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Big Ten revenue for fiscal year 2018 trumps SEC by more than $100 million

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If the NCAA finally starts allowing its players to profit off their images and names and likenesses and the like, there is one conference that is decidedly positioned to, with fistfuls of $100 bills, wipe away any tears of angst that may flow over the erosion of what’s become an archaic amateurism model.

According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, and citing federal tax returns provided by the conference, the Big Ten recorded nearly $760 million in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.  That financial haul is a record for any conference, trumping the $512 million for the 2017 fiscal year; the $54 million paid out on average to each of the league’s 14 member institutions — two schools, Maryland and Rutgers, have borrowed against future earnings — sets a standard for the rest of the country as well.

That $54 million per school is just over $2 million more than had been projected in the summer of 2018.

For comparison’s sake, the 14-team SEC, the second-most financially successful Power Five conference, announced in February of this year revenues of just over $627 million for the same fiscal year, with an average per-school payout of $43.1 million.

In May of this year, the Big 12 announced $374 million in revenue that would be distributed amongst its 10 members.  For the 2016-17 fiscal year, ACC members received between $25.3 million and $30.7 million and Pac-12 schools received $30.9 million.

With the launch of its own network this August, the ACC is expecting to see its per-school revenue increase for the 2019 fiscal year; how much remains to be seen, although it’s expected to be enough to put the Pac-12 squarely in the Power Five revenue cellar.

Oklahoma State booster has appeal denied over Sports Illustrated story

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The ongoing legal battle between Oklahoma State booster John Talley and Sports Illustrated may have reached the finish line. Months after having a lawsuit dismissed by a judge in Oklahoma City, Talley’s appeal to have the lawsuit move forward has officially been denied by an appeals court.

As reported by Tulsa World, Talley and his lawyers were unable to convince a judge that Sports Illustrated had acted with malice in a story published in September of 2013. The story targeted Oklahoma State and accused the program of a list of problems linked to drug violations, shady hostess activity, and academic fraud. In Talley’s original lawsuit, the booster claimed he was “wrongly portrayed as an overzealous booster” who improperly paid Oklahoma State football players. The lawsuit was dismissed by a judge last October, sending Talley to the US Court of Appeals for one last crack at the lawsuit.

Talley lost his appeal because he and his legal team were unable to provide any evidence facts in the Sports Illustrated story focusing on him were invalid. As far as Talley was concerned in the story, the facts were unbreakable. Because of that, the appeal was denied.

The lawsuit listed publisher Time Warner and reporters Thayer Evans and George Dohrmann and accused the defendants of invading his privacy.

Talley had been seeking $75,000 in damages.

Big 12 revenue creeps up to $373.9 million in 2018, still nearly half of SEC’s total take

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It’s that time of the year.

Yes it’s the boring stretch of the offseason where not much happens to be sure, but there are a few tidbits of information worth noting for fans. Some of these come via the always thrilling tax returns filed by the various FBS conferences across the country. USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz obtained the Big 12’s this week for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018 and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, the league brought in quite a bit of coin:

Overall, the Big 12’s total revenue figure of $373.9 million is just a slight bump up from the $371 million reported the year prior but a hefty increase on the reported $313 million from FY2016.

As Berkowtiz notes, that total sum is nearly half of what the 14-team SEC reported for the same fiscal year and will likely be a distant third among the Power Five conferences behind the mammoth payday the Big Ten also receives. The Pac-12 still lags behind those figures either way (total and per school distribution) but the real question is if — or perhaps when — the ACC will wind up moving past the Big 12 in the pecking order with the launch of their own conference network in 2019 plus another successful college basketball season on the books.

Those are concerns for another day though as the Big 12 remains on solid ground for the timing being with some big checks to cash for the league office and its member schools.

South Alabama loses second WR to grad transfer this offseason

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For the second time since the 2018 season came to an end, South Alabama has seen its receiving corps depleted by the infamous portal.

With Twitter as the delivery vehicle, Malik Stanley announced this week that, “after long talks with my families, friends, and God, I have made the decision to reopen my recruitment for my graduate year.” As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver would be eligible to play immediately in 2019 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he ultimately chooses.

In 2017, Stanley’s 27 receptions and 324 receiving yards were good for third on the Jaguars, while his three receiving touchdowns tied for the team lead. Academic issues the following year, however, sidelined him for the first half of the 2018 season and ultimately helped limit him to appearances in four games. In that limited action, the 6-3, 220-pound receiver totaled 110 yards and a touchdown on eight catches.

Stanley joins Jordan McCray as USA receivers who have left the football program as graduate transfers this offseason. After a brief flirtation with UNLV, McCray ultimately landed at Oklahoma State.

Colorado DL transfer granted immediate eligibility at Oklahoma State

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Oklahoma State will see an immediate benefit from a veteran addition to its roster.

In confirming his son’s transfer from Colorado to Oklahoma State earlier this offseason, the father of Israel Antwine stated that the defensive lineman would be seeking a hardship waiver from the NCAA that would grant immediate eligibility in Stillwater.  Wednesday, the father, Dwayne Antwine, confirmed to The Oklahoman that the waiver has been approved by The Association.

In applying for a waiver, Antwine and OSU had cited a major overhaul of the coaching and support staff at Colorado as the basis for the application.  Mike MacIntyre was fired by CU in the middle of November, ultimately replaced by Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.

Including this season, Antwine will have three years of eligibility remaining.  He’ll also have his redshirt if needed.

Coming out of high school in Oklahoma City, Antwine was a three-star member of the Buffaloes’ 2018 recruiting class.  As a true freshman, the lineman started 11 of Colorado’s 12 games.