Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #63

Pat Forde looks at concerns that the number of schools sponsoring Men's Olympic Sports could continue to dwindle as more and more resources are absorbed by men's basketball and football.

UT Arlington added women's golf.

The Horizon League committed to full cost-of-attendance stipends for men's basketball and an equal number of female athletes.

Cardinal Stritch (NAIA) announced they are dropping five athletic teams including baseball, men's and women's bowling, dance and cheer.

The Vermont Cynic (a student run paper) is calling for the reinstatement of baseball and softball, which were dropped in 2009.  They reference support from the student government and Vermont legislature as well as the presence of club programs as part of the rationale to reinstate the program, although there doesn't appear to be any funding associated with desire to reestablish the programs.

The Ohio State University - Newark is dropping their entire athletic program.

Three-time university president Peter T. Mitchell presents a plan to save Sweet Briar College, that he believes should be applied to many other liberal arts colleges to save themselves from a similar fate. The proposal includes the elimination of intercollegiate athletic programs, suggesting it would save $1 million dollars annually.  Omitted from the article is an acknowledgement that the student athletes - who make up 10% of the student body - would likely leave and take with them their academic interests, diversity and intellectual contributions as well as their tuition revenue (approximately $2.5 million annually using his estimate of a $25,000 fixed tuition price) when they depart the Division III non-scholarship institution.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The One-Day Contract by Rick Pitino - A Book Review

Jim Fiore, president of Dynamic Sports Marketing, recently sent me a copy of Rick Pitino's book "The One-Day Contract: How to add value to every minute of your life."  The 260 page book reads easily and takes about as much time to consume as a book half its length.  It presents a good opportunity to pause (in a busy industry that never seems to have pauses) and gain some some meaningful insights that can indeed make a difference in your productivity and performance.

I've not personally met Coach Pitino but he is obviously a driven, motivated and intense person.  His book covers ten areas that can make a difference in both your short term and long term success. The themes that emerge, by chapter, include:
  1. It begins with humility - Underscores the importance of being humble in a profession filled with egos.
  2. The force of focus - Reiterates how crucial it is to focus on your objectives and eliminate what doesn't contribute to that focus.
  3. The trap of technology - Expands on the concept in the previous chapter and points out how truly distracting technology can be if it isn't harnessed and utilized to achieve your goals.  
  4. When adversity strikes - Looks at his personal situations when he and others close to him faced adversity and what he learned from those situations.
  5. The one-day contract - I found this to be the best chapter of the book.  Act as if you are on a one-day contract.  If you don't produce that day and meet the desired expectations, you won't be back the next day.  A powerful concept that can help you get more from your day.
  6. The power of the positive mind-set - Makes the point that positive thinking is more than new-age navel gazing and telling yourself you're good enough.  You embody a proper mindset because you are prepared.  It's far easier to be positive when you are prepared and know that things have a better chance of going your way because you've done the work.
  7. Heeding the signs - Be observant and listen to those who are invested in your success.  Be coachable and surround yourself with people who won't simply tell you what you want to hear. 
  8. Meaningful distraction - Find places in your life that are outlets that are not work related where you can rest and recover.  Balance and meaningful healthy escapes are important and help your creativity. 
  9. Prospering from pressure - Use pressure as an avenue to concentrate and execute, and become aware of the effort necessary for success.  
  10. Building your bridge - Success is all about making personal connections and helping the people around you achieve their goals and dreams.
These ten simple concepts, especially those in Chapters Five, Six, and Ten, can make a big difference in your ability to focus and achieve at the highest levels.  They can help you overcome inertia and get started, or move you closer to fulfilling your short and long term goals.  While I'm not sure the book can add value to every minute of your life (only you can do that), it can certainly make your hours and days more productive with some easily implemented ideas and give you the feeling that you're valuing your time and elevating your decision-making to a higher level.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #62

Wisconsin legislators and University leadership have discussed the possibility of selling the University's golf course to help address a $300 million budget cut to public higher education in the state.

Also in response to the Wisconsin state budget, Wisconsin-Oshkosh is dropping men's soccer and tennis and eliminating two cross country and track coaches in order to help the campus close a $7.5 million budget gap.  

Additional budget news from Southern Illinois as they consider the possibility of dropping 1/3rd of their graduate assistants and having the football team move from charter aircraft to bus travel to reduce expenses.  

Glendale Community College dropped their wrestling program.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #61

In Athletic Budget Update #57  UltimateSportsInsider.com began to track intercollegiate teams that are being dropped. There are new additions to the list including:

  1. Cleveland State announced that they will "defund" wrestling unless the program can raise $800,000 in the next year and then establish a $5 million endowment. They are also starting a men's lacrosse program - March 31, 2015 
  2. IPFW announced they will be dropping men's and women's tennis after this year, resulting in savings of $450,000 and reducing their sport offerings to the NCAA Division I minimum - March 29, 2015 
Other recent budgetary news includes:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #60

Lots of movement on the college athletics financial front in the last few weeks.  Here's an update on the recent news and information.

Oregon's faculty senate has passed a resolution to have the athletic department pay a 3% dividend to the academic operations of the University.

LSU has decided to delay the construction of the Tiger Athletic Nutrition Center due to anticipated state budget cuts and a climate of "austerity."

UNC Pembroke announced that it is dropping men's golf and tennis.  The Braves are also adding indoor track and field for men and women as well as women's swimming.  Expected savings from dropping the two sports is $75,000.

A consultant hired by Kent State has indicated that the department has facilities that are "tired and outdated" and that they need to increase private financial support.

Florida State is going to fund $2 million of increased athletic aid costs for cost of attendance stipends by reducing budget expenditures by 2% in other areas of the department.

SIU Carbondale is facing a $32 million state budget cut that could impact its athletic program and possibly result in the loss of teams.

Interesting graphic outlines the cost of attendance challenges for Ball State.

South Carolina State plans to cut eleven academic and athletic staff positions to save more than $380,000 and another $466,000 in athletic operations and summer financial aid to address a difficult budget climate.  There is also a proposed plan that would involve dropping a number of sports including men's basketball.

Montana State Billings dropped their men's and women's tennis teams.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education describes the future of non-revenue sports as "limbo" with an increasing number of expenses facing higher education and college athletics.

Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Zaninovich with some thought provoking ideas about how to improve college basketball.

Also, in a final unrelated topic, a copy of my final interview with the PJ Star can be found here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ultimate Sports Insider News

To my loyal followers on ultimatesportsinsider.com I wanted to share with you news about my upcoming departure from Bradley University.  

Here is the official announcement

Although not contained in the official release, I also want to share the following brief list of accomplishments during my tenure.  

  • The introduction of a mission for academic and championship success, partnered with department-wide core values: accountability, courage, diligence, integrity and respect.
  • Semester after semester of record setting student athlete grade point averages, including a 3.32 GPA during the Fall 2014 semester.  
  • Annual improvements in Bradley’s performance in the all-sports standings of the Missouri Valley Conference, including Bradley’s best ever finish in the history of the conference at the conclusion of the 2013-14 competitive year.  
  • The opening and dedication of the $55 million Renaissance Coliseum.
  • The implementation of the department’s first-ever all sports apparel agreement with adidas
  • The introduction of iconic branding and a new mascot to fill a decades-long void that has produced a nearly 50% increase in licensing royalties.
  • Record setting corporate sales in excess of $1 million following the signing of a multimedia rights agreement.  

Thank you for your readership and support in this time of transition. UltimateSportsInsider will still continue to publish with the goal of serving as a valuable resource regarding intercollegiate athletic matters.