beginning has always been to have the Dome ready for the Orange football game with Colgate on September 19.
  • Jennifer Green has been named Air Force women’s gymnastics head coach, according to an announcement today from Director of Athletics Nathan Pine.
  • Green comes to the Academy from the University of Iowa where she spent six seasons as assistant coach.
  • UIC athletic director Michael Lipitz issued a statement regarding gradual reopening of athletic facilities and athletes as well as staff’s return to campus.
  • Lipitz stated that general timeline is being pursued for a return to athletic activities, which remains subject to change as conditions warrant: June – essential athletics staff resume limited operation of the Flames Athletic Center, increasing throughout the month in preparation for the return of a limited number of student-athletes; July – return of a limited number of student-athletes to resume individual athletic activities in accordance with NCAA rules; August – return to preseason team training for fall sports; return of all additional winter and spring sports together with the general student body for the fall semester.
  • All returning and new student-athletes are to follow some health protocols.
  • Athletic Director Ian McCaw said in an email to The News & Advance that no current student-athlete on campus has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and stringent plans are in place in case there is a positive test.
  • “We will follow protocols that have been established by campus authorities, the district health department and Virginia Department of Health,” he added.
  • “Our athletics department COVID task force has worked diligently with university leadership, the local health district and Virginia Department of Health with the goal of serving the health and well-being of our student-athletes and staff,” McCaw said. “We are confident in our plan and excited to welcome back our student-athletes.”
  • Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said Thursday that Memorial Stadium could see anywhere from 50% to full capacity for home football games this fall.
  • Nothing official has been announced for any of the Tigers’ six games in Columbia scheduled this year, but Sterk’s remarks present strides of optimism compared to projections tossed around last month.
  • Sterk said Missouri is “a little bit above” last year’s football season ticket renewal rate but that the school has been unable to take full advantage due to COVID-19. Refunds will be given to season ticket holders if any shift in scheduling occurs.
  • Virginia Tech Athletics has announced the hiring of Kyle Bruce to the department as Assistant Athletic Director for Digital Marketing Strategy & Ecosystem.
  • Bruce comes to Virginia Tech after serving as the Director of Digital Strategy at the University of Washington for nearly three years.
  • Kansas Athletics has been billed at least $473,730.04 — so far — on outside legal services while defending itself against a lawsuit from former football coach David Beaty.
  • Those invoices, received by The Star on Thursday following an open records request, show the amount billed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP to KU between Oct. 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020.
  • KU Athletics and Beaty settled the lawsuit on Friday, with the athletic department agreeing to pay the former coach $2.55 million. Beaty originally sued KU for $3 million, which was the amount of the original buyout in his contract.
  • In mid-July, California Baptist University will begin a phased return of student-athletes to campus in advance of the fall 2020 semester now scheduled to start on August 24.
  • Coaches and staff will begin a gradual return to offices in June to prepare for the arrival of student-athletes. The organized strategy is based on the latest health and safety guidelines and best practices.
  • CBU Athletics is approved for the following: All student-athletes will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus; A July 12 return for men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes; A regular return date for those sports with preseason dates before the start of school in the fall semester; Student-athletes attending Summer Session 2 and/or living in the local area will be permitted to participate in voluntary athletics activities; Restricted use of the Athletic Performance Center (APC) in small groups starting in mid-July for both official team activities or voluntary workouts.
  • Northwestern has elevated Katie Robinson to Director of Swimming & Diving, Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips announced Thursday.
  • Robinson has served as Northwestern’s associate head coach since July of 2018. With her promotion, Robinson brings a student-athlete driven coaching focus with experience from notable programs including Virginia, Rutgers and head coaching experience at Tulane.
  • Penn Athletics is forming a task force comprised of student-athletes, coaches and staff to continue the fight against racism and systemic oppression of Black Americans.
  • This task force will be charged with listening to our Black community and its allies, creating a plan, and implementing change in 2020-21 and beyond.
  • Athletics’ initial actions, which were identified in collaboration with Black student-athletes, include, among others: Expand implicit bias and microaggression training to all coaches, staff and student-athletes; Identify a physical and inclusive gathering place for Black student-athletes and allies within the Penn Athletics footprint to come together on a regular basis; Assess how Penn Athletics can better support Black student-athletes in their academic pursuits; Create a Diversity and Inclusion position on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
  • Fourteen University of Wisconsin coaches have received routine one-year contract extensions in a decision that for this year was handed off by the Athletic Board to athletic department staff.
  • A UW spokesman said Thursday that all 14 of the coaches whose contracts are typically considered by the Athletic Board in spring meetings were extended by a year.
  • In collaboration with The University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Athletics announced a Voting Matters campaign geared toward voter registration, voter education and voter participation for all student-athletes, coaches and staff.
  • Pitt administrators, head coaches and student-athletes are developing plans to provide voter registration and education sessions for all 19 programs. All sessions are to be completed by mid-September in advance of voter registration deadlines for the 2020 general election Nov. 3.
  • Pitt Athletics will also participate in and support student voter registration initiatives from the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Community and Governmental Relations.
  • Less than two years following Aggie Director of Athletics Kevin Blue’s announcement of the soon-to-be 50,000 square-foot Student-Athlete Performance Center on La Rue Road — a project spearheaded by what Blue then described as “the largest donation in UCD athletics history” courtesy of alumni Diane and Bruce Edwards — a full-sized grass practice gridiron has already been completed.
  • Additional financial support from Bruce and Marie West, Mike and Renee Childs, among others, has helped finance more than 90 percent of the project cost. Blue and UCD Chancellor Gary May are set to host a virtual groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m., June 24, to honor donors.
  • The state-of-the-art facility will house intercollegiate athletics offices, team meeting spaces, a satellite UC Davis Health sports medicine clinic, academic lecture halls and a much-needed and expanded weight room.
  • Former Athletic Director Patrick Nero received $1.3 million in severance payments during the 2019 fiscal year, according to a financial disclosure.
  • Nero stepped down from his post in December of 2017 and faced allegations of misconduct less than a year later for acting inappropriately with student-athletes, athletic department staff and recent graduates.
  • Employment law experts said receiving severance after resigning is not unusual, but details about how long he could receive payments depend on his employment contract and agreement with GW, which is not made public.
  • Wake Forest isn’t interested in nor has it been approached about moving its September football game against Notre Dame away from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, Athletics Director John Currie said.
  • According to Pete Sampson of The Athletic, Coach Brian Kelly told broadcaster Mike Tirico this week that Notre Dame is exploring moving games from NFL stadiums back to campuses. Currie said Notre Dame has not approached Wake Forest about moving the game from Charlotte, slated for Sept. 26.
  • Wake Forest is moving ahead with ticket sales for the game with an eye toward what restrictions Gov. Roy Cooper could have on large gatherings by late-September.
And that’s that.

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