The Power 5 conferences have never been richer. That doesn’t mean business is easy for everyone in college sports, though.
According to a report from Harry Minium of the Virginian-Pilot, Conference USA is in line to receive $2.8 million — total — from its 2016-17 television contracts. Keep in mind Texas will earn more than $40 million on its own next year, with the entirety of the Big Ten and SEC soon to follow.
Conference USA received $9.95 million in fees from CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports this year and another $6.15 million in exit fees from schools leaving for the American Athletic Conference, but each of those revenue streams is set to dry by the fall.
Due to incredibly unfortunate timing, C-USA had to return to the negotiating table at a time sports networks are in between the bubble of the cable explosion and whatever comes next in the digital world. The result is C-USA returns to ESPN and its fire hose of much-needed exposure, but at a substantially reduced rate. The league will also be found on CBS Sports Network, beIN Sports and the American Sports Network.
“Right now, the television market is horrible,” C-USA commissioner Judy McLeod said. “The pool of money that’s there is going to the big guys.”
According to Minium, C-USA’s $200,000 per school media rights distribution ranks ninth in FBS, trailing each of the Power 5 schools along with the AAC ($2 million per), the Mountain West ($1.7 million) and the MAC ($670,000) but ahead of the Sun Belt ($100,000).
A former LSU player with a checkered recent past has decided to start anew at a Conference USA program.
While there’s been no official word from the school, Rivals.com has reported that Jevonte Domond will be transferring into UT-San Antonio and continuing his playing career with the Roadrunners. As the offensive tackle would be coming to UTSA as a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2016. This upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.
Domond transferred from the junior college level to LSU in 2014. That season, Domond played in one game; in 2015, he played in three.
In between, an off-field incident marked his two years with the Tigers.
In May of 2015, Domond was arrested for felony domestic abuse following an alleged incident involving his then-fiancée. Domond allegedly strangled the victim while she stood over the crib of their young child and then, after she attempted to use pepper spray on the player, slammed her onto a couch twice before she got away and drove herself to a police station.
Domond was indefinitely suspended, but then somewhat controversially reinstated two months later while the incident was still pending.
In March of this year, head coach Les Miles confirmed that Domond had graduated and would be pursuing a transfer.
Houston and Rice are extending their Bayou Bucket rivalry into the next decade. The clubs announced on Monday agreements for games on Sept. 5, 2020 at Houston and at Rice on Sept. 11, 2021.
The crosstown foes have not met since 2013 and won’t again until 2017. Houston holds a 29-11 advantage in the series that dates back to 1971. The Cougars have won each of the last three meetings.
Additionally, Houston announced a four-game series with UTSA to be played in stages. The first game will take place Sept. 2, 2017, in San Antonio, and the other three will follow from 2022-24.
Houston and UTSA have split their only two previous meetings.
The addition of the UTSA game completes the Coogs’ 2017 non-conference schedule. Houston opens at UTSA and visits Arizona a week later, then hosts a two-game home stand against Rice and Texas Tech.
One member of the UTSA Class of 2016 is in some legal trouble before stepping foot on campus in San Antonio. Jacquelle Green was arrested Thursday and charged with armed robbery by D’Iberville police, according to a report from The Sun Herald. Green’s arrest happened during a traffic stop after being pulled over for driving erratically and without his headlights on.
Green was one of four charged for armed robbery after an officer at the traffic stop. During the traffic stop, officers reportedly received a call about a pizza delivery driver being robbed at gunpoint nearby. That was when evidence suggesting Green and the others in the car were potentially connected to the incident. A gun was taken from the car. Nobody was harmed in the alleged gunpoint robbery.
“We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information,” UTSA head coach Frank Wilson said in a released statement.
Former UTSA head coach Larry Coker has reached a settlement with his former employer for his resignation. UTSA will pay Coker $650,000 according to documents cited by The San Antonio Express-Times.
The settlement fee negotiated between UTSA and Coker will save the university nearly $1 million. The terms of Coker’s contract outlined he could have received up to $1.56 million in his buyout. That total would have been paid to Coker over time. Instead, Coker accepted a lump-sum payment of $550,000 that will be paid to him next month. An additional $100,000 will be paid to Coker by UTSA in October to complete the reduced buyout process.
Coker was the first head coach in the history of the young UTSA football program. Brought on board years before taking the field, UTSA hired Coker out of retirement following a stint with Miami that started with a national championship victory in his first season. Coker was hired to help establish the program’s foundation and prepare for competing on the field in 2009. The Roadrunners played their first game in 2011 as an FCS independent. Coker led the program to the WAC in 2012 as the conference scrambled to find some slight stability during realignment changes. UTSA went 8-4 in their first season in the FBS in 2012 and pulled in a second straight winning season in 2013 after joining Conference USA. Following two straight losing seasons in 2014 and 2015 UTSA opting to go in a new direction from Coker.
In January, UTSA hired LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson to be the next head coach of the football program.