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Volume 24 No. 134


Cal AD Mike Williams current deal is set to expire in May, and he "won’t seek an extension," according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose MERCURY NEWS. Williams, who first took over as interim AD in '14 before getting the role full time, "plans to stay on the job until a replacement is hired or his contract expires in the spring -- whichever comes first." He said, “I made a three- or four-year commitment. It shouldn’t be a shock that I’m marking the end of my commitment to the campus.” Wilner notes the administrative environment has "only gotten more difficult during his tenure, with the athletic department squeezed by massive debt service payments on the Memorial Stadium and training center projects." Williams "never viewed the role as a long-term commitment." Wilner notes Cal is "expected to cut expenses dramatically to help lower the operating deficit [approximately $18M for FY '17-18]." Williams was "criticized for hiring basketball coach Wyking Jones in March, and donors have grown frustrated with what sources described as a lack of communication from Williams and his department." But under Williams’ tenure, Cal’s academic performance has "improved dramatically." Williams also "oversaw Cal’s partnerships" with Under Armour and Learfield, which will "combine to generate a net increase" of approximately $8M annually for the athletic department (San Jose MERCURY NEWS, 8/16).

UCF yesterday unveiled a new initiative "with a familiar theme," touting its football program as Orlando’s "hometown team," according to Ilian Limon Romero of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. UCF season-ticket holders will receive their packages this week and will "find a UCF flag included." They are encouraged to "display them at their houses, on their boats, on their cars and anywhere else they can think of to help announce the Knights are Orlando’s college football team." UCF AD Danny White, who recently signed a contract extension, said, "We have such a strong regional alumni base. ... We’re certainly trying to capture that a little more consistently -- their minds and their hearts." White also "hopes to connect with Orlando residents who didn’t necessarily attend UCF to support their hometown school." Liom Romero notes there will be "other UCF flags that fans, business owners and residents can pick up throughout the year." White: “We’re going to have a series of different flags throughout the year. ... We want to get the UCF brand out there." UCF has "pushed to be known as Orlando’s team for years with varying success" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/16).