NEWS: Extra Points is merging with The Intercollegiate

Here's why I'm doing it, what it means for all of you, and what happens next with Extra Points

Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.

A lot of you have been spending part of your day with Extra Points over the last year or so and, for that, I am deeply grateful. It’s been exciting and gratifying to see an audience for this type of work, and your support is appreciated more than you know.

Over the last few months, I’ve been really encouraged to see that many people are willing to financially support this newsletter. But the last few months have also made it clear to me that if I really want to deliver the kind of product that I think my readers deserve – and really tell the stories I want to tell – I can’t do it alone. I can make a good product alone. But I want to create, and I think you deserve, a great one.

So, I’m not going to do this alone. I’m excited to announce that I’m merging Extra Points with The Intercollegiate, a college sports journalism outfit run by Daniel Libit and Luke Cyphers.

What is The Intercollegiate?

The Intercollegiate launched last fall as a public service college sports journalism enterprise. Daniel hosts The Intercollegiate podcast and the two of them have worked together to publish long form stories, usually fueled with public records, in a newsletter called, “Newsletter of Intent.”

Today, The Intercollegiate Podcast (which is available on the major podcasting apps) has a new episode out with Daniel interviewing U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy about NIL, NCAA reform efforts in Washington, Murphy’s usage of the term “student-athlete,” and more.

You might remember Daniel Libit from his work on NM Fishbowl. He’s perhaps the expert in using public records to tell important stories about college athletics, reform and accountability, all subjects I am also passionate about. Luke Cyphers was a founding member of the New York Daily News sports investigation team, and worked for years for ESPN The Magazine. 

The Intercollegiate also has a partnership with the University of South Carolina’s College Sport Research Institute, a well-regarded consortium for academics who study college sports. That partnership will now involve Extra Points, and we’ll work together to share CSRI scholarship with our readers.

The three of us – Daniel, Luke and I – all have different voices and different interests, but agree on the really important stuff. By working together, I am confident we can create an even better, and more viable, product for everybody. 

Okay, so you’re merging. What does that actually mean?

Beginning today, Extra Points is now the official newsletter of The Intercollegiate. Folks who subscribed to the Newsletter of Intent will be ported over to Extra Points as free subscribers. Welcome! I hope you like it!

You’ll also notice that my branding has been updated, to make that partnership even more clear. I’m a big fan of the new logo, personally. 

Daniel and Luke will continue to publish longer stories on TheIntercollegiate.com, and I will continue to publish four newsletters a week – two free, two paid. 

Moving forward, I think you’ll see more editorial integration between the two entities. FOIAs that are part of a deep-diving story on The Intercollegiate’s website may become Extra Points newsletters. In fact, I’ll publish our first FOIA-informed story tomorrow morning.  You’ll probably hear my voice on The Intercollegiate podcasts. We’ll be working together to hit similar topics from different angles, and in different formats. 

By joining together, we’re also trying to be a little more ambitious in our goals. 

Here are some things we want to accomplish by working together:

  • We want to help bridge the gap between college sports academics and the college sports-consuming public. There are a lot of very smart people doing serious research on this subject – be they economists, law professors, sociologists, gender studies experts, historians and more. We want to help this research and expertise reach more journalists, athletic department personnel, and fans. We want Extra Points and The Intercollegiate to be a forum where intelligent and challenging discussions of college sports can regularly be had. If you are an academic that studies college athletics, or who teaches sports management classes, we want to talk to you! 

  • We want to help pave the way for college beat reporters and the public, in general, to better engage with public records. We have an ideological commitment to open government. We plan on sharing the documents we receive via FOIA requests, so other journalists and college sports followers can utilize them in their reporting and shape their conversations. We think this can help everybody understand how the business of college athletics works and how decisions are being made. To that point, if you have materials you’d like to share, please email me. At the moment, I am especially interested in game contracts, coaching contracts, and athletic department vendor contracts. The more those are shared, the more everybody benefits. 

  • We want to be able to tell quality, compelling stories about college athletics across different platforms. I love writing Extra Points. I love writing newsletters. I’m a blogger at heart, after all. But the newsletter format isn’t perfect for every story. By working together, we’ll be able to tell more stories using podcasts, long-form journalism, and newsletters.

  • We want to give our work the oxygen it needs. By collaborating, we ease the burdens on each other. Pooling editorial, logistical and entrepreneurial muscle means we can still produce four newsletters a week without losing our minds – or our standards – while trying to build something bigger and long-lasting.

What else does this mean for me, the Extra Points subscriber?

For one, it means that very soon, we’ll be able to offer merchandise. We are working with vendors to help produce Extra Points/The Intercollegiate t-shirts and stickers. Depending on interest, we may roll out other options. I hope to be able to share more information on merch by the end this month. 

We’re also continuing to evaluate the best ways to integrate our podcasting operations. I currently record one podcast a month as a kind of lagniappe for paid Extra Points subscribers. The Intercollegiate podcast, which will resume its weekly schedule, currently is available for free downloading. I know podcasts aren’t for everybody, and it isn’t something that will ever replace our newsletter, but we look at this merger as a chance to really make our audio offerings better. 

I think this is a great time to subscribe to Extra Points, personally. If you’re already a paid subscriber, wonderful! I’m hopeful that this partnership will allow me to find even more ways to deliver value to you. If you’re not a paid subscriber, yet, I hope this merger will help me consistently deliver a product that you’d like to financially support. 

I’m really excited about this partnership. I’ve admired Daniel’s work, passion and philosophy for a long time. By working together, I really think we can not only tell better stories for readers of Extra Points and The Intercollegiate, but help everybody who cares about college athletics. This will help make everything we’re doing stronger and more sustainable for the future. 

Also, this means I have a new email

If you’re an academic who wants to talk about your research, or how we might be able to help your students, or a journalist that wants to share some game contracts, or a reader that just wants to chat, please drop me a line at my new email, mbrown@theintercollegiate.com. You’re also still welcome to DM me on Twitter at @MattBrownEP. 

Okay, if you’ve made it this far, here’s a treat

Thanks for reading everything here. As a way to celebrate, why not take 15% off your next order at Homefield Apparel? These guys have supported Extra Points multiple times before, and their shirts are not only exceptionally comfortable, but sport some beautiful retro college logos. I love everything in their new Tulane set.

Use promocode EXTRAPOINTS at checkout to save 15%.

Thanks for reading and for all of your support. Can’t wait to share what else we have cooked up for this week and beyond.

-Matt