wichita-state-mascot

Ever since the Big 12 decided to not propose to anyone after its Bachelor-esque expansion process back in the fall of last year, we have had one of the deadest periods in conference realignment news of any substance in this century. At least for the Power Five conferences, the world has entered into an era of stability. Until some combination of Texas, Oklahoma and/or Kansas decides that they no longer want to stay in the Big 12, it’s difficult to see much movement in the near future at the Power Five level.

However, the stability at the top has allowed for the non-power conferences to reassess their own long-term plans. The American Athletic Conference was the league that was most at risk in the Big 12 expansion process with Houston, Cincinnati and UConn being heavily discussed as potential invites. Now that the Big 12 has given the AAC a reprieve, the Group of Five league’s members know that they’re legitimately in this particular home for the long haul whether they like it or not. As a result, this is the first time since the AAC was formed in the wake of the collapse of the old Big East football conference that its member schools are truly looking at their respective futures within the AAC as opposed to outside of it.

Over the past few weeks, there have been an increasing number of reports from various outlets that the AAC is interested in adding current Missouri Valley Conference school Wichita State as a non-football member*, culminating in a report from Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated from this past Saturday that the AAC and Wichita State are engaged in expansion talks with mutual interest.

(* A pet peeve of mine in conference realignment stories is when there’s a reference to “basketball-only” membership since it wrongly implies that a school is being added only for basketball. Instead, such school is being added for all sports for which the league sponsors except for football, which is why it is really a “non-football member.)

I’ll be honest: I have been a long-time skeptic of both the AAC wanting to add non-football members and Wichita State’s chances of escaping the MVC. On the AAC side, the divide between the old Big East’s football and non-football schools was a major factor in the eventual dissolution of that league and the memories of how the Catholic 7 (Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul) split off to form the current Big East have still been fresh. From the Wichita State angle, they always seemed to be a classic fan favorite for expansion based on on-the-court performance but not a university president favorite with respect to academics and TV markets (similar to Boise State football). Interestingly, unlike most non-power conference schools, Wichita State actually didn’t have an issue with financial resources. When Shocker basketball coach Gregg Marshall was being courted by Alabama a couple of years ago, Charles Koch (most well-known with his brother David as the duo in charge of Koch Industries and arguably the most powerful and influential fundraisers for the Republican Party and conservative causes) spearheaded a group of boosters to make Marshall one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the country. However, the stances of the AAC and MWC to not add non-football schools (at least up until apparently now) and the lack of institutional and geographic fits with the Big East, Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conference meant that the MVC was looking like Wichita State’s only realistic choice.

As a result, the AAC backing off of its stance against non-football members will end up being a Godsend for Wichita State assuming that this proposed expansion is finalized. Wichita State was going to have to start looking at initiating an FBS football program in order to find a different league… and even if they were to do that, it would have been no guarantee that they would have received an invite from the Sun Belt (much less the AAC or MWC). The fact that the Shockers are in position to be able to get into the AAC without needing to go through the extremely risky and expensive process of starting up an FBS football team is everything that the school could have possibly wished for outside of a non-football invite to a Power Five conference.

For the AAC’s part, the proposed addition of Wichita State indicates that football can no longer be the only conference realignment consideration for leagues that are outside of the Power Five world. The Group of Five leagues are earning less TV money with both football and basketball than the new Big East is with just basketball alone, which shows that a strong college basketball brand still has value in the marketplace compared to a weaker college football brand. Even if TV money isn’t taken into account, the Group of Five leagues are inherently going to be more reliant on revenue from NCAA Tournament credits (which rise when each conference member advances a round in the Big Dance) compared to the Power Five leagues since those basketball dollars are going to be a larger share for them compared to College Football Playoff dollars. Indeed, Thamel and others have pointed out that Wichita State won’t likely add much to the value of the AAC’s TV contract, but it can certainly drive a lot of conference revenue in the form of winning games in the NCAA Tournament (which earns additional credits).

So, several years after hybrid conferences were declared by the public at-large to be dead, it’s possible that those league formats could be making a comeback. The Mountain West Conference would certainly look better if it could add this year’s national runner-up Gonzaga, although the West Coast Conference is in a much stronger position to protect its membership due to the presence of BYU and the uniform institutional fit of all members being private schools in the West (similar to the Big East on the other side of the country). (Personally, I don’t believe that the WCC is poachable unless the Big East to decide to go waaaaaaay outside of its current geographic footprint.) In terms of the prospects for other recent NCAA Tournament darlings, Florida Gulf Coast has had the Shocker-esque problem of being a non-football school that’s a geographic outlier, but they could fit really well with Conference USA if that league were to entertain a hybrid membership again. Plus, FGCU is located in the Fort Myers-Naples market that is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country and a massive amount of wealth due to its significant snowbird population with little direct spectator sports competition.

Meanwhile, the single act of Wichita State leaving the MVC for the AAC can have a significant ripple effect throughout the non-football Division I conferences. When Creighton left for the new Big East in 2013, the MVC looked heavily at replenishing its membership with Illinois-Chicago (UIC) and Valparaiso from the Horizon League prior to settling upon Loyola University Chicago. My impression is that the MVC will look at both UIC and Valpo again since strengthening that league’s Chicago area presence is likely a top priority for that league’s presidents. While MVC fans might prefer to add better on-the-court options that might be located in smaller markets (such as Murray State, South Dakota State or North Dakota State), there’s a much bigger picture in play here: the MVC schools themselves cannot survive without as many tuition-paying students from the Chicago area specifically as possible. With public school budgets getting slashed and private university enrollments falling outside of the elite tier, the competition for tuition dollars is only getting tougher as the number of college students declines overall. Illinois has turned into the largest net exporter of students to out-of-state colleges of any state in the country. The three biggest beneficiaries of this net outflow from Illinois just happen to be the states of Iowa, Indiana and Missouri… which happen to form the MVC footprint along with Illinois itself. In essence, the Chicagoland area is to general student recruiting as the state of Texas is to football recruiting and the MVC schools need to keep growing their share of that pool. Therefore, the MVC gaining even a handful of extra impressions per year in the Chicago region by playing a school like UIC can be critical to, say, Drake and Evansville (much less in-state Illinois schools like Bradley, Illinois State and Southern Illinois). The MVC is going to be a one-bid league going forward if Wichita State leaves no matter who it can realistically add (e.g. adding A-10 schools such as St. Louis and Dayton is NOT realistic), so the leadership of that league is likely going to focus much more on off-the-court factors compared to on-the-court performance. That also means that it would be a bit surprising if the MVC decided to replace Wichita State with multiple schools to go up to 12 members (as keeping the membership total at 10 would maximize per school payouts of NCAA Tournament and other conference-level revenue).

If the MVC poaches from the Horizon League, that could put schools like IUPUI (from the Summit League) or Belmont (from the Ohio Valley Conference) in play as targets. It will be interesting to see just how much realignment will ultimately occur throughout the Division I ranks simply based on Wichita State being added as a non-football member to the AAC.

What impact does all of these potential moves have on the Power Five conferences? We’ll have more on that soon.

(Image from Business Insider)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawkeyes first in the Big Ten West.

    Like

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for the new post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dreg33 says:

    Why was there never (to the best of my knowledge) an official B1G announcement with the speciific terms of the new television contract?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      dreg33,

      “Why was there never (to the best of my knowledge) an official B1G announcement with the speciific terms of the new television contract?”

      I’d guess it’s:

      1. The B10 is a private entity that likes to keep business details private. They won’t release the details because they don’t have to.

      and/or

      2. The final deal isn’t actually 100% completed yet. It doesn’t technically start until 7/1/17 so they may still be finalizing minute details. Remember, they have to get ESPN and Fox to agree on the details of how all the sharing and scheduling works, and tripartite negotiations go much slower.

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  4. Would the benefits of adding a UIC outweigh the potential increase in UIC’s own ability to keep kids at home? UIC is a bit of a slumbering giant; a semi-respectable school with a med school and good facilities. If their athletics ever became even halfway decent they might see some real growth and stop some of those Chicago students from leaving the state.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      I just think even with improved athletics, continued gentrification, and higher ranked professional programs, UIC is not going to be a draw for many of those students who are more likely seeking a bucolic setting plus P5/G5 athletic atmosphere. It would be interesting to see if the increase in foreign student acceptance has had a ripple affect of “well-to-do suburban” Illinois students going to schools in neighboring states and further south (e.g. SEC, CUSA, AAC) – the well heeled out of state student serves the same function financially as a fully-sponsored foreign student.

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      • I’ve long believed that a major issue in stemming the tide of students leaving the State of Illinois is that there is such a dramatic drop-off in academic reputation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to the other in-state public schools (e.g. UIC, Illinois State, Northern Illinois, etc.). Indiana has both IU and Purdue and Iowa has both the University of Iowa and Iowa State despite being much smaller population states.

        Now, I do think someone that wants P5-type atmosphere isn’t going to find it at UIC. UIC’s peers are more along the lines of Temple as opposed to UCLA when it comes to urban public institutions. That being said, UIC’s location in the West Loop in Chicago is now turning out to be a major asset (as it has transformed from what was a down-trodden neighborhood 25 years ago into a highly gentrified area that is home to one of the best concentration of restaurants and art galleries in the country and is home to Google’s Chicago offices and will soon be the site of the world headquarters of McDonald’s). One big challenge that isn’t easily fixed is that the campus itself isn’t very aesthetically appealing with a predominance of 1960s-era Brutalist architecture (e.g. built during an age when everyone was obsessed with protection from nuclear war with the Soviet Union).

        Still, it would be great for the state of Illinois to have UIC to turn into the equivalent of say, UC-Irvine or UC-San Diego (if not UCLA). The research prowess is there and UIC is strong in STEM fields, in particular. (Note that I’ll admit that I’m biased since both of my parents went to and met at UIC while my father worked there for most of his career.) I only wish the best for UIC and it’s important for the state to have a second high quality public university option in any circumstance.

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        • Brian says:

          Isn’t part of the issue the number of quality private schools in IL of decent size (plus Notre Dame)? With NW, UChicago, DePaul, IIT, Bradley, etc, there are a lot of quality schools in IL that just happen to be private and are reasonably large. Outside of Notre Dame (and they are almost part of Chicago), IN and IA don’t have as much of that.

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          • Wilson Roberts says:

            South Bend’s in the middle of the northern border on the Michigan/Indiana line. I, personally, have never thought of them as an Illinois school, but they do have number of alums in Chicago. Then again, so does Michigan, MSU, tOSU & Wisconsin.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            I think many think of ND as a Chicago school. About an hour drive and within the Chicago TV and radio markets.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wilson Roberts,

            “South Bend’s in the middle of the northern border on the Michigan/Indiana line. I, personally, have never thought of them as an Illinois school, but they do have number of alums in Chicago. Then again, so does Michigan, MSU, tOSU & Wisconsin.”

            People in the area don’t think of them that way, but many ND students and alumni do if you talk to them. Especially people from out of the region. Only about 1/3 of ND students are midwesterners. Many from the east coast and elsewhere would rather be associated with Chicago than flyover country.

            Kevin,

            “I think many think of ND as a Chicago school. About an hour drive and within the Chicago TV and radio markets.”

            Exactly.

            Like

          • @Brian – Agreed. Notre Dame is definitely along with lines of a “Chicago school”, which is distinct from being an “Illinois school”. Chicagoland crosses state lines and has about as strong of a city/region identity as you can get, whereas Illinois overall has a fairly weak state identity. Very few people from the Chicago area would ever say that they’re from Illinois (at least as a first-line identifier): they’d virtually always say that they’re from Chicago as their primary identity.

            At the same time, ND specifically has always been treated as a home team in the Chicago media at the same level as or even more than Illinois, Northwestern or any other in-state school. Notre Dame is a “local school” for Chicagoans in a way that, say, Purdue and Wisconsin aren’t even though their campuses aren’t much farther from the city than South Bend.

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      • Agree with everything you said. My question though was whether accepting UIC into the MVC could inadvertently hurt the other MVC schools that desire more Chicago students by increasing UIC’s stature? In other words, would Drake and Missouri State be losing potential students to a more popular UIC? Or would just being associated with a quality Chicago school bring them more exposure and interest?

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        • Brian says:

          singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

          “Agree with everything you said. My question though was whether accepting UIC into the MVC could inadvertently hurt the other MVC schools that desire more Chicago students by increasing UIC’s stature? In other words, would Drake and Missouri State be losing potential students to a more popular UIC? Or would just being associated with a quality Chicago school bring them more exposure and interest?”

          UIC is big enough that people in Chicago already know about it. I don’t think joining the MVC would have any significant impact on their student recruitment. There might be an impact on athletic recruitment (would a Chicagoland athlete prefer to stay local?) but I don’t think it’ll do much for regular students.

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          • I don’t think it’s a matter of “knowing about” UIC, but more of a lesser version of the Flutie Effect. Right now UIC is a lousy athletic department in a conference that can’t even be described as mid-major. But if they were to join a mid-major conference and have some moderate level of success, that could entice more Chicago kids to stay home. I’m not talking about kids picking UIC over Iowa or Purdue or Missouri, but the kinds of kids that might prefer an Indiana State and MVC sports to a UIC and Horizon sports. I honestly don’t know the answer, that’s why I asked.

            Like

          • @singlewhitealcoholicseekssame – Let’s put it this way: there is such a high net outflow from Illinois as of now that UIC increasing its profile among in-state students can very easily happen simultaneously with other MVC schools increasing their own respective profiles in the state.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

            “But if they were to join a mid-major conference and have some moderate level of success, that could entice more Chicago kids to stay home. I’m not talking about kids picking UIC over Iowa or Purdue or Missouri, but the kinds of kids that might prefer an Indiana State and MVC sports to a UIC and Horizon sports.”

            I just don’t think that’s a major deciding factor for most students. I think concerns like being in Chicago versus not are much bigger factors. Many kids want to get away from home while others want to live in a big city for a while.

            “I honestly don’t know the answer, that’s why I asked.”

            I don’t either, I’m just giving my guesses.

            Like

          • For a look into the college choices for one Chicago area high school, here is the Class of 2015 college matriculation data for New Trier High School:

            http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/Administration/About/Documents/Profile_Class_of_2015/

            Note that New Trier is on Chicago’s North Shore and arguably the wealthiest and most elite open enrollment high school in the country (which is distinguished from selective admissions magnet and private schools). When the national news media (not just local) needs to write a story about a “wealthy public high school”, it often uses New Trier as a basis in the same way that there’s a disproportionate focus on Harvard in news stories about elite colleges. So, there’s going to be a bit of a skew in that this is a very high achieving and wealthy student body. On the other hand, it’s also a pretty good reflection of where students from the Chicago area choose to go when they have good grades and test scores and don’t have to worry much about financial aid. Plus, New Trier is such a large high school (over 4000 students) that it provides a substantial data set.

            Page 13 of the PDF file is pretty fascinating since it shows all of the colleges that matriculated more than 5 New Trier Class of 2015 graduates (along with comparing the matriculation of Class of 2014 graduates). It also shows the distribution of where those graduates attended depending on how many of the hardest-to-easiest level academic classes they took during their high school careers. Finally, there’s a breakdown of how many Class of 2015 grads matriculated in each of the Division I college conferences.

            Not surprisingly, the University of Illinois had the most grads (84), with Indiana (46), Michigan (38) and Northwestern (32) being the next 3 top destinations. Miami of Ohio (27) is actually next and just ahead of Iowa (23). UIC got 20 students… but so did the University of Colorado. The same number of students (9) went to Kansas and Arizona as they did to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. None of the other in-state public universities are even listed, which meant they all matriculated fewer than 5 New Trier grads. Even taking into account that this is a wealthy school, that’s pretty shocking to me considering the names of some of the schools listed with at least 5 grads that are nowhere near the Midwest (e.g. Lewis & Clark College, Elon, Vermont). Regardless, this is some insight to the choices being made by a critical mass of students that have a lot of options both academically and financially.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Miami of Ohio (27) is actually next and just ahead of Iowa (23).”
            That’s not surprising to me … MiamiU had a heavy Chicago contingent back in the 80’s, and I’ve gathered that it hasn’t changed much.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            The popularity of Wisconsin versus Purdue within the greater Chicago area tends to be correlated to actual distance, where alumni settled and also dominant industry/employer. This means Wisconsin gets a lot of love North of I-88 and Purdue’s nation extends no further than mid-DuPage Count sweeping through the more affluent parts of Kane, Kendall, Will into Orland and the tied-into-“Region” South suburbs.

            Like

          • @urbanleftbehind – That’s very true. I went to high school in the Chicago South Suburbs (Homewood-Flossmoor) and we had a much larger contingent go my class end up at Purdue (along with Indiana and Iowa) compared to Wisconsin. Now, that was (gasp!) 20 years ago and I do think Wisconsin’s general academic and atmospheric reputation throughout the Chicago area and nationwide seems to have grown since that time. New Trier’s large Michigan contingent is on the very high end for Chicago area schools. While Michigan is still a popular out-of-state option for Illinois students, its sky high out-of-state tuition cost has pushed a lot of students that would have gone to Ann Arbor in my generation looking for that quintessential college town experience over to Wisconsin today. I see that where I live now in Naperville (where it’s essentially equidistant geographically between Wisconsin, Purdue and Iowa).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            The report says 272 students went to B10 schools and that all 14 schools had at least 1. There were 8 B10 schools with at least 5 students that combined for 261 students, leaving 11 students to spread over the rest (NE, PU, OSU, PSU, RU, UMD).

            It’s a reminder how relatively weak the connection is between Chicago and OSU. OSU has 9400 alumni in DC/NoVA, 9100 in NYC, 7900 in eastern TX (Dallas, Austin, Houston) and 6800 in Los Angeles compared to 8600 in Chicago. For whatever reason, OSU alumni don’t go to Chicago.

            Like

          • @Brian – I do find that to be a bit strange with Ohio State being such a massive high profile Big Ten school. It’s not as if though Chicago area students don’t like heading to Ohio itself as evidenced by the large number of kids going to Miami of Ohio and even tiny Kenyon and Denison. If I were running Ohio State’s admissions office, I’d be investing quite a bit in trying to get more Chicago area students since there’s no real logical reason why they’re going to a place like Mizzou in large numbers but not OSU (where Columbia is actually farther from Chicago than Columbus). That would be a ton of low-hanging fruit for out-of-state tuition-paying students with solid academic credentials.

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          • urbanleftbehind says:

            To Frank’s point, I did feel a bit of a pioneer when I decided to go to tOSU for my grad program 22 years ago. That was when it was all Michigan and ND plus IU, Iowa, MSU (north side Trixie-land) and Wiscy/Purdue depending on where you were in the suburbs. Columbus was an hour closer to where I lived (SE Side of Chicago) than the bulk of area residents. My cousins went to H.S. with Mike Tomczak, I think a large wall poster he gave to one of them piqued my interest to the point I started following their football.

            At the time, their undergrads were either content to stay in Ohio (this was the era of “The Flats”) or go directly to Sun Belt areas. The interest in the east coast and Chicago started at the turn of the current century. As far as Chicago-area students not being interested, OSU lacked the academic cache of UM/UW/IU/IA and also was known to have a bad bureaucracy and was too crowded a campus (both factors led many undergrads to stay a minumum 5 years or even more).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “@Brian – I do find that to be a bit strange with Ohio State being such a massive high profile Big Ten school. It’s not as if though Chicago area students don’t like heading to Ohio itself as evidenced by the large number of kids going to Miami of Ohio and even tiny Kenyon and Denison. If I were running Ohio State’s admissions office, I’d be investing quite a bit in trying to get more Chicago area students since there’s no real logical reason why they’re going to a place like Mizzou in large numbers but not OSU (where Columbia is actually farther from Chicago than Columbus). That would be a ton of low-hanging fruit for out-of-state tuition-paying students with solid academic credentials.”

            http://enrollmentservices.osu.edu/report.pdf

            Some OSU stats (class of 2016):
            Ohio students – 5311 (67%)
            Other US – 1726 (22%)
            Foreign – 848 (11%)

            Top US states after OH:
            1. IL
            2. NY
            3. PA
            4. CA
            5. NJ
            6. MI
            7. MD
            8. FL
            9. VA
            10. TX
            11. IN

            So OSU does get a decent number of IL students, but almost as many from NY or PA. If you’ll note, OSU seems to get a lot more interest from the east (NY, PA, NJ, MD, VA all in top 10) than the west or south. The sources of students may be changing as OSU’s reputation improves, so maybe the number from IL is rising.

            It may be that students from Chicago are less interested in attending school in a city of 2M people. They may want either a major metropolis (Chicago, NYC, LA) or a smaller town for a change of pace.

            Like

  5. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    With Navy being a football-only member of the AAC, it makes perfect sense to add a non-football member for scheduling purposes as well.

    Joining the AAC may also help Wichita State revive its once proud baseball program. Gene Stephenson was one of the giants of the game. He coached the Shockers for 35 years, winning one CWS title, finishing as runner-up three times (twice to my LSU Tigers in 91 & 93), and making seven CWS appearances between 82 and 96.

    Like

  6. urbanleftbehind says:

    Alan, I expressed the same sentiment about Wichita’s baseball program at the end of the previous posting, noting that it can go into a number of the AAC’s markets for talent as well.

    Like

  7. Stuart says:

    The problem the Horizon has in replacing Illinois-Chicago is that no schools in the footprint match the investment level or fan support of the league. IUPUI, Omaha, UMKC are all woefully underfunded and have minimal support. The league has not much to offer the Dakota schools. Belmont turned down the MVC, as did Denver, and it’s hard to see them prefer the Horizon. Other schools have football considerations, which even at FCS levels can complicate things (SF Austin, Murray, NMSU)

    I don’t see a fit at this time where the interest would be mutual. I think they are going to sit on 9 for awhile until somebody emerges, or they get raided of a couple more schools, forcing them to lower their standards simply to survive – but I don’t see that threat at this time.

    Bottom line, realignment will likely stop at Wichita State to the American, Illinois-Chicago to the MVC.

    Like

  8. NJRedman says:

    Can you go over to Holy Land of Hoops and tell these guys adding Gonzaga isn’t just an easy sure fire thing?

    BTW adding WSU as a 12th member to offset Navy is a very smart move. Long Beach State would be a great 12th school in the MWC to balance Hawaii FB.

    Like

  9. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19086433/penn-state-trustee-al-lord-quits-election-sandusky-comments

    Al Lord, the PSU trustee who was running for re-election by alumni has dropped out of the race after his comments about Sandusky’s victims became public. He claims it’s unrelated to his comments, but the election is coming up and he just dropped out.

    A Penn State University trustee who told a publication he was “running out of sympathy” for people he described as “so-called victims” of Jerry Sandusky said Wednesday he is no longer seeking a second term on the board.

    Lord, elected in 2014, has been part of a group of nine alumni-elected trustees who have clashed with other board members about how the university has responded to the scandal involving Sandusky, the school’s retired defensive football coach now in prison on a child molestation conviction.

    “I’ll continue to work with you guys,” Lord told other alumni candidates. “I’m just not sitting through any more of those meetings.”

    He released a statement several days ago to the Daily Collegian, the Penn State student newspaper, apologizing for “any pain the comment may have caused actual victims.”

    Anthony Lubrano, a fellow alumni-elected trustee and Lord ally, said Lord told him the decision not to seek another term was not related to his comments to the Chronicle.

    “Of course I’m disappointed,” said Lubrano, who deferred comment on Lord’s comments regarding Sandusky victims. “Al was the most cerebral member of the board. He’ll be missed.”

    It’s unclear whether Lord’s name will appear on board election ballots that will start going out Monday. A university spokeswoman said Wednesday that vendors will have to be alerted soon to change the ballots. The election runs through May 4.

    Lord was a strong supporter of Spanier and attended his trial. He told the Chronicle he wondered why Sandusky victims “were so prominent in trial.”

    Only one Sandusky victim testified at Spanier’s trial, a young man who said he had been abused in a team shower by Sandusky after the 2001 shower incident that Spanier and other top administrators handled.

    Two of Spanier’s former lieutenants, former university vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley, struck plea deals on the eve of their trials to misdemeanor child endangerment and testified for the prosecution.

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    • Brian says:

      http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19095168/top-penn-state-board-members-ira-lubert-mark-dambly-urge-trustee-al-lord-quit

      The chair and vice-chair of the PSU BoT want Lord to resign over his comments.

      Chairman Ira Lubert and vice chairman Mark Dambly called trustee Al Lord’s comments offensive and embarrassing to the board majority, the university community and sexual assault victims.

      “We strongly condemn them,” Lubert and Dambly said in a statement sent to reporters by the university’s office of strategic communications. “Members of this board must hold themselves to a higher standard and represent our university with respect for all.”

      “Once again, we have a group of trustees stomping on our freedom of speech rights,” said alumni-elected trustee Anthony Lubrano, a Lord ally. “Al Lord made a comment that was very personal, well within his right. And I think Al should stay on the board until the conclusion of his term.”

      Like

  10. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/130860/diving-into-the-2017-fpi-projections

    ESPN put out FPI projections for every game this season.

    Favorites to win the conference:
    B12 – OU 77%
    B10 – OSU 69%
    ACC – FSU 49%
    SEC – AL 47%
    P12 – USC 34%

    B10 details:
    East – OSU 83%
    West – WI 82%
    CCG – OSU vs WI 68%

    Major OOC games:
    2. AL vs 4. FSU (Atlanta) – AL 55%
    3. OU at 1. OSU – OSU 73%

    OSU has 33% chance to go 13-0. Nobody else is above 10%.

    Chances the champ has 0 or 1 loss:
    B10 – 80%
    SEC – 47%
    ACC – 41%
    B12 – 39%
    P12 – 32%

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  11. Carl says:

    Sanderson likes to have fun.

    Like

  12. vp19 says:

    Maryland is losing its national freshman women’s player of the year. Guard Destiny Slocum is transferring, probably to a school closer to her native Idaho. It’s rumored her mother is suffering from cancer. The Terps might be susceptible in the B1G next season.

    Like

  13. Wilson Roberts says:

    Go Blue!

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  14. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

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  15. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I’m curious how the AAC decided to pursue Wichita State over Dayton and/or VCU. Either of those would have made a lot of sense, too.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Dayton was probably blocked by the Cincinnati Bearcats (Dayton might also be forever “blocked” by Xavier from the BE). VCU likely does not have the large $ benefactor that WSU does, though it provides a market link between Greenville NC and Philly.

      Like

      • @urbanleftbehind – I actually believe that it’s much more about the lack of interest from Dayton and VCU toward the AAC compared to the other way around. Note that the A-10 has unequal revenue sharing for NCAA Tournament credits where individual schools that make the Tourney receive 70% of the credits that they earn directly (with 30% going to the conference). This is a significant financial benefit for schools like Dayton and VCU that are regularly making it to the Big Dance. The upshot is that the AAC wouldn’t really raise revenue for Dayton and VCU in the way that it would clearly raise revenue for Wichita State compared to the MVC (which has equal revenue sharing for NCAA credits). The only non-P5 league that Dayton, VCU or schools like SLU would leave for is the Big East. Now, a school like UMass would love to get an AAC invite, but that’s more about getting a viable home for their FBS football program as opposed to basketball interests.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Michael in Raleigh,

      “I’m curious how the AAC decided to pursue Wichita State over Dayton and/or VCU. Either of those would have made a lot of sense, too.”

      1. Were they interested in the AAC? I honestly don’t know if either would be interested. I also don’t know that they wouldn’t be.

      2. UC wouldn’t want Dayton in the AAC. Too much market overlap anyway.

      3. VCU only joined the A10 in 2012. They may not want to move again so soon.

      4. As I mentioned on Frank’s previous post, Wichita State adds a 6th western team so they could use an E/W split for scheduling or even have 2 game road trips (F/Su). 16 games would give you 5 home and homes in division plus 6 crossover games.

      West – SMU/UH, Tulane/Memphis, Tulsa/Wichita State
      East – UCF/USF, UConn/Temple, UC/ECU

      Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        “16 games would give you 5 home and homes in division plus 6 crossover games.

        West – SMU/UH, Tulane/Memphis, Tulsa/Wichita State
        East – UCF/USF, UConn/Temple, UC/ECU”
        … and 18 games would give you a divisional round robin and 8 crossover games, so 2 crossovers can be Home and Away.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Yes, obviously. Or they could play 2 more OOC games if that makes more financial sense for them. The point was to reduce travel by playing the closer schools more.

          If they add Dayton instead, it’s hard to make the split since UC and Dayton are such an obvious pair. If they add VCU then UC would have to move west and pair with Tulsa which is not particularly helpful either.

          Like

  16. Rick says:

    Go Big Red

    Like

  17. bullet says:

    The P5 has done their bit. Its time for the trickle down effect. Although there would have been more if the Big 12 had expanded. This wouldn’t have happened if the AAC schools had performed better in basketball. But they have a need.

    Like

  18. vp19 says:

    Haven’t heard much of late about Connecticut bolting the American to return to the Big East in sports other than football. Has that fallen through?

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      Edsall probably connvinced the admin he could pull it off again. Also, the WSU add both strengthened their basketball SOS by 1 (or more) game. WSU would also been a midwestern public partner add to the BE alongside UConn.

      Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      UConn would have to abandon football, or very significantly downgrade football to join the Big East. There is obviously no way that any G5 league would take UConn football, without bball. Certainly UConn has zero chance of leaving football in the AAC and moving basketball to the BE. (I am ignoring all other sports, since they just follow football and basketball)

      There is just nowhere for UConn football to land, if they moved bball to a non-football league.

      The Big East has already been through the basketball/football divide. Personally, I doubt that the BE would ever take any school that has more than D2 football. They would know that any G5 type football school would always be hoping for a P5 invite.

      So, what does UConn do? Give up on all dreams of joining a P5 conference and ditch football? Hang in there with the AAC, try to build up football, and hope for an invite? They have pretty much committed to the latter.

      There is still some hope that the Big 12 will expand after all and take UConn. Of course, the favorite sentiment in Connecticut is still that the ACC will eventually realize the error of its ways and invite the Huskies/

      The addition of Wichita State will help AAC bball, so that gives UConn some comfort. The Connecticut newspapers have been very supportive of this move.

      Of course, the financial squeeze on UConn sports continues. It is a tough situation. I believe that if the day comes (in a few years) when there is another round of P5 movement and UConn is still left on the outside, they may have to reconsider the future of UConn football.

      Like

      • Nathan says:

        “So, what does UConn do? Give up on all dreams of joining a P5 conference and ditch football? Hang in there with the AAC, try to build up football, and hope for an invite? They have pretty much committed to the latter.”

        When the BigXII implodes next decade they’ll probably be in consideration for whatever conference rises out of the ashes with the BigXII schools that didn’t get a golden ticket to a P4 conference.

        The problem is that assumes that no other AAC team grows in potential over the next few years. UConn will still be at a detriment due to their location. I don’t see the K-States, Iowa Stats and the Texas Left Behinds wanting to travel up to Connecticut any time soon if they could help it. They better hope they’re better in football and basketball than the AAC Florida and Carolina schools.

        Like

        • urbanleftbehind says:

          I dont see that happening either, with regard to football, I could see a MAC split into 2 separate conferences by east and west, where UCONN with UMASS join with Miami-OH, Ohio U, Buffalo, perhaps Delaware, Marshall, ODU . The “west” would be NIU, Ball, WMU with the Dakotas perhaps Illinois State (who had been hoping to take NIUs spot had NIU been selected for AAC filler following another AAC’s promotion to the big 12).

          If UCONN is headed to the BE minus its football, it probably needs a midwestern public partner willing to downgrade/never had football. Oakland U in suburban Detroit. and Cleveland State, might be the only schools that fits this bill and dont overlap an existing BE school (e.g. Milwaukee, UNO, UIC, NKU, IUPUI). Memphis might actually be closer than farther in this regard, given its once-in-blue-moon football prowess.

          Like

        • David Brown says:

          I could easily see Connecticut giving up football due to economics. One school I see really benefiting from the Wichita State move is Kansas. I know the AAC is not the B10, but a real question is how much is a premiere hoops program worth (especially when KU is in the AAC)? I suspect quite a bit and when the the Land Grant ends, it will be the Jayhawks (along with Texas), getting the B10 berth, while the Oklahoma Schools( OU & OSU), getting the SEC. The other Schools will get picked up by the AAC and Mountain West. As for the Huskies? Maybe a slot in the Big East or MAC might be their best option, because not only will they be poor at football, but their best asset ( women’s basketball) will not be so great when that Coach retires.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      vp19,

      “Haven’t heard much of late about Connecticut bolting the American to return to the Big East in sports other than football. Has that fallen through?”

      I haven’t heard anything since mid-February. Both sides denied it at the time, too. The problem, of course, is football. UConn has several potential options there if the partners agree:

      1. Stay in AAC
      2. Be football-only in AAC (would AAC say yes?)
      3. Be football only in MAC (maybe with UMass to make 14 teams – would MAC say yes?)
      4. Be independent in football
      5. Drop to I-AA
      6. Drop football

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        1. Only realistic option.
        2. Zero chance that the AAC agrees.
        3. I doubt that the MAC would say yes. What does UConn football do for the MAC? I also question whether the Big East would agree, though going from the MAC to a P5 does not seem likely. This might be less threatening to the BE.
        4. This has been discussed and rejected as unrealistic by Uconn. As an independent, UConn probably could not even put together a schedule.
        5. This might work for the Big East, but UConn is not ready to give up P5 ambitions.
        6. See number 5.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          I wouldn’t put it past the MAC to say yes to that … the eastern division schools in particular would like the Eastern Exposure with a game in New England every season, it would allow Bowling Green and Toledo to be in the same division, eliminating the locked cross over game, and the 2H/2A games with both UConn and UMass would be appealing for MAC Basketball. Basically, similar to why they wanted Temple and were willing to promote UMass to get Temple/UMass. Those reasons disappear or are much weaker with only UMass (or only UConn), so they’d likely insist on the same “if one goes, the other one can go all-in or all-out after four years” clause as they had with Temple and UConn.

          It’s not a lead pipe cinch, but there would still be the same reasons for the strategy to appeal, to the eastern schools in particular.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Jersey Bernie,

          “1. Only realistic option.”

          It’s certainly the easiest and the most likely.

          “2. Zero chance that the AAC agrees.”

          Probably, but the AAC would want 12 schools in both football and MBB. If UConn leaves, who replaces them? Is there a viable new member better than UConn?

          I-A options in the AAC East footprint:
          Army – shows no interest in a conference
          Buffalo
          Marshall

          Less than 7 years in I-A:
          UMass – good geographic replacement
          ODU
          App State
          Charlotte
          GA State
          GA Southern

          The AAC would at least have to think about it.

          “3. I doubt that the MAC would say yes. What does UConn football do for the MAC? I also question whether the Big East would agree, though going from the MAC to a P5 does not seem likely. This might be less threatening to the BE.”

          It provides east coast access for recruiting students in the future. That’s important for schools based in the Great Lakes states. There’s a reason the MAC was willing to add UMass and Temple. Yes, it would require UConn to basically admit that their football will never go P5.

          “4. This has been discussed and rejected as unrealistic by Uconn. As an independent, UConn probably could not even put together a schedule.”

          Opinions can change with time. If hoops suffers too much, it might force UConn to reconsider some options they’ve rejected previously. UMass manages to make a schedule, so UConn could.

          “5. This might work for the Big East, but UConn is not ready to give up P5 ambitions.”

          Not yet, but it’s still an option no matter how unlikely at the moment. Budget issues could always make it more realistic in the future.

          “6. See number 5.”

          It’s almost unthinkable, but it is an option.

          Like

  19. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/missouri-valley-conference-needs-to-fill-voids-left-by-wichita-state-and-creighton/

    CBS suggests replacements for Wichita State.

    1. St. Louis (A10 and wants east cost access, so unlikely)
    2. Valpo (Horizon – lateral move?)
    3. Murray St (Ohio Valley founding member)
    4. Belmont (Ohio Valley)

    Like

  20. Nathan says:

    It took me a while to notice the gesture the Shocker mascot is making with his fingers. Well played Shocker, and well played Frank

    Like

  21. loki_the_bubba says:

    Another spot in the pecking order that Rice could at least aspire to is now gone. Another of the thousand cuts that are killing us.

    Like

    • David Brown says:

      It is a shame about Rice. They were the biggest loser when the South west Conference ended, and they are still being neglected today. Look at the various issues at Baylor yet they are still in a Power 5 Conference, and even SMU that got the Death Penalty ended up better then the Owls?

      Like

  22. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/19131827/maryland-president-wallace-loh-says-expect-death-penalty-north-carolina-tar-heels-athletics

    UMD president Wallace Loh had some strong words about UNC’s athletic/academic scandal.

    “As president, I sit over a number of dormant volcanoes,” Loh said during a University of Maryland senate meeting Thursday, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “One of them is an athletic scandal. It blows up, it blows up the university, its reputation, it blows up the president.

    “For the things that happened in North Carolina, it’s abysmal. I would think that this would lead to the implementation of the death penalty by the NCAA. But I’m not in charge of that.”

    UNC responded by claiming Loh has no direct knowledge of the case, but I think years of press coverage and multiple NOAs mean there’s a good chance Loh and other presidents are well aware of what happened at UNC. As he said, it’s a president’s worst nightmare and something all the presidents must have followed to some degree.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      SI: What’s the challenge of being the sixth conference in a world where there are, at least for now, five so-called power conferences?

      MA: Everybody felt that our conference was going to have a certain undercurrent of instability. That’s an accurate statement to the extent that in the early days it did, and through this whole Big 12 process, no question. But if some schools left, we’d still have a great nucleus, a great core, and now we’re aspiring to be a [Power 6]. That’s the key. We’ve beaten [Power 5 programs] in football. We have 19 wins in two years. We have 32 games of over a million viewers on ESPN platforms. That’s remarkable. Last year alone, we had a Tulsa-Ohio State game that had four million viewers, and we had a UCF-Michigan game that had two million viewers. Our championship game one year out-rated the Pac-12 championship game. And now the question is, if there’s stability in the landscape, which it looks like there is, we’ve got to try to be a P-6.

      And that’s where Wichita comes into play. My feeling was if we weren’t holding up our end of the bargain in basketball, it would be harder to claim that we were a P-6 conference.

      I think [a Power 6] is attainable. I really do. I think these schools have resources. We’ll get a better TV deal. That’s going to be key. In a few years, we’re going to be negotiating. We’ve got the ’17–’18, ’18–’19 and ’19–’20 seasons left to go, but we’ll negotiate well before that. I think our guys have done more with less already.

      He’s kidding himself if he really believes that. They are nowhere near making it a Power 6. Yes, they may get a better TV deal. But they are so far behind the P5 financially it’s laughable to think that the new deal will matter that much.

      As for touting the viewers of their games, get back to me with numbers for AAC conference games. People didn’t tune into those two games to watch Tulsa and UCF.

      2016 data:
      The AACCG pulled 2.0M. The lowest of the P5 CCGs (ACC) pulled 5.3M. The CUSACG pulled 1.0M and the MACCG pulled 1.4M. The AAC is closer to the rest of the G5 than they are to the P5.

      As for MBB, they are also well behind. They’ve averaged 3 bids over the past 4 seasons. That’s behind what a P5 conference should have. They are in line with the top mid-majors, nothing more.

      Average # of NCAA bids over the past 4 years (I didn’t check any other conferences):
      ACC – 7.0
      B10, B12 – 6.75
      Big East – 5.5
      P12 – 5.25
      SEC – 4.0
      A10 – 3.75
      AAC – 3.0

      Even if adding Wichita State gets them up to 4 per year, only the SEC is that weak among P5 conferences.

      Like

  23. Brian says:

    https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/04/11/friday-night-games-schedule-big-ten

    An SI writer wrongly claims that Friday night CFB is a good thing for the B10 and everyone else.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I don’t see a ton of improvement. I’m sure they’ll sell some new gear but then I think everything will go back to status quo. I just don’t think most people care that much about any but the best logos. I’m glad they kept the Old English “R” as to me that was the only symbol I associate with Rice anyway.

      I think the “new, clean and sharp” fonts and images are fine but will look out of date in a few years and need to be replaced yet again. Lots of schools go through those cycles for no real gain that I can see.

      I’m not convinced the owl actually looks like an owl in the full bird image but I suppose some owls may look like that. To me an owl has a larger body. The image looks more like a raptor of some sort to me.

      I think in the wordmark I would’ve tried to make the notches in the “R” and “O” be shaped like the owl’s beak or else have those serifs be owl wings (or something else) to subtly tie in the imagery to the words.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Did kind of look like a raptor or a small owl. Most of us are used to seeing owls sitting and staring. I guess the key is how recruits like the uniforms. They are an update. I did like the old English R.

        Like

      • BruceMcF says:

        It only has the slightest indication of the owl’s body (the white coming down off the neck), and the body is not in profile, so it doesn’t really have to indicate the body size … but it looks about right for a barn owl. A snow owl’s body would look bigger, but (1) Rice is a bit far south to have a snow owl as a mascot and (2) much of that is fluffier down for insulation.

        Like

  24. ccrider55 says:

    I withdraw my long term hope that the long play would be UVA and UNC to the B1G.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.sportingnews.com/amp/ncaa-basketball/news/north-carolina-hb2-acc-championships-ncaa-boycott-unc-nc-state/rqtmr53jqdub12gtili3pwdei

    Kinda like one of the objections to UT. You have to deal with the state, not just the school.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      So are they going to pull UNC and NCSU out of the NCAA too? I’m sure the NAIA would welcome them with open arms.

      I doubt this bill becomes a law, but states have passed dumber laws before.

      Serious question:
      If the state ever did force UNC and NCSU out of the ACC for this reason, would any other P5 conference add them? Obviously the P12 wouldn’t and the ACC couldn’t. They’d bring lots of value to the SEC or B10, but would those conferences tolerate a state sticking their nose in like that? I think they might be tempted to stand united with the ACC and try to force the state to back down. The B12 might be the most receptive due to their size and wanting WV to have some closer schools, but even then the solidarity among these conferences can be strong when their power is threatened.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        As a follow-up, what would happen to the ACC? Would Duke stay or follow UNC elsewhere? What about UVA? Would WF be kept with all their in-state foes gone?

        With Tobacco Road gone, would the ACC crumble or just split into North and South divisions and backfill as needed (UConn, WV, etc)?

        North – BC, SU, Pitt, UL, UConn?, WV?

        Either based on who is around – VT, UVA?, Duke?, WF?

        South – Miami, FSU, GT, Clemson

        Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/19142531/under-new-bill-north-carolina-nc-state-required-withdraw-acc-conference-boycotts-state

      They have proposed House Bill 728, filed Tuesday, which states any public state school in a conference that boycotts North Carolina would be barred from “extending any grant of media rights to the conference” and “shall immediately provide written notice to the conference that the constituent institution intends to withdraw from the conference no later than when the assignment of its media rights expire, unless the conference immediately ends the boycott.”

      So the state would respect the current GoR. Does that mean they really are unbreakable or does it mean they haven’t bothered to look into the details? What if the boycott ends before the GoR does? Do the schools still leave? Is there a penalty fee for saying you are leaving even if you end up staying?

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/north-carolina-nc-state-pulled-from-acc-hb2-southeastern-conference-big-ten/1wljrcokaza5a1ftfg939xw2mv

      Sporting News’s take on what would happen to UNC, NCSU and the ACC if they were forced out of the ACC.

      North Carolina lawmakers just can’t stop themselves from introducing inane bills that could potentially hurt their largest insitutions.

      Fresh off a stinging public rebuke from pretty much everyone over the state’s controversial bathroom bill, N.C. lawmakers this week introduced another bill that, if passed, would pull North Carolina and N.C. State from the ACC if the conference removed events from the state, like it did in the wake of HB2.

      First off — that’s not going to happen. The bill is nothing more than a display put on by a group of lawmakers whose pride and public image has taken a serious beating in recent months.

      Why won’t it pass? Because both schools stand to lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars if it does.

      The bill, HB728, prohibits the schools from extending grant of media rights to the ACC — which the conference has already extended into the 2030s — and requires them to put aside money gained from those rights to use in conference termination fees. The ACC divvied out $26.2 million per school from TV revenue in the 2014-15 fiscal year, more than any other conference beside the Southeastern Conference and Big Ten. Losing out on at least that much money on an annual basis should stop the bill in its tracks.

      UNC by far has the most to gain should it get pulled from the ACC. The question now facing the Tar Heels is this: Do we want to play in the SEC or Big Ten?

      The Tar Heels certainly have enough power, money and prestige to go the independent route, but the money involved in joining another Power 5 conference should be too much for UNC to seriously consider it: Both the SEC ($32.7 million) and Big Ten ($32.4 million) divvied out, on average, over $6 million more per school than the ACC in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

      The case for joining the SEC

      [see the article to read the case for the SEC]

      The case for joining the Big Ten

      [see the article to read the case for the B10]

      Assuming N.C. State does not partner with UNC to form some sort of package deal, the most likely move for the Wolfpack is to make the jump to the AAC, since it simply doesn’t have the same pull as its North Carolina sibling to court interest from the likes of the Big Ten or SEC.

      What Happens to the ACC?

      The conference won’t need to realign either, considering North Carolina and N.C. State are permanent cross-division rivals.

      The immediate concern for the conference, however, will be to keep other conferences from poaching its remaining schools. Assuming the SEC or Big Ten secures UNC (but not N.C. State), it leaves open the possibility for those conferences to seek another ACC team order to maintain the conference’s split-division format.

      The most enticing option would likely be Georgia Tech. Atlanta is in the middle of SEC country, and bringing on the Yellow Jackets would renew several old rivalries in the conference. Atlanta’s media market is massive (ranked ninth by Nielsen), making it a huge draw for the Big Ten, even if the school wouldn’t fit geographically with its other members.

      Other schools the ACC would need to protect include Virginia, Clemson and Florida State, all of which would provide untapped media markets and competitive football/basketball teams.

      I don’t see Clemson or FSU at stake if the B10 and/or SEC are taking ACC schools (the B12 would take them, though). GT is only in play for the B10. UVA would be intriguing to both of them.

      I also think UNC and NCSU would be forced to be a pair by the state in this scenario, or at least they would both have to find equivalent homes (one in B10, one in SEC would be okay from NC’s point of view) and play each other annually.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/2017/04/12/north-carolina-nc-state-leave-acc-boycott-championships-house-bill-728/100382142/

      Some more details.

      It calls on the two public schools in the league to “immediately” notify the conference it “intends to withdraw” if another boycott is launched and the school would be barred from re-joining the ACC for five years after the boycott ends. The bill does not impact Duke and Wake Forest, both private schools from the state in the ACC.

      So if they’re still in the ACC waiting for the GoR to expire and five years pass after the boycott, apparently they wouldn’t need to leave.

      Like

  25. jog267 says:

    Good for NC. Legislation like that is long overdue. Congress should threaten their tax exempt status, too.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      jog267,

      “Good for NC.”

      You’re welcome to believe that. I think you’ll find the majority opinion is different but that doesn’t make you wrong.

      “Legislation like that is long overdue.”

      It is? Based on what? When should it have been passed? The HB2 only passed just over a year ago. Was there some other issue before that that should have prompted this sort of legislation?

      “Congress should threaten their tax exempt status, too.”

      On what basis? Conferences shouldn’t have the right to determine where their championships are held without losing tax exempt status? Yeah, good luck with that. There is no reasonable tie between this sort of decision by the ACC and their tax exempt status.

      Like

      • jog267 says:

        This is political theatre by the NCAA and ACC,” U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson said in a statement. “If these multi-million dollar, tax-exempt organizations were interested in social change and not making a political statement, they would proceed with their marquee events in North Carolina and enact any transgender bathroom policy they wanted. This blatant political move — less than two months before the election — brings into question their tax-exempt status. This is an avenue we intend to explore.”

        Indeed. Thus legislation (and regulations) which ensure that conferences and the NCAA mind their place in the world is long overdue.

        The NCAA and ACC are tax exempt entities which exist for a purpose; that purpose is not to attempt to influence legislation or engage in political activity at any time of any kind for any reason. They should mind their own business rather than bully states or public institutions (Chief Illiniwek; the Fighting Sioux, etc.) to conform to the social mores of a cloistered and unrepresentative leadership class. The Catholic Church cannot legally do this, and taxpayer supported institutions don’t constitute a majority of its members.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          jog267,

          “”This is political theatre by the NCAA and ACC,” U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson said in a statement.”

          “If these multi-million dollar, tax-exempt organizations were interested in social change and not making a political statement, they would proceed with their marquee events in North Carolina and enact any transgender bathroom policy they wanted. This blatant political move — less than two months before the election — brings into question their tax-exempt status. This is an avenue we intend to explore.””

          Speaking of political theater. He can explore all he wants. He’ll find no legal basis for removing their TE status. As for effecting social change, all these boycotts did get NC to change their law.

          Good luck to the congressmen and senators from NC in stripping the TE status of the ACC against the wishes of those from MA, NY, PA, KY, VA, SC, GA and FL let alone all the other states with P5 schools.

          “Indeed. Thus legislation (and regulations) which ensure that conferences and the NCAA mind their place in the world is long overdue.”

          And what exactly is “their place” in the world? They are made up of voluntary members. They felt compelled to implement boycotts because the NC law violated fundamental principle the ACC and NCAA hold dear.

          “The NCAA and ACC are tax exempt entities which exist for a purpose; that purpose is not to attempt to influence legislation or engage in political activity at any time of any kind for any reason.”

          Any TE entity is free to attempt to influence legislation or politics within the bounds of the law.

          “They should mind their own business rather than bully states or public institutions (Chief Illiniwek; the Fighting Sioux, etc.) to conform to the social mores of a cloistered and unrepresentative leadership class.”

          They consider non-discrimination against their fans and athletes their business. Schools are welcome to leave if they don’t like it.

          “The Catholic Church cannot legally do this,”

          Bull. They influence legislation all the time. Open your eyes.

          “and taxpayer supported institutions don’t constitute a majority of its members.”

          So? The ACC is an entity all by itself. The makeup of its members isn’t actually relevant to its TE status.

          Like

          • jog267 says:

            Publicly funded universities should reflect and promote the social values (to the extent they promote social values at all) of those funding them; the organizations to which they belong should not be bullying taxpayers to change or alter their laws or values. Period.

            The NCAA and ACC may be legally entitled to behave as they do; but they reflect the values of their leadership which are often at odds with taxpayers who fund their member institutions. They are, in effect, using public resources to promote their own agenda.

            This is what I meant by minding their place. Congress and the state legislatures can change the law regarding tax exempt status – and other matters if that is necessary – to put them in their place.

            Two thirds of ACC members are public institutions; all are in states with GOP controlled legislatures. Should these legislatures decide that the institutions funded by their constituents must, say, eliminate race from consideration for university admission, permit open carry on campus, or any implement any other conservative policy, is the ACC the proper entity to force this change on the 5 private schools? Membership is voluntary…

            (I don’t support such policies, by the way.)

            This would, of course, be wholly inappropriate. But that was my point. Neither the ACC and NCAA has any semblance what is appropriate, seem incapable of modesty or self restraint, and are thoroughly disdainful of citizens in general and taxpayers in particular.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            jog267,

            “Publicly funded universities should reflect and promote the social values (to the extent they promote social values at all) of those funding them;”

            Who, exactly, determines what those values are? Why should they be bound to what they feel are incorrect values just because people in the state still hold them? By this line of thought, every public university in the south would’ve stayed segregated until fairly recently (and some still would be). Tyranny of the majority is something the US tries to prevent.

            “the organizations to which they belong should not be bullying taxpayers to change or alter their laws or values. Period.”

            The organizations in question didn’t say anything to taxpayers. They told the state government that their law was unacceptable to that organization. And a whole bunch of other groups told NC the same thing (NBA, NFL, individuals, etc), so it’s not like the ACC and NCAA were out on a limb.

            “The NCAA and ACC may be legally entitled to behave as they do;”

            There is no “may be” about it. They acted 100% legally.

            “but they reflect the values of their leadership which are often at odds with taxpayers who fund their member institutions.”

            Are they? Or are there just a lot of vocal complainers who like bad laws? And let’s be honest, NC taxpayers probably provide 15% or less of the funding for UNC and NCSU and none at all for the NCAA and ACC. The rest of the ACC and NCAA owe nothing to NC taxpayers.

            “They are, in effect, using public resources to promote their own agenda.”

            No, they aren’t. The membership dues are trivial.

            “This is what I meant by minding their place. Congress and the state legislatures can change the law regarding tax exempt status – and other matters if that is necessary – to put them in their place.”

            Why would they punish their own schools? Other states aren’t going to go along with such an idiotic decision. The instant they lose TE status, they also lose almost all of their donations since they can’t be written off. It’s very hard to write laws that pick out one group and will hold up to judicial scrutiny. Do you think the other conferences would let that happen nationally? Do you think the other conferences with NC schools would?

            “Two thirds of ACC members are public institutions;”

            So? Not all states think alike.

            “all are in states with GOP controlled legislatures.”

            That’s nice, but they still aren’t all the same. There are lots of red states that think NC’s law is stupid.

            “Should these legislatures decide that the institutions funded by their constituents must, say, eliminate race from consideration for university admission, permit open carry on campus, or any implement any other conservative policy, is the ACC the proper entity to force this change on the 5 private schools?”

            Nobody would force those changes on them.

            “(I don’t support such policies, by the way.)”

            Of course you don’t. Just the laws that discriminate how God intended. Would you like separate facilities for colored people back too? After all, the majority wanted those laws for a long time.

            “Neither the ACC and NCAA has any semblance what is appropriate,”

            Disagreeing with you doesn’t mean they lack a sense of what is appropriate.

            “seem incapable of modesty or self restraint,”

            Yes, they just boycott non-stop. There must have been 2 or 3 in the past 100 years. What radicals.

            “and are thoroughly disdainful of citizens in general and taxpayers in particular.”

            Citizens and taxpayers as groups aren’t their concern. The well-being of the student-athletes and their fans are.

            Like

  26. Brian says:

    http://thecomeback.com/ncaa/tom-hermans-texas-longhorns-will-least-well-hydrated.html

    Tom Herman has urine color charts over all the urinals at UT. Good for him in stressing proper hydration. Way too many coaches used to focus on toughness by not taking taking water breaks in the old days. I’m glad to see a coach putting player health and safety first and selling it as being a good teammate.

    Like

  27. Brian says:

    http://thecomeback.com/ncaa/oral-roberts-prevented-coach-recruiting-players-tattoos.html

    The new president at Oral Roberts seems to be a real jerk.

    Oral Roberts used to be one of the nation’s better mid-major programs. Hired in 1999, a 28-year-old Scott Sutton led the Golden Eagles to 11 straight winning seasons before the program completely tanked the last two years, finishing 8-22 and dead last in the Summit League this season. So the school fired him, and you think you can understand why, right?

    Now we have a better idea as to why the program has struggled recently, and it’s not Sutton’s fault.

    Starting in 2013, new Oral Roberts president Billy Wilson told Sutton he could only sign players without tattoos, and new recruits would have to pass a “faith exam” as well, according to reports from the Tulsa World and local CBS affiliate KOTV.

    In general, it’s become clear the administration at Oral Roberts treated Sutton like crap. According to the KOTV report, Wilson sought any reason to fire Sutton, which suggests his recruiting rules may have been more about creating a losing program to make Sutton look bad than to actually stick to the school’s evangelist tradition. The report also says Wilson told Sutton to fire his brother Sean Sutton, an assistant at Oral Roberts since 2011, not only to hire a new assistant, but to hire a new head-coach-in-waiting. In other words, Wilson wanted Sutton to hire his eventual replacement in place of his brother, who was also the top assistant on his staff.

    It’s no coincidence that Sutton’s teams hit a bit drop-off once Wilson became president. The Golden Eagles went 58-70 since 2013 after winning 20-plus games in seven of the previous nine years.

    If those evangelist values are really the main values at your school, go ahead and stick with them. But don’t expect a winning product on the court if those values are the priority. And don’t fire a coach with a winning track record simply for doing as he was told.

    As it already stands, morale on campus has dipped, according to Ben Johnson of the Tulsa World. On top of that, this week’s news could have a larger negative impact on the university with advertisers wavering on their commitments.

    I wonder if all students also have to pass a faith exam and can’t have tattoos. If so, more power to ORU. If not, this is just the president being an ass. If you just don’t like the coach, you can fire him. Why try to manufacture a reason this way? It sounds like a little karmic retribution with the advertisers getting antsy, though.

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      For an committed religious school like Oral Roberts, tests of religious belief, bans on tatoos (also banned in OT), etc., are reasonable. Students, faculty and staff freely chose that environment.

      They also ban alcohol, social dancing and profanity:

      http://handbook.oru.edu/section-2/behavior-and-conduct-regulations/

      Until the 60’s, colleges and universities had all sorts of behavior regulations. As someone who lived through the turmoil of the period, it is not clear that the elimination of those rules was a net good.

      It is not obvious that what happened at ORU is a bad thing. The pervasive corruption in college athletics everywhere is a really bad thing.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bob sykes,

        “For an committed religious school like Oral Roberts, tests of religious belief, bans on tatoos (also banned in OT), etc., are reasonable.”

        Yes, as long as they apply to everyone. That’s what I said above.

        “They also ban alcohol, social dancing and profanity:

        http://handbook.oru.edu/section-2/behavior-and-conduct-regulations/

        There is no mention of tattoos in that code of behavior. Nor do I see any details about a faith test. ORU seeks to maintain a Christian environment, but that covers a wide range of denominations (Greek Orthodox to Catholic to Baptist to LDS). Many of those people would answer differently to questions about their faith. ORU requires chapel attendance but doesn’t specify beliefs in detail. Imposing these restrictions just for the MBB team seems peculiar.

        “Until the 60’s, colleges and universities had all sorts of behavior regulations. As someone who lived through the turmoil of the period, it is not clear that the elimination of those rules was a net good.”

        Regulating behavior is quite different from imposing a faith test for only certain students. Similarly, they could require players to cover tattoos while on the court and in classes.

        “It is not obvious that what happened at ORU is a bad thing.”

        Making a coach fire his brother rather than having the AD do it? Then forcing him to hire a coach-in-waiting to replace his brother? Telling him he’s fired by text? Restricting his recruiting then firing him for not winning enough? All of that seems bad to me. If you want him out, just fire him and do it face to face.

        “The pervasive corruption in college athletics everywhere is a really bad thing.”

        Yes, but I don’t see any evidence of corruption here.

        Like

        • Bob sykes says:

          We disagree less than you think. I merely think that as long as everyone knows up front what they are getting into a college’s behavior rules are not an issue. That is not to say I would want my children at such a school.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I have no issue with them having extreme rules. I do have a problem with them only applying to the MBB team as a method of firing the coach. That and how the coach was treated are the parts that make the president seem to be a jerk.

            Like

  28. BruceMcF says:

    Buffalo is dropping four sports ~ on the men’s side soccer, swimming & diving, and baseball, accompanied by rowing on the women’s side ~ citing lack of resources in the Athletic Department, dropping them down to FBS minimum 16.

    There will be some form of subsidy-sport realignment resulting from this, as MAC soccer has five full time members and WVU to make the minimum six for the autobid. The minimum impact would be one of the affiliate members of a midwestern non-FB conferences that sponsor men’s soccer as one of their require three men’s team sports … either Eastern Illinois in the Summit or Southern Illinois – Edwardsville in the MVC … where realignment could halt there, as both are presently at seven members. Bigger impact would be the MAC dropping soccer or inviting an affiliate that would push another conference below six, like Howard University in Sunbelt soccer.

    Like

  29. Brian says:

    https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/04/13/neil-gorsuch-supreme-court-ncaa-amateurism-lawsuits

    SI examines the impact Neil Gorsuch could have on NCAA athletics via cases on amateurism reaching the SC.

    Like

  30. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19157689/ncaa-division-council-passes-proposal-overhauling-college-football-recruiting-rules

    The NCAA has finally approved a major overhaul of recruiting rules as a package.

    The legislation revamps early official visits, places limits on hiring individuals associated with recruits and affects three other key areas of the football recruiting process. It also allows for a 10th full-time assistant coach, which will become effective on Jan. 9.

    With the proposal’s passage, prospects will be allowed to take official visits, paid for by the school, from April 1 of their junior year through the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June. Before the change, official visits were not allowed before Sept. 1 of a prospect’s senior year. The change in the recruiting calendar becomes effective Aug. 1 and will first affect the 2019 recruiting class.

    The early visits are designed to work in tandem with an early signing period, which was not part of the agenda this week in Indianapolis. Conference commissioners, who administer the national letter of intent, are expected to vote on a proposed mid-December early signing period at their meetings in June.

    Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who chairs the Division I Football Oversight Committee, said he expects the vote on a early signing period to pass.

    “We have every expectation that the December date would be approved at the June meeting of the Collegiate Commissioners Association,” Bowlsby said. “But I would be remiss if I didn’t say we’re going to continue to take a very close look at early signing dates. We know that approximately 70 percent of college football prospects make their decisions prior to the middle of the football season of their senior year. Those young people need to have an option available to them to terminate the recruitment process earlier than December.”

    Also part of the new legislation are strict rules that mirror what is used in college basketball for individuals associated with prospects, or IAWP. The IAWP rules are designed to prevent schools from hiring anyone associated with a prospect for noncoaching positions.

    For example, the high school coach of a prospect is not allowed to take a paid or volunteer job as an analyst or strength coach at the college recruiting that coach’s prospect. An IAWP is permitted to take a job at the same college only as a full-time, on-field coach.

    Penalties for violating the IAWP rules range from permanent ineligibility of the players involved to the suspension of a head coach or assistant. The IAWP rules are effective immediately and retroactive to include contracts signed on or after Jan. 18, 2017.

    Another important piece of the proposal reduces when coaches can conduct camps from two 15-day periods in June or July to 10 days in June. It also requires camps to take place on campus or at facilities used primarily for practice or competition by member schools.

    This rule is effective immediately

    Also bundled in the proposal is the limitation of annual scholarships to 25. This is a move to do away with oversigning and to reduce the practice of grayshirting, a tactic by which schools delay the enrollment of a prospect until the following January so his signing would technically count as part of the next class.

    The legislation limits to 25 the number of prospects whose aid is initially offered in the fall term of an academic year. Before, rules limited to 25 the number of prospects allowed to sign from Dec. 1 through May 31. This portion of the changes will affect newcomers in the 2018 signing class.

    The new rules also create an expanded summer dead period for the entire month of August and from Monday before the last Wednesday of June through July 24. This allows coaches to take a break from the recruiting trail, spend more time with their family and focus on the start of fall camp in August. This portion of the legislation doesn’t become effective until Aug. 1 and will affect the class of 2019.

    In the run up to the vote, many have been describing this package as the most sweeping reforms to recruiting ever. I don’t actually think there will be a huge change. I like adding a 10th coach, allowing spring official visits (good for northern schools) and not allowing schools to hire people just to get a recruit. It’s great for coaches to limit the period when camps can be held and expand the summer dead period so coaches can take true vacations. It’s good for the recruits to be left alone more too. I’m not sure how much the oversigning limitation will really change things. Schools are good at finding loopholes. I think a simpler rule like a cap of 25 new players on scholarship in any one year would be more effective, but maybe not.

    Like

  31. urbanleftbehind says:

    Nebraska’s in something called the NCAA Women’s Bowling championship. Playing McKendree (IL) College. Not bad environs and the uniforms help.

    Like

  32. Brian says:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2017/04/17/college-athletes-pay-purdue-big-ten-ncaa/100553590/

    Former Purdue AD Morgan Burke says trying to give athletes more benefits would come at the expense of donations.

    Recently retired Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke has an answer for those who believe athletes in the most prominent college sports should receive greater benefits than those currently allowed under NCAA rules, including benefits other than cash:

    No, not only do athletes get enough now, there also are people involved in the college sports world – specifically donors – who think athletes get too many benefits.

    “In his opinion, student-athletes already are provided with everything that they need to be successful, which he described as the goal of financial aid to student-athletes. He said that ‘we’ [referring to schools] want to provide a level of support and services based on the time demands of participating in intercollegiate athletics and being a student that meets what student-athletes need to be successful academically and athletically.

    “MB believes that there is ‘already some tension’ where the question of giving more to student-athletes is concerned. He said that some schools ‘are creeping back into that.’ ”

    The notes next say that Burke discussed the John Purdue Club, the athletics department’s fundraising arm.

    “ … MB said that one can already see what the effect of changing the current model of student-athletics would be on this group. If the model were changed to a more professionalized version, the members of the John Purdue Club would cut back in their giving and their level of interest in intercollegiate sports. ‘They see how much we’re getting from our media contracts and that the university is taking a cut,’ MB said. They ask him, ‘why are you asking us? You’ve got money.’

    “Member [sic] of the John Purdue Club would not like the money going into athletes’ pockets beyond the cost of their attendance at Purdue. Some donors already are concerned about the level of services Purdue provides its student-athletes. MB and his colleagues have to explain why the services are appropriate. He believes that if he didn’t have those conversations, donors might act unilaterally and reduce the amount of money they give.”

    Like

  33. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/19187949/baylor-hires-first-female-president-amidst-sex-assault-scandal

    Baylor has hired a woman as their new president. I hope she works hard on changing the culture and is successful.

    Like

  34. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/19201974/martin-jarmond-hired-boston-college-eagles-athletic-director

    BC has hired OSU’s deputy AD to become their new AD. Martin Jarmond in only 37, so he becomes the youngest P5 AD. He’s also black, boosting the number of minority ADs. Perhaps he’ll be OSU’s choice to replace Gene Smith when he retires.

    Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/19198313/indiana-hoosiers-bans-athletes-history-sexual-violence

    IU has banned athletes with a history of sexual or domestic violence from now on.

    According to the Indianapolis Star, the policy bans “any prospective student-athlete — whether a transfer student, incoming freshman, or other status — who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.” Considered under “sexual violence” are domestic violence, rape and sexual assault.

    I hope all schools follow suit.

    Like

  36. Brian says:

    Two ESPN bloggers make the case for their conference having the best roster of coaches in the nation.

    B10 case:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/142170/best-roster-of-coaches-in-america-its-in-the-big-ten

    1. Meyer
    2. Harbaugh
    3. Franklin
    4. Dantonio

    Others of note: Chryst, Fitzgerald, Ferentz
    Too soon to tell, but respected: Riley, Smith
    Exciting young bloods: Brohm, Fleck, Ash, Durkin
    Other: Allen

    ACC case:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/99186/whos-got-better-coaches-than-the-acc-nooobody

    1. Fisher
    2. Swinney
    3. Petrino

    Others of note: Cutcliffe, Richt, Fedora, Johnson, Fuente

    Like

  37. Brian says:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Bolt/Why-is-there-no-spring-high-school-football-in-Ohio-52389358

    A reminder that Ohio (and most of the north) doesn’t play spring football while much of the south and west does. This makes a significant difference in player development.

    http://usatodayhss.com/2012/rules-about-spring-high-school-football-vary-nationwide

    This article discusses the vast differences in rules from state to state on this.

    Vermont schools are allowed five days of spring practice while Florida schools get 20, for instance. In California, the rules even differ between the California Interscholastic Federation’s 10 sections.

    In all, 16 states allow full-fledged, full-pad spring practices.

    Alabama is one of them. The state’s athletic association gives teams four weeks to hold up to 10 practices and play in a spring game against another school. After putting his team through a winter and early-spring conditioning program that doesn’t count against its spring allotment, Niblett uses spring practice to simulate what the team will experience come fall.

    Hal Wasson, coach at defending Class 5A Division I Texas state champion Carroll (Southlake, Texas), uses spring ball to find the identity of his team, develop the team’s depth and build mental toughness.

    Wasson, who like Niblett puts his team through a grueling winter and early-spring conditioning program before spring practice begins, typically uses 14 of the state-allotted 18 practices. His team wraps up the spring with an intrasquad game, which he says typically draws almost 4,000 fans.

    In Connecticut, schools have the option of conducting 10 days of practice toward the end of the school year or adding four days to the start of practice in August.

    The choice is easy for Connecticut High School Coaches Association president Steve Filippone, also coach at defending Class L state champion Daniel Hand (Madison, Conn.).

    “We believe wholeheartedly that the spring is the best time of year to stress fundamentals and injury mitigation,” he said. “If you’re trying to teach kids the proper technique to tackle and block while you’re trying to get ready for a game, you’re not going to put as much emphasis on it.”

    The biggest argument against spring practice is that it discourages athletes from playing multiple sports. South Carolina grants teams 21 days of spring practice – 10 in pads – but pushes it back until the end of the spring season so athletes aren’t forced to choose.

    Utah takes it a step further by prohibiting spring practice.

    “We want kids who play baseball or run track to not feel like they’re getting left behind because they look out the window and see the football team working out,” said Kevin Dustin, assistant director of the Utah High School Activities Association.

    There’s no easy answer since weather forces spring sports to start later in the north. Perhaps northern states could fit in a few practices early in spring before the weather is conducive to other sports and/or a few late in the school year.

    Like

  38. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/michigan-state-lineman-auston-robertson-charged-with-sexual-misconduct/

    MSU DL Auston Robertson has been charged with 3rd degree sexual assault (max = 15 years). This is a separate incident from the one still under investigation involving 3 players and a coach getting suspended. Unfortunately for MSU, Robertson has a history of bad behavior.

    In January 2016, he was arrested for misdemeanor battery for allegedly touching a female classmate inappropriately while at Wayne High School in October 2015. After entering into a diversionary program, the charges were cleared last month. Robertson did not sign with Michigan State until after he entered the diversionary program.

    You have to think the victim is going to try to sue MSU and/or the AD and/or Dantonio and/or anyone she can blame for letting Robertson into MSU with that history and insufficient supervision. Stories like this are why IN’s new policy is so wise.

    Like

  39. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19210781/southeastern-conference-commissioner-greg-sankey-denies-request-removed-unc-infractions-panel

    We have a timeline for the UNC case.

    Sankey’s letter also details a new timetable of completion for the oft-delayed case. UNC must respond to the latest charges by May 16. The NCAA enforcement staff then has until July 17 for its own response. Sankey wrote that his panel will hear the case in August with “anticipated” dates of Aug. 16 and 17.

    Rulings typically come weeks to months later.

    So this may be over (except the inevitable appeals) by the end of the year.

    Like

  40. Brian says:

    For the first time, it looks like a traditional B10 team will win a share of the conference title in MLAX. So far only UMD (1.5) and JHU (0.5) have won even a share of the title. With an OT win yesterday, OSU now has the tiebreaker over UMD and JHU with only 1 conference match left for each team and all at 3-1 in B10 play. OSU needs to beat 1-2 RU to clinch a share of the title. JHU and UMD face each other in their final match, so there will likely be a split title again.

    The B10 is a strong conference this year with 4 teams in the top 10 of the latest committee rankings:
    2. UMD
    5. OSU
    6. JHU
    7. PSU

    It should be a great B10 tournament and a decent shot at a national title for somebody from the B10.

    Like

  41. ccrider55 says:

    Meanwhile out west, a bit of a shake up.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/24/college-hotline-on-pac12nets-president-lydia-murphy-stephans-stepping-down-and-whats-next-for-the-networks/

    As usual, I have disagreements with some of Wilner’s assumptions and conflations. But it is covering a change that may (or may not) be significant.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I think he makes some interesting points:

      Murphy-Stephans also made some shrewd talent hires — too bad she couldn’t keep Neuheisel! — and proved an able champion of Pac-12 Olympic sports.

      And lest anyone forget: Exposure for those sports was a crucial selling point for the conference chancellors and presidents … a higher priority, in fact, than turning a substantial profit.

      In that regard, I’d argue that Murphy-Stephans’ successor must have two qualities above all:

      1) He/she must have a deep understanding of, and passion for, the Pac-12 campuses, and 2) He/she must be a champion not of the Olympic sports but of the money makers.

      It was all well and good for the Pac12Nets primary decision-makers — Murphy-Stephans, a speed skater, and Scott, a tennis player — to have backgrounds in, and inclinations for, the Olympics sports.

      But not anymore.

      As the next wave of Tier I deals and potential realignment builds on the horizon, the Pac-12 must have someone in charge of the Networks who views the world first-and-foremost through the lens of football/basketball lens.

      I can’t speak to the culture in the P12N and won’t try to. But I do think it’s important to remind people that exposure for the non-revenue sports was a key component to getting conference networks as far as the presidents are concerned. That means you can’t just look at everything from a financial perspective.

      That leads to the dichotomy of Wilner saying the next person must shift the focus to CFB/MBB. Have the presidents suddenly changed their minds? If not, then someone with a non-revenue focus might be the right match for what the presidents want from the P12N. You don’t have to be oblivious to the financial picture to support non-revenue sports.

      I agree a CFB/MBB focus would be more likely to get P12N carriage on DirecTV, but I’m not sure anyone can make it worthwhile to DirecTV at the price the P12N is demanding. I just don’t know that the demand is there for it.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        I pretty much agree. However, how could they focus more on FB/MBB? They already broadcast every home FB game not taken by T1 contract, and most if not all BB. Plus multiple replays. More talking head/coaches shows?

        How exactly does T1 future negotiations relate to the network? Maybe I’m wrong, but 100% ownership to me seems to give flexibility that a partnership with an entity across the negotiating table would compromise.

        It’s not a financial bonanza but seems to serve the presidents and chancellors intent. P12N does make money (and has from the start), just not as much as BTN. SECN, ACCN, LHN are espn owned properties so I’m not including them in a conf net comparison. If the 2010 P16 had occurred (or occurs?) I’d bet the comparison to BTN would be much closer, as would T1 deals, too.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          ccrider55,

          “However, how could they focus more on FB/MBB?”

          I’ve never watched the P12N, let alone looked at their programming schedule.

          “They already broadcast every home FB game not taken by T1 contract, and most if not all BB. Plus multiple replays. More talking head/coaches shows?”

          Possibly. I believe the P12N spend more time on non-revenue sports than the other conference networks, but maybe that’s just a function of them having the regional P12Ns too. Maybe he means things like scheduling (when games are played, which teams are in them, avoiding short weeks or long travel after late games, etc). Or leveraging games to get the P12N better distribution or higher fees.

          Just for a quick comparison, look at today’s TV listings:
          BTN – about 15 hours of football
          P12N – about 15 hours of non-revenue sports
          5 hours of P-12 Sports Report (4.5 hrs straight), 2 baseball games, a softball game, women’s water polo, WBB PotY show

          “How exactly does T1 future negotiations relate to the network?”

          It’s another outlet to show games, so it’s certainly relevant. If it had broader coverage maybe they could potentially put more games on it or have more leverage for scheduling the T1 games?

          “Maybe I’m wrong, but 100% ownership to me seems to give flexibility that a partnership with an entity across the negotiating table would compromise.”

          The split ownership models have worked pretty well so far.

          “It’s not a financial bonanza but seems to serve the presidents and chancellors intent.”

          Mostly, but even they have expressed some concerns about the financial gap to the B10 and SEC. If the gap gets too large, they may feel compelled to make changes to close it.

          “P12N does make money (and has from the start), just not as much as BTN. SECN, ACCN, LHN are espn owned properties so I’m not including them in a conf net comparison. If the 2010 P16 had occurred (or occurs?) I’d bet the comparison to BTN would be much closer, as would T1 deals, too.”

          Sure, but it didn’t and people still want to see the large media markets out west capitalized on to full advantage.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “It’s another outlet to show games, so it’s certainly relevant.”

            All games are shown now. Conf net gets primarily games not selected by T1

            “If it had broader coverage maybe they could potentially put more games on it or have more leverage for scheduling the T1 games?”

            Are you suggesting the conf net is competing as a T1 bidder? In the future, perhaps. But not currently, and not as a competitor to a partner. At P12N’s formation I was scoffed at when I suggested 100% ownership offered the possibility of independence from the “middle men.” Now it’s a viable proposition, just lacking a level of carriage for now?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “All games are shown now. Conf net gets primarily games not selected by T1”

            It doesn’t have to be that way. The SECN got some major games its first year to force carriage deals.

            “Are you suggesting the conf net is competing as a T1 bidder? In the future, perhaps. But not currently, and not as a competitor to a partner. At P12N’s formation I was scoffed at when I suggested 100% ownership offered the possibility of independence from the “middle men.” Now it’s a viable proposition, just lacking a level of carriage for now?”

            Remember, you’re asking me to explain what someone else meant by an offhand comment. I’m just throwing out possible explanations.

            The only real value to 100% ownership is that they have an asset they can sell while still having control over the network.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “It doesn’t have to be that way. The SECN got some major games its first year to force carriage deals.”

            As does the P12 in the T1 picking order of games that includes a few first and several second picks.

            “The only real value to 100% ownership is that they have an asset they can sell while still having control over the network.”

            Not just control. Ownership – of an entity that is probably in excess of $1B valuation. I think some underestimate the intrinsic value of ownership. tOSU isn’t selling off parts/half/all of the Horseshoe. Same at Mich and the Big House.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “The only real value to 100% ownership is that they have an asset they can sell while still having control over the network.”

            “Not just control.”

            Control is key. The B10 and SEC sold parts of their networks but maintained a level of control. The P12 still has that option.

            “Ownership – of an entity that is probably in excess of $1B valuation.”

            Valuations mean very little if nobody will actually pay that for it. Who would pay $1B to take over the P12N?

            “I think some underestimate the intrinsic value of ownership.”

            Ownership gives you control and an asset. That’s it.

            “tOSU isn’t selling off parts/half/all of the Horseshoe.”

            But they’ve sold naming rights to almost everything else. They’ve privatized all kinds of things. The B10 sold half of the BTN to Fox.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “The B10 and SEC sold parts of their networks but maintained a level of control.”

            SEC didn’t have one. SEC made a media rights deal with espn. ESPN created and owns it (the network).

            “Ownership gives you control and an asset. That’s it.”

            There is little more.

            “They’ve privatized all kinds of things.”

            But not the infrastructure.

            “The B10 sold half of the BTN to Fox.”

            Again, they didn’t sell (part of) an existing entity. They sold interest in an entity Fox would significantly invest in creating. Would BTN have happened without Fox? Kevin Weiberg said years later he wished they’d have gone without a partner.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “SEC didn’t have one. SEC made a media rights deal with espn. ESPN created and owns it (the network).”

            You know what I mean. Same with the B10. The B10 pre-emptively “sold” 50% of it to get it created.

            Now that conference networks are a known entity, the P12 could consider selling half of it if a good deal ever comes along (maybe from Google).

            “There is [a] little more.”

            It can stroke your ego, I suppose. Otherwise it’s just an asset you control.

            “But not the infrastructure.”

            Parking. Energy (HVAC/electricity). They’d consider selling buildings if they could retain control of them, but as is they sell naming rights to rooms, wings, whole buildings, etc. They also solicit donations to cover the cost of building or renovating them. If donations ever stop being enough, then we’ll see what they will privatize.

            “Would BTN have happened without Fox?”

            Only if someone else stepped in. The presidents wanted a partner to reduce the risk and BTN needed leverage to get carriage.

            “Kevin Weiberg said years later he wished they’d have gone without a partner.”

            It wasn’t his money being invested. Getting carriage was a fight as it was. Without Fox (or another partner), the BTN never gets off the ground.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Brian:

            “It wasn’t his money being invested. Getting carriage was a fight as it was. Without Fox (or another partner), the BTN never gets off the ground.”

            He was one of those responsible for the investment. His later statement indicates it wasn’t a choice of partner, or no network. It was a choice to partner in a new untried venture. I don’t think there was a Fox agreement when Delaney told espn “consider them rolled.” It would have happened without Fox/partner, but with a higher anxiety level. At least that’s my read.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “He was one of those responsible for the investment.”

            Yes, but it still was someone else’s money. Most people are more willing to risk the money of others than their own. That’s all I’m saying.

            “His later statement indicates it wasn’t a choice of partner, or no network. It was a choice to partner in a new untried venture. I don’t think there was a Fox agreement when Delaney told espn “consider them rolled.” It would have happened without Fox/partner, but with a higher anxiety level. At least that’s my read.”

            I agree they probably would’ve tried it. I just have zero faith it would’ve been successful. Any conference can have a network if they don’t care about making money from it. They certainly weren’t going to get the same sort of carriage fees for an untried product with no real leverage. Fox brought TV production and sports coverage knowledge to the table as well as leverage with carriers.

            Like

          • David Brown says:

            I moved from Arizona to North Carolina last month, and while I wad there was no demands in the state for Direct TV to pick up PAC-12 Network to show more Sun Devil ( ASU) or Wildcat games ( University of Arizona games). I myself had Direct TV ( instead of Cox or Dish ( both of which offer Pac-12)). When I moved, I chose Direct TV again. Why? The same reason I chose Direct TV in the first place: The NFL Sunday Ticket. If the choice is Sun Devils or Steelers, there is no way ASU ladies vollyball comes over the Steelers. Until the Pac-12 understands that showing ladies vollyball may look good ( politically speaking), the reality is most people who are sports fans, are chosing the provider that has the Sunday Ticket ( especially if they live outside the Pac-12 footprint). Of course, that requires common sense and a comprension of economics that state the NFL, BTN and SEC are going to chosen over the Pac-12 Network.

            Like

        • Mike says:

          However, how could they focus more on FB/MBB?

          I’ve seen some criticism that the PTN is too focused on the Olympic sports. For example, on Football signing day the BTN and SECN did long signing day specials where the PTN didn’t.

          Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19235179/sec-commissioner-greg-sankey-view-parts-recruiting-package-healthy

    Gee, here’s a shock. SEC commissioner Sankey is hoping the NCAA rethinks parts of their new recruiting rules package that he finds “unhealthy” for CFB (translate as the new rules hurt the SEC’s competitive advantages).

    It was made clear leading up to the vote that this was a package deal as that was the only way it could pass. It seems unlikely they’d instantly start undoing pieces of it.

    “I think there’s some good in there, and I think there’s clearly some issues we did not support as a league and don’t think are heading in the right direction at this moment,” Sankey said. “Hopefully, they will be subject to further review sooner rather than later. …”

    Rules he dislikes:
    1. Allowing official visits in spring (April through early June) when northern schools can pay to bring in southern players to look around in nice weather and they aren’t busy with HS games.

    As for the change regarding early visits, Sankey cited a member of the student leadership council who wondered why schools would want recruits making official visits outside of the regular academic schedule.

    He said the SEC proposed an amendment that would have permitted them just in April.

    “But the idea of bringing young people to visit a campus when you’re not having regular campus life is not a direction we would support,” Sankey said.

    2. The hard cap of 25 recruits per year.

    Bowl Subdivision schools would also be limited to signing 25 prospective or current players to a first-time financial aid agreement or a national letter of intent, with exceptions for current players who have been enrolled full time at the school for at least two years and those who suffer an incapacitating injury.

    Sankey said the league, which already has a signing limit for member programs, wanted to expand the time range for counting scholarships toward the current class.

    “What’s called a hard cap on signing, I don’t think that accomplishes what it’s intended to accomplish,” he said. “I think what it’s going to do is remove some opportunities that should exist. So somebody signs, isn’t eligible for some reason, the school is prohibited from replacing that scholarship with someone new, an initial counter. “

    In other words they won’t get to sign 28 kids (with all the recognition for a highly rated class), have 3 fail to qualify academically or get arrested and still have a full class in the fall. Heaven forbid they have to give a scholarship to a walk-on for a year.

    He also said he didn’t understand the addition of a 10th football assistant coach, which he called “a bit of a sweetener” in the package.

    It’s part of their plan to limit the size of non-coaching staffs going forward. They’ve said they’re looking at that now and Saban has already started complaining.

    Like

  43. Brian says:

    http://newsok.com/article/5546727

    Oklahoma passed a new law allowing universities to sue boosters whose actions result in economic losses (like getting the team busted by the NCAA).

    The measure allows a lawsuit against third parties who trigger penalties and economic losses against schools for breaking a governing body’s rules. For example, if a booster gives cash to a student athlete in violation of NCAA rules and the NCAA fines the university, a court could order the booster to pay damages to the school.

    Like

  44. Brian says:

    http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/willie-taggart-oregon-ducks-rebuild-mario-cristobal-justin-herbert-royce-freeman-042417

    OR’s new coach had a few interesting things to say about his program.

    “I was really shocked at how weak we were as a football team,” Taggart said. “Having this great facility, it’s easy to get complacent. You assume recruits are just going to come, but you’ve got to go get them.”

    [about the workout scandal]

    “We know we didn’t do anything to try to hurt our kids. We’d done [the same program] everywhere we’ve been and never had a problem,” Taggart said. “I think our guys just overworked themselves and didn’t hydrate. … They were trying to impress the new coaches.”

    [about his D]

    “We have a guy or two that can play at some positions, but not a whole [position] group that we feel comfortable with,” Taggart said.

    “It’d be easy for people to say, ‘OK, it’s a new staff, they’re trying to break these guys down’ — especially since all I kept hearing was, ‘Coach, Oregon is soft a football team, Oregon’s not tough,’” Taggart said. “It’s easy to take that story and think we’re in here trying to make them tough.

    “I can’t make them tough. You’re either tough or you’re not.”

    “I think a lot of the young men that were here, they came here for the uniforms, not to be a great football player. That fell by the wayside,” Taggart said. “We’ve got to get back to being blue collar. We’ve got to make them earn the things that they get here — and they get a lot.”

    Like

  45. Mike says:

    ESPN layoff day. Seems to be on the journalist side.

    Like

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