Although all signs point to the contrary, the Kansas City Sports Commission is imploring Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton to recommend that the school stay in the Big 12.
Earlier this week, Missouri’s Board of Curators gave Deaton the power to explore all conference affiliation options. Deaton also stepped down from his position as chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors; both signs would lead one to believe that Missouri has enough back channel confidence from another conference, most likely the SEC, that if they left the Big 12, an invitation from the SEC would follow.
At the very least, it appears Missouri has options. Sources have told multiple media outlets that the school’s primary goal is still to join the Big Ten.
But the KC Sports Commission and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau published an open letter to Deaton asking that he consider all variables, such as rivalries and history, before making a decision.
You can read the full letter HERE, but below are some snippets:
“We know that many factors must be considered, including the academic, financial, and alumni relations implications of your decision. And, of course, the history and future of your University’s athletic program.
“That program, as you know, has Midwestern roots more than a century old… We cannot imagine the University of Missouri’s athletics tilting away from this region and the athletic history to which they have contributed so mightily.”
Will it be enough to persuade Missouri to stay? Donors have already reportedly threatened to withhold donations if the school doesn’t leave the Big 12.
One day after it was revealed its head coach was the second-lowest paid in college football, Appalachian State announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Scott Satterfield.
“We have the right coach leading our football program in Scott Satterfield,” Appalachian State AD Doug Gillin said in a statement. “In nearly three years as head coach, he has stayed true to his convictions, built the program the right way and set Appalachian State football up for sustainable success both in the Sun Belt Conference and at the national level.”
Satterfield had earned $375,000 annually, ahead of only Louisiana-Monroe’s Todd Berry at $360,000 a year.
Satterfield, 42, is 14-14 in his third season at the Boone, N.C., school. He led the Mountaineers to a 7-5 mark in their debut Sun Belt season, and has the club at 3-1 to start the 2015 campaign.
“It’s exciting for my family and me to know that we’re going to be at Appalachian for the foreseeable future,” Satterfield added. “I’m living a dream by being the head coach at my alma mater and can’t wait to continue to work hard to help this program reach heights that it has never reached before.”
What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.
“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”
The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.
Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:
Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.
“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.
Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.