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Solutions-Focused Conversations With Teamworks & EKU’s Matt Roan

Guest Matt Roan, Eastern Kentucky
18:17 min watch


Eastern Kentucky Vice President & Director of Athletics Matt Roan sits down with Teamworks Vice President for Business Development Kevin Barefoot at the 2024 NCAA Convention for the first in a series of solutions-oriented conversations about the biggest issues facing today’s industry leaders. Roan and Barefoot discuss NCAA President Baker’s recent letter to the membership, diving into the proposals to expand educational benefits and increase a school’s ability to enter into NIL licensing opportunities with student-athletes. Roan, a member of the Division I Council, also reflects on budget management, coaching salaries and the implications of an antitrust exemption before proposing one change he’d make to the transfer portal.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - From your vantage point as both an AD and a member of the Division I Council, what did NCAA President Charlie Baker's recent letter to the industry get right and what were some glaring omissions?
  • - You mentioned two aspects of Baker's proposal - expanded educational benefits and that schools can engage in NIL licensing opportunities directly with athletes. What are some examples of expanded educational benefits that a school might be able to provide?
  • - Are there any potential downsides to providing these expanded educational benefits?
  • - Where does your mind go when you think of NIL deals that a school might engage a student-athlete for? Group licensing? Promotional appearances on behalf of the school?
  • - It seems there's not full clarity on how Title IX will be applied with these proposed changes. Is it equity of outcome or is it equity of opportunity? What are you hearing? What's the best guidance that we have today? 
  • - As that NIL landscape evolves, how do you see the future of collectives? What do you see for the next 3-5 years as the legislation evolves?
  • - If you look at the data, schools in Division I have increased coaches salaries and facilities spending as a proportion of revenue growth faster than even professional counterparts... from a budget-management perspective, are those areas you can realistically rein in? What are some ways to control budget management so that there are dollars available for student-athletes?
  • - It seems like NIL in and of itself has not been the biggest challenge; it's NIL coupled with what's become an unlimited transfer portal. Are there one or two specific tweaks you think we could make to the transfer portal that could solve some of the challenges associated with transferring?
  • - Speaking of relieving pressure, is there anything the NCAA can do to bring down the level of heat they're facing? Is an antitrust exemption the only way to take down the temperature a little bit?
  • - What can other athletic leaders like yourself be doing now and in the near future to advance the dialogue? How do we continue to work towards solutions in the near future?