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P.S: We’re keeping track of the Olympic medal count in its own dedicated section. Let’s get to it!
In today's Sprint:
⚾️ Cleveland forgets to check Google.
🏈 The Big 12 finds itself in a tough spot.
🥇 The US struggles early in the Olympics.
Trivia:Which university was the most recent addition to the ACC? *Not counting Notre Dame as a full member*
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
⚾️ Cleveland renamed its baseball team the Guardians effective after the 2021 season. In true Cleveland fashion, they did not check if the URL or Instagram usernames were available… they are not. The Cleveland Guardians men’s roller derby team owns both. Oops.
⚾️ The LA Angels are once again in the spotlight, this time for their treatment of minor league players. Allegations include extremely low pay resulting in players living out of cars and being unable to afford healthy food.
🏈 The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 every time they violate Covid procedures and policies. Teams get relaxed policies if they’ve hit an 85% vaccination rate.
⛳️ Jeongeun Lee had quite a weekend, tying the 18-hole Major-record round (61) and recording the lowest 36-hole score (127) in men’s or women’s history at a Major, just beating Brooks Koepka’s 128 at the 2019 PGA Championship. She finished second at the LPGA’s Evian Championship.
Bye, Bye, Big 12?
What seemed like a weird, unsubstantiated rumor five days ago, now seems like the most possible outcome.
Within the week, both Texas and Oklahoma are expected to declare their intent to join the SEC. But the Big 12 is fighting back. The league offered to increase each school’s revenue share during an emergency meeting this weekend. It likely won't matter.
To join the SEC, the Sooners and Longhorns need to:
Pay over $75 million each in fees to the Big 12 for media rights.
Have 11 of the 14 current SEC teams approve the move.
With even Texas A&M coming around to the idea, the schools are almost guaranteed to receive the necessary number of votes if they move forward.
Why would they leave? Discussions between UT, OU, and the SEC have been ongoing for the past six months. With the SEC and ESPN announcing a 10-year media rights partnership back in December 2020, the two seem very much linked.
Starting in 2024, ESPN will be the exclusive rights holder for SEC football and men's basketball (the two highest revenue-generating college sports). In December, ESPN's chairman said:
"This new agreement reflects a shared vision of the future with the SEC [...], resulting in maximum exposure and adding significant benefits for SEC schools and fans."
ESPN splits the Big 12 media rights deal with Fox. Bringing both OU and UT to the SEC would be a massive win for the network.
By the numbers: Currently, OU and UT make ~$37 million annually from the Big 12. SEC schools bring in $44 million, and that number would be expected to jump to $60 million if OU and UT join.
The changes are just getting started
First, and most obviously, the move would gut the Big 12 of its two largest programs. With the expected revenue losses from Texas and OU, the other Big 12 programs would face a major decision: stay with less revenue, or move to another conference.
But it's not only the Big 12 that's affected: The same source (Jack McGuire of Barstool) who broke the Texas and OU news claims the SEC has also been in serious contact with:
Zoom out: If any of these moves happen, then the entire landscape of college sports shifts. With the power a 16-team SEC would command (let alone a 20-team SEC), other major conferences would be forced to add schools or combine to form fewer, larger super conferences.
OLYMPIC MEDAL COUNT
We’re starting a new section showing you where the US ranks compared to other top countries in gold and total medals. Let us know if it's helpful!
The US has struggled early, especially in sports it's expected to win.
Women's soccer: The USWNT lost 0-3 to Sweden before getting back on track against New Zealand.
Men's basketball: Lost 76-83 to France, suffering its first Olympic loss since 2004 against Argentina.
Women's gymnastics: Qualified 2nd, losing to Russia. It's the first time since 2010 the US has not qualified 1st in either World Championships or the Olympics.
Since these were all qualifying, the teams can still win gold. But it won't be as easy as many expected.
The Mariners won their second straight game on a wild pitch and have are an MLB best 23-8 in 1-run games.
Blueface vs. Kane Trujillo
The fight between social media stars took a turn quickly after Blueface’s win when a fan jumped in the ring. Unfortunately for the fan, he was met by a barrage of fists from the winner before being tackled and dragged out by security.
Stat:The USA won its first-ever Olympic gold medals in women’s individual fencing and Taekwondo.
Quote:“I’m happy again.”
- Naomi Osaka, after her first Olympic tennis win, is in a good place after taking time off from the sport.
Highlight:With this absurd accuracy, Tom Brady doesn’t even need his receivers to get open. What a flex.
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