Saturday Sports Q&A: Coyle likes the direction of Gophers' athletic department; confident in Whalen

BleedGopher

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per the Post Bulletin:

PB: The NIL (name, image, and likeness) has burst on the scene in college sports. How has that impacted athletic programs?

Coyle: Well, I think it (started) last July so it’s been 13, 14 months that new legislation came into place where student-athletes could benefit off their name, image, and likeness. And I give Jeremiah Carter, our compliance director, and Julie Manning, our deputy athletic director, a lot of credit. We had a working group, working together with staff, our students, our coaches because we wanted to make sure we do everything we can to help our students maximize on that NIL along with educating them. We’ve partnered with some outside vendors to help us in terms of education for our student-athletes. We had over 130 student-athletes with NIL deals this past year in all 22 sports. So every sport had at least one kid with an arrangement in place. So we’ll continue to grow that program.

PB: The transfer portal has also become a big part of college athletics. How difficult is that to deal with?

Coyle: I always respect our coaches and that transfer portal has added a whole new layer in terms of trying to manage that. We’ve had good kids leave our program, we’ve brought in good kids to our program. It’s not going away so we have to be sure we stay committed to our focus. We talk about graduating, winning, preparing for life after sports. We just have to continue to focus on those things and those transfer things will work themselves out in the future.

PB: How big of an impact are UCLA and USC going to have coming into the Big Ten Conference?

Coyle: Oh, I think it’s going to have a huge impact. I think if you look at the exposure, sometimes you get caught up in the football exposure, but if you look at the exposure for all of our programs, our student-athletes have a chance to compete coast-to-coast, with Rugters and Maryland on the east coast and Penn State. And now you go out to USC and UCLA on the west coast and compete in between. So we think it’s going to be a great experience for our student-athletes and I think our fans will be really excited about it.

PB: The women’s basketball program has had a little more of a struggle. Any concerns there?

Coyle: No, when we hired Lindsay (Whalen as coach), she was still playing in the WNBA and there’s a learning curve for anybody. Lindsay had a top-10 recruiting class, they’re on campus now, and we’re very confident and feel we’re going in the right direction and have a great year ahead of us in women’s basketball as well.


Go Gophers!!
 





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