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Volume 24 No. 135


Maryland AD Kevin Anderson is "taking a six-month 'professional development sabbatical' while remaining on the job," according to Don Markus of the Baltimore SUN. Whether Anderson will "return after his sabbatical is unclear." Upon taking the job in '10, he signed a five-year deal that included an "evergreen clause that rolled over each year through the end of the contract." If the school parts ways with Anderson, he "would not be owed a buyout." UM Athletics Exec Dir, CFO & COO Damon Evans, who has been with the school since '14, "will assume Anderson’s day-to-day duties." The announcement "quieted two days of speculation regarding Anderson’s job status." On Saturday, several media outlets reported that Anderson "had been fired." The university then "sent out a tweet" saying Anderson was still AD. Sources said that Anderson has "not been seen in his office since the end of September, and had not attended any of the team’s football games," including Saturday's home game against Northwestern. It "isn’t clear what led Anderson to his decision," or whether UM President Wallace Loh had "any hand in forcing it." There have been "reports of friction between the two as a result of Anderson’s name surfacing" for an AD vacancy this fall at Cal (Baltimore SUN, 10/17). In DC, Roman Stubbs writes that apparent friction "came just after Anderson and Loh in August had acknowledged the completion of the first phase of the new Cole Field House, which is currently being renovated into an indoor football facility and center for sports medicine." It does "not appear that Anderson is dealing with personal matters" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/17).

NCAA President Mark Emmert described college basketball's recruiting model as "'dysfunctional, as well as the relationship between apparel companies such as Adidas," according to Julian Benbow of the BOSTON GLOBE. Emmert yesterday was at Harvard for a panel that "explored the relationship between athletics and higher education." Emmert was joined by Ivy League Exec Dir Robin Harris, UConn President Susan Herbst and Robert Morris President Chris Howard. Emmert: "I find it impossible to believe that the only way people can sell shoes is by bribing youngsters, but that seems to be where some people have digressed now. We saw what’s most despicable to me coaches who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year taking $10,000, $20,000 bribes to take advantage of the trusting relationship that a young person has in them to send it toward an agent or a financial adviser who unequivocally doesn’t have their best interest at heart. And when you see that, you say, ‘What in the world’s going on with that set of relationships there?’" Harris said, "While the allegations are incredibly troubling and, if true, terrible -- and they need to be addressed and I think they will be addressed -- it’s cyclical, it’s happened before. The Pony Express (at SMU). It went to the governor’s office with case payments to football players and that was, oh my gosh, the end of college football. Well, the NCAA policed that and SMU got the only death penalty and it’s taken SMU decades to recover." Howard: "I hope the FBI comes in and cleans house and fires a lot of people. I'll be honest with you. I hope a lot of people get in trouble over this" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/17).

TAKING AN INTERNAL LOOK: In K.C., Jesse Newell reports the NCAA has directed all D-I programs to "examine their men’s basketball programs for potential rules violations" following the FBI's probe of the sport. Univ. of Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger said that the NCAA BOD also was requiring all D-I institutions to "look at the conduct of their men’s basketball coaching staffs and administrators to ensure compliance with NCAA rules" (K.C. STAR, 10/17).

USC's athletic department "brought in a record" $113.2M in revenue during FY '16-17, according to Joey Kaufman of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. USC showed total expenses and revenues of $113.2M for the period covering July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, which "was an increase" of $7M from the previous year. USC’s football revenue increased by more than $8M to $59.8M, while expenses decreased by $1M to $30.2M. USC COO Steve Lopes said that a "sizable portion of the increase in football revenue" came from its nonconference, neutral-site game against Alabama at AT&T Stadium to open the '16 season. Lopes said that USC’s payout was "similar" to the $6.5M Alabama received. USC also "made the Rose Bowl, one of two teams in the Pac-12 to participate in New Year’s Six bowl games." Lopes: "That’s a pickup for sure." Both "helped with a decline in USC’s football attendance, which dropped from an average" of about 75,000 in '15 to about 68,000 in '16 (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/17).