The Mid-American Conference has signed a new deal with ESPN that will give the sports network exclusive broadcast rights to MAC games for the next 13 years. The deal covers football, men's and women's basketball, and all Olympic sporting events. The agreement guarantees that all MAC football games will be broadcast on at least one of ESPN's television channels, as well as on the network's digital platforms.
In a conference call announcing the deal Tuesday, Jon Steinbrecher, MAC commissioner, said he couldn't reveal exactly how much the deal was worth but said that it was in a "totally different area code" than the MAC's existing agreement with the network. ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported that the deal amounts to more than $100 million, or about $8 million per year. That's about $670,000 for each school every year. The previous deal was worth about $1 million per year for the conference.
The agreement moves the MAC closer to some of its FBS conference peers, but it still trails behind the American Athletic Conference, which has a broadcast agreement reportedly worth $130 million.
While the deal has been in the works since at least 2012, Steinbrecher said recent changes to how the National Collegiate Athletic Association is governed was a factor in the agreement. Earlier this month, the NCAA awarded a greater level of autonomy to the five wealthiest conferences, leading some less-wealthy conferences to fret over a growing gap between the so-called power five conferences and the rest of the colleges in Division I. "We've been forecasting where the world was going for a couple of years now, so that's why it was critical for us to bring this together now," Steinbrecher said. "It's certainly one part of bringing our membership forward in whatever this new world of collegiate athletics looks like."
The Rev. C. Kevin Gillespie, president of Saint Joseph's University for the last two years, has announced plans to step down in June. Father Gillespie and his administration have been the subject of numerous faculty protests and votes of no confidence, with professors saying that the administration has pursued unrealistic and unwise solutions to financial problems, in part for failing to consult with the faculty.
David Borofsky resigned suddenly Wednesday as president of Dakota State University, after less than three years in office, The Argus Leader reported. In a message to the campus, Borofsky noted that a number of administrative changes he made have been "controversial and unpopular." He did not express regret for the changes but said that "a change agent of an organization can almost never be the healer ... and DSU needs to heal. Therefore ... I announce my retirement from Dakota State University, effective today."
Arts and sciences faculty members at Columbia University are increasingly complaining about inadequate resources, The Wall Street Journal reported. Among the concerns: facilities that need to be updated, sabbatical support that isn't complete, and insufficient staffing levels. Professors complain that professional schools at Columbia seem to be benefiting more from ongoing resource allocation. Administrators say that they are talking to faculty about the concerns.