And the rich just keep getting richer. A lllllloooooot richer.
As the debate rages as to whether student-athletes in general and football players specifically are getting the short end of the financial stick, Alabama confirmed to the Sports Business Daily Monday that it has reached an agreement with Learfield Sports on a new multimedia rights deal. The website states that the new deal is worth at least $150-$160 million over the next 10 years.
For comparison’s sake, the Tide’s old deal with Learfield, which has been a media partner of the school’s since 1998, paid the athletic department in the neighborhood of $8 million. The total could actually go above the $15-$16 million annually as, unlike the old contract, revenue-sharing above the guaranteed money is included; that clause could add millions per year to UA’s coffers.
Athletic director Bill Battle took advantage of an opt-out clause to rework the contract with Learfield.
“A lot of things have changed since the last time we negotiated a deal,” Battle told the website. “This option gave us a chance to look around the marketplace and see how things look now versus five years ago. Alabama has been on a pretty good roll since then.”
One huge difference from Learfield’s perspective is that it will no longer have the third-tier rights to Tide football games; those rights now fall to the SEC Network, which will pour additional dollars into the coffers of Alabama and its 13 other conference mates.
On a national scale, the new deal puts Alabama in the neighborhood of the rarefied financial air previously reserved for Texas and Notre Dame. The former currently earns $25 million annually — $15 million of which comes from the Longhorn Network — for its multimedia rights while the latter, thanks in large part to its deal with NBC, is somewhere in the $25-$30 million-a-year range. The Tide did leapfrog both Georgia and Ohio State, which the SBD reports pulls in $11 million apiece on its multimedia rights packages.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott says the expansion fun could kick up some dust in the future, but he is unsure just how soon that may become a realistic possibility.
“I think it’s likely you’ll see more expansion, more consolidation over time,” Scott said Wednesday at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum in New York, hinting at the possibility of 16 super conferences that have been dreamt up previously. Scott suggested the next round of media rights package negotiations could spearhead those discussions about expansion as conferences look to jockey for the best bargaining power with media partners. The Pac-12’s current contract is due to expire in 2024, to which Scott suggested “We’ll be in a very unique position.”
When the major shifts in conference realignment were at their hottest, the idea of a Pac-16 was a popular idea that would have added Texas and Oklahoma as well as a few other Big 12 members to the Pac-10. Reports of the Pac-16 becoming a reality were premature at the time, however, and the Pac-12 expanded by two with the additions of Utah and Colorado, which led to a rebranding as the Pac-12. The Big Ten added Nebraska at the time and later expanded to 14 with the later additions of Maryland and Rutgers. The SEC had added Missouri and Texas A&M and the Big 12 welcomed TCU and West Virginia. Moves from the power conferences left a ripple effect in the Mountain West Conference, Conference USA, Big East (which led to the American Athletic Conference) and Sun Belt Conference as well as the death of the WAC as a football conference. Things were just about to return to normal until the Big 12 finally made some long-awaited moves to explore their expansion options. The Big 12 closed the door on possible expansion within its conference in recent months, leaving a number of potential Big 12 hopefuls feeling used and disrespected.
Scott also has a bright vision for the future of Pac-12 athletics, which he believes will one day have all Pac-12 sports being broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. That may be true, but the big question will continue to be just how many people will be watching, or be able to watch.
Colorado State’s running back stable will be down a player when their postseason game rolls around.
Head coach Mike Bobo confirmed that Marvin Kinsey Jr. has a torn ACL. making it even worse, the back suffered the injury during practice this past Saturday.
The injury wasn’t the result of any type of contact, and the football program expects the true freshman to make a full recovery. That said, Kinsey is expected to miss spring practice but should be ready for the start of summer camp in eight months.
He will, though, miss the Idaho Potato Bowl matchup with Idaho Dec. 22.
Kinsey is third on the Rams with 546 yards rushing. His seven rushing touchdowns are second on the team, while his 5.9 yards per carry is second as well for players with 15 or more carries.
The 127 yards Kinsey put up in a win over New Mexico is a single-game high for the team the season, as was 75-yard run in the same game.
Not only is true freshman Jalen Hurts impacting opposing defenses, he’s having a personnel impact on Alabama’s quarterback room as well.
On his personal Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, David Cornwell announced that he has decided to transfer from the Crimson Tide and finish his collegiate playing career elsewhere. Bateman has already graduated from UA, and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
He would be eligible to play immediately in 2017 if he lands at another FBS program.
Cornwell was a four-star 2014 recruit, rated as the No. 4 por-style quarterback in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma. He did not attempt a pass during any of his three seasons in Tuscaloosa.
Cornwell becomes the third Tide quarterback to transfer in less than three months — Blake Barnett withdrew from school in late September, while reports surfaced a couple of days ago that Cooper Bateman would be leaving the football program as well. Barnett recently committed to play at Arizona State.
That trio is actually among a quartet of quarterbacks who have left Nick Saban‘s program in less than a year. Late last December, Alec Morris transferred from UA to North Texas.
After a few years away, Brent Brennan is coming back to one of his college coaching homes.
San Jose State announced Wednesday afternoon that the 43-year-old Brennan has been hired as the program’s new head football coach. Brennan will replace Ron Caragher, who was dismissed late last month after four seasons with the Spartans.
From 2005-2010, Brennan was an assistant at SJSU under both Dick Tomey and Mike MacIntyre.
“We want to recruit high-character young men that are tough and love to play football and also take their academics seriously,” Brennan said. “We’re going to help them grow from young men into men and put a product on the field that anybody who has a connection with Spartan football can be proud of.”
In between stints at SJSU, Brennan spent the 2011-16 seasons at Oregon State. He coached wide receivers in each of his seasons with the Beavers.
This will be Brennan’s first head-coaching job at any level.
“We are thrilled to have Brent back at San José State. He is an exceptional football coach and one of the most respected recruiters in the country. His coaching background and ties to San José State make Brent a perfect fit,’ athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.
The Spartans went 4-8 in Caragher’s last season.