BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder Kristi Dosh joined Campus Insiders today as their Sports Business Insider to discuss Louisville’s new $40 million/5-year deal with Adidas and why Tom Jurich is the best athletic director in the country….
BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder, Kristi Dosh, went on Campus Insiders today to talk about the business of the Final Four…including what happens to the court when it’s all over!
After a very brief hiatus, the monthly Athletics Construction Roundup is back! It is hard to believe that I have been writing these for over a year now. To celebrate, I’m pleased to unveil a fresh format for the roundup; one that I hope is easier to read and carries less of a rigid, academic feel to it. If you truly hate the new format, feel free to let us know in the comments section.
The Athletics Construction Roundup is a monthly series on construction of athletics facilities. Each month I’ll provide you with a list of athletic construction projects in progress (and recently completed) across the country, including details on budget and scope of the project.
Oklahoma is letting fans vote on the field design for its spring game. Voters will have to choose between six endzone layouts and three midfield logos.
Astroturf will be installing the new turf at Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium next month. The new surface is the same as the one installed last year on two fields at the Cowboys’ Sherman E. Smith Training Facility.
Florida State has announced facility upgrades that a locker room renovation. In an interesting move, the facility will include a replica of the set used on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Season tickets are sold out for Baylor’s inaugural season at McLane Stadium. The $260 million stadium will open in the fall.
Texas has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to complete a feasibility study on the possibility of enclosing the south endzone at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Although the expansion would increase capacity, its primary goal would be addin additional suites to the stadium.
Work will begin in May on Virginia Tech’s long awaited indoor practice facility. The $21.3 million project should be completed by the fall of 2015.
Arkansas State has added three LED digital displays to the area outside of Centennial Bank Stadium.
VCU’s men’s and women’s basketball will call a new complex home in 15 months. The $25 million project includes locker rooms and practice courts.
A similar project will be built at Georgetown. The John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center will be a $60 million, 144,000 square foot facility when it is completed in 2016.
Humphrey Coliseum at Mississippi State is getting a new centerhung video board. The project also includes standard upgrades such as shot and locker room clocks.
With a new program often a new facility follows. That’s the case with Montana as a $1 million stadium will built before the department’s inaugural softball season begins next year.
The college basketball season reaches its pinnacle over the next few days with the Final Four on Saturday and the National Championship on Monday. In addition to final practices and traveling to Dallas, intercollegiate athletic departments have been busy pumping out school spirit via social media.
Perhaps in no industry is Twitter as important as sports. According to Nielsen, who launched Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in the fall of 2013, 50 percent of all tweets about television in 2013 were about sports events. In addition, sporting events accounted for 12 of the top 20 most-tweeted-about television broadcasts.
It comes as no surprise then that every major intercollegiate athletic program is on Twitter. Indeed, most departments have multiple Twitter accounts – one for each sport and one for the entire department. For Florida, Kentucky, UConn, and Wisconsin, their men’s basketball accounts have been in overdrive throughout March Madness, but particularly since their teams secured spots in the Final Four last weekend.
So, who’s doing it best?
I don’t know about you, but I love a good fairy tale. Especially when it involves Cinderella and a basketball. This year, the role of Cinderella is being played by University of Dayton, which earned its first berth in the Elite Eight since 1984.
While the rest of us are glued to our television screens, administrators and communications professionals in Dayton are scrambling to answer media requests and capitalize on their moment in the sun. No matter what happens against Florida tomorrow, Dayton will be basking in the afterglow for months, if not years, to come.
There’s nothing quite like a matchup between in-state rivals, especially when it’s Louisville and Kentucky on the basketball court. No. 8 seed Kentucky goes into tonight’s NCAA tournament game a 4.5-point underdog to No. 4 seed Louisville, but Kentucky won when the teams met earlier this season. The outcome on the court is really anyone’s guess … but I can tell you the outcome of this season in each athletic department’s respective bank account is a different story.
On Wednesday the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office in Chicago ruled in favor of scholarship student athletes at Northwestern, declaring them employees and allowing them to collectively bargain with the University going forward, much in the same way we’re familiar with professional sports leagues collectively bargaining with their athletes. Here are the answers you need to about how this ruling might impact college football:
What does the ruling mean?
Yesterday, the NLRB regional office in Chicago declared scholarship football student athletes at Northwestern are employees who can unionize and seek to collectively bargain with the University. What does it really mean? I break it down with Bonnie Bernstein on Campus Insiders….
The regional National Labor Relations Board in Chicago issued a stunning decision Wednesday, granting employee status and unionization rights to college football players at Northwestern University (PDF of decision here). The decision will almost certainly be appealed to the national NLRB in Washington, D.C., and from there can move over into the federal appellate courts and ultimately the Supreme Court. While we won’t have a final resolution to this issue anytime soon, the decision issued today was significant and will have immediate impact.
Remember, we’re less than three months away from a trial in the O’Bannon v. NCAA case which has been in the courts since 2009. A judgment against the NCAA there would no longer allow it to profit off of student-athlete (or should I now call them employee-athlete-students?) images and likeness without compensation.
We also had a new case filed just this month directly targeting the cap on scholarship amounts, demanding that the free market determine what a school may offer a prospective student-athlete.
In January, the NCAA hosted sessions at its convention on the future of Division I athletics. But the feedback was skeptical and the detail missing. The presentation reeked of bureaucratic speak such as new committees and task forces.
Now with this NLRB decision, you get the feeling the entire student-athlete / amateurism model is going off the rails. But what did the decision actually say and how does it apply?
It says the scholarship (walk-ons are excluded) college football players at Northwestern University are employees, and have the right to unionize and collectively bargain for compensation and benefits. The decision focused mostly on the level of control the school, via its athletic department and coaching staff, has over its athletes. It covered in depth the athletes’ daily routine, the hours spent on football, and the rules that must be adhered to in order to remain on the team and keep the scholarship. Special emphasis was placed on the fact the scholarship is contingent on a number of different factors which all ultimately are controlled by Northwestern, the employer.
Northwestern tried to argue that a 2000 NLRB decision involving graduate-students at Brown University should control, and lead to a determination the athletes are not employees. (I went through a detailed analysis of this last month). The NLRB said the Brown case did not apply here, and even if it did, the result would be the same.
Presumably, today’s decision would allow other private university athletes to follow a similar path. The NLRB does not govern public institutions, so athletes at state schools will have to navigate the unionization process in their own state under state law.
To this point, the College Athlete Players Association (CAPA) has not said it will pursue increased financial compensation and/or salaries for performance. It’s focus has been on better health care as well as some type of structure to receive funds from likeness and image use, as well as sponsorship revenue (i.e. along the lines of O’Bannon case issues). However, the authority granted by the NLRB today would certainly permit increased compensation to be included in any collective bargaining.
It’s also difficult to read today’s decision and not think it could very easily be applied to many other sports at many different levels down the road. As I mentioned, the focus was much more on the time commitment of the athletes and the control the coaches and school have over them, rather than the large amount of revenue the athletes in major college football generate. Many student-athletes in non-revenue sports and at smaller schools are on scholarship, put in the same hours, and are under the same university control. It will be interesting to see which group of college athletes follows in Northwestern football players’ footsteps.
There are two key dates coming up soon as this process moves forward. Northwestern must file a list of eligible employees with the NLRB (Chicago) by April 2nd so that an election can take place regarding forming the union. Then, Northwestern has until April 9th to file an appeal with the national NLRB in Washington, D.C. It most certainly will do that, and where it goes from there is likely a long, windy road through the federal courts.
Northwestern football players won a victory today. What remains to be seen is whether, upon further review, the decision is confirmed or reversed.