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Solutions-Focused Conversations With Teamworks & North Carolina’s Bubba Cunningham

Guest Bubba Cunningham, North Carolina
31:40 min watch


North Carolina Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham sits down with Teamworks Vice President for Business Development Kevin Barefoot for the second in a series of conversations offering forward-looking solutions to the most pressing issues in today’s intercollegiate athletics landscape. Cunningham and Barefoot discuss the trickle-down ramifications of high level changes such as NIL and the transfer portal on department resources, donor fatigue and Olympic sport programs. The duo also dives into the details of NCAA President Charlie Baker’s proposed Division I framework – specifically the ability for schools to participate in NIL and increased educational benefits.

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

  • - What were the most important elements of President Baker's letter to the membership in December? Were there items it failed to address?
  • - What are examples of educational benefits schools could provide under Baker's proposed framework?
  • - Are there potential downsides to expanding the educational benefits pool?
  • - Where does your mind go when you think of school-initiated NIL opportunities?
  • - How can Title IX be applied in these scenarios?
  • - What's your view of the necessity or viability of collectives over the next 2-5 years?
  • - What are some ways to potentially cut costs in order to free up more cash for these student-athlete initiatives, other than cutting sports?
  • - Do you anticipate that schools would be trimming down from a sports portfolio perspective?
  • - What feedback are you getting from coaches on the transfer portal and the impact it's having?
  • - Are there one or two changes that you think we can make to reduce some of the pressure on the system?
  • - Are there any rule changes we could make to eliminate tampering?
  • - How do you reconcile anecdotal disgust with the transfer portal and NIL with the record viewership numbers we're seeing?
  • - How could this have longtail effects on fans of professional sports like the NBA?
  • - What can leaders in our industry do to continue zeroing in on solutions to some of these challenges? What advice do you have for your peers?
  • - Are there things we're not talking enough about?
  • - What should proponents of student-athletes as employees keep in mind as they assess a potential employment structure?
  • - What are we getting right in 2024?