USF partners with company of Lightning owner Jeff Vinik

Athletic director Mark Harlan announced Monday that USF would be partnering with Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Athletic director Mark Harlan announced Monday that USF would be partnering with Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC (TBEP), to enter into a 10-year multimedia rights partnership starting July 1.

The agreement grants TBEP the right to exclusive naming rights for the USF Sun Dome and all USF owned inventory related to audio, television, print, social media and game entitlements.

USF will make a total of $29 million through the 10-year term, an average of $2.9 million per year.

The rights agreement also states that the only time either party can opt out of the contract is within the six months following the 5th year of the deal.

TBEP is owned by Jeff Vinik, who also owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, which was ranked the No. 1 franchise among the four major professional sports leagues by ESPN in 2016, largely for its fan engagement.

The partnership will also aim to provide educational opportunities through integration with USF’s Sport and Entertainment Management program that may include shadowing and internship opportunities within TBEP, as well as hosting speaking engagements on campus.


Tampa to host 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First & Second Rounds


Amalie Arena will be the host site for first and second round games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March of 2020.

USF will be involved in coordinating the event as the “host institution,” and will provide both guidance and resources in everything from event management, and media coordination to marketing and community involvement.


Changes continue for men’s basketball roster


Former USF guard Michael Bibby Jr. announced through his personal Twitter account on Sunday night that he is transferring from USF.

Bibby joins six other scholarship players – Malik Fitts, Ruben Guerrero, Luis Santos, Geno Thorpe, Yito Alvarado and Bo Zeigler – who opted to leave the program following the Bulls 7-23 record last season.

New head coach Brian Gregory now has only four scholarship players on the active roster and one walk on.

Unofficially however, the Bulls should have support coming next season.

Two graduate transfers from Penn State – Payton Banks and Terrence Samuel – are reported to join the team in the fall, as well as Stephan Jiggets, a graduate transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The trio of graduate transfers will bring Division I experience to a Bulls roster that currently has only two seniors, who neither of which played any minutes in the 2016-2017 season.

Currently, Gregory’s lone non-transfer signing of the 2017 recruiting cycle is Justin Brown, a 6-foot-6 guard who played last season at the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia, where Brown led the Tigers to a 43-2 record.