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Volume 26 No. 227
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Robert Morris President Talks College Sports Landscape, NIL

Robert Morris Univ. President Chris Howard said collegiate athletics are in an "inflection point in terms of what's happening," specifically with student athletes and compensation for their name, image and likeness. Appearing on the "Higher Ed Athletics Podcast," Howard said, "The numbers have gotten so high in certain parts of the business of sports ... and the dollars are so great it's really having the business almost eclipse the student-athlete piece." He added, "I think about smaller schools like us mid-majors working very, very hard to remain relevant, to make very, very smart strategic decisions and not bankrupt yourself whilst you're trying to be competitive, and there's a tension there. You don't want to walk away from it completely, but you have to be careful that there are differences in the smaller programs than the larger programs and trying to suss that out is the new reality." Howard said he does not want to "say you've got to have a top-tier football program to get money for your science program, but there have been some studies that have shown there's almost a spiritual connection made to a university because of sharing the joy of an athletic program that is hard to match." Howard: "We can't do things precisely like we did them 10 years (ago), and with the impact of the CFP dollars and the advent of social media and just the glaring amount of dollars that are going into athletics and making sure that our student-athletes, especially those in revenue-generating sports, are treated fairly" ("Higher Ed Athletics Podcast," ATHLETICDIRECTORU.com, 1/7).