- Higher Education is on the precipice of monumental change. The Supreme Court will rule on the case NCAA v Alston, which could open the doors for wide-ranging, systemic change in the ways college athletics may compensate the workers (aka student-athletes) competing in Division I athletics.
- Some argue the college degree that these athletes (hopefully) leave with may end up being less valuable due to the amount of hours per week they are involved in athletic activities—leaving no time for internships or co-ops. June should be a very interesting month in the history of college sports. How leaders in higher education and college athletics adjust to this new world will define this transformative moment.
- Legislation that would allow Connecticut’s college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness will be considered in the state general assembly this week. With the NCAA stalled on the issue, UConn’s athletic officials are backing the effort for Connecticut to keep up with the many other states that already have such laws on the books, or will soon.
- “Everyone’s under the impression that this NIL is definitely going to pass at the NCAA level, and it’s going to go into effect this summer,” UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said.
- According to the website businessofcollegesports.com, 16 states already have laws that allow college athletes to be compensated and 20 others have bills pending. Connecticut’s proposal, in the form of an amendment to HB 6402, would take effect July 1. It must be passed this week before the legislative session ends.
- Eli Drinkwitz had more than a plan for a new house when he moved from Appalachian State to Missouri 18 months ago. First, the Tigers’ new coach had to call compliance. Before picking the location of his home in Columbia, Missouri, Drinkwitz inquired about a little-known NCAA rule that allows a recruiting advantage for coaches who live within a mile of campus.
- Recruits coming on an unofficial visit can actually stop by a coach’s house if it’s close enough to the university. Those unofficial visits are fairly bare. They’re paid for by the family of the prospect and don’t include all the recruiting meals and perks. Except if a coach essentially has a home within walking distance.
- With all that pent-up recruiting energy ready to be released, the plans for a return to normal are anything but normal. Like Drinkwitz’s house hunting, they are varied and creative. Several schools have official visits scheduled for every June weekend. Camps are planned. And for the first time ever, players can work out for teams.
- Already one of the most recognizable brands in college athletics, Texas Tech Athletics announced Monday the creation of Beyond Verified, a multi-faceted Name-Image-Likeness (NIL) program designed to build and safeguard each student-athlete’s personal brand.
- Beyond Verified will officially launch in June in anticipation of upcoming Texas state law and NCAA rules changes pertaining to NIL rights for student-athletes. The program, backed by a dedicated athletics staff, will provide industry leading tools for student-athletes to build and grow the reach of their name, image and likeness, while learning to protect their personal business assets.
- As part of the new program, Texas Tech will extend its partnership with Opendorse, which has served as the athletics department’s content-delivery platform for student-athletes since 2018. The existing partnership has included award-winning student-athlete engagement rates since its launch, giving Texas Tech the ability to provide photo or video content to its student-athletes in quick fashion following an event or through first-person narratives such as its “In My Words” series.
- In the 38 years of the Kennesaw State baseball program’s existence, head coach Mike Sansing was at the helm for 30 of them. With the acclaimed coach announcing his retirement, Sansing ends a unique and unforgettable run of achievements that spans five different decades.
- An 11-time Coach of the Year selection, including two National Coach of the Year awards, Sansing shuts the door on a remarkable career in which he mentored 22 All-Americans, 12 conference players of the year, 69 MLB draft selections and countless all-conference honorees.
- The search for the new head coach of the Kennesaw State baseball team will begin immediately.
- Northwestern head baseball coach Spencer Allen has decided he will not return next season. Associate head coach Josh Reynolds has been elevated to interim head coach, interim Combe Family Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Robert Gundlach announced Monday.
- “Over the last six seasons, we have worked tirelessly to elevate Northwestern Baseball,” said Allen. “I am grateful to the coaches, staff and Wildcats fans, but especially the many, many student-athletes who have chosen to invest in our program. We have put this team on a positive trajectory, and I am excited for the future with Josh at the helm.”
- The new primary logo – which was created by seven alumni with more than 200 years of professional graphic design experience – features a gold “W” enclosed in a brown circle with a gold outline. It also comes with an updated wordmark that promotes the university’s name more than previous iterations.
- The Broncos reduced their official color scheme from seven colors to two – brown and gold – by removing black, light brown, silver, white and Vegas gold from the equation. They also revealed a refined version of their “Ghost Bronco” logo, which will still be used as a spirit mark throughout the athletic department.
- Western Michigan has essentially taken the original “Ghost Bronco” logo, flipped its orientation, updated the color, filled in the eye, gave it an outline and added gold accents throughout. It will be used as a standalone design rather than on top of the “W,” as it has in years past.
- The Southeastern Conference matched its record with seven teams among 16 regional hosts announced Sunday for the NCAA baseball tournament. The hosts have locked up spots in the national tournament.
- Each regional will be made up of four teams playing in a double-elimination format. All are scheduled from Friday through Monday. Regional winners advance to best-of-three super regionals, and those eight winners go on to the College World Series in Omaha.
- Notre Dame said Friday that its home football game against Arkansas that originally was set for 2020 and wasn’t played due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be played in 2028.
- Arkansas’ first trip to Notre Dame originally was scheduled for Sept. 12, 2020. The teams also will play at Arkansas in 2025.
- For men’s hockey, the Nittany Lions capped off a Big Ten regular season title run with fans buying just over $2 million in tickets. The mark is the first time the program had crossed over $2 million in ticket sales in the program’s relatively short history.
- While not all Big Ten hockey institutions report their financial information the same way, that $2 million is comparable to similar programs. Wisconsin men’s hockey sold $2.6 million in tickets while Minnesota topped out at $3.5 million. Ohio State hockey on the other hand saw just over a half million in ticket revenue. All three programs host games within vastly different size arenas and with various ticketing processes and prices.
- As a result of the ticket sales boost, men’s hockey rounded out the fiscal year with just over a $1 million in profits and managed to make just over $5.07 million in revenues, up from $4.66 million the previous fiscal year. Program expenses stayed roughly the same as they had been over the previous four years at $4.06 million.
- Houston Baptist University has hired a new baseball coach, and it’s a familiar name to Houston baseball fans. The school announced Monday that former Houston Astros star Lance Berkman will be the program’s new baseball coach. “This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, even before I retired from playing baseball,” Berkman said.
- Berkman starred at Rice University from 1995-97, hitting .385 with 67 home runs and 272 RBI in his time with the Owls. Berkman was the baseball coach at Second Baptist School from 2016-2019, leading the high school to the TAPPS 4A state championship in 2016, and was an assistant baseball coach at the University of St. Thomas this past season.
- The new HBU baseball coach is excited to get started. He says one of the keys to the team’s success will be mining the local talent in the Houston area.
- It was difficult to watch the Oregon Ducks play in an empty Autzen Stadium in 2020 for everyone involved. It stunk for the players, coaches, fans, and even opponents. But according to Athletic Director Rob Mullens, the Ducks’ pocketbook took a worse hit than another Pac-12 quarterback in the sights of Noah Sewell.
- “I have been riding on the hope wave for quite a while, and I’m still on the hope wave,” Mullens told Ryan Thorburn of The Register-Guard. “I am hopeful that vaccination is in fact the path to a full Autzen.” Oregon lost a total of about $60 million of revenue mostly by having no fans inside Autzen or Matthew Knight Arena for the 2020-21 sports calendar season. A lot of big games were scheduled for last fall, including Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State visiting Autzen for the very first time. Ohio State has said they’ll pay Oregon $3.5 million to help make up for the Buckeyes not being able to make the trip to Eugene last year.
- The Ducks also missed out on having rival Washington come to Eugene, a game that could have meant the Pac-12 North title. Mullens is hoping the department can quickly make up the lost revenue in the next couple of seasons. Having highly successful programs in the big sports such as football and both basketball teams will ease the burden for sure.
And that’s that.
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