ACC Championship - Florida State v Georgia Tech

ACC title game cost ‘Noles nearly $500k

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Florida State may have claimed its first ACC title in a decade last season, but it came with a hit to the athletic department’s bottom line.

According to a very detailed and excellent report from WarChant.com with information gleaned through a public records request, FSU suffered a net loss of nearly $480,000 for their appearance in the ACC championship game against Georgia Tech.  Specifically, the school’s income statement shows a net loss of $478,964.20 as a result of the trip to Charlotte.

The vast majority of the financial loss incurred by FSU — in the neighborhood — stemmed from ticket sales, or lack thereof.  The ACC gave both participants in the title game 10,000 tickets; FSU was only able to sell just over 2,000 of them, thanks in large part to the matchup against the 6-6 Yellow Jackets.  While the conference helped absorb some of the financial burden, it wasn’t nearly enough as the website explained:

The form shows that Florida State was 100 percent responsible for selling the first 6,000 tickets. The ACC then covered 50 percent of the expense for the first 1,000 unsold tickets after 6,000, 75 percent of the next 1,000 tickets and 100 percent of the final 2,000 unsold tickets.

All told, the face value of the 10,000 allotted tickets was $774,190. After FSU’s $185,210 in revenue on the 2,033 tickets sold, $3,594 in various ticket fees and the ACC’s assistance on the final 4,000 unsold tickets ($144,895), FSU was left with a $440,491 loss on tickets. The net loss for the trip was $478,954.20.

The game wasn’t just a tough sell on FSU’s end, either, as the game was far from a sellout, with the website noting that “Bank of America Stadium never reached half-capacity during FSU’s 21-15 win” despite an announced crowd of over 64,000.

In response to the financial dousing taken by FSU — we’ve reached out to Tech officials for some confirmation as to how they fared fiscally — a conference spokesperson told the Rivals site “that ACC commissioner John Swofford has already initiated internal talks about a plan to assure that no school participating in the league’s championship game suffer any financial loss because of an appearance.”

As well they should.  The only loss a team playing in a conference’s championship game should suffer is on the field, not to the athletic department’s bottom line.  Especially when over 90 percent of that loss was due to unsold tickets that shouldn’t

Ex-Rutgers QB transferring to San Diego State

PISCATAWAY, NJ - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Chris Laviano #5 of Rutgers attempts a pass during the second quarter against Illinois on October 15, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Illinois defeated Rutgers 24-7. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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It appears one of Rutgers’ transferring quarterbacks has found a new home.

In late November, Chris Laviano became one of three Scarlet Knights signal-callers who decided to transfer from Chris Ash‘s football program.  Over the weekend, as relayed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Laviano has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at San Diego State.

As Laviano would be coming to the Mountain West program as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This coming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.

In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.

Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.

Record-breaking QB one of two coaches hired by New Mexico State

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Doug Martin‘s 2017 on-field coaching staff will have a decidedly familiar feel to it, even as it’s in some ways brand-new.

New Mexico State announced that two coaches have been hired by Martin, Chase Holbrook and Kai Brown.  The former will serve as tight ends coach, the latter as defensive ends coach.

Holbrook spent the 2016 season as a quality control coach for Mike Leach at Washington State.  A former NMSU quarterback, he still owns the school’s single-season and career records for passing, passing attempts, completions, touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns.

Brown was a graduate assistant the past three seasons for the football program.

“We are really excited about Chase coming back to New Mexico State,” Martin said. “Having a former great quarterback that has his name written all over the Aggie record book will have a huge impact on us taking that next step. Chase really believes and cares deeply about the football program here. To have a coach of his talent join our staff makes us a better program immediately. …

“Kai has been a very loyal hard working coach for us as a GA and it gives me great pride to add him to our staff in a full time role. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to our program and has a great relationship with our players.”

This will be both coaches’ first foray into full-time coaching responsibilities at the FBS level.

Cal turns to Fresno State to complete Justin Wilcox’s staff

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 14:  A member of the California Golden Bears spirit squad waves a team flag while standing next to the Bears' mascot in front of the Michigan State Spartans crowd on September 14, 2002 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.  California defeated Michigan State 46-22.  (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Getty Images)
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In late December, Fresno State hired Tony Tuioti as part of Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff with the Mountain West program.  Two months later, Tedford’s former Pac-12 employer has poached said staff.

By way of a press release, Cal announced that Tuioti has been hired as Justin Wilcox‘s outside linebackers coach.  Tedford served as Cal’s head coach from 2002-12; Tim DeRuyter, Fresno’s head coach for five seasons before being fired and replaced by Tedford, is now Wilcox’s defensive coordinator with the Golden Bears.

“Tony has a tremendous resume that showcases his diverse skill set and abilities both on and off the field,” Wilcox said in a statement. “Not only is he an excellent coach, but the experience he has as a director of player personnel will be a tremendous benefit to us in the structuring and organization of our recruiting operation. Finding someone with a skill set as unique and diverse as Tony’s is challenging. We are fortunate that we have found that in Tony and are looking forward to his contributions to our program.”

“Working at Cal for a coach like Justin Wilcox was an opportunity I could not pass up,” a statement from Tuioti began. “I have a tremendous feeling about the positive direction Cal is headed, and I really wanted to be a part of that and contribute all I could to a football program with tremendous potential.”

In 2016, Tuioti worked as a football staffer at Michigan.  His last on-field job at the collegiate level came at Hawaii (2012-13, linebackers coach; 2010-11, defensive line).

Georgia raising money to build Devon Gales a home

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It’s been close to a year and a half since Southern football player Devon Gales fractured his C6 vertebrae when covering a kick at Georgia. While the two sides will forever be linked, Georgia has gone above and beyond its duties to help improve his life.

In addition to regularly visiting him in the hospital and paying for his parents’ travel to Georgia, the Bulldogs will now raise funds to build him a house.

Gales received an NCAA Sportsmanship Award at the Bulldogs’ basketball game on Saturday, and it was announced that the UGAAA will launch a “Drive to Build a Dawg House” for Gales and his family.

“Anybody can just their prayer for you and send you on your way, but they didn’t. They took me as one of their kids, not just as another player, but as one of their children,” Gales said.

To contibute, text (707) 204-1707 to donate $5 toward the fund.