Author Archives: Lauren Nevidomsky
So long Northeast-10, UMass-Lowell is off to the America East. As of July 1, 2013, the UMass-Lowell River Hawks will be joining the Albany Great Danes, Binghamton Bearcats, Hartford Hawks, Maine Black Bears, UMBC Retrievers, UNH Wildcats, Stony Brook Seawolves, and Vermont Catamounts as the 9th team in the American East conference, filling the void that will be left by the BU Terriers when they leave for the Patriot League. The America East board unanimously approved the new addition, and couldn’t be happier to admit the school into its conference.
Except for its hockey program, UMass-Lowell’s sports teams currently compete at the Division-II level in the Northeast-1o Conference. They have been a member of the Northeast-10 since 2000. The move from Division II will be exciting for the school as it will raise its prestige and level of competition, while paving the way for the addition of both men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. Yet, despite the upgrade to Division I in the next few months, UMass-Lowell will be ineligible for postseason play until after the four year reclassification period from DII to DI, which will end in before the 2017-18 season.
However, even though reclassifying may strengthen the school’s reputation, especially in the Northeast, upgrading divisions never comes without a cost. For example, it is almost certain that the cost of running the athletic department will increase. Coaches’ salaries will increase, and new coaches will be brought in, in particular to coach the new lacrosse programs. Recruiting budgets will rise as the school will need to spend more money finding higher caliber athletes to propel it to the levels that other America East schools are competing at. Additionally, the NCAA requires that Division I schools provide a greater number of scholarships to be awarded; as such, scholarship expense may increase dramatically in some sports.
Although these increased expenses may come as a burden in the short-run, UMass-Lowell’s addition to the America East, especially if its teams find success, may have great benefits in the long-run. Having a school with a great sports program is a pull factor for many prospective students. This may cause applications to rise, which will allow the school to increase its academic profile even more than it has over the past several years.
By: Shanette D. Buford-Brazzell
Recently, DePaul University made the huge announcement that they are considering moving all of their Men’s Basketball home games into United Center, the home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.
DePaul University, a NCAA Division I and Catholic University, currently plays its 16 home games at the Allstate Arena, in Rosemont, a suburban neighborhood outside of Chicago. This contract to play there runs through 2015. During the 2011-12 season Men’s Basketball home games attendance was 130,486, with an average of 7,676 spectators. The possible move to downtown Chicago will bring more spectators and increased attendance for the Blue Demons.
According to a Crain’s Chicago Business article it was reported that “the university is considering the United Center or a new facility to be built near McCormick Place.” Many people have their own opinion about the possible move of the Men’s Basketball games, while others aren’t too happy about it. The move has its pros and cons: students will have a shorter travel trip to games from their campus in Lincoln Park. The travel time from the campus to the Allstate Arena is currently twenty-seven minutes. Yet, the move to United States could decrease their commute to only eight minutes! Similarly, The Blue Demons fans and spectators from the city wouldn’t have to travel far either.
DePaul University mentioned in their strategic plan V2018 that one of their goals was to seek various opportunities to bring Men’s Basketball back into Chicago. In a recent interview with Journal Online, DePaul’s spokesman, Director of Communications for Men’s Basketball and Golf, Greg Greenwell, stated “DePaul will consider any proposal that will help us accomplish that goal”.
A spokesman from United Center confirmed that there are reports from sports facility’s owners, who had recent conversations with the university about Men’s Basketball playing games at the facility. However, there hasn’t been any confirmation from DePaul’s Athletic Director Jean Ponsetto.
What: New NCAA Enforcement Program–Created by a 13-member group of presidents, athletic directors, commissioners, and others in the collegiate athletic community
When: Effective August 1, 2013
Who: Affects accountability of Head Coaches in the NCAA
Where: NCAA Campuses across the nation
- To increase accountability of coaching staffs to uphold integrity of collegiate model of athletics in wake of some of the worst scandals in NCAA history
- To provide a stronger deterrent for individuals who believe that the benefits and advantages of violating NCAA regulations outweigh the severity of punishment
- To better differentiate between who was actually responsible for violations by making coaches bring the penalties they incurred individually to a new school if they decide to change jobs
|Old System||New System||Why the Change?|
|Levels of Violation||2 (Major and Secondary)||4 (Ranging from severe breaches of conduct to incidental infractions)||Makes the Violation Code Less Rigid|
|Division I Committee Members||10||Up to 24||Allows less severe cases to be dealt with in a more timely manner by creating sub-groups|
|Hearings for Level I Cases by Committee on Infractions||5 times annually||10||To deal with severe cases more efficiently and effectively|
|Basis of Penalties for Head Coaches||Did Head Coach Know of Violations or Have “Presumption of Knowledge?”||Presumed responsibility, unless proven otherwise||To ensure that head coaches provide ample materials informing assistant coaches on how to properly act|
Ever since social media became popular, and the number of users of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter skyrocketed, people have always been warned to be cautious of how they present themselves online. High school students often change their last names so that college admissions counselors can’t find them and college students often deactivate their accounts during the job-hunting process. Additionally, those smart enough to ensure that their social media presence is spotless avoid posting any racy photos or any stories describing their weekend shenanigans. However, it has not been common for authorities to outwardly prevent someone from doing these things if they so choose. Yet recent developments prove that this censorship of social media may soon become an increasing trend.
This past summer, the International Olympic Committee came up with a whole list of guidelines for athletes to follow when posting Tweets or Facebook posts. In an attempt to preserve the sanctity of the Olympics and its name, many of the guidelines seemed harmless, but others, such as the ban against promoting one’s sponsors (if they weren’t official sponsors of the Olympics) caused resentment among many athletes. To be reminded of this, check out this story: American athletes lead revolt against IOC ban on social media use to promote sponsors.
This censorship trend has since moved into the realm of college sports, specifically two schools in the state of Kentucky. According to this article posted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky are banning their student athletes from using upwards of 400 different words on Twitter. Though most of them are the names of various sports agents, the remaining terms tend to be those associated with sex, drugs, and rock and roll. If these words are used by the student-athletes, the image of “Big Brother is Watching” comes to mind, since coaches will be alerted to this through special monitoring software.
Now, I’m all for preserving one’s reputation and wanting to present oneself in the best light possible, but has this ban taken it a step too far? How about the monitoring software – are college sports becoming Orwellian? Maybe that’s over-thinking it a little, but isn’t there any other way to ensure the dignity of one’s school and program without infringing on First Amendment rights and banning student-athletes from using certain words? I understand that in theory, athletes should know themselves that certain words should not be used in their Tweets but in reality, this does not always happen. So what’s the best solution? Let us know what you think below!
According to the latest reports, Simon Fraser University, located in British Columbia, Canada may be the first full-fledged international member of the NCAA. After participating in the pilot-program for Canadian schools for the past several years, SFU is now the first university to come this close to full NCAA membership. If approved by the Division II President’s Council on August 9, SFU’s 17 sports could be competing in the NCAA within the month.
By becoming full members, SFU sports teams will be able to compete for regional and national titles and the school’s student-athletes will be eligible for athletic scholarships and all-America awards. This move will be used to pave the way for more international membership, both from Canadian and Mexican schools.
The only thing initially currently in between SFU and NCAA membership is accreditation status, as the NCAA currently requires that all member schools be accredited by a U.S. agency. At present, both the NCAA membership committee and its executive committee have voted to support a change in the constitutional language, which would allow SFU to become a member of the NCAA as long as it is actively seeking accreditation by one of the six accreditation programs in the U.S., and is in good standing in their own nations’s accreditation program.
An application for accreditation has been filed with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCUU). The NWCUU is an accrediting agency for the Northwest U.S. region – mainly Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Last fall, following the formal results from the NWCCU visit, Simon Fraser University had been cleared for Candidacy for Academic Accreditation status. This status indicates that the university has achieved initial recognition and is progressing towards accreditation. The process will be complete by 2017 at the earliest. Now, once the NCAA’s President Council approves the revised legislation, which it originally recommended, Simon Fraser University will be competing in the NCAA.
Simon Fraser has a history of playing against United States universities. From 1965-2001, it played in the small-college National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). However, when many of its opponents started leaving for the NCAA in the 1990s, SFU was left as an “unaffiliated” member of the NAIA. This then prompted Simon Fraser’s first attempt to join the NCAA, but it was turned down.
Consequently, Simon Fraser partially move to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West conference to avoid the scheduling and logistical problems created for the teams competing in the NAIA. However, depending on the sport, SFU has either continued playing in the NAIA or moved to CIS. As a part of the NCAA, Simon Fraser has been competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) as a provisional member for the past two years. It has been eligible for GNAC championships for the past year. To better understand its progression from CIS to NCAA over the last few years, see this: NCAA Transition Timeline
In the GNAC, the distance between Simon Fraser and its furthest opponent, University of Alaska-Fairbanks is roughly 1400 miles, but the distance between Simon Fraser and its furthest opponent in Canada West, University of Manitoba, was only 1155 miles. In Football, the overall distance between SFU and its four opponents (Humboldt State, Western Oregon, Central Washington, Dixie State) is about 2040 miles, while in the Canada West, the overall distance between SFU and its four closest opponents out of the total six (UBC, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan), was 1678 miles. When you added the two remaining schools (University of Manitoba and University of Regina), the distance totaled about 3656. This distances were acquired by adding up the approximate distance between Simon Fraser and each individual university, as determined by http://www.distancefromto.net/.
This move to the NCAA, will allow greater exposure for SFU’s student-athletes, especially within the United States. The NCAA is regarded as a much more competitive conference than both the NAIA and CIS, and will allow SFU’s sports teams to elevate their play to a higher level.
What do you think of this move? Is it a good idea to expand NCAA membership north and south of the border — in similar fashion to the MLB, NHL, and NBA? Will Simon Fraser benefit from going back to its roots and competing against American schools once again? Leave us your comments below.
Have you ever wondered if a relationship exists between the money spent on football recruitment and the subsequent recruiting class rank? In this post, we look at the top 25 public schools in both recruiting expenditures and recruiting class rank, as reported by Rivals.com. These numbers are from 2010-2011 NCAA financial disclosures and 2011 recruiting classes.
This first chart shows the top 25 public schools in recruiting expenditures for the year 2011. As you can see, the expenditures range from $1,135,211 to $433, 236, yet the class ranks range from 1st in the county to 118th.
This second chart shows the top 25 class ranks, with their respective recruiting expenses.
|School||Class Rank*||Recruiting Expense|
Both charts show that, at present, there is no real relationship between how much a school spends on recruitment, and how high their recruiting class ranks. For instance, even though Florida State had the 2nd best recruiting class in the nation, they were only ranked 25th in recruiting expenditures. Yet, Army, which only had the 118th best recruiting class amongst public schools, actually spent about 1.18 times more on recruiting than Florida State did.
*Omitted Class Ranks belong to Private Schools (USC-4, Notre Dame-10, Stanford-22)
Editor’s Note: There has been some confusion over why these numbers differ from previous posts, which used Department of Education data filed by each school. Those reports show recruiting in two categories: male and female. The numbers in this post are football-specific and obtained from NCAA disclosures filed by each school and obtained through public records requests.
The story of the University of Oregon’s new football operations center has been interesting from the get-go. With the $68 million, 130,000 square foot operations center set to open for the 2013 season, now is as a good time as ever to reflect on how the project came to life, and what it will include once done.
The most unique part of this building project isn’t the final product itself, but the way in which it is being constructed. Back in 2010, Oregon decided to lease the land surrounding Autzen Stadium to alumnus and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. This essentially gave a private company the ability to build on public land. At the end of the project, Knight will send the center back to Oregon as a gift. It’s not the first time Knight has done this on the University of Oregon campus, but it’s not something routinely seen in other athletic departments. The closest example is Louisiana State University where the Tiger Athletic Foundation constructs all projects and then gifts them to the athletic department once all debt is paid.
The arrangement with Knight brings up two issues. First, it must be noted that traditionally the impending construction of most buildings on a public university is opened up to a public bidding process, in which the most qualified company that can deliver the project at the cheapest price is chosen to construct the project. Thus, the fact that Oregon is essentially circumventing this process and going through private means is a departure from the norm.
Next, this brings up the issue of oversight. This kind of set-up allows Knight to control the design of the expansion and avoid public oversight. This has been a sticking point for many on the outside looking in who feel the project lacks transparency.
As for the actual look of the new operations center, less is known than with most athletic building projects. Because the project is being privately funded and built, the athletic department has less control over the outcome. Some features which have been discussed include a 25,000-square-foot weight room, climate-controlled lockers with iPod docks, and a cafeteria that will be open to all University students.
All of this looks great, especially with Knight footing the bill. However, although Knight is handling construction, the building does not come without costs for Oregon. For example, after Knight built the $41 million Jacqua Academic Center for Student Athletes, the university was obligated to pay $2 million per year for operations expenses, some of it coming from the academic budget. Senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens explains that academic support reports to the Provost’s office, and therefore that department pays the programming costs. However, the athletic department pays 2/3rds of the operations and maintenance costs.
The new project will bring its own operating costs, which will become the responsibility of the athletic department much like any other new athletic facility. According to the Register-Guard, “In the contract signed two years ago, the university agreed to staff the [new football operations] center — for six years — with a facilities manager, museum curator, museum receptionist, food service administrator and a senior administrative assistant for football operations. The building’s maintenance is also on the university’s nickel.” However, Pintens tells us the athletic department will cover 100 percent of the building’s costs.
The new operations center will help alleviate strain on the Casanova Center, which currently houses operations for every sport, including football. Since the Casanova Center was built in 1991, Oregon has added three sports and over 100 employees to the building with no expansion of the building’s footprint.
It’s also worth noting Oregon’s athletic department has seen a vast change in its finances over the past decade. In 2004-2005, the athletic department’s NCAA disclosure showed a net loss of $131,198. However, in 2010-2011 the department showed net revenue of over $9.5 million. The athletic department relied on no direct institutional support from the university in 2010-2011, although it did take in student fees of $1.4 million. The athletic department says those student fees cover football and basketball tickets and that none of those funds will be used for the operation of the new building. The increased success and exposure of the Oregon athletics department has led to licensing revenue growing from $750,000 in 2004-2005 to $2.25 million in 2010-2011, with the majority of revenue being retained by the University.
Knowing all this, is there reason for concern over the finances of the new operations center? What is your opinion on this project at the University of Oregon? Have they bolstered their facilities to a level that is necessary for recruitment of new players, or have they gone overboard? Is Knight commanding too much control at Oregon? Leave your comments below.
Editor’s Note: The original article posted July 23, 2012 contained several inaccuracies and has been edited following conversations with the University of Oregon.
UPDATE (7/20/12, 10:46 a.m.): The Big Ten has issues the following statement today: ”The draft obtained by the Chronicle was an early draft put together by the Big Ten staff in order to surface all of the options available. The option of giving emergency powers to the commissioner to fire personnel is not under consideration by the presidents and chancellors.”
In an article posted by The Chronicle the issue of giving Big Ten leaders the ability to fire coaches is discussed. This comes at a time when the Big Ten is at odds with what should be the proper punishment of the officials from Penn State. As most of you know, former coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse last month. Now, following findings in the Freeh Report, it has become obvious that at least four top Penn State officials failed to report all that they knew about the child abuse allegations to the proper authorities back in 2002. As a result, the Big Ten is trying to figure out what combination of financial penalties, suspension, or termination of employment, would be suitable for this unprecedented situation.
The new plan would give ”James E. Delany, who has overseen the league since 1989, and a powerful committee of conference presidents the ability to penalize individual members of an institution, should their actions significantly harm the league’s reputation” (The Chronicle). Provisions would also be set up to prevent boosters and trustees from pressuring university leaders to act in certain ways, thus empowering presidents and ADs to act with integrity and responsibility. Furthermore, it has been noted that the Big Ten”s 12-member Council of Presidents and Chancellors could potentially suspend, expel, or put a school on probation by a 70% (or eight member) vote.
All in all, the issue of punishing Penn State is tricky. If the school were to be banned from playing, there is no contingency plan in place to replace the lost games for opponents. What do you think will happen? Will the Big Ten approve this new plan? Will Penn State be banned, or is there too much at stake for that to happen? Leave your comments below.
The latest in college sports business news from around the web:
Both Kansas’s and Kansas State’s athletic department budgets have grown substantially in the past five years. Through conference-generated income and an increase in donations, both schools have been able to grow their athletic department despite the economic downturn. Read this to find out more about the two school’s financial situations and the future implications of this growth on their athletic departments.
In 2010, Michael McAdoo was one of seven players to miss the entire season while serving a disciplinary suspension at UNC. He initially sued to restore his eligibility and for monetary damages, but lost his case. Now the case is being brought before the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Read here to find out why the NCAA is looking to dismiss the appeal and how McAdoo’s career has panned out since then.
Apparently the University of Washington is happy with its construction schedule, as it has moved up its opening game at Husky Stadium by one week from Sept. 7, 2013 to Aug, 31, 2013. Their final year at CenturyLink Field is slated to start on September 1st vs. San Diego. Want to find out more about Washington’s upcoming schedules over the next few years? If you answered Yes, you’ll want to read this.
Alabama and Auburn fans may not agree on much – but what they can agree on is that each team brings a windfall to their respective school. With their college football teams playing well, applications are up and stadium renovations have been ongoing. However, what is the economic impact of this prosperity on the state of Alabama? Read this to find out the answer.
So what is the price that Missouri has to pay to play with the big boys in the SEC? It’s clearly a hefty price, as Missouri operated with a $64 million budget in 10-11, whereas nine SEC schools spent over $80 million in the same fiscal year on their athletic department budgets. As the newest member of the SEC, where is MU going to get the money to be on par with these other schools? Read here to find out Missouri’s financial plan and to whom it is looking at for guidance in this transitional period.
Baylor’s new stadium will be an important contribution to both the school and Waco City. In an addition to being a more high-tech facility, community members hope that it will help beautify the city and attract more visitors. Now that Tax Increment Financing Zone No. 1 board has approved a very much, needed $35 million public contribution to the project, what are the next steps? Read here to find out more.
The latest in college sports business news from around the web:
Big things are happening at the University of Arkansas. Plans for major upgrades in several of their athletic facilities are now underway. Want to find out what’s being improved and how much it’s all going to cost? Check this out!
In the past few years, attendance at college basketball games around the country is down. Even though conferences such as the Pac-12 have been the hardest hit, this trend has grave implications for all college basketball programs around the country. Are there any ways to bring the fans back into the stadium to enjoy the game-day experience?
Remember this report? Well the June 30 deadline has now passed, and Maryland has had to cut 7 of its D1 sports to deal with its multi-million dollar deficit. Read this to find out what will happen to the 131 student-athletes affected, and the school as a whole, as a result of these cuts.