Friday, June 29, 2012

Megan Franklin Named Drake's Associate Athletic Director

The Drake University athletic department announces the addition of Megan Franklin as associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator. Franklin will begin her duties at Drake on July 2. Franklin will provide leadership to the internal operations of the department. Specifically, her role directly influences the culture of the department and the student-athlete experience. She will oversee the compliance and academic services departments, as well as the athletic training room, strength and conditioning room and the majority of sport programs. “I am delighted to welcome Megan Franklin into the Bulldog family,” said athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. “She is an outstanding fit for our department, both professionally and personally. Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious and I can’t wait to partner with her on the future of Drake athletics.” Franklin comes to Drake from Virginia Tech, where she is completing her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies. She spent four years as director of student life for the Hokies’ athletic department from 2003-07, which included implementation of the NCAA/CHAMPS Life Skills Program and the planning and implementation of career development programs and workshops for Virginia Tech athletes. Prior to that role, Franklin spent two years as an assistant academic counselor at her alma mater, the University of Nebraska. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Nebraska in 1998 and her master’s degree in educational administration from the institution in 2001. "I am excited to join Sandy Hatfield Clubb's team of athletic administrators, coaches and staff at Drake University,” Franklin said. “I believe her vision for a culture of excellence and ethics is spot-on for the future of intercollegiate athletics in higher education. I look forward to shaping the culture that builds character for Drake student-athletes and my colleagues in athletics and the campus community." Most recently, Franklin has served for two years as the assessment coordinator for the Virginia Tech Office of Assessment and Evaluation, following three years as assistant director of the school’s Office of Recovery and Support. [This story was written for Ron Maly by Paul Kirk, Drake's assistant athletic director for communications]

Lots Of Drake In This Program: Amy sSephens Joins Lisa Stone's Coaching Staff At St. Louis U.

St. Louis University women's basketball coach Lisa Stone said Amy Stephens [pictured] and Brian "Lou" DiFeo have been added to her staff as assistant coaches, and Brittney Marshall has been retained as director of operations and video coordinator. Stephens, DiFeo and Marshall join associate head coach Barb Smith, who joined the program earlier this month. Stone (26), Stephens (17) and Smith (five) have 48 years of collegiate head-coaching experience among them. Both Stone and Stephens are former head coaches at Drake. Stone preceded Stephens in the Bulldogs' job. "It is with energy and excitement that I announce the remainder of my staff for the upcoming year," Stone said. "We have found coaches who have experience, passion and tremendous vision to help build a championship program at St. Louis University. Every member of our staff shares in the Saint Louis philosophy of educating, competing and building community. I take great pleasure in welcoming Amy, Lou and Brittney to the Billiken family. I could not be more excited about this staff. Barb, Amy, Lou and Brittney are quality people with quality values. We will work as a team to help Saint Louis University women's basketball grow to exciting new heights." Stephens compiled a 151-130 record in nine seasons at Drake. The Bulldogs earned an NCAA tournament berth in 2007, and the 2011-12 Bulldogs made the program's fourth WNIT appearance under Stephens' guidance. The 2007-08 Drake squad was 23-11 and captured the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title. "Amy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a successful head coach," Stone said. "She has done it all in women's basketball as a player and as a coach. Amy has tremendous drive and vision and is a great teacher of the game. She is well connected in the midwest and will be an asset in recruiting quality student-athletes. Amy will be assigned as our defensive coordinator and will work primarily with our perimeter players, She is widely respected by her peers, and we are thrilled to have her join our staff." [St. Louis University].

Iowa's Ferentz, Barta Happy With Playoff Format

Gary Barta, Iowa's athletic director, and Hawkeye football coach Kirk Ferentz feel the move toward a championship football game in 2014 is good for college football and approve the announced four-team format. The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee on Tuesday approved a four-team postseason equipped with seeded semifinals within the existing bowl structure, and a championship game to follow, beginning with the 2014 season. A selection committee will rank the four teams using selected criteria that is not finalized. "With the popularity of college football, through record attendance and TV ratings, we all knew and agreed, that whatever changes are made, let's not take away from that," said Barta. "A committee is a good solution. Giving the committee as much direction as possible, in advance, is a key. The more criteria determined going in, the better. I think there is a place for a poll to factor in the process." The semifinal games will rotate among six bowl sites, with the inaugural semifinals set for Dec. 31, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015. The first championship game will be held Jan. 12, 2015, at a yet to be determined neutral site. "I believe this is a positive step for all associated with college football," said Ferentz. "While it appears that details still need to be worked out, I would imagine this development will be well received and will continue to enhance the growth and popularity of college football. "The format protects what is good in college football. The elements that have made college football so popular, the regular season and the bowl system, are maintained, while enhancing the overall picture." "No matter where we draw the line, there will be controversy remaining," concluded Barta. "The next team is always going to feel left out. The goal is to preserve the regular season and the bowl system, and I think this does a nice job of both. At the end of the day, if anyone thinks this will solve all controversy, that is not going to go away. We will just have a clearer picture of who will be the national champion." In recent history, Iowa football would have been part of the discussion in both 2002 and 2009. The 2002 Hawkeyes won their final nine games of the regular season, and tied Ohio State for the Big Ten title with a perfect 8-0 record. Iowa was ranked third at the end of the regular season, met USC in the 2003 Orange Bowl, and ended the year ranked eighth in both major polls. In 2009, the Hawkeyes won their first nine games and were ranked sixth nationally. An overtime loss at Ohio State in the second-to-last game of the year kept Iowa from at least a share of the Big Ten title. Iowa was selected to compete in the 2010 Orange Bowl, scoring a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech, to rank seventh in the final national rankings. [This story was written for Ron Maly by Steve Roe of Iowa's sports information staff].

Friday, June 22, 2012

Here It Is June 22 and I Hear Rumors That the NBA Season Is Already Over. I Didn't Watch a Minute Of It On TV In 2011-12, and Didn't Miss It At All

It's strange that the season didn't last at least until the Fourth of July so they could do a fireworks show when the last game was played. Seriously, the league would die a quick death if it depended on me to spend any money on it.

Rumor: It Could Be Announced By the End Of the Summer That Notre Dame Will Ditch Big East, Join Big 12, [But Not In Football]

Two sources in the Big 12 Conference say the possibility of Notre Dame moving its Olympic sports out of the Big East and into the Big 12 is becoming more and more likely.

Speculation is growing among those sources that an announcement could come from South Bend before the end of the summer.

As part of such a move, Notre Dame, which has a contract with NBC to televise its home football games through the 2015 season, would agree to play up to six football games against Big 12 competition (but most likely three or so to start with), sources tell

Notre Dame would maintain its independence in football ... for now. If the Irish ever felt compelled to join a conference in football, the Big 12 would be ready and waiting for them. The trusted relationship between Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick can not be underestimated if such a move transpires.

Notre Dame's explanation to the Big East would be that the Big East is no longer the conference the Irish joined as a non-football member back in 1995, the sources said. Since the Irish joined, the Big East has seen Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College leave with Syracuse and Pittsburgh planning to join the ACC in two years.

Incoming Big East members include Central Florida, San Diego State, SMU, Houston and Navy.

One of ND's biggest attractions to the Big 12 is the ability to have its own Tier 3 television network, along the lines of Texas' Longhorn Network. Tier 3 inventory is whatever is left after the TV partners with Tier 1 (ABC/ESPN in the Big 12) and Tier 2 (Fox in the Big 12) rights select the football and basketball games they want to air.

Tier 3 inventory typically consists of 1 or 2 football games (although DeLoss Dodds has told reporters LHN could air three Texas football games in 2012) and less than a dozen basketball games as well as Olympic sports.

Sources in the Big 12 told during the league meetings that Notre Dame as a non-football member is the only expansion target that would receive universal approval from the league.

While sources say Texas and Oklahoma favor the Big 12 as a 10-team league for now, there are some in the Big 12 who think a move by Notre Dame - even just its Olympic sports - into the Big 12, could cause a frenzy of interest from football powers in the Atlantic Coast Conference. reported last month that Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia Tech all had efforts made on their behalf to gauge the interest of the Big 12 in expanding. The Big 12 indicated at its conference meetings in Kansas City in late May that it was happy at 10.

And while that was the sentiment then, a potential move by Notre Dame to affiliate with the Big 12, could cause more discussion and possibly a rethinking of the league's current position about bringing in new members.

Stay tuned.

[Chip Brown, Columnist]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Channel 13 Ahead Of Channel 8 In Morning, 6 p.m. Ratings

Channel 13 news on WHO-TV is now the top-rated central Iowa newscast in the morning and at dinner time in the latest ratings. The station is No. 1 in 2 out of 4 key weekday newscasts and very close to victory in the other 2 key weekday newscasts. Central Iowa’s Morning News Leader, Today in Iowa, remains the top-rated morning newscast and Channel 13 News at 6 is now No. 1 at dinner time. Channel 13 News at 5 is a slim 2-tenths (.2) away from victory. And channel 13 News at 10 p.m. has closed the gap on KCCI to a single ratings point. The local news is a definite two-station ratings battle between WHO and channel 8 KCCI. Channel 5 WOI is a non-factor in any of the ratings.

“The incredibly warm May really shook up normal viewing habits among central Iowa’s young adults,” says WHO president and general manager Dale R. Woods. “But when it came to news time, more and more Iowans chose channel 13 news. We are incredibly grateful for their trust and are confident they’ll be excited about some new announcements we have coming very soon.”

Ratings estimates are according to Nielsen Media Research’s May 2012 measurement period for the Des Moines/Ames Designated Market Area. The four-week measurement period was April 26 through May 23.
[Tim Gardner, WHO-TV].

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dowling's Haley Faber Will Play Basketball At Drake

Drake women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk said former Dowling of West Des Moines standout Haley Faber will join the program as a walkon for the 2012-13 season.

Faber was a two-sport standout in basketball and track and field at Dowling, and was named second-team all-CIML this past season in basketball. Faber was the class 4-A state discus champion last month.

Faber will be one of six new players for Drake next season. Center Emma Donahue (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) along with guards Dilonna Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis./Dominican), Ashley Bartow (Verona, Wis./Verona), Mary Pat Specht (Shawnee, Kan./Johnson County Community College) and Alexis Eckles (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King) signed national letters of intent.

Ex-Iowa Staff Member Hired As NBA Bobcats' Coach

St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap has been hired as the Charlotte Bobcats' head coach. Dunlap was a graduate assistant on coach George Raveling's staff at Iowa in the 1985-86 season. Dunlap is a somewhat surprising hire because he has spent most of his career at the collegiate level, but he is highly regarded in NBA circles for his knowledge of the game. A week ago, the Bobcats had narrowed their choices to Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan, Indiana assistant Brian Shaw and Lakers assistant Quin Snyder, sources said. After initial interviews with Charlotte executives Rod Higgins and Rich Cho, Shaw and Snyder were brought in last week to interview with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. Sloan pulled himself out of the running last week, and after meeting with Shaw and Snyder, Jordan decided to re-open the field and brought Dunlap back in for an interview on Monday, sources say. Impressed, Jordan offered Dunlap the job. Dunlap, who is known to favor an up-tempo style of play, will replace Paul Silas, whose contract was not renewed after Charlotte finished with the worst winning percentage in NBA history this past season. The Bobcats were 7-59.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Former Badger Jarrod Uthoff Will Play Basketball for Iowa

Jarrod Uthoff is staying in the Big Ten -- and he figures to see plenty more of Bo Ryan over the next few years. Uthoff told "Outside The Lines" reporter Steve Delsohn on Wednesday night that he will be attending Iowa even though Badgers coach Bo Ryan put severe limitations on his request to transfer. Uthoff said he'll have to pay his own way next year at Iowa and also will have to sit out the 2012-13 season per NCAA transfer rules. But that's not an issue for Uthoff, who is from Marengo, IA, but played high school basketball at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Uthoff said he didn't want money to be a factor in his decision. "We can afford to pay for my education for a year," said Uthoff, 19. Ryan's decision to place what many believed were heavy restrictions on Uthoff's list of transfer options drew national criticism. Uthoff previously had told an Iowa-based high school sports website,, that Ryan had placed every Big Ten and ACC school, plus Iowa State and Marquette, on the list of schools that couldn't contact him. Wisconsin later trimmed the list of schools restricted from talking to Uthoff to the Big Ten. Uthoff, a 6-foot-8 forward who redshirted in 2011-12, wasn't able to speak directly with Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery. But he left Wisconsin in part because he felt the Badgers methodical style didn't fit his skill set, and he said he feels the Hawkeyes up-tempo pace will. Uthoff also told the Associated Press that he hasn't spoken to Ryan since he told him of his plans to transfer, even though Ryan had told Uthoff he would call him once he returned from vacation. Ironically, Iowa let prep guard Ben Brust out of his letter of intent back in 2009 when the coach who recruited him, Todd Lickliter, was fired. Brust signed with Ryan and Wisconsin. The Big Ten altered its transfer rule within the conference, starting with the 2011-12 season. The new rule allows transfers to receive a grant-in-aid from their new school, but reduces their remaining athletic eligibility by a year. That penalty could have been waived if Wisconsin did not block him from Big Ten schools. Previously, once a Big Ten player signed a grant-in-aid agreement at one Big Ten school, he or she could transfer to a second Big Ten school, but would not be allowed to receive any financial aid. The new rule does not put as great a financial penalty on the player transferring. [].

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An Embarrassing Development for Big Ten Football Fans

The Big Ten held a conference call Monday morning, and Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman took the opportunity to make sure the most unflattering stereotypes about the venerable conference remain in place for many years to come. By stating that his fellow league presidents' official preference for college football's postseason is "the status quo" just one day after his Pac-12 equivalent, Oregon State president Ed Ray, said "no one is talking about the status quo," Perlman ensured that the rest of the country will continue to view the conference of Legends and Leaders as a stodgy, out-of-touch band of cigar-smoking reactionaries. This is an embarrassing development for Big Ten fans, the great majority of whom embrace change and couldn't view the college football world more differently than their leagues' overlords. It's also a disservice to the conference, which has actually been a leader in innovation, from popularizing the spread offense in the late '90s and early 2000s, to creating the landscape-altering Big Ten Network five years ago, to forming a forthcoming scheduling alliance with the Pac-12. The Big Ten's own athletic directors were the first to propose holding semifinal playoff games on campus sites, an idea so radical that other conferences rejected it. But thanks to comments like Perlman's, most of the country will go on viewing the Big Ten as the one conference still using dial-up modems. Worst of all, the inevitable backlash will result from something we already know is an empty gesture. In the ongoing turf war over the future of the BCS, the Big Ten presidents wanted to get their official preference on the record: "If we were to vote today, we would vote for the status quo," said Perlman. Yet in nearly the same breath, Perlman acknowledged, "We're also realistic." As in: We know no one else feels this way, so we know we'll end up making compromises; and despite commissioner Jim Delany insisting a plus-one, our second preference, is very much "on the table," we know we're still heading toward an inevitable four-team playoff as soon as we get through a summer of posturing and grandstanding over the details. "We have tried to not put a stake in the ground and say, 'Over our dead bodies,'" said Perlman, which is so considerate of him given his conference's proud legacy of winning one-and-a-half national titles in the last 40 years. To that end, the more important details that emerged from Monday's call related to the conference's preferences for a playoff: The league wants semifinals played within the bowl system and a championship game bid out to other cities, just like everyone else. That no longer seems a point of debate. More notably, commissioner Jim Delany made the surprising comment that "I totally agree we should have the four best teams" in a playoff. To this point we assumed the Big Ten was in lockstep with the Pac-12, whose commissioner Larry Scott is pushing the hardest of anyone for a conference championship requirement. Instead, the Big Ten is now apparently more in line with the SEC and Big 12 -- to a point. The problem, said Delany, is the method for determining the four best teams. The commissioner whose league is purportedly fine with the BCS status quo proceeded to rip the very polls and computers synonymous with the current system. "Everybody recognizes the present poll system is not a good proxy," said Delany, calling the system biased and non-transparent. It's hard to argue with either description. [Sports].

Monday, June 4, 2012

Heather Weems, 37-Year-Old Mother Of 4, Comes From Drake To Be Director At St. Cloud State. She Has Only 18-Month Deal, Will Be Paid $125,000 a Year

St. Cloud [Minn.] State University has a new athletic director. Heather Weems is the first woman to hold that position at the school. She's also one of a small number of female athletic directors across the country.

Weems grew up in Iowa, where high school and collegiate sports are a big deal. She was raised in an environment where boys and girls had many of the same opportunities.

And it was that upbringing that set the stage for her career in athletics.

"I began when I was 6, competitive swimming, and was a four-sport athlete in high school and I did a little bit of everything," Weems said. "And I just didn't know that in a lot of cases girls didn't have access to sports other places."

Weems comes to St. Cloud State from Drake University in Des Moines, where the athletic director [Sandy Hatfield Clubb] is a woman. It's a private Division I school where she was an associate athletic director overseeing both woman's and men's sports. During her three years at Drake,

Weems was also in charge of the school's NCAA compliance, sports medicine and academic support services for athletes.

Before that, the 37 year-old mother of four spent nearly a decade working in the athletics department at the University of Denver.

Weems said she's been mentored by pioneering women in athletics throughout her career. In the world of athletics, performance is performance -- regardless of gender.

"Certainly being a female, it puts me in an exclusive group, but I have the same expectations of myself, I have the same expectations of my staff that I would regardless of gender," she said.

Women account for only 20 percent of all college athletic directors. So for many, Weems' new position symbolizes a move toward greater equality in college athletics.

Linda Carpenter is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College. She's co-authored a study on women in college athletics.

There are now 216 female college athletic directors in the U.S. according to Linda Carpenter, professor emerita at Brooklyn College who co-authored a study on women in college athletics.

Heather Weems is one of 47 female ADs at Division II schools. St. Cloud State falls into the Division II category, with the exception of its men's hockey team, which competes at the Division I level

"Women need to see females in leadership positions, role models if you will," said Carpenter. "Males see males in positions of leadership everywhere they look in our society. Women don't."

Weems takes over for athletic director Morris Kurtz, who's retiring after 27 years on the job. She said she expects there will be an adjustment period as she joins the department.

"I feel like I'm a student, not only of athletics, but of higher education," said Weems. "I'm continually learning and I expect that other people do that as well."

Weems began her new job Friday. She's signed an 18-month contract at a salary of $125,000 per year.

[Minnesota Public].