SBJ/March 17-23, 2014/Colleges

Schemmel opening college-focused consultancy

Jeff Schemmel, the former San Diego State athletic director who is now a college consultant, has opened his own firm in Atlanta.

College Sports Solutions will offer consulting services for athletic departments, led by Schemmel and a cast of college sports veterans who are available to assist schools.

Schemmel
It’s not unlike the model that Schemmel helped create at JMI Sports in 2011, when he opened a college division within the JMI business in San Diego. Schemmel left in August and has been working since then to establish his own firm.

At CSS, Schemmel’s clients so far include Alabama State, Houston, Northern Iowa and Tulane. Schemmel worked on projects for Houston while at JMI, including a coaching search and Title IX compliance. That relationship will continue at CSS.

Outside of the college space, Schemmel is working with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The firm plans to offer consulting services for issues that face athletic directors, from coaching and executive searches to compliance, crisis management, budgeting, NCAA membership and organizational structure within the athletic department.

Schemmel will work with Russell Wright, the managing director of Collegiate Consulting, another Atlanta-based consultancy. Wright works with a variety of schools but has found a niche in Division II and the lower Division I ranks. Among his clients are Wichita State, where Wright assists the school with ticket sales and marketing. He also has done feasibility studies for schools looking to change conferences or move up a division within the NCAA.

“We’ll be partnering on some projects and also sharing some resources,” Schemmel said. “We’re separate companies, but we see the opportunity to collaborate quite a bit.”

Among the consultants that Schemmel plans to make available to his clients will be former Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, former UNLV AD Jim Livengood, former interim commissioner of the Big 12 Chuck Neinas, and Rick Bay, the former AD at Ohio State, Minnesota and Oregon.

Schemmel said working with schools to prepare for potential changes in the NCAA landscape is proving to be a significant source of business. “To say that there’s a lot of angst out there would be an understatement,” he said.

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