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President Schulz talks NIL, WSU Women’s Basketball success

Washington State University President Kirk Schulz discussed the impact of student-athlete’s name, image and likeness rights on colleges as well as some of the broader issues that have emerged as part of a wide-ranging conversation Wednesday afternoon.

The hour-long conversation between Schulz and WSU Regent Enrique Cerna was broadcast on YouTube and is available to re-watch in-full.

At the heart of the discussion were issues Schulz, WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun and other university leaders across the country have identified stemming from NIL. Central to the issue, according to Schulz, are murky deals being offered to student athletes across the country and a lack of resources for student athletes with questions about the deals being offered to them by booster-backed collective groups.

“I think we need some clearinghouse nationally where people can go and get a third-party assessment of what types of things are being offered.”

During the discussion, Cerna played clips of Chun’s recent testimony in front of the House Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commence.

“Although true NIL provides tremendous opportunities for student athletes, the existing environment consists of recruiting inducements, tampering, and ultimately pay for play and is wrought with pitfalls and misinformation. Recent reports in the media suggest that current student athletes across the country are being approached with empty promises which lead to false expectations.”

Schulz also spoke about the increased use of the transfer portal and some potential solutions to fan concerns about rosters changing dramatically year to year and bowl games that lack some of a team’s most impactful players. He also emphasized the importance of financial literacy education for student athletes, and positioned the Carson College of Business’ program as being a potential model for schools across the country.

Aside from NIL, Schulz touched on other athletics topics, including hinting at a potential contract extension for WSU Women’s Basketball Coach Kamie Ethridge. During the conversation, Ethridge’s signing of a contract extension that’ll keep her in Pullman through the 2028–29 season was announced on Twitter. The team achieved remarkable success on the court this year and also garnered praise from country music legend Shania Twain en route to winning the PAC‑12 Championship and playing themselves into the NCAA Tournament. 

The importance of alumni collective organizations that fundraising in order to provide NIL deals to student athletes, the ongoing PAC‑12 media rights negotiations, and the evolving role of university presidents was also touched on during the discussion.

The entire discussion is available to watch on the university’s YouTube channel.

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