College AD Nightcap for Thursday, May 20, 2021

Sources on Why the Fumble at Northwestern is Worse than You Think

Air Force Extends AD Nate Pine’s Contract

  • Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark and Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation (AFAAC) Chairman of the Board Brig. Gen. Harvey Schiller, USAF Ret., Ph.D. announced today that Director of Athletics Nathan Pine has agreed to a contract extension through 2026.
  • Pine is completing his second academic year as the athletics director at the Air Force Academy after arriving in Colorado Springs in January of 2019. 

Power Five Conference Revenues Slowed by COVID-19 Pandemic, Tax Records Show

  • The early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic all but halted the Power Five college sports conferences’ seemingly unstoppable revenue growth, new federal tax records show. After averaging collective annual increases of nearly $252 million over the previous six years, the conferences’ combined revenue rose by less than $11 million in fiscal 2020 and remained just over $2.9 billion.
  • The Big Ten reported $768.9 million in revenue, down from 2019 but still about $40 million ahead of the SEC for the top figure. It lowered payouts to its 12 longest-standing members by about $1.3 million per school to $54.3 million.
  • The 10-team Big 12 reported $409 million, down by $30 million from 2019. Its payouts ranged from $37 million to $40.5 million, a decline of more than $1 million per school. The ACC, aided by new income from a conference TV network that launched in August 2019, increased revenue by just over $40 million to nearly $497 million. The Pac-12 reported $533.8 million, a $3 million increase over a year earlier, and averaged payouts of about $33.6 million per school. 
  • The conferences other than the Southeastern provided their new returns this week in response to requests from USA TODAY Sports. The SEC made its return public in early February.

Legal Concerns Have Impeded NCAA’s Effort to Enact NIL Legislation by July 1

  • What have been described as significant legal issues have arisen in the NCAA’s effort to implement name, image and likeness legislation, sources tell CBS Sports.
  • After a regularly-scheduled NCAA Council meeting Wednesday, it became more apparent the NCAA won’t be protected on implementing NIL rules unless it gets help from Congress in the form of federal legislation.
  • Unless and until the NCAA gets that help, the association could be exposed legally on several fronts: appointing a third-party administrator, class-action lawsuits, capping compensation, and NCAA v. Alston.
  • “If we do pass something, do we open ourselves up for a bunch of litigation?” one administrator asked rhetorically. “It’s all these disparate views and disparate attempts at NIL with states with different types of bills where the NCAA rules come into play.”

Is That New Job at Ohio State on Your List? Sources Say the Salary’s ‘Underwhelming’

Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman Expects NIL Chaos: ‘The Word Messy Has Been Used’

  • After years of dismissing the prospect of college athletes monetizing their own image and likeness, the NCAA changed lanes 13 months ago. A proposal by the association’s legislation working group seemed offer the framework for a structure that would allow athletes to retain their eligibility while making money off their name on anything from endorsements to social media posts and video games.
  • Yet as a handful of states prepare to roll out Name, Image, and Likeness laws on July 1, the NCAA is stalled. The NCAA failed to vote on the proposed legislation in January after the Department of Justice sent a letter to the organization with a warning of possible antitrust issues. So the NCAA’s guidelines sit while the federal government shows no signs of passing legislation to supersede the pending state laws that go live in six weeks.
  • What to expect? Big East commissioner Val Ackerman, a co-chair of the committee that drafted the NCAA, has an idea of what we’ll see. “The word messy has been used a lot in conversations I’ve been part of in the last few weeks and I think that’s probably an accurate description of what this is going look like,” Ackerman said. Another word Ackerman and others in the college sports industry have use: chaos.

Ohio State Athletic Department Lowers Deficit Projection for 2021 Fiscal Year

  • Ohio State’s athletic department is projecting a $50 million budget deficit for the 2021 fiscal year that ends next month, a figure that is lower than earlier estimates and reduces some of the financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic. The updated shortfall was included on a document prepared by the department that outlined its accomplishments from the 2020-21 academic year.
  • In an interview in January following the Buckeyes’ football season, athletic director Gene Smith said he was expecting the deficit to be just under $70 million for the fiscal year that runs through June 30. Had the football season been called off, the department would have faced an even larger budget hole. An outlook prepared in September projected it to run a $107 million deficit, prompting layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts among employees.
  • Since the Buckeyes played eight games, including a pair of College Football Playoff contests, later in the fall and winter, it recouped much of its media rights revenue, which is the second-largest income source for the department after ticket sales for football. The department also reduced its deficit projection due to a variety of cost-cutting measures in recent months, according to the document.

How Much Ball State will Make for Adding Auburn to its Football Schedule in 2025

Northwestern and Nebraska to Kick off 2022 College Football Season in Dublin

  • The Big Ten Conference encounter is scheduled for week zero, and will be played on Saturday the 27th of August 2022 at Lansdowne Road. Nebraska Huskers had been set to travel to Dublin later this summer for their game against Illinois, however, it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was second successive year where the start of the Aer Lingus College Football five-game series was disrupted by the coronavirus situation.
  • “We are excited to reschedule the trip to Ireland for our football program,” Nebraska’s Athletic Director Bill Moos said. The young men in our program have been looking forward to this trip and we are happy to provide them this memorable experience.

Court Throws Out All but One Count in Football Discrimination Lawsuit Against Iowa

Kentucky State Moving to NCAA DI Hasn’t Moved Past Talking Stage

  • A recent report on the website said that Kentucky State is considering moving up to NCAA Division I. KSU President M. Christopher Brown II said Wednesday the topic isn’t a new one. “Kentucky State has been talking about it since before I arrived,” he said. “Kentucky State has long talked about moving to Division I.
  • “There’s certainly interest in some alumni sectors,” Brown added. “I don’t think there’s universal support for the move.” The MEAC, an NCAA DI conference made up of primarily HBCU schools, has had five schools leave since 2017 and currently has 11 members. Kentucky State, currently an NCAA DII school, is a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
  • Brown said there have been conversations between the MEAC and KSU’s athletic department, but that’s as far as the issue has gone. “We’ve never taken any tangible or proactive action,” he said. “There have been conversations, but nothing tangible has been placed on my desk.”

South Florida Football to Return to Full Capacity Seating in 2021 Season

  • Single-game tickets for the 2021 USF Football season presented by Tampa General Hospital, the Bulls’ second under head coach Jeff Scott, will go on sale on July 7 with USF set to return to full capacity at Raymond James Stadium.
  • USF will play six home games in 2021 – two each in September, October and November – including four games against 2020 bowl game participants. The home slate will be highlighted by a pair of teams that finished in the top 15 of the final 2020 season AP Poll.
  • USF will play five Saturday home games and one Friday primetime matchup vs. Cincinnati in 2021 and will return to selling tickets for full capacity at 65,857-seat Raymond James Stadium, beginning with the home opener vs. Florida. Kick times and specific television designations will be announced at a later date.

Cleveland State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Dennis Gates Receives Contract Extension

  • The Cleveland State University Board of Trustees approved updated contract terms for head men’s basketball coach Dennis Gates at the May 20, 2021 meeting. CSU and Coach Gates have agreed to a revised contract that will now run through the 2026-27 season, with the possibility that more years could be added if Gates’ teams meet certain on-and-off court performances incentives.
  • Cleveland State finished the 2020-21 season with a 19-8 record, including 16 regular-season conference wins, marking the most wins in league play in team history (previously 15, 1992-93 season).
  • The new contract terms will increase Gates’ base salary, with various opportunities to earn additional earned and discretionary performance bonuses for media appearances, team academic performance, rules compliance, and basketball success.

Mizzou Names Stefanie Golan Head Women’s Soccer Coach

  • Stefanie Golan, a St. Charles, Mo., native who has spent the last nine seasons building a championship program at the University of Minnesota, has been selected as the second head coach in Mizzou Women’s Soccer history following a nationwide search, MU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Thursday.
  • In nine seasons as head coach at Minnesota, Golan fashioned a 92-64-24 (.578) record with four NCAA Tournament appearances, one Big Ten regular-season title, a pair of Big Ten Tournament championships and eight winning seasons.
  • An active member of the NSCAA and former Chair of the NSCAA Great Lakes Region for the organization’s All-America Committee, she earned a soccer scholarship to Duke University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2001. Golan earned her Master’s in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University in 2012.

Huskers Athletics Partners Complete Staff

  • Nebraska Athletics announced the hiring of four additional staff Wednesday, May 19 to the newly formed Huskers Athletic Partners department. The hires include Account Executives Riley Courtright and Bob Flannery as well the Partner Services team of Esteban Roman and Evan Townsend.
  • Flannery joins Huskers Athletic Partners after serving as vice president for the Boise Hawks minor league baseball team for seven seasons.
  • Courtright has worked in the sports marketing industry in various capacities for over a decade. For the last six years, he led multi-media rights efforts for the University of Nebraska at Omaha Athletic Department as the General Manager of Omaha Sports Properties.
  • Roman joins Huskers Athletic Partners from Major League Soccer franchise Nashville SC, where he served as the Manager of Corporate Partnerships. Townsend, an Omaha native, is a 2019 UNL graduate and recently served as Partner Services Coordinator for Ohio Sports Properties at Ohio University where he assisted with all fulfillment needs for partnership signage, radio, digital and print items, as well as events and hospitality.

Auburn Launches SPIRIT NIL Program

  • Auburn Athletics has announced the launch of SPIRIT, a comprehensive Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) program designed to educate and empower student-athletes and prepare them to optimize upcoming NIL opportunities. 
  • Education and student-athlete development will be at the core of the SPIRIT program. This new initiative will fit within AuburnYOU, Auburn Athletics’ comprehensive program designed to support the total student-athlete experience. 
  • In addition, Auburn Athletics will expand its current partnership with INFLCR, the leading software company powering student-athlete brand-building.

Troy Announces Ultra Lounge Premium Seating at The Vet

  • Troy Athletics announced Thursday a new premium seating area located in the South End Zone of The Vet with the addition of the Ultra Lounge for the 2021 season.
  • Each of the eight Ultra Lounge season packages includes four season tickets and an assortment of amenities for $2,000 per lounge.
  • Individuals in the Ultra Lounge will receive free food and beverages from the Stadium Club with concierge service to deliver the items.

Memphis Set to Break Ground on $24 million Leftwich Tennis Center

  • The University of Memphis and City of Memphis are scheduled to break ground on the new Leftwich Tennis Center in Audubon Park in early June, setting up the $24 million facility to be completed in approximately 18 months.
  • The partnership between the City and the University will provide a world-class facility not only for the Tigers’ men’s and women’s tennis teams, but also for residents of Memphis to enjoy. The new Leftwich Tennis Center will be able to attract major national tennis tournaments and NCAA and conference championships and their fans and will be the largest tennis facility within hundreds of miles, featuring 24 outdoor and 12 indoor courts.

Yale Looking to Add to its Creative Team After Losing a Member to Conference USA

Minnesota Duluth AD Josh Berlo Receives Contract Extension

  • Chancellor Dr. Lendley (Lynn) Black announced today that the University of Minnesota Duluth has signed Athletic Director Josh Berlo to a three-year contract extension to stay in Bulldog Country. UMD’s contract extension acknowledges the tremendous program-wide multidisciplinary success of Bulldog Athletics under Berlo’s leadership. UMD Athletics continues to be one of the most respected and accomplished Division I / II Athletic Departments in the NCAA. This new contract will keep Berlo in Duluth through June 2026.
  • Berlo came to UMD in 2013 from the University of Notre Dame after a 13 year tenure and has since led the Bulldogs to greater levels of excellence that include multiple national and conference championships, record setting academic achievements, significant facility enhancements, enhanced marketing and fan engagement as well as a strategic focus on the student-athlete experience.
  • Under Berlo’s leadership, Bulldog athletics has also furthered its history of women leading UMD’s athletics programs and was honored in 2016 with an “A” rating by the the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports.

Iowa State Extends Women’s Basketball Coach Fennelly to 2027

  • Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly has agreed to a two-year contract extension through 2027. Athletic director Jamie Pollard said the extension should assure prospective recruits that Fennelly will be coach for the foreseeable future.
  • Fennelly, who will be entering his 27th season at Iowa State, has led the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament 19 times. The Cyclones reached the second round last season, finished 17-11 and were fourth in the Big 12 at 12-6. He picked up his 700th career victory in January.
  • “I love coming to work every day and I am energized by the opportunity to continue to positively impact the young women in our program,” Fennelly said Wednesday. “I’ve been blessed beyond words and am eager to continue the journey we started 26 years ago.” Fennelly’s career mark is 706-337, including 540-284 at Iowa State. He won 166 games at Toledo before coming to Iowa State. His teams have made the NCAA Tournament 21 times, including two at Toledo.

Morgan State Partners with Aspire for Sponsorship And Ticket Sales

  • Morgan State University Athletics and The Aspire Group (Aspire) have announced a multi-year partnership in which Aspire will be responsible for all Morgan State’s athletic ticket and sponsorship sales, and increasing donations for the Morgan Bear Club.
  • This is Aspire’s third partnership to include or add sponsorship sales responsibilities and first to do so in college athletics. Leona assisted in the process. 

Mizzou Gets Final Approval for New Indoor Football Practice Facility

  • On Wednesday, the University of Missouri Board of Curators gave unanimous final approval for the construction of a new indoor football practice facility. The project will cost $33.1 million and will be funded through private donations.
  • The new facility will be located adjacent to the Tiger’s south end zone complex with construction beginning in the fall. It should be complete by December 2022. Mizzou currently uses the Devine Pavilion, which opened in 1998. It serves as the only indoor practice facility for Mizzou’s Football, Baseball, Softball and Women’s Soccer programs.
  • “Mizzou Football enjoys tremendous momentum under Coach (Eliah) Drinkwitz and his staff, and having a convenient, year-around training facility with a full-length football field to practice will help bring Mizzou in line with other SEC programs from a facilities standpoint,” said Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. “This is another piece of the puzzle as we work together to fulfill Coach Drinkwitz’ bold vision for our program.”

Tennessee State to Play All ’21 Home Football Games at Nissan Stadium

  • Tennessee State University is continuing to elevate the football program’s profile after hiring former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George as its new head coach. Speaking to a group of TSU alumni in a virtual meeting, Director of Athletics Dr. Mikki Allen said the Tigers are expected to play all of their home games in 2021 at Nissan Stadium. This includes contests with Kentucky State (Sept. 18), Tennessee Tech (Oct. 16), Murray State (Oct. 30) and Austin Peay (Nov. 13).
  • Allen stated that Hale Stadium is expected to undergo some renovations soon to “address our fan experience and some of the amenities.” Hale Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 15,000, was last renovated in 2012 as part of a $1 million, 100-year anniversary celebration.
  • Since 2012, TSU has typically played half of its home games at Nissan Stadium and the other half at Hale Stadium. The Tigers, however, played all of their home games at Hale Stadium last season.

Sexual Assault Suit Against BU, 2 Former Athletes, Set for Trial in Houston

  • A lawsuit filed in March 2019 by a former Baylor student-athlete who alleges she was intoxicated without her consent and raped in her room in a university housing complex in the fall of 2017, a year and a half after the school fired head football coach Art Briles following the scathing Pepper Hamilton review, is set to go on trial in Houston.
  • Baylor denies the allegations and rejects the assertion the university had a “rape problem,” arguing the claim “is not grounded in the reality of what was happening on campus in the fall of 2017.” Within 36 hours of the report of the incident, Harris, Lewis and a third player, John Arthur, who was named in the original suit, but is no longer a defendant, had been suspended from the team, Baylor said.
  • “Baylor University is prepared to vigorously defend the significant safety measures in place on our campus at the time of the incident in November 2017, to include not only physical infrastructure enhancements but also training, education and the implementation of more than 100 specific measures directed at preventing and responding to incidents of interpersonal violence. We take the safety and security of our 19,000 students seriously and look forward to sharing our unprecedented efforts with the court.” The trial before 234th District Court Judge Lauren Reeder, is being held in Houston’s NRG Arena, the Houston Chronicle reported.

And that’s that.

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