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With Chargers skipping town, San Diego State places focus on new stadium

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The San Diego Chargers wanted a new stadium in San Diego but were turned down, leading the franchise to make the decision to head to Los Angeles. San Diego State, who has shared residences with the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, also wants a new stadium, but the Aztecs lack the same kind of bargaining power and threat the Chargers do. After all, San Diego State cannot go anywhere. The good news is their demands are not nearly as taxing on the city either.

San Diego state currently has a lease with Qualcomm Stadium that expires after the 2018 season, which means the school needs to figure out if it can create a new place to call home or renew its contract for the cavernous Qualcomm Stadium for however many more years are necessary. The school has explored stadium options before, including the possibility of investing $100 million for a brand new stadium all to themselves, but there are no plans in place just yet to break ground on a stadium built just for the Aztecs.

“The big thing is finding a suitable stadium solution for the long term,” San Diego State athletics director John David Wicker said in a story published by The San Diego Union-Tribune. “That means we have to be able to generate revenue over and above what we’re doing now. We need to generate premium sales; we need to generate third-party marketing rights – those types of things that we don’t get now.”

The issues facing San Diego State are common among programs located in cities. Temple and USF, for example, play their home game sin NFL stadiums in part because the location for a football-only stadium is either not available or feasible. San Diego State looks to other midmajor football programs for inspiration where stadiums with a smaller seating capacity offer a more enjoyable experience for fans compared to dressing up (or dressing down) a stadium built in 1967 to host both baseball and football.

“That’s the only way we’re going to be successful moving forward,” Wicker said. “It’s figuring out what that’s going to look like.”

Having just played Houston in the Las Vegas Bowl gave Wicker a chance to meet with Houston officials, who have extended an invitation to him to come check out their football stadium.

“They told me they’d love to have me come out to take a look,” Wicker said. “They said they could tell me what they did right and the things they’re regretting now. There’s that road map out there.”

There is no timeline for when San Diego State will have a future stadium plan all hashed out, but there is work being done behind the scenes to address it.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.