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Hansen’s Sunday Notebook: NIL brings new ‘nightmare’ to athletic departments like UA’s – Arizona Daily Star

The Star’s longtime columnist on why Name, Image and Likeness could prove to be a nightmare on Enke Drive, why a Salpointe football player could be the next big thing, and why Jay Wright’s departure could be the start of a trend.




Athletic director Dave Heeke




Survivor Dave Heeke, UA athletic department face next terrifying chaper

Dave Heeke is five years into his term as Arizona’s athletic director and a review of those five seasons might appropriately be titled “Nightmare on Enke Drive.”

Heeke fired two football coaches and paid about $14 million to expedite their exits. He implemented a humiliating postseason ban for the UA’s men’s basketball team followed by firing coach Sean Miller. More? Head coaches in softball, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, women’s tennis, cross country and swimming left their jobs. The football program lost a Pac-12 record 20 consecutive games.

What’s more, Heeke estimated the athletic department lost close to $40 million in pandemic-related issues.

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And yet five years since Heeke left his job as Central Michigan’s AD, it’s clear the Arizona athletic department not only survived the “Nightmare on Enke Drive” but is positioned for one of the school’s most positive and productive periods of the last 20 years.

Perhaps Heeke’s first five years would more appropriately be titled “Survivor.”

Just as Heeke, 58, survived an almost unprecedented number of coaching changes and a financial crisis like none in the history of college sports, he must now dig in for Part II: the Name, Image and Likeness era of college sports, the almost certain dissolution of the NCAA and the overflowing transfer portal, which has created free agency for student-athletes.

One of few who can fully understand and appreciate what Heeke has gone through is Tucsonan Jim Livengood, the UA’s athletic director from 1994-2010, a man who experienced almost every conceivable high and low in 30 years as an AD, at Arizona, Washington State, UNLV and Southern Illinois.

“This is a great time to be retired,” Livengood said with a laugh. “I can give my opinions without worrying that someone will stop by my desk and say, ‘How wrong could you have been?’ I would be scared to death of outside influences as they relate to NIL and the transfer portal.

“Everything else is kind of solvable, but there is so much unknown with NIL and the transfer portal that it just scares me. I mean, how much is that next great running back going to cost? How much is the big-name quarterback going to cost? Somebody described it as the ‘wild, wild West’ and it probably is. There are no guardrails in place to prevent some significant problems.”

Heeke has become one of the elder statesmen of the Pac-12. Since he arrived at Arizona, athletic directors at Utah, USC, UCLA, WSU and Cal have been replaced. …….

Source: https://tucson.com/sports/subscriber/hansens-sunday-notebook-nil-brings-new-nightmare-to-athletic-departments-like-uas/article_2b7d44dc-c357-11ec-bce2-a7af0b81f1fe.html

The Star’s longtime columnist on why Name, Image and Likeness could prove to be a nightmare on Enke Drive, why a Salpointe football player could be the next big thing, and why Jay Wright’s departure could be the start of a trend.

Athletic director Dave Heeke

…….

The Star’s longtime columnist on why Name, Image and Likeness could prove to be a nightmare on Enke Drive, why a Salpointe football player could be the next big thing, and why Jay Wright’s departure could be the start of a trend.

Athletic director Dave Heeke

…….

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