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Volume 24 No. 158


SEC Commissioner Mike Slive yesterday said he believes the NCAA is the “appropriate national organization for collegiate athletics,” but reiterated that he thinks the time has come for change in its governance. “I’m a strong believer that we need to make some structural changes … to meet the needs of the 21st century,” Slive said. “The structure is still grounded in 30 or 40 years ago even though it’s evolved.” He added, “The goal here is to make sure -- the idea of just restructuring is like moving chairs around -- restructuring has to be tied to a vision. A vision for the 21st century.” Meanwhile, Slive said he would prefer to keep all conferences under one umbrella. “We certainly have no interest in changing -- we want to be in what we call the ‘big tent’ -- there’s been a lot of talk about division four. We would prefer not to do that. We would prefer for all of us to stay in the big tent together. Have the basketball tournament stay the same, the revenue distribution remain the same. That we work in many areas where there’s shared governance" (Josh Carpenter, Staff Writer).

A NEW DESTINATION: In Charlotte, David Scott writes with the SEC entering a six-year agreement with Bank of America Stadium’s Belk Bowl starting next season and the new SEC Network starting in '14 out of ESPN’s studios, the city "will become a regular destination for league officials and fans." Slive said, "Once the smoke cleared (with recent conference realignment) and we were comfortable with 14 schools, we looked to how we could have a presence in North Carolina. The quality of the Belk Bowl gave us a good opportunity. And developing the SEC Network is so important to us" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/5).

New Mexico State Univ. "wants to move its athletics department from a financial loss to a winning streak" and is "counting on football and men’s basketball to get it there," according to Lauren Villagran of the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. A task force of department officials, local business people and boosters recently concluded those two sports "offer the most upside in terms of potential 'untapped' revenue." The school's plan includes "promoting the Aggies in southern New Mexico communities outside Las Cruces ... and luring students with prizes, a move that drew national media criticism but has delivered greater attendance." NMSU's men's basketball program is "in the black, having brought in close to half a million dollars last year that helped offset losses elsewhere," but football "is a tougher sell." NMSU President Garrey Carruthers has said that he "wants to raise ticket sales, boost donations and reverse a decline in crucial business sponsorships." NMSU Assistant Dir of News Justin Bannister said that athletics department sponsorships "have dropped" 27% over four years to $952,000 in fiscal year '12-13 from $1.3M in '08-09. The department last fiscal year brought in nearly $13.1M in revenue from "among other things, ticket sales, state appropriations and student fees," while expenses totaled $16.8M for an overall loss of $3.7M. That size loss is "not uncommon for a midmajor program." Deputy AD David McCollum said that average football game attendance "is up so far this season, to 15,956 from last season’s 9,639" (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, 11/3).