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Headlinin’: Pac-12 thinking long-term with Apple, Google

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Making the morning rounds.

The future is now (we hope). Turns out the much-anticipated Pac-12 television network may not be on television at all: Among other options, the conference is "very seriously" considering a partnership with Google or Apple that would reject the standard subscription-TV model in favor of an internet-based network driven by advertising. As described by the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, the plan amounts to a long-term bet by the league and the tech giants that the distinction between computers and televisions will be erased as viewers become accustomed to accessing the web on full-size TV screens.

Note that the conference is also considering more conventional models, including partnering with an existing cable network to "flip" programming to Pac-12 fare or starting a new network from scratch, a la the Big Ten. [San Jose Mercury News]

Dollars under the bridge, part one. Rutgers has used more than $115 million in university funds and student fees since 2006 to balance its athletic budget, according to a study by USA Today — more than any other public school in the analysis and nearly twice as much as the next-highest school in one of the "Big Six" BCS conferences. At the same time, the university also postponed previously agreed-upon pay raises for faculty and staff last year to save a reported $30 million.

The full database of athletic department subsidies is here. Only eight athletic departments operated in 2010 without a dollar from university subsidies or student fees: LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, Texas and Texas A&M. [USA Today]{YSP:MORE}

Dollars under the bridge, part two. Contrary to San Diego State's initial promise that it had raised $1 million in private funds to buy out the remainder of coach Chuck Long's contract in 2008, the university only finished paying off Long's buyout after it received a $1 million check from Michigan to buy out the remainder of coach Brady Hoke's contract earlier this year. Altogether, less than a fifth of the tab to fire Long ($405,000 of $2.1 million) ultimately came from private funds. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

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Put me in, coach. Virginia Tech receiver Danny Coale, a regular starter who's finished first or second on the team in receiving each of the last three seasons, is now aiming to become the Hokies' starting punter as a senior. With the departure of senior Brian Saunders, no one on Tech's roster has attempted a punt in a college game.

"This is getting in touch with my inner child," Coale told the Roanoke Times after one of his regular solo practice sessions last week. "I love it. The competitor in me hates when I shank one or it's not exactly right, but it's fun and I'm going to keep doing it, piece by piece and bit by bit throughout the summer. If I can get a little better between here and there, we'll see what happens." [Roanoke Times]

Hypothetically speaking, screw your rules. Hypothetically. Ex-Florida linebacker Channing Crowder (now of the Miami Dolphins) told a Miami radio audience that college players should be allowed to sell jerseys and other memorabilia, and admitted strongly suggested that he might have gained some personal experience in similar avenues of entrepreneurship during his stint in Gainesville in 2003-04. "I'll say hypothetically I don't have any more of my Florida jerseys," Crowder said Sunday on the debut of his two-hour weekly talk show on WQAM. "There were some Jacksonville businessmen that really hypothetically liked my play." [Associated Press]

Quickly… Nevada receiver Brandon Wimberly is out of ICU but still recovering slowly from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. … Alabama long snapper Carson Tinker continues to recover from injuries he suffered in the tornado that killed his girlfriend. … Ereck Plancher's family takes the stand. … One of Ole Miss' top recruits says he's academically qualified. … Michigan's recruiting renaissance continues with a four-star lineman from Tennessee. … Oklahoma players help out in Haiti. … An interesting podcast with a criminology professor on the bizarre reality of NCAA amateurism rules. … Auburn didn't really want Russell Wilson, anyway. … And BYU may be targeting more non-Mormon recruits, but it's not getting them just yet.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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