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July 2020
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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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