Tag Archives: NCAA

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Say Goodbye to Division IV

453653643In my opinion, Division IV was like Texas threatening to leave the Big XII; it was never going to happen. Texas wanted Longhorn Network and all the money that came with it, and the Power 5 (the ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) want autonomy within the confines of the NCAA.

Click here to keep reading my thoughts on why Division IV isn’t happening over on Outkick the Coverage.

NCAA

NCAA Settles Sam Keller Case for $20 Million

NCAAThe NCAA has reached a proposed $20 million settlement with current and former student athletes in the class action led by former ASU and Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller. If approved by Judge Claudia Wilken, it would be in addition to the $40 million settlement agreed to by EA Sports and CLC less than two weeks ago.

The Keller case involves similar issues as the O’Bannon case, which officially went to trial today: use of player likenesses in EA Sports video games. However, the plaintiffs in the Keller case were seeking monetary damages for current and former student athletes who allege their likenesses were used in the games, while the O’Bannon class is asking for an injunction that would prevent the NCAA from limiting student athlete’s ability to be compensated for use of their names and likenesses in video games, television broadcasts and other forms of marketing. In essence, Keller’s case sought to compensate current and former student athletes whose likenesses have already been allegedly misappropriated, whereas O’Bannon’s case seeks an NCAA rule change that would benefit future student athletes.

“This is the first time in the history of the NCAA that the organization is paying student-athletes for rights related to their play on the field, compensating them for their contribution to the profit-making nature of college sports,” said lead attorney for the Keller plaintiffs Steve Berman. “We’ve long held through our various cases against the NCAA that the student-athlete is treated poorly in everything from scholarships to safety. This settlement is a step toward equity and fairness for them.”

The $20 million will be available for claims by current and former student athletes who competed in FBS football or Division I basketball and who believe their likeness was included in a video game produced by EA Sports since 2005.

“With the games no longer in production and the plaintiffs settling their claims with EA and the Collegiate Licensing Company, the NCAA viewed a settlement now as an appropriate opportunity to provide complete closure to the video game plaintiffs,” said NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy in a statement.

The NCAA has also stated that it will allow current student athletes to make claims and collect settlement funds without risking their eligibility.

Ever wondered how much schools actually made from the EA Sports games? I have the answer here, and it might surprise you.

March Madness Fans Seriously Love Tweeting

While the Dayton Flyers have been flying past the competition to make it to the Elite 8, their fans have been flying to Twitter to tweet about all the Madness. According to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, 143,000 unique users tweeted about the Dayton upset of Stanford on March 27. These 231,000 total tweets were seen by an unique audience of 5.3 million people, generating 32.3 million Twitter TV impressions.

In fact, on March 27, the top four tweeted about sporting events were all four NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball games. The only non-NCAA sporting event that made it into the daily top five was the Washington Nationals and New York Mets pre-season baseball game.  Despite making it into the top five, the Nationals-Mets game was tweeted about far less than any of the either games with roughly 110,000 less tweets and 64,000 less unique authors than the San Diego State vs. Arizona game, which was the fourth most tweeted about sporting event that day.

For the week ending March 23, which saw 52 NCAA Men’s Basketball games played, 9 out of the Top 10 tweeted about sporting events were all March Madness matchups. The only non-March Madness game cracking the Top 10 that week was the Real Madrid CF vs. FC Barcelona soccer match on March 23, which came in at number seven. The most tweeted about game that week was the takedown of the Duke Blue Devils by the Mercer Bears. Upwards of 473,000 unique users tweeted 895,000 times about the upset. This produced an unique audience of about 7.8 million viewers and 80.2 million Twitter TV impressions. The next closest game was the Kentucky vs. Wichita State matchup which saw 304,000 unique users tweet 665,000 times about the game. The top four tweeted about events that week (including the two aforementioned, Dayton vs. Ohio State, and Dayton vs. Syracuse) all had more tweets that were tweeted by a larger amount of unique users than the Dayton vs. Stanford game on March 27.

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings were first introduced in October 2013. They measures the total activity and reach of TV-related chatter on Twitter and are built on the SocialGuide platform. Unique authors are accounts that have sent out at least one tweet relating to a specific TV program or sporting event. Additionally, impressions are the number of times any of those tweets were seen while the unique audience is calculated as the total number of distinct Twitter accounts that garnered at least one impression of one or more different Tweets credited to a specific episode or sporting event. All the statistics for these games are credited to Nielsen SocialGuide.

College Athletes Can Form A Union: What’s Next?

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.

 

Follow Daniel at collegesportsbriefs.com and @Daniel Hare.

 

 

Tweet Madness: Who Will Be Crowned the Champ?

The first few rounds took a while because I wanted everyone to see the followers, number of tweets, and various scores that each team received from the different metrics used in this competition. To review what each team received, refer back to the first four posts!

South

Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 8 Colorado

Matchup 2: 5 VCU vs. 4 UCLA

Matchup 3: 6 Ohio State vs. 3 Syracuse

Matchup 4: 10 Stanford vs. 13 Eastern Kentucky

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 5 VCU

Matchup 2: 3 Syracuse vs. 10 Stanford

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 1 Florida vs. 3 Syracuse

East

Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Virginia vs. 8 Memphis

Matchup 2: 12 Harvard vs. 4 Michigan State

Matchup 3: 6 North Carolina vs. 3 Iowa State

Matchup 4: 7 UConn vs. 2 Villanova

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 8 Memphis vs. 4 Michigan State

Matchup 2: 6 North Carolina vs. 7 UConn

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 4 Michigan State vs. 6 North Carolina

West

Round 3:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Matchup 2: 5 Oklahoma vs. 4 San Diego St.

Matchup 3: 6 Baylor vs. 3 Creighton

Matchup 4: 7 Oregon vs. 2 Wisconsin

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 5 Oklahoma

Matchup 2: 6 Baylor vs. 2 Wisconsin

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 2 Wisconsin

Midwest

Round 3:

Matchup 1: 16 Cal Poly vs. 8 Kentucky

Matchup 2: 12 N.C. State vs. 4 Louisville

Matchup 3: 11 Tennessee vs. 3 Duke

Matchup 4: 7 Texas vs. 2 Michigan

Sweet 16:

Matchup 1: 8 Kentucky vs. 12 N.C. State

Matchup 2: 3 Duke vs. 2 Michigan

Elite 8:

Matchup 1: 8 Kentucky vs. 2 Michigan

—–

Final Four

Matchup 1: 3 Syracuse vs. 6 North Carolina

Matchup 2: 2 Wisconsin vs. 2 Michigan

Finals

6 North Carolina vs. 2 Michigan

Analysis

Congrats to UNC – our Twitter Madness Winner! Although UNC will unfortunately not see a championship win on the courts this year, its Twitter showed prowess throughout the competition. With over 150,000+ followers and 10,000+ tweets, its reach is ginormous and college basketball fans are signing on to see what the account has to say.

Throughout the bracket, if two teams seemed evenly matched, I gave the tie-break to the team with the most Twitter followers. In fact, many times that a team had more followers, the other team actually had more tweets. I felt that the number of Twitter followers was a more crucial statistic because more followers means that more people/accounts want to see what the account is tweeting, regardless of its frequency. Additionally, teams that did not have unique basketball accounts did not make it far, even if they got lucky in Round 2 by being matched with a team that also did not have a unique basketball account.

It is not surprising that the teams that at least reached the Elite 8 in this bracket were the teams that are not only known for their basketball programs, but also their dominant athletic programs as a whole. Florida, Syracuse, Michigan State, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Duke are all teams that more or less consistently excel in basketball from year-to-year, and as a result, college basketball fans, who are the within the prime Twitter demographic of ages 18-29, have rewarded these high power teams by wanting to follow them via Twitter and social media.

Until next year, folks!

Tweet Madness: Midwest, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Wichita State vs. 16 Cal. Poly

Wichita State(@GoShockers) Cal Poly (@CalPolyMBB)
# of Followers 16.4K 1069
# of Tweets 15.5K 409
Klout Score 68 50
PeerReach Score (Sports) #21,418 #35,000
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 74 17

As much as I am in love with the Wichita State Athletic’s Twitter handle (lots of retweets, organic tweets, pictures, and great hashtags) and its overall Social Media presence, including its own YouTube Channel, it would be unfair if I gave it the win since I have been very biased against schools without accounts just for the Basketball team. Kudos to Cal Poly, though, since after its win, it has gained almost 200 followers and increased its Klout score by 1.

Winner: Cal Poly

Matchup 2: 8 Kentucky vs. 9 Kansas State

Kentucky(@KentuckyMBB) Kansas State(@KStateSports)
# of Followers 63.9K 42K
# of Tweets 3,595 14.6K
Klout Score 70 67
PeerReach Score (Sports) #20,441 #5,882
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 66 73

Once again, with Kansas State, we have a team that is doing great things with social media overall, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube; yet, they do not have a dedicated Twitter handle for the Men’s Basketball team. Despite this, Kentucky’s account still has more followers and a higher Klout score, even though its account is only dedicated to the Men’s Basketball team.

Winner: Kentucky

Matchup 3: 5 St. Louis vs. 12 N.C. State

St. Louis(@SaintLouisMBB) NC State (@PackMensBball)
# of Followers 6,999 28.7K
# of Tweets 2,242 8,440
Klout Score 64 70
PeerReach Score (Sports) #20,300 #13,512
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #2,901
Social Authority Score 55 66

Saint Louis’s Twitter presence cannot compete with N.C. State’s. Additionally, since its win, N.C. State has increased its Twitter followers by roughly 400, increased its Klout score by 1, and gone up 10 spots in popularity in the Sports PeerReach group.

Winner: N.C. State

Matchup 4: 4 Louisville vs. 13 Manhattan

Louisville(@GoCards) Manhattan(@GoJaspers)
# of Followers 42.8K 3,711
# of Tweets 5,328 8,910
Klout Score 67 63
PeerReach Score (Sports) #3,850 #36,927
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 70 46

These two teams catch a break because neither one of them has an account dedicated to the Basketball team. As a result, when comparing the Twitter accounts of the Athletic programs as a whole, Louisville easily wins this matchup. An interesting thing to note: Both teams have the a similar Twitter Name – “@Go(Team Mascot)”

Winner: Louisville

Matchup 5: 6 UMass vs. 11 Tennessee

UMass(@UMassAthletics) Tennessee(@Vol_Hoops)
# of Followers 11.5K 37K
# of Tweets 27K 11.9K
Klout Score 63 70
PeerReach Score (Sports) #25,793 #5,466
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #2,310
Social Authority Score 70 75

Unfortunately, once again, without a dedicated Basketball account, UMass is another one of those teams that just cannot compete in this bracket. Since its First Four win, Tennessee has increased its followers and Klout score by 1, which has also been the case with other First Four game winners.

Winner: Tennessee

Matchup 6: 3 Duke vs. 14 Mercer

Duke(@Duke_MBB) Mercer(@MercerMBB)
# of Followers 48.2K 1,239
# of Tweets 8,306 1,057
Klout Score 72 60
PeerReach Score (Sports) #4,660 N/A
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #1,568 N/A
Social Authority Score 73 24

Duke is clearly not just dominant on the court – it has also found a way to create a great Twitter presence for itself with tens of thousands of followers, and high Klout and Social Authority Scores. One thing I do like about Mercer’s Twitter account, though, is its use of #MercerMadness and #OurYear.

Winner: Duke

Matchup 7: 7 Texas vs. 10 Arizona State

Texas(@TexasMBB) Arizona State(@SunDevilHoops)
# of Followers 14.5K 5,117
# of Tweets 4,996 7,648
Klout Score 68 65
PeerReach Score (Sports) #8,774 #43,516
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,361 N/A
Social Authority Score 64 43

Even though Arizona State has over 2500 more tweets than Texas does, Texas wins in every other category, with landslide victories in number of followers, PeerReach group popularities, and Social Authority score. If Arizona State can get the upset on the court, I will be intrigued to see how their Twitter presence is affected.

Winner: Texas

Matchup 8: 2 Michigan vs. 15 Wofford

Michigan(@UMichBball) Wofford(@WoffordTerriers)
# of Followers 101K 4,127
# of Tweets 11.3K 6,610
Klout Score 79 61
PeerReach Score (Sports) #3,048 #11,100
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #1,703 N/A
Social Authority Score 81 52

Michigan has some of the best statistics we’ve seen in this bracket to date. I can definitely see it going deep into the tournament, if not winning it all!

Round 3 Matchups

Matchup 1: 16 Cal Poly vs. 8 Kentucky

Matchup 2: 12 N.C. State vs. 4 Louisville

Matchup 3: 11 Tennessee vs. 3 Duke

Matchup 4: 7 Texas vs. 2 Michigan

Tweet Madness: West, Round 2

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 16 Weber St.

Arizona(@APlayersProgram) Weber St.(@WeberStateMBB)
# of Followers 19K 884
# of Tweets 3,148 597
Klout Score 71 48
PeerReach Score (Sports) #2,700                         #21,300
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 61 22

As has been the case before, the number 1 seed easily beats the 16 seed in terms of Twitter presence. Even though Weber State (959 days) has spent almost 4 times the amount of days on Twitter than Arizona (266 days) has, it has not been able to garner anywhere close to the same amount of followers as Arizona. It also does not tweet very often, as this is yet another school that relies more on its main athletic handle (@weberstate), than its basketball one.

Winner: Arizona

Matchup 2: 8 Gonzaga vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Gonzaga(@ZagMBB) Oklahoma St.(@OSUMBB)
# of Followers 9,815 15K
# of Tweets 1,046 4,358
Klout Score 60 66
PeerReach Score (Sports) #46,539 #25,008
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A #9,270
Social Authority Score 55 69

Although the Oklahoma State Cowboys win in every category, there is an interesting thing to note about Gonzaga’s Twitter. According to Followerwonk, 67% of Gonzaga’s timeline is retweets of other accounts. This shows that it is interacting with other users very often. A quick scan of its timeline shows that Gonzaga is not only retweeting its own athletic department, but former players who are now in the NBA, commentators, ESPN professionals, college basketball writers, and more. This makes for an interesting timeline for followers. Despite this, Oklahoma St. still takes this matchup.

Winner: Oklahoma St.

Matchup 3: 5 Oklahoma vs. 12 North Dakota State

Oklahoma(@OU_MBball) North Dakota State(@NDSUmbb)
# of Followers 16.4K 1,871
# of Tweets 5,145 1,251
Klout Score 69 59
PeerReach Score (Sports) #15,586 #36,600
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #4,605 N/A
Social Authority Score 65 35

This is our third landslide victory in the West!

Winner: Oklahoma

Marchup 4: 4 San Diego St. vs. 13 New Mexico St.

San Diego St.(@GoAztecs) New Mexico St.(@NMStateAggies)
# of Followers 14.3K 4,598
# of Tweets 22K 14.3K
Klout Score 68 60
PeerReach Score (Sports) #8,381 #13,900
PeerReach Score (Basketball) N/A N/A
Social Authority Score 61 55

This is a unique matchup as both schools do not have a Twitter handle solely dedicated to the basketball team. In this matchup, San Diego State rolls over New Mexico State. However, do not expect SDSU to stay in the competition for much longer, as it will likely lose out to a school that has a Basketball account in the next round.

Winner: San Diego State

Matchup 5: 6 Baylor vs. 11 Nebraska

Baylor(@BaylorMBB) Nebraska(@HuskerHoops)
# of Followers 18.9K 21.9K
# of Tweets 11.7K 11.2K
Klout Score 70 69
PeerReach Score (Sports) #7,599 #20,779
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,308 #5,667
Social Authority Score 77 62

This is one of the closer matchups we’ve seen, especially if you concentrate on the first three categories. However, with Baylor’s better recognition in both of the PeerReach groups, Baylor comes out victorious.

Winner: Baylor

Matchup 6: 3 Creighton vs. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette

Creighton(@BlueJayMBB) LA-Lafayette(@ULRaginCajuns)
# of Followers 14.9K 11.1K
# of Tweets 2,080 13.5K
Klout Score 65 62
PeerReach Score (Sports) #33,593 #34,644
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #7,997 N/A
Social Authority Score 59 59

Even though Louisiana-Lafayette’s account is for all of its athletic teams, Creighton’s Men’s Basketball account still beats the Ragin’ Cajuns in almost every category. One thing Lousiana-Lafayette does well, though, is that 65% of the tweets on its timeline include URL links. A lot of these links provide news and commentary about each team’s last game or event. These type of tweets should be replicated for an individual Men’s Basketball Account. For now, fans of the team can follow Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Marlin (@bobbymarlin).

Winner: Creighton

Matchup 7: 7 Oregon vs. 10 BYU

Oregon(@OregonMBB) BYU(@BYUbasketball)
# of Followers 16.3K 13.4K
# of Tweets 7,088 5,148
Klout Score 69 63
PeerReach Score (Sports) #11,311 #20,915
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #3,674 #6,837
Social Authority Score 72 49

The only categories in which BYU even comes close are number of tweets and Klout score. One way for BYU to increase their Twitter presence perhaps is to get the upset on the court. For now, however, Oregon easily wins this matchup.

Winner: Oregon

Matchup 8: 2 Wisconsin vs. 15 American

Wisconsin(@BadgerMBB) American(@AU_MBasketball)
# of Followers 32.2K 1,776
# of Tweets 15.1K 2,895
Klout Score 72 62
PeerReach Score (Sports) #4,838 #58,109
PeerReach Score (Basketball) #2,518 N/A
Social Authority Score 76 41

We finish up the West 2nd Round with another decisive victory. Wisconsin is a school much more known than for its sports than American is, so it is no wonder that it dominates in each of these categories, as its fans clearly want to follow them on social media. While looking at American’s timeline, one can tell that it is doing a good job retweeting other accounts and tweeting pictures, but it will be a long time until it catches up to the number of tweets Wisconsin has.

Winner: Wisconsin

Round 3 Matchups:

Matchup 1: 1 Arizona vs. 9 Oklahoma St.

Matchup 2: 5 Oklahoma vs. 4 San Diego St.

Matchup 3: 6 Baylor vs. 3 Creighton

Matchup 4: 7 Oregon vs. 2 Wisconsin