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ACC Network to Enhance Miami Athletics

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ACC Network to Enhance Miami Athletics

ACC NetworkIn a move that UM Director of Athletics Blake James says will “enhance the stature and visibility” of Miami athletics, ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference will launch the much-anticipated ACC Network, a multi-platform network that will give fans access to hundreds of exclusive live conference events via a digital channel available next month and more than 1,300 events in 2019 when the linear network launches.

With UM women’s head basketball coach Katie Meier and head football coach Mark Richt joining representatives from Notre Dame and the 13 other ACC programs on stage, ACC Commissioner John Swofford and ESPN President John Skipper announced the launch of the new network at the conference’s annual ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte, North Carolina, last Thursday.

The 20-year partnership will provide ACC fans unprecedented access to live events via a comprehensive, multi-platform network. It also provides for the extension of the conference’s existing rights agreement with ESPN to 2036. ESPN is the ACC’s exclusive worldwide rights holder.

Beginning in August 2016, fans can access more than 600 exclusive live events from across the conference via the digital live-events channel ‘ACC Network Extra’, immediately available to users who have access to ESPN3 via WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with that number growing each year. More than 1,300 ACC events will be distributed across the platforms three years from now when the linear network launches.

Linear Network Programming
The linear network will feature 450 exclusive live events including 40 regular-season football games, more than 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, more than 200 other regular-season contests and tournament games from across the conference’s 27-sponsored sports, plus a complement of news and informational shows and original programming. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled football and men’s basketball game, plus women’s basketball and conference sports matchups, as well as all ACC championship events.

“We look forward to working with our longtime partners at the ACC to create a network that reflects the depth and quality of its athletes and teams and serves the fans who passionately support them. We are proud and excited to add the ACC Network to our industry-leading college content offerings,” said John Skipper, ESPN President.

“On behalf of the ACC Council of Presidents, Faculty Athletics Representatives, and our ACC Television Committee, we are tremendously pleased to further enhance our long-term partnership with ESPN that includes the creation of the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra, and positions the conference for the long-term future,” said Swofford. “This partnership continues to be a win-win for ESPN and the ACC. ESPN is the premier provider in sports content and this agreement will deliver unprecedented coverage to our fans while highlighting our quality student-athletes, coaches, and institutions.”

Additional details about the network will be announced in the coming months.

Here’s how UM coaches are reacting to the news:

“This is a tremendous day for our league and our institution. I would like to congratulate Commissioner John Swofford and his staff for finalizing this historic deal. The exposure of the ACC Network will significantly enhance our league’s visibility nationwide.”
— Mark Richt, Hurricanes Head Football Coach

“We are very excited about the league’s continued partnership with ESPN and the exposure the league will receive through the new ACC Network. The launch of the ACC Network is very beneficial for the University of Miami and the continued growth of our basketball program. Our fans will also love the extensive national television coverage the ACC Network will provide for the Hurricanes. The ACC is the best basketball conference in the country and we keep getting better and better.”
— Jim Larrañaga, Men’s Head Basketball Head Coach 

“The ACC is the most competitive conference in college baseball, and the opportunity to showcase that product nationwide on the ACC Network will provide a tremendous lift to all of our programs.”
— Jim Morris, Miami Hurricanes Head Baseball Coach

“This is an exciting day for the entire ACC and especially so for women’s basketball. We have consistently been the nation’s best conference and it is time for us to take advantage of this amazing platform. Our league is so tough and it spans so many interesting cities, regions, and university communities. I’m thrilled that people all over America will be able to watch my team and all the teams from The U. This will help us both with recruiting and expanding our footprint.”
— Katie Meier, Women’s Head Basketball Coach

“The ACC Network will be a great addition to an already elite conference. It is exciting to know that our program, as well as the rest of the programs at Miami, will have the opportunity to receive the coverage that the ACC Network will provide.”
— Jose “Keno” Gandara, Miami Hurricanes Volleyball Head Coach

“This is a great opportunity to showcase our sport in the most competitive conference in the country. Every game is played at a high level and now fans across the nation will have the chance to see that on a regular basis.”
— Mary-Frances Monroe, Miami Hurricanes Soccer Head Coach

“Today’s announcement of the ACC Network is groundbreaking for the University of Miami, the ACC, and for our fans, and is indicative of the overall strength of our conference. The network will enhance the stature and visibility of Miami and the ACC, and with the expanded digital platform on ESPN, I am excited about the addition of new Hurricane fans from around the country.”
— Blake James, Miami Athletics Director


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Compliance Corner: Summer Reminders

Now that many of the University of Miami teams have concluded their seasons, it is important to remember that NCAA rules affect student-athletes, coaches, institutional staff members, and fans throughout the year, not just during the playing season. Here are a few reminders fans should keep in mind during the summer:

Use of student-athletes name, image, or likeness: NCAA bylaws prohibit boosters, local business, and corporate entities from using a student-athlete’s name, picture, or likeness to promote any commercial product. Neither can a student-athlete authorize the use of his or her name or picture on commercial items.

Employing student-athletes: Student-athletes can earn only the going rate in the locale of their employment. This means, for example, that if the going wage in a certain field is $20 an hour, it would be impermissible to pay a student-athlete $50 an hour for the same job. Additionally, student-athletes may be paid only for work actually performed and, to ensure the work is actually completed, should not be paid in advance. There have been many NCAA violations concerning student-athletes who were paid for work they never performed. Student-athletes who receive payment without performing work would jeopardize their eligibility and subject UM to seek their reinstatement, or face other potential penalties. If you are aware of a student-athlete’s employment by either yourself or another employee, please report it to the compliance office.

Extra Benefits: An extra benefit is any special arrangement by an institutional employee, or a representative of the institution’s athletics interests, to provide a student-athlete, a prospective student-athlete, their friend, or a family member a benefit not authorized by the NCAA. However, if the same benefit is available to the general student population, or a particular segment of the student body that includes the student-athlete, the receipt of that benefit is not a violation of NCAA rules.

As always, your efforts to help the University of Miami maintain a culture of compliance are greatly appreciated. For more compliance information, follow the UM Athletics Department on Twitter (@UCompliance), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/UCompliance), or contact them via email, [email protected].

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Inauguration Weeks Shifts into High Gear with Love of Sports


Inauguration Weeks Shifts into High Gear with Love of Sports

By Peter E. Howard
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 24, 2016) – Alexis Wright stood at the podium under the bright lights, but probably would have preferred to be in the starting blocks at one of her track meets.

 With a broad shy smile, she admitted to being both “really nervous” and honored to be chosen to speak at Sunday’s Celebration of Women’s Athletics luncheon at the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse.

 Then the senior track and field star from Tampa told the more than 200 people what it has meant to her to be a student-athlete at the University of Miami.

 How she has been able to volunteer to help people in the community. How she has been able to major in microbiology and prepare for medical school. How she has been able to be involved in leadership programs, and help people care for themselves.

 “Athletics has given me a platform, given me a chance to see myself in a whole new light,” Wright told the crowd. “Women’s athletics has personally transformed my life.”

 The luncheon – attended by men and women, athletes and non-athletes, old and young – kicked off a week of events honoring UM President Julio Frenk, whose inauguration as the sixth president of the University will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at the BankUnited Center. The luncheon was followed by the women’s basketball game against Florida State University.

 View complete Inauguration 2016 information and complete coverage of women’s basketball’s game against FSU.

Frenk talked about how his own life has been impacted by “truly confident women,” including his twin sister, mother, wife, two daughters, and a grandmother who lived to age 106.

 Frenk said he wanted to start off Inauguration Week celebrating women and specifically women’s athletics. Student-athletes, he said, learn life lessons in teamwork, handling adversity, and balancing busy schedules. And athletics, he said, is a crucial part of the fabric of the University and helps unite everyone.

 “We are truly one U, and all of you here today are helping to make those bonds even stronger,” Frenk said.

The University of Miami was the first in the nation to award collegiate athletic scholarships to women, which occurred in 1973, just a year after the passage of Title IX – the federal law that leveled the playing field for men and women involved in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding.

Stuart A. Miller, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, said athletics ignites “the spirit of competition that permeates” everywhere and everything that occurs at a university.

The luncheon included the presentation of student-athlete awards to 10 women representing each of the University’s women’s sports. They were: Adrienne Motley, basketball; Kara McCormack, diving; Daniela Darquea, golf; Sarah Aschebrock, rowing; Catalina Perez, soccer; My Fridell, swimming; Stephanie Wagner, tennis; Tiffany Okieme, track and field; Alexis Wright, track; and Kalysta White, volleyball.

Throughout the event, a slideshow played on big screens on either side of the podium, featuring pictures of accomplished women student-athletes, and team pictures of some of the national championship teams.

Sunday’s event began with welcome remarks from Hilarie Bass, vice chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, who founded the Celebration of Women’s Athletics event with fellow trustees, Barbara Hecht Havenick and Laurie Silvers last year.

Katie Meier, longtime head women’s basketball coach who recently recorded her 200th career win at UM, said it is only at the U where every coach for the men’s teams would attend a luncheon celebrating women’s athletics. And it’s only at the U, she said, where a presidential inauguration kick-off celebration would include attending a women’s basketball game.

“I love it! I love it,” she told the gathering. “A confident woman can change the world. We are changing lives.”

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Compliance Corner: Student-Athletes and Agents

Special to UM News

There have been numerous national media reports about sports agents having impermissible encounters with collegiate student-athletes. The actions of an agent are governed by the professional players’ associations (NFLPA, MLBPA, etc.) so NCAA rules primarily outline what kind of relationship a student-athlete may have with an agent, which in a word is none. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions to help faculty and staff gain a basic understanding of NCAA rules governing agent contact.

Q: Would prospective or enrolled student-athletes jeopardize their amateur status and become ineligible for intercollegiate athletics if they retain an agent?
A: YES. The basic rule is that student-athletes are ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if they have ever agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing their athletic ability or reputation in that sport.

Q: How would the NCAA find out if a student-athlete did sign with an agent?
A: Information comes to the NCAA from a variety of sources. For example, it may come from the student-athlete or the institution, the student-athlete’s ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, a disgruntled teammate, or a competing agent or runner. If the NCAA receives credible information that suggests a violation may have occurred, it will follow up.

Q: What benefits can agents provide to enrolled or prospective student-athletes without jeopardizing their amateur status?
A: NONE. Any benefits (i.e., cash or other gifts or services) that agents or their firm or agency provide to student-athletes would constitute compensation for their athletic talent and abilities, regardless of the value of the benefit or whether the benefit is used.

Q: Can an agent send a gift to a student-athlete’s mother or girlfriend?
A: NO. A student-athlete’s friends or relatives cannot receive any benefit that would be an impermissible benefit if received by the student-athlete, without jeopardizing the student-athlete’s amateur status.

Staff members of the UM Athletics Department should also be aware of the following NCAA guidelines:

  • No athletics department staff member of an NCAA member institution may serve as an agent, or represent, directly or indirectly, any individual in the marketing of athletic ability or reputation to a professional sports team or a professional sports organization, unless that staff member is acting in his or her capacity as a member of the institution’s professional sports counseling panel.
  • An athletics department staff member may not receive benefits for facilitating or arranging a meeting between a student-athlete and an agent, financial advisor, or a representative of an agent or advisor.

Maintaining compliance is essential to the success of the University’s athletics programs and the UM Athletics Department asks for your help in making sure the U is operating within the rules. As always, your efforts to help the University maintain a culture of compliance are greatly appreciated. For more compliance information, follow the UM Athletics Department on Twitter (@UCompliance), like them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/UCompliance), or contact them via email, [email protected].


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‘Difference Maker’ Mark Richt Returns Home to Coach the ’Canes

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‘Difference Maker’ Mark Richt Returns Home to Coach the ’Canes

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

It's official: Mark Richt makes the popular U sign during at his introductory press conference as UM's new head football coach.

It’s official: Mark Richt makes the popular U sign during his introductory press conference as UM’s new head football coach.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 4, 2015) – His old school had come calling before, but Mark Richt, secure in a job in which he had achieved unparalleled success, had always told them “no.”

Then, at the end of the 2015 college football season, something happened—Richt, who compiled a 145-51 record and won two Southeastern Conference titles and nine bowl games during a 15-year stint as head coach of the University of Georgia, found himself out of a job. So when Richt’s alma mater, the University of Miami, called this time, he listened. And on Friday, you might say both got what they wanted. Read the full story

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