MB Sports Show Weekly Recap April 7-13, 2019


April 7-13, 2019

NCAA Men’s College Basketball

  • The American Athletic Conference and  ESPN have agreed on a new media rights contract worth $1 billion over 12 years. That means $83.3 million per year would be distributed among the American Athletic Conference member schools. Those schools that are AAC members for all sports would receive an estimated $6.94 million annually.
  • In the midst of a banner season and the greatest era of comprehensive success in UK Athletics history, Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart has been selected as a finalist for Athletic Director of the Year by The Sports Business Journal. The winner will be announced at the 12th annual Sports Business Awards on May 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square. Barnhart’s fellow finalists are Ray Anderson (Arizona State University), Jennifer Cohen (University of Washington), Blake James (University of Miami) and Jamie Pollard (Iowa State University).
  • Syracuse Orange Head Coach Jim Boeheim has been announced as the recipient of the Court of Honor Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Boeheim will be recognized at the NABC Court of Honor Gala in New York City on June 18th.
  • College basketball is big business,The Wall Street Journal released a list of the 20 most valuable programs in the sport. Kentucky, Kansas and Louisville were at the top of the list.
  • The official NCAA March Madness social accounts produced a 94% increase in engagements vs. last year’s Tournament (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Videos across the three platforms generated over 135 million views, up 74%.
  • Fresh off their first-eve​national championship victory Virginia Cavaliers may have two stars looking to repeat. Ty Jerome and DeAndre Hunter expressed interest in returning to Virginia for his senior season.
  • When star forward ​RJ Barrett announced that he would be leaving Duke after just one season and would declare for the ​NBA draft, Blue Devils fans took to Instagram to rip Barrett for his missed free throws in crunch time against Michigan State.
  • Kentucky Wildcats Keldon Johnson will enter the NBA Draft. Johnson was named SEC Freshman of the Year this season, after coming out of Oak Hill Academy as a five-star recruit. He averaged 13.5 points per game and just under six rebounds during the 2018-19 season. Tyler Herro, it seems, is also considering making the leap to the NBA, and based on John Calipari’s comments, Herro may be the next Wildcats star to declare for the draft.
  • Nevada freshman forward Jordan Brown, a former McDonald’s All-American, entered his name into the transfer portal. Brown can still return to the Wolf Pack despite being in the portal. Brown, a 6-foot-10 power forward, was ranked No. 33 in the ESPN 100 for the 2018.
  • LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart declared his eligibility for the NBA draft. The 6-foot-4 Smart averaged 11.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34 games this past season. He is not ranked in the ESPN 100 NBA draft prospects.
  • Stanford sophomore guard KZ Okpala is entering the NBA draft. Okpala, a first-team all-Pac-12 honoree this season, is ranked No. 26 on ESPN’s list of the top 100 draft prospects.
  • Guard Lamarr Kimble is leaving Joseph’s and will go to Louisville as a graduate transfer. Kimble, a Philadelphia native, averaged 15.6 points and 2.8 assists per game for St. Joe’s and was the only player in school history to serve as team captain for three years.
  • Belmont University has hired Lipscomb’s Casey Alexander as its next head coach, the school announced Wednesday. Alexander played at Belmont and was an assistant under Rick Byrd for 16 seasons, until 2011. Byrd retired last month after 33 seasons and 805 wins.
  • Southern Miss head coach Doc Sadler has stepped down from his position, the school announced Thursday. Sadler is expected to join Fred Hoiberg’s staff at Nebraska, sources told ESPN. Sadler spent one season with as an assistant coach under Hoiberg at Iowa State and was the head coach at Nebraska for six seasons.
  • BYU has hired Utah Valley’s Mark Pope as its next head coach, the school announced Wednesday afternoon. Pope, 46, replaces Dave Rose, who stepped down last month after 14 seasons in charge of the Cougars.
  • Michael Avenatti after being arrested on charges of extortion was back on Twitter this past weekend with documents that he alleges show that Nike bribed basketball players.


  • 78% of NFL players are out of money less than two years after leaving the game. Similar statistics can be found when it comes to other pro sports.
  • Aaron Holland, Jon Rappaport and Robert Beadle, Season Share co-founders using technology technology in the season ticket market. Season Share is a platform that allows for fractional ownership of season tickets, a practice long used by friends to make a significant time and money investment worthwhile.
  • The now defunked AAF still owes UCF more than $1 million for the lease it signed to play at Spectrum Stadium that has gone unpaid. They aren’t the only ones either, in San Antonio a school district and a graphic designer are waiting on payments of $47,000 and $4,500 respectively
  • Legendary Green Bay Packers offensive lineman and longtime NFL coach Forrest Gregg has passed away at the age of 85. One of the foundations of the Packers dynasty, former coach Vince Lombardi called Gregg “the best player I ever coached.” The former offensive lineman, who was a seven-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys from 1956 to 1971.
  • Kyler Murray has met with the ​Arizona Cardinals, and he’s been accompanied by agent Erik Burkhardt, who also represents head coach Kliff Kingsbury. The first pick is basically etched in stone by those in inner NFL circles is that ​Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray will be picked first overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
  • NFL star Leonard Fournette was just arrested in Florida — and it’s all over an unpaid speeding ticket from back in November.
  • Former Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, it wouldn’t be all that surprising. In speaking with NFL network about Russell Wilson, Del Rio revealed that he actually thinks the quarterback and the Seattle Seahawks may part ways before the beginning of the new season. That would be a bombshell around the league.
  • G.M. Mike Mayock of the Oakland Raiders made it clear that Derek Carr will continue as the team’s quarterback for as long as the team believe that it’s in the team’s best interests to do so. “Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback, and we believe that,” Mayock said Thursday. “Beyond that, just like at any other position, we’re going to do our due diligence. If we found somebody we liked better, or thought had a bigger upside, you’ve got to do the right thing for the organization.”
  • The New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now 41 years old, ​coming off his record sixth Super Bowl championship. How does he do it? He credits his TB12 method and work with trainer Alex Guerrero, who says Brady has a lot more football left in him, he thinks Tom Terrific could play until he’s 50!
  • Speaking of the Patriots, they are looking to help Brady with offensive weapons in the upcoming draft. They have Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel and Iowa TE Noah Fant at the facility.


  • Another year, another opportunity for the New York Yankees to sit atop the Forbes rankings as the most valuable franchise in baseball. Valued at $4.6 billion, the team is worth $1.3 billion more than the Los Angeles Dodgers, who at $3.3 billion, are the second most valuable team in the league. According to Forbes, the average baseball team is now worth $1.78 billion, 8% more than a year ago.
  • The Kansas City Royals will now leverage StellarAlgo’s Customer Data Platform to inform the organization’s marketing and sales strategy moving forward.
  • The Trump administration nullified Major League Baseball’s historic agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation. In December Cuban citizens could play Major League Baseball without being forced to defect. The Obama administration rule allowed major league baseball to pay the Cuban Baseball Federation a release fee equal to 25 percent of each Cuban player’s signing bonus.This deal is similar to ones that MLB has with leagues in China, South Korea, and Japan.


  • Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal is announcing a strategic partnership with the news and events organization The Esports Observer as traditional media moves into the new world of esports.
  • Blast Pro Series launches its U.S. presence with a Counterstrike tournament in Miami, focusing on attracting casual fans to esports.
  • NBA 2K League with 90 sponsors already is looking at everything from finding ways to elevate the studio and venue experience to delivering more engagement.
  • The National Basketball Association has agreed a streaming deal with YouTube to simulcast live broadcasts from its NBA 2K League gaming series on the social video platform. Highlights throughout the esports series’ second season will also be distributed via the official NBA 2K League YouTube channel, which was launched ahead of its inaugural campaign in 2018.


  • LeBron James looks to cast other players for Space Jam 2, he is running into a problem: shoe deals. With the original movie inspired by a Nike commercial called “Hare Jordan,” working with the likes of Steph Curry and James Harden is highly unlikely. While players like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo are signed with Nike, Durant has his own media biz and Antetokounmpo has already declined the offer.
  • Former Sacramento Kings executive Jeffrey David’s computer showed a mysterious file. The Kings uncovered a scheme that defrauded the NBA team and other major organizations out of $13 million.


  • Facebook has secured a last-minute deal to broadcast this year’s edition of the Masters in the Middle East. The countries covered in the deal are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
  • Topgolf, the fast-growing high-tech sports entertainment company, plans to debut a new concept for dense areas in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland later this year. The 7,761-square-foot location will feature four public hitting bays and a private, VIP bay for events and “celebrity guests who are expected to frequent the Topgolf Lounge,” according to a press release on the new concept. Topgolf says it has 53 venues across the U.S., serving more than 17 million guests annually.


  • The WNBA is getting a fresh look. Rolling out in conjunction with tomorrow’s WNBA draft, the brand “refresh” includes a new logo designAT&T becomes the first non-apparel partner to have its logo featured on the front of all 12 WNBA team jerseys throughout the league.


  • A 10-year partnership between the Seattle Storm and Symetra Life Insurance Company. The deal, which is the largest deal in the Strom’s history, will include everything from Symetra getting a patch on the Storm’s jersey to being the presenting partner of the team’s season this year, their 20th in franchise history


  • WrestleMania 35 broke the record for MetLife Stadium’s highest-grossing entertainment event at $16.9 million.


  • NASCAR is falling on hard times. Bristol Motor Speedway saw between 35,000 – 45,000 fans in attendance at the 162,000-seat track.

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